The mighty right-handed bats of Milwaukee will take on Jorge De La Rosa, the struggling lefty from Colorado. De La Rosa has given up 18 earned runs in his last four starts. 18! Ryan Braun, Khris Davis, and Aramis Ramirez are in the best position to take advantage of De La Rosa’s generous .345 wOBA to righties. 2B Rickie Weeks makes for a nice, economical pick with the platoon advantage, and Mark Reynolds is an intriguing sleeper pick at 1B.
NOTE: Stay away from Milwaukee OF Carlos Gomez, who left yesterday’s game with a head injury. He is considered to be on the wrong side of questionable for today’s contest.
If you want to dig a little deeper for a less obvious stack, try the Twins against Colby Lewis of the Rangers. Lewis has been awful against left-handed bats, holding an inflated .364 wOBA and 1.70 HR/9IP mark. Joe Mauer, Kendrys Morales, and Oswaldo Arcia are the Minnesota lefties to take advantage of that deficiency. Don’t forget about the power upside of 2B Brian Dozier and OF Josh Willingham either.
Jose Abreu (1B) – CWS: There’s not much more that can be said about this guy: he is an absolute machine…like a young Albert Pujols. Today he will square off against lefty Mark Buehrle, who has been decent, but still gives up power to righty sluggers.
Ryan Braun (OF) – MIL: He has been leading the charge for the high-scoring Brew Crew. As mentioned in the introduction, Braun and his teammates are in a great position to keep the momentum going with the platoon advantage over Jorge De La Rosa.
Kole Calhoun (OF) – LAA: Pro tip: target lefties against Jeremy Guthrie. Batting leadoff, Calhoun has a great combination of speed and power to take advantage of Guthrie’s .361 wOBA against left-handers. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have Mike Trout and a red-hot Angels’ lineup backing you up for insurance.
Brock Holt (3B) – BOS: Holt will go up against the mediocre pitching of Chase Whitley tonight in the hitter-friendly park of Yankee Stadium. The power upside on top of his usual high on-base percentage merits a deep look.
Shin-Soo Choo (OF) – TEX: Is he finally starting to come around? Choo has collected multiple hits in three of the past four games, and he has a great matchup against the often ineffective pitching of Kyle Gibson. This looks like an excellent time to hop aboard the “Choo Choo train”.
Joe Mauer (1B) – MIN: For only $2,800 on FanDuel, Mauer is one of the top bargains of the day. He is finally living up to his standards with a nine game hitting streak. If you aren’t going to pay up for a First Baseman (Abreu, Encarnacion, Ortiz), then “Joe Cool” is definitely your guy for a heavily undervalued price tag.
Oswaldo Arcia (OF) – MIN: In the introduction, I touched on Colby Lewis’s sore spot against lefties, and Arcia represents the most powerful left-handed bat for the Twins. He was in a deep slump, but a current four game hit streak displays some signs of life. Consider him a speculative, high-upside play.
Mike Zunino (C) – SEA: Zunino is a name a lot of people aren’t familiar with, but he possesses tremendous power upside (4 HR in the past week) and a solid matchup against Cleveland’s lefty, T.J. House. Other mid-range/cheap Catcher options with power potential include Dioner Navarro (TOR) and Alex Avila (DET).
Clayton Kershaw (LAD): Like Jose Abreu, there’s not a whole lot to be said here. He is simply the best at his position right now, by a landslide. His teammate Zack Greinke shut down the Cardinal bats last night, and the redbirds have only scored 4 runs in three games at Los Angeles this series. On top of that, St. Louis ranks T-25th in average versus lefties, giving Kershaw some room to deal this afternoon.
Homer Bailey (CIN): Bailey has been somewhat middling this season, but I’m expecting a quality outing in the pitching friendly park of San Francisco today. He always has good strikeout potential (6+ K’s in every start over the past month), and this game should be a low-scoring pitcher’s duel that could position Bailey for a win behind Cincy’s new found offense.
Yovani Gallardo (MIL): Gallardo may be a safer option (for a cheaper price) than Bailey, simply due to the fact that he is in an excellent situation to receive enough run support for a win. Gallardo has been heating up over the past month, averaging a consistent 7 IP, 1 ER, and 6 K’s in his last four starts. The Colorado bats are much less daunting away from home, and Yovani should be able to navigate his way through their injury-plagued lineup.