Death, taxes, struggles from the Rangers rotation.
Colby Lewis will start for one of the worst pitching teams in baseball, and he will do so with a home ERA of 7.62 (.359 BAA). Granted, he whirled a gem last week vs the slumping White Sox, but I’m not buying a complete turnaround quite yet.
Definitely target some Tampa bats this evening, especially the lefties, as Lewis gives up a generous .380 wOBA (.426 this season) vs LHB. The red-hot Ben Zobrist first comes to mind, followed by Matt Joyce, James Loney, and Kevin Kiermaier. Also consider Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings from the other side of the plate.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Player picks are taken from games starting 7:05 ET and later.
Adrian Beltre (3B) – TEX: At home, vs a mediocre lefty (Drew Smyly) that owns a .346 wOBA vs RHB…where do I sign? A $3,400 tag on FanDuel is extremely reasonable, given Beltre's status as one of the top hitting options of the day.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – BAL: Cruz crushes left-handed pitching (.394 wOBA), and he’s snapped his recent cold-funk with a four game hit-streak. Chris Capuano hasn’t been all that bad for the Pinstripes, but navigating this righty-laden lineup in Camden Yards will be one of his toughest tests thus far. I’m looking for Cruz and Adam Jones to step up in this spot, with Cruz coming at a nice discount ($3,300).
Ben Zobrist (2B) – TB: Zobrist has proven to be the most capable Tampa bat within this potential stack, going 9/17 in his past four games. It’s reasonable to expect another multi-hit performance vs Colby Lewis.
Danny Santana (SS) – MIN: His blend of power, speed, and on-base percentage gives him upside for days. The switch-hitting shortstop is in a great position leading off vs Brad Peacock, who owns a .363 wOBA vs LHB. The shift to hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park doesn’t hurt his cause either.
Gregory Polanco (OF) – PIT: The rookie has really stepped up in McCutchen’s absence, collecting multi-hit games in three of his last four (the one exception coming vs a LHP). Justin Verlander is no longer a name to be feared, and Polanco steps in as the most likely candidate to give him fits.
Justin Upton (OF) – ARI: Upton clobbered HR #21 last night, with 14 of those coming at home. Tonight, he’ll square off against one of the more volatile pitchers in the league, the newly acquired Kevin Correia. He’s a reverse-splits pitcher that gives up more power to righties, which is good news for the Braves top slugger.
Kennys Vargas (1B) – MIN: The recent call-up certainly fits the profile of a big league slugger, leading to the Twins immediately placing him in the cleanup role. The park shift to Houston should serve him well this series, and I already mentioned Brad Peacock’s susceptibility to lefties. Oh, and one more thing, Vargas is the bare minimum on FanDuel ($2,200), making for a sneaky play that will enable you to take several “top shelf” items.
Evan Gattis (C) – ATL: Gattis has been pretty mundane since returning in mid-July, but he still represents one of the best “per $” Catchers of the day. Considering the aforementioned reverse splits of Kevin Correia, Gattis sets up as one of the safest options behind the plate. If you are looking to gamble on HR-upside, perhaps consider the “boom or bust” qualities of Caleb Joseph or JP Arencibia for large tournaments. I would still lean towards Gattis in 50/50 and H2H style matches though.
Matt Dominguez (3B) – HOU: There are plenty of capable 3B options today (Beltre, Longoria, Machado), but if you want a cheap gamble for large tournaments, Dominguez is your guy. He’s the current owner of a six game hitting-streak, and he’s proven his worth against lefties this year (.332 wOBA). Minnesota pitcher Tommy Milone has struggled at giving up the deep ball, and Minute Maid Park won’t help his flyball tendencies.
Felix Hernandez – SEA: He’s the ace of the day, taking on a Blue Jays team traveling cross-country following their 19-inning marathon. Toronto’s homerun capabilities should be muted by spacious Safeco Field, helping Felix maintain his sub 2.00 ERA. The copious amount of value bats in today’s player pool should allow you to “pay up” for King Felix.
Julio Teheran – ATL: If you don’t want to splurge on Felix, Teheran is your next best bet for a mid-range price tag. He struggled in his last start @ Seattle, but chances are he turns it around at home against a Dodgers lineup that looks scarier than it actually is (ranked 15th in wOBA, past 30 days). Also, Teheran should receive a fair amount of run support opposing LAD’s new acquisition of an old pitcher, Kevin Correia.
Jesse Hahn – SD: Hahn is the best of the “third-tier”, standing in as the third highest favorite of the day (behind the two previously mentioned pitchers). He’ll navigate a Rockies lineup whose power will be muted by pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Hahn has been racking up quality outings over the past several months, and he has shown 7+ strikeout upside as well.