Dan Haren has the “Dodger blues” right now. He has seemingly gotten worse as the season has progressed, giving up 26 ER in 23 IP over the past month. A road matchup against an Angels squad that just touched-up Greinke and Kershaw doesn’t exactly bode well for the wilting 33 year old.
Haren gives up a higher wOBA split (.353) to righties, but more power (1.52 HR/9) to lefties. I’m definitely targeting some of the popular “Halo Sticks” tonight led by Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, and Erick Aybar. Without a single expensive pitcher in the late slate, you shouldn’t have to get too creative to fit four Angel bats in your lineup.
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Jose Abreu (1B) – CWS – EARLY: Showcasing Abreu in the “Top Shelf” may be getting redundant, but he has enjoyed some premier matchups against the hapless Texas rotation. Today will be no different with Jerome Williams taking the bump after allowing 10 (yes, that’s right…TEN) earned runs in his last start.
Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR: Two of Bautista’s favorite things are hitting at home (.395 wOBA) and vs lefties (.399 wOBA). Both are working in his favor tonight, and opposing pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen, has a tougher time sitting down batters with the platoon advantage.
Kole Calhoun (OF) – LAA: He’s only $3,300 on FanDuel, but Calhoun is posing as a Top Shelf commodity in an intriguing matchup vs Dan Haren. The struggles of Haren have been well documented in the introduction, and Calhoun has one of the friendlier prices of the Angel outfielders.
Adam Eaton (OF) – CWS – EARLY: The White Sox were humiliated by a couple of touchdowns last night, and I’m looking for a big bounce-back in the short turnaround for today’s game. Eaton had been swinging one of the hottest bats in MLB leading into last night’s massacre. He’s an elite OF play in the “early only” slate vs Jerome Williams.
Gregory Polanco (OF) – PIT: Speaking of stolen bases, Polanco certainly has potential to swipe a bag or two, and the Pirates may unleash him a little more with McCutchen out of the lineup. Polanco is the current owner of a six game hit streak (3 multi-hit), and he has a favorable draw with the platoon advantage over Miami’s Tom Koehler.
Brian McCann (C) – NYY: Kind of like Mr. Abreu of the top shelf, McCann has become a bargain bin staple as of late. He keeps churning out solid value for a reasonable $2,800 FanDuel price tag, including an unexpected lefty/lefty HR off David Price last night. He has a much better matchup against Justin Verlander’s roller-coaster pitching, so maybe we’ll get another bomb to the short-porch in right field.
Matt Adams (1B) – STL: Joe Kelly has been very shaky this season, hence the Cardinals trading him to Boston. Now, he’ll take on his ex-teammates, which is good news for the St. Louis left-handed bats looking to inflate Kelly’s already bloated .350 wOBA. Adams, Wong, Carpenter, and Tavares are the top candidates to take advantage.
Casey McGehee (3B) – MIA: He’s slumping a little bit, but McGehee still retains value at a miniscule $2,500 price tag on FanDuel. He holds the platoon advantage over Jeff Locke today, batting cleanup for a Marlins team that ranks 6th against left-handed pitching.
Chris Sale (Early) – CWS: He’s the only ace pitcher in action today, and even though Texas enjoyed a breakout performance last night, I wouldn’t hesitate to plug Sale into majority of my “early only” lineups. He’s the largest favorite of the day, pitching at home to go along with his always present 10+ strikeout upside.
Doug Fister – WAS: The “late” slate purely consists of mid-range and value pitching options, with Fister representing one of the safest choices for your H2H and 50/50 style games. While he doesn’t offer many points via punch-out, he won’t burn you either, which goes a long way after assessing the hodgepodge collection of hurlers tonight.
Danny Salazar – CLE: If you want to take a step on the wild side, Salazar is the risk/reward mid-range pick. He has nice strikeout potential against a watered-down Cincinnati lineup. However, Salazar isn’t the most efficient with his pitches, and he isn’t exactly in a great position to achieve a road victory either.