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Daily

Daily Forecast: September May

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Twins starter Trevor May is coming off his best major league start. He lasted five innings and allowed only two runs to the Indians. He also walked four against just three strikeouts. Free passes, hits, and home runs are all problem areas for May. While the White Sox lineup isn't particularly fearsome, U.S. Cellular Field is a terrible locale for a May outing. Aside from one obvious slugger, the Pale Sox are cheap, which could help you to add a front line starter. To build intrigue, yesterday's doubleheader has probably left the Twins a little thin in the bullpen.

 

TOP SHELF


Nolan Arenado - COL: One of this season's most exciting breakouts, Arenado has posted some extreme platoon numbers. He's had a league average season against righties. However, lefties have been slain by a .318/.381/.609 line. The power in particular is impressive, although a small sample size warning is necessary. Like many Rockies, his OPS is over 200 points lower on the road. St. Louis has a large park, so a home run could be a stretch.

 

Jayson Werth - WAS: Werth has long been a favorite platoon bat of mine. Granted, he's useful against right-handed pitching too, but he really perks up against southpaws. This season's .319/.434/.462 line is typical for him. While Jon Niese isn't a slacker, he still presents Werth an opportunity to sharpen the knives.

 

Michael Brantley - CLE: I've been waiting years for this Brantley - I had finally started to give up on him. I love his no whiff profile, and his contact oriented swing generates surprising leverage. Justin Verlander hasn't yet adjusted to his lack of velocity. Brantley brings a .338/.388/.531 line against righties.

 

Also Consider: Victor Martinez - DET, Mike Trout - LAA, Anthony Rendon - WAS

 

BULK PURCHASE

 

Jose Abreu - CWS: Abreu busted out of an extended slump yesterday, but at least one major site has him priced like a generic first baseman. The powerful righty has a hitter friendly ballpark on his side and will face today's top stacking pitcher. The matchup seems to favor walks over home runs, so maybe you'll prefer something else.

 

Jason Heyward - ATL: Heyward should lead off against an exploitable pitcher in Colby Lewis. While lefties have dominated Heyward, he has an impressive .308/.387/.446 line against righties. Heyward will find that Arlington is 20 percent more homer friendly than Turner Field for him and his fellow lefties.

 

Christian Yelich - MIA: It's a shame Giancarlo Stanton was sidelined by an errant fastball. The entire Marlins lineup was held together by his presence. The fulcrum is now Yelich, who features an interesting profile at the plate. It's a classic approach that doesn't usually work in today's game. He reaches base frequently by pounding a lot of hard hit grounders. Those few fly balls he does hit are struck with authority. His average fly ball distance is comparable to Nolan Arenado and Oswaldo Arcia. I personally wish he'd trade 30 points of batting average for another 10 home runs.

 

Also Consider: Freddie Freeman - ATL, Adrian Beltre - TEX, Neil Walker - PIT

 

BARGAIN BIN

 

Miguel Montero - ARI: You may have noticed that I cite a lot of platoon splits. They matter. Other splits tend to matter a lot less. Montero has been cold for awhile - he appears to be a victim of fatigue. He usually bats fifth for the Diamondbacks and will face Odrisamer Despaigne. Montero has a solid .261/.355/.401 line against northpaws.

 

Nick Markakis - BAL: The Orioles leadoff man is a quiet worker. He's certainly not a dynamic spark plug, but you can't usually find them in the bargain bin. He will chip in the occasional three hit effort, and the Orioles have the necessary support pieces to drive him home whenever he reaches base. He'll face Hiroki Kuroda in the night game, so you might have to gamble on him starting if you're a FanDuel user.

 

Seth Smith - SDP: The righty mashing Smith has been quiet for awhile, hence his low price. A matchup with platoon-heavy Trevor Cahill might get him back in the game. Cahill has allowed a massive .326/.402/.480 line against lefties. Basically, the average lefty turns into Andrew McCutchen against Cahill. Smith's platoon split is .269/.361/.463, so he should enjoy this one.

 

Also Consider: Conor Gillaspie - CWS, Alexei Ramirez - CWS, Adam Lind - TOR

 

STARTING PITCHER

 

Jon Lester - OAK: Lester has a fantastic matchup against the Mariners at Safeco Field. The M's lefty-leaning lineup should be easy to stymie for Lester. The tricky part is his opposition - Chris Young. The A's have revealed a devastating weakness to high fastballs. Naturally, Young gets by with high heat. I expect this to be a low scoring affair.

 

Mike Minor - ATL: It's not a particularly good day for pitching once you get past the very best of the bunch. Minor has pitched well recently, with excellent command and control. The Texas lineup is an easy matchup, although hitter friendly Globe Life Park adds a bit of risk to the equation. He should have a good chance to earn the win with Colby Lewis opposing him.

 

Marco Gonzales - STL: Boy is this a stretch. The dregs look really bad today, so I'll turn to the guy with a little upside. Gonzales flopped in an earlier major league trial mostly due to a high walk rate. The funny thing about that - he generally posted a near elite walk rate in the minors. I wouldn't expect him to pitch deep in the game or perform particularly well, but there is the possibility that he throws six shutout innings against the Rockies. They're pitiful outside of Colorado.

 

Also Consider:  Clayton Kershaw - LAD, Chris Young - SEA, David Buchanan - PHI

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on NBC Sports Edge, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.