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Daily

Daily Forecast: Split Contests

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

We have split action today, with seven games early and eight games late. Storms could interrupt play in Boston, New York, and Washington. The Rangers could see their start time delayed, but the current report suggests they'll play.

 

Since we have two contests and sufficient fodder, I'll recommend a stack in each. Left-hander Felix Doubront has seen his average fastball velocity dip below 90 mph this season. He enjoyed his best success while averaging 92-93 mph. The fly ball pitcher seems ill-suited to Wrigley Field, especially with the Pirates on the other side of the matchup. They have a couple notable lefty mashers.

 

The evening stack is in Colorado, where Joe Wieland will make his 2014 debut for the Padres. He's missed most of the past three seasons. He's a solid command and control type with an unimpressive fastball. If this game wasn't in Denver or his first major league appearance since May of 2012, I probably wouldn't suggest stacking. As it stands, if nerves cause him to miss a couple spots, those mistakes could turn costly. 

 

TOP SHELF


Jose Bautista - TOR: If you follow me at all, you know I don't care for the hot hand argument. Evidence suggests it's poppycock. Bautista's testing my objectivity with six home runs in nine days. With the Green Monster in play, Clay Buchholz is another guy Bautista could take deep. Buchholz has either dominated or struggled since returning from injury, so this game could go either way.

 

Yoenis Cespedes - BOS: If you prefer to go across the aisle, Cespedes will have the platoon advantage against J.A. Happ. Neither Cespedes or Happ have a notable platoon split. I'm once again looking at the Green Monster, where all you need is a fly ball to net two or four bases. 

 

Jose Altuve - HOU (EARLY): Altuve is a nice (if pricey) DFS asset because he rarely gets himself out. He's hit a crazy .419/.448/.574 against lefties, fueled by a .442 BABIP (about 130 points above "neutral"). He also generates most of his home run power against southpaws - what little there is. The stud second baseman will face Scott Kazmir. He's struggled in recent outings, although I'm confident he's fine. Otherwise I'd be recommending more Astros.

 

Also Consider: Andrew McCutchen(EARLY), Anthony Rendon - WAS (EARLY), Corey Dickerson - COL

 

BULK PURCHASE

 

Adam Jones - BAL (EARLY): Jones will take his .355/.414/.623 line against lefties to Tampa Bay and Drew Smyly. For his part, Smyly has allowed righties to hit a healthy .267/.327/.452. If the game was at Camden Yards, this would be positively drool worthy. Alas, Jones will have to contend with pitcher friendly Tropicana Field. 

 

Mike Napoli - BOS: Unlike Cespedes, Napoli does possess a leverageable platoon split. He has a .296/.433/.472 slash against lefties, which is in keeping with his career rates. I mentioned earlier that Happ doesn't have much of a split. However, since he's allowed a .265/.324/.457 line as a starter, his lack of split doesn't matter. 

 

Kyle Seager - SEA: Seager is lined up with the Rangers and Nick Martinez. Seattle's five-hole is on the cusp of setting a career high in home runs and RBI. Perhaps today is the day he gets there. He's done well to improve against left-handed pitching this season, but he still hits righties much better. The proof is in the pudding (huh?) - he's slashed .284/.363/.517 against northpaws.

 

Also Consider: Nelson Cruz - BAL (EARLY), Alex Gordon - KAN (EARLY), Mookie Betts - BOS

 

BARGAIN BIN

 

Dalton Pompey - TOR: The site I use for building this list actually has Pompey listed in the bulk purchase price range, but I know other sites have him in the bargain bin. With Melky Cabrera out for the season and possibly out of Toronto, I expect the Blue Jays to evaluate their breakout prospect. The speedster might fill Cabrera's shoes by batting second. Statistically, Brett Gardner might make a good comparable for the switch hitter. 

 

Caleb Joseph - BAL (EARLY): Joseph proved earlier in the season that he has a bit of pop for an unrecognized catcher. With Smyly in play today, Joseph could make for a sneaky pick. There's always a temptation to go cheap at catcher since it can be the difference between using Dillon Gee and Tanner Roark. Or a similarly extreme swap at another position.

 

Evan Gattis - ATL: Yesterday I remarked upon an unusually cheap Yasiel Puig (see below). Like Puig, Gattis may not have the best matchup or stadium situation. What he does have is plenty of talent and power - well in excess of his current price tag. The mitigating factor here is his performance since returning from the disabled list. Aside from the occasional home run, he's been a non-factor. 

 

Also Consider: Brandon Moss - OAK (EARLY), Yasiel Puig - LAD, Adam Lind - TOR

 

STARTING PITCHER

 

Corey Kluber - CLE: The Klubot went in for repairs after giving up three bombs in 2.2 innings against the Tigers. Cleveland's terrible defense is as much to blame for that disaster as the three home runs allowed by Kluber. Today, he has a much friendlier matchup with the White Sox. I'm expecting a strong rebound.

 

Hyun-Jin Ryu - LAD: Ryu has built upon is 2013 debut with improved strikeout and walk rates. They already were very good. He's on the pricey end of the middle class. He's worth every penny with a matchup against the Diamondbacks. Last week, he returned from injury to stifle the Padres over seven innings.

 

Kevin Gausman - BAL (EARLY): Compared to most fantasy analysts, I find that I'm a little down on Gausman. Yes, I love his fastball velocity. I do not love a below average strikeout rate. He's averaged just 5.5 innings per start. His most recent outing was 7.1 innings, but the two previous starts didn't make it past the fifth inning. I like that he'll have Tropicana Field on his side, but he belongs here in the bargain bin. 

 

Also Consider - Johnny Cueto - CIN (EARLY), Tanner Roark - WAS (EARLY), Jose Quintana - CWS

Brad Johnson

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