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Daily Forecast: Texas Toasted

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

It's an All Play evening as all 30 teams participate in the 7:00 contest. Unfortunately, weather threatens four games - those in Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore, and Cleveland. Keep an eye on the weather map if you're inclined to use players from those games.


Tonight's stacking options are plentiful. If you end up with a cheap pitcher, you might want to consider grabbing some Angels against new Phillies starter Jerome Williams. Assuming you're working on a tighter budget, I would instead focus on the Rays against Nick Tepesch. Not only is the Rays offense relatively inexpensive, they're playing at one of the best venues for offense. Globe Life Park has the second highest park factor for run scoring behind Coors Field. It's also a good place for home runs. Just to add a little extra spice, the weather conditions are expected to be superb for power hitters. We haven't even touched on Tepesch, who features mediocre peripherals and a tendency to allow too many fly balls. This one could get out of hand.



Jose Reyes - TOR: Reyes took a day of rest yesterday, so he should be refreshed for today's action. While he doesn't possess half of the upside of a Mike Trout, Reyes offers value at a position where few hitters provide predictable performance. Fly ball pitcher Chris Young has once again outperformed expectations. Safeco Field isn't a good place for power, but Reyes could rack up a handful of hits with the right approach.


Corey Dickerson - COL: Dickerson will face another overperforming pitcher - Odrisamer Despaigne. A low strikeout rate and occasional problems with the walk are Despaigne's chief issues. Dickerson's impressive power could definitely come into play. The game is at Petco Park, but you might be surprised to learn that lefties see an 18 percent boost in home run power in San Diego (it's righties who suffer). 


Michael Brantley - CLE: The Cleveland game is threatened by rain. At the time of this writing, it's the most likely to be played of the four weather threats. If played, the entire Cleveland stack is desirable against Josh Collmenter. Brantley matches up particularly well due to favorable park conditions and Collmenter's fly ball habit.


Also Consider: Ben Zobrist - TBA, Mike Trout - LAA, Jose Bautista - TOR



Evan Gattis - ATL: Gattis doesn't possess the platoon advantage against Dan Haren, but he does have a shockingly cheap price today. He's struggled since returning from the disabled list, but we're still looking at a high upside catcher against a pitcher who has been downright terrible in recent outings. 


Yasiel Puig - LAD: Puig has fallen into the bulk purchase category through no reason I can discern. Turner Field isn't good for right-handed power, but you have to like the matchup between Puig and struggling lefty Mike Minor. You're mostly looking for a multi-hit game from the Dodgers second hitter.


Jonathan Singleton - HOU: Singleton appears to be adjusting to life in the majors with much improved recent numbers. It's too early to get excited about the performance, but he's affordable and facing a very hittable pitcher in Yohan Pino. Lefties have dinged Pino for a .291/.341/.456 line. Most of that damage was done at pitcher friendly Target Field. 


Also Consider: Desmond Jennings - TBA, Evan Longoria - TBA, Kole Calhoun - LAA




Scott Van Slyke - LAD: The Dodgers usually find a way to start Van Slyke when a lefty takes the hill. As noted when we discussed Puig, Braves starter Minor has performed poorly in recent outings. There is a decent chance the lefty is hurt, but that shouldn't bother Van Slyke. He's not guaranteed to start. Even if he does, he's liable to be lifted for a pinch hitter against the Braves tough bullpen. There's a reason he's in the bargain bin.


Kennys Vargas - MIN: With Josh Willingham shipped down the river to Kansas City, Vargas should be the Twins regular designated hitter. The switch-hitter can make unreasonably strong contact as demonstrated by these bat exit speeds. Collin McHugh is a good pitcher (I recommend him below), but it's not often you can find a decent upside, dirt cheap first baseman to fit around your elite talents.


Oscar Taveras - STL: The Cardinals top prospect has yet to return value to his owners, but he's too good of a hitter to remain so thoroughly irrelevant. Jarred Cosart has struggled recently - including his Marlins debut last week. This is a perfect opportunity for Taveras to parlay the platoon advantage into a multi-hit game.


Also Consider: Jhonny Peralta - STL, Yasmani Grandal - SDP, Matt Joyce - TBA




Chris Sale - CWS: The most expensive pitcher of the day is also a no brainer at baseball's most pitcher friendly stadium. The Giants offense isn't bad, but it does include a lot of holes. For a pitcher of Sale's caliber, the strikeouts could pile up very quickly. The dimensions at AT&T Stadium should keep any mistakes in the ballpark. 


Collin McHugh - HOU: The Twins offense welcomed back Joe Mauer last night, but that doesn't change the entire complexion of the team. The Twins have a below average group, which McHugh should readily exploit. He's picked up right where he left off in three starts since returning from the disabled list. A high strikeout rate and manageable walk rate make it seem as though the breakout should continue unabated against Minnesota.


T.J. House - CLE: Anytime you dig into the bargain bin, you're going to find flaws. In the case of the left-handed House, the flaws are a high home run rate and low strikeout rate, both of which limit his DFS upside. However, Progressive Field should neutralize most of his home run problems tonight. Right-handed hitters see their home run power penalized 22 percent in Cleveland. House keeps lefties in check and rolls a 61 percent ground ball rate, so the park is perfectly balanced for his skill set.


Also Consider - Adam Wainwright - STL, Wily Peralta - MIL, Joe Kelly - BOS

Brad Johnson

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