Our 14 game evening contest has no shortage of exploitable pitching. We also have several top arms headlined by Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale, and Zack Greinke. It’s a good day for finding cheap treasures.
The problem is that there are few bargain hitters up against the worst hurlers. If you want an inexpensive stack, you may be forced to Turner Field where Phillies southpaw Adam Morgan is opposed by Braves righty Williams Perez. Both pitchers are exceedingly hittable and prone to meltdowns. While neither lineup can be described as imposing, they both have the occasional good day. Despite that recommendation, I’m not enamored with any particular Phillies or Braves tonight.
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DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – LAD (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Tonight, Gonzalez will face left-handed starter Jeff Locke. Usually, it’s smartest to avoid picking left-handed hitters against same-handed pitchers. However, neither Gonzalez nor Locke possess big career splits. For those participating in GPPs, Gonzalez should prove relatively unpopular too. There’s no catchy reason to use him, but he’s a good target at his price.
FanDuel lists two Matt Duffy’s. Both are $3,000 third baseman. You want the Giant, not the Astro. Duffy the Giant will see homer prone righty Rubby de la Rosa. Luckily for the Diamondbacks hurler, AT&T Park is extremely pitcher friendly. Duffy has still managed to pop six of his 10 home runs at home. He’s also hitting a healthy .301/.340/.435 without big splits.
Corey Seager – SS – LAD (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Seager might be a $4,000-quality shortstop. The jury is still out, but it’s hard to complain about a .426/.526/.617 line (.475 BABIP). Like Gonzalez, Seager won’t have the platoon advantage tonight. Through his first 57 plate appearances, the platoon advantage hasn’t much mattered. Obviously, we have to anticipate some serious regression over the rest of the season. Besides the BABIP, his 16 percent walk rate is way above his minor league rates.
Salvador Perez – C – KAN (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Perez puts a lot of balls in play. That’s his gimmick. This year, a .263 BABIP has led to a disappointing .255/.274/.418 line. A matchup against a resurgent Justin Verlander isn’t terribly attractive either. The good news is that Perez costs next to nothing and has a .766 OPS against fly ball pitchers. He’s a punt, but he has more power potential than other cheap catchers.
Jed Lowrie – 3B – HOU (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
Lowrie may have his groove back. Since August 31, he’s hitting .283/.327/.630 with four home runs. He recently missed a few games with a foot injury. He returned to action yesterday. Lowrie usually bats fifth for a high octane Astros offense. They’re opposed by flaky lefty Felix Doubront. This year, Lowrie has raked southpaws to the tune of .311/.436/.667 with four of his nine home runs.
Josh Reddick – OF – OAK (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
The other side of the matchup features Reddick against Mike Fiers. Reddick is always a smart bargain play when facing a righty at a power friendly stadium. He’s hitting .295/.351/.483 versus opposite-handed pitchers. He’ll usually bat third too. Fiers actually has modest reverse splits over this season and his career. It’s something to take into consideration.
Mike Napoli – 1B – TEX (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
The Rangers acquired Napoli to demolish left-handed pitching. He’ll have a chance to do just that against James Paxton. The Mariners lefty lasted just three innings in his return from the disabled list. He should be allowed to go a little deeper today. The risk of a short outing is a problem for Napoli. He might only get one or two plate appearances against a southpaw. He may even be subbed once right-handed relief enters the game.
Jedd Gyorko – 2B – SDP (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
Since returning to the majors on June 30, Gyorko is hitting .256/.298/.435 with 12 home runs. It’s not an awe inspiring performance, but it’s roughly comparable to his 2013 breakout. He usually bats second or fifth for the Padres. You’ll want to consider him tonight for one big reason – Coors Field. Gyorko has gone a week without an extra base hit. That could easily change tonight.
Jonathan Schoop – 2B – BAL (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
Schoop is one of my favorite dice rolls. As he showed on Sunday, he’s a decent bet for two home runs. It’s always a long shot to get that kind of production, and it’s doubly unlikely at Tropicana Field tonight. Still, he’ll face a lefty who likes to work around the plate. His aggressive approach shouldn’t get him into too much trouble against Smyly.