A full 15-game slate – queue the Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec GIF!
We do have two potential trouble spots with rain though. In Kansas City where the Royals host Blake Snell and the Rays. And in Chicago as the White Sox host the Orioles and what would otherwise be a game worth stacking with Andrew Cashner and Ivan Nova expected to toe the rubber. You’ll note that anyone I have listed from these games have an asterisk next to their names.
Madness and wacky stuff ensues every single day in Major League Baseball. Nevertheless, I’m still not certain we’ve seen a bigger mismatch this season than Trevor Bauer going up against the Marlins. This is a hitting column and I understand that, but I just don’t see how I don’t run with several Bauer lineups today. For the price though, the concern is the rate of free passes he’s been allowing and those strikeouts haven’t been up to the level we’re used to seeing from him. It’s still a spot I want to lock in and take advantage of.
As far as pitchers we expect folks to stack against, that usually is derived from opposing teams’ implied run totals. That’s why you’ll see folks loading up on Red Sox against Aaron Brooks. Reds righties facing subpar southpaw veteran Jason Vargas are a fine target today yet Cincy comes in as just the 17thhighest implied total offense. The highest combined total is PIT-TEX where Jordan Lyles and Adrian Sampson are expected to face off. Lyles had been cruising through his first few starts until running into the buzzsaw that was the Dbacks lineup where he served up eight hits and four runs in five innings. This Rangers’ lineup is a pain in the ass against right-handed pitchers, but I’ll assume that Lyles reigns it in and has a decent outing today.
Last but not least, we should all be looking forward to the debut of Angels’ prospect Griffin Canning. Especially intriguing that his first MLB start comes against Vladdy Jr. who is still looking for his first big-league home run.
UPDATE: TYSON ROSS scratched so it’s SPENCER TURNBULL in his place which would be a *very* slight downgrade to our PHI stacks and one-offs, but only slightly.
Chalky Stacks: RED SOX, PIRATES, ASTROS, ROCKIES, RANGERS, *WHITE SOX/ORIOLES*
Contrarian Stacks: CUBS, INDIANS, PHILLIES, ATHLETICS, DBACKS
My Favorite Stacks: REDS RHH’s, RED SOX,
PHILLIES, CUBS, DBACKS, CARDINALS
Sneaky Game Stack: CARDINALS/NATIONALS
* denotes weather concerns (potential delay or PPD risk)
CASH: Willson Contreras (RH/CHC), J.T. Realmuto (RH/PHI), Francisco Cervelli (RH/PIT)
Two of the league’s best-hitting catchers here, both in matchups against pitchers they can easily beat in a couple of appearances. Contreras gets King Felix while Realmuto hits in the middle of that Philly lineup and will fac e Spencer Turnbull
Tyson Ross. Ross has a .378 wOBA and a 14% walk rate against righties in April. Cervelli is listed because he’s cheap ($3300 on DK) and because we love to pick on Rangers’ righty Adrian Sampson when we can. Just note that Cervelli has been atrocious at the plate this year (.175 AVG, .241 OBP, just four RBI).
GPP: *Mike Zunino (RH/TBR), Curt Casali (RH/CIN)
Weather-permitting, Zunino is a great play because these Rays are on a roll and he’s a big power bat facing a pitcher who was amongst the league leaders in homers allowed last season. Casali may be in the lineup with a lefty on the mound and is reasonably priced on DK ($3500). Doubt he gets to lead off again as they’ve experimented with, but still someone who could put some fantasy points on the board.
CASH: Rhys Hoskins (RH/PHI), Josh Bell (SW/PIT), Anthony Rizzo (LH/CHC), Daniel Murphy (LH/COL), Paul Goldschmidt (RH/STL)
Plenty of first basemen listed today, my favorite of which is Hoskins at home. Most of his power comes against right-handed pitchers – over the course of his career, a .304 ISO against RHP, .201 against LHP. The switch-hitting Bell has been swinging a hot bat for the Pirates and we don’t mind at all to play some of these Pirates bats in this ballpark with the highest combined Vegas total on the slate (10.5). I’ve got Goldy listed last but am intrigued by a Cards stack against Anibal Sanchez and a very ordinary bullpen outside of Doolittle. Can’t have a Cardinals stack without Goldy.
GPP: Eric Thames (LH/MLW), *Ji-Man Choi/Nate Lowe (LH’s/TBR), *Jose Abreu (RH/CHW)
Thames is a sneaky one because it’s usually foolish to target bats against German Marquez but we’re talking about a good hitters park and a LvR matchup that Thames could certainly take advantage of. If you think TB-KC or BAL-CHW play, then you can certainly look at Choi, Lowe or Abreu with their surrounding teammates as stacks that could work in GPPs based on the matchups.
CASH: Jose Peraza (RH/CIN), Rougned Odor (LH/TEX), Michael Chavis (RH/BOS – 2B/3B on DK)
One of the biggest disappointments of April was Peraza as he’d been hitting well under the Mendoza Line (sub-.200) for most of the month. He’s on a mini four-game hitting streak and is still very cheap on DK ($3300) so I’m taking advantage again. Would love to not see him lead off so we can keep his ownership percentages down a bit. Chavis continues to smash. Four hits and four RBI in his last two games and already has three homers through his first nine pro games.
GPP: *Brandon Lowe (LH/TBR), Kike Hernandez(RH/LAD), Ryan McMahon (LH/COL)
Three big surprises in April who were completely off most of our radars prior to the season. I’m loaded with shares of all of them in my high-stakes seasonal leagues and will fully admit that slumps are coming. Because it’s a long season and these guys aren’t going 30-120-.290 this year, I can promise you that. In fact, Kike has already been mired in a two-week slump. I do like him as a one-off against Drew Pomeranz though. Typically don’t love loading up on LAD-SF offenses when they’re playing up in the Bay Area as those games are usually low scoring. But Kike is far enough off the radar that you can have him all to yourself (and hopefully that’s a good thing!). McMahon is sneaky as well on such a large slate with Jhoulys Chacin already allowing 3 HR and 6 BB in just 12 IP against lefty bats. Lowe (pronounced ‘lau’ while Nate Lowe is pronounced ‘low’) is not sneaky at all these days, but listed as GPP since the game has that pesky rain.
CASH: Eugenio Suarez (RH/CIN), Jose Ramirez (SW/CLE), Nolan Arenado (RH/COL)
Suarez might be my favorite play of the slate. There are 20 third basemen priced above him on DK including Logan Forsythe and Maikel Franco. Something’s wrong with that picture. Suarez nearly smashed one deep last night and has four hits in eight career plate appearances against Jason Vargas. This offense is starting to heat up at the right time too, after a cold first few weeks.
GPP: Rafael Devers (LH/BOS), Eduardo Escobar (SW/ARI), Justin Turner (RH/LAD)
Devers has been terrible. A .064 ISO and 33% hard hit rate so far. And not a single home run to his name. But he’s hitting .296 after a 2-for-4, 19 DKP effort last night and gets a very fine matchup with Aaron Brooks. Escobar is expensive on DK but he’s averaging 10.5 DKP at home this season, is hitting .375 against lefties and has 4 HR with a .417 AVG over the last week. Turner doesn’t have a homer yet either, but they’re coming – I promise! Only Cruz and Arenado have hit lefties better over the last three years and guess what, Pomeranz is a lefty.
CASH: Francisco Lindor (SW/CLE), Jean Segura (RH/PHI), Xander Bogaerts (RH/BOS)
Lindor is just far too cheap on FanDuel ($3600) and he’s the 17thmost expensive SS there. This game isn’t expected to produce many runs and sophomore arm Sandy Alcantara has allowed just one homer this year, but a lot of everything else. Lindor is a fine cash play today. Segura and Bogaerts work for cash as well facing two of the worst pitchers on this slate. But you want to use them in tourneys too as they work well as part of stacks surrounded by some heavy hitters (Betts/JDM, Hoskins/Harper).
GPP: Carlos Correa (RH/HOU), Javier Baez (RH/CHC)
Correa and Baez should technically be listed as cash plays. Correa faces the on-again, off-again Michael Pineda but when the two face one another, Correa is usually on (9-for-16 with 3 HR lifetime). Baez is baseball’s best hitter against lefties this season (well, second behind J.D. Martinez) boasting a .612 ISO against them, but wait – he’s not facing a lefty! (just checking to make sure you’re reading). That doesn’t we can’t use him as a late-night hammer with a Cubs stack against old man Felix Hernandez though.
CASH: Mike Trout (RH/LAA), Bryce Harper (LH/PHI), Ketel Marte (SW/ARI – 2B/OF on DK), Mookie Betts/J.D. Martinez (RHH’s/BOS), Marcell Ozuna (RH/STL), David Dahl (LH/COL), Steve Wilkerson (SW/BAL), Gregory Polanco (LH/PIT) – FD SPECIAL
Trout is due. I repeat, Trout is due. He hasn’t hit a homer in 10 games and will probably want to flex and represent for their new starter, Canning. Trout has a great history against Clay Buchholz (8-for-19 with 2 HR). Harper, Betts and Martinez deserve our attention today in good matchups. Marte is a lefty crusher extraordinaire and we’ve got C.C. Sabathia on the mound for this late-night extravaganza. Ozuna has been lifting baseballs into oblivion and has three multi-hit games in his last five. Dahl is mighty cheap on FD ($3600) and we’re taking advantage of some Rockies’ lefties against Chacin in that hitters’ park. Wilky continues to get disrespected on DK making me wonder if whoever sets the algo there has something personal against the guy. He’s still under 2.5k there, but then again, it’s also probably because he’s a bad baseball player. But every player in the majors is there for a reason! And if it helps you build a team you like, then you can play him. Polanco is wayyy too cheap on FanDuel today (2.8k).
GPP: George Springer (RH/HOU), Mitch Haniger (RH/SEA), Adam Jones (RH/ARI), Jose Martinez (RH/STL), Brian Goodwin (LH/LAA)
A few random names here. Springer had the day off yesterday and should be chomping at the bit to kick the game off with a leadoff homer against Pineda. Haniger has two homers in nine career PA against lefty Cole Hamels and is a sneaky ass play today. Jones works in Dbacks’ stacks if you think Sabathia is off his game today. Martinez and Goodwin are just solid bats in good lineup spots who are reasonably priced and can hit for contact, providing you with a decent floor.
Low % Value One-Offs on FD: *Nicky Delmonico (LH/CHW), Scott Schebler (LH/CIN), Hunter Renfroe (RH/SDP), Melky Cabrera (SW/PIT)
Note on Rangers’ RHP Adrian Sampson– a very small sample in the majors of just 49.2 IP but he’s been a reverse splits guy and much worse against righties in that span (.409 wOBA / .328 AVG vs RHP, .317 wOBA / .234 AVG vs LHP). That’s why I’m thinking a sneaky RH PIT stack with some of these switch-hitters like Melky , Cole Tucker, Josh Bell and even Jung Ho Kang could work in GPPs today.