A full and boisterous monster slate extravaganza with two young pitchers with intriguing first names (Elieser and Darwinzon) making their first big-league starts this season. Elieser Hernandez is a sharp 24-year-old who is balling it up for the Marlins’ Triple-A team (34% K, 1.13 ERA in nine starts / 48 innings). The former Rule 5 first-rounder had a brief cup of tea with them last year and was rather mediocre. He’s been so good in Triple-A this year that it may be enough reason to not go nuts on a Cardinals’ stack, especially given the ballpark.
On the flipside, stacking Rangers against Darwinzon Hernandez might be a good idea. He’s a 22-year-old southpaw making the journey straight from Double-A where he’s been quite the wild man. You look at a 59:32 K:BB ratio and think, hey, that’s not bad…until you see he’s pitched 40 innings. That equates to a 33.3% K rate and 8.3% walk rate with a poor 5.13 ERA. The kid is a fireballer, with a four-seamer that hits 97. But facing some of these Rangers’ righties and switch-hitters could be a daunting task. Especially in Fenway. On FD for tournaments, wouldn’t mind a hedge stack with him since he’s so cheap ($5600) but no thanks on DK where’s he’s $6900.
As for where the action will be, the first place is Coors where the Cubs and Rockies have the two highest implied totals. The Cubs are favored (6.15 projected runs) since they’re facing rookie Peter Lambert in his second MLB start. Lambert shut down these Cubs in his MLB debut but it’s harder sledding now that they’ve seen him once, and it’s a different environment with the elevation, in contrast to Wrigley with the wind blowing in last week. I actually still prefer Rockies over Cubs bats today as I believe there are a few tough RHH’s (Arenado, Story, Desmond, Reynolds) that could give him trouble.
The Twins are always a strong play and they’ll get Mike Leake who has been horrendous on the road (5.57 ERA, 14 HR allowed). But there are some strong concerns about delays or even postponement so we’ll have to track the weather there throughout the day. The Nationals against free-passing lefty Manny Banuelos are another great option and alternative to chalky Coors for cash games. Love them as a GPP stack as well.
Mad respect for my guy Jon Duplantier who I believe is a stud. Though he’ll have his hiccups, I’ll be going against what Vegas is cooking and avoid Phillies against him today. In fact, I’ll probably consider him as my FD pitcher or DK SP2. Sneaky spots include the Tigers against Jake Junis, Dodgers’ lefty bats against bulk-guy Felix Pena, Red Sox against recent over-achiever Ariel Jurado and both sides of OAK-TB with Mike Fiers and Ryne Stanek/Jalen Beeks toeing the rubber in the Trop.
Chalkiest Stacks: Rockies, Cubs, Nationals, Red Sox, Twins (weather permitting)
Lower Percentage/Sneaky Stacks: Tigers, Padres, Astros
Favorite Stacks: Nationals, Rockies LH’s / Cubs, Tigers, Rays
Favorite Low-% HR: Christin Stewart(LH/DET)
Core 4 for Cash:
DK: Alvarez (OF/HOU) + Desmond (OF/COL) + Turner/Rendon or Story/Arenado
FD: Alvarez (OF/HOU) + Desmond (OF/COL) + Turner/Rendon or Story/Arenado
Willson Contreras (RH/CHC) – In his worst slump thus far (.152/.243/.273 last 10) but had a day of rest and is in Coors against rookie Lambert making his second career start. Your alternative if paying up is Gary Sanchez against Mets’ lefty Vargas if Sanchez is in the lineup.
Chris Iannetta (RH/COL) – Whoa, didn’t even realize that Iannetta is 36! He’s still crushing righties (.354 ISO) but has struggled against lefties (still, a .192 ISO isn’t awful). Should be in the lineup with Quintana on the mound and he’s reasonably priced for a Coors play.
Chance Sisco (LH/BAL) – My boy and I’m on board for this LvR matchup against middling rookie Trent Thornton. One of the few Orioles I’d consider today on such a big slate.
Tom Murphy (RH/SEA) – Four homers in his last three games, he’s en fuego! Keep riding the train with Leake and his near 2 HR/9 on the mound for Seattle.
Austin Allen (LH/SDP) – Hedges is day to day. Allen isn’t great offensively but at $3100 he’s in play as a punt if you can’t stomach paying down for Jansen (TOR) or Mathis (TEX).
CASH: Ji-Man Choi (LH/TBR), Anthony Rizzo (LH/CHC), Paul Goldschmidt (RH/STL), Miggy Cabrera (RH/DET)
We hit on Choi yesterday as there’s been positive power regression heading his way. Don’t mind him again today with Fiers on the mound. Fiers has allowed the second-most longballs behind Dylan Bundy since the beginning of last season.
Rizzo is the play most will gravitate toward with the existing scenario and coming off his chalk homer yesterday. Goldy is your mid-priced darling against recent call-up Elieser Hernandez. Miggy is the best punt play option as he’s been hitting the ball hard (66% HH in June) and faces flyballer Jake Junis.
GPP: C.J. Cron (RH/MIN), Howie Kendrick (RH/WAS), Mark Reynolds (LH/COL)
Kendrick is ripping the cover off the ball lately – a .474 wOBA in June as he kicked off the White Sox’ series with a 2-for-3 with three runs and two walks. He’s hitting .407 against lefties this season. Cron and Reynolds are two under-the-radar power bats I’d consider. Hoping Reynolds is in the lineup today as Banuelos has allowed nine homers in his last five starts.
CASH: Brandon Lowe (LH/TBR), Mike Moustakas (LH/MLW), Rougned Odor (LH/TEX)
Three dingers for Lowe in his last two games and I’ll continue to ride the hot hand even though the price on DK has adjusted and jumped up from $4400 to $4800. Fiers is someone we want to target bats against when he’s away from his home park. Moustakas listed here because he’s red hot with 4 HR in his last four games but not sure I’d pay up for him today in Minute Maid Park against Brad Peacock who doesn’t serve up many dingers (just five in 64.2 IP this year). The Odor is rising in front of our eyes. Three hits two games ago and a stolen base in each of his last two (including a brazen swipe of home base over the weekend).
GPP: Brendan Rodgers (RH/COL), Cesar Hernandez (SW/PHI), Jonathan Schoop (RH/MIN)
Honestly, the position doesn’t feel particularly deep today. Rodgers is still looking for his first big league homer and the opposing pitcher (Quintana) is a decent one, but Rodgers is cheap because he hasn’t been producing. Hernandez is an option today because he’s a leadoff man and the position is thin. Listed but I probably won’t be using Philly bats against Duplantier unless it’s Harper or Bruce. Schoop is someone who won’t get much attention and is worth consideration if they play in Minnesota today.
CASH: Anthony Rendon (RH/WAS) > Nolan Arenado (RH/COL) and Kris Bryant (RH/CHC), Travis Shaw (LH/MLW)
Do believe Rendon will be reasonably owned today as those who pay up at third base (which will be most folks) will lean with Arenado or Bryant. Can’t argue either of them and do love Arenado against the lefty, but Rendon against Banuelos and that bullpen is my top play. Shaw for just $2600 on DK opens plenty of cap space for us today so he needs to be in the cash/GPP convo.
GPP: Marwin Gonzalez (SW/MIN), Rafael Devers (LH/BOS), Matt Carpenter (LH/STL)
Not much in terms of BvP today and that’s probably a good thing for us. The only one that sticks out is Marwin against Leake (8-for-14 with a .606 wOBA). He’s mid-priced on DK and cheap ($2900) on FD. Devers is on a mini-slump (0-for-17 in his last four) but this could be a good spot for him to get off the schneide. Even with the recent dip, he’s hitting .301 on the season. Carp is one of the Cards I’d consider today. The one time he faces Hernandez last season, he homered off him.
CASH: Trea Turner (RH/WAS), Trevor Story (RH/COL), Javier Baez (RH/CHC), Corey Seager (LH/LAD), Manny Machado (RH/SDP)
It’s simple – ride the hot hand with Turner while you can. Story has been shockingly quiet in June (no homers) but he’s due and the matchup/ballpark is perfect for him. He hasn’t’ been hitting lefties as well as last season when he mashed them but has four hits in eight career at-bats against Quintana. Though Lambert shut down the Cubs last week, Baez did get base knocks against him in two of three at-bats. This time, he may rip him. Seager is hitting .389 with 9 RBI in nine games this month boasting a 52% hard hit rate and could be a nice late-night hammer against Pena who served up seven earned runs to the A’s in his last outing. Machado is in play too for just $3600 DK / $3400 FD.
GPP: Elvis Andrus (RH/TEX), Jorge Polanco (RH/MIN), Marcus Semien (RH/OAK)
Andrus is hitting a tick over .300 this season and has three multi-hit games in his last five but is over $5000 on DK and we don’t know what to expect from the rookie named after Darwin. Too many pricey options at SS today hence Andrus is a GPP play only for me. Polanco has been one of the most consistent hitters in the game this season (.333/.393/.569) but will go overlooked with the weather and the fact that the position is loaded. Don’t sleep.
EXPENSIVE: Mike Trout (RH/LAA), Kyle Schwarber (LH/CHC), Twins**(Kepler/Cruz/Rosario), Rays (Meadows/Pham/Garcia), Red Sox (Betts/Benintendi/Martinez), Hunter Pence (RH/TEX), Michael Brantley (LH/HOU)
Outfield for the expensive guys doesn’t look as pretty as it usually does. If Trout is somewhat contrarian today, I wouldn’t mind it. Though it’s just down the freeway in Anaheim, Maeda is a different animal on the road (5.09 road ERA, 1.69 home). Schwarbs leading off has been working out and he’s on an eight-game hit streak with five RBI and five hits in his last three games. If I’m stacking and don’t mind using all three of my spots for outfielders, I’d look to the TB, BOS and MIN trios. All three would be GPP trios. If looking for a solo bat amongst them, Cruz (homers in four straight) is my first lean with Betts and Garcia being second and third based on price and matchup.
MIDRANGE: Yordan Alvarez (LH/HOU), Christin Stewart (LH/DET), Ian Desmond (RH/COL), Khris Davis (RH/OAK), Aaron Hicks (SW/NYY), Franmil Reyes (RH/SDP), Victor Robles (RH/WAS)
The kid Yordan is under $4000 on DK / $2500 on FD so let’s ride his underpriced bat while we can. A very good chance that he connects with one of Freddy Peralta’s offerings today. Stewart is one of my favorite cheaper power bats today against Junis and he’s been hot (.464 wOBA in June, .422 OBP in his last 10). Desmond hit the longest homer of the season yesterday and gets the lefty Quintana. He still has a bit left in his tank. Hicks versus Vargas is a fine matchup today, Davis is still cheap, The Franimal is sneaky and low-owned against Beede and Robles hit well yesterday and has a great matchup. All these guys are in play today.
CHEAP: Carlos Gonzalez (LH/CHC), Eloy Jimenez (RH/CHW), Harrison Bader (RH/STL), Nick Markakis (LH/ATL), Teoscar Hernandez (RH/TOR)
Many ways to go today though I doubt you see folks dabble here too much outside of CarGo in Coors if he’s in the lineup. The one super contrarian you should be careful with here is Eloy since he’s hitting just .111 with no homers against lefties (30 PA) and gets a tough one in Patrick Corbin today. Markakis is dirt cheap on both sites ($2900 FD / $3500 DK) and dropped 38.2 FDP yesterday going 4-for-5. He won’t hit homers often but Chris Archer has a 1.84 HR/9 and 5.20 ERA (5.45 FIP) this season so he’s worth considering as a cash game punt.