We have a pretty full slate of games for the Wednesday before Independence Day. Before we fire up the grill, crack open the beers, and start inhaling the hot dogs and hamburgers, let’s try to make some money to finance those backyard parties. I wish I had some hidden key that no one else has to unlock this slate today, but that is not really the case.
Any discussion about bats has to start and include Coors Field. We have 6 teams today with totals of 5.5 or better on the morning line. 4 of the 6 teams barely clear that hurdle. Then we have two other teams almost a run higher than that foursome and both are in the Coors game. The Astros 6.9 runs is the highest projection on the day and the only other one close to it is the 6.6 runs for the Rockies. Are both teams going to be chalky? Probably. So the real question is whether we have to play them.
When it comes down to playing GPPs, I’m the guy who always wants to fade chalk and give myself a better chance to be on a lower owned group of bats. As I explained in last week’s hitter session, if I can find a team that has a higher chance of being the top stack at ownership levels below the top owned chalk, I feel like I gave myself the best chance to make a big GPP score.
It is very tough to even do that today though. You have Arenado and Story against a lefty in Coors field. That’s normally an auto play. You have some reasonably priced pieces of the Astros as well and they are facing an overmatched Rockies youngster with a stat line of 24.2 IP, 32 hits, 4 walks, and 18 runs allowed on the back of 7 homers given up. You can’t even ask for a better matchup or a better ballpark, hence the near 7 projected total. At worst you want some exposure to this game.
The best path to a monster score today does feel like hitting on a low owned pitcher or two and taking as many of these bats as you can get your hands on. My probable path for GPPs is to use some of these bats and then maybe stack some of the other higher end options around them today.
As for cash games, we have had more success paying for bats than paying for pitching and a large slate like this with some big totals feels like it fits that description. While avoiding the Coors game has some game theory implications for GPPs, not having any of these bats on your cash team is just stupid.
Do we have other teams and other individual plays in good spots? Absolutely, but none of those spots compare even closely to the Rockies/Astros. My initial cash game team has a lot of the reasonably priced plays from this game along with some of the stars. You can’t fit all of the stars and not hate your pitching, but you do want as many as you can get in there with the best pitching you can stomach to use.
I don’t want to make it sound like Coors is the only option today, but it is the best one. We have other great spots too though. The Red Sox are facing a AAA pitcher in a hitter friendly Rogers Centre in Toronto and coming off a beat down of the Blue Jays yesterday.
The Braves are facing Nick Pivetta today. Pivetta has some K ability, but over the last three games he is averaging just under 6 innings per start, while allowing 8 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, and over 2 homers per game during this recent crappy stretch. He is facing one of the better offenses in baseball today too as the Braves have a 110 wRC+ as a team against RHP.
The Reds are not an elite offense, but at home in a hitter friendly park and facing a guy who has been dreadful in Jhoulys Chacin they too rank highly today.
Lastly, we have the Angels who are the sixth team here projected for over 5.5 runs. The game is in Texas in what projects to be a hot day making for great hitting weather. These are teams you can stack along with some of the Coors bats in GPPs and also a good place to look for some bats in cash to go along with pieces of Coors.
Chalk Stacks: Astros, Rockies
Sneakier Stacks: Red Sox, Braves, Reds,
1% owned stacks (For Large Field GPPs/Qs):
- White Sox v. Tyler Anderson (1st MLB Start, AAA ERa over 6.50, WHIP over 1.50)
- Phillies v. Bryse Wilson (lit up both times he went 3+ innings this year and one of those was the Phillies)
- Royals v. Mike Clevinger (Lit up by the Orioles in first start off the DL last time out. Royals are a better offense with 100 wRC+ v. RHP as a team to the Orioles 89 team wRC+)
HR Call: Christian Yellich
5% HR Call: Austin Riley
1% HR Call: Jose Abreu
Gary Sanchez – If I decide to spend up at Catcher today, I like the matchup for Gary Sanchez against the lefty Jason Vargas. Sanchez owns a 133 wRC+ since 2016 v. LHP. The .370 wOBA is elite for a catcher and the .303 ISO score is elite for any hitter. I much prefer him out of the 3 hole than Chirinos hitting 7th or 8th in his lineup. They are roughly the same price on DK and frankly Sanchez is the only catcher I would consider on FD anyway, so he’s #1 on the list.
Chris Iannetta – He’ll be popular both inside and outside of stacks today, but at $4K the price feels reasonable. Iannetta has always been much better against lefties and it gets you a piece of Coors, so he fits today.
Buster Posey – I know what you are thinking, but if you need to save, Posey is a very intriguing piece. The matchup for the Giants is very good against a bad pitcher in Cal Quantrill who they are trying to stretch out for a spot start here. Posey is 8 for his last 16 over the last 4 games and has reached base safely in 10 of those 18 plate appearances over that stretch for over a .550 on-base percentage. At $3300 he is very cheap. The power has left him, but he doesn’t need more than a few hits and a run scored or RBI to pay off the salary.
Freddie Freeman – Nick Pivetta has allowed at least 2 homers in each of his last three starts. This ballpark was made for left-handed power and Freeman has good lifetime numbers against Pivetta already. His numbers against RHP are off the charts with over a .400 wOBA, a .250+ ISO and a 150 wRC+ score.
Jose Abreu – My low owned home run call of the day is an easy one to understand. The White Sox play in a HR friendly park and face a weak lefty. Abreu has one of the lowest HR Prop numbers today at just +230 and he owns a .390 wOBA, .249 ISO, and 148 wRC+ score since 2016 against southpaws.
Yuli Gurriel – He has hit safely in 7 straight games, 4 of those being multi-hit performances. He also has 5 homers over this stretch and plays on the team with the highest projected total here today. He’s not cheap, but is more reasonably priced than many of his teammates and gets you some more Coors exposure.
Jose Altuve – Top projected total for his team and a matchup in Cors. I could go on, but I think Jeff Mans summed it up best today in his cash game article, “Jose Altuve having seven hits over his last 10 AB’s while heading into Coors Field is a better setup than the pizza delivery guy ringing the doorbell at a College dorm at the beginning of a porno.” The man has a way with words and he’s not wrong.
Gleyber Torres – Let’s just say I’m not as sold as others are on Jason Vargas. More importantly, Torres owns a 128 wRC+ score with a .360+ wOBA and an elite .280 ISO score. You won’t find many, if any 2B eligible players with near .300 ISO scores. That is a rare power in his preferred split.
Luis Arraez – Few hitters in baseball are raking like this guy is right now. The youngster has multiple hits in 4 of his last 6 starts and has hit lead off and clean up during this run. He’s routinely up near the top of the order right now and is still very cheap on all sites.
Nolan Arenado – Nolan Arenado faces a lefty in Coors field today. His numbers against LHP are almost surreal. He owns a 173 wRC+ since 2016 with a .459 wOBA and .343 ISO score. Last time I saw numbers that good it was in a video game on easy mode.
Eugenio Suarez – Jhoulys Chacin absolutely sucks right now. His ERA and xFIP are both over 5.50 and his HR/9 has doubled this year from 0.97 for his career to 1.87 this year. Throw in the great hitters park and the fact Suarez has been raking with homers in three straight games. In fact he is 4 for his last 13 and every one of those four hits over the last three games has gone yard.
Rafeal Devers – The strength at the high end of this position doesn’t make taking a cheap guy smart today. Devers has been awesome with multi-hit games in more than half the games he’s played in the last three weeks, which is insane. He slugged a pair of homers again last night, plays for one of the higher projected total teams, and gets to face a AAA pitcher in a HR friendly Toronto ballpark. So many reasons to like him and he’ll fly somewhat under the radar with many options at the position. I love the idea of a second 3B option on FD today.
Trevor Story – Not as elite as Arenado against lefties, but pretty damn close. Story owns a massive 147 wRC+ for a shortstop since 2016. He also is over a .400 wOBA and has a .300+ ISO score. Tough to ignore him today given the total and how elite those numbers are for his matchup.
Alex Bregman – Again here it’s tough to fade Coors given that the top two projected plays on the day both come from this game. Bregman actually projects better, but is also more expensive. His numbers are solid, but not spectacular against RHP. He owns a .360+ wOBA and a solid .219 ISO score for a 134 wRC+, but that’s well below Story and Story is cheaper.
Leury Garcia – Multiple hits in 6 of the last 8 games including off pitchers like Sale, Price, and Berrios. He lacks power with an ISO under .100 over the last few years, but he’s cheap and ultra-productive at the moment. If you are fading the Coors guys, your best hope is finding a cheap guy that can beat them on points per dollar, because I doubt we find another high end guy who out produces both of them.
Mookie Betts – The Red Sox have the highest projected total outside of Coors. Toronto is a great hitter’s park and the Red Sox are facing a guy who has sucked all season in AAA. I expect them to crush here today and keep the runs rolling in as they were last night.
JD Martinez – I prefer Mookie Betts to JD Martinez against RHP, but that’s not to say JD is a bad play either. Even against RHP JD owns a .400 wOBA with a .280 ISO for a 150 wRC+ score. Given the total, the ballpark, and the weak opponent this is a slam dunk.
Yordan Alvarez – Highest team total on the day and facing a gas can of a pitcher in Coors field. As good a spot as the Red Sox guys, but not as good a player yet. The price is more reasonable on FanDuel, but Yordan is still a very high end elite option today.
Michael Brantley – Solid bat in a soft matchup with his preferred splits and playing in Coors field. Brantley lacks elite power, but in a game with a total this big and a matchup this soft he’s definitely in play. Again, the FD price is friendlier than the $5K DK price tag.
Ian Desmond – So another way to get some exposure to Coors here tonight. Desmond is way underpriced on FD and should be very highly owned over there. On DK he’s $4500, which is neither a discount nor a great value. At $3300 on FD, batting sixth, for a team with a total of over six and a half it is hard to ignore him though.
Aaron Judge – .395 wOBA, .247 ISO score and a 150 WRC+ against LHP since being called up. He went 0-for-10 after his return, but since then he is 8-for-15 with 6 walks and 2 homers over the last five games. He’s reached base safely in 14 of his last 21 plate appearances and that is a ridiculous .666 On base percentage over the last week.
Shoehei Ohtani – Price is slightly below many of these others and his ownership should be way below them as well. Remember the Angels are going to go overlooked today despite having the fourth highest team total. I love Trout too as a GPP option, but with so many high priced guys to play, Ohtani’s discounted price just fits better on lineups. He is 7-for-17 over the last few games with 3 homers as well, so he’s also heating up.
Jesse Winker – Jhoulys Chacin is pitching horrendously right now as we discussed with Suarez above. Cincy is a great hitter’s park and Chacin’s HR/9 has doubled this year compared to his career average. Winker is reasonably priced and has been hitting on top of the order against RHP, so lots of things to like here.
Eloy Jimenez – Massive power from Jimenez and he faces a weak pitcher in Tyler Alexander at home in his HR friendly ballpark. Very reasonably priced today and huge upside to go yard. The sample size is small, but his ownership and price are too today.
Nick Castellanos – Ross Detweiler is not a strong pitcher and he is a lefty. Between last season and this one, Castellanos owns a .414 wOBA against LHP and a 160+ wRC+ Score. Those are truly elite level numbers and he’s going to fly way under the radar today. The park boost in Chicago is also a plus in his favor and I like him a lot as a low owned option today for a decent price.