MLB Tournament Thoughts by ShipMyMoney aka Adam Scherer – 7/28/17

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Now let’s get down to business with some insight from ShipMyMoney!

 

Tonight on FantasyDraft, we have a nice $10,000 Home Run with a very favorable $25 price point. The other thing to keep in mind is that 25% of the field will win tonight and with a 12 entry maximum on this tournament, no single player will overwhelm the entry pool.

 

Starting Pitchers

Alex Wood, Los Angeles Dodgers, $22,800 – Wood has been excellent this season, striking out 29.0 percent of hitters that he has faced, with a 13.3 percent swinging strike percentage and 36.1 percent o-swing percentage.  Wood is coming off a rough start against the Braves, but there are no signs that we should consider the start as anything but a blip on the radar.  The Giants do not strike out often, but they also lack offensive firepower throughout the lineup and Wood is good enough that he can pick up strikeouts against virtually anyone.  Fire him up with confidence tonight in your FantasyDraft lineups.

Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians, $18,400 – Salazar returned to the Indians last week to start against the Toronto Blue Jays and he was incredibly impressive.  Salazar has always possessed excellent strikeout stuff, including this season when he has struck out 31.5 percent of hitters that he has faced.  Consistency has always been his issue, but there were some good signs in his start against Toronto.  Not only was he throwing harder than he had at any point this season, but he had an excellent 66.7 percent first-pitch strike percentage and threw a much higher percentage of pitches in the strike zone than average this season.  When he was not throwing it in the zone, he was able to induce the Blue Jays to swing at 40.0 percent of the pitches outside of the zone.  The White Sox are an offense that lacks many hitters that we should fear.  Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada are both dangerous hitters but, other than that, there is not much to be worried about from this offense and there are plenty of strikeouts available for Salazar.  He has as much raw point upside as any pitcher on the slate.

Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks, $18,000 – Ray has been inconsistent this season, but he tends to be much better away from Chase Field.  He has a 32.9 percent strikeout percentage and 10.3 percent walk percentage on the road compared to 28.6 and 13.1 percent at home, respectively.  He has allowed 1.73 home runs per nine innings and home while pitching to a 4.25 xFIP.  On the road, he has allowed just 0.75 home runs per nine innings with a 3.57 xFIP.  The Cardinals are likely to run out a lineup full of righties and Ray has struck out 30.1 percent of right-handed hitters on the road, while allowing 0.91 home runs per nine innings.  Ray’s price tag is toward the low end of his price range despite being in a spot where we should expect him to succeed.

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees, $15,200 – Tanaka has had an up and down season, but his underlying numbers are some of the best in the league.  His 14.6 percent swinging strike percentage ranks 4th among qualified starters and his 38.0 percent o-swing percentage leads all starters by nearly two percentage points.  Tanaka has at least a 13.0 percent swinging strike percentage and at least a 36.0 percent o-swing percentage in all eight games that he has started since June 12th.  He has gotten in trouble with the long-ball this season, allowing a career high 2.02 home runs per nine innings, but that is down to 1.6 home runs per nine innings in the starts since the 12th of June.  The Rays have plenty of strikeouts up and down their lineup and, at Tanaka’s price tag, he will likely be able to afford to give up a couple of home runs- as long as they are of the solo variety- because there should be so many strikeouts available for him.  It is unlikely, but it will be a boost for Tanaka if Austin Romine is behind the plate.

 

Infield

Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles, $7,600 — Davis returns to Arlington to face the team that he initially broke into the big leagues with.  While revenge is not an actual reason to roster Davis, there are plenty of legitimate ones.  He will face right-handed starter Andrew Cashner, who has been nothing short of a magician this season in his ability to get out of jams and limit opposing offenses.  That being said, he has struck out just 12.4 percent of left-handed hitters this season.  The biggest weakness in Davis’s game is his propensity to swing and miss.  Facing a pitcher who has a 6.2 percent swinging strike percentage this season plays to Davis’s advantage.  He has a .275 ISO against right-handed pitching this season, so the power is clearly there when he makes contact and the hitting environment in Texas will not hurt.

Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland Indians, $10,000 – While rostering the Indians against left-handed pitching has been frustrating this season that is not because of Encarnacion.  Encarnacion has a .405 xwOBA against southpaws this season with a .176 ISO that climbs to .228 if we increase the sample size and go back to the start of last season.  White Sox pitcher Derek Holland has been effective in two starts against the Indians this season, but he has been very bad overall.  Holland has allowed 2.39 home runs per nine innings to right-handed hitters- which is to be expected when a 43.8 percent flyball percentage is combined with a 45.6 percent pull percentage and 40.9 percent hard contact percentage.  Encarnacion is expensive, but he is in a phenomenal spot.

Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers, $8,100 – Turner has finally figured out how to hit left-handed pitching this season and has become one of the best overall hitters in all of baseball.  He has a .483 xwOBA and .376 ISO against lefties this season and he will face Giants’ left-hander Matt Moore.  Moore has been decent against right-handed hitters this season, allowing a .336 wOBA and 1.26 home runs per nine innings.  Against one of the best hitters in baseball outside of AT&T Park, however, Moore is still at a distinct disadvantage.

 

Outfield

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, $10,200 Trout is an obvious play, but a good one.  He faces Toronto left-handed J.A. Happ and gets a positive park shift going from Los Angeles to Toronto.  Happ has not been missing bats at all lately, failing to record a swinging strike percentage greater than 10 percent in any of his last six starts.  Happ has allowed 2.1 home runs per nine innings to right-handed hitters over those six starts with a strikeout percentage of just 11.6 percent.  Trout has a .382 xwOBA and .237 ISO against left-handed pitching this season.  Advantage Trout.

Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets, $9,600 Cespedes had a very nice four-game series against the Padres, picking up two doubles, two triples and a home run.  It appears that Cespedes is playing at full strength right now, and that is not a good thing for opposing pitcher Ariel Miranda.  Miranda is a quality pitcher, but he has been home run prone against right-handed hitters this season.  He has allowed 1.93 home runs to righties and Cespedes has a .395 xwOBA and .373 ISO against left-handed pitching this season.  The ballpark is not ideal, but Cespedes is strong enough to hit the ball out of anywhere.

Scott Schebler, Cincinnati Reds, $6,300 This was originally Nick Williams’ spot but the weather in the Mid-Atlantic is going to be awful tonight so we need to look elsewhere.  Schebler will face Miami right-hander Vance Worley, who has not thrown many major league innings this season.  In his limited sample size against lefties, however, he has allowed 52.0 percent hard contact with just 10.0 percent soft contact.  Schebler has plenty of power from the left side of the plate, posting a .248 ISO against right-handed pitching this season.  His spray chart also does not suggest that he would lose home runs if all of his games were played in Miami, so he is not appear to be someone that will suffer too drastically from the negative park shift.  He is a high upside outfield option that is available for cheap and tends to go overlooked.

 

Best of luck in taking second place tonight! ~ ShipMyMoney