MLB Analytical Angles 10/2/16
Well, last day of the season, and MLB, in glorious manner, has everybody lifting off at 305pm. Play this slate, if you can. It’ll be a diversion from football and during halftime of the early game, or towards the end, you can watch the scoreboards light up with 15 games launching all together.
Looks like, as far as I can tell, that the Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Giants and Cardinals are the teams with extreme interest in going all out for wild card goodness.
I’m going to give two high starters, as listed on FanDuel as $8,000 and above and two value starters listed below that. On the hitters side, I’m setting the bar at $3,400 for Premium bats and below that for value bats, but you may not need many of those today. It’s a late September Sunday, so make you’re your favorite hitters are in the lineup today. Much can change, but see if you can tell where I’m planting my flag this fabulous Football Sunday!
Chris Sale – CHW vs. MIN – So, so many strikeout bats in the Twins lineup and Sale has found the groove of late, with a 28.3% K rate against a teeny, tiny 1.3% walk rate. His 2.77 SIERA is the second best on the slate for the past 30 days and the Twins have struck out the sixth most in the league over the past seven days (26%).
Justin Verlander – DET at ATL – Everything to play for, he gets the pitcher to face and he has a jaw-dropping 36.9% K rate over the last 30 days with a slate best 2.66 SIERA over the same.
Sean Manaea – OAK at SEA – Seattle was disappointingly eliminated last night, so I would expect a “B” lineup or worst tonight against Manaea, who has a strong 3.54 SIERA over his last 30 days as well as a 22.7% K rate. His 0.50 HR/9 IP indicates that any trouble he gets into won’t implode him.
Chase Whitley – TBR at TEX – If the Rangers run the same lineup as they did last night against Jake Odorizzi and company (12 Ks last night), then I’m good with Whitley, who’s a risk, but if I’m going to go low, his 25.6% K rate over the last 30 days and 3.17 SIERA against that caliber of a lineup, I’m cool with.
Jay Bruce (OF) – NYM at PHI – $3,400 – Bruce has definitely found his mojo over the past 14 days. Against RHP over that span (22 plate appearances), Bruce has rattled off a 290 wRC+/.650 ISO with a .601 wOBA. He’ll face PHI SP Eickhoff, who has a 4.71 xFIP and 5.06 HR/9 IP over the last 30 days against LHH at home (23 batters faced). Even pushing that out to August 1st (70 batters faced), same split, Eickhoff has a 5.21 xFIP and 3.52 HR/9 IP.
Charlie Blackmon – COL vs. MIL – $4,100 – Blackmon is the one Rockies LHH that has maintained his production at home over the last month, with a 177 wRC+ where his teammates have failed to break 100. His opponent today will be MIL SP Jimmy Nelson, who has a 5.57 xFIP and 16.2% walk rate against LHH away since August 1st.
Adam Eaton – CHW vs. MIN – $3,400 – Eaton should be batting leadoff against MIN SP Jose Berrios, who may yet be a successful pitcher in the league one day, but it’s not going to be today. Berrios has a 5.62 xFIP and 2.20 HR/9 IP rate over the last 30 days.
Chris Carter (1B) – MIL vs. CIN – $3,800 – Carter, against RHP on the road since September 1st (54 PA): 204 wRC+/.465 ISO/.479 wOBA. Also, he has 43% hard contact in that split as well.
Ryan Schimpf (2B) – SDP at ARI – $3,400 – Schimpf, since August 1st vs. RHP on the road, has a 136 wRC+ and .302 ISO and is in Chase Field, where he’ll face Matt Koch, who has a 5.81 xFIP against 23 batters at home so far.
Matt Carpenter (2B) – STL vs. PIT – $3,700 – Carp, with everything to play for and the Cardinals likely coming through in spite of Mike Matheny because they’re the Cardinals, has a 146 wRC+ and .308 ISO since September 1st (43 PA). He’ll go against PIT SP Vogelsong, who has a 5.83 xFIP and 1.62 HR/9 IP against LHH away for the season. Since August 1st in split (65 batters faced), he has a 5.50 xFIP with 1.93 HR/9 IP.
Aledmys Diaz (SS) – STL vs. PIT – $3,400 – Projected to bat right behind Mr. Carpenter, Diaz has a 213 wRC+ and .400 ISO since his return from the DL against RHP at home.
Gary Sanchez (CATCH) – NYY vs. BAL – $3,600 – Like the waters in the movie Deep Impact, the salary has receded for the Sanchize, who has a 181 wRC+ and .351 ISO in split in 81 plate appearances this season.
Mark Trumbo (OF) – BAL at NYY – $3,300 – Trumbo got four more hits last night against RHP, improving his 150 wRC+/.366 ISO over the last 30 days. Should be batting fourth against NYY SP Cessa, who has given up 1.93 HR/9 IP over the last 30 days.
Alejandro De Aza (OF) – NYM at PHI – $2,100 – Almost free here and projected to bat second today against PHI SP Eickhoff, whose struggles with LHH at home are both real and spelled out in the Jay Bruce section above. De Aza himself, against RHP away since August 1st, is pretty good, with a 127 wRC+ and .282 ISO in split.
Alex Dickerson (OF) – SDP at ARI – $2,900 – Cheap cleanup hitter with some pop in a great ballpark is what you get with Dickerson, who has a .225 ISO overall against RHP this season and the Padres have an implied total of 4.6 runs tonight.
Ryan Howard (1B) – PHI vs. NYM – $2,700 – Wrote yesterday that Howard has been hot at home against RHP and he didn’t disappoint, so let me run those numbers out to you again. Since August 1st at home against RHP: 210 wRC+/.469 ISO/.485 wOBA/52% hard contact. Last chance.
Ben Zobrist (2B) – CHC at CIN – $3,100 – Last 30 days against RHP away, Zobrist has a 156 wRC+ and .400 ISO. Make sure he’s in the lineup, but if he is against CIN SP Stephenson (3.00 HR/9 IP over last 30 days), you can fire Zobrist up for sure.
Jake Lamb (3B) – ARI vs. SDP – $3,300 – Great matchup at home against SDP SP Paul Clemens, Lamb has a 136 wRC+ and .313 ISO for the season in split and Clemens has a 5.23 xFIP and 1.83 HR/9 IP over his last 30 days.
Stephen Drew (SS) – WAS vs. MIA – $2,500 – Somehow, despite starting recently against RHP and batting high in the lineup, his price is still 2.5K – Se la – Drew, since July 1st at home against RHP, has a 156 wRC+ and .353 ISO in split.
Tom Murphy (CATCH) – COL vs. MIL – $2,900 – Great price on a 7-hitter that has a .470 wOBA and .462 ISO against RHP this season and gets to launch at Coors Field tonight.
Good Luck! – Jason