MLB DEEP DIVE – 5/29/17 (LATE)
A special thank you to all that have sacrificed for our country.
Marcus Stroman [RHP – TOR] vs CIN – Yikes, what a poor set of pitching options. However, this is the perfect example of how we can take things a little easy and still have some fun. Almost by default, Marcus Stroman is going to be the most popular pitching option of the evening contests. However, there is of course merit to looking other directions with the variance that occurs in baseball.
The Reds check in with a slightly above average offense against right-handed pitchers sporting a 103 wRC+ (13th), a top ten .183 ISO (partly a product of playing half their games in Great American Ballpark) and 20.3% K-rate on the season. The bonus with Stroman is that he is one of the more extreme ground ball pitchers in the league allowing a 60% rate to both lefties and righties since the beginning of 2016. The downside is that he only has a 20% K-rate to right-handed hitters and a 15.9% to batters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate, so it is hard to project him for more than a handful of punch outs in this matchup.
Toronto is the heaviest favorite among the ten teams in play tonight at -185ML to garner the victory, and with Stroman likely to make it into the six or seventh inning, he should be well positioned to get the win points.
Julio Teheran [RHP – ATL] at LAA – Teheran is in play since the Halos just do not have many lefties they can bring to bear against the Atlanta hurler and Mike Trout is out for tonight’s game after suffering a sprained thumb on Sunday. Over his last 40 starts, Teheran has suppressed same-handed hitters with a .247 wOBA, a 0.74 HR/9 and a 26.7% K-rate. Of course he is susceptible to lefties with a 1.63 HR/9 and a low 14.6% strikeout rate over the same timeframe. The Angles lefties have been ice cold this season with Kole Calhoun .294 wOBA, .120 ISO, 23.1% K-rate, Luis Valbuena .237 wOBA, .096 ISO, 25.6% K-rate and switch-hitting Danny Espinosa .225 wOBA, .126 ISO, 36.4% K-rate the best they can muster.
Erasmo Ramirez [RHP – TBR] at TEX – While I was all set to recommend Ramirez as a discount option on sites with multiple starting pitchers, he did end up throwing a dozen pitches in the 15th frame of Sunday’s marathon affair against the Twins. He is slated to start today still and even though he is rubber-armed, we should keep expectations in check.
Daniel Norris [LHP – DET] at KCR – This recommendation is all about the strikeout upside which is of course the currency of the DFS realm. Over his last 22 starts, Norris has punched out 19.3% of all opposite-handed hitters and he has really gone to town against fellow southpaws with a 29.4% K-rate over the same span. The Royals do have the fifth lowest K-rate this season against lefties at 18.0%, but these are the cards we have been dealt.
Josh Donaldson (3B) and Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR vs RHP Lisalverto Bonilla, CIN – While Josh DONGaldson is a noted lefty masher, he is also elite against right-handed pitchers with a .403 wOBA and a .272 ISO in his last 579 plate appearances. Of course he is coming back after a long injury layoff, but this will be his third time seeing action since he returned. Teammate Jose Bautista has struggled somewhat this season, but now that the Blue Jays are getting healthy, he is no longer the only threatening hitter. In his last 582 plate appearances against right-handed pitching, he has a .363 wOBA and a .222 ISO. RHP Lisalverto Bonilla has already allowed 5 home runs in just 23 1/3 innings and this is a nice matchup for the Blue Jays.
J.D Martinez (OF) and Miguel Cabrera – DET at RHP Jason Hammel, KCR – This is a nice matchup for the power hitting Tigers, particularly their top end players J.D. Martinez who is sporting a .395 wOBA, a .256 ISO and a 151 wRC+ in his last 444 plate appearances against same-handed pitching and he has mashed seven home runs in just 47 at bats this season since returning from a foot injury that cost him the better part of the first six weeks. Miggy on the other hand needs no reminders of how good he is against right-handed pitching, but for those of you new to the game in his last 634 plate appearances he has a .384 wOBA and a .241 ISO with 34 home runs and 31 doubles.
Giancarlo Stanton (OF) – MIA vs RHP Jeremy Hellickson, PHI – While this is not the best ballpark for hitting home runs, Stanton’s power plays in any park. He has three roundtrippers in his last seven games and is really locked in at the plate. There is a chance that Hellickson could pick up some groundswell as a pitching option, thusly keeping Stanton’s tournament popularity somewhat in check.
Alex Avila (C/1B) – DET at RHP Jason Hammel, KCR – Avila is a nice discounted option on both FantasyDraft $6,600 and DraftKings $3,300 and he should be batting second once again in the absence of Ian Kinsler
Rougned Odor (2B) – TEX vs Erasmo Ramirez, TBR – Second base is a whole lotta meh tonight and at least with Odor we have some power upside and a likely favorable spot in the batting order.
Justin Smoak – (1B) – TOR vs RHP Lisalverto Bonilla, CIN – Purely a play in the hopes we can get a home run, but the Smoak Monster comes at a discount on most sites and he has elite power upside as evidenced by his .207 ISO in his last 382 plate appearances against right-handed hurlers.
Cesar Hernandez – (2B) – PHI at RHP Edinson Volquez, MIA – While a lot of people like to think of Hernandez as a speed guy, just know that he only has six steals on the season and he has only tried to swipe two bags in his last 14 games and was caught stealing both times. He is very much in play, but make sure to level-set your expectations.
Tim Beckham – (SS) – TBR at LHP Martin Perez, TEX – Beckham has been dropped down the order tonight, even though the Tampa Bay Rays are taking on southpaw Martin Perez. He is at a nice discount and there really is a dearth of shortstop options tonight.
Jorge Bonifacio – (OF) – KCR vs LHP Derek Norris, DET – Bonifacio is white-hot right now cranking five home runs in his last 36 at bats. He makes for a fine “last man in” on rosters for all formats tonight.