MLB Tournament Thoughts – 5/5/17
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Now let’s get down to business!
Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians, $19,500 — I project the Indians’ ace to score the most FantasyDraft points on today’s slate and he is not priced like it, coming in as just the 4th-highest priced pitcher on the site. Salazar has changed his pitch mix this season, throwing far more changeups and two seam fastballs at the expense of his four-seamer, and so far the results have been promising. The swinging strike rate is up dramatically in the early going and if he can maintain that he will have one of the highest strikeout rates in all of MLB. Throw in a fantastic matchup against an anemic Royals team, a nice pitcher’s park at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, and you have a recipe for the top overall starting pitcher on the night.
Francisco Liriano, Toronto Blue Jays, $15,900 — The Blue Jays’ left-hander can be a frustrating pitcher to watch, as his command completely abandons him at times. But the stuff is electric and the matchup is supreme tonight against the Rays who are an average offense at scoring runs but have the 2nd highest K-rate in all of MLB at 26.8%. If Liriano is on his game, the strikeouts could be plentiful tonight in Tampa Bay. Make sure pitch-framer extraordinaire Russell Martin is catching tonight’s game before deploying Liriano tonight, as Liriano has historically been much better with Martin calling the signals.
Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks, $9,900 — What a spot for the sweet swinging Jake Lamb heading to Coors Field to take on RHP German Marquez and the Rockies. It will be a beautiful day in Denver tonight and the ball should be jumping. Lamb has always hammered right-handed pitching and sports a whopping .419 wOBA against lefties so far on the season. He has a strong case for top overall hitter today. Pay up for his services tonight.
Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox, $6,900 — I love the Red Sox bats tonight against the putrid Phil Hughes and the left-handed hitting Moreland is a great cheap way to get exposure to the game. Moreland handles right-handed pitching well and is hitting the ball hard this season with a top 10% average exit velocity against right-handed pitching. It is not the greatest park for Moreland in Target Field, which is a bit tough on left-handed power, but his price and the matchup mitigate that for me. He is one of the best value plays on the slate.
Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians, $8,400 — The Indians are set up to have a big night against the struggling Jason Hammel who is not getting the job done this season and also struggles against left-handed hitters. Brantley is swinging a great bat this spring after missing nearly all of last season due to injury (.400 wOBA vs. RHP so far this season). Brantley also has a bit of speed and Hammel is poor at holding runners on base, so there is some steal equity baked into his projection as well. The price and matchup are great here and a full on Indians stack is certainly very much in play tonight.
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins, $8,100 — Until Sano’s price comes up, he should be on your radar nearly every time the Twins play. Nobody in MLB is hitting the ball harder than the Twins’ massive slugger, as he’s lapping the field in average exit velocity by nearly 3 MPH. It is not a perfect matchup against Eduardo Rodriguez, who does have a decent shot at striking Sano out, but Rodriguez continues to be plagued by the long ball, allowing a whopping 1.83 HR/9 to right-handed hitters on the season. That’s right up Sano’s alley and he is one of the most likely players to go yard tonight.
Good luck out there tonight! ~ DraftCheat