We finally have our first heavy night slate with ten games on the docket. Lineup construction is going to be important, along with finding our value plays. On nights where I can analyze the lineups before they come out, I will look to include a few value plays for the night at the end of the stacks. I am also going to predict my player to homer each night. With that said, let’s dive into this ten game slate.
The night is going to start with Jose Fernandez ($11,900) going to New York to face the Mets. Last night the Marlins offense hit the ball all over the park, and if they do that tonight they’ll be sitting pretty with their ace on the hill. However, Fernandez will be facing Noah Syndergaard tonight, who is an elite young arm. Fernandez is a 132 underdog on the road in a game with the total set at just six runs. Fernandez will face a Mets lineup featuring a 24.6% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers in the early going. This shouldn’t be a surprise as the Mets struck out in 22.5% of at bats against righties last year. The Mets also see a drop off in their wOBA against right-handed pitchers, falling from .307 against lefties to .279 versus righties. My biggest concern with Fernandez in this matchup are his splits between lefties and righties. In 2015, Fernandez allowed a .373 wOBA to left-handed batters (faced 122). In 2014, Fernandez allowed a .301 wOBA to lefties while limiting right-handed bats to just a .172 wOBA. That is a pretty big split and the Mets maybe onto something. The strikeout upside for Fernandez is always there, but I think he may be my fade of the night. Another interesting piece to this fade is that Fernandez’s wOBA numbers also jump on the road. For his career, Fernandez has allowed a .221 wOBA at home and .282 on the road. Against lefties, he allows a home wOBA of .250 and a .330 on the road. He is an elite arm, but these splits have me worried. Also the win is no lock against Syndergaard.
On the other end of this, Noah Snydergaard ($10,400) will face a Marlins offense that destroyed Steven Matz a night ago. Four of the top-six bats in the Marlins order tonight will be left-handed, and similar to Fernandez, they hit him better. Now the split isn’t as concerning as both lefties and righties have a sub-.300 wOBA against Syndegaard. He is the favorite in this game, and the total is just six runs, so I would go with him over Fernandez in this one. The Marlins have not struck out too much in the early going, but then again, they haven’t seen 98-100mph pitching that often. Interestingly enough, Syndergaard saw big home/road splits in 2015, allowing a .239 wOBA at home and .323 on the road. He was dominant in his first outing of the season and comes into this one with a 27.5% strikeout rate. If I am paying up, I’ll take for one of these two, I go Snydergaard.
Corey Kluber ($12,200) is going to a popular option on the road against the Rays, who have been super aggressive at the plate this season. Kluber comes into this matchup as a -132 favorite in a game with a total set at seven. The Rays have a 25.9% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers in the early going, and Kluber is most certainly a pitcher who can get 10+ strikeouts in a game. Like most, Kluber goes give up a higher wOBA to left-handed bats, and the Rays have four in their lineup tonight. I don’t fear Logan Morrison or Brad Miller for the most part here, but Dickerson is always a problem. However, even he has a 21% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers. Kluber does get a park boost as Progressive field has been a pretty good run producing park the last few years. I think Kluber is safe in all formats, but pairing him with either Fernandez or Syndergaard creates some roster construction issues.
The bargain pitcher of the night for me is Wade Miley ($8,200). Do I feel really comfortable about this? No. Not at all, but I do have a few numbers that may support Miley here as a tournament option. First off, the Rangers have a ton of left-handed bats in their lineup, like Fielder, Moreland, Mazara and Odor. Miley will be coming at them from the same side and gets a park boost from their last matchup. The Rangers have a small sample of 72 PA’s against lefties this season, but 27.8% of those ended with a strikeout. Small sample, no doubt, but we have to find some savings. The Texas offense also sees a drop in production on the road, and yes, they put up some numbers last night, but that was Odor and Mazara doing a large chunk of the damage. He is going to be super low owned and is the Vegas favorite right now. Depending on their lineup structure, I think Miley could be in a decent spot here.
The most popular stack of the night is going to be the Giants/Rockies game at Coors field, but I think more people will lean toward the Giants stack because of the Samardzija name value. I personally think the Rockies are going to hit Samardzija around tonight because he isn’t the same pitcher the Cubs traded to Oakland when he threw against these Rockies in the N.L. First off, throw the BvP number out the window for Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado. They are elite plays tonight. Samardzija has dipped in his strikeout rate over the past two season and is allowing nearly 40% fly balls. In Coors, that spells trouble. CarGo and Arenado both have homerun to fly balls percentages greater than 20% against right-handed pitching. They also both own wOBA’s over .380 versus righties and ISO power totals over .300. That is elite power. You may need to dip down on pitching to get these two, but I think they both could do some serious damage tonight in a game that features the highest total on the board at 11 runs. If I could only fit one, I would lean toward Gonzalez at $4,600.
The Yankees are going to go under the radar as a stackable option in Toronto. They will be facing Aaron Sanchez, who pitched very well against the Rays to open the season. Sanchez will throw a ton of pitchers, and this veteran Yankee team may just be in the spot to wait him out and draw walks which lead to runs. The Yankees just released their lineup and it features seven left-handed bats (three switch-hitters). In the middle of that order in Mark Teixeira, who is my top option on the Yankees tonight. Tex has a .399 wOBA against right-handed pitchers to go along with a .339 ISO. Along with that he has a 26% home run to fly ball rate in a run producing environment in Toronto. In his early career, Sanchez has been more susceptible to home runs from lefties. While he is much more of a ground ball type, he throws a power sinker in the mid 90’s, which if it is left up could be an issue. The total in this game is eight and it could easily exceed that. I like Tex and Gardner at the top, with some interest in Beltran.
How about stacking the Red Sox today? Coming off that heart breaker yesterday, the Sox look to get back to the win column today against Mike Wright. In 2015, Wright allowed a .361 wOBA to right-handed hitters and .392 to left-handed hitters and will face some big bats tonight at Fenway. All weather reports have the wind blowing out to right-field, which may fuel a few extra base hits for those lefties, too. Boston will have David Ortiz and Travis Shaw as their lone lefties in the top-six in the order. If you want to go deeper and maybe punt second base, Brock Holt gets the nod in left and has that eligibility. I think this game will go over the 9 run total that has been put on it. With Coors on the slate, this game is sure to go under owned. If you want a full game stack, Joey Rickard is leading off again at just 3.2K. Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and Pedro Alvarez all could benefit from the short porch in right-field, too.
Jeff Francoeur $2,500 hitting 5th against the Nationals Gio Gonzalaez; He is 10/25 with four extra base hits in his career versus Gonzalez.
Brett Wallace ($3,100) hitting 4th against the Phillies Charlie Morton; Wallace has a .404 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers to go along with a .261 ISO. Charlie Morton allowed a .382 wOBA to left-handed hitters last season, plus an 18.2% home run to fly ball rate.
Homer of the Day
Carlos Gonzalez vs. Jeff Samardzija
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