Plays of the Day
Value: The Brewers draw a juicy matchup on the road tonight against 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo, who has been out of the Majors for a few years and never really had electric stuff. Arroyo’s allowed lefties to post a .354 wOBA with a 5.34 FIP and 1.55 HR/9 ratio against the platoon throughout his career, so Milwaukee’s power-hitting lefties including Eric Thames and Travis Shaw are definitely worth consideration.
Fade: Joey Votto seems to draw a plus matchup against inconsistent RHP Jimmy Nelson, but the Brewers young arm has been solid against the platoon in recent years and looked quite impressive in his 2016 debut.
Team Target Stacks
Brewers: Ryan Braun, Jonathan Villar, Travis Shaw, Eric Thames
Giants: Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Crawford
Royals: Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon
No real weather concerns tonight.
Madison Bumgarner: (SF) vs. COL DK: $12,500/FD: $11,300
He’s head and shoulders above the rest of the SP options tonight and priced accordingly, as MadBum takes on a Rockies team that apparently can’t even hit at Coors Field these days. Colorado has scored the ninth-fewest runs (34) with the tenth-lowest collective batting average (.225) this year and that lineup contains a lot of lefties that may struggle against the Giants ace. Current Rockies are batting a decent .261 (49-for-188) in their careers off Bumgarner, but that’s mostly from Carlos Gonzalez (18-for-56, 5 HR) when he was in his prime, and they’ve posted a lofty 26.3% K-Rate in those appearances. Bumgarner is always a safer bet at home and he’s been rock steady so far this season.
Jimmy Nelson: (MIL) @ CIN DK: $6,700 / FD: $7,500
Just as we thought, fading the Cubs when they faced Nelson last week was a good move, as the talented young RHP held them to one run on a solo HR and allowed just 4 hits while striking out 8 over 6 strong innings. Now he’ll face an inferior offensive team in the Reds and will look to build some momentum as he makes adjustments in his fourth MLB campaign. The long ball could still plague Nelson this year, but he was good against the platoon with a .248 BAA last season and that makes him capable of avoiding Joey Votto as Cincy’s most dangerous hitter.
Francisco Liriano: (TOR) vs. BAL DK: $8,000/FD: $7,800
Classic Liriano. The extremely mercurial lefty was absolutely shelled in his season debut, giving up 5 ER while recording just one out via strikeout in the shortest outing of his career. With the fresh of that negative performance fresh in everyone’s minds, he’s sure to have a very low ownership rate ahead of a matchup against an O’s lineup that posted the lowest collective batting average (.218) against LHP amongst A.L. teams last season. Baltimore has managed just 33 runs this season and Liriano’s had a lot of success with 32 K’s over 120 plate appearances in his career against those hitters, so he clearly has a lot of upside to go along with that low ownership.
Welington Castillo: (BAL) @ TOR DK: $3,500 / FD: $2,800
All that being said about Liriano’s upside in this spot, he’s also got plenty of downside and if he struggles, expect Castillo to do some damage as part of an Orioles stack. The big RHB missed out on the first-inning rally against Liriano last week, but possesses the skill set to burn the inconsistent lefty, as he’s 3-for-6 against the platoon this year and hit .278 with a .367 wOBA and .243 ISO mark off LHP last season. He has plenty of pop in his bat and has racked up 5 hits over his last two appearances.
Josh Phegley: (OAK) vs. KC DK: $3,200 / FD: $2,100
He should start as a RHB to platoon against LHP Jason Vargas.
Travis d’Arnaud: (NYM) @ MIA DK: $3,000 / FD: $2,800
Perhaps he finally wakes up against a familiar foe in LHP Wei-Yin Chen.
Eric Hosmer: (KC) vs. OAK DK: $4,200 / FD: $3,200
The best option from a matchup standpoint at 1B tonight, Hosmer faces a weak RHP in Jesse Hahn who pitches to contact and can’t handle the platoon. Hahn allowed lefties to hit .357 with a .443 wOBA and a whopping 7 homers over 19.1 IP last year, which yes, adds up to an absurd 3.26 HR/9 ratio. Hosmer is off to a relatively slow start for the Royals but he’s still producing and he hit .294 with a .363 wOBA against RHP at home last season.
Eric Thames: (MIL) @ CIN DK: $4,000 / FD: $2,500
Love his upside against a homer-prone RHP Bronson Arroyo at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark.
Brandon Belt: (SF) vs. COL DK: $3,700 / FD: $2,900
He should be productive with the platoon advantage against RHP Jon Gray at home tonight.
Dee Gordon: (MIA) vs. NYM DK: $4,300 / FD: $3,300
He’s on a roll right now with base hits in 9 consecutive appearances and he’s flashed his upside with stolen bases in two of those games. Tonight the Marlins will once again look to pick on the weakest RHP in the Mets rotation in Robert Gsellman tonight, as he gave up 3 ER on 6 H in a start to Miami last week. Gordon hit a single and scored a run during those rallies against Gsellman and he’s obviously a dangerous lefty for any righty to deal with at the plate or on the base paths.
Joe Panik: (SF) vs. COL DK: $3,600 / FD: $2,700
Giants lefties make for a relatively cheap stack to use against Jon Gray tonight.
Scooter Gennett: (CIN) vs. MIL DK: $3,800 / FD: $2,700
Worth a look against former teammate Jimmy Nelson.
Travis Shaw: (MIL) @ CIN DK: $3,800 / FD: $3,300
The Brewers draw a juicy matchup on the road tonight against 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo, who has been out of the Majors for a few years and never really had electric stuff. Arroyo’s allowed lefties to post a .354 wOBA with a 5.34 FIP and 1.55 HR/9 ratio against the platoon throughout his career, so Milwaukee’s power-hitting lefties are definitely worth a look tonight. Eric Thames is in play as part of this stack, while Shaw has a chance to regain some of his early-season magic when he opened with 4 doubles a HR and 5 RBI over the Brewers first three games. He’s a platoon specialist with a swing that profiles for success against Arroyo.
Chase Headley: (NYY) vs. TB DK: $3,300 / FD: $2,900
He continues to serve as the Yankees best hitter and draws a plus matchup against RHP Matt Andriese tonight.
Eduardo Nunez: (SF) vs. COL DK: $3,800 / FD: $3,000
Nunez rested last night but should be ready to serve as a pest against Rockies RHP Jon Gray.
Brandon Crawford: (SF) vs. COL DK: $3,500 / FD: $2,700
This position is extremely thin on a short slate tonight, so it might make sense to simply roll with whomever fits best into one of your stacks or punt the position entirely. Crawford is cheap enough to provide salary relief and certainly capable of coming up clutch for the Giants at home, where he hit .284 with a .343 wOBA and 123 wRC+ last year. Gray allowed a 35.5% Hard Contact Rate and 14.7% HR/FB ratio when facing the platoon in 2016 and lefties are 6-for-25 with 3 doubles a HR and four walks off him so far this year.
Tim Beckham: (TB) @ NYY DK: $3,300 / FD:$2,000
A nice punt play on FanDuel in a decent matchup against RHP Luis Severino.
J.J. Hardy: (BAL) @ TOR DK: $2,800 / FD: $2,200
This would be the play if you’re predicting another Liriano implosion.
Ryan Braun: (MIL) @ CIN DK: $5,100 / FD: $4,200
The Brewers are probably the top stacking option tonight and Braun is certainly their most dangerous hitter despite his low floor. When he draws a plus matchup, the RHB can still crush with the best of them and he’s facing a washed up veteran tonight in Arroyo. Braun is 14-for-55 (.255) with 4 HR and a SB in his career against a homer-prone pitcher, who could easily struggle in the small confines of Cincy’s Great American Ballpark.
Alex Gordon: (KC) vs. OAK DK: $3,900 / FD: $2,700
Along with Hosmer, Gordon is struggling to produce for the Royals, but the talent is still there and he’s an elite addition to a potential stack against Jesse Hahn tonight. The former all-star couldn’t get past a few injuries last year but still managed a 25.7% Line Drive Rate and 15.4% HR/FB ratio against the platoon, while we covered Hahn’s rampant struggles against lefties. Gordon happens to be 4-for-5 with a HR and a walk in his career against this righty and could surprise with a productive night at the dish.