Winds currently blowing in hard in Texas and Chicago (Cubs)
- Milwaukee Brewers hosting LHP Christian Friedrich
- Toronto Blue Jays hosting RHP Scott Carroll
- Detroit Tigers visiting RHP Nick Martinez
- Chicago White Sox (righties) visiting LHP J.A. Happ
- Pittsburgh Pirates hosting RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka
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With just 8 games on tonight's slate, there are few elite pitching options, and anyone that fades Wainwright in H2H and 50/50 formats will likely be at a disadvantage. The Cardinals' ace skipped a start with elbow discomfort, but didn't miss a beat as he struck out 7 Phillies and allowed 1 ER over 8 innings in his last start. That was Waino's 7th start this season in which he allowed 2 ER or fewer and pitched 8 innings. While most pitchers receive credit for a Quality Start for 6 IP and 3 ER of fewer, 8 innings is the status quo for Wainwright, and it wouldn't be surprising if he reached that plateau again. He's been great on the road this season (1.50 ERA, .197 BAA, and 26.2 DK points per start) and will face a Dodgers lineup that is dealing with multiple injuries this month, so he's worth every penny.
Fister has been unbelievably consistent in his first season with the Nationals as he's produced around or over 20 DK points in 8 of his last 9 outings. He has been much better at home, as Nationals Park has the 2nd lowest Home Run Factor in the MLB, and that's important for a pitcher that has a troubling 12.7% HR/FB ratio this season. While pitching at hitter-friendly Wrigley Field for the first time will be a tough test for Fister, the fact that he's facing an often inept Cubs offense should make up for the change in scenery. The Cubs have scored the 3rd fewest runs, and have the 2nd worst batting average in the Majors. They've also struck out the 3rd most times against RHP, and are hitting just .234 at home this season, so Fister could hold them in check as he posts another Quality Start.
Two Duds (Value Plays)
Vogelsong has come crashing back to earth in his last three starts, but his last dominant outing came against the Reds, as he produced 26.9 DK points in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. Now the fly ball pitcher will face the same squad, but instead of pitching in the stadium with the 2nd highest Home Run Factor, he will be pitching in the stadium with the lowest. AT&T Park is simply massive, and Vogelsong has not given up a HR at home in 48.2 IP this season. That's helped his confidence, as his 2.03 BB/9 is much lower at home, and his 2.29 FIP is significantly lower than the 5.57 FIP he's posted on the road. Based on those numbers, he's been able to elicit weak contact at home, and for the most part, has been reliable. I still wouldn't lock him into 50/50 lineups, but he's one of the few mid-tier options that I'd take a chance on.
Wily Peralta (MIL) vs. COL: $7200 – Facing LHP Christian Friedrich
Peralta held the Rockies in check over 7.2 innings to earn a Win at Coors Field last week, and is lucky enough to start opposite rookie LHP Christian Friedrich once again as he toes the rubber at home tonight. Friedrich gave up 9 runs (4 ER) over six innings in his season debut against the Brewers, and will recur throughout this column as a great pitcher to target. The opposing starter is overmatched, but Peralta still has to get the job done against a menacing Rockies offense. He should be up to the task, as he's come away victorious in 4 consecutive road starts, and will be pitching in Miller Park, the stadium with the 4th lowest Run Factor in the MLB (0.832). Colorado's offense also does not travel well by any means. The Rockies lead the majors in runs scored (245) and batting average (.328) at home, but are ranked 24th in runs scored (144) and are tied for 22nd in batting average (.237) away from Coors. On a night where many of the bottom barrel pitching options are entirely too risky, Peralta has a lot working in his favor.
Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) vs. COL: $4700 – Facing LHP Christian Friedrich
Lucroy wasn't the most productive member of the Brewers stack that ran a train on Christian Friedrich during the rookie's first start last week, but he should be in the thick of tonight's potential shellacking. The man who can currently be called the best catcher in baseball has been just as dangerous against lefties this season, with a .211 ISO in 71 at bats, and could certainly prey on Friedrich after getting a look at the southpaw last week. The scouting report on the Rockies prospect is that he has an above average breaking ball, and that's about it. He was getting knocked around at the AAA level (1-8 record with a 7.89 ERA in 13 starts), but got called up because of how short-handed the Rockies pitching staff seems to be. Well, now he gets the same Milwaukee team that is full of dangerous RHB, and we could definitely see a repeat drubbing.
If Dioner Navarro (TOR) is in the lineup he's worth a look at just $3200. White Sox RHP Scott Carroll couldn't stay in the rotation, partially because of his inability to get lefties out, and he may have trouble with the switch-hitting catcher.
Victor Martinez (DET) @ TEX: $5000 – Facing RHP Nick Martinez
I'm not crazy about any of the top 1B options tonight, but for a bit cheaper than E5 and his teammate, Miggy, Martinez has 20+ DK-point upside in this matchup. It's been a great road trip for Victor, and he'll look to close out the series with the Rangers strong as he bats lefty against Nick Martinez. The young RHP managed to hold the Tigers offense to 1 ER in his 2nd Major League start, but Victor went 2 for 3 with a double of off him, and it's basically been all downhill for the Rangers starter since then. He comes into tonight's contest with a 6.38 ERA at home, and LHB have a .221 ISO against him, making Victor Martinez a candidate for some XBH off his namesake.
Vance Worley may have a fantastic nickname (The Vanimal), but one thing he does not have is a way to get Daniel Murphy out. The Mets second baseman is 12 for 17 (.706) with 3 XBH, 2 BB, and an OPS of 1.678 in his career against the RHP, and those splits are hard to ignore. It's not just Murphy either, as Worley has a 6.64 ERA and 1.958 WHIP in 10 meetings with the Mets, and has poor splits against several of their current hitters. Murphy is priced at a very reasonable level considering how consistent he's been over the last month, and the fact that he's produced (had 33) DK points over his last 3 appearances. Based on his price tag, he's a very appealing option in all formats.
Rickie Weeks produced 10 DK points as he got the start against Christian Friedrich last Saturday. If he's in the lineup again he's worth a look at $3400.
Aramis Ramirez (MIL) vs. COL: $4800 – Facing LHP Christian Friedrich
The man who did terrorize Friedrich to the tune of 3 H, 1 HR, and 22 DK points last Saturday should be top option at 3B tonight, as he gets another crack at the rookie. It's not just you Christian, Ramirez has pummeled all lefties this season as he has a .395 ISO, and 5 HR in just 43 at bats against southpaws. Over the last three seasons, he has an OPS of .929 against LHP, and (along with Ryan Braun) has been one of the most dangerous lefty-killers of the last half-decade.
Pablo Sandoval (SF) is another mid-tier value with incredible splits against his opponent. He is 11 for 17 with 2 doubles and 2 HR against RHP Mike Leake, and has plenty of upside for the price of $4000.
Jose Reyes (TOR) vs. NYY: $4500 – Facing RHP Scott Carroll
Carroll returns to the White Sox rotation after getting shelled several times in May, and will have a very difficult time holding this Blue Jays lineup in check. Toronto is extremely dangerous at home, and with Reyes swinging a hot bat (5 for 10, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 1 SB last 2 games) they have a capable leadoff man. Carroll is allowing LHB to post a .387 OBP this season, and his peripheral stats indicate that he's been even worse than his 4.70 ERA on the road, so I'm comfortable using several Blue Jays tonight.
Even though he's struggled against Josh Beckett in the past, Jhonny Peralta (STL) is red hot with 48 DK points in his last four games and is worth a look at $3800.
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) vs. NYM: $5500 – Facing RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka
Cutch is the head of any Pirates stack, and the Bucs outfielders could have sneaky value as they host Dice-K tonight. The reigning MVP had a slow start to the 2014 season, but he's been crushing the ball at PNC Park with a .347/.578/.944 slash line, and 24 of his 51 hits going for extra bases. If you end up with some money to blow in the outfield, pair McCutchen with teammate Gregory Polanco and I doubt you'll be disappointed with the results.
Carlos Gomez (MIL) vs. COL: $4500 – Facing LHP Christian Friedrich
This price tag is almost a mistake since DraftKings was reacting to Gomez going 0-10 over his last two games, and failing to record a SB or HR in several weeks. Well, he went 3-4 with a SB to post 25 DK points during yesterday's drubbing of Stephen Strasburg, and it's safe to say his upside is still there. When you can get a dual threat like CarGo at this price, it's pretty hard to pass up.
J.D. Martinez (DET) @ TEX: $4200 – Facing RHP Nick Martinez
It's disappointing that Martinez is no longer a no-brainer based on value, but he's still in play at this price. He was struggling to hit LHP, but can cross that off his list after he took Joe Saunders deep last night for his 6th HR in the last 9 days. He's been crushing the ball all month, and is all over RHP to the tune of a .398/.773/1.188 slash line on the season. Over the last 10 games, J.D. has actually been producing more DK points than Victor Martinez or Miguel Cabrera, so even at $4200, he's a worthwhile choice to fill your outfield.
Josh Harrison (PIT) logged 8 more DK points yesterday as he's now produced in 12 straight and 23 of his last 24 games. He's a great option at $3500 that is also eligible at 3B.
Dayan Viciedo (CWS) is 3 for 6 against Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ and has shown significantly more power against LHP throughout his career. He could be part of a White Sox mini-stack at $3500.
Anthony Gose is a nice player at the bottom of the Blue Jays' order. If he's starting against Scott Carroll, he could be in play at $3100.
I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7
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