- Scattered storms expected in Colorado
- Los Angeles Angels visiting RHP Nick Tepesch
- Cleveland Indians hosting RHP Hector Noesi
- Baltimore Orioles hosting RHP Hiroki Kuroda
- Milwaukee Brewers hosting RHP Joe Kelly
- Arizona Diamondbacks visiting RHP Tim Lincecum
Longshot stack:Washington Nationals visiting RHP A.J. Burnett
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Garrett Richards (LAA) @ TEX: $10,200 – Facing RHP Nick Tepesch
The King is still the King, meaning Felix Hernandez is clearly the top SP tonight, but after Kershaw ruled Thursday night, it should be refreshing to start a couple of reasonably priced pitchers. At just over 10K, Richards has as much potential as any Ace in baseball. He’s been indispensable for the Angels, with a 10-2 record, 9.21 K/9 ratio, and a WAR of 3.1- for perspective, Tanaka’s WAR sits at 3.2 and the Yankees organization is already mourning his loss. He has a 2.04 ERA, and is allowing opposing batters to hit just .151 on the road this season. Since imploding in Oakland on May 30, Richards has posted 7 straight Quality Starts, with a 5.00 K/BB ratio, and an average of just 4.0 hits, and 1.14 ER allowed. He’s handled the Rangers twice this season, and his adversary (Tepesch), is not only awful, but dealing with an injury as well. A 5th straight Win seems very attainable for Richards.
Corey Kluber (CLE) @ CWS: $9,200 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi
Kluber hit a 4-game skid where the results resembled that of an average SP, but the advanced metrics indicated that he was still an Ace in the making. He’s proved that to be the case, as he’s allowed just 2 ER over 22 IP during his last 3 starts, and posted a 7.66 K:BB ratio during that span. He’s been at his best at home this season, where he has a 10.28 K/9 ratio and is averaging 26.1 DK PPG, and has also dominated in two starts against the White Sox. The last time he faced this team at home, he tossed 8 nearly perfect innings, with the sole blip coming on a Jose Abreu solo homer. The White Sox strike out at an alarming rate (3rd in MLB with 806 K), providing Kluber with even more upside than usual tonight.
Two Duds (Value Plays):
There should be some concern using Hahn as he faces teams for a 2nd time, as evidenced by his mediocre performance against San Francisco last week, but with the Dodgers seeing him for the first time tonight, he’s a worthwhile mid-tier value play. Hahn has mixed an excellent curveball and changeup with a decent fastball to post a 10.64 K/9 through 6 starts this year, and it’s encouraging to note that his pitch count has increased in each outing. He’ll start in expansive Petco Park, opposite arguably the Dodgers worst SP, and while he doesn’t necessarily have the upside of some other hurlers tonight, Hahn has been consistent enough to warrant consideration in most formats.
Jeff Samardzija (OAK) @ SEA: $8200 – Facing RHP Felix Hernandez
The O/U in tonight’s contest in Seattle is set at 6. Partially out of respect to the A’s league-leading offense, possibly in consideration that the Mariners bullpen saw a ton of use last night, but mostly because the lines don’t get any lower. The fact is, two of the best RHP in baseball are facing off at Safeco Field, and we could see an incredible duel. Samardzija came to the A’s with a 2-7 record, despite giving the Cubs 12 Quality Starts in 16 outings this season. Suffice to say that if he gave the A’s that type of production, his overall record would be far better.
The Shark may not be able to outduel Hernandez to earn his 2nd Win in as many tries with Oakland, but it’s the Mariners’ bats he’ll have to worry about. While Seattle is a very left-handed team, they’ve struggled against RHP at times, as Boston is the only A.L. team with fewer runs scored off righties than the Mariners this season. Samardzija should be able to hold them in check this evening.
Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) vs. STL: $4500 – Facing RHP Joe Kelly
There aren’t many appealing catchers in the top tier tonight, but if you’re looking for high-upside options for GPP formats, the most expensive name on the board could be part of a productive Brewers stack. In other sports, the loss of a team’s MVP, and best defensive player could have a galvanizing effect. But in a calculating sport like baseball, the loss of Yadier Molina for at least 2 months is likely a death knell for the Cardinals. Young pitcher Shelby Miller and Tyler Lyons were shelled by the Pirates with Tony Cruz calling the game, and Kelly will make his first start in nearly 3 months without the best catcher in the game behind the plate. Kelly has been solid for St. Louis in past years, but had reverse-platoon splits last season, and is likely to show some rust as he faces Major League hitters. As he’s been doing all year, the Brewers’ backstop will pounce on any mistakes the RHP makes.
Wilson Ramos (WAS) is a solid safe play at $3900. He’s riding a 13-game hitting streak that dates back to before his lengthy DL stint last month.
Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) extended his hitting streak last night, and that was enough to meet value at $2600. He’s 4 for 9 off Henderson Alvarez and received a boost as he bat 5th last night.
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) @ SF: $5800 – Facing RHP Tim Lincecum
What’s worse than facing a slugger that has absolutely crushed everything you’ve thrown? Probably facing that slugger when he’s hotter than anyone in the MLB. Goldschmidt comes into tonight’s contest with a .537 wOBA over the past two weeks, second only to Kole Calhoun (found below), and he does lead the league with an absurd .569 OBP during that span. After reaching base 3 times the last time he faced Lincecum, Goldschmidt is now 15 for 26 (.577) with 7 HR off the RHP. Lincecum has a 9.25 ERA in 3 starts against the D’Backs this season, so despite 3 straight Quality Starts (two against the Padres), he’s worth targeting tonight.
Since Goldy is so expensive, a mid-tier alternative with upside could be found in Steve Pearce (BAL). At $4300, he’s a dangerous hitter that should be batting 2nd against RHP Hiroki Kuroda after homering out of that spot last night.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch has allowed 2.08 HR/9 to RHB, giving C.J. Cron (LAA) tons of upside at $3600.
Brian Dozier (MIN) @ COL: $4400 – Facing LHP Jorge De La Rosa
Dozier will make his first trip to Coors Field, and face light-throwing LHP Jorge De La Rosa for the first time tonight. Aside from the “first game of the series at Coors jinx” (trend is diminished offensive numbers), this is a great spot for the dual threat to succeed. He was something of a platoon specialist prior to this season, batting .301 with a .905 OPS off LHP over the past three seasons, and while Dozier’s average is down, he still has 6 HR in just 91 at bats against lefties this season. He’s been back in the leadoff spot for the Twins, where 11 of his 16 HR and 13 of his 16 SB have come from this year. De La Rosa is allowing RHB to post a .361 wOBA this season and could struggle with a hitter like Dozier.
If you believe in BvP stats, you’ll have to consider Aaron Hill (ARI), who is 11 for 19 off Tim Lincecum. He’s having a down year, but has plenty of upside for just $3800.
The Giants are expected to activate Marco Scutaro ($2800) tonight, and he could be in the lineup right away. The seasoned vet shouldn’t have much trouble finding a groove against weak RHP Mike Bolsinger.
David Wright (NYM) vs. MIA: $4300 – Facing RHP Henderson Alvarez
Re-introducing David Wright, perennial all-star and forgotten DFS commodity. He’s been a huge disappointment this season with just 7 HR and a .277 average, but after a week off with a shoulder injury, he’s been a consistent cog in the middle of the Mets order- producing 10 DK PPG over his last 4 appearances. Wright has good splits against Alvarez, a pitcher with reverse-platoon splits, who has been far less effective on the road this season. The Mets slugger has been great against Marlins pitching this year, with a .383 average, 7 XBH, and 7 RBI in 10 games, and is 6 for 16 in his career against Alvarez.
Casey McGehee (MIA) remains a staple of 50/50 and H2H lineups as he’s hitting .329 on the road and should hit the value of his modest $3700 price tag.
Zealous Wheeler (NYY) is a punt play that could be used in GPP formats if he’s in the Yankees lineup. At the minimum $2000, he has effortless power.
Reyes is getting hot again, and is also worth consideration when he’s facing a right-handed starter. Almost all of the switch-hitter’s power comes from the left side of the plate, and the speed of the turf at Tropicana Field could allow him to reach base more easily when he puts it in play. He’s hitting .311 with 13 SB in 14 attempts when playing on Toronto’s artificial surface, and shouldn’t hesitate to take off with Archer on the mound. The Rays young RHP goes right after hitters, and while he has the talent to do that, contact hitters like Reyes can give him problems. The Jays SS is 4 for 7 with a SB in his career off Archer, and comes into tonight’s contest with 6 hits in his last 10 at bats.
Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE) is heating up with 34 DK points in his last two games and could be part of another productive Indians stack against RHP Hector Noesi. At $3900 he has tons of upside if he’s batting 2nd again.
Kike Hernandez (HOU) is still just $2300. His OPS is over 1.000 as he’s shown a great ability to get on base, and he remains a solid punt play as the Astros face RHP John Lackey tonight.
Michael Brantley (CLE) vs. CWS: $4800 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi
It’s not necessary to recommended the ultra-expensive outfielders, i.e. Mike Trout, so we’ll list Brantley as an upper-tier option that’s worth paying up for. He’s a great option in 50/50 and H2H formats, as he’s batting .484 over the past week. The fact that Brantley almost never strikes out (4th in MLB with an 8.2 K% this season) makes him an even safer play when the Indians offense is rolling. Cleveland is averaging 5.3 runs per game over its last 9 contests, and will host a beatable starter in Noesi tonight.
Carlos Gomez (MIL) vs. STL: $4600 – Facing RHP Joe Kelly
I was one day off calling a HR for CarGo on Wednesday, but I feel confident calling at least a SB for him the Brewers leadoff man tonight. He’s been much better atop the order, and should have the green light with Tony Cruz (instead of the human red light, Yadier Molina) behind the plate. Manager Ron Roenicke says he likes Gomez’s speed out of the leadoff spot, and the aggressive ball player needs little encouragement. He’s 6 for 17 off Kelly, and has strong reverse-platoon splits this season.
Kole Calhoun (LAA) @ TEX: $4400 – Facing RHP Nick Tepesch
What else can you say about this man, other than that he’s a must-play whenever the Angels face a weak right-handed starter. Calhoun logged 4 more hits, and scored 4 more runs as the Angels destroyed Colby Lewis last night, and Nick Tepesch probably won’t fare much better against the league’s hottest offense. The Angels have scored 84 runs over the past 2 weeks, and Calhoun’s league-leading .544 wOBA during that span has been a huge part of that output. Keep rolling with him until the price goes up significantly, or he cools off.
David Peralta (ARI) may be an overlooked part of a D’Backs mini-stack against Lincecum, but at $3700, he could be paired with Goldschmidt for some extra RBI and runs.
Josh Harrison (PIT) continues to produce, and at $3500, he’s worth a look if he’s in the 2-spot tonight against RHP Joe Kelly.
3 more hits for Chris Dickerson (CLE) last night, and his price tag is still a very reasonable $2600.
I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7
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