Scouting The MLB - July 2

Most of Wednesday's MLB action starts early, so our Fantasy Sports Expert broke down the afternoon games while providing a few options for the evening contests in today's Scouting The MLB.

Weather Report

  • Thunderstorms could delay games in Washington and Baltimore this evening, making pitchers risky but batters fine to use
  • Showers are expected in Chicago, the game seems likely to get played through

Stackable Menu

  1. Toronto Blue Jays hosting RHP Wily Peralta
  2. Milwaukee Brewers visiting LHP J.A. Happ
  3. Washington Nationals hosting LHP Tyler Matzek
  4. Seattle Mariners visiting RHP Brad Peacock
  5. Tampa Rays visiting LHP Vidal Nuno

Longshot stack: Boston Red Sox hosting LHP Travis Wood tonight

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Two Studs:

Johnny Cueto (CIN) @ SD: $11,000 – Facing RHP Tyson Ross (Early)

Cueto is nearly 2K more than any other pitcher this afternoon- for good reason. He's facing the league's worst offense, and the Padres somehow managed to hang 8 runs in a win yesterday, so you can expect some regression today. The last time Cueto, who is sporting a league-best 1.88 ERA, faced these Padres, it was sheer domination as he allowed 5 base runners during a CGSO to finish with 42.3 DK points. Pitching in cavernous Petco Park today, a similar result seems likely.

Julio Teheran (ATL) vs. NYM: $10,000 – Facing RHP Jacob deGrom (Late)

There are a few studly SP available tonight, but based on price and matchup, I prefer Teheran in most formats. He's put together 3 outstanding starts since getting shelled at Coors Field, and will return home tonight, where he has a superb 1.22 ERA and 0.78 WHIP this season. The young RHP feeds off the Braves steady fan base as he's stranded a whopping 96.8% of runners, and struck out 23% of the batters he's faced at Turner Field this year. He got into a groove in June as he posted a 9.42 K/9 and posted a 2.08 FIP that was a top 5 mark in baseball. The bottom half of the Mets lineup is something of a joke, and with Eric Campbell batting cleanup instead of David Wright, Teheran has a great chance to shut them down as the Bravos look to grab a hold of the N.L. East.

Two Duds (Value Plays):

Justin Verlander (DET) vs. OAK: $7100 – Facing RHP Jesse Chavez (Early)

Starting Verlander when he costs nearly 10K has been equivalent to setting your money on fire, but using him as a value play with tremendous upside is a different story. The wayward ace has put two Quality Starts together while striking out 16 batters over 13 IP, and may be able to build on sterling performances by his teammates- Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello- against the A's. Current Athletics are batting .207 against Verlander, and Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) is questionable to suit up today. That would take one more dangerous RHB out of the lineup, and Verlander has been more effective against LHB this season. Lefties are batting .240 with a .118 ISO, and righties have a .333 average against Verlander this season. There aren't many appealing SP that could be considered values today, and none with the track record of the 2011 AL MVP.

Brandon Workman (BOS) vs. CHC: $6700 – Facing LHP Travis Wood

If the Red Sox get swept by the lowly Cubs at home, they'll probably start to yield 2014 as a lost season. In order to avoid that embarrassment, they'll try to get to Travis Wood, which hasn't been too difficult as he's sporting a 6.07 ERA on the road this season. Boston will send one of their young guns to the mound for this much-needed contest, but Workman is an extremely tough kid that is more than capable of rising to the challenge. He pitched in the College World Series with Texas, made relief appearances in last year's WS run, and shut down the Orioles in their own stadium a few weeks ago. You'd think he could limit the Cubs, who have the 2nd worst batting average on the road this season at .229, and the 3rd most strikeouts. He's unlikely to go the distance or post huge K totals, but remains a decent play in 50/50 and H2H formats in this matchup.



Johnathan Lucroy (MIL) @ TOR: $4500 – Facing LHP J.A. Happ

The most expensive catcher on the board this afternoon should be able to pay off his price tag as long as Happ doesn't pull another Quality Start out of his ass. The Blue Jays starter is walking a RHB for every 2 he strikes out, and while he's been slightly better at home this season, he has a 1.70 HR/9 ratio and a below average 4.88 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). For whatever reason, Lucroy has been beastly on the road this season with a .364 average and 30 of his 37 XBH coming away from Milwaukee. He'll be playing in the stadium with the 3rd highest Run Factor in the A.L. and should be part of a decent Brewers stack.

Potential Values:

Mike Zunino (SEA) struck out in 3 of his 6 at bats last night, but he slugged an RBI double and scored to finish with 9 DK points. At $3200, that's the kind of boom or bust results you can expect from him as the Mariners visit weak RHP Brad Peacock in Houston.

Chris Jimenez (TEX) is a similar boom or bust option for $3200 that could make some noise during the late games. He'll face RHP Chris Tillman, who has struggled to locate his fastball all season and could make a costly mistake or two.

First Base:

Adam Lind (TOR) vs. MIL: $3800 – Facing RHP Wily Peralta

The first game of the afternoon has a lofty O/U of 9.5 runs for good reason, as Brewers starter Wily Peralta could really struggle against the hard-hitting Blue Jays. Toronto will likely stack their lineup full of lefties, as LHB are sporting a .354 wOBA and slugging 1.31 HR/9 off Peralta. The Brewers RHP has done a good job of keeping the ball on the ground lately, but his 14.5% HR/FB ratio indicates that any line drives have a chance of flying out of the small confines of Toronto's domed stadium today. Lind has a .449 wOBA against righties because of his ability to put the ball on a line, and should be a solid play in all formats at this price.

Potential Values:

Chris Parmelee (MIN) is an extreme value at $2800. I wouldn't expect him to produce a ton of DK points against Jason Vargas' heavy sinker, but he's 4 for 10 against the LHP and has been producing steadily in the heart of the Twins lineup.

Late Slate: We don't know much about the Rangers fill-in starter, as Mikolas has very limited MLB experience as a reliever for the Padres. However, we do know that Steve Pearce ($4300) is crushing the ball with 3 HR in his last 2 games and is part of a surging Orioles offense that could make Mikolas' debut a rough start.

Second Base:

Anthony Rendon (WAS) vs. COL: $4600 – Facing LHP Tyler Matzek

Rendon added to his sterling resume against LHP last night as he tagged Christian Friedrich for an early RBI double and ended up producing 15 DK points in the win. He'll face a slightly better, but still inexperienced lefty in Tyler Matzek tonight, and remains a fantastic play as he's sporting a .414 wOBA against LHP this season. Matzek hasn't given up many HR in his 4 Major League starts, but he has a 4.24 ERA and is allowing batters to post a .347 wOBA on the road, so it will be surprising if he keeps the Nats off the scoreboard in their own stadium this afternoon.

Potential Values:

Rickie Weeks usually leads off for the Brew Crew when they faced LHP. At $3600, he's a decent GPP play considering he has power, and some great splits (7 for 14, 2 doubles, 2 HR) against Happ.

Late Slate: Dustin Pedroia ($4400) is finally hitting for average as he's batting .362 over the last two weeks. He's crushed LHP over the last few years and is probably the most prideful Red Sox player, so you can expect a gritty performance from The Laser Show in a game that Boston must win.

Third Base:

Aramis Ramirez (MIL) @ TOR: $5000 – Facing LHP J.A. Happ

The Brewers are facing a mediocre LHP and Ramirez is always a preferred play in that scenario. He has a .400 ISO against lefties this season, and that's far from a fluke as he's been crushing LHP for several years. Rogers Centre is a tough place to pitch, and Happ has already served up 7 HR in 6 home starts this season, so the slugging Brewers are more than capable of tagging him with a long ball or two in the earliest game of the day.

Potential Values:

Logan Forsythe (TB) is on fire right now as he slapped at least two hits for the fourth straight game last night. He's averaging 16.25 DK points during that span and walks into a plus matchup with weak LHP Vidal Nuno.

Josh Harrison didn't impress as the Pirates leadoff man last night, as he went 0 for 4. He should be back in the middle of their lineup as they host rookie RHP Chase Anderson tonight and remains a solid option at $3500.


Jose Reyes (TOR) vs. MIL: $4900 – Facing RHP Wily Peralta

See the section on Adam Lind, and notice Peralta's struggles against LHB. Reyes is a switch-hitter that is more effective on the left side of the plate, and he's been much better at home with a .314 average and 13 SB compared to a putrid .203 average and 3 SB on the road this season. With Joey Bats back in the lineup, Toronto has perhaps the most dangerous offenses in the league and it all starts with Reyes wreaking havoc as the leadoff man.

Potential Values:

Brad Miller (SEA) has produced DK points in 14 of his last 15 appearances and is 4 for 9 with 2 SB off Astros starter Brad Peacock. Give him a look at $3000 if you need to save.

Since the SS position is pretty barren tonight, I'd recommend punting with Mookie Betts ($2300) one more time. He's been pressing a little bit in his last two games, but hasn't face a LHP. He was hitting .385 against lefties in AAA this year and could definitely reach base against Travis Wood tonight.


Carlos Gomez (MIL) @ TOR: $4800 – Facing LHP J.A. Happ

Gomez will be an important part of any Brewers stack today, as he'll likely cleanup and bat between the dangerous John Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez. CarGo returned from a one-game absence to go hitless, but he drew a walk and swiped a bag last night. He's a dual threat that is usually a great safe play, but I feel he has more upside than usual due to the fact that Happ either implodes, or pitches great.

Billy Hamilton (CIN) @ SD: $4300 – Facing RHP Tyson Ross

Hamilton has been producing at a similar for about a month now, but remains priced slightly above 4K. As a .300 hitter (during that span) and the most dangerous base runner in the MLB, he's got tons of upside and should be considered at this price. Tyson Ross has been struggling a bit lately, and while the spacious confines of Petco Park will help him against the Reds' power hitters, a speedster like Hamilton could find the gaps in that outfield as he reaches base. If Yasmani Grandal, who has only thwarted 4 SB attempts this season, is behind the plate, I'd feel free to roll with Hamilton.

J.D. Martinez (DET) vs. OAK: $4200 – Facing RHP Jesse Chavez

Martinez is producing at an elite level over the last month and is stepping up in the absence of Victor Martinez as he slugged a HR out of the cleanup spot last night. Athletics starter Jesse Chavez has allowed more fly balls, and HR to RHB, and Martinez has showcased tremendous power off RHP. He should be a solid option at this price whether or not Victor can go this afternoon.

Late Slate:Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is a great safe play at $5500 as Chase Anderson has some terrible reverse-platoon splits this season. His teammate Gregory Polance ($4,000) should be back atop the Pirates lineup as well and is a good play in all formats.

Potential Values:

Logan Morrison (SEA) is hitting for plenty of power as the Mariners usual 5-hitter. That offense rolled over Jarred Cosart in the series opener and could be productive against RHP Brad Peacock today as well.

Sean Rodriguez (TB) is a known lefty-killer that could get a crack at Vidal Nuno today. At $2900 he's a decent GPP play that is also 2B eligible.

Johnny Gomes ($3200) should be in the Red Sox lineup against a LHP tonight. He's a risky play since he usually swings for the fences, and could get lifted in the middle innings once Wood leaves the game, but he has plenty of upside as he takes aim at the Green Monster this evening.

I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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