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OwnersBox – Early slate (4 games) – starts at 2:04 p.m. EDT / Main slate (8 games) – starts at 7:04 p.m. EDT
DK – Early slate (4 games) – starts 2:05 p.m. EDT / Main slate (8 games) – starts at 7:05 p.m. EDT
FD – Early slate (5 games) – starts 1:40 p.m. EDT / Main slate (8 games) – starts at 7:05 p.m. EDT
Some trouble brewing in the Bronx for CLE@NYY that has the potential to turn into a PPD and mild delay concerns for TOR@BOS and SEA@OAK.
Pitching (Early Slate)
A short early slate, but one that is peppered with interesting matchups, including the much anticipated debuts of Brandon Pfaadt and Gavin Stone. Like Nick Pollack, I am not a fan of running out pitchers making their debut. But if I had to pick one, I think I’d have to go with Pfaadt.
Seth Lugo looks like the safest option out there, going against a bad Reds lineup (72 wRC+ this season). The revamped starter has been just meh lately in road starts against Arizona and the Cubs, but I think he will turn it around at home against Cincinnati. Outside of Jonathan India, nobody in this Reds lineup really scares me and Michael Wacha and Blake Snell easily handled them. Plug in Lugo, especially in cash lineups.
People may not be in on Aaron Nola because of his matchup against the Dodgers and so-so recent form, but I am taking the chance on him. Sure the Dodgers are coming off back-to-back 13 run performances, but that was against Taijuan Walker and Matt Strahm.
Nola faced another scary lineup in his last start in Houston and pitched 8 innings of 1-run ball. There still seems to be more in the tank as well as his curveball hasn’t been quite as good as we are used to.
What you also get with Nola is practically a guarantee that he will pitch at least 6 innings so regardless of how dominant his form is, he is going to accumulate fantasy points for you. A risky play against Los Angeles for sure, but sometimes you need to take a leap and I’ll take that with a reliable starter like Nola.
San Francisco features a lefty-heavy lineup and I will continue to target LHP against them, especially when that pitcher is Framber Valdez. The Giants are sporting a 75 wRC+ and 29.3 K% and outside of that crazy Mexico City game, their offense hasn’t been anything special. Framber has been a virtual lock for 7 innings of late and I’m very confident in his ability to go deep and put up a very good fantasy outing this afternoon.
Hitting (Early Slate)
As I stated earlier, I am not a fan of playing rookies making their debut. Outside of Bryce Miller last night, there just aren’t that many outstanding debuts. The Phillies lineup has been scuffling a bit of late, but you have to think the addition of Bryce Harper would light a fire under these guys. When you insert the former MVP this lineup becomes very deep with Brandon Marsh and his .326/.410/.620 batting 8th.
Gavin Stone is certainly an exciting young prospect but I’m not sure he has the stuff and poise yet to consistently get the likes of Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Nick Castellanos, J.T. Realmuto and Bryson Stott out multiple times through the order. Gimme all the Phillies in this one.
Poor Luis Cessa has been picked on a bunch this year and unfortunately for him that is not changing today. Speaking of superstars that have returned, Fernando Tatis Jr. has been excellent since slotting back into the top of the Padres lineup.
The four-headed monster of him, Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Xander Bogaerts at the top of the lineup with be tough for Cessa to handle. Matt Carpenter, Jake Cronenworth and Trent Grisham are lefty bats towards the bottom of the lineup that can hit for some pop and provide solid value here.
Other bats worth mentioning:
- Pete Alonso has been downright incredible this season and against LHP Joey Wentz I could easily see him hitting one or more home runs today.
- You can find some solid value in the Texas lineup against the rookie Pfaadt, including Jonah Heim at C, Ezequiel Duran at 2B/SS, and Nathaniel Lowe at 1B, who have all found their way into the top 30 of wRC+ in baseball over the last two weeks.
Hitter Pricing 5-3-23
We are going to start off the main slate with our dart throw for the evening in JP Sears. What version of Sears are we going to get here: the thriving 80’s version that struck out 11 Rangers in 6 innings a couple starts ago, or the modern bankrupt version that gave up 6 ERs to the Angels in 4.1 innings last start.
The Mariners are not great against lefties (82 wRC+ and 26.9 K%) and Sears actually had two good starts against the team last year (1 ER in 10 innings with 10 strikeouts). I am willing to take a chance on Sears here as he looks like he provides the highest upside of the value pitcher plays.
Most of the other starters here are just iffy, so I am going with the clear aces of this slate in Dylan Cease and Shohei Ohtani. Cease has to be thrilled to be pitching against anyone other than the Rays, as he failed to pitch more than 4 innings in each of his two starts against baseball’s best team.
Cease hasn’t found the form that he was in last year but it’s coming, and I can see him turning it around tonight. This is definitely a dangerous Twins lineup, but Michael Kopech was able to stymie them last night and Cease certainly has the ability to dominate any lineup on any given night. I want to be there when he finally does turn it around, so I’ll be plugging him in and hoping that tonight is that night.
Baseball’s best player, Ohtani will also be looking for a bit of a bounceback when he takes the mound on Wednesday against the Cardinals. Ohtani somehow allowed 5 ERs over 6 innings against Oakland, despite surrendering just 3 hits. That performance does not concern me one bit and considering he threw 7 shutout innings in each of his last two full starts, I’ll defer to those results when making my decision tonight.
St. Louis has struggled with the bats over the last week (74 wRC+), averaging just 2.5 runs per game in their last 8 games. Plain and simple, when Ohtani is out there you play him.
Pitcher Pricing 5-3-23
Wait, you’re telling me there’s ANOTHER pitcher making his MLB debut on Wednesday? Not nearly the heralded prospect that Pfaadt or Stone are, Jake Irvin will be taking the mound for Washington on Wednesday, and that means the Cubs batters are very much in play.
Cody Bellinger is starting to play somewhat like his former MVP self and he forms a formidable top half of the lineup with Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki.
Patrick Wisdom has cooled off a bit since his scorching start to the season, but the co-leader in baseball in HRs is always a threat to go deep. Considering Irvin was pitching to a 5.30 xFIP in AAA, I think it could be a rough debut for him against a surprisingly stout Cubs lineup.
The Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles have two of the more intriguing young lineups in baseball, and tonight they each face a crafty veteran in Zack Greinke and Kyle Gibson. These teams combined for 18 runs last night, and I’m taking the chance that they can run the score up again. There are just too many intriguing bats scattered across these two lineups.
Ryan Mountcastle broke out with another 2 HR game last night and Adley Rutschman continued to show why he’s already one of the best catchers in the game with a 4-hit outing. You already know what Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander can do, and Jorge Mateo has been a fantasy point stud so far this season with his power/speed combo.
I am a little less confident in the Royals’ bats, but Salvador Perez has been very hot of late and Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino are a fun 1-2 punch in front of him. MJ Melendez finally showed some pop with a HR on Tuesday and Edward Olivares can provide points in a number of different ways.
Gibson allowed 8 hits to a weak Detroit lineup last time out and Greinke has allowed at least 2 HRs in 3 of his last 4 starts. Look for the Orioles and Royals to duplicate their offensive performances from Tuesday night.
Other bats worth mentioning:
- Feel free to run any of the RHH bats in Coors against Eric Lauer and Kyle Freeland. I am looking at Willy Adames, Brian Anderson and William Contreras for Milwaukee and Kris Bryant and C.J. Cron for Colorado.
- Still not 100% sold on Alek Manoah being back, and the Red Sox bats have been hot lately. Of particular interest is the lefty OF trio of Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran and Alex Verdugo, who rank in the top 35 in wRC+ in the Majors over the past two weeks.