Top SP: Chris Sale, BOS at BAL
I think it’s safe to stop worrying about Chris Sale after his last start, where he struck out 10 against the White Sox in six scoreless innings. Sale now has 28 strikeouts in his past 18 innings—with only four earned runs—and should continue to shove against the Orioles. Baltimore’s lineup has just a .296 wOBA against lefties this year, and Sale can easily get a win against Andrew Cashner. While Sale an expensive starter, he’s a worthwhile investment.
Honorable Mentions: Clayton Kershaw vs. ATL; Kyle Hendricks vs. MIA.
OF Nick Senzel, CIN at OAK (LHP Brett Anderson)
Nick Senzel‘s electric fantasy skill set has already been on display through the first five games of his career, with three homers, one steal, and four walks. Because the Reds are facing a lefty, Senzel will be in a valuable spot batting leadoff. He will be able to maximize his number of plate appearances atop the lineup and is in a great position to score some runs against A’s starter Brett Anderson. Anderson has a 4.71 deserved run average and a 5.19 SIERA, so he will likely regress significantly from his current ERA.
Honorable Mentions: OF Max Kepler at TOR (RHP Trent Thornton); OF Joc Pederson vs. ATL (RHP Mike Foltynewicz).
3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR vs. MIN (RHP Kyle Gibson)
Unlike Senzel, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t gotten off to the start that fantasy players were hoping for. However, considering his minor league track record and pedigree, I still think Guerrero Jr. should start hitting soon. He has an outstanding opportunity at home in hitter-friendly Toronto against Kyle Gibson, owner of a 4.68 ERA. Vladdy still bats fifth for the Jays, a spot where he can rack up RBI.
Honorable Mentions: 1B Mitch Moreland at BAL (RHP Andrew Cashner); 1B Justin Smoak at MIN (RHP Kyle Gibson).
Value Bat: OF Kyle Schwarber, CHC vs. MIA (RHP Jose Urena)
I like Kyle Schwarber as a cheap power flier in GPP contests against Jose Urena. Urena has a 5.45 ERA with a 1.59 HR/9, so Schwarber has a solid shot at taking him deep or getting on base. Consider pairing Schwarber with some of his more expensive teammates.
Honorable Mentions: OF Ian Desmond vs. SF (LHP Derek Holland); 2B Starlin Castro at CHC (RHP Kyle Hendricks).
Lineup Stack: Giants at Rockies (RHP Jon Gray)
The Giants have one of the worst lineups in the league, but any team is worth considering when they’re in Coors Field, baseball’s supreme offensive environment. Opposing starter Jon Gray has a 4.66 FIP and is susceptible to getting shelled at home. San Francisco has plenty of affordable bats including Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, and Joe Panik to stack.
Honorable Mentions: Cubs vs. Marlins (Urena).