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Optimal lineup today has Matz starting, but also avoids starting hazmats.
Must Play SP: J.A. Happ, TOR ($19,700) vs. DET
Last time out against Detroit, Happ threw five innings, allowed four runs, and struck out eight batters. The 10 days prior to that outing, the Tigers scored the 7th most runs and had the 4th highest OPS. This time around, Detroit is 29th in runs and 30th in OPS. On aggregate, the Tigers have the 6th highest OPS against LHP, so there’s a chance this is the game Detroit starts turning things around at the plate, but I prefer the odds of Happ having a dominant outing.
Honorable Mention: Charlie Morton ($23,800)
Value SP: Steven Matz, NYM ($13,900) @ MIA
Matz’s game 15 day ERA and June ERA look decent at first glance, but it’s not something overly impressive. Look a little closer, and you’ll see he pitched at Coors Field against a Rockies team that has the 4th highest OPS against LHP this season. Throw out the game in Colorado, and Matz has a 3.09 ERA in June with a BB/9 (2.40) that’s closer to what we’ve seen the past few years. Matz also leads the league Zone %, which should translate to a high K and IP count against the league’s worst offense vs. LHP.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Zimmermann ($13,000)
IF: Ozzie Albies, ATL ($8,600) @ STL (John Gant)
I don’t know how there are 23 IF eligible players priced higher than Albies for today, but I’m not gonna complain about it. Albies is 7th in wRC+ over the last 10 days, and 32/38 at-bats have come against RHP, so his performance isn’t being skewed by mashing lefties (his OPS is .079 higher against LHP than RHP). I’m putting Albies in every lineup today.
Honorable Mention: Javier Baez ($9,000)
OF: Jason Heyward, CHC ($7,500) vs. MIN (Lance Lynn)
I never would have thought I’d be suggesting Jason Heyward as a hitter you can bank on, but my goodness has he been good lately. He’s been batting second, carrying a .980 OPS in his last 44 plate appearances and the second most runs scored in baseball over the last 10 days. Lance Lynn also has a 1.7o WHIP in his last two starts, so Heyward should definitely get on base a few times in today’s game.
Honorable Mention: Nicholas Castellanos ($8,500)
Value Hitter: Josh Reddick, HOU ($6,600) @ TB (Blake Snell)
I’m surprised to discover that Reddick is hitting lefties better than he is righties this year, as he’s 17% below average against lefties for his career. Reddick has been getting on base at a really high clip lately (.414 OBP), but 80% of that is coming by way of singles. If you want a potential low cost power bat, take Reddick’s teammate Jake Marisnick; I’m just more comfortable with Reddick’s consistency holding up against one of the game’s best pitchers.
Honorable Mentions: Jake Marisnick ($5,500), Manny Pina ($6,700)
Stack: Texas Rangers vs. Chicago White Sox (Reynaldo Lopez)
Every underlying metric suggests that Lopez is outperforming expectations. He has a 5.18 SIERA on the season, and some of his game scores have been under 20, so he’s prone to massive implosions. The Rangers have three players with a wRC+ 70% or more above average, and another tw0 that are at least 20% above average in the last 10 days. Robinson Chirinos is $1,400 more expensive than he was yesterday (wow), but you can still get him, Joey Gallo, and Adrian Beltre for less than $23,000.
Honorable Mention: Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins