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The Snell of victory is intoxicating.
Early Slate (2:10 PM ET)
Must Play SP: Blake Snell, TB ($24,700) @ NYM
Snell has been as dominant as they come in his last three starts. He’s gone 7 innings in all three and is averaging 9 K’s per outing. You could point to his walks allowed as a signal he may be falling back into old Blake Snell habits, especially with the 7 walks against Houston, but he hasn’t been allowing many hits. The Mets are league worst against LHP this season, so expect 30+ points from Snell.
Honorable Mention: Corey Kluber ($23,100)
Value SP: Steven Matz, NYM ($12,200) vs. TB
Are the Rays a top 10 offense against LHP? Yes, yes they are. Are the Rays a bottom 10 offense over the past week? Yes. In fact, they are a bottom 5 offense. Matz has had 36 and 38 CSW (Called Strikes + Whiffs) in his last two outings, which sits right below Nick Pollack‘s threshold of 35% CSW for excellent starts. On the previous 5 starts not made at Coors Field, Matz is averaging 19.8 FPPG. Other names that average near 20 FPPG: Noah Syndergaard, Jose Berrios, J.A. Happ. You’ll never see those guys around $12,000.
Honorable Mention: Anibal Sanchez ($11,800)
IF: Willson Contreras, CHC ($8,600) vs. CIN (Matt Harvey)
Contreras has been on a tear. He leads all batters in this slate in batting average over the last 10 days at .448, and is top 5 in wRC+ in the same time frame. He has almost as many extra base hits as singles, his teammates have helped him out in the R and RBI department. The Cubs rank #1 in offensive production over the past 10 days, so this could be the end of Harvey’s surge.
Honorable Mentions: Jurickson Profar ($8,500), Francisco Lindor ($11,100)
OF: Aaron Hicks, NYY ($9,400) @ TOR (J.A. Happ)
Ohhhhhh, ohhh, oh. Come on, oh, yeah. The Aaron Hicks we saw in the first half of last year has returned! 5 home runs in 8 games is an incredible feat, and in Happ he’s facing a LHP, which he’s been mashing all season (1.001 OPS). Also take into consideration that Happ’s last two starts haven’t been strong, and it looks like it’s time to pump up the world.
Honorable Mentions: Avisail Garcia ($7,300), Matt Olson ($8,100)
Value Hitter: Jedd Gyorko, STL ($6,800) @ SF (Jeff Samardzija)
It’s Samardzija’s first start since May 29th, so we can expect a DLH, especially since Samardzija has not had it together all season. Gyorko is the only player who ranks in the top 5 of wRC+ this week to have over 15 plate appearances, which is a testament to how consistently strong he’s been at the plate. A home run for Gyorko shouldn’t be expected since he only has 7 on the season, but if anyone is going to give one up, it would be Samardzija.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Tucker ($6,500), Jose Bautista ($6,500)
Stack: Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox (James Shields)
Kyle Tucker was called up as I was writing this blurb, and the Astros top prospect is available for $6,500. Maybe my excitement for his first game has my judgment skewed, but Shields is very prone to poor starts and the Astros have 9 batters with wRC+ 118 or higher over the last 10 days. Names not included in those 9: Jose Altuve, George Springer, Marwin Gonzalez. Keep an eye on the starting lineup now that Tucker is up though, as I’m not sure who will sit today.
Honorable Mention: Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds
Late Slate (7:15 PM ET)
SP: Robbie Ray, ARI ($18,000) vs. SD
Ray is coming off of a 6 ER outing against the Cardinals, but most of the damage came in the first inning. He still had 7 Ks in the outing, and his SIERA/xFIP were 3.11/3.20 respectively for the game. He will face a Padres team that ranks 23rd on the year against LHP and 26th in offensive production within the last 10 days, so I’d expect Ray’s stat line to look more like his first game off the DL with (fingers crossed) 7+ Ks.
Honorable Mention: David Price ($17,700)
IF: Yasmani Grandal, LAD ($9,700) @ LAA (Deck McGuire)
The Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball right now (they have 5 hitters with wRC+ over 200 this week), and Grandal has led the charge with a 335 wRC+ this week. He’s been very disciplined at the plate, 6 walks to 2 strikeouts this week, with twice as many xBH as singles. McGuire’s only pitched 16 innings at the major league level this season, and there’s a reason for that. Look for Grandal and the Dodgers to tee off.
Honorable Mention: Xander Bogaerts ($9,100)
OF: Matt Kemp, LAD ($9,000) vs. LAA (Deck McGuire)
Yeah, it’s another Dodger. There’s only one other OF who ranks in the top 10 for wRC+ in the past week that doesn’t play for the Dodgers, and Kemp ranks atop the list of players who quailfy for OF. He went 2-for-4 last night, and in the three games prior went 0-for-4, 5-for-5, and 3-for-4. He can definitely put up another multi-hit game against McGuire, which could log a 25+ point performance if they’re xBH’s.
Honorable Mention: J.D. Martinez ($10,400)
Value Hitter: Austin Hedges, SD ($5,600) vs. ARI (Robbie Ray)
There are a lot of strong SPs in this slate, so finding a value hitter I’m confident in wasn’t easy to come by. Hedges is one bad game away from falling below the Mendoza line, but has performed better against LHP than RHP over the course of the season. In his last 20 plate appearances, Hedges has been 75% better than average, with 3 xBH and a 1.011 OPS.
Honorable Mention: JT Riddle ($5,500), Brian Anderson ($6,400)
Stack: Boston Red Sox vs. Kansas City Royals (Brad Keller)
Similar to the Astros, the Red Sox best hitters over the past week exclude two big names: Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers. The Dodgers have been steamrolling opponents, but in a small slate that will really skew their prices. The Red Sox have been 36% better than average over the past week, and guys like Steve Pearce, Jackie Bradley Jr., Eduardo Nunez, and Brock Holt are all available for under $7,500. Keller’s last pair of outings have been really strong, but I don’t think he’ll keep the Boston in check.