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You can’t make a mountain out of a mole hill, but you can make a…yeah that doesn’t work. Rich Hill will be the reason you win today.
Must Play SP: Rich Hill, LAD ($16,900) @ NYM
It’s taken two months for Hill to recover from what seemed to be either (1) the worst blister ever recorded, or (2) a strange case of chronic blistering. Either way, it looks like we finally have vintage Rich Hill back. During his recovery period, he tweaked his mechanics, which has helped his balance and transfer his weight towards the plate more effectively. He’ll bring his signature curve to Citi Field against a Mets team who’s last in the majors in wRC+ against LHP (except when I recommended Patrick Corbin, of course).
Honorable Mentions: Domingo German ($18,500), Chris Sale ($25,800)
Value SP: Adam Plutko, CLE($11,900) vs. DET
Plutko is competing for a final rotation spot with Shane Bieber, and seeing how strong Bieber’s outing was on Friday (7 IP, 9Ks, 0 ER), he’ll have to put on a strong performance to stay in contention. Plutko’s peripherals aren’t strong, but the Tigers have had one of the least productive offenses over the past week, so there’s an opportunity for a quality start without spending too much for it.
Honorable Mention: Paul Blackburn ($10,100)
IF: Jose Altuve, HOU ($9,900) vs. KC (Jason Hammel)
Mighty Mouse is punishing opposing pitchers this week: .697 wOBA, 2 HR, 3 2B. The only thing he doesn’t have that other top performers like Nelson Cruz and Odubel Herrera is the R+RBI total (7 for Altuve to their 16 and 14 respectively). Houston’s offense has cooled quite a bit since last week, but I still like the chance at getting some strong counting stats for Altuve as a “regression to the mean” for solid he’s been at the dish.
Honorable Mentions: Eugenio Suarez ($9,000), Ben Zobrist ($7,700)
OF: Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($8,900) @ CIN (Sal Romano)
The Cubs have been playing well lately, posting a team OPS of .835 over the past week. Schwarber has been one of the main contributors to that, slashing .222/.417/.722 in the same time frame. The AVG/SLG indicates how consistently hard Schwarber has been hitting the ball when he makes contact (the story of his career). Great American Ballpark is always friendly to hitters, so I’m comfortable slotting him in today.
Honorable Mention: Nomar Mazara ($8,100)
Value Hitter: Jesse Winker, CIN ($6,500) vs. CHC (Tyler Chatwood)
You don’t need a great batter’s eye to draw walks against Tyler Chatwood, who had identical K/9 and BB/9 before Tuesday’s game, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Winker is walking 14.9% of the time he comes to the plate, and given the wildness Chatwood brings, could lead to a lot of runs scored for Cincinnati. Winker is also slugging .583 this week, so you could get some sneaky production beyond his typical OBP skills.
Honorable Mention: Dominic Smith ($6,400)
Stack: Atlanta Braves vs. Baltimore Orioles
Johan Camargo, Kurt Suzuki, and Charlie Culberson are all priced under $7,000, and they all have wRC+ > 175 over the past week. All the projections and xStats indicate that David Hess should have an ERA closer to 6.00, and it’s already an appetizing 4.82. Chop On!