The Astros are destroying the ball (unless the player’s jersey says “Bregman” on the back; no, my dynasty team isn’t frustrated at all). Everything Yordan hits is a nuke and the ‘Stros probably scored a financial coup signing him to “only” $116 million for the next six years. Kyle Tucker is still on pace for a 30-20 season. So why would I lead with Seattle LHP Robbie Ray (FD $9,500/DK $9,500) today?

Well, for one, there are only six games today, two of which are in serious jeopardy of being delayed or outright postponed by rain (looking at you, ARI/CIN and Streamonator’s top pick today, Hunter Greene, and TEX/CLE). The other is that over the last 30 days, Robbie Ray is 5th in baseball (20 IP minimum) in K%-BB% at 26.7%. Ray’s two biggest issues keeping him from repeating his Cy Young performance from 2021 are his walk rate (8.8%, up from 6.7% last year) and his LOB% (a ridiculous 90% last year, back down to a league-average 70%). *Most* everything else is fairly in line with last year and other career rates. If Robbie can make hitters earn their way on base by actually making contact, they’re far less likely to do so and thus come around to score at a normal-ish 30% rate. What about Ray’s devastating slider? It absolutely is devastating–he’s got a 25% swinging strike percentage on it, and batters chase it out of the zone 40% of the time. The problem? When he throws it in the zone and they *do* hit it, it leaves the park at an unbelievable rate–39%. That can’t keep up, and I’m willing to bet on Robbie Ray continuing his gains with control and some positive regression on his slider HR rate. Neither Yordan nor Tucker have poor splits vs LHPs so *insert fingers crossed emoji*. Plus, look at these other hurlers today; who else do you want to take a chance on? 

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Carlos Carrasco, SP: FD $8,500/DK $9,300 – It’s great to see Cookie overcome his cancer scare, baseball completely aside. But since this is a baseball site, let’s look there. Streamonator’s second-rated pitcher on the day, Carrasco has had a great year, tied for the MLB lead with six wins. His ratios are helping, and the underlying stats all support it. He’s got the Friars in San Diego, so if you’re looking for less risk than Ray assumes, this is your pivot.

M.J. Melendez, C/1B: FD $2,700/DK $4,000 – MJ is finding his way into the KC lineup almost every day, even with Sal Perez back from injury. In the last seven days, Melendez has nine hits. The counting stats haven’t been there with those hits, but the HC% and Barrel% are way above MLB averages, so you ride with him and trust that the counting results will come. 

Jared Walsh, 1B: FD $3,400/DK $3,600 – Walsh already has double-digit HRs this year, and has eight hits in the last seven days. He’s an almost-automatic play vs. RHPs and he’s welcoming righty Michael Wacha and his completely unsupported ERA/WHIP to Anaheim. If you see any twinkling in the California sky tonight, it’s probably just the Regression Fairies doing their thing.

Whit Merrifield, 2B: FD $3,400/DK $4,700 (but OF-only) – Whit took a lot of grief early in the year but May was a great month for him, and looks to be back to the Whit we all know and…well, let’s just leave it at the Whit we all know. Didn’t think I’d be backing a mini-KC stack today but desperate days call for desperate measures

Matt Chapman, 3B: FD $3,000/DK $3,900 – This is a two-pronged call today. Prong 1 is “Daniel Lynch is the opposing pitcher and has had an awful year, and Chapman homered yesterday” and Prong 2 is “My 11-year old daughter’s favorite player is Matt Chapman mostly because she screwed up his name a couple of years ago and called him Chat Mapman and no matter what I can’t stop saying that.” So if he doesn’t produce today, blame…yourself! Why would you listen to an 11-year-old girl about fantasy baseball? This ain’t a Squishmallows site, brother.

Bobby Witt Jr, SS: FD $3,500/DK $5,000 – Only two players with at least as many HRs as Witt Jr.’s seven HRs have as many steals as Witt does (8)–Kyle Tucker and Jazz Chisholm both have nine steals. There’s a lot of ugly-looking ratios for BWJ this year, but there’s a lot of counting stats goodness, too.

J.D. Martinez, OF: FD $3,700/DK $5,500 – JDM is 2nd in MLB in AVG, 7th in OBP, and 16th in SLG. The HC% and Barrel% have been below career norms, which is why he’s sitting at five HRs, but Noah Syndergaard’s velocity is way down and HC% is way up, so count on JDM hammering Thor tonight.

Teoscar Hernandez, OF: FD $3,700/DK $4,200 – Teoscar for one of the hottest hitters on the planet goes to…Hernandez and his 11 hits, .500 AVG and .900+ SLG the past seven days. Here to present him with his award is KC lefty Daniel Lynch, and there it goes over the LF wall…

Julio Rodriguez, OF: FD $3,300/DK $4,900 – He’s striking out almost 30% of the time, but he’s also leading the majors in steals with 16. His HC% has been above league average the last three weeks, and *somebody* for Seattle needs to be on here to support my lead SP tonight.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains

The slate is light enough as it is, with only six scheduled games. But two of them have real weather concerns–Arizona at Cincinnati, and Texas at Cleveland. @BallparkWeather has both of those games with delays likely, if not outright postponements, so I’m staying away from both of those games tonight and in my picks above, making the pickings even slimmer.


Doing Lines In Vegas

Take the under in SEA/HOU as Seattle has gone under in their last 7 games vs. AL West opponents. And Robbie Ray is pitching so of course the Astros will probably be shut out. *speak it into existence*