If you are playing this fun little afternoon slate, let me reintroduce you to Casey Mize who brings a rejuvenated splitter and increased velocity on his fastball to this matchup. Those ingredients lead to more and more Ks. I will also be considering rostering the Orioles, a dangerous team for sure, but especially being in Fenway Park during the day.

When looking at these large slates, there is a tendency to want to identify “sure things” which often takes into account recent performances and small samples of data. Continue to analyze the data properly (mathematically) and use data to remove your own bias from the equation. For example, take a look at the mismatch in the Bronx between MIA and NYY.  Puk may figure things out at some point this season, but he is going to be forced to figure out his command in a tough environment at Yankee Stadium which will not lend well to his control issues. He has an outlandish SIERA and xFIP, good predictors at this stage of at least his near-term ability.

George Kirby (3.86 SIERA) still looks fine despite his most recent debacle and Cole Ragans (3.02 SIERA) will likely give HOU some difficulties in the scoring department despite their potent lineup.

Adrian Houser (1.8 ERA vs 5.8 SIERA) is not going to be able to contain ATL. ARI gets another chance to post a “had to have it” stacked score in the Colorado game. Carlos Rodon faces an anemic MIA offense, but perhaps it’s a sneaky spot considering Rodon’s early performance (2.79 ERA vs. 5.60 SIERA). You think Christian Javier has really turned it around (0.00 ERA) or do his HR problems crop back up (5.41 SIERA)? There will be plenty of expensive pitchers and expensive offenses. I think it is best to find a team to stack 5 players from on today’s slate, taking advantage of the lower salaried players on a team to help you fill out a lineup with all of the big bats and ace pitchers. It requires a little luck, but when teams pop off for 10+ runs everyone gets in on the action.

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Zack Wheeler, SP: $9,600 – After all the pitching injuries, we are only left with a few true aces and Wheeler neatly fits that bill. He is tops in the league in SwK% and his control is impeccable. Wheeler has an ability to battle when he doesn’t have his best stuff and often still goes deep in the game. He’s a great play on a large slate where you can’t afford to roster a bad start.

Nate Eovaldi, SP: $8,800 – I wish I could give you something a bit more off the radar, but Eovaldi has been cruising so far this year. It looks like his pitch mix has morphed into something he has some good consistency with and it doesn’t hurt that he gets to face the A’s at his pitcher-friendly home ballpark behind a great offense.

Sal Perez, C: $4,300 – I would rather not pay up at the C position, but Perez is not really a C. He plays 1B and DH and you can get him at the C position. He fits in nicely to a KC stack and has some of the best power numbers amongst Cs that we have to roster today. 

Matt Olson, 1B: $5,900 – Duh! The matchup is great and he hits like 50 HRs a year, so why can’t he pop two today. Not much analysis is needed of the player, but in large slates, you need guys who can separate you from the pack and I believe Olson could be that player tonight.

A Player, 2B: $cheap – Just a reminder that this is my article and I can do what I want with it. I can’t identify any great 2B yet, so what I plan to do is wait until lineups come out and choose a 2B who is given a lineup boost or who fits into a stack I am playing. 

Jake Burger, 3B: $4,200 – Some of the earliest predictive data we have is Barrel Rate and Max EV, both areas where Burger has always excelled and has done a decent job of this year as well. Yankee Stadium is a big upgrade for the MIA team and Rodon is a hittable SP at this point.

Bobby Witt, SS: $6,100 – Witt has some fantastic underlying metrics so far this year, he is facing a beatable pitcher who can be quite homer prone, and there are not a lot of top tier options at SS today. Sign me up!

MJ Melendez, OF: $3,400 – Wait, what??! He’s still that cheap? His hard hit data is off the charts and he is controlling the strike zone better than he ever has. I have no qualms about this play.

Michael Harris, OF: $4,400 – The player is well priced and hitting in the middle of a lineup that should have some success tonight. Harris is an accumulator that will often do something solid to contribute on nights when ATL has a good matchup. Add him with confidence to Braves stacks.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Luckily, the rain in the ATL game is supposed to taper off and allow them to “Play Ball!” this evening. No other real weather spots of note.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Looking at Vegas lines you could probably guess what I will highlight here. I think Christian Javier is getting far too much credit for his 0.00 ERA so far and that KC, behind Cole Ragans, could pose a real threat to the Astros tonight. I also think the line in Yankee Stadium is too low. MIA is not very good offensively, but with Puk and Rodon both being prone to a blowup start, I think that total should go over the 8 that I am currently seeing.

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