Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday!
We have a very healthy 10-game main slate on our hands today, with four pitchers being priced above $10k, and those being Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Michael Fulmer, and Jon Gray, but for tournaments, I like none of them. You’ll have to keep reading!
Instead, I wanted to talk about the Washington Nationals bats today against the extreme gas can that is Chad Kuhl, who owns a 5.67 SIERA, a 12.9% K-rate, a 7.9% SwK-rate, and a 31% GB-rate. But usually, I dive a little deeper in my articles, and see who has the better matchups, lefties or righties, and how they do against RHP’s. But here’s the catch, everyone is in play, and by everyone, I mean, everyone. I can’t list out the entire Nationals starting lineup, but look at the lefty-righty splits Kuhl has-
|vs. L||vs. R|
|xFIP: 6.45||xFIP: 5.64|
|K%: 10.8%||K%: 16.0%|
|BB%: 8.1%||BB%: 8.0%|
|wOBA: .407||wOBA: .376|
|Hard%: 40.0%||Hard%: 42.1%|
Yes, it seems like lefties have the advantage, but if this pitcher was good against lefty bats, then we would be firing up the righties with confidence. So if there are any Nationals bats you would want to roster, you won’t hear me complaining.
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Max Scherzer, SP: $13,800 – Scherzer comes to us as the de-facto Cash-Game Ace of the day, as Vegas has him at a ML of -231. Of course, we should already know how much K-upside this man possesses, as even signaled by his 32.9% K-rate, and his 15.00% SwK-rate. Pittsburgh is no push-over, but like I mentioned above, the Nationals offense should be hammering Chad Kuhl, and run support should not be an issue. I prefer John Lackey in GPP’s, but he’s the main pitcher today, so the case can be made in tourney’s as well, just expect some high ownership levels.
John Lackey, SP: $9,600 – While Scherzer, deGrom, and Michael Fulmer take the hill today, we should see Lackey drawing low ownership levels, and I absolutely love him in tournaments. Lackey will be facing the Rangers, and while they are not weak on any level (continuing to lower ownership levels), he has multi-K upside, with a 11.2% SwK-rate, and will not let things go out of control with a low HR/FB-rate and a BB-rate of only a 7.70%. He’s coming into Sunday the favorite (albeit with a ML of -131), and the Cubbies offense should be working as it always does. At a discount of the other guys, and the ability to do better than (except for Scherzer), I like what Lackey brings to the table in tournaments.
Michael Wacha, SP: $7,500 – Wacha is not one of the best pitchers today, but he has been slowly getting better, and should work as our #2 starter for today. Everything about Wacha today spells average, but we can definitely work with that in cash, and sometimes even in tournaments. He’ll be a healthy favorite with a ML of -142, to go along with his 4.20 SIERA (about league average), a 21% K-rate, a low walk-rate of only 7.5%, and a 46% GB-rate. He’s average, and could possibly give up 1-2 earned runs, but he should get us the win, with around 6 K’s along the way.
Jacob Turner, SP: $4,000 – If you’re getting really adventurous, and wanting a SP with possibly negative ownership levels, look to Turner. We aren’t looking for ace-numbers when we roster Turner, but this is what we have with him: he’ll likely get the win pitching aside a pure gas can in Jared Weaver, a solid offense behind him, and a chance to do actually pitch well, with a 4.19 SIERA (average, but that’s okay at $4k), 50% GB-rate, a 6.7% BB-rate, and a 10% HR/FB-rate, showing us he is likely to not give up multi-HR’s.
Wilson Ramos, C: $4,300 – As I mentioned above, all Nats’ bats are in play against the horrible Chad Kuhl, and in a position that is not so hot, Ramos comes out on top. He has done very well against RHP’s this year with only a 14.0% K-rate, a .191 ISO, a .407 wOBA, and a 155 wRC+
Victor Martinez, 1B: $3,900 -Martinez draws a great matchup against Yordano Ventura, who has not had the best of campaigns this year, with a 4.94 SIERA, and a 16% K-rate. He has done even worse against lefty bats with a 5.44 xFIP, 13.60% K-rate, a 12.20% BB-rate, a 31% Hard-rate, and a .335 wOBA given up. Meanwhile, Martinez owns a .206 ISO, 362 wOBA, and a 125 wRC+. Fire up with confidence.
Daniel Descalso, 1B/OF: $2,600 – If I had to bet all of my money on one player out of all of these guys I’m writing up to get on base, I’m putting it all on Descalso, and for this price, it is definitely a steal. He draws a great matchup against Julio Teheran, who is average in general, but not against lefty bats. Teheran owns a 5.51 xFIP, and a 36.60% Hard-rate, while Descalso has a 14% BB-rate, a .402 wOBA, and a 135 wRC+. Yes, he does not have power at all, but at this price with a multi-hit game almost a guaranteed, I will take the fact that he will not hit a HR. But will you?
Daniel Murphy, 2B: $4,900 – Even though he has missed some time due to a hamstring injury (will this lower ownership %? Maybe), the price is definitely worth it, as I mentioned above, all Nats’ bats are in play today against Chad Kuhl, and Murphy is the best of the bunch. He has completely owned RHP’s this year with only a 10.0% K-rate, a .256 ISO, a .425 wOBA, and a 167 wRC+. Fire him up in all formats, and with confidence, as he brings multi-HR upside to the table. He’s as much of a must-play as you can get.
Scooter Gennett, 2B: $3,700 – Gennett is in a great situation, as not only does Vegas believe that this game will get to a total of 9.0 runs, the Brewers face the ultimate gas can in Dan Straily. Straily has not done well this year, with a 4.97 SIERA, 9.3% SwK-rate, and a 34% GB-rate. He has also done worse against lefty bats, with a 6.13 xFIP, 14.3% K-rate, a 14.3% BB-rate, and a 30% Hard-rate. Batting towards the early-middle part of the lineup, Gennett is in prime positioning to drive in some runs.
Manny Machado, 3B/SS: $4,000 – Even though $4k is not cheap, it seems like a bargain for what Machado brings to the table today. He’ll face off against Jake Odorizzi, who has a 13.10% HR/FB-rate, and to righty bats, a 5.00 xFIP, a 35.10% Hard-rate, and a .341 wOBA. Meanwhile, Machado has owned RHP’s this year to the tune of a .254 ISO, a .387 wOBA, and a 141 wRC+. For those kinds of numbers, I will gladly only pay $4k for what a $4.5-$4.7k player should be.
Todd Frazier, 3B: $3,600 – The White Sox get a premium matchup against the gas can that is Jered Weaver, who has a 5.35 SIERA, a 13.50% K-rate, a 13% HR/FB-rate, and a 30% GB-rate. He has been even worse against righty bats with a 5.70 xFIP, a 14.10% K-rate, a 40% Hard-rate, and a .370 wOBA. Although Frazier does not have a good BB-rate or a good wOBA, he does bring a .237 ISO to the table, and should provide many points to us against Weaver.
J.J. Hardy, SS: $2,900 – A nice pivot away from Machado if you choose to use him at the SS position. Like I mentioned with his teammate, Hardy will face off against Jake Odorizzi, who has not pitched well, especially against righties this year. Batting towards the middle of the lineup, at sub-$3k, he should have plenty of opportunities to drive in some runs. And if you are into Game Theory at all, using Hardy as a one-off from the Orioles stack should be a unique way of going about things in tournaments.
Tyler Collins, OF: $2,700 – Like I mentioned above with Victor Martinez, Tyler Collins draws a very favorable matchup against Yordano Ventura, and in limited work this season, has mashed RHP’s with a .200 ISO. At this price for how consistenly he can put the ball out of play (in a good way), I will take it and not think twice. He should also go very low-owned.
Lonnie Chisenhall, OF: $3,600 – Vegas really believes that the Cleveland Indians offense as a whole should put up a plethora of runs, as the game has a Vegas Total of 9 runs scored. Chisenhall gets a very good matchup against Kyle Gibson, who on the year, has a 4.70 SIERA, a 12.2% HR/FB-rate, and against lefties, has a 4.57 xFIP, a 14% K-rate, and a 32.30% Hard-rate. Meanwhile, Chisenhall has done very well against RHP’s with a .357 wOBA and a 124 wRC+.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF: $4,000 – Definitely the chalk, and definitely a cash play, although you wouldn’t talk me out of it if you wanted to use him in tourneys. Gonzalez gets a nice matchup today against Julio Teheran, and like I mentioned above with Descalso, is average, but not against lefties. Gonzalez, however, is above-above average against RHP’s with a .230 ISO, a .412 wOBA, and a 142 wRC+. Fire him up with confidence in all formats.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
In the Cleveland-Minnesota game, there is a 42% chance of rain when first pitch is scheduled. It should clear out when the game moves on, but it is something to definitely monitor. Same thing applies to the Chicago-Texas game, as there is a 41% chance of rain, plus, it’s also very windy (as usual), with 10 mph winds coming in from the South. Other than that, there is not much else going on.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Like I mentioned above, Max Scherzer comes in as the favorite of the day with a ML of -231, with no one else remotely close. Yes, we have deGrom, but for the likes of Vegas, he isn’t a sure thing with a ML of -160. Aside from that, like I mentioned, Michael Wacha is a healthy favorite with a ML of -142 against the Miami Marlins. Looking at where to get our offenses from, we can see that the MIL-CIN, and CLE-MIN games both have a Vegas total at 9.0 total runs, with the DET-KCR game coming at 8.5 total runs.
Good, luck to everyone today, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday(‘s)!
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