Today’s slate shares some similarities with last week’s slate in it’s straightforwardness. However, whereas the simplicity of last week’s slate caused it to be incredibly boring and not worth playing, I’m not sure that’s the case this week. The reason why is that there’s some actual decisions here, ones where there may not be an obvious answer. The short version of it is this – because Justin Verlander is the overwhelmingly obvious cash pitcher, you’re not going to be able to afford that many high end bats. However, the two teams that are in the juiciest spots for offense today – the Yankees and the Red Sox, are both filled with a lot of high end bats. You probably can only afford one of Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Giancarlo Stanton – which one do you choose? Or, do you fade all three altogether to try to get two of three from the next tier (such as Benintendi or Andujar).
On to the picks…
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Justin Verlander, P: $11,200 – 33.1% strikeouts, 4.5% walks. Yeah, he’s good. Play him. If you’re also looking for another reason to play him, the Angels bottom of the order is about as bad as a lineup can be and not be in the NL.
German Marquez, P: $8,500 – The Padres suck, Marquez has 25.1% strikeouts and 7.7% walks and 47.3% ground balls. None of those numbers are elite, but combined, they are a good pitcher and instead of pitching in Coors, he gets to face San Diego in San Diego. Yes, please.
New York Yankees – Francisco Liriano is a straight up jabroni. He’s got 17.3% strikeouts and 13.4% walks on the year and his once vaunted ground ball ability is now down to 46.3%. Versus righties, these numbers drop to 16.8% strikeouts and 14% walks and 43.2% ground balls. With the Yankees projected to throw 9 righties at Liriano, this has all the makings of a big time offensive day for the Yankees. You can literally play any Yankees player and it’s a solid play. Luke Voit batting 4th at his salary is a must play on this slate and it’s just going to be a matter of lineup construction as to who else you want to play. Also, no matter how disappointing the season seems for Giancarlo Stanton, he’s still murdering vs lefties with a .443 wOBA.
Boston Red Sox – Lucas Giolito is similar to Liriano, except he throws with his right hand instead. He’s got 16.1% strikeouts and 11.7% walks and 43.2% ground balls. Lefties love facing Lucas, where he’s got 13.2% strikeouts, 12.3% walks and 39.2% ground balls. Even given the splits, Betts (.426 wOBA) and JD Martinez (.453 wOBA) are still the best plays, but they also the most expensive. Mitch Moreland (.346 wOBA) is pretty much a lock at $3,000, given the slate and Andrew Benintendi (.388 wOBA) is an excellent play. I never want to pay for Bogaerts, but given who they are playing, he’s still a good GPP play. And Eduardo Nunez is very cheap and this is a slate where there isn’t a ton of value, he’s a fine play. And if the Red Sox randomly bump Ian Kinsler up to 2nd – that makes Kinsler an amazing play.
Adam Duvall, OF: $2,000 – Duvall is a free square if he’s playing. Montgomery isn’t someone we usually love to pick on, but Duvall at $2,000 is great value.
Marcus Semien, SS: $2,500 – A .335 wOBA vs lefties and a 114 wRC+ for $2,500 is solid value on a day we’re looking for value to afford Verlander and the higher end bats and spots. The hope is he bats at the top of the lineup instead of Martini, which would make him a virtual lock.
Travis Jankowski, OF: $2,200 – Jankowski isn’t great, but you’re looking for value, and you can do worse than $2,200 for a leadoff hitter with platoon advantage who can also steal a base.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
New York might have some rain, but it’s also going to be warm.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Seeing as how Giolito doesn’t kill righties or do anything that well, I’d take the over of 9 in Chicago.