Phillies starter Vince Velasquez has quietly put a clean 1.99 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings this year. He has a tremendous opportunity tonight against the Tigers, who struck out 14 times in their last game against Reynaldo Lopez – they now have the fourth-highest K-rate against righties at 26.6%. Their .288 wOBA is also one of the worst in baseball, as if you needed any evidence that a team batting Jeimer Candelario leadoff is bad. Unless you’re going to pay up for one of Trevor Bauer or Blake Snell, Velasquez is my favorite option at starting pitcher.
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Griffin Canning, SP: $6,100 – Canning is an interesting GPP play at this price in his debut against Toronto. The Blue Jays have the second-highest K-rate in the league against righties at 27.1%, so Canning could pop off here. Of course, there’s always risk in rolling with a guy in his debut, but he’s quite advanced and could be an immediate impact arm.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B: $4,100 – H to the Rizzo seems to always start the year cold, although a 115 wRC+ is only bad for his standards. He gets to face Felix Hernandez, who I am not convinced is suddenly good after five starts, so Rizzo should see plenty of run and RBI chances batting third for the Cubs.
Jose Altuve, 2B: $3,900 – I’d love to recommend an Astros stack against Michael Pineda, but it’s going to be tough to afford many of them. Even if you’re playing Altuve as a standalone, or just pairing him with a teammate, he should provide plenty of production from Houston’s two-hole.
Manny Machado, 3B: $3,600 – Machado is away from Petco and facing Julio Teheran, owner of a 5.40 ERA and a 1.42 HR/9. This may be one of your last chances to buy low on Machado, as his price only continues to rise.
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