Let’s pause for a moment of silence…
Not because of the passing of two entertainment greats, WWE’s Chyna and music legend Prince (crazy though right?), but for my time at the top of our Expert Grading Rankings.
I think Tuesday’s output (and if tonight doesn’t go well) will doom me from making it a third straight week in first.
Not that I’m counting or anything, but let’s check out tonight’s slate of games, which features some potential for a huge night of scoring.
We have a game at Yankee Stadium, Rogers’ Centre, Coors Field, Chase Field, Great American Ballpark and Miller Park.
In terms of park factors, here’s how the top four stadiums rank:
- Coors Field (duh)
- Chase Field
- Miller Park
- Rogers Centre
Great American Ballpark is 8th and Yankee Stadium is 10th.
Only Sonny Grady (A’s at Blue Jays) and Jon Lester (Cubs at Cincy) are the only true aces on the mound in those six stadiums. The rest of the hurlers still have much to prove or have proven they are not the cream that rises to the top.
Anyway, I’ve sorted through the stats like confectioners sugar through a sifter to bring you my favorite options of the night.
Neil Walker – 2B – Mets – vs. Bud Norris
BvP: 9-for-23, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB
Analysis: The Mets have been on fire and tonight they get to take on one of my most hated pitchers in the majors (if you have been a reader since the beginning, you already know this). “ThunderFudd” Norris takes on one of the hotter teams in baseball and lefty Neil Walker gets a chance to add on to Norris’ 12 ER allowed this season. The Pittsburgh transfer is one of the hottest bats on his own team, accumulating 13 hits in his last 9 games, including a 4-hit effort in his last time out. I see no reason why he can’t continue to dominate at the plate against Norris’ current .403 wOBA vs. lefties.
Mike Trout – OF – Angels – vs. Felix Hernandez
BvP: 23-for-65, 3 2B, 2 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 5 BB, 1 SB
Analysis: Last year, Trout popped Felix for 2 of his 4 career homeruns. While Felix has typically owned the Angels in his career, there’s some startling signs we could be seeing the decline of the King. I wanted to recommend Felix as a PvB pitcher for tonight’s write-up, but Felix is not in good form (13 BBs in 3 starts) and I don’t care how bad the Angels are, if the King isn’t right and his velocity is down, those numbers won’t matter. So we turn our attention to Mike Trout who is starting to really swim strongly upstream. Trout has back-to-back multi-hit games and 8 hits in his past 6 games. Trout has yet to hit a long ball at home this season, so with BvP in play and a struggling Felix, I am making my call.
Alex Rodriguez – 3B – Yankees – vs. Matt Moore
BvP: 3-for-10, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB
Analysis: A-Rod can still hit lefties even in his 40s. Though Matt Moore may finally be turning things around and the Yankees are struggling to score runs, A-Rod is one of the few bats that is producing at the moment. Hitting in the middle of the order, this is more of a gut call coupled with some decent BvP numbers. A-Rod comes in with a four-game hitting streak, so I am banking on him feeling comfortable at the plate and seeing the ball well. This will be Moore’s first road game of the season in a stadium that is solid for run production, so perhaps A-Rod can capitalize on some early-game jitters.
Andrew McCutchen – OF – Pirates – vs. Patrick Corbin
BvP: 1-for-1, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Analysis: Yep, there’s not much BvP data in this one, but sometimes we don’t need much to recognize a solid play. Cutch against a lefty with a .355 wOBA vs. RH this season in the second-best stadium for run production. Move along people, this one is (almost) a guarantee.
Logan Forsythe – 2B and Evan Longoria – 3B – vs. C.C. Sabathia
Forsythe BvP: 6-for-15, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Longoria BvP: 24-for-64, 8 2B, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 13 BB, 1 SB
Analysis: Well I thought David Price was in a solid spot yesterday, then the Rays went apesh*t against him. The Rays are solid against lefties, but they really showed out yesterday in Fenway. Now, if they can’t put up some runs (4 or 5) against C.C., I might quit playing DFS for awhile. Sabathis isn’t in good form (or shape), so we have a two-man stack in this scenario with Forsythe and Longo. Forsythe has been batting leadoff for Tampa this season and Longo is still locked in at the 3-4 hole as usual. You can spend $6200 on both guys on FD for two-homer upside, totally worth it.
Jeff Samardzija – Giants – vs. Marlins
PvB: 16-for-76, 1 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 26 Ks
Analysis: Samardzija could be seeing a resurgence in San Fran after an awful 2015 campaign. Getting to pitch about half of his games at the best pitcher’s park in baseball certainly should help that. If you look at Jeff Alphabet’s current numbers, they aren’t anything great. His best output was surprisingly at Coors Field in the second game of the season. He struggled against the Dodgers last time out and got roughed up a bit against Milwaukee. I think all three of those teams are better than the Miami Marlins’ lineup, yes even Milwaukee who has been rather productive so far this season. The Giants’ lineup gives their pitchers a chance to win every night, especially at home where the G-Men thrive. The Marlins have drawn only three walks against Samardzija in 76 ABs, that’s either great pitching or terrible patience. If you are worried about Jeff allowing hits and walks anyway, you are definitely better off on FanDuel where only ER penalize pitchers. I certainly feel more comfortable playing pitchers there than on any other site.
Narrative: I stuck with Samardzija, Trout, Cutch and the Rays stack from my BvP above. I didn’t get as many Coors bats as I would’ve liked, but Joc Pederson and his upside and cheap price will suffice. Carlos Santana has 6 HRs against Verlander in his career. Though not an option on my board, I am using him for that possibility anyway. Gattis was cheap and at home against a shaky pitcher while Gyorko is strictly a punt against his old team. Good luck!