Happy Tuesday everyone!
Now that the monstrosity of April Fool’s Day is behind us, we can strictly focus on baseball without having to wonder if any breaking news we see come across our news and social media feeds is fake news.
I saw a plethora of “breaking news” blurbs, tweets and images that were all inspired for April Fools. Funny though, it’s the one day a year where people actually question the legitimacy of the news they are seeing whereas people tend to believe whatever they see nowadays without any research the other 364 days of the year.
Hope April Fool’s provided your bankrolls with more than fool’s gold and you can put that into today’s 10-game main slate.
The Yankees, Tigers, Brewers and Reds all play earlier than the 6:05 p.m. central lock time, so get your action in those games if you wish. We will concentrate on the pitching-loaded main slate. Let’s get rolling.
P.S. The Value Index will be free the rest of the week. After that trial, you will need to become a subscriber to access full content.
Zack Greinke – at San Diego Padres – $7,600
Analysis: I feel like I’ve started the season out hot with pitching recommendations, but the bats haven’t quite come around yet. The beginning of the season is tougher to pick out the right hitter combinations than others because of variance and the excitement around the season, and not to mention you just don’t know how a team is going to perform right out of the gate. Tonight we have a ton of stud pitching options who I will rotate in and out of my lineups. All of them will be paired with Mr. Zack Greinke, who is priced waaaaay down in a premium matchup against the Padres, who aren’t striking out like teams of the past, but they have really struggled offensively out of the gate, sporing a paltry .280 wOBA and .085 ISO against righties. Greinke got roughed up against the Dodgers, but they are hot out of the gate and the Padres just aren’t the Dodgers, especially in that monstrous San Diego ballpark.
Kike Hernandez – 2B – Los Angeles Dodgers – $3,900
Analysis: Loved Kike last night and he wound up leading off against Drew Pomeranz. Kike is the man against Bumgarner, who we still aren’t sure is back to his old ways or truly in decline. In his career against Bumgarner, Kike is 19 for 39 with 5 doubles, 4 home runs and 8 RBIs. Bumgarner has been an elite pitcher in the past, but with some injuries last year, Bumgarner owned a 4.56 xFIP, 43% hard contact allowed and a .259 BABIP. All signs point to some regression for Bumgarner this season. Kike owned a .335 wOBA and .185 ISO against lefties last season.
Dee Gordon – 2B – Seattle Mariners – $3,900
Analysis: Seattle has been putting up runs to start this season and they have a solid, consistent 1 through 9. They have so much depth that Dee Gordon has been hitting out of the 9-hole while Mallex Smith has been leading off against right-handed pitching. Tonight they draw Trevor Cahill, whose mix of offspeed and mid-90s fastballs can be tricky to navigate. But Gordon has had a lot of success against Cahill, and this play is mostly the stolen base upside that comes with Gordon and the next guy on this list. Gordon is 7-for-20 against Cahill with 4 steals. All he has to do is get on base and Gordon is almost a sure bet to attempt to swipe a bag.
Mallex Smith – OF – Seattle Mariners – $4,100
Analysis: For the same reasons I love Gordon, I love pairing Mallex with him, especially if they are the 9-1 hitters in the lineup. Mallex owned a .335 wOBA against RH pitching a season ago. Pairing him with Gordon is a ministack with upside for steals and some hit and run opportunities.
Freddy Galvis – SS – Toronto Blue Jays – $3,800
Ananlysis: The lone Blue Jay actually hitting the ball is one Freddy Galvis, who sent another ball over the fence yesterday. He’s hitting out of the 9 hole, but is a switch hitter who is almost certainly not to get subbed for any platoon infielders. He’s a tournament play with upside against a noodle-armed Andrew Cashner, who most certainly will draw ownership toward the Blue Jays for a second night in a row. Galvis will be one of those guys not drawing much attention, unless he moves up into a premium spot in the order. While his average and wOBA didn’t flash much upside last season, Galvis did have a 40% hard contact rate against RH pitching last season. Hitting at home in a hitter-friendly park gives a nice bump to Galvis.
Ketel Marte – 2B/OF – Arizona Diamondbacks – $4,000
Analysis: I called it yesterday that Matt Strahm was most certainly overpriced for an unproved pitcher. And he got rocked. The Padres will throw Eric Lauer, a young gun with more tread on the tires. The Diamondbacks are not who they have been in the past, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t some pop in the lineup. Marte is that pop. He led the team a year ago in wOBA against southpaws at .408, sported a .263 ISO and 42% hard contact rate.
Michael Brantley – OF – Houston Astros – $4,500
Analysis: The wonderful Shelby Miller is back in our lives and once again the Astros will be chalk. While I want to roster Josh Reddick and I might have a share or two, it’s Brantley who I really want to target against the sputtering starting pitcher. Before an injury derailed his 2018 season, Miller was once again dreadful against lefties, allowing a .346 wOBA and 60% hard contact rate….SIXTY PERCENT! He’s awful. Brantley was a stud against RH pitching last season and gets a ballpark boost for tonight’s game.
Juan Soto – OF – Washington Nationals – $5,100
Analysis: Zach Eflin is another one of those Shelby Miller-type guys – you target the lefty bats any time he takes the mound. What better way to commemorate such a rule by deploying of the best, up-and-coming talents in all of baseball? Against RH pitching last season, Soto was awesome, sporting a .408 wOBA and .231 ISO. As for Eflin in 2018? He allowed a .355 wOBA and 31% hard contact to lefties. Eflin was victim to some bad luck, but it isn’t luck when they are launching dingers over the fence and Eflin allowed 1.46 HR/9 to lefties last year.