Well my Rangers are 0-2.
At least it’s not the NFL where 0-2 teams are doomed to make the playoffs, but the Rangers’ pitching staff has not looked good to start the season.
And tonight they are going to run out Cole Hamels against the Indians. Now I am not a Cole Hamels fan since he came to Texas. I think the heat and the ballpark have not been favorable to him. He nearly had a 5.00 ERA at the Ballpark in 2016.
IF the heat is an issue for him, he better get in some good games while he can because Texas is in for another sweltering summer.
I am going to stack the Indians tonight because of those reasons above, kind of living the hedge life I guess. But I honestly, I would rather see Cole be the Return of the King …because .we are going to need him if the Rangers want to expound on their 2016 success.
We are at hump day for the opening week of baseball. It’s been an interesting week already. DFS scores have been really low, especially Tuesday night. Tonight doesn’t look much better, but there are a couple of pitchers rolling out tonight that make you want to facepalm.
I mean come on Padres, Trevor Cahill is your No. 3 starter? Why don’t you just tell your fans to stay home instead of hinting around at it?
Anyway, I am pushing most of my chips in on the Dodgers once again, so I hope it pays off like it did Monday.
Rules of the MLB Value Index: I give you 1 pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop and an outfielder. You use them as you see fit.
Now, let’s get it on.
P.S. You are getting bonus pick tonight….
Analysis: As the day progressed yesterday, and the more I thought about it, the more I had a bad feeling about Maeda, and while he wasn’t a complete disaster, it was far from a memorable performance. I liked McCullers a lot, but he wasn’t my official pick, so you win some, you lose some. I hope the win comes back tonight with the rejuvenated Rich Hill. I’ll be honest, it’s taken me this long to get on board the Rich Hill train. While I really like players such as Garrett Richards, Jared Eickhoff, deGrom, Roark (a little), and yes even Chris Sale (who I never roster by the way), it’s Rich Hill for me. We saw what Kershaw did to the Padres on Monday and now they will see a finesse pitcher with some filthy off-speed pitches. A stat I saw for Rich Hill’s curveball is ridiculous. Click the link and scroll down to curveball. For you lazy bums that didn’t click, Hill’s curve produced an absurd .063 ISO and produced a ground ball more than 60% of the time. I have been look at stats from the last three seasons and Hill’s numbers are ridiculous. He’s allowing a .211 average to lefties and a .189 average to RH bats, He’s allowed ZERO home runs to lefties in that span and strikes out RH bats at an 11.78 K/9 clip. Opponent wOBA against Hill is .238 for RHs and .239 for lefties. Oddly enough, Hill started only 4 games at home last season, compared to 19 on the road. At home, he gave up 1 ER run and struck out 24 in 23 IP. On the road he had a 2.69 ERA and 124 Ks in 100 IP. Want more? In his lone start against SD, he went 6 IP, struck out 8 and didn’t allow a run. That was 31.7 DK fantasy points. #boomroasted.
Analysis: The first of three Dodger bats on the Index today, only time will tell if that will be good or bad. After a 12-run outburst on opening day, the Dodgers fell prey to the groundball trolling of Clayton Richard, so people will hop off. I will go ahead and hop back on against TREVOR CAHILL. I mentioned him above, and I mean, the Padres really didn’t have anyone better to start their 3rd game? I can’t wait to see what they have in store for games 4 and 5. Anyway, Cahill is worse than Chacin against lefties, allowing a .289 average and a .357 wOBA to left-handed hitters the past three seasons. He gives up a 36% hard contact rate and nearly 1 HR/9. Grandal has a .342 wOBA and a 35.4% hard contact rate against RH pitching.
Analysis: Sometimes it’s difficult to roster Adrian Gonzalez, the first of two Gonzalez’s on the Index. He’s shown that Dodger Stadium caps his upside sometimes as he hit 34 points better on the road than at home last season with only 7 home runs. But that doesn’t mean he has lost some pop in his bat. Over the past three seasons, Gonzalez has a .291 average to go along with a .369 ISO and a .218 ISO against RH pitching. He also owns nearly a 40% hard contact rate against RHs as well. Need more data? Well, Gonzalez has the BvP angle in his favor again with 12 hits in 30 ABs, 3 doubles, 3 HRs and 4 walks (Grandal does too btw!). Pricing for bats is up for tonight’s 12-game slate, so we need value somewhere, so A-Gon provides some solid salary relief.
Analysis: I think we have been awaiting more runs to be scored in this Mariners/Astros series. Perhaps tonight is the night. The Astros’ are trotting out groundball journeyman Chuck Morton tonight against the Mariners. While Morton doesn’t give up a lot of long balls, he is vulnerable to lefty bats. Cano destroys RH pitching to the tune of .312 batting average, a .376 wOBA and a .200 ISO the past three seasons. Morton has surrendered a .340 wOBA and a 4+ BB/9 rate to lefties in his past three seasons. Cano gets a bump being a road game in a more hitter-friendly park. Cano hit 50 points, yes 50 POINTS higher on the road than at home, had almost 20 more hits, had 7 more 2Bs and 5 more HRs than at home. At $4,400, get him while he’s cheap!
Analysis: I am conflicted with this Blue Jays/Orioles’ game. The weather isn’t conducive to home runs just yet, but we have a situation where Toronto is facing a pitcher with reverse-splits. That man is Dylan Bundy, a once-highly-touted power arm that surrenders more offensive production to RH bats than lefties. Bundy also pitched well at home last year, sporting a 3.14 ERA compared to a 5.21 road ERA. Bundy also struggled in spring training (but I don’t hold any spring training numbers for or against players ever). I think I am definitely going to stack BJs a bit, but there’s one name that I always love and that’s the GOAT, Mr. Donaldson. Against RHs, Donaldson sports a .277 batting average, a.374 wOBA with a .227 ISO and a double-digit walk-rate percentage. I think 3B is pretty weak tonight, so I like Donaldson as the safest play on the board.
Analysis: Hey Mr. Seager, you and Grandal made me look good on Monday, combining for 3 HRs. Can you please repeat said performance? I like Cahill to get shelled tonight, but I hope it’s because Seager, Grandal and Gonzalez all got theirs before the bullpen is called into play. Factoring in Monday and Tuesday’s games along with his entire MLB career, Seager has a .336 batting average, a .406 wOBA, a .231 ISO and a 41.3% hard contact rate against RH pitching. Sign me up everywhere…again.
Analysis: You get a bonus pick today because I could not choose Trea Turner over Corey Seager at SS and I couldn’t choose Trea Turner over CarGo at OF, so guess you my bonus pick is? (Hint: He’s after this guy). CarGo vs. Wily Peralta. You could say those words verbatim to me without me having to research anything and you would sell me automatically. Wily Peralta is terrible. Yes, he has some speed to his fast ball, but he has just three pitches and one he never throws, so hitters know what is coming a lot of the time. He throws BP. Last season, Peralta was one of my favorite pitchers to pick on and it paid off a lot. Peralta gave up 13 home runs at home in 13 games last season and he allowed 18 overall. He had a 5.23 ERA at Miller Park where he gave up 42 of his 69 earned runs. CarGo doesn’t have a flashy BvP against Peralta with 3 hits in 9 ABs, including a double, but that’s basically white noise. In the last three years, CarGo has a .384 wOBA and a .257 ISO against right-handed pitching.
Analysis: Trea Turner is a stud in the majors and today he IS going to show you why that is. Yes, I am putting in my call right here. With his price inflated and facing a RH pitcher, I think Turner is going to go vastly overlooked. But if you dig deeper, you see he is in prime spot. Not only is Dan Straily a reverse-splits pitcher, but Trea Turner his RH pitching very well, or at least he has so far in his young career. So whose numbers you want first? How about Straily’s? Against RH bats, Straily is allowing a .334 wOBA, a 33.4% hard contact rate and a ridiculous 1.79 HR/9 over the past three seasons. As for Turner, he owns a ridiculous .330 batting average with a .394 wOBA and a .243 ISO. Are these numbers sustainable? I sure as hell hope so for one more night.