Reminder: Always double check the lineup card before rosters lock to make sure that a player you've chosen to roster is playing that day, and check the weather to make sure your players won't get rained out of their game.
Chris Archer ($11,800) vs Minnesota Twins
Archer has exploded into a legitimate ace this year, fueled to some degree by a massive increase in swinging strikes (9% to 13.5%). The development of Archer's slider plays a huge role in this; Archer has added roughly 2 mph to his slider, averaging about 88 mph with it and topping out at 92.5 mph, and he throws it nearly 40% of the time. Archer's slider is as good or better than any slider in the sport right now in my opinion, and here is a visual:
Archer also sits approximately 95 mph with his fastball and terrorizes hitters with his repertoire. He's compiled a 2.77 ERA, 2.57 FIP and 30.6% K% on the year and faces a Twins offense that has had poor results vs RHP. The Twins have the 8th highest K% vs RHP at 21.1% and the 5th lowest wRC+ at 89. Archer's opposition is RHP Tyler Duffey, who ZiPS projects to have an ERA of 5.76 the rest of the season (Steamer is easier on him with a 4.15 ERA, but it's still below average). Archer looks to be a good bet to prevent runs at a high level, generate a strong strikeout total and have a good chance at getting the win.
Avoid: Felix Hernandez ($11,200)
Felix has tremendous name value, but in practice I think it would be prudent to avoid him at high prices for now. People a lot smarter and more sophisticated with baseball than me have wondered if Felix is pitching through an injury:
More evidence that Felix is hurt — release points are more spread out this year & lately than last year (1.89 RMSE) https://t.co/XuRu8hgcN1— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) August 21, 2015
Pitching through an injury would explain his ineffectiveness recently; he has an 8.48 ERA in his last 5 games started. More on Felix and an injury issue here.
Ryan Howard ($3,300) vs Bartolo Colon
Bartolo Colon is a pitcher at this point in his career who thrives when his command is on point and generally blows up when his command is off. Colon was drilled on his throwing wrist this past weekend during an at bat in Colorado, a hit significant enough to cause a lot of swelling in his throwing wrist. MLB.com termed it a "golf ball sized welt". I don't know how this will affect his command today, but it can't be good, can it? Colon already has a 4.90 ERA on the year and has been prone to getting wacked at times. He is also a fly ball pitcher against lefties (45% FB% vs LHB) getting a park downgrade in Philly. Ryan Howard has a 125 wRC+ and .246 ISO vs RHP this year and will likely be a power threat against Colon, and even more so if Colon can't spot his pitches where he wants to.
$2,700 and under
Yasiel Puig ($2,700) vs David Holmberg
Puig is back in the lineup after getting dinged up and is facing a significantly below average LHP. Holmberg has faced 205 RHB in his career and is allowing a .275/.378/.547 slash with an amazingly poor 7.37 FIP. The projection systems both peg him at an ERA over 5 the rest of the year. Puig has hit LHP to a 143 wRC+/.241 ISO in limited time this year to add into a career 144 wRC+/.180 ISO vs LHP. Puig also gets a big park upgrade in Cincinnati.
Jhonny Peralta ($2,400) vs Patrick Corbin
Peralta's production vs LHP doesn't warrant prices this low. Peralta has hit LHP to a 137 wRC+/.233 ISO in 281 PA dating back to the start of 2014 and gets a large park upgrade in Chase Field. Patrick Corbin is making his way back from surgery and has been below average vs RHB in his return to this point.
John Jaso ($2,200) vs Tyler Duffey
Duffey was mentioned above; he's projected to be a below average pitcher the rest of the way and Jaso has had strong results vs RHP, hitting them to a 129 wRC+/.173 ISO since the start of 2014. Jaso is priced at the FD minimum and serves as an excellent punt play.
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