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.
My original pick for today was rumored probable starter Scott Kazmir ($9,500) against a lefty heavy Rangers offense. Key hitters Rougned Odor, Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland, Shin Coo Choo and Josh Hamilton all bat lefty, and the Rangers on the year have a 23% K% vs LHP, 7th highest, with the 6th worst wRC+ vs LHP at 84. Kazmir also would have provided salary relief to help improve hitting slots. However, Dan Straily was announced as the Astros starter instead, so a fantasy owner will have to turn elsewhere.
Despite his team getting swept by the Mets this past weekend, Max Scherzer ($12,500) is probably the guy for me today. The Nationals offense has got back a lot of their injured bats recently, including Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth, and Ryan Zimmerman, and in my opinion their poor production this past weekend had a lot to do with running into the buzzsaw Mets starting pitching. Scherzer faces a Diamondbacks offense that is prone to strikeouts vs RHP (21%, 8th highest), and has a mediocre 96 wRC+ vs RHP. Scherzer's opposition is LHP Patrick Corbin, who makes his way back from surgery. The Nationals feature a RHB heavy lineup, giving them the platoon split edge against Corbin.
Other pitching thoughts; Dominant aces Chris Sale ($11,200) and Chris Archer ($11,000) oppose each other, so it's tough to project a win in that matchup. Masa Tanaka ($9,600) faces a Red Sox offense in Yankee Stadium that has the 2nd lowest K% vs RHP on the year at 16.5% (although losing Mookie Betts and Pablo Sandoval will make that % rise), so I'm not crazy about using him. Jake Arrieta ($10,500) opposes J.A. Happ, making his matchup winnable, and faces a Pirates offense that has a top 10 K% vs RHP and mediocre wRC+.
Dodgers vs Jerome Williams
The Dodgers get a park upgrade in Philly and face one of the least effective RHPs in baseball. Williams has a 6.36 ERA and 5.57 FIP, and the Dodgers as a team rank #2 vs RHP on the year. Some key hitters are priced affordably, including:
OF- Yasiel Puig ($2,800)
Puig hasn't been himself vs RHP yet this year as he'd battled through some nagging injuries but Williams is a great pitcher to get him going again.
1B- Adrian Gonzalez ($3,300)
Gonzalez has hit RHP to an elite 156 wRC+ and .261 ISO this year.
C- Yasmani Grandal ($3,400)
Grandal's production against RHP mirror's Gonzalez's elite line: he's hit them to a 162 wRC+ and .255 ISO.
OF- Andre Ethier ($2,700)
I tweeted this out after Ethier hit 2 HR on Sunday:
Andre Ethier: most chronically, consistently undervalued player on FD— Timothy Finnegan (@TimFinn521) August 2, 2015
At the time, his salary was just above the minimum at $2,300, and he hits RHP so well. His 148 wRC+ and .217 ISO vs RHP this year is even better than his strong career marks against them. I find myself using Ethier against average to below average RHP probably more often than any other hitter because of his consistently low price, and it usually works out well.
2013's 3rd overall pick Jon Gray makes his MLB debut for the Rockies. I don't know what to expect from Gray; his line in AAA (although in the PCL) wasn't anything special, but sometimes high draft picks get bored in the minors and turn it up a notch at the big league level. That said, it's still Coors Field, where pitches move less, hits fall in more often, and fly balls travel further through the air, so it's a good idea for a fantasy owner to at least get some exposure in this game. OF Seth Smith ($3,000) is priced affordably and has hit RHP well throughout his career, including a 116 wRC+ line this year. LHP Vidal Nuno makes his first start of the year for the Mariners, so the usual Rockies LHB won't enjoy their platoon split advantage through the first few innings.
Punt play: Wilmer Flores ($2,200) vs LHP Brad Hand
Flores has begun to crush LHP this year, hitting them to a 155 wRC+ and .246 ISO. I don't know if he'll be in the lineup, but if he is, he's a consideration for salary relief against a lefty with a career 4.5 ERA.
Follow me on Twitter at @TimFinn521, I usually tweet out more good options as lineups are released.