I am approaching this slate a bit differently today. I will look at Vegas lines first and see which players jump out at me. After that, I will consider price points and begin to make some roster decisions. Due to time constraints (it is currently an hour away from my self-imposed midnight deadline) I plan to comment on this article throughout the day (Tuesday) as I do more research and have more clear thoughts to share. I am not attempting to turn the comments section into a forum, but fleshing out my own thoughts is a good way to get more prepared for this daily game.
Joe Ross as a GPP play seems legit if he remains a small favorite (currently -120). Ross butchers right-handed hitters (.204/.243/.355 and .255 wOBA) and the Phillies don't pack a lot of punch from the left side. Odubel Herrera is the primary concern here, and he doesn't hit for power (only a .157 ISO this year). He does hit, though--but even if Ross scatters a few hits here and there, where does the danger come from in this Phillies lineup?
***As of Tuesday morning, Ross is still only a -120 favorite but 72% of the betting public is on him. We will have to check the status of Bryce Harper prior to lock, though, as he is day-to-day with a right knee contusion. If Harper is out, then I'm probably moving to Aaron Nola as a GPP play instead of Ross.***
Gerrit Cole and Jose Fernandez will face each other, which means I will try to find another guy as my cash game option on a single-pitcher site like FanDuel. The win is too important to ignore. If I had to pick a side, though, I would take Fernandez and his 36.7% strikeout percentage. Fernandez is striking out right-handed hitters 46.5% of the time in 2016...that is insane.
***Cole is only $300 less than another pitcher who I and most others will like more...I would imagine his ownership will be very low in most formats today as a result.***
Jake Peavy and the Giants are -140 favorites against Matt Wisler and the Braves. Somehow that does not seem right. I know the Giants are allegedly formidable, but they rank middle-of-the-road in wOBA to RHPs (.315) and are hitting only .252 against RHPs on the young-ish season. The team's .141 ISO is "good" for 23rd in the MLB against right-handed pitchers. Meanwhile, Matt Wisler has been pretty solid against both handedness of hitting--okay, okay, I take it back. His wOBA numbers look okay but Wisler is giving up a lot of hard contact and allows a lot of fly balls to right-handed hitters. Is today a pay up for Posey sort of day? Luckily, there are some affordable right-handed options in San Francisco. Maybe Peavy as a moderate favorite wasn't insane after all.
The Cubs have won five games in a row and draw the light-hitting Dodgers at home--with Jake Arrieta on the mound. That's next level stuff right there. I don't see how it could be any better than Arrieta (except for Kershaw). Anyway, there is contrarian, and there is stupid. It would be stupid to stack against Arrieta. So far he is the safest pitcher of the day and a heavy -230 favorite. Scott Kazmir is a lefty, unfortunately for him. Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist love left-handed pitchers, and Anthony Rizzo is no slouch in the LvL matchup either. There's too much scary stuff going on here to consider Kazmir. Consider stacking against him for sure, though. Just remember to check that finicky Wrigley field wind and weather prior to lock.
Mike Leake and the Cardinals visit Milwaukee, a park that favors left-handed hitters. Wily Peralta will miraculously attempt to not allow eleventy-billion runs to the Redbirds, and he will likely be unsuccessful. Give me all the Matt Carpenter today, and I don't care how much it costs. Oh, wow! Only 3.5K for Carpenter, who just had a four-hit game on Monday. This sentence is me laughing all the way to the proverbial bank (and maybe even the actual one). Also, don't start Mike Leake. Just don't. #ANALYSIS
Hooray, another Coors game to remind me that my 164.9 FDP lineup on Monday was 20 FDP from cashing in a double-up. How crazy is that? Okay, probably not too crazy but still annoying. Anyway, such is life when you pick the wrong side of a Coors game. You probably can't entirely fade Coors on Tuesday. I'll try to embrace some variance and go right back to my Rockies bats again, hoping they are the victors this time around. Starting pitching for these teams seems to favor my take, as one would think Jon Moscot would be quickly overwhelmed in the thin air of Colorado...one would think. Jon Gray has been good in stretches, so if he can do that for at least one "stretch" on Tuesday I should be okay with my Coors bats (instead of Reds bats, which I imagine are cheaper).
Corey Kluber might be interesting if the price is right. He doesn't ever feel super-safe to me but Colby Lewis is average and the Klubot gets the Rangers at home. Two thirds of the early money is on the Rangers, but it's still way early so I'm going to ignore that for now and come back to it later.
***This game begins at 6:10pm so you can safely ignore Kluber in your Main slate on FanDuel. My bad.***
Three quarters of the money being on Kevin Gausman right now is noteworthy, though. Gausman is only a -132 favorite, but apparently "Vegas" likes the Orioles to get to the left-handed Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez doesn't qualify as a soft-tosser (which gave Baltimore trouble recently) and was clocked at 92mph in his most recent rehab start. The hits may not come in bunches for Mark Trumbo, who is only batting .195 against southpaws...but he does have six home runs against them. Manny Machado also performs in a very average way against left-handed pitchers (career slash of .273/.325/.433 and .160 ISO). So who exactly is the betting public banking on for Baltimore? Chris Davis in the LvL split? Aging Adam Jones? Even Jonathan Schoop is better against same-handed pitchers. Is Eduardo Rodriguez a GPP play? Seriously? More on that later.
***I don't have access to Vegasinsider.com at work, but I am able to see that Gausman and the Orioles are -120 favorites as of 9:00am on Tuesday morning. This is one line I'll be paying attention to as the day wears on.***
The Toronto Blue Jays getting C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees at home would seem to qualify as Coors away from Coors, but early money is on the Evil Empire in this one. J.A. Happ is a -149 favorite, though, which is right at the point of where you'd begin to consider a pitcher for your fake roster. I do like that Happ is a southpaw against the lefty Yankee hitters, so he has the splits in his favor and the big Toronto bats behind him. The Jays have been very frustrating to own in 2016 (only four runs against Ivan Nova tonight, for example) so you can probably get them for much lower ownership than what you might think. The Coors game will help depress those ownership levels, too.
I'm not sure what to do with Drew Smyly as I think I'm confusing him with Matt Moore, which I'm pretty sure is a pretty big injustice. Yeah, Smyly has been pretty solid against both types of hitters in 2016. His K% is great, too. Way better than Matt Moore. Smyly is only a -117 favorite, so this game is almost a pick'em at the moment. I'd expect Smyly to be a little more favored as we get closer to game time, but he's still probably a GPP play for me due to his team's lack of offensive capability (even against Dillon Gee).
Is Detroit still bad versus southpaws? Yes, only slightly better than the Yankees in the wOBA department (.297 and .291). The same is true for wRC+ and ISO. The Tigers just do not have impressive marks against southpaws. I still hate Hector Santiago and don't know if I can play him, though. I suppose that's why I never win big money.
Minnesota can hit lefties, right? Eric Surkamp is a lefty. Oakland's park plays more to right-handed power, too, which the Twins have in excess (at least compared to the rest of their lineup). I am honestly very surprised at 78% of money being on Surkamp right now...what am I missing? I will definitely keep an eye on this as the day wears on. The Twins stack is calling to me. Okay, it was calling to me until I did more research. The Twins have been god-awful against southpaws so far in 2016. Shame on me for not paying more attention to that sooner. I have to believe that health issues with Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe have impacted these numbers negatively. Anyway, the Twins stack is likely a no-go. Given the poor run-scoring environment, this game has "find a one-off play" written all over it.
Okay, if I said a pitcher above was interesting, we might want to scratch all of that hot garbage and just play Steven Matz. The young hurler gets the anemic Chicago White Sox today, who strike out 21.8% of the time against southpaws and sport a team ISO of .154 against left-handers, which is good for 15th in the MLB. Steven Matz has been dominant against right-handed bats (.192/.228/.266 and .219 wOBA). The White Sox have two power bats in Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier, and both are right handed. Abreu actually hits right-handed pitchers for more average and power, by the way. Frazier is the one with a .249 ISO against southpaws compared to .199 against RHPs, so he's the one to watch out for. If you're watching out. I wouldn't be. I'd just roll with Matz in this one, as will most others in lieu of starting a guy like Gerrit Cole, who I mentioned was only $300 less than Matz today.
***Matz is a -180 favorite at Bovada as of 9am on Tuesday morning and he opposes Mat Latos today. Loving Matz so far.***
I'll be updating with italics throughout the day and probably hitting up the comments section. I would love to get some conversation going here at FakeTeams. That's your invitation.