I'll be focusing on the Main slate, which begins at 7:05pm ET. I submit this article the day before, so check your lineups prior to lock to make sure your players are actually available. And always check the crazy weather.
Jose Fernandez ($10,800) vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks
Fernandez draws a boom-or-bust matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks at home in Marlins Park. The Diamondbacks have hit 38 home runs in 2016, good for third-best in the league. That was a number that surprised me, as I tend to think of Arizona as Paul Goldschmidt and a bunch of other dudes. Anyway, if you are crazy enough to attack Fernandez, you should do it with left-handed hitters. Fernandez has a K/BB ratio of 11:10 against lefties so far this season, which is not very good and nothing like his shiny 29:4 K/BB mark against right-handed hitters. He has allowed a .302 wOBA to lefties so far this season, compared to a .260 mark against right-handers. Those numbers are in line with his career marks, just worse--he's still only allowed a .287 wOBA against LHBs for his career, which is above average. Left-handers have managed a miniscule .229/.312/.329 mark off of Fernandez over the course of his career. So no, I'm not taking a shot on David Peralta, especially in this park. Furthermore, the Diamondbacks don't have any other lefties to attack with. Do you really want to take a shot with Chris Herrmann, assuming he gets the start? I just can't. Fernandez is my number one pitching option on this seven-game slate.
Drew Smyly ($8,700) vs. Los Angeles
Smyly is my number two option today, and he is honestly really close to Fernandez for me. The dropoff after Smyly is precipitous as far as pitcher skill level, but the prices stay pretty close. Smyly is a -160 favorite at this time, good for the fourth-strongest favorite on this slate after Fernandez, Mike Leake, and Aaron Sanchez. It looks like the Dodgers had themselves a fine day against Rays southpaw Matt Moore on Tuesday night, but I won't let that scare me off of Smyly. The guy has been dealing so far this season, striking out 32% of batters faced and walking only 4.7% of them. The rise in strikeouts is coupled with a rise in fly ball percentage, but Smyly has allowed way less line drives in 2016 and his ground ball percentage is close to his career mark. Being at home in the Trop is encouraging when considering the potential for big flies. So I like Smyly along with a few Rays bats, which I will get to momentarily.
And the rest...
Two other pitchers are worth mentioning due to being favored, and they are Mike Leake ($6,700) and Aaron Sanchez ($7,100). Both are tied to offenses who should get after the opposing starting pitcher, especially Sanchez. I know the Blue Jays have been frustrating this season, but a matchup at home against the homer-prone Colby Lewis should be all the tonic they need to sort things out. I don't love Sanchez's spot against Texas in the Rogers Centre, but I do think he has a good chance at the win. That's obviously a big deal over on FanDuel, so do what you will with that information.
For me, it's Fernandez in cash and Smyly in GPPs. I might go crazy with a Leake lineup if I feel good enough about every corresponding bat, but that's really rolling the dice. Still, the Phillies have a 7.2% walk rate, good for fifth-worst in the league. They also strike out 23.4% of the time and are 25th in isolated power. If Leake is ever going to turn in a quality start and get the win, this is one of his best chances. You'd have to start him in the hopes that Arizona gets to Fernandez and Los Angeles gets to Smyly--both possibilities in a game full of variance and human error. Still not a scenario I am putting a lot of coin into, though.
The games with the highest totals are in Toronto, Baltimore, and Chicago. No big surprises there. Here we go with some bats:
Right-handed Baltimore hitters vs. C.C. Sabathia
You don't want left-handed bats against C.C. Sabathia, not even at this juncture of his career. Last season, Sabathia held lefties to a .231 wOBA and a slash of .183/.237/.279. Those are marks are LEGIT. You guessed it, though--righties obliterated him. A slash of .304/.363/.502 and a wOBA of .370 says it all, right? Also, 25 of the 28 home runs C.C. allowed came from right-handed hitters. For that reason, I am FADING CRUSH DAVIS. I put it in all capitals so everyone can see. I am even considering skipping over Manny Machado in favor of a wraparound stack that includes Jonathan Schoop. Everyone knows by now that Machado hits right-handed pitching better--what better time to be ultra-contrarian? Just make sure to include Matt Wieters, whatever you do--he is only useful against southpaws and is priced down at 2.4K.
Logan Forsythe ($3,800) and Evan Longoria ($3,100) vs. Alex Wood
These two guys will be mainstays in my lineups any time a lefty is on the hill. Forsythe is currently sporting a Babe Ruthian 1.405 OPS against southpaws, as well as a .429 ISO and .593 wOBA. He is torching left-handed pitchers. Evan Longoria is also raking against southpaws, with a .276 ISO and .382 wOBA. Brandon Guyer is cheap and should see the #2 slot in the lineup, but he is only a cash game guy for me due to a lack of power upside. Steven Souza, Jr. is the ultimate boom-or-bust option in GPPs due to his combination of power and strikeout potential. Therefore, the third guy I most like after Forsythe and Longoria is Steve Pearce, who should bat cleanup against Wood. Pearce hasn't hit for power yet this season, but sports a career slash of .263/.345/.475 against southpaws with an ISO of .212 and a .354 wOBA. I prefer to go with the two-man stack in this one, but if I have to add more it's Pearce, Souza, Guyer, in that order.
Derek Dietrich ($2,900) and Christian Yelich ($3,100) vs. Rubby de la Rosa
Rubby gets lit up by opposite-handed hitters, as his 4.79 xFIP against LHBs shows. His K-rate goes down to 17.8% and his walk rate spikes to 13.3% against lefties. Rubby handles RHBs pretty well, actually--so it's possible he limits the damage in this park. I still like either of these guys as one-off plays, though. I prefer Dietrich in GPPs and Yelich in cash games, but I also like Yelich's upside in GPPs.
And the rest...
I do not trust Clay Buchholz one bit, so if you wanted to look to Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier as your cornerstones in a few lineups I would not argue the point. The White Sox actually have the fifth-lowest K% in the big leagues right now, so good luck with that one, Buchholz fans.
You don't need me to tell you to stack the Blue Jays. You know who they are. I don't care if they let you down on Tuesday night. Keep stacking them up until it hits.
Houston bats are enticing against Phil Hughes, but if I'm paying up I prefer Toronto, who I still think carries the highest upside of any offense in the game.
A sample lineup...
I'm going to keep track of how these "starting lineups" do as I pen these articles. Quality control and whatnot.
Stud of the Day...
Mark Trumbo has hit five of his six home runs against left-handed pitching so far this season. Out of all the Baltimore bats, he is my preferred option due to Sabathia's run of dominance against left-handed hitters. Get him in there, gents.