Yesterday the Yankee hitters were electric. My best effort was a four-man stack of Holliday, Castro, Judge, and Hicks. I punted catcher with Elias Diaz ($2,000) and punted my final outfield spot with Mallex Smith ($2,000). I placed 182nd out of 10,588 in the MLB Bunt, despite underwhelming performances from Carlos Carrasco, Wilmer Flores, and Francisco Lindor. I could have easily been in the running to take that thing down had the three aforementioned guys actually showed up. But it was a fun ride, anyway.
My Paulino lineups placed but didn’t threaten big. They still fared well with the Yankee bats and punt plays like Mallex Smith. The best one topped out at 197.2.
Let’s get to today, where we have three aces at the top in Stephen Strasburg, Yu Darvish, and Jacob deGrom. Strasburg is the strongest favorite (-220) against Atlanta and deGrom (-130) is a small favorite against the Cubs. Both are at home. Darvish is on the road at Houston, a tough assignment to be sure. That’s probably why he is an underdog against Joe Musgrove. Weird.
Let’s dive into today’s pitching and hitting, and then we’ll finish up with some observations.
Target: Yu Darvish ($10,000) @ Houston
I know I said the Houston assignment was tough, but there are three elite pitchers going today and Darvish has been far better than one of them (deGrom). Strasburg and deGrom should be more popular, as both are at home and have better matchups. For my part, I am playing today with as much of a contrarian mindset as I can muster (difficult for me). Strasburg has shown a propensity in the past to allow a longball or two in the heat, and it is slated to be north of 90 degrees in Washington today. Jacob deGrom has not been himself in 2017, and I can easily see the potent Cubs hitters making him continue that trend today.
That would leave Darvish to challenge Strasburg for the highest raw point total from the pitching ranks today. The man has all the tools, as he is striking out 28.7% of LHH and 24.6% of RHH on the season. Lefties are slashing .207/.293/.374 against him and righties are worse at .200/.287/.361. Those marks are elite. Further helping the cause is the low walk rate of the Astros. Houston hitters walk only 7.8% of the time, the ninth-worst walk rate against RHP in the MLB. If I am not using deGrom, I am using the lesser-owned Darvish and hoping he can approximate what Strasburg offers—while saving me $1,400 in the process.
Stack Against: Yovani Gallardo ($6,500) with right-handed Minnesota Twins
Gallardo is holding his own against left-handed hitters in 2016. Lefty bats are slashing .239/.326/.346 with a .299 wOBA. Certainly nothing to get excited about, but nothing to cause major concern, either.
Right-handed hitters are a different story. Righties are slashing .331/.403/.567 with a .407 wOBA against Gallardo. They are making contact a whopping 37.4% of the time, too. Lastly, Gallardo is only striking out righty bats at a 15.9% rate, which mitigates some of the risk of the swing-and-miss types that Minnesota offers.
Give me Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano, and Robbie Grossman as my definite three. After that it’s either the best lefty in Max Kepler or taking a chance on the right-handed Byron Buxton—a shiny GPP move as Buxton has been a massive disappointment so far, but he does bat from the right side which is Gallardo’s weakness. For what it’s worth, Buxton was 2-for-4 with a home run in Sunday’s game, and I think I’d lean that way and be ueber-contrarian since he’ll likely bat ninth in the order.
If I can get some left-handed Boston bats into my lineup I will try. I’m looking at you, Mitch Moreland. I know Boston isn’t great for left-handed power but Eickhoff has allowed a .361 wOBA and 33.3% hard contact to lefties so far in 2017. They are his kryptonite.
Chicago White Sox hitters are attractive against Wade Miley, especially the right-handed ones. Miley allows hard contact over 35% of the time against RHH.
Left-handed Washington Nationals are appealing against Mike Foltynewicz. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are obvious, but if Brian Goodwin ($2,000) gets the start he’ll make a great punt play at the minimum price.
That’s about it for me today. Chime in with your comments. Here’s your poll:
Who is your favorite GPP pitcher of the day?
This poll is closed
Stephen Strasburg ($11,400) vs. ATL
Yu Darvish ($10,000) @ HOU
Jacob deGrom ($9,700) vs. CHC
Jameson Taillon ($8,300) vs. COL
Luis Perdomo ($6,800) vs. CIN