Yesterday’s “Bauer Hour” was abbreviated due to rain and that torched my preferred lineup. So it goes. I have had too many “what could have been” moments because I let a little rain scare me away from a good pitching matchup. I’d rather take the chance and lose a little bit of coin if the storm does pop. No big deal. As for the bats, the Braves went nuts but it was a classic case of “right team, wrong stack.” I see you, Ender Inciarte.
Today’s slate doesn’t begin until 7:10pm ET and consists of only seven games. There’s plenty of time to do your research today, ladies and gents. Let’s get it started in here...
Target: Sean Manaea vs. Toronto Blue Jays
I know the Blue Jays might scare some people against a left-handed pitcher, but the Jays aren’t incredibly threatening by the numbers. Against southpaws, the team’s .139 ISO ranks 22nd in the MLB and their 85 wRC+ ranks 19th. Hardly a nightmare. Anyway, it is prudent to mention that the Jays have been without the lefty-bashing services of Josh Donaldson for quite a while, so those numbers should be trending upward. Unless you believe Kevin Pillar was playing way over his head...in which case they may not trend up as quickly as you would think. Point is, the Jays can be dangerous. Just hear me out, okay?
Sean Manaea’s swinging strike rate is a healthy 14.3 percent, good for 7th in all of baseball. Only Sale, Scherzer, Salazar, deGrom, Greinke, and Paxton are ahead of the young hurler. His 27.4% K-rate ranks 19th overall in the MLB. He is striking out right-handed hitters 29.9% of the time, which is great since the Jays will probably roll out nine right-handed bats today.
Manaea’s K-rates are superb when considered alongside his ability to induce ground balls. Left-handed hitters are really struggling against him, as the obscene 64.3% ground ball rate and 20.7 hard contact percentage can attest. Righty bats hit ground balls considerably less often, but a 46.7% ground ball rate is still pretty solid.
The only concerning bit is that RHH are making hard contact a whopping 37.8% of the time against Manaea, but that is the trade-off we get with the increased K-rate. Last season he struck out RHH only 19.7% of the time, compared to this season’s scorching 29.9% rate. Increased usage of his slider is the reason, and you can read more about that slider here. I would much rather have the strikeout upside and believe that the hard contact rate is going to normalize for a quality starting pitcher.
Stack Against: Hyun-Jin Ryu with Washington Nationals
Left-handed hitters have torched the southpaw Ryu this season, to the tune of a .327/.417/.569 slash and a .417 wOBA. That’s a small sample of only 12.2 innings, but we gotta start somewhere, eh? Ryu has shown reverse splits tendencies over his career, though, so it is safe to say the big lefty bats for Washington are a little sneaky today. Especially with a lot of ownership going towards the red-hot Astros.
The two obvious plays are Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, and after that you need the lefty-basher who also happens to be one of the best hitters in baseball at the moment...some dude named Ryan Zimmerman. Finally, Matt Wieters is a lefty-masher in his own right, and his salary is always reduced on FanDuel because he spends so much time in his lesser split against RHP and doesn’t perform. Wieters is an excellent upside play against any southpaw.
Carlos Martinez should be the chalk today.
Check the wind at Wrigley. Always check the wind at Wrigley. I still don’t see a line on this game yet, as of 7:00am on Monday morning.
Some crazies will use Dan Straily as if he SHOULD be the chalk, which will probably make him chalky. The dude has a large fly ball rate, though—I am afraid of what Kris Bryant might do to him even if the Cubbies have been pretty underwhelming offensively. It looks like the wind is blowing IN at around 16 mph right now. Again, keep your eyes on that.
I really want to like The Shark in Milwaukee, but left-handed bats have been getting to him this season (and for his career) so the dynamic duo of Eric Thames and Travis Shaw are pretty threatening and make great one-off plays. Even Villar is interesting.
I couldn’t blame anyone for stacking Phillies and Braves, but do we really think the Braves can come through offensively two days in a row? And do we really trust the Phillies? Even against Bartolo? It’s still GPP-only for me. I don’t trust any of those guys as “safe.”
I have no idea why Hyun-Jin Ryu is favored against Washington. What is this madness? Can someone help me out?
Let’s end it with a poll. Today’s slate is full of interesting (read: crappy) pitching options. Who is your favorite dart?
Who is your favorite GPP pitcher of the day?
This poll is closed
Carlos Martinez ($10,000) @ CIN
Jeff Samardzija ($8,900) @ MIL
Dan Straily ($8,500) @ CHC
Junior Guerra ($8,200) vs. SFG
Sean Manaea ($7,700) vs. TOR