Five of the 11 games this evening come equipped with a storm risk. None of them are particularly high, but that can change sometime in the next 10 to 12 hours. There are aces like Chris Sale, Dallas Keuchel, and Carlos Carrasco at your disposal. Sale has to solve a tough Blue Jays lineup while the other pair are against each other. You could also try Chris Heston as he attempts to extend his no-hit streak against the Mets.
Stacking options are plentiful, but one stands out as completely obvious. The Dodgers draw terrible Phillies starter Sean O’Sullivan. It’s baffling to me that Philadelphia hasn’t found anybody to take O’Sullivan’s place on the roster. Really, there has to be a free pitcher somewhere with a hint of ceiling. The soft-tossing righty has a 5.76 ERA. He’s homer prone, and he rarely records strikeouts. The Dodgers have plenty of firepower to knock out O’Sullivan – some of which is in the bargain bin.
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DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Joey Votto – 1B – CIN (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
It’s strange to find Votto among the bargains, but it’s not unprecedented. I recall one time I recommended him this season, and he blasted three home runs. Such an outcome is unlikely against Doug Fister and the Nationals. Votto does his best work against fly ball pitchers. Fister prefers to burn worms. Still, Votto offers a high floor, high ceiling profile at a cheap price. My only concern is his recent lousy performance. Usually I’d dismiss that as a small sample fluke, but Votto has a history of quietly toughing out debilitating injuries. There could be something wrong that’s affecting his bat.
Trevor Plouffe – 3B – MIN (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Wei-Yin Chen isn’t the most exploitable pitcher, but he does have modest platoon splits. Plouffe likes southpaws, and he’s having yet another solid season at the plate. While his handedness splits are sedate this year, he has a .815 career OPS against lefties. He generally bats in the middle of the Twins lineup. He’s a sort of rich man’s punt tonight.
Jhonny Peralta – SS – STL (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Peralta is such a solid, reliable hitter at a position that offers few offensive options. He doesn’t have notable platoon splits, although he will face lefty Jon Lester. The former/sometimes ace hasn’t lived up to his contract in Chicago. He’s thrown a couple recent clunkers – something he’s done all season. Peralta will probably bat cleanup for the Cardinals. His high average approach could produce a few RBI. He also has enough power to park one. Obviously, you’d like for him to be against a weaker pitcher.
Eric Hosmer – 1B – KAN (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
The Royals are opposed by a merely decent pitcher – Alex Colome. Frankly, he’s the type of righty the tenacious Royals can easily defeat. While Colome’s platoon splits aren’t huge, he is worse against left-handed hitters. Hosmer isn’t a standout batter, but he does hit for a high average with some on base skills. The overall profile works for a punt, although you probably want a higher ceiling from a first baseman. You could always try teammate Kendrys Morales instead.
Melky Cabrera – OF – CWS (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Cabrera has been terrible this season, but he’s hit well recently. He’s averaged about 2.6 points per game over his last 10 contests. Four of those are multi-hit games. The switch-hitter will work against Mark Buehrle. The soft-tossing southpaw is on a roll with only one bad outing in his last seven. Cabrera will probably put four or five balls in play tonight.
Andre Ethier – OF – LAD (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
I recommend most Dodgers this evening, but I’m especially keen to use Ethier. He’s ultra-cheap for a .270/.353/.473 hitter. His poor June performance can be pinned entirely upon a .222 BABIP. His contact quality has already rebounded in July (actually in late June). With O’Sullivan on the other side of the matchup, I expect big things.
Miguel Montero – C – CHC (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Montero isn’t the best hitting catcher, but he offers decent power for his price. The Cubs are opposed by John Lackey and the Cardinals. I’m not a fan of the matchup. The main reason to pick Montero is his spot in the middle of the Cubs lineup. He usually bats fourth or fifth. During the summer months, Wrigley Field is good for power.
Cesar Hernandez – 2B – PHI (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Usually we gamble on power. In the case of Hernandez, we’re betting on multiple hits, speed, and breakout plate discipline. He’s hitting .299/.385/.385 in 202 plate appearances. His walk and strikeout rates are reminiscent of Matt Carpenter. A .359 BABIP smells fluky, but it’s not too high for a spray hitter with a 29 percent line drive rate. The risk is that he reverts to his previous mediocre plate discipline. If he continues to hit for a high average and on base percentage, the Phillies will have found one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. Philadelphia is opposed by Eric Surkamp. The lefty can be aptly described with one word – unimpressive.
Miguel Sano – 3B – MIN (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
Here’s a classic gamble. A $2,200 price tag on Sano against Chen seems like a typo. The high powered slugger is yet another version of Chris Davis or Pedro Alvarez. There’s always the hope for two home runs, especially when he has the platoon advantage. Sano is young enough that he could trim his whiff rate with more experience. For now, we don’t have enough data to go beyond the scouting report. Expect game changing power and strikeouts.