We have just six games to work with tonight. The contest between the Blue Jays and Indians has a 50 percent chance for rain. You’ll want to stay on top of that weather report. Do note, with such a thin slate, today’s recommendations are of a lower quality than most days.
Assuming the weather cooperates, the Blue Jays will face T.J. House. They’re perhaps the most glaringly obvious stack of the season. The Jays smash left-handed pitchers, and House scuffles against righties. He’s allowed a .312/.381/.464 line to right-handed hitters in a small sample (352 batters faced). The only drawback (besides the weather threat) is the 86 park factor for right-handed home runs (read as 14 percent below average).
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Evan Gattis – C – HOU (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
Minute Maid Park might not include the top stacks of the day, but it is the best ballpark for offense. Gattis is off to a painfully slow start, but he’s shown signs of life in his last three starts. He’ll have the platoon advantage against James Paxton. The Mariners lefty has already given up four home runs in 19.2 innings.
Kyle Seager – 3B – SEA (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
You’ll find Seager on the other side of the Minute Maid matchup. He’s dealing with a jammed thumb, which could affect his offensive production. Assuming he’s healthy enough to start, Seager is a quietly reliable source of power. He’s in a favorable situation against Scott Feldman. Seager is a career .275/.348/.457 hitter against righties.
Rajai Davis – OF – DET (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
The Danny Duffy we’ve seen in 2015 is more representative of reality than the stud we saw last year. Duffy is a decent pitcher, but it takes more than that to silence the Tigers. Detroit feasts upon left-handed pitchers starting with Davis. The leadoff man is a .304/.360/.448 hitter against southpaws. It’s the reason he’s carved out a solid career.
Kendrys Morales – 1B – KAN (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Morales is an uninspiring pick against right-hander Alfredo Simon. The switch-hitter bats fifth for the Royals. He’s a ground ball hitter against a ground ball pitcher. Research has shown that it’s best to field fly ball hitters against ground ball pitchers. Despite the lack of luster, Morales is extremely cheap for such a reliable hitter. His lost 2014 is behind him.
Mike Aviles – SS – CLE (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
If you’re looking for a super cheap shortstop, Aviles is one of three options today. The righty has a modicum of power and speed, but don’t hope for a home run at Progressive Field tonight. Aviles is opposed by lefty Daniel Norris. The Indians utility man will be most valuable if he bats in one of the top two slots. Otherwise, you might want to go with Flores or Miller.
Danny Valencia – 3B – TOR (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
If only Valencia faced more lefties. As we noted in the intro, House is particularly prone to right-handed hitters. Even better news for us, Valencia is hostile towards left-handed pitchers. He’s a career .333/.372/.508 slugger against southpaws. He’s likely to be removed once right-handed relief enters the game. If it’s a close game, you might only get two plate appearances out of him.
Adam LaRoche – 1B – CWS (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
LaRoche definitely isn’t on fire. With a .200/.297/.369 line and 37.8 percent strikeout rate, it’s no wonder he’s so cheap. I don’t know why his strikeout rate has doubled from his usual performance. I don’t see any indication of an injury, but it’s a reasonable possibility. My instinct says his lousy numbers can be attributed to small sample noise. The matchup against Trevor May is tolerable.
Brian Dozier – 2B – MIN (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Talk about a gamble. Dozier is up against southpaw stud Chris Sale. On a normal day, no platoon splits would be enough to recommend Dozier. However, with so few games, a long shot gamble could make sense. Most DFS players will be in on the Toronto or Detroit stack. I might not stack Twins, but there are worse plays than Dozier’s .283/.348/.501 line against lefties. Even once we adjust for the “Sale-effect.”
Chris Carter – OF – HOU (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Before April 21, Carter had three hits. In the eight days since, he has nine hits. Picking Carter is all about catching him while he’s hot. He’s showing signs of life. He’ll face Paxton. As we discussed, he’s had a few run-ins with the big fly. Carter is always one of the highest risk, highest reward picks on a given day.