Tonight we have a very tough 10-game slate to examine. We have three elite pitchers going, but we also have three games with implied totals over 10 on the MLB odds board. It’s going to be hard to fit in a top pitcher while also getting a lot of exposure to these offenses. With that said, let’s dive into the top FanDuel picks at each position.
Corey Kluber: $11,200 (vs. New York Yankees)
Out of the three studs, I’m leaning Kluber right now. He threw a complete game against the Yankees earlier this month, and he has double-digit strikeouts in six of the last eight games. He has elite numbers against right-handed hitters this season, but he’s also been very good against left-handed hitters. He has a 32.5% strikeout rate with a .259 wOBA against left-handed hitters in 2017. The Yankees project to have six left-handed hitters tonight, and while the team has good ISO numbers against right-handed pitching this season, they’re also striking out at a 21.4% rate. Kluber has the most upside on this slate, and if I’m paying up for someone, it’s going to be him.
Andrew Heaney: $6,000 (vs. Oakland Athletics)
If you’re playing one lineup tonight, it’s extremely risky to take a guy like Heaney, but with multiple lineups, I’d take a shot or two. He’s struggled in each of his first two starts back from the DL, as he’s allowed seven home runs over those two starts. He could be terrible tonight, as the home runs could keep coming, but I like his chances to get on track here. In 2015, he had a 0.77 HR/9, so you have to think the home runs slow down a lot at some point. Ryon Healy has a .304 ISO with a .434 wOBA against left-handed pitching this season. He’s the biggest concern here, as he's the only projected starter with an ISO over .200 against lefties this season. The Oakland projected starters have a 26.8% strikeout rate with a .295 wOBA against left-handed pitching this season.
Salvador Perez: $3,000 (vs. Tampa Bay Rays)
Last night when I recorded the Morning Grind, this implied team total was at 9.5. It’s already on the rise here, so there should be runs scored. Perez is a really solid value at this price, and he needs a good matchup to get it going. Pruitt has logged 35.1 innings against right-handed hitters this season, and he has a .405 wOBA with a 39.2% hard contact rate. On top of that, he has allowed seven home runs to right-handed hitters. Perez has an impressive .237 ISO with a .346 wOBA against right-handed pitchers this season. I don’t love the ballpark, but I like the price and matchup for Perez tonight.
Yonder Alonso: $3,400 (vs. Baltimore Orioles)
Seattle is one of my favorite teams tonight, as they’re getting a great ballpark bump. They also have a very good matchup against Chris Tillman. Tillman has a .440 wOBA with an 11.8% strikeout rate against left-handed hitters this season. He also has a 6.04 SIERA against lefties, which suggests he has immensely struggled against them. Meanwhile, Alonso has quietly been hitting right-handed pitching well all season, and he’s in a great spot tonight. He has a .241 ISO with a .382 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season. This is a favorable spot for the Mariners to get it rolling, and they’re one of my favorite stacks overall.
Robinson Cano: $3,500 (vs. Baltimore Orioles)
Going right back to the Chris Tillman well here. Cano is 15-for-36 with only four strikeouts against Tillman in his career. Tillman throws a mix of fastballs, sliders, and changeups against lefties. Cano has a .606 ISO with a .561 wOBA against the fastball range, a .082 ISO with a .250 wOBA against changeups, and a .256 ISO with a .292 wOBA against sliders. It’s an above average matchup for Cano, and with the BvP, I really like him in this spot. Like I mentioned above with Alonso, this is a great ballpark upgrade for Seattle too.
Nolan Arenado: $4,900 (vs. Detroit Tigers)
If you’re paying up for one hitter tonight, you’re likely looking at Arenado. Jordan Zimmermann has struggled badly this season, and he’s a fly ball pitcher going into Coors Field. This is an excellent spot to stack the Rockies. Against right-handed hitters this season, Zimmermann has a .365 wOBA with a 37.1% hard contact rate. He has a very low 13.4% strikeout rate and a 1.64 HR/9. In his career, Arenado has hit 44 home runs against fly ball pitchers, to go with a .531 SLG with a .868 OPS. He has a 1.051 OPS at home and a 1.059 OPS in the second half of the season.
Jean Segura: $3,000 (vs. Baltimore Orioles)
You can already see my night is going to be decided by Seattle. We’ve talked about the left-handed hitters, and now we get to talk about the right-handed side. Tillman has a .403 wOBA with a 38.7% hard contact against right-handed hitters this season. On top of that, he’s allowed 14 home runs in 45 innings against righties. Segura isn’t a threat for home runs, but he does have a .348 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season, to go with a respectable 16.4% strikeout rate. He’s always a threat to steal bases too, so he has a lot of run potential if he gets on base tonight.
Rhys Hoskins: $4,500 (vs. Atlanta Braves)
I’ve been talking about this guy since he was called up and have been riding this hot streak since the beginning. He has eight home runs in the last nine games, and he has at least one home run in five straight games now. He gets the benefit of playing in this small ballpark, and he has a great matchup against Luke Sims. Sims has a .358 wOBA with a 38.6% hard contact against right-handed hitters since being called up. Meanwhile, Hoskins has a .432 ISO with a .458 wOBA against right-handed pitching since getting promoted. He also has a 47.1% hard contact rate against righties.
Steven Souza Jr.: $3,800 (vs. Kansas City Royals)
I talked about this total rising in my write-up for Perez, and another player I like a lot is Steven Souza. He’s been my go-to for upside against right-handed pitching this season. He has a .290 ISO with a .378 wOBA against righties. He has hit 27 of his 28 home runs against right-handed pitching as well. What's more, Kennedy struggles with right-handed power bats. He has a 35.5% hard contact rate with a 1.57 HR/9 against right-handed hitters this season. Again, I don’t love the ballpark, but I do think there is home run upside in this spot for Souza.