After yesterday's small contests, we have a 14 game affair for this evening. The Orioles-Cubs game is scheduled for the afternoon. Beware: storms could affect Philadelphia, Washington, Cincinnati, and Colorado.
The stack of the day is in Cleveland, where Brad Peacock is visiting the Indians. We've talked about how the Indians lineup works well at Progressive Field. They have a lot of power hitters who bat left-handed. Despite the park's reputation as pitcher friendly, lefties hit 10 percent more home runs there than a neutral park. When we factor in Peacock, the Indians look like an excellent stack. Peacock walks too many hitters, he's a fly ball pitcher, and he consistently allows an elevated home run rate. Take all of that together and the Indians should pop a couple out over the wall.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,500. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Edwin Encarnacion - TOR: Encarnacion has four hits and a home run in five games since returning from the disabled list. It's unclear if he's 100 percent, but it is clear that he has a great matchup. The Blue Jays are at home against southpaw Drew Smyly. Encarnacion doesn't possess much of a career platoon split - and none this season. Smyly struggles against righties. They have a healthy .296/.360/.500 line on the season.
Nolan Arenado - COL: I'm usually immune to the hot hand. The exception is when a young hitter with impressive upside appears to have figured it out. Arenado has picked up where Troy Tulowitzki left off, with plenty of multi-hit games and good power. His season line is up to .298/.339/.503. I'll also bet that Henderson Alvarez scuffles a bit with the rarefied air of Colorado.
Giancarlo Stanton - MIA: He's playing at Coors Field, do I need to elaborate? He'll have the platoon advantage against fringy starter Franklin Morales. Stanton is hitting .352/.449/.637 against southpaws. There's a very good chance he earns his expensive price tag.
Jonathan Lucroy - MIL: Surprisingly, Lucroy only has one home run against southpaws this season. He does have more extra base hits than singles, and his .313/.376/.500 line is certainly attractive. We can comfortably project more power against his opposite-handed rivals. Jeff Locke is a tricky matchup with his ground balls and tiny walk rate.
Lucas Duda - NYM: Duda is opposed by Dan Haren, who has a habit of allowing home runs. It's supposed to be a beautiful night in Los Angeles and Chavez Ravine is mildly friendly to left-handed power. Duda could improve on his career high 23 home runs tonight, and he should bat cleanup too.
J.D. Martinez - DET: The Tigers will face lefty Tommy Milone. He's liable to have a tough night against the potent Detroit lineup. Martinez will do his best to contribute. He hits for big time power against lefties, with a .283/.350/.587 line against southpaws this season. His new power stroke should serve him well against Milone and his fly ball tendencies.
Scott Van Slyke - LAD: Van Slyke has seen his playing time reduced in recent weeks, but he may start tonight with Jon Niese on the hill. Van Slyke has been potent against southpaws, with a big .260/.408/.623 line. Niese is a tricky matchup, so tread with care.
Lonnie Chisenhall - CLE: Chisenhall will attempt to exploit the matchup against Peacock. His season numbers are still good, but he's mired in a slump - hence the bargain bin price. Chisenhall could get on the board with a home run today, but a game without a strikeout would be a modest victory for the scuffling lefty. From my perspective, I can't tell if this is just a typical cold snap or caused by an underlying issue. If it's the former, you can use him freely.
Nolan Reimold - TOR: We already talked about Smyly's ridiculous platoon splits. Reimold will bat down in the Blue Jays lineup, but he represents a high risk, high reward play. Reimold hasn't exhibited a platoon split over his career. What he has shown is power and occasional hot streaks. He's developed a very high swinging strike rate, which limits his fantasy upside.
Adam Wainwright - STL: Assuming you can't afford King Felix, Wainwright makes for a solid second choice. He'll face a pitiful Phillies offense. They're tied with the Padres for the third worst offense against right-handed pitching. Wainwright is no ordinary northpaw; he should be able to wipe the table AND the floor with Philadelphia.
Yordano Ventura - KAN: Ventura has developed a bit of a problem with walks. In turn, I've developed a hands off approach to Ventura. Personally, I recommend going big or going Carrasco today (see below), but if you insist on the mid-tier option, Ventura will face a miserable Rangers lineup. With Colby Lewis opposing him, Ventura should have a good shot at the victory. He's seems to reliably pitch about six innings and allow three runs.
Carlos Carrasco - CLE: Every once and awhile, we'll see an incident of a guy who went to the bullpen, discovered himself, and became a great starting pitcher. It's rare. I'm not saying Carrasco is one of those guys, but his first two starts since returning to the rotation have been gems. He's allowed just five hits, no runs, and no walks while striking out nine in 12 innings. One of those games was against the potent Orioles offense. Houston is always a good opportunity to rack up strikeouts, and Carrasco has the inside edge on a win due to Peacock's mediocrity.