Happy Hump Day baseball fans! Today we have 14 total games throughout the day and in this article I will be looking at a core play from each position on five-game main slate. Let’s get started.
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With that, let’s jump into the picks.
Stripling started the 2018 season out of the bullpen and when moved into the rotation fully in early May, he was very impressive. In those 20 starts, he recorded a 3.16 ERA and even more impressive 2.73 xFIP while striking out over 10 batters per nine with a 11.3 % swinging strike rate. Pitch count is always a concern and it showed in his first start where he struck out five and gave up no earned runs but was still pulled after 76 pitches with one out in the 5th. I think we see an increase in that pitch count today 85+ and that would be terrific as he gets an elite matchup against the Giants who are 2-4 on the season and rank near the bottom of the league in wOBA(.259), wRC+(57), and ISO(.113) while striking out 26% of the time.
Also Consider: Gerrit Cole(HOU)
My favorite pay up at the position is Anthony Rizzo but I love the PTS/$ value with Yuli Gurriel. He hasn’t lifted off yet in 2019 but has a hit in four of six games and always gets a big boost when facing a lefty. He already has three hits in eight plate appearances this season and in 2018 he posted a .382 wOBA, 147 wRC+, and .889 OPS. He and the Astros now get a top matchup against Mike Minor who was less than impressive last season and started the 2019 season giving up six earned runs to the Cubs on Opening Day. I will have Gurriel in cash games, especially on FanDuel, and he will also be a part of my Astros stacks.
Also Consider: Anthony Rizzo(CHC)
If you have the salary to spare, I will definitely be targeting Jose Altuve but my core play at the position is Hernandez. He has hit out of the leadoff spot in three of his last four games which gives him a boost right off the bat and he has also been consistent to start the year with hits in all five games with three multi-hit efforts. There there is the matchup against Derek Holland who is a below average arm and Hernandez has been terrific against lefties going 5 for 11 so far this year and posted a .334 wOBA/113 wRC+ in the split in 2018. If he is again at the top of the order, Hernandez will be a near lock in all formats.
Also Consider: Jose Altuve(HOU)
I am loving the upside with Bregman and Turner who get excellent matchups against bad lefties but I am leaning Bryant for my cash games. He has been the more consistent of the three so far this season with with hits in all four games with two doubles, a home run, four walks, and four RBI. He doesn’t get the edge in matchup but it is still a decent one against Julio Teheran who gave up three earned runs(1 HR) to the Phillies on Opening Day and is coming off a season where he posted a 4.72 xFIP, walked over four per nine, and gave up 26 home runs.
Also Consider: Justin Turner(LAD)
I am going back to the Astros offense at shortstop to take advantage of this plus matchup against Mike Minor. It might be surprising listing two Astros who are hitting 5/6 in the order but that just goes to show how strong their lineup is when hitters of that quality are down in the lineup. After missing the first three games with neck stiffness, Correa went 4 for 11 in his first three games with two doubles. He is a great play in all formats but his best value is easily on FanDuel where he is currently under-priced. In cash games, I love stacking Correa/Gurriel if they are again hitting back to back and targeting the lower half of the Astros lineup in GPP likely gives you an ownership discount.
Also Consider: Javier Baez(CHC)
The price is going up but for good reason as Pollock is off to a hot start with his new team with hits in four of six games with three multi-hit efforts and has already drove in six runs. He is hitting in the middle of a powerful lineup and has been better against lefites for his career and now faces a below average Derek Holland. Pollock is my core play in the outfield for cash games and I will be stacking the Dodgers in GPP as well.
Also Consider: Albert Almora(CHC) as a punt play or Kyle Schwarber(CHC) as an upside GPP play