MLB Grind Down: Friday, July 12th - HOU @ TEX
Houston at Texas – 8:05 PM ET
Cole is the most talented pitcher to take the mound tonight, but he’s arguably in the worst spot. He’s pitching on the road against the Rangers in a hitter-friendly ballpark. He has the talent to overcome any matchup and ballpark, as evidenced by his 2.89 SIERA and 37% strikeout rate on the season. The issue for me is his price point. There are a number of mid-range options on my radar tonight and quite a few offenses that I wouldn’t mind paying up for. While Cole has the highest projection of any pitcher tonight, I doubt I’ll have any exposure.
Quick Breakdown: I won’t talk anyone out of playing Cole, but I would rather save at pitcher and load up on hitters in this particular slate.
Chavez started the year off as a long reliever, but has slowly worked his way into the starting rotation. Overall, he owns a 4.07 SIERA with a strikeout rate of 23% and a walk rate of 7%. While those numbers are encouraging for a min-priced pitcher, I’m not sure they are enough to warrant consideration against the Astros. Houston’s projected lineup boasts an average xwOBA of .340 with a strikeout rate of only 18% against right-handed pitching.
Quick Breakdown: Chavez will rate out as a decent value given his salary, but I would rather find the extra cap space and go up to Anderson.
Batter Grind Down
The Astros were shut out by the Rangers last night, but should be able to bounce back nicely tonight. They see a positive park shift playing in Texas and get to face a pitcher that has struggled against right-handed hitters. On the season, Jesse Chavez has allowed a .365 xwOBA and a .236 ISO to batters from the right side of the plate. George Springer (.400 xwOBA), Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman (.370 xwOBA) make a nice three-man stack at the top of the order and you can certainly include the likes of Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez if you want to employ the full four or five-man stack.
Stackability – GREEN
Even though I don’t plan on using Gerrit Cole, I won’t be looking to target any Rangers’ hitters. Sure, they are playing at home in a hitter-friendly environment, but they have the worst matchup on the board. In addition to his 37% strikeout rate, Cole has held both left and right-handed hitters under a .260 xwOBA this season. In a slate this size, I don’t see a need to take the risk with Texas when the chances of them helping us win a tournament are so small.
Elite Plays – None
Secondary Plays – None
Stackability – RED