The start of the matchup between the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers on Saturday night will be delayed due to lightning and inclement weather currently in the area. There’s yet to be any confirmation of an official start time, and the Rangers have not yet committed to a specific timeline for providing further updates. Since starting pitchers in this contest aren’t likely to be heavily targeted options in daily fantasy formats, the late start obviously doesn’t do much to add to their overall fantasy appeal, and as Kevin Roth detailed in his updated forecast, hitters from this game shouldn’t be avoided given the ideal hitting conditions and unlikeliness of a late postponement.
Perez is coming off of a brutal road start against the New York Yankees his last time out, surrendering seven earned runs and two home runs in just five innings pitched. Tonight, he’ll be tasked with shutting down a righty-heavy Los Angeles Angels lineup that receives a significant ballpark upgrade heading to Globe Life Park in Arlington, which, in the sweltering Texas heat, has facilitated the most runs and second-most home runs in all of Major League Baseball this season. When combining those park factors and a matchup against a struggling Martin Perez, it’s easy to understand why the Angels are presently tied with the Washington Nationals for the highest implied team run total (5.6) on Saturday’s main slate. Not only is Perez inducing fewer ground balls against right-handed batters than left-handed batters, albeit, a respectable 48.2% rate on the year, but he’s also giving up substantially more hard contact (45.0% HH%), which has led to a lofty 0.429 wOBA and 5.32 xFIP to righties. This makes the Angels righties the clear preferred targets for tournament formats, though with Mike Trout still sidelined with an injury, Andrelton Simmons is the only right-handed batter with a respectable wOBA (0.373) versus left-handed pitchers this season. However, David Fletcher has flashed occasional upside in his time since becoming a regular in the starting lineup, and both Justin Upton (43.5% Hard%, 0.258 ISO, 0.453 xwOBA) and Rene Rivera (40.0% Hard%, 0.236 ISO, 0.499 xwOBA) sport significantly better numbers against lefties when extending the sample size to include the 2017 season, making them worthy stack candidates to pair with Simmons and the other Angels at the top of the batting order this evening.
Martinez has been scratched from the St. Louis Cardinals original confirmed lineup and will not start in Wednesday’s matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers due to right hip tightness. He’ll be replaced in the lineup by Tyler O’Neill, who will play right field and slot directly into Martinez’s vacated third spot in the order. However, the remainder of the Cardinals lineup will stay intact as they face off against left-hander Wade Miley at home this evening.
Milone will not make his previously scheduled start for the Washington Nationals in Saturday’s home matchup against the Miami Marlins due to an unspecified reason, though it appears to just be a manager’s decision since Milone has already been deemed as available out the bullpen this evening. He’ll be replaced on the mound by Jefry Rodriguez but, unlike Milone, is a right-handed pitcher, so his presence on the bump does alter the projected lineup of the Marlins hitters in a significant fashion. Being so, make sure to double check out the projections in LineupHQ and the Starting Lineups page for any notable changes prior to submitting lineups for tonight’s main slate.