Kendall Graveman throwing sinker 90% of time, generated just two swings and misses last start
Kendall Graveman generated some excitement with a March boost in velocity, but has dropped nearly a half mile per hour in each start since his first, generating just two swinging strikes in his last start. He's throwing his sinker 90% of the time, but his once strong ground ball rate (above 50%) is now down around league average (44%). Despite hard contact at a 36% rate this year, he's stranded 100% of his runners with a .204 BABIP, which has kept his ERA more than two runs below his estimators. He has virtually no platoon split, so as usual with the Angels, it's Mike Trout (172 wRC+, .272 ISO vs RHP since 2015) or nothing. In 21 career PAs though, Trout has just an 84.2 mph aEV (one HR) on 19 BBE against Graveman. Kole Calhoun (112 wRC+, .162 ISO vs RHP since 2015) has a 95.5 mph aEV on 15 BBE.
Dylan Bundy, Texas bats project as top values via RotoGrinders Player Projections
Coors bats reign supreme atop the RotoGrinders Player Projections in terms of raw point projections. Paul Goldschmidt (141 wRC+, .217 ISO vs RHP since 2015) and Mike Trout (179 wRC+, .260 ISO vs LHP since 2015) are the first two non-Coors bats you'll find. Both have interesting matchups tonight against two of the the top three SwStr rates on the board (both above 14%) tonight, though both Cahill and Manaea will occasionally allow a lot of hard contact. More troubling for Goldy is that he has just a 32.7 FB% against RHPs while Cahill has kept RHBs on the ground around 60% of the time. On FanDuel, Rangers RHBs appear the top values with DeShields ($2.2K batting leadoff), Rua ($2.1K) and Napoli (129 wRC+, .224 ISO vs LHP since 2015) all projecting well against Hector Santiago (.323 wOBA, 37.1 Hard% vs LHBs since 2015) in Texas tonight. On the pitching side, Dylan Bundy now projects as a top two overall pitcher and value on either site after losing Martinez and Syndergaard from the slate.
Despite the two highest implied run lines, there are alternatives to Coors bats tonight
The night slate has already been thrown into chaos, down two top pitchers in Syndergaard and Martinez, and though Coors houses the two highest implied run lines tonight (Col 5.82 - Was 5.68) players must consider how to handle a ground baller (Chatwood 56.6 GB% last two calendar years) and weak contact generator (Roark 25.3 Hard% last two calendar years). While this isn't a recommendation to fade Coors bats, it does look at a few alternatives for those who choose to do so. Outfield appears to offer the top alternatives. Nelson Cruz faces a mediocre lefty (185 wRC+, .331 ISO since 2015), which immediately makes him a strong candidate in any park, where as Detroit is fairly neutral. Michael Conforto (133 wRC+, .249 ISO vs RHP career) will hopefully remain in the leadoff spot. Julio Teheran is walking more batters and striking out fewer and has struggled against LHBs for a long time (.360 wOBA since 2015). Mike Trout (179 wRC+, .260 ISO vs LHP since 2015) faces an up and coming southpaw, but one who has struggled with hard contact occasionally (RHBs 32.7 Hard%, 17 HRs since Manaea's call-up). Chris Davis (140 wRC+, .304 ISO vs RHP since 2015) faces a pitcher who has been torched by LHBs (.486 wOBA) since returning from Tommy John surgery after the Tampa Bay bullpen was worn out last night. Seth Smith (121 wRC+, .194 ISO ISO vs RHP since 2015) is a cheaper bat that should be atop that same lineup. Miguel Sano (131 wRC+, .256 ISO vs LHP career), Kennys Vargas (180 wRC+, .240 ISO vs LHP career) and Brian Dozier (121 wRC+, .251 ISO vs LHP since 2015) face a southpaw who has forgotten how to miss bats (Hamels 7.9 SwStr%) in Texas.
Mike Trout reaches seats in extras
Trout's blast erased a deficit, forcing an 11th inning. The Halos ended up winning thanks to a Kole Calhoun RBI single, giving manager Mike Scioscia his 1,500th victory as manager in Anaheim. Trout has hit safely in nine straight and 14 of the past 15 contests.
Jayson Werth has a 156 wRC+, .305 ISO vs LHP since 2015
Jayson Werth has a 156 wRC+ (.305 ISO) vs LHP since 2015. That wRC+ is the fifth highest (min. 30 PA) batters projected to be in the lineup tonight against the handed type pitcher they are facing tonight. In a great spot in Coors, he could be the expensive, over-looked bat lower in the order against Tyler Anderson, who has struggled out of the gate this season. Anderson's GB rate is only 39.7% this year and Werth has elevated contact against LHP nearly 50% of the time over the last two plus seasons. He could be one of the better values in this game. Above Werth on this list today are a number of usual suspects, including Mike Trout (178 wRC+, .255 ISO vs LHP - Francisco Liriano 88% of career HRs allowed to RHBs), Joey Votto (166 wRC+, .244 ISO vs RHP - Matt Garza .365 wOBA, .344 ISO vs LHBs since 2015), Ryan Braun (165 wRC+, .249 ISO vs LHP - Amir Garrett juts a .252 wOBA vs LHBs in three starts, but a 36.4 Hard%), and Corey Seager (163 wRC+, .229 ISO vs RHP - Matt Cain .396 wOBA vs LHBs!!).
Mike Trout notches pair of singles in defeat
The Angels managed seven hits against Marcus Stroman, but all seven of those came from Trout, Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons. The rest of the team went a combined 0-for-19. For his part, Trout is off to a predictably blistering start this season, hitting .351/.424/.676 with five homers, 14 RBI and four steals.
Sean Manaea and Nelson Cruz both among top projected players and values tonight
Nelson Cruz not only projects as one of the top three hitters on DraftKings (10.42), along with Paul Goldschmidt (10.89) and Mike Trout (10.4), but also projects as one of the top three values for just $4.2K (2.48 Pt/$/K). Those three are joined by Anthony Rizzo on FanDuel, as the only hitters projected for more than 13 points. Despite liking Cruz, the RotoGrinders Player Projections also see Sean Manaea as a top six pitcher and top five value on either site. While good players rarely advocate using a batter against your own pitcher, exposure to both sides of this matchup should be considered, but not necessarily in the same lineup. On DraftKings, Trevor Cahill rates as potentially the top value (3 Pt/$/K on a $5.6K cost). He's ridden a breaking ball to an impressive 16.9 SwStr% through two starts.
Eric Thames now has a 262 wRC+ and .524 ISO vs RHP.
Eric Thames has put up a 262 wRC+ and .524 ISO against RHP this year. He has a 354 wRC+ and 48 Hard% overall in the last week of baseball and gets to face Adam Wainwright on the downside (LHBs .367 wOBA since 2015) at an affordable $3.8K still on DraftKings. While several 1B option grade out well today, it's going to be very difficult to fade this sensation today. Trey Mancini should be back in the lineup at home against Drew Pomeranz (RHBs .296 wOBA since 2015). He's pummeled LHP for a 214 wRC+ and .467 ISO in his short career so far. Among those with larger sample sizes, Nelson Cruz has a 185 wRC+ (.333 ISO vs LHP). He's not in a great park in Oakland and Sean Manaea (RHBs .315 wOBA) has shown some elite bat missing skills, but RHBs have hit the ball hard (33.9%) against him. Paul Goldschmidt still hammers lefties (174 wRC+, .227 ISO since 2015) and is always in a great spot at home, but it's a ground ball hitter (30.1 FB% vs LHP) vs a ground ball pitcher (48.6 GB% vs RHBs since 2015). Mike Trout (171 wRC+, .269 ISO vs RHP since 2015) in a nice spot against Mat Latos at home and Bryce Harper (167 wRC+, .284 ISO vs RHP since 2015) now facing Matt Harvey in New York, round out our list of top bats vs the handedness of the pitcher they are facing tonight.
Mike Trout homers against Astros
The Angels have scored one or no runs in five of their last seven games and two and five in the other two. Trout is doing what he can; he's batting .333 with a 1.064 OPS to date. The rest of the team has had nothing to offer.
Lance McCullers clear number two SP option as Astros host Angels
The streaky Matt Shoemaker of the Angles hasn't looked good so far this season but does have K upside facing an Astros team that does strikeout quite a bit. Still he's a high risk option and probably best avoided in your lineups today facing the potent Astros lineup. The other pitcher in the game, Lance McCullers of the Astros, is the clear top option behind Boston's Chris Sale this afternoon. He has a 30+% K rate over his last 17 starts and also has an elite ground ball rate while not giving up much hard contact. Mike Trout is the only viable option from the Angels but it's hard to justify paying his price tag. The Astros lineup, however, is a top stacking option with the top seven of their lineup (Springer, Beltran, Altuve, Correa, McCann, Bregman, and Gattis all in play) with Altuve and Correa (who is returning from a three game absence) the top options of that group.