Zimmerman and Rendon get day off for Nationals opening up some Coors Field value
Two of the normal Washington starters, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon, are getting the day off with Adam Lind and Wilmer Difo taking their spots on the field. Difo is a risky option at the bottom of the order but he's cheap. Lind is just as affordable and batting 5th in the Nationals line up becomes an almost immediate chalk option in Coors Field. The other four left-handed bats (Eaton, Turner, Harper, and Murphy) for the Nationals all remain expensive, elite options. The right-handed bats of Rockies hitters Nolan Arenado, D.J. LeMahieu, Trevor Story and Mark Reynolds are the top options there with Patrick Valaika a viable punt option at SS batting 7th. Both pitchers (Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals and Antonio Senzatela of the Rockies) are obvious fades.
RotoGrinders Player Projections offer a pair of Arizona alternatives to Coors bats tonight
While three Coors bats (Arenado, T.Turner, Blackmon) lead overall projections among hitters, there are plenty of 3B pivots for those who don't want to pay an enormous price for Arenado. Jake Lamb (134 wRC+, 285 ISO vs RHP) projects within a point on either site, while also being one of the top projected values on DraftKings (2.36 Pt/$/K) alongside teammate David Peralta (132 wRC+, .209 ISO vs RHP since 2015), who is also the only bat on FanDuel projected for more than 4.0 Pt/$/K. Tonight may also be a night to pay down for pitching (Jesse Chavez 5.01 Pt/$/K on FanDuel, Amir Garrett 3.24 Pt/$/K) with the top priced pitchers having either weather (Archer) or velocity (Greinke) issues tonight.
Multiple infielders (one outfield bat) with a wRC+ above 300 over the last week
Eric Thames is topping most lists concerning tearing the cover off baseballs today and he is the week's hottest hitter (354 wRC+, 48 Hard%), nothing a meeting with the declining Adam Wainwright (RHBs .367 wRC+, 32.9 Hard% since 2015) should do to interrupt, but he joins a list of four other bats with a wRC+ above 300 over the last week. Freddie Freeman (345 wRC+, 44.4 Hard%) is one of many viable 1B pivots and should continue to punish Jeremy Hellickson (LHBs .320 wOBA). Bryce Harper (340 wRC+, 38.1 Hard%) will now be facing Matt Harvey. Incidentally, he's the only batter on this list with a hard hit rate below 40% over the last week. Jedd Gyorko (316 wRC+, 50 Hard%) will face the same handed Wily Peralta (RHBs .348 wOBA). He may be the outlier on this list, but does have an ISO above .200 against RHP since last season. Nolan Arenado (307 wRC+, 44.4 Hard%) does have a tough assignment against Johnny Cueto (RHBs .293 wOBA), but does get the generous Coors boost. Jose Ramirez (299 wRC+, 42.1 Hard%) deserves mention too, against the struggling Jose Quintana (RHBs .316 wOBA).
Nolan Arenado homers twice in Rockies' win
Arenado has six homers, six doubles and a 1.205 OPS through 15 games. He's neck-and-neck with Eric Thames in the NL MVP race with barely 5 1/2 months left to go.
Padres visit Colorado for final game of three game series
A Coors game in a small afternoon slate means one thing - people are going to try and stack the game as many ways as possible and there are two options you have. One, you can join them or two you can take a ride on the crazy train and fade the game. Both have merit but with the likes of Zach Lee (making his 2nd major league start) and Kyle Freeland on the mound you're probably better off joining the masses than avoiding this game. Both pitchers are obviously not viable options and most of the hitters in the lineups are in play but we'll focus on the best ones from each team. For the Padres, the top four of the lineup (Margot, Myers, Solarte, Renfroe) are the ones to start off with while for the Rockies any of the top six (Blackmon, LeMahieu, Gonzalez, Arenado, Parra, and Story) are great options.
Nolan Arenado is projected to be owned in 40% of lineups or more
Nolan Arenado is projected to be owned in 40% or more lineups on either site tonight. Not homering off Jered Weaver tonight would be a surprise. His counterpart, Yangervis Solarte is projected to be popular as well with those two accounting for up to 65% of lineups on FanDuel according to our Projected Ownership page, while 3B eligibles Mark Reynolds, DJ LeMahieu and Ryan Schimpf on DraftKings all project north of 20% as well. Daniel Murphy (on DraftKings) and Manny Machado might be alternatives, both projecting for about 10% ownership, while Neil Walker could be an interesting 2B pivot, projecting at 10% or less on either site. Dylan Bundy had a 17.2 SwStr% against the Blue Jays in his first start and is expected to be in fewer than 10% of DFS lineups in Boston tonight. Players can see all the Projected Ownership rates with a Premium Membership.
Jameson Taillon tops tonight's Pitcher projections on DraftKings
That Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon top the RotoGrinders projections at just under 14 points a piece is not a surprise in a matchup at home with Jered Weaver, but Manny Machado topping the FanDuel projections (vs Drew Pomeranz), as the only player above 11 points might be today. Not because Machado isn't great, but because the Rockies are facing Jered Freakin Weaver in Coors! Among pitchers, Jameson Taillon is a surprise atop the DraftKings board. He's the only pitcher projected to reach 20 points, though Cole Hamels and Gio Gonzalez come close. Although, Gonzalez leads FanDuel projections overall, Taillon still shows up as the only pitcher projected for more than four points per $1K of salary (Pt/$/K). Value bats appear to be Aaron Hill (2.87 Pt/$/K) on DraftKings, facing Robbie Ray at home for just $2.2K (if he plays) and Mitch Haniger (4.38 Pt/$/K) at home in Seattle against a potentially tough righty (Joe Musgrove), but it's difficult to ignore a minimum priced batter sitting near the top of the lineup.
George Springer (6.66%) tops tonight's HR Predictor
With Jerad Weaver going in Colorado, you would think Rockies would litter the top of the board on today's HR Predictor page, but the top three spots belong to non-Coors players tonight. George Springer leads all players with a 6.66% projection. The park downgrade to Safeco may not be able to hold him as Ariel Miranda has allowed 13 HRs to RHBs and he's only faced 204. He's also allowed nine of 14 career HRs at home. While the second and third spots belong to the afternoon slate (Cabrera and McCann), Story (6.09%) and Arenado (5.85%) round out the top five.
First Coors Field game of the year highlights the afternoon games
A run total of 11 1/2 runs is a bit low for a Coors Field game but it's easily the highest of all the day games today giving us plenty of hitting options to target. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kyle Freeland are the SP's today and are easy fades given the location of the game despite Freeland being one of the Rockies top prospects. Freeland is a southpaw and the Dodgers have stacked seven RH bats at the top of the order. Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig are the top options and Scott Van Slyke the southpaw-smasher makes for a great value option batting fifth. The rest of the top seven are of course in play. From the Rockies side, DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Mark Reynolds are the top RH bats against the southpaw Ryu.
Rockies and Brewers set to square off in what should be a high-scoring game
With a Vegas run total of nine and Antonio Senzatela making his big league debut for the Rockies against homer-prone Chase Anderson there should be plenty of fantasy goodness to be had in Milwaukee today. Anderson is an extreme reverse splits pitcher as he allowed a staggering .394 wOBA and 17 HR's in just over 80 innings of work last season to RH bats. He fared much better against LH bats (.289 wOBA). Nolan Arenado is the top option in the Rockies lineup today along with Trevor Story, DJ LeMahieu, and Mark Reynolds. From the Brewers side, Ryan Braun is not in the lineup leaving Jonathan Villar, Eric Thames, and Travis Shaw as the bats to target. If you're looking for value, Jesus Aguilar batting third is near minimum price.