Charlie Blackmon currently projected to be in around a quarter of lineups tonight
Charlie Blackmon is currently projected to be in somewhere around a quarter of all lineups despite his high cost without a high priced favorite on any mound tonight and his team projected for a slate high 6.31 runs at Coors. Even Carlos Gonzalez is expected to be well represented against a fly ball generators who has struggled against LH power (Julio Teheran). Players with high projected fantasy point totals, who may go overlooked tonight include Paul Goldschmidt and Michael Conforto. There are plenty of bats in great spots tonight. Jose Quintana could be the most popular pitcher at a reasonable cost on FanDuel, but is $3.2K more expensive on DraftKings, where Kevin Gausman (29.8 K% last 11 starts) and Jerad Eickhoff (San Diego 25.3 K% vs RHP) could find themselves in the most lineups than other pitchers, each costing less than $9K. Players looking for a cheap, speculative arm with low ownership could consider Jakob Junis. He struck out seven in eight innnings of work last time out and had a 29.9 K% at AAA this season. Projected ownership rates are updated throughout the day and are available to premium subscribers on the Projected Ownership page.
Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are top projected bats against rookie pitchers
No team has more than one batter in the top 10 among the RotoGrinders Player Projections on both sites tonight, although the Diamondbacks barely sneak in two (Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb vs John Lackey) on FanDuel. The top five are the same on either site. Bryce Harper (183 wRC+, .351 ISO vs RHP this year) faces Chris Stratton. Mike Trout (172 wRC+, .240 ISO vs LHP) faces Marco Gonzales. Neither of those pitchers have much of a track record and are facing potential MVP candidates this season. Aaron Judge (174 wRC+, .329 ISO vs LHP) has a platoon advantage he really doesn't need against Eduardo Rodriguez and is beginning to pick it up again after a rough start to his second half (119 wRC+, 33.3 Hard% last seven days). Anthony Rizzo (123 wRC+, .255 ISO vs RHP) enjoys the confines of Chase Field in Arizona (Taijuan Walker). Charlie Blackmon (143 wRC+, .296 ISO vs RHP) is the only real Colorado threat on the road. LHBs have a .326 wOBA, 32.6 Hard% vs Jose Urena since last year. Top projected values for those projected for at least seven DraftKings points are Chris Davis (2.65 Pt/$/K) against Paul Blackburn and Logan Forsythe (2.35 Pt/$/K) against Clayton Richard. The projections like Forsythe's teammate, Kike Hernandez (4.09 Pt/$/K) and Eric Thames (4.06 Pt/$/K) against Homer Bailey.
Taking a contrarian approach to the L.A. Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks matchup
The Dodgers have a 116 wRC+ against LHP (third) and 113 sOPS+ against fly ball pitchers (fifth). Arizona would appear an excellent spot to load up on Dodger RHBs against a rookie lefty who has allowed RHBs a 42.9 Hard% and 30.8 GB% through two starts. Player should certainly consider Kike Hernandez (116 wRC+, .261 ISO vs LHP since 2016) and Austin Barnes (142 wRC+, .265 ISO vs LHP since 2016) on either site and Logan Forsythe (133 wRC+, .182 ISO vs LHP since 2016) on DraftKings if looking to pay up for high priced pitching tonight, but there's a high risk, potentially profitable contrarian way to view this matchup as well. While several players will be on this side tonight, Anthony Banda was ranked a top 100 prospect by Fangraphs with an above average strikeout rate at almost every stop of the minors. Yu Darvish has massive upside, but has been inconsistent this year and generates a lot of fly balls. LHBs have a 33.6 Hard% against him since last season, RHBs have just a .275 wOBA and 29 Hard%, but 37.5 GB%. Five times in 23 starts, he's allowed multiple HRs this year, including twice in his last three starts. The fact that Arizona bats are not priced down will make this more difficult, but they are likely to have nearly no ownership. Paul Goldschmidt (163 wRC+, .286 ISO), J.D. Martinez (126 wRC+, .285 ISO) and Jake Lamb (148 wRC+, .293 ISO) have all been torching RHP this year. Arizona, as a team, is tied for sixth with a 110 sOPS+ against fly ball pitchers. All three of those batters have an sOPS+ above 130 against fly ball pitchers this year (Baseball-Reference), while the two RHBs have a hard hit rate above 60% over the last week. Yu Darvish can still have a great game, striking out 12 while allowing two or three HRs. He did exactly that three starts back. While most players will be on Dodger bats in this matchup, there's a potential argument to be made for going the other way for those with high risk tolerance.
Giancarlo Stanton has a league leading five HRs over the last week and three career against Tanner Roark
The only two batters on the slate with a 300+ wRC+ over the last week (10 PA min.) have sample size issues. Adrian Sanchez (370 wRC+, 40 Hard%, 0 HRs) has 11 PAs and Tyler White (342 wRC+, 50 Hard%, three HRs) has 12 PAs, but has at least left the yard a few times. Both have hit the ball fairly hard with a couple of the more favorable matchups on the slate against Dan Straily and Carlos Rodon. It says more about the difficulty of the slate than the pitchers themselves that they rank among the top matchups for batters though. Mike Trout (293 wRC+, 33.3 Hard%, three HRs) is always matchup proof and would seem an even greater play on such a tough slate, but faces one of the top pitchers in the league in James Paxton (LHBs .286 wOBA since last season) in a tough park in Seattle. Trout has struck out 11 times in 24 PAs with two doubles against Paxton. Danny Valencia (290 wRC+, 50 Hard%, two HRs) should be in the lineup against Tyler Skaggs (RHBs .321 wOBA, 31.2 Hard% since 2016). Tim Beckham (284 wRC+, 34.8 Hard%, three HRs) faces Chris Smith (RHBs .278 wOBA, 30.1 Hard% in small sample since 2016). Paul Goldschimdt (264 wRC+, 71.4 Hard%, four HRs) has the top hard hit rate over the last week, but faces Yu Darvish (RHBs .275 wOBA, 29 Hard% since 2016). Giancarlo Stanton (253 wRC+, 60 Hard%, five HRs) and Brian Dozier (252 wRC+, 32 Hard%, five HRs) are tied for the lead with five HRs each over the last week. Stanton faces Tanner Roark (RHBs .283 wOBA, 22.3 Hard% since 2016), whom he has three HRs and just five strikeouts in 34 PAs against. Dozier faces Zach Davies (RHBs .312 wOBA, 30.4 Hard% career), who has just a 19.3 Hard% over his last four starts.
Luke Weaver had a 19.8 K-BB%, but ERA above five in 36.1 major league innings last year
Luke Weaver arrived in the league with a 19.8 K-BB% through 36.1 innings, but seven HRs and a .386 BABIP shot his ERA above five and more than two runs above his non-FIP estimators. While he had an outrageous 36.6 LD%, his hard hit rate was just 32.4%. This season, he’s generated a 21.7 K-BB% through 13 AAA starts without BABIP or HR issues. One area of concern is that he’s failed to go more than five innings in seven of his last nine AAA starts. The Diamondbacks drop off sharply on the road (80 wRC+, 24.4 K%, 10.6 Hard-Soft%), but have recently upgraded their lineup with a bat that has shown proficiency in difficult parks before. Weaver is certainly a pitcher who can be paired with a higher priced arm and may even be worth a flyer for multiple lineup players on FanDuel, though there is that concern about his workload. With just a 30.3 GB% through 39.1 major league innings and mostly below average ground ball rates in the minors there is some merit to targeting Arizona bats despite their 4.35 implied run line being second lowest on the slate. The most obvious targets are Jake Lamb (138 wRC+, .289 ISO vs RHP since last season) and David Peralta (107 wRC+, .170 ISO vs RHP since last season) with the platoon advantage. Paul Goldschmidt (138 wRC+, .224 ISO vs RHP since 2016), A.J. Pollock (122 wRC+, .181 ISO vs RHP since 2016) and J.D. Martinez (140 wRC+, .247 ISO vs RHP since 2016) are quite expensive with the park downgrade. Goldschmidt is the third best projected player by the RotoGrinders Player Projections tonight though. Jake Lamb is a top 10 bat too.
Aaron Blair set to make his 2017 debut against Diamondbacks Wednesday afternoon
This sets up a very appealing matchup for Arizona as their projected lineup boasts a combined .209 ISO and .346 wOBA against RHP this year. Blair started 15 games in 2016 and finished with a 5.49 SIERA and 14.2% K%. Against RHB (165 TBF), he posted a .337 wOBA, .231 ISO, and 18.2% K% and his numbers were worse against LHB (159 TBF): .432 wOBA, .284 ISO, and 10.1% K%. This makes Jake Lamb (.300 ISO, .414 wOBA vs. RHP this season) a top choice on the afternoon slate. Fellow lefties Gregor Blanco (.168 ISO, .361 wOBA) and Daniel Descalso (.189 ISO, .363 wOBA) are also appealing in a stack. Of course, RHB A.J. Pollock (.203 ISO, .392 wOBA), Paul Goldschmidt (.283 ISO, .434 wOBA), and J.D. Martinez (.256 ISO, .355 wOBA) are in excellent spots as well. As one might expect, Arizona has the highest projected run total on the early slate (5.87).
RHBs have a .389 wOBA against Edwin Jackson since last season, .429 wOBA vs Nick Pivetta this year
Arizona (5.76) and Texas (5.56) are the only teams with a run line above five and a half, but with nearly half of the board (13 teams) currently between 4.69 and 5.35 implied runs tonight and the rest between 3.65 and 4.42. It's that kind of night in MLB where no pitcher stands out as either an elite arm or target tonight. That should help spread ownership out where players can just attack spots they feel have the most value and that may be just fitting as many top bats as they can in the lineup. Jose Altuve (160 wRC+, .198 ISO vs RHP since last season) and George Springer (125 wRC+, .200 ISO) stand out against a same handed pitcher allowing RHBs a .429 wOBA and 45.1 Hard% in a power friendly park (Nick Pivetta in Philadelphia). David Peralta (109 wRC+, .171 ISO vs RHP since 2016) may be the top value bat on the slate against a pitcher allowing a .351 wOBA to LHBs since last season, but he's sure to be popular in the top expected offense tonight. With just a .305 wOBA and 25.1 Hard% against RHBs since last season for Mike Foltynewicz, it will be interesting to see how many players include the potent RHBs of Paul Goldshcmidt (137 wRC+, .222 ISO vs RHP), A.J. Pollock (127 wRC+, .188 ISO vs RHP) and J.D. Martinez (139 wRC+, .245 ISO vs RHP) and go full stack against him. The pitcher to attack should be Edwin Jackson though. RHBs have a .389 wOBA and 36.9 Hard% against him since last year with 13 of his 18 HRs allowed and just a 36.9 GB%. Ryan Braun (122 wRC+, .242 ISO vs RHP since last season) and Domingo Santana (110 wRC+, .187 ISO vs RHP) should be key components of any stack, which could include LHBs (.344 wOBA, 27.7 Hard% vs Jackson since 2016).
The Diamondbacks are among the seven teams with implied team totals at 5.0 runs or higher on Wednesday's slate
After a decent start to the 2017 campaign, Tim Adleman has pitched, well, like Tim Adleman of late, allowing three or more earned runs and failing to pitch past the fifth inning in each of his last five starts. So, clearly, he still isn't the type of pitcher we need to shy away from attacking with opposing hitters. This is especially true given his matchup with an Arizona Diamondbacks squad that just continues to roll, ranking 4th in wOBA and 9th in ISO against right-handed pitching, and not to mention just added another big time bat in J.D. Martinez, who will make his Diamondbacks debut this evening. To this point in his career, Adleman has been a fly ball pitcher to left-handed batters (51.2% FB%) and owns, essentially, neutral splits to righties, though he is surrendering a lot more hard contact (37.9% HH%) against righties opposed to 30.1% against lefties. He also looks to be an average strikeout pitcher (19.2% K%) that has exhibited some questionable control (9.5% BB% in 2017), meaning that there should be expected to be a plethora of baserunners from both sides of the plate Wednesday night. Paul Goldschmidt (172 wRC+, .446 wOBA, .303 ISO vs RHP) and Jake Lamb (148 wRC+, .410 wOBA, .282 ISO vs RHP) and far and away the top overall options to target from this Arizona lineup in all formats, closely followed by the newly acquired Martinez (119 wRC+, .350 wOBA, .247 ISO vs RHP), who should be looking to put on a show in his debut. The secondary tier of Diamondbacks hitters looks to be David Peralta (117 wRC+, .362 wOBA vs RHP), A.J. Pollock (110 wRC+, .351 wOBA vs RHP), and Brandon Drury (117 wRC+, .363 wOBA, .190 ISO vs RHP), though Peralta and Pollock have really lacked individual power this season, making them less appealing options. The aforementioned trio is likely better utilized as stack fillers, whereas, Goldschmidt, Lamb, and Martinez possess enough upside on their own to be viable as both one-offs and core pieces to a Diamondbacks stack in tournaments.
Bryce Harper is tonight's top projected player (RotoGrinders Player Projections) vs HR prone Tim Adleman
Bryce Harper is the top projected bat on the slate by the RotoGrinders Player Projections against the HR prone Tim Adleman (18.5 HR/FB at home since last season). He's followed by several first basemen (Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo and Freddie Freeman). The Diamondbacks (Jake Lamb), Cubs (Kris Bryant) and Mariners (Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano) all have multiple players near the top. Corey Dickerson costs just $3.5K on DraftKings and may be the top value on the slate according to the projections (3.51 Pt/$/K). Ricky Nolasco has allowed a major league leading 25 HRs and Dickerson should get three shots at him at the top of the order. Kyle Schwarber costs just $2.3K on FanDuel and projects for 4.01 Pt/$/K against Kevin Gausman. Alex Avila (3.89 PT/$/K) against Aaron Sanchez and Robinson Cano (3.86 Pt/$/K) against James Shields reserve potential top value spots as well.
Four offenses (Rockies, White Sox, Nationals, Diamondacks) dominate Player Projections tonight
There's a familiar and expected cast of characters leading the RotoGrinders Player Projections tonight, led by Nolan Arenado at home against Derek Holland, followed by Aaron Judge, also with a team implied run line above six. Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, and Jose Abreu (at Coors) round out the top five, all in favorable spots. The top 10 rounds out with three more Coors bats (Charlie Blackmon, Mark Reynolds, Todd Frazier) then another from Arizona (Jake Lamb) and Washington (Daniel Murphy). Many players are likely paying up for pitching though, and will be looking for more value from their bats. On FanDuel, Jesus Aguilar ($2.1K) projects for 4.18 Pt/$/K at Yankee Stadium against Jordan Montgomery, who has been a bit more generous with the long ball recently, while David Peralta projects for both a high point total and a lot of value (4.02 Pt/$/K) against Tim Adleman. Mitch Moreland (2.6 Pt/$/K) projects for the most value on DraftKings. Though Jake Odorizzi has a reverse platoon split for his career, Moreland leads the Red Sox with a .219 ISO vs RHP this year.