Erase your case of the Mondays with these expert daily baseball plays.
Top Pick: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners, $21,150
2014: 26.4% K, 4.7% BB, 56.1% GB, 2.59 FIP
Astros vs RHP: 23.3% K, 91 wRC+
No matter your favorite reasonable and intelligent means of measuring pitching value, Hernandez has been one of the best hurlers in baseball this season. He ranks third in FIP, has gobbled up the third most IP, and ranks eighth in K%. His strikeout potential is extremely high tonight against an Astros squad that has the second highest K% against RHP this year, and he should earn his very high price tag.
Value Pick: Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays, $12,000
2014 (As a starter): 21.0% K, 6.2% BB, 53.3% GB, 2.89 FIP
Cubs vs RHP: 23.0% K, 84 wRC+
Stroman is a sweet compliment to Hernandez because his inclusion on your King Felix headlined squads still leaves plenty of money for batters. It’s not all about saving cash though, Stroman is a really good pitcher. Among starting pitchers with a minimum of 90 IP, he ranks 17th in FIP, directly in front of some guy named Madison Bumgarner. He keeps the ball on the ground, and he can miss bats. Always a good combination. His bat missing skills should get a boost against the Cubs since they have the third highest K% against RHP this season.
Top Pick: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $8,050
2014 vs RHP: 286 PA, 96 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,150 PA, 121 wRC+, .139 ISO, .346 wOBA
Molina hasn’t kicked the door down since returning to the Cardinals active roster in late August, but in nine games he’s demonstrated his usual ability to avoid punchouts. He’s also worked walks at a healthy rate. He’s seen time hitting fifth and sixth in the lineup, and while fifth would be better, he’s playable from either lineup spot. The most important thing is that he’ll be taking cuts against Dylan Axelrod. Axelrod has the second highest FIP among all pitchers who have a minimum of 190 IP since 2012.
Value Pick: Dioner Navarro, Toronto Blue Jays, $7,350
2014 vs RHP: 336 PA, 103 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 584 PA, 105 wRC+, .132 ISO, .327 wOBA
Navarro has tallied consecutive above average offensive seasons against RHP. He frequently hits sixth for the Blue Jays, and as a LHB tonight he’ll hit with park factors of 131 for 2B/3B, 129 for HR, and 104 for runs. Perhaps more importantly, he’s facing Jacob Turner. The Cubs recent flyer at pitcher has a 4.41 FIP as a starter this season and is allowing a .363 wOBA to LHB.
Top Pick: Adam Dunn, Oakland Athletics, $8,850
2014 vs RHP: 386 PA, 128 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,285 PA, 119 wRC+, .242 ISO, .351 wOBA
Dunn’s thump will look good back in the ballpark of his most recent employer prior to donning green and gold. U.S. Cellular Field has a LHB park factor of 107 for HR, and the Big Donkey has a 43.3% FB rate against RHP this season. It doesn’t hurt that Hector Noesi has allowed a 42.6% FB rate to LHB this year either.
Value Pick: Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays, $7,850
2014 vs RHP: 224 PA, 162 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 902 PA, 143 wRC+, .201 ISO, .384 wOBA
Lind frequently hits cleanup for the Blue Jays, and that’s a hell of a place to be in what figures to be a beat down of Turner. He’s been a well above average hitter against RHP this year, and that’s not a recent development either as his since 2012 stats would indicate. He’s one of the best bargains at any position at under $8,000.
Top Pick: Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates, $8,500
2014 vs RHP: 384 PA, 137 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,233 PA, 130 wRC+, .197 ISO, .358 wOBA
There is a lot to like about Walker, starting with his lineup spot which is often cleanup for the Pirates. He’s facing Kyle Kendrick, owner of a .369 wOBA against LHB this year. Finally, Citizen’s Bank Park has a LHB park factor of 123 for HR.
Value Pick: Scooter Gennett, Milwaukee Brewers, $7,100
2014 vs RHP: 375 PA, 128 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 564 PA, 139 wRC+, .177 ISO, .378 wOBA
The price on Gennett remains far too cheap. He’s been a fixture atop the Brewers lineup since the start of the month, and he’s very good against RHP. Among second baseman with a minimum of 550 PA versus RHP since 2012, Gennett trails only Robinson Cano in wRC+. His appeal for being rostered shoots through the roof as a result of facing the awful Brad Penny.
Top Pick: Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners, $9,950
2014 vs RHP: 373 PA, 153 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,231 PA, 133 wRC+, .191 ISO, .361 wOBA
Seager has recently been moved up to the cleanup slot for the Mariners. That’s a long overdue move. He’s one of the best hitting third baseman when facing a RHP, ranking fourth in wRC+ against them since 2012 and fifth in ISO. This year he’s been even better, leading the way in wRC+ and ISO against RHP. And don’t be scared off by Safeco Field, the LHB park factor for HR is 106.
Value Pick: Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers, $7,600
2014 vs RHP: 358 PA, 95 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,107 PA, 117 wRC+, .163 ISO, .348 wOBA
Ramirez is even more cheap exposure to Penny, and he should enjoy the launching pad park factors of Miller Park even more than his diminutive second base teammate. The RHB park factor for HR is 122 at Miller Park, and the park factor for runs is 106. And a cleanup hitter this cheap? Sign me up.
Top Pick: Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals, $8,600
2014 vs RHP: 428 PA, 118 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,150 PA, 103 wRC+, .149 ISO, .324 wOBA
How putrid Axelrod is has been touched on already, but I failed to point out his problems keeping the ball on the ground. He has just a 39.9% GB rate allowed to RHB since 2012, and that’s a recipe for disaster at Great American Ballpark where the RHB park factor for HR is 136. Peralta has some punch in his bat, and is more than capable of taking advantage of Axelrod’s FB prone ways.
Value Pick: Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics, $7,050
2014 vs RHP: 351 PA, 97 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,069 PA, 114 wRC+, .166 ISO, .336 wOBA
Lowrie doesn’t have a juicy lineup slot, but that can be overlooked thanks to other factors starting with his price. Another positive for him is his power. He ranks third among qualified shortstops in ISO against RHP since 2012. Lowrie does a good job of tapping into his power by lifting the ball with a 47.5% FB rate against RHP since 2012. As I noted in Dunn’s write-up above, Noesi does a poor job of keeping the ball on the ground, so Lowrie has some HR potential today at U.S. Cellular Field.
Top Pick: Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals, $10,850
2014 vs LHP: 137 PA, 163 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 348 PA, 181 wRC+, .205 ISO, .436 wOBA
Werth is a stud against LHP. He’s missed too much time to be a qualified hitter, but among outfielders with a minimum of 300 PA against LHP since 2012 he ranks third in wRC+ trailing only Andrew McCuthen and Ryan Braun, and ranking ahead of MVP candidates Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout. The LHP he’s facing, Mike Minor, has allowed a .336 wOBA against RHB,.
Middle of the Pack: Lucas Duda, New York Mets, $8,150
2014 vs RHP: 412 PA, 159 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 997 PA, 138 wRC+, .229 ISO, .366 wOBA
Duda has enjoyed a breakout season with regular playing time this year, and he’s truly thrived against RHP. He’s ascended to the cleanup spot for the Mets, and he’ll get to swing the bat against Jordan Lyles. Lyles is inept against LHB, allowing a staggering .375 wOBA to them this year. He’s tied for allowing the 11th highest wOBA to them since 2012 (.358).
Value Pick: Travis Snider, Pittsburgh Pirates, $5,100
2014 vs RHP: 251 PA, 102 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 662 PA, 85 wRC+, .126 ISO, .292 wOBA
It’s important to note that Snider hasn’t started in a game since August 27th as he nurses a hamstring injury, but he’s appeared in five games as a pinch hitter and isn’t far from returning to the starting lineup. If that comes tonight, he’s a sweet option despite his underwhelming numbers above. Snider was in the midst of a breakout second half before the injury, and he’d tallied a 142 wRC+ in 115 second half PA. He doesn’t hit enough FB to fully unleash his power, but he has huge pop in his bat. Baseball Heat Maps has his average FB and HR rate as the 14th highest this year. Make sure he’s in the Pirates’ lineup, and if he is, sneak this nearly bare minimum salary slugger onto a handful of your rosters.
Wild Card: Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics, $9,050
2014 vs RHP: 432 PA, 120 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,083 PA, 143 wRC+, .272 ISO, .375 wOBA
Moss rounds out the trio of A’s hitters, and I like him the best of the bunch. The powerful Moss is a FB hitting machine, owning a 51.1% FB rate against RHP since 2012. Drop this man in U.S. Cellular and fireworks are likely. Moss has the highest ISO among qualified outfielders facing RHP since 2012.