On a loaded day for arms, my Daily MLB Selections at pitcher are light on the wallet.
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The savings you’ll pocket on arms will allow you spend liberally on Brewers and Indians Daily MLB Selections. You can use them to join me in games like the $3.30 Wiz Walkoff and the $5.50 (Single Entry) Infield Single. Better yet, come challenge the whole FSL crew in the Five Guys game and try to win your way into Saturday’s Freeroll.
All salaries listed use DraftDay pricing.
Daily MLB Selections –Pitchers
My Pick: Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves, $14,200
At a Glance: 2014: 21.3% K, 7.3% BB, 12.0% swinging strike. Phillies vs RHP: 79 wRC+ and 21.3% K.
The Phillies were held to one run through eight innings by last night’s right-handed starter, Julio Teheran, and Santana’s peripherals are very similar. They don’t have identical pitch mixes, but they are similar enough to present problems for the Phillies. In Santana’s lone start against them he pitched six innings allowing one earned run on four hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts. He should mow the Phillies down with ease.
Value Pick: Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays, $9,100
At a Glance: 2014 as an SP: 18.0 IP, 22.1% K, 2.6% BB, 55.4% GB. Yankees vs RHP: 90 wRC+.
A pitching duel with Masahiro Tanaka isn’t ideal, but Stroman is a perfect tournament option. He’s been electric as a starter, and is facing a Yankees team that doesn’t fare well against right-handed pitchers. They don’t strikeout at a high rate against righties, but Stroman has enough swing-and-miss stuff to pick a few up along the way. All three of the rookie’s starts have gone six innings and been quality starts. I expect him to push that streak to four tonight.
Daily MLB Selections – Catchers
My Pick: Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers, $10,300
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHP: 65 PA, 159 wRC+. Since 2011 vs LHP: 381 PA, .330/.374/.574, 157 wRC+.
Lucroy destroys left-handed pitching, and among batters that have 350 plate appearances against them since 2011 he ranks 15th in wRC+. He’s playing in a ballpark, Chase Field, that has a right-handed hitter homer park factor of 103, doubles/triples factor of 116, and runs park factor of 108. The Brewers backstop also benefits from facing Wade Miley, who is terrible against right-handed batters. Miley has faced 319 right-handed batters this year and they have hit .270/.325/.481 with a .350 wOBA against him. Since 2011 he has faced 1,794 right-handed batters and they’ve hit .264/.321/.434 with a .329 wOBA and a line drive rate of 22.6 percent.
Value Pick: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $7,500
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHP: 56 PA, 115 wRC+. Since 2011 vs LHP: 415 PA, .315/.382/.519, 148 wRC+.
Molina is grossly underpriced, and he’s one of my favorite Daily MLB Selections as a result. Among batters that have 145 plate appearances against southpaws since 2011, Molina ranks 25th in wRC+. Mets starter Jon Niese doesn’t have a sizable platoon split, so Molina won’t gain an edge there though. Because the Cardinals catcher hits fifth in his lineup he has more run production potential than most cheap catching options at DraftDay.
Daily MLB Selections – First Basemen
My Pick: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds, $10,050
At a Glance: 2014 vs RHP: 147 PA, 145 wRC+. Since 2011 vs RHP: 1,484 PA, .321/.454/.524, 166 wRC+.
Playing tonight’s game at home run suppressing PNC Park makes it unlikely Votto will reach the seats, but his line drive stroke against one of today’s worst starters makes him a candidate for a multi-hit performance. Furthermore, because Brandon Cumpton is a poor pitcher, the odds of the Reds scoring runs and providing Votto run production points is greater than that of his first base peers facing some of the star pitchers throwing tonight. Picking on a bad pitcher with a great hitter is never a bad move with our Daily MLB Selections.
Value Pick: Allen Craig, St. Louis Cardinals, $7,650
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHP: 64 PA, 142 wRC+. Since 2011 vs LHPs: 400 PA, .313/.343/.568, 151 wRC+.
Again, Niese isn’t especially bad against left-handed batters, so Craig won’t get a bump there. His overall hitting prowess against lefties along with his price tag makes him a strong selection though. The Cardinals cleanup hitter is in prime position to take advantage of any run scoring chances Niese presents the Red Birds. Craig reached the majors in 2010, and he’s tallied 454 plate appearances against southpaws over that span. In those appearances he’s ripped 25.6 percent of his batted balls for line drives, and that portends well for him rattling off a hits against the Mets.
Daily MLB Selections – Second Basemen
My Pick: Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians, $9,350
At a Glance: 2014 vs RHP: 122 PA, 122 wRC+. Since 2011 vs RHP: 1,095 PA, .276/.358/.441, 124 wRC+.
Kipnis has a nice blend of power and speed that has allowed him to reach the teens in homers and steal 30 or more bases the last two seasons. The left-handed hitter is much better against right-handed pitchers, and he’s facing Matt Shoemaker. Save for last year in a brief stint in the majors, he’s been awful against left-handed hitters. Shoemaker has faced 86 left-handed batters this year, and they’ve rocked him to the tune of a .313/.365/.557 triple slash line and a .401 wOBA. Looking back at his minor league stats, provided by Minor League Central, Shoemaker has faced 1,156 left-handed batters and they’ve hit .312/.360/.512 against him.
Value Pick: Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers, $6,250
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHP: 62 PA, 123 wRC+. Since 2011 vs LHP: 459 PA, .249/.364/.396, 113 wRC+.
Weeks hit leadoff for the Brewers in their last game against a southpaw, but it remains to be seen if that will be the case tonight. Slotting atop the order would help his value immensely since the club’s lefty mashers will be hitting directly behind him in that scenario. The bottom of the order has made them a below average offense against lefties as a whole this season (92 wRC+). Regardless, Weeks derives enough value from his above average hitting skills against lefties, and the ballpark he’s playing in is more than enough to justify his low cost.
Daily MLB Selections –Third Basemen
My Pick: Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland Indiands, $9,800
At a Glance: 2014 vs RHP: 168 PA, 181 wRC+. Since 2011 vs RHP: 721 PA, .278/.324/.452, 117 wRC+.
Chisenhall is truly flourishing this year, and is the poster child for what a post-hype breakout is all about. Fully buying into his breakout isn’t necessarily what makes him the best pick at the hot corner tonight though. His sizzling hitting has moved him up to fifth in the Indians order, and that puts him in the heart of the offensive onslaught the Indians appear poised to lay on Shoemaker.
Value Pick: Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers, $8,300
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHPs- 144 PA, 157 wRC+, Since 2011 vs LHPs- 405 PA, .316/.358/.574, 151 wRC+
Among hitters that have totaled 350 or more plate appearances against left-handed batters since 2011, Ramirez is tied with Allen Craig for the 21st highest wRC+. He’s nestled fifth in the Brewers order most nights, and that puts him in the proximity of a few other top hitters against left-handed pitching. Don’t be turned off by the Brewers overall numbers against lefties, the totals are dragged down by the pathetic performances of Jean Segura and Mark Reynolds. There should be plenty of ducks in the pond for Ramirez to drive in.
Daily MLB Selections – Shortstops
My Pick: Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians, $8,250
At a Glance: 2014 vs RHP: 184 PA, 116 wRC+. Since 2011 vs RHP: 1,428 PA, .259/.326/.434, 112 wRC+.
The Indians number two hitter, Cabrera, is my top pick at shortstop in part because the other top players at the position are overpriced given the variables they’re working with. It’s also because I expect the Indians to thrash the Angels tonight. The switch-hitter is above average from the left side, and he has modest power and speed that have allowed him to total 55 homers and 35 stolen bases from 2011-2013. You can add six homers and five steals from this year to his counting totals. In other words, he’s not completely reliant on an offensive explosion from the Indians to have value tonight.
Value Pick: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox, $7,600
At a Glance: 2014 vs RHP: 190 PA, 110 wRC+. Since 2011 vs RHP as RHB in the minors: .301/369/.512.
Bogaerts is a well above average hitter who sits highly among his shortstop peers, ranking third at the position with a 122 wRC+, and tied for ninth when limited to just facing right-handed pitchers. He’s facing Phil Hughes tonight, and the Twins starter is demonstrating a massive reverse platoon split this year holding lefties to a .225 wOBA while right-handed batters are teeing off with a.356. Over his career, Hughes’ platoon split isn’t as sizable, but it does still exist. He’s allowed right-handed batters to hit for more power against him than lefties, so this doesn’t appear to be a small sample size blip. Let others sleep on Bogaerts while you spend on one of my favorite Daily MLB Selections.
Daily MLB Selections – Outfielders
My Pick: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers, $10,750
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHP: 59 PA, 109 wRC+. Since 2011 vs LHP: 451 PA, .349/.412/.661, 187 wRC+, 30 HR.
I’ve established Miley is bad against right-handed batters and Chase Field is a top flight offensive venue for them. All that’s left to say is that among qualified batters, Braun has the second highest wRC+ against southpaws since 2011. There is no excuse to pass on him when everything comes up roses as it does today.
Middle of the Pack: Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers, $8,550
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHP: 61 PA, 217 wRC+. Since 2013 vs LHP: 111 PA, .314/.369/.716, 198 wRC+, 11 HR.
Davis is continuing his assault on left-handed pitching in his second season in the majors. His ability to pummel lefties extends to his recent years in the minors, where he hit .304/.416/.507 in 329 plate appearances. With a track record of hitting lefties well and an average of one homer per 10.09 plate appearances against southpaws in the majors, does he sound like a guy that should be overlooked?
Value Pick: Steve Pearce, Baltimore Orioles, $6,550
At a Glance: 2014 vs LHP: 32 PA, 124 wRC+. Since joining Orioles in 2012 vs LHPs- 158 PA, .201 ISO, 128 wRC+.
It’s almost all about Pearce’s price when suggesting him as a value pick. That said, he has hit second in the order in two of his last three starts for the Orioles, and fifth in the other. The Orioles are facing one of the worst starters tonight, Erik Bedard, and that alone makes him an attractive option for those looking to spend heavily elsewhere.
Wild Card: Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians, $10,050
At a Glance: 2014 vs RHP: 195 PA, 165 wRC+. Since 2011 vs RHP:- 1,359 PA, .298/.350/.446, 121 wRC+.
Brantley was already an above average hitter before this season, but he’s kicked things up a notch and is now hitting third in the Indians order as a result. He did exit last night’s game for precautionary reasons after being struck in the back of the head, but he has passed initial concussion tests and should be a go tonight. He’s the crown jewel of the Indians stack if he plays thanks to his power/speed combination and elite contact skills (89.9 percent contact rate compared to 79.4 percent league average).
* Batted ball data and splits information comes from that which is provided at FanGraphs unless otherwise stated, and ballpark factors are those found at StatCorner and are for a three-year rolling average.