There’s a little rain in the forecast this evening, which usually wouldn’t be that big a deal, except this particular patch of rain happens to be hovering over Denver, Colorado. As you probably know without looking, tonight’s game at Coors Field carries the highest implied total on Wednesday’s nine-game slate, so let’s all hope for some clarity — and maybe a resolution — prior to lock.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s find some studs and values.
Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics, $9,600 - Ray’s had back-to-back poor outings coming into Wednesday, yet I’m fairly confident that this is the matchup that gets him back on track. Ray’s faced the Athletics three times in 2022 and, in 18.2 innings of work, he’s registered a 2.41 ERA with 28 strikeouts. I’d say that’s pretty impressive stuff. Yes, Ray has generally struggled when pitching away from Seattle, but considering the Athletics’ own the league’s second-lowest wOBA against LHPs (.281), I doubt location plays too big a role in tonight’s proceedings.
Bailey Ober, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals, $7,700 - If Ober was rusty after a three-month stint on the IL, he certainly didn’t show it in his last start against the Guardians. The right-hander tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just a single hit and striking out five. Ober was limited to 70 pitches — I’d assume he’s somewhere between 80-85 this evening — but that was the only knock on the performance from a fantasy perspective. For the season as a whole, Ober’s maintained a 2.80 FIP across his eight appearances. He’s also been quite good at generating swings-and-misses, as both his chase rate (36.6%) and swinging strike rate (12.9%) raise eyebrows. I’d expect more of the same versus a Royals team that’s struggled to score runs in September.
Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, $5,600 - This likely isn’t news to anyone reading this, but Madison Bumgarner ($6,100) is cooked. So cooked, Torey Lovullo needed to state for the record that the veteran was still in Arizona’s rotation following his most recent dud outing. The lefty owns a 7.82 ERA across his past nine starts, a span in which Bumgarner’s allowed opposing RHBs to slug .663. Turner, who possesses a .270 ISO and a 164 wRC+ against southpaws in 2022, should be able to tee-off this evening.
Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels, $4,800 - In general, the Rangers hit left-handed pitching well, as evidenced by a 115 wRC+. However, Tucker Davidson ($5,100) isn’t your average southpaw. Not only does Davidson currently own an 11.88 ERA in September, but for the season as a whole, he’s walked more opponents (30) than he’s struck out (27). That’s dubious to say the least. Semien should take advantage of the fantastic opposite-hand matchup. In fact, in the 115 plate appearances the infielder has taken versus LHPs since June 1, Semien is slashing an impressive .303/.391/.525 with a 162 wRC+.
Jose Miranda, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals, $3,700 - I’ve written up Miranda quite a bit in recent articles. The reason is clear: He’s an extremely good hitter and he’s often underpriced. That’s the case once again against the Royals and Daniel Lynch ($5,400). Going back to June 1, Miranda is sporting a .277 ISO and a 141 wRC+ in his 99 plate appearances versus left-handed pitching. He’s also primarily batting out of the third-spot for the current incarnation of the Twins.
Editor’s Note: Rangers 1B/3B Mark Mathias is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Angels.
Mark Mathias, Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels, $2,800 - Much like his teammate Josh Jung ($2,200) , Mathias has found quick success at the MLB level, though that success has been intertwined with a massive strikeout rate. Still, it’s hard to argue with the raw results at this price point. In 52 plate appearances against LHPs, Mathias has hit four home runs, translating into a .304 ISO and a 136 wRC+. With how poorly Davidson has pitched in 2022, there’s no reason to think Mathias’ success won’t continue on Wednesday.
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, $6,000 - The only thing that can stop Betts on tonight’s slate is a night off. The Dodgers have earned that right with their amazing play throughout the season, but something tells me Betts will want to be in the lineup against Bumgarner. Betts has crushed left-handed pitching in 2022, slashing .321/.391/.642 within the split with a 185 wRC+, so just imagine what he’ll do with the husk of the Diamondbacks’ pseudo ace.
Joc Pederson, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies, $5,100 - It’s a different year, but it’s been the same story with German Marquez ($6,500), who just can’t seem to pitch against left-handed bats in the altitude. Marquez has faced 195 LHBs in Colorado this season and they’ve proceeded to average an eye-popping 2.16 home runs per nine. Pederson is more than capable of adding to that ugly figure, as he owns a .254 ISO and a 141 wRC+ against RHPs in 2022.
Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,100 - It certainly looked like Dustin May ($8,700) found his form in his most recent start, yet I wouldn’t let that stop me from exploiting Carroll’s ridiculous price tag. One of baseball’s top prospects, Carroll’s met every expectation since his promotion, particularly when it’s come to hitting right-handed pitching. In 51 plate appearances within the split, Carroll’s registered a .341 average and a 190 wRC+. Is it a small sample? Of course. But the prospect pedigree backs up the results.
Kerry Carpenter, Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles, $2,600 - The Tigers’ lineup changes daily, so it’s difficult to know for sure who will be active. My advice? Just use whatever left-handed value outfielder is hitting highest in the order, whether it’s Carpenter, Willi Castro ($2,900) or Victor Reyes ($2,100). Heck, use a couple of them, because Jordan Lyles ($6,700) has hit a wall. The veteran has surrendered a combined 12 earned runs in his past two starts, while for the season as a whole, he’s conceded a .371 wOBA to LHBs.
TEAMS TO STACK
Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels - In the six appearances he’s made for the Angels, Davidson has produced an ugly 7.24 ERA and a 6.81 FIP. He’s simply not very good. As mentioned above, the Rangers generally hit lefties well and there’s several bats to target in a stack. Semien, Adolis Garcia ($4,600), Nathaniel Lowe ($4,200), Jonah Heim ($4,000), Mathias and Jung and the mix I’d be looking at, while Corey Seager ($4,800) is obviously viable on every slate.
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