Wednesday features an eight-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($9,300) - Tampa Bay is below average against left-handed pitching (95 wRC+, .299 wOBA, .158 ISO) and they have the highest strikeout rate in baseball against lefties (31%). Montgomery is not the bright star he once was, but he still shines from time to time. He struck out 11 batters on May 21 and he struck nine in a game against Tampa Bay on May 11. Tampa’s best hitters are left-handed, and Montgomery has been lights out against that side of the plate (2.39 xFIP, .138 wOBA, .000 ISO and a 36% K rate).
Other Option: Walker Buehler ($10,600)
Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Miami Marlins ($8,200) - He was the 11th overall pick in 2019, and he was ranked as the Blue Jays’ fifth-best prospect coming into this season. Manoah’s projected major league debut was supposed to be in 2022, but after three amazing minor league starts (0.50 ERA, 27 strikeouts), he got called up and proceeded to shut down the Yankees (six innings, two hits, seven Ks). His stuff wasn’t electric, but his pitch mix kept the Yankees guessing. Even if Manoah is unable to replicate the strikeouts, he should be able to make quick work of the Marlins (vs. RHP - 86 wRC+, .288 wOBA, .121 ISO).
Other Option: Randy Dobnak ($5,500)
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Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles ($4,500) - Matt Harvey ($5,200) hasn’t been blown up this season, but he’s not missing bats either (0.378 wOBA vs. right-handed batters). Garver has the second-highest ISO among catchers (.278) and he’s playing in a hitter’s park. Surprisingly, Garver has been a better hitter against right-handed pitching this season (.384 wOBA, .237 ISO). Garver did leave Tuesday’s game vs. the Orioles, so make sure to monitor his status before first pitch.
Other Option: Dom Nunez ($4,600)
Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees ($3,800) - Which catcher has the highest ISO in baseball? It’s Zunino with a .357 ISO and 18 barrels. He leads the league in launch angle (29 degrees). When he gets to face a lefty, it’s over (.514 wOBA, .512 ISO, 242 wRC+). Montgomery has been a good pitcher this season, but he better hope that Zunino doesn’t make contact. A Zunino flyball in Yankee Stadium will go over the fence.
Other Option: Jose Trevino ($3,200)
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers ($4,800) - It’s a Coors Field slate, and the Rockies are facing a bad pitcher. Jordan Lyles ($5,700) is getting killed by right-handed batters (.382 wOBA, .237 ISO, 41% hard contact and 2.3 HR/9). Cron’s numbers aren’t great against right-handed pitching this season, but he does have a 42% hard contact rate versus righties. As one would expect, Colorado has been a boon for Cron’s career (Home: .409 wOBA, .262 ISO; Away: .321 wOBA, .068 ISO).
Other Option: Matt Olson ($4,700)
Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles ($4,500) - He’s been hitting all season, it’s just that the ball was finding gloves. Kirilloff earned three hits on Sunday, but then his strange luck came back on Monday. He had three hard-hit balls (average exit velocity of 100.2 mph), one of which was a barrel, but none of which resulted in actual hits. He’s doing everything right and soon his hits will find gloves, but it will be the gloves on fans behind the fence.
Other Option: Bobby Dalbec ($2,300), Nate Lowe ($3,700)
Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers ($5,600) - Lyles’ splits against right-handed batters are ugly. Against lefties, they’re bad, but not awful (.342 wOBA, 36% hard contact, 16% K rate). McMahon has crushed right-handed pitching this season (.221 ISO, 44% hard contact), and at home against right-handed pitchers, he’s been a terror (.398 wOBA, .347 ISO).
Other Option: Ozzie Albies ($4,600)
Rougned Odor, New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($3,400) - Maybe it was the beard that was the problem. Ever since he shaved and joined the Yankees, Odor has been a solid player, especially against left-handed pitching (.369 wOBA, .323 ISO, 139 wRC+, 48% hard contact rate). The Yankees don’t seem to care about lefty vs. lefty matchups, and Shane McClanahan ($7,600) has allowed a .388 wOBA and a 47% hard contact rate to left-handed batters.
Other Option: Matt Carpenter ($3,000)
Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,800) - Walker Buehler ($10,600) has been fairly lucky this season. Right-handed batters have a .205 BABIP against Buehler, but a 39% hard contact rate and a 40% flyball rate. Hitters are making contact, and it’s hard, but it’s finding gloves. Arenado has an average launch angle of 19 degrees this season. If he makes contact, then there is a very good chance that he’s taking Buehler yard.
Other Option: Justin Turner ($4,500)
Charlie Culberson, Texas Rangers at Colorado Rockies ($3,100) - A Rangers stack is affordable, so it will be popular. Antonio Senzatela ($6,000) is not a bad pitcher, and he’s fared pretty well at Coors Field over his career. That being said, he’s just OK, and the Colorado bullpen is not OK — their 4.94 FIP is the worst in baseball. Culberson has been terrible this season, but he’s still in the lineup every day. It’s a great spot and he’s cheap.
Other Option: Josh Donaldson ($4,300)
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros ($5,200) - Framber Valdez ($7,800) only allowed two hits and one run in his first start, but 46% of the contact was hard. He’ll be followed by the seventh-worst bullpen in baseball (4.39 xFIP, 1.4 HR/9). Bogaerts leads all shortstops with a .401 wOBA. His career-high .355 BABIP should indicate regression, but this is sustainable. Bogaert’s average launch angle is 9 degrees and his line drive rate is at a career-high 24%. He might not hit 30 home runs this season, but his plate appearances will be much more productive from a runs standpoint.
Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,900) - He closed out May with a two-HR game. In April, Lux had a .202 wOBA and a .071 ISO. In May, Lux had a .359 wOBA and a .204 ISO. Against right-handed pitching last month, Lux had a .404 wOBA and a .269 ISO. Carlos Martinez ($6,300) is not an easy target, but Martinez is not striking out left-handed batters (14%) and he’s allowing hard contact (35%). If it doesn’t work out against Martinez, Lux will get to face the worst bullpen in baseball (4.90 xFIP) and the second-worst against left-handed batters (4.81 xFIP).
Other Option: Freddy Galvis ($3,300)
Adolis Garcia, Texas Rangers at Colorado Rockies ($5,000) - When the league leader in home runs (16) goes to Colorado, you play him every day. How is Garcia only $5,000? Globe Life Field in Texas ranks 17th when it comes to home runs, so it’s not a surprise that Garcia’s ISO is .351 on the road and .244 at home. Enjoy this discount while it lasts. He will not be this cheap on Thursday.
Other Option: Randy Arozarena ($5,900)
Hunter Renfroe, Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros ($3,300) - He’s the hottest hitter in baseball. Renfroe has an .805 wOBA, .733 ISO, and a 64% hard contact rate over the last week. He shouldn’t be this cheap against good pitching, and he’s not facing good pitching.
Other Option: Willie Calhoun ($3,800), Kyle Garlick ($2,800)
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