Wednesday features a 12-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.
John Means, Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays ($9,400) - It’s time to start believing in John Means. His K rate (28%) is at a career-high because his swinging strike rate (15.3%), called strike rate (15.9%) and first-pitch strike rate (72%) are also at career highs. Meanwhile, all of his pitches are grading as above-average to great pitches. Means is on top of his game and he’s facing a team that struggles with lefties (87wRC+, .287 wOBA, .147 ISO, 32% K rate).
Other Option: Corbin Burnes ($10,300)
Corey Kluber, New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers ($7,800) - In his last start, Kluber was cruising until a rough sixth inning caught up to him. In his four starts before that, Kluber had a 1.80 ERA and a 23% K rate. This season, Kluber has tripled his usage of his changeup, and so far it grades out as the seventh-best changeup in baseball. How did Kluber magically improve his changeup this late in his career? It helps when your teammate is Gerrit Cole, the pitcher with the best changeup in baseball and the ability to magically improve his pitches. Also, it just so happens that the Rangers are the second-worst team in baseball against changeups.
Other Option: Logan Gilbert ($4,700)
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Omar Narvaez, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Kansas City Royals ($3,500) - If the value option is the stud, then that tells us a lot about this position on today’s slate. Narvaez is facing one of the worst pitchers on the slate, Brad Keller ($5,500), who has a .379 wOBA and 37% hard contact vs. LHB. Against right-handed pitching, Narvaez has a .428 wOBA this season.
Other Option: Yan Gomes ($4,300)
Tom Murphy, Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers ($2,500) - Tarik Skubal ($6,200) is 0-6, so take any and every Seattle bat on this slate. Murphy is a punt, but he was a punt in the Monday targets article as well and he homered. This is an even easier matchup and Skubal is allowing 4.1 HR/9 to right-handed batters.
Other Option: Pedro Severino ($3,600)
Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,300) - When the splits align, plug this player into your lineups. Against right-handed pitching, Muncy has a .430 wOBA, .299 ISO and a 177 wRC+. He’s scheduled to face Riley Smith ($5,900), a pitcher that struggles with both sides of the plate, but against left-handed batters, he has a 5.48 xFIP and has allowed a .345 wOBA.
Other Option: Luke Voit ($5,200)
Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs ($4,100) - He’s cheap because he’s not consistently hitting (.192 AVG this month), but Zimmerman still has pop (.231 ISO this month). His price is a little cheap given his splits against right-handed pitching this season (.349 wOBA, .289 ISO). This is a great opportunity to chase a cheap home run against Jake Arrieta ($7,600) who has a .265 ISO and 2.6 HR/9 against RHB.
Other Option: Travis Shaw ($3,800)
Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets ($5,400) - The Braves have been disappointing this season, but not Albies (.332 wOBA and a .230 ISO). Albies will face either a minor league callup and a taxed bullpen, or left-handed pitcher David Peterson ($7,300). The lefty has been decent against right-handed batters this season, but he’s been pretty lucky (38% hard contact, but only a .217 BABIP).
Other Option: Jazz Chisholm ($4,800)
Willi Castro, Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners ($2,800) - Playing a Detroit Tiger feels wrong and the sample size on Logan Gilbert is small. Regardless of Gilbert’s true talent, Castro is slightly underpriced. Like most of the Tigers, he didn’t get the memo that the season started at the beginning of April, not May. This month, Castro has eight hits, eight runs and five RBI. That’s not bad for a cheap second baseman in a good matchup.
Other Option: Gavin Lux ($3,300)
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics ($5,700) - Frankie Montas ($7,200) throws hard and can get hit hard. He has a 96 mph fastball, but it has never graded out well. In the past, his solid slider helped keep hitters off-balance, but this season his slider isn’t working and it grades out as his worst slider since his rookie season. If Bregman is going to get fastballs, then the pick is Bregman every time.
Other Option: Justin Turner ($5,200)
Jeimer Candelario, Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners ($3,600) - In May, Candelario has a .415 wOBA. Logan Gilbert ($4,700) has only pitched one major league game, but in that game, he allowed a 75% fly-ball rate to left-handed batters. That extreme flyball rate resulted in two home runs. Gilbert is a tall, power pitcher, but he is also a flyball pitcher (0.67 GO/AO in the 2019 MiLB season).
Other Option: Sheldon Neuse ($2,500)
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($5,900) - It’s the best shortstop in baseball versus one of the worst pitchers on the slate. Bogaerts leads all shortstops in wOBA (.432), wRC+ (177) and ranks third in ISO (.265). Ross Stripling ($6,400) is allowing a .456 wOBA, .290 ISO and 2.6 HR/9 to right-handed batters.
Other Option: Trea Turner ($6,000)
Elvis Andrus, Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros ($2,400) - Zack Greinke ($8,900) is perfect for a one-off value play, but stacking against the crafty veteran never works. Greinke is hittable (vs. RHB: .370 wOBA, .203 ISO), but he just doesn’t implode (3.85 ERA). Andrus has been one of the hotter hitters in baseball over the last week (.372 wOBA and 146 wRC+), but don’t expect a lot. This still a punt that will barely reach value.
Other Option: Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($3,900)
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets ($6,200) - It’s hard to predict who will be on the mound for the Mets given that nearly all of their rotation is on the IL. Preliminary reports suggest that the lefty Peterson will be pitching (vs. RHB: .253 ISO, 38% hard contact, 2.0 HR/9). If not, then it really doesn’t matter. Acuña is a solid play against elite pitchers (21 barrels and an average exit velocity of 94.1 mph with a 19-degree launch angle).
Other Option: Mookie Betts ($6,000)
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics ($3,600) - Tucker has been hitting all season, but the balls just haven’t bounced his way. Tucker has a .379 xwOBA, but his actual wOBA is .322. But fear not, the breaks have finally started to go his way of late. This month, Tucker has a .437 wOBA, .333 ISO and a 189 wRC+. Montas can be challenging, but Tucker has a .389 wOBA and a .308 ISO vs. right-handed pitching this season.
Other Option: Ryan McKenna ($2,100)
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