Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
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Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves @ New York Mets ($9,400) – What to do with Anderson is one of the most important decisions on today’s slate. He stands out as the clear top option if this game plays. The Mets’ implied team total of 3.0 runs is the lowest mark on the slate, and their offense continues to founder given all their injuries. They’re currently expected to start just three of their starters from opening day, and two of those guys are batting less than .200 for the year.
That said, this game has a significant chance of raining out. The current forecast calls for an approximately 50% chance of precipitation during game time. This game could be delayed if it does play, which means Anderson could be pulled after a shorter start than usual. I’m willing to roll the dice on Anderson in tournaments assuming this game isn’t postponed before lineup lock, but he’s a bit too risky for cash games.
Other Options – Julio Urias ($10,000), Taijuan Walker ($8,600)
Jon Lester, Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($8,000) – Sadly, the weather in New York is not the only spot we have to worry about tonight. The weather in Washington is also questionable, although this game does appear to have a much better shot of playing.
Lester is clearly on the downside of his career, but he still stands out in this matchup vs. the Brewers. They’re currently implied for just 3.1 runs, which is the second-lowest mark on the slate. Their lineup has also been extremely generous with strikeouts against southpaws, posting the fifth-highest mark in the league.
Finally, the weather could actually help Lester as long as the rain holds up. The forecast calls for an 11 mph wind blowing in directly from centerfield, which should keep the scoring in this game to a minimum.
Other Options – Justin Dunn ($7,000), Mike Foltynewicz ($5,600)
Carson Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($4,400) – Kelly recently returned to the lineup following a stint on the IL, and he’s logged just one hit in his past four games. However, he was absolutely tearing the cover off the ball before getting injured. He’s posted a 164 wRC+ so far this season, which is an absolutely elite mark for a catcher. Even better, his expected numbers suggest he hasn’t been all that lucky. He’s making some of the best contact in the league, including a 12.2% barrel rate.
Other Options – Will Smith ($5,100), Yadier Molina ($4,200)
Tom Murphy, Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers ($3,500) – There isn’t a great “punt” option at catcher on Saturday, which is not all that surprising on a five-game slate. Still, Murphy could provide some value against Foltynewicz. He’s pitched to a 5.09 FIP this season, and the Mariners’ implied team total of 4.4 runs is tied for the third-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Jacob Nottingham ($3,600), Yan Gomes ($3,200)
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,000) – The Cardinals stand out as the clear top team to target on Saturday. They’re currently implied for 5.4 runs, which is the top mark on the slate by a significant margin. No other team owns an implied team total of greater than 4.7 runs.
Goldschmidt has had a relatively pedestrian start to the season by his standards, but he’s still underpriced at just $4,000. He’s posted a wRC+ of at least 142 in three of the past four seasons, and he’s actually fared better against right-handers than left-handers so far this season. He’ll have a massive advantage against Seth Frankoff, who has pitched to a 7.27 ERA and 6.46 FIP through his first two starts this season.
Other Options – Max Muncy ($5,500)
Nate Lowe, Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners ($3,700) – The Rangers are one of my favorite under-the-radar stacks on Saturday. They’re taking on right-hander Justin Dunn ($7,000), who has been one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball this season. He’s posted a .198 BABIP and 8.8% HR/FB rate, both of which are unsustainably low. As a result, his 5.76 xFIP is significantly higher than his 3.40 ERA. He’s been particularly lucky against left-handed batters, and his luck is bound to run out eventually. Lowe is someone who can do some damage against right-handed pitching, posting a .365 wOBA and .225 ISO in those matchups over the past 12 months.
Other Options – Pavin Smith ($3,400), Albert Pujols ($2,800)
Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,100) – Edman is expected to bat leadoff for the Cardinals on Saturday, which automatically makes him a strong option. Historically, leadoff hitters for teams with comparable implied team totals have averaged 9.27 DKFP per game. Edman is someone who typically fares better against left-handers, but he’s still capable of producing against a subpar right-hander like Frankoff.
Other Options – Ozzie Albies ($5,300)
Josh Rojas, Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,900) – Let’s stick with this contest and focus on the leadoff batter on the other side. The Diamondbacks aren’t implied for as many runs as the Cardinals, but Rojas has better numbers than Edman against right-handers. He’s definitely in play.
Other Options – Ty France ($3,100)
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers ($4,100) – Targeting left-handed batters against Foltynewicz is never a bad idea. He’s been dreadful in those matchups so far this season, surrendering a wOBA of .435. He also owns a 7.22 FIP when facing left-handed batters.
Seager is one of the Mariners’ best left-handed bats, and he already has seven homers against right-handed pitchers so far this season. I like his chances for another one in tonight’s contest.
Other Options – Nolan Arenado ($5,500), Justin Turner ($5,100)
Starlin Castro, Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($2,900) – The Nationals are taking on left-hander Brett Anderson ($8,400), and Castro is simply too cheap given his numbers against southpaws over the past 12 months. He’s posted a .422 wOBA over that time frame, which is one of the best splits-adjusted marks on the slate. He’s also expected to occupy the cleanup spot in the Nationals’ lineup, so there is plenty to like about him on Saturday.
Other Options – Ehire Adrianza ($3,200), Brock Holt ($2,400)
Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants ($4,600) – Lux has batted all over the Dodgers’ lineup this season, but he is expected to hit leadoff against right-hander Logan Webb ($7,500) on Saturday. That makes him an appealing option for the potent Dodgers’ offense. They rank first in the league in wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season, and Lux has started to show some of the promise that made him the No. 2 overall prospect in baseball heading into last season.
Other Options – Trea Turner ($5,600)
Edmundo Sosa, St. Louis Cardinals @ Arizona Cardinals ($2,900) – Sosa is still getting his feet wet at the MLB level, but he’s been extremely impressive to start the 2021 season. He’s posted a 148 wRC+ through his first 59 plate appearances, including a 171 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. He’s a cheap way to get some exposure to the Cardinals’ implied team total.
Other Options – J.P. Crawford ($3,000), Nick Ahmed ($2,700)
Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants ($3,600) – Bellinger is priced like a value, but we all know that this guy is a stud. He’s expected to return to the lineup tonight for the Dodgers, and this is obviously a comical price tag for him. Make sure to take advantage since he’ll likely be priced back up to $5,000 the next time he’s on the slate.
Other Options – Ronald Acuna Jr. ($6,200), Ketel Marte ($5,000)
Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers ($3,700) – So technically my value target is more expensive than my stud target. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but let’s just go with it. Kelenic is another left-handed batter who I’m looking to roster against Foltynewicz. He’s struggled in his first taste of major-league action, but he’s still one of the best prospects in baseball. He’s also batting leadoff, which should give him plenty of opportunities in a plus matchup.
Other Options – Dylan Carlson ($3,600), Tyler O’Neill ($3,400)
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