A full 15-game slate? With next to no weather concerns? Is this real life?
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Triston McKenzie, Cleveland Guardians vs. Oakland Athletics ($8,800) – There’s no shortage of high-end pitching options on Friday, so McKenzie is appropriately priced toward the lower end of the studs. He’s been effective all season (3.10 ERA), but he’s not striking out hitters like he has in the past (22.3%).
But, he’s taking on one of the lineups that’s been easiest for right-handers to navigate. Oakland is last in wOBA, second-to-last in ISO and has the seventh-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. The A’s also have a 43.3% ground-ball rate and just a 26.8% hard-contact rate against righties.
Other Options – Aaron Ashby ($8,600), Joe Musgrove ($10,500)
Jose Berrios, Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers ($7,500) – As bad as the Athletics are, Detroit is right there with them. The Tigers have the lowest ISO, second-lowest wOBA and fourth-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. They also have a slightly lower soft-contact rate against right-handers than the A’s despite having a slightly higher ground-ball rate.
Berrios is coming off an electric 13-strikeout performance, so he might be a little popular in this favorable matchup. But his volatility combined with him being just shy of stud-level pricing should keep his rostership from blowing up.
Other Options – Spencer Strider ($7,000)
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers ($5,600) – There are a few Toronto studs you can target Elvin Rodriguez ($5,100) with. But while George Springer ($5,700) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($5,400) might jump out the more appealing options because of their season-long numbers against righties, Bichette is the one right-handed pitchers should fear most right now.
His 41.7% hard-contact rate across his last 84 plate appearances against right-handers has manifested into seven doubles, five home runs, a .417 wOBA and .282 ISO. He’s also making next to no soft contact (5.9%). Of course, batting second puts him in a great spot to score runs — if he doesn’t drive himself in.
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,200) – He hasn’t done much against left-handed pitching since returning from the injured list, but so-so lefties are always a tempting matchup for Perez. And with the strong stretch he’s put together against righties of late, he’s due to have similar success against a lefty. Right-handed hitters tend to get Bruce Zimmermann ($5,500) offerings airborne (42.4%), providing Perez a scenario where he can do some serious damage.
Other Options – Bobby Witt Jr. ($5,200)
Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals ($3,300) – Somehow, Mountcastle has a .229 BABIP across his last 60 plate appearances against right-handed pitching despite having both a 39.5% hard-contact rate and fly-ball rate against them during that stretch. His recent success has come against righties, so it seems that positive regression is finally kicking in. With Jonathan Heasley ($5,600) on the bump for KC, this upward tick should continue.
Eduardo Escobar, New York Mets at Los Angeles Angels ($3,200) – Escobar’s rostership might still be a bit inflated because Monday, but not too much to where he’ll be chalk. Friday being a 15-game slate should help on that front, too.
The switch-hitting third baseman crushes left-handed pitching. Over his last 17 games, he’s got cartoonish numbers, but the 38.5% hard-contact rate and 23.1% ground-ball rate indicate some of this success is sustainable. Against a lefty like Jhonathan Diaz ($4,000), who has limited damage despite allowing a 43.8% hard-contact rate to right-handed hitters in his last three appearances, Escobar’s hot stretch can maintain for at least another game.
Other Options – Rowdy Tellez ($3,800), Rougned Odor ($2,900)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs ($6,300) – Putting Judge up against any lefty is asking for trouble. Wade Miley ($6,300) has limited damage done by right-handed hitters this season, but he can’t continue to allow one extra-base hit per 37 right-handed batters faced. No one can. Judge has yet to log an extra-base hit against Miley in his career, so it seems two streaks are due to snap on Friday.
Joc Pederson, San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($5,500) – It feels weird targeting Walker Buehler ($9,800) in any way, but he just hasn’t been himself this season. Over his last four games, lefties are hitting .291 with three home runs, a double and a triple against him while posting a measly 9.3% soft-contact rate. Even when Buehler was his usual self, Pederson had a little success against him — which is more than most can say. Combine all that with the way Pederson is dismantling right-handed pitching this season, and he should respond to back-to-back hitless games with a big night against his old team.
Other Options – Julio Rodriguez ($5,500), Cedric Mullins ($4,700)
Anthony Santander, Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals ($3,700) – Santander should have better numbers against righties across his last 67 plate appearances than he does. He’s got a 34.7% hard-contact rate, and he’s hardly hitting the ball on the ground (26.5%). He has three home runs during that stretch, but that’s pretty much it. His .196 BABIP across this period cannot hold. Facing a right-hander like Heasley, who lefties have a .465 wOBA against this season, might help bring on that positive regression.
Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies ($3,400) – Like any pitcher, Chad Kuhl ($7,400) is more effective away from Coors Field. However, he still has a 4.64 FIP and 5.42 xFIP against left-handed hitters on the road this season.
Profar is hitting .362 with six doubles and two home runs across his last 76 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. He may not be getting a ton of hard contact, but his 25.9% line-drive rate against righties during this recent stretch is promising. With him atop San Diego’s lineup, he’s in a prime spot to score a run or two, as well.
Other Options – Hunter Renfroe ($3,800), Steven Kwan ($2,900)
TEAM TO STACK
Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals – There are quite a few value options to combat Heasley with, as highlighted above. Santander and Mountcastle could also be grouped in with Cedric Mullins ($4,700), who’s coming off back-to-back 14-DKFP showings. On top of the .465 wOBA lefties have against Heasley this season, that rock-bottom 27% ground ball rate could be troublesome for the KC right-hander. Rougned Odor ($2,900) also provides another salary-saving left-handed bat. He has a 40.5% hard-contact rate and 54.8% fly-ball rate against righties across his last 65 plate appearances.
Other Option - Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers
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