Welcome to another edition of Bales’ Top GPP plays. In this article, I will outline my favorite MLB GPP plays for today’s games. If you want all of my core plays along with our staff’s Final Thoughts article with access to our Discord, click here.
Wacha looked great in his first start of the season, holding the Boston Red Sox to one run over five innings while striking out four batters. He threw his cutter and changeup significantly more than in his career while reducing the number of four-seam fastballs and curveballs he threw. Wacha also showed good velocity while his xFIP backed his performance. This comes only one year after he struggled mightily against left-handed batters.
Wacha gets a matchup against the Atlanta Braves tonight. They rank fourth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat and bottom-seven in team wOBA. Wacha is a +104 underdog in a game set at 10.5 runs, giving the Braves an implied team total of 5.4 runs. It will be interesting to see if Wacha keeps his new pitch mix or if that was a one-time thing. He’ll go overlooked cause of the Vegas line, but Atlanta features a boom or bust offense with a number of right-handed batters. Wacha isn’t safe enough for cash games, but he’s a solid tournament option on this particular slate.
Martinez has gotten off to a solid start this season, hitting .238 with a .429 slugging percentage and a .762 OPS. He owns two extra-base hits (one home run) and four RBIs through only six games. Martinez dominated left-handed pitching in 2019, posting a .329 average with a .600 slugging percentage, .997 OPS, and .271 ISO. He also recorded .115 wOBA and .165 ISO differentials against left-handed pitching last season.
Martinez gets a great matchup against Wade LeBlanc tonight. The latter struggled in his first start of the season, allowing two home runs to right-handed batters. He also struggled against righties in 2019, giving up a .296 average with a .516 slugging percentage and a .356 wOBA. Martinez is expected to hit second in the Tampa Bay Rays offense, and he comes with tremendous upside. It’s an added bonus that he’ll be playing in Baltimore’s hitter-friendly stadium tonight, making him an outstanding tournament option on this slate.
France has performed well early this season, posting a .333 average with a .400 slugging percentage and a .733 OPS. He only owned one extra-base hit with one RBI, though. France flashed in limited games against left-handed pitching last season, though hitting for a .236 average with a .509 slugging percentage, .772 OPS, and .273 ISO. He boasts .089 wOBA and .165 ISO differentials against left-handed pitching.
France gets an elite matchup against Kyle Freeland in Colorado tonight. He struggled against right-handed batters last season, allowing them to hit for a .295 average with a .579 slugging percentage and a .383 wOBA. He also gave up a .337/.678/.428 line in Colorado last season. France is hitting in what should be one of the highest owned offenses of the night. He’s expected to hit seventh though, which will keep his ownership down. He hasn’t displayed the power he possesses yet this season, but tonight could be the perfect time to turn that around.
Laureano has started his season off with a bang. Through 7 games, he’s hitting for a .348 average with a .565 slugging percentage and a .999 OPS. He posted three extra-base hits (one home run) and four RBIs in those games, as well. Laureano was dominant against left-handed pitching in 2019, posting a .296 average with a .512 slugging percentage .838 OPS, and .216 ISO. He’s also found plenty of success against right-handed pitching throughout his career.
Laureano gets a plus matchup against Yusei Kikuchi tonight. Kikuchi was at his worst against right-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .304 average with a .545 slugging percentage and a .374 wOBA. Laureano is expected to hit second in the Oakland A’s offense tonight. He’ll likely go overlooked because of the other spots for outfielders, such as Coors, but he comes with tremendous upside, especially in an elite matchup.
Bellinger has been ice cold to start the season. He’s hitting for a .139 average with a .167 slugging percentage and a .372 OPS over 8 games. He also has one extra-base hit, two RBIs, and one stolen base. Bellinger dominated right-handed pitching in 2019, posting a .317 average with a .645 slugging percentage, 1.061 OPS, and .328 ISO against righties. He recorded .025 wOBA and .012 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching last season.
Bellinger gets an interesting matchup against Luke Weaver. Weaver was better against left-handed batters in 2019, holding them to a .225 average with a .326 slugging percentage and a .268 wOBA. His xFIP suggests he could see regression against lefties though. Bellinger is expected to hit third in the Los Angeles Dodgers offense, and he comes with elite upside. It isn’t often he’s a low owned option on a slate, but he can be used in tournaments tonight.
Jose Marmolejos (2x)
Marmolejos has seen plenty of ups and downs early this season. He’s only hitting .143 with a .286 slugging percentage and a .429 OPS. He owns one home runs and three RBIs, though. All of Marmolejos’ hits this season have come against right-handed pitching. As is the case with most MLB left-handed batting rookies, he should continue to find more success against right-handed pitching.
Marmolejos gets a matchup against Mike Fiers tonight. Fiers was a reverse splits pitcher last season, but still allowed left-handed batters to hit for a .248 average with a .391 slugging percentage and a .292 wOBA. Marmolejos is an extremely risky option on SuperDraft, but he boasts home run potential and gets a 2x multiple. In other words, if he hits a home run in this game, it’s as if he recorded a two home run performance.
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