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.
Cease has found success this season, allowing 25 runs (21 earned runs) over 53.2 innings while striking out 39 batters. He due for quite a bit of regression, though, as his 3.52 ERA doesn’t match his 5.93 xFIP or 5.97 SIERA. His strikeout rate has dipped to 16.7% in 2020 to go along with a 9.2% swinging-strike rate. Even though he’s been elite at home, Cease owns a 6.46 xFIP in Chicago, suggesting he’s been extremely lucky thus far. He’s also significantly better against right-handed batters, who he owns a 5.04 xFIP against as opposed to a 6.64 xFIP against lefties.
Cease gets a great matchup against the Chicago Cubs tonight. They rank third on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat while also ranking as an average offense in terms of team wOBA. Cease is a +141 underdog in a game set at 8.5 runs, giving the Cubs an implied team total of 4.8 runs tonight. He’s a pitcher that has flashed at times this season and has shown more strikeout upside in the MLB in 2019. Ownership could be spread out at starting pitcher tonight but Cease isn’t an option that will garner much. I’m not a massive fan of him and he comes with terrible downside but the matchup is great and his price tag is reasonable.
Hernandez has caught fire, posting a .400 average with a .550 slugging percentage and a .992 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts four extra-base hits (one home run) and six RBIs in those contests. Hernandez has found more success against right-handed pitching in 2020, recording a .294 average with a .417 slugging percentage and a .785 OPS. He also owns a .345 wOBA and a .123 ISO against righties this season.
Hernandez gets a great matchup against Mitch Keller, who is allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .241 average with a .586 slugging percentage and a .393 wOBA in limited innings this season. Keller also allowed lefties to hit for a .380/.554/.415 line in 2019. Hernandez is expected to hit second in the Cleveland Indians lineup tonight. He’s a player that has looked elite at home in 2020, flashing significantly more power in Cleveland. He isn’t going to come cheap but that will keep his ownership low and he makes an elite option tonight.
Devers has seen mixed resulted in recent games, as he’s hitting for a .233 average with a .419 slugging percentage and a .701 OPS over his last 10 games. He has recorded six extra-base hits (one home run) and eight RBIs over that span. Devers has found plenty of success against right-handed batters, posting a .289 average with a .592 slugging percentage and a .918 OPS against righties this season. He owns a .382 wOBA and a .303 ISO against righties, as well.
Devers gets an elite matchup against Kyle Wright, who has struggled against left-handed batters in 2020. He’s allowing them to hit for a .317 average with a .540 slugging percentage and a .415 wOBA. He’s also given up a .375/.719/.494 line at home in 2020. Devers is expected to hit second in the Boston Red Sox lineup. There are a number of high-priced, elite-level third basemen on this slate, which could cause Devers to go a bit under-owned.
Brantley is hitting for a .308 average with a .410 slugging percentage and a .767 OPS over his last 10 games. He recorded two extra-base hits (one home run), one RBI, and one stolen base over that span. Brantley does boast a .333 average with a .535 slugging percentage and a .937 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. He also owns a .401 wOBA and a .202 ISO against righties in 2020.
Brantley gets a matchup against Kyle Cody, who is holding left-handed batters to a .120 average with a .160 slugging percentage and a .163 wOBA this season. He’s a pitcher that is due for quite a bit of regression, although he’s been worse against right-handed batters. Brantley is expected to hit third in the Houston Astros lineup and he still comes with a reasonable price tag. He’s a solid option on this larger slate.
Canha has been struggling recently, posting a .152 average with a .242 slugging percentage and a .499 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he owns one home run and five RBIs. Canha is at his best against left-handed pitching, though, recording a .286 average with a .429 slugging percentage and a .875 OPS against lefties this season. He also boasts a .390 wOBA and a .143 ISO against lefties in 2020.
Canha gets a matchup against Yusei Kikuchi, who has been a bit unlucky this season. He’s allowed right-handed batters to hit for a .229 average with a .385 slugging percentage and a .300 wOBA. Canha is currently expected to hit third in the Oakland A’s lineup. This isn’t necessarily the best matchup but Canha is always in play against a lefty, specifically in tournaments.
Jesus Aguilar (1.7x)
Aguilar has recorded a .294 average with a .471 slugging percentage and a .871 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns two home runs and four RBIs in those contests. Aguilar has looked great against left-handed pitching in 2020, posting a .333 average with a .588 slugging percentage and a .981 OPS. He boasts a .414 wOBA and a .255 ISO against lefties this season.
Aguilar gets a matchup against J.A. Happ, who has been throwing at an extremely high level. He is allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .221 average with a .416 slugging percentage and a .301 wOBA this season. Aguilar is expected to hit third in the Miami Marlins offense. He’s a powerful player that has looked great against left-handed pitching and will benefit from a hitter-friendly stadium. Aguilar isn’t a player that should see a 1.7x multiplier but it’s something we can take advantage of on SuperDraft.
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