Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Houston Astros continue to feature one of the best offenses in the MLB. Through 68 games, Houston ranks third in the MLB in runs scored, fourth in team batting average, and fifth in OPS. They have also been a significantly better offense on the road, where they’re hitting .277 with a .458 slugging percentage and an .802 OPS. Houston is averaging 5.8 runs and 3.9 extra-base hits per game on the road, as well. Tonight, the Astros are -196 favorites in a game set at only 7.5 runs. They feature an implied run total of 4.5 runs.
The Astros get a matchup against Paul Blackburn, who has thrown well in his short MLB career. Through 11 career starts, Blackburn possesses a 4-1 record with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He has held to opponent to only a 0.8 HR/9, while recording a low 3.5 K/9 through 64.2 innings. He has been a reverse splits pitching throughout his career, as well, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .278 average with a .436 slugging percentage and a .319 wOBA. The Astros feature an offense that can score runs against any pitcher, especially one that is early into their Major League career.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees make up the “Vegas Stack” once again. They have only played in 63 games this season, but they still rank second in the Majors in runs scored. They also rank ninth in the league in team batting average and first in OPS. New York is an elite offense whenever they are playing at home (or on the road). Through 32 games, the Yankees are hitting .259 with a .454 slugging percentage and an .807 OPS. They are also averaging 5.8 runs and 3.3 extra-base hits per game at home. Tonight, New York is a -175 favorite in a game set at 9.5 runs, giving them an implied run total of 5.5 runs tonight, which is the highest on the slate.
New York gets a matchup against Erick Fedde, who has only made four Major League starts throughout his career. In those games, he has posted an 0-2 record with an 8.14 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP. He has also struggled with a 2.1 HR/9 to go along with an impressive 9.0 K/9. He has also been a reverse splits pitcher in limited innings, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .447 average with a .737 slugging percentage and a .518 wOBA. He has also allowed lefties to hit for a .275/.449/.339 line in the same categories. New York is a difficult stadium for any pitcher to throw in, and the Yankees should find plenty of success against the young National tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Cincinnati Reds scored five runs last night, and I’m going back to the well again tonight. They have struggled quite a bit offensively this season, ranking only 18th in runs scored and OPS, although they do rank 11th in the league in team batting average. Cincinnati has also featured a better offense on the road, where they’re hitting .264 with a .398 slugging percentage and a .731 OPS. Furthermore, they are averaging 4.3 runs and 2.6 extra-base hits per game away from home. The Reds get a great matchup tonight, and they are -116 favorites in a game set at 9.5 runs. They own an implied run total of 4.9 runs.
Jason Hammel will be taking the mound for the Kansas City Royals tonight. He has been struggling over his last 10 starts, posting a 2-5 record with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP over that span. He also owns a 1.2 HR/9 with a 5.9 K/9 in those games. Hammel has been another reverse splits pitcher, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .326 average with a .470 slugging percentage and a .355 wOBA this season. The Reds feature a left-handed heavy lineup, which is a bit of a concern, but they also feature a few high upside right-handed bats. They make for a high upside offense tonight.
Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor
Martinez has looked outstanding against left-handed pitching throughout his career, posting a .682 slugging percentage a a .299 ISO against lefties. He has also been on fire recently, recording a 64% hard-hit rate with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days.
Hosmer has displayed great power against right-handed pitching this season, sporting a .517 slugging percentage and a .203 ISO. He also owns an elite 64% hard-hit rate with a 95 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. He will also see a boost in ballpark factor tonight.
Gallo is a home run or bust type of player, as he features a 36.2% home run rate this season. He also owns 0.049 wOBA and 0.108 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. Gallo’s fly ball rate is a bit low, but he owns an elite 65% hard-hit rate with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days.
Molina isn’t a normal “home run option,” but he does have a lot working in his favor tonight. He owns a dominant 0.137 ISO differential against left-handed pitching, while also recording a .414 career slugging percentage against lefties. Molina owns a 57% hard-hit rate with a 95 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well.
Adams will see a massive boost in ballpark factor tonight, as he’ll be playing in one of the most hitter friendly stadiums in the MLB. He also owns 0.114 wOBA and 0.105 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, Adams owns 52% hard-hit and fly ball rates over the last 15 days, while also possessing a 94 mph exit velocity over that span.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Pivetta has struggled at times this season, but he has looked outstanding in Philadelphia. Through seven home starts, Pivetta owns a 3-2 record with a 2.20 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He has also held his opponents to a 0.4 HR/9, while posting an 11.0 K/9. He has also scored 25+ DK points in two of his last three home games. Pivetta is currently a -133 favorite in a game set at 8.5 runs. His opponents feature a low implied run total of only 4.0 runs tonight.
Pivetta gets a matchup against the Colorado Rockies, who rank fourth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat. They also feature a slightly above average team wOBA. Pivetta has been a dominant option against right-handed batters this season, holding them to a .224 average with a .323 slugging percentage and a .265 wOBA. Furthermore, Pivetta is holding his opponents to a .212/.302/.244 line in the same categories at home. He’s a fairly safe option when throwing at home, and Pivetta also comes with tremendous upside for a low price tag.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
If you consistently read this article, you know that I always use Adrianza against left-handed pitching. He’s currently hitting .351 against lefties this season, and he features 0.137 wOBA and 0.07 ISO differentials against left-handed pitching. Furthermore, Adrianza is hitting .346 with an .808 slugging percentage and a 1.241 OPS over his last 10 games. He also boasts 43% hard-hit and 40% fly ball rates with a 93 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days.
Adrianza gets a matchup against Matthew Boyd tonight. Boyd has struggled throughout his career against right-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .270 average with a .470 slugging percentage and a .344 wOBA. Adrianza is expected to hit eighth in the Twins lineup, but that has not stopped him recently. He’s a fairly safe option with tremendous upside for a low price tag.
Martinez has been struggling recently, recording a .200 average with a .257 slugging percentage and a .520 OPS over his last 10 games. With that being said, he owns 47% hard-hit and fly ball rates over the last 15 days, while also recording a 93 mph exit velocity over that span. Furthermore, Martinez is a better option against right-handed pitching, featuring 0.047 wOBA and 0.026 ISO differentials against righties.
He gets a decent matchup against Jose Berrios, who has struggled on the road this season. Berrios has also been slightly worse against left-handed batters throughout his career, allowing them to hit for a .249 average with a .408 slugging percentage and a .325 wOBA. Martinez is batting cleanup for the Detroit Tigers, adding to his upside. He could see RBI opportunities tonight, and he makes a solid salary relief option on this slate.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)