Five Notes for Today’s Games
No players from the Cubs/Cards and Mets/Braves games were ranked due to weather concerns in both those games.
1. Starting Pitchers- Today is not going to be an easy day to navigate starting pitching. With weather over 60 percent chance in the Cardinals/Cubs and Mets/Braves games, we lose several good options, especially Shelby Miller. Max Scherzer RHP DET vs BAL is normally a slam dunk play as well, but I’m not starting any right-handed pitcher against the Orioles bats. My favorite starter of the day is Patrick Corbin LHP ARI vs MIA. The Marlins have been playing much better ball since Giancarlo Stanton has returned, and Corbin has been showing some regression. Corbin is still the top option. James Shields RHP KC @ CLE is another favorite starter. Shields has only given up more than 3 runs in 2 of his 14 starts, all of those 11 were also quality starts. The Indians are solid enough but have been struggling to score runs as of late. Past these two pitchers it gets a lot more complicated. I don’t hate Francisco Liriano LHP PIT @ CIN or Jason Vargas LHP LAA vs SEA. Liriano struck out 11 Reds the last time they faced off on May 31, and I love to start pitchers facing former teams which is the case of Jason Vargas facing Seattle (John Lannan is facing a former team as well, but it’s John Lannan). The only other possible pitcher in my mind would be Jacob Turner RHP MIA @ ARI if you were to want to fade the Corbin pick. Turner has looked exceptional so far, and the D’backs bats have disappeared.
2. Stud Hitters- John Jaso C OAK (.449 AVG over last 10, facing RHP Tepesch), Prince Fielder 1B DET (no HRs in last 10 but hitting .352, facing Arrieta so he’s due), Howie Kendrick 2B LAA (nobody hotter, .513 over last 10, 9 multi-hit games in June), Miguel Cabrera 3B DET (find a way to roster him, must start), Ryan Zimmerman 3B WAS (facing LHP John Lannan, 5 game hit streak ended yesterday and 2 HRs in last 4), Ian Desmond SS WAS (best SS option today), Mike Trout OF LAA (loves facing RHP and Harang is a bad one), Alex Gordon OF KC (rattled off 4 game hit streak after struggling lately, facing RHP Carrasco), Michael Cuddyer OF COL (14 game hit streak, hitting RHP well, only 4,500 on DK), Jason Werth OF WAS (first time on my list, but hitting well lately and very familiar with John Lannan’s stuff or lack thereof), and Austin Jackson OF DET (stack play atop the Tigers lineup, doing fine in his first 3 games back from injury).
3. Value Hitters- Mike Zunino C SEA (bottom barrel priced and has a plus bat at a bad position , facing a LHP Jason Vargas), Brayan Pena C DET (Avila was hurt yesterday and hits .375 with 2 HRs vs RHP, a must start on Starstreet), Victor Martinez C/1B DET (finally has 1B elig, priced at 3,400 on DK), Eric Hosmer 1B KC (BB up, Ks down, 4 multi-hit games in last 10, facing RHP Carrasco), Elliot Johnson SS/2B KC (hit safely in 4 straight with 3 XBH), Anthony Rendon 3B WAS (facing a LHP and streaking), Matt Dominguez 3B HOU (.298 with 7 of 9 HRs at Home), Zack Cozart SS CIN (3,600 on DK, hit safely in last 6 with 4 multi-hit games), J.D. Martinez OF HOU, Kyle Blanks OF SD (he’s really coming into his own lately, facing a LHP Barry Zito), and Josh Reddick OF OAK (4,300 on Starstreet and 2,700 on FD, hitting better since DL return and was incredible yesterday).
4. Stack ‘em Up- If the weather lets up then the Braves vs RHP Dillon Gee is a must stack, Tigers vs RHP Jake Arrieta is also a must stack, Nationals @ LHP John Lannan, Royals @ RHP Carlos Carrasco, and Angels vs RHP Aaron Harang.
5. The Home Run Factor- I’m going to change this section up a little bit. I’m going to rank five players due for one reason or another to hit a home run (in order of least likely to most likely). 5- John Jaso C OAK only has one HR all year and that came way back on April 9th. His slugging has ticked up a bit in June, and Jaso is getting ridiculous contact. Facing Tepesch, a mediocre RHP, only helps Jaso stake a claim to go deep. 4- Howie Kendrick 2B LAA is on his way to claiming the AL batting title. Remarkably he has been the best Angel hitter so far. I think he’ll get an opportunity for a fat pitch from Harang. Whether Kendrick rips a double or goes deep is really a matter of chance, but he will do one or the other. 3- Eric Hosmer 1B KC was the first guy that I predicted to hit his first home run and really started the popularity of this section. He returns because of highly favorable matchup vs RHP Carlos Carrasco. Hosmer is hitting .305 through June and will have a good game today. We’ll see if that translates into a deep fly. 2- Alex Gordon OF KC has no HRs in the month of June, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s my second biggest long-shot to hit a long shot. Gordon has hit LHP far better than RHP so far in 2013, but that will correct itself starting today. If I had a due factor and were only picking one guy to go deep it would be Alex Gordon today. I can all but guarantee a home run from 1- Prince Fielder 1B DET. The only reason I won’t guarantee on Fielder is that he seems to always disappoint when I love his matchup. I love his matchup today, but I don’t think that will hold him back from hitting at least one out of the park.