A full slate is on tap this Tuesday evening in the MLB. When 15 games are in play, there is usually a tough decision to be made at starting pitcher. Tonight is no different. Coors Field is almost a must-play situation, but the hitters are extremely expensive. This will make it tough to fit in the stud pitchers who need to have incredible outings to pay-off value.
Tonight, paying up for bats might be the best strategy. Although Justin Verlander is having another fantastic season, there are too many great hitting options priced at a premium. Hopefully, we can save salary with our starters who can provide a nice floor for the high-end hitters.
Mike Clevinger (CLE): $10,800 vs. CWS
If you so chose to pay up at starting pitcher, there are a few options. As mentioned, Verlander is a great pick, but saving salary everywhere possible will be essential. Chris Sale always has great strikeout upside, but the Minnesota Twins are a pesky team who hit lefties well.
The third highest priced pitcher is one that will come in lower owned and at a discount. A great pivot from the two aces above. Mike Clevinger will face the Chicago White Sox for the third time since May 29th. Normally, the advantage would go to the hitters. However, Clevinger has struck out 18 batters through just 13.2 innings of work. The White Sox are an awful team against right-handed pitching and Clevinger should be in-line for another solid outing at very low ownership.
Jefry Rodriguez (WAS): $5,900 vs. BAL
So far, the Baltimore Orioles have the worst record in the MLB. Outside of Manny Machado, this team has been terrible. They own a 24.1% strikeout rate, 81 wRC+, while hitting just a .228 average. Now, they travel to Washington, where they will lose their DH and become an even less intimidating team. Jefry Rodriguez made one relief appearance where he went 4.2 innings and was able to put together a solid performance. In AA this season, the 24-year-old showed strikeout upside with a 25.4% K rate. While the MLB experience is limited, the price and matchup are hard to pass up on in an evening where saving salary is important.
Jason Hammel (KC): $5,000 vs. TEX
Once a pitcher looked at to target hitters with, Jason Hammel has put together a few great outings. His best start of the season came against this very Rangers team four starts ago in Texas. Now, he will get the park upgrade at home. The Rangers will provide a high strikeout upside for a pitcher who is very risky to roster. Again, saving salary is vital. Jason Hammel is simply mispriced at $5,000 with 30 point potential.
The most popular stack of the evening will be the Rockies, at home against Jason Vargas. The Mets starter is the worst pitcher taking the mound this evening and will now have to pitch in the best hitters ballpark, against a hungry Rockies team. Vargas owns a .433 wOBA to LHH and a .403 to RHH, making the entire lineup worth a look for a full team stack. The Mets bullpen also owns the worst FIP, at 5.66 and the third worst xFIP at 4.90. The ball will be flying off the bats in Colorado tonight, so fade at your own risk.
Now that the Nationals are finally healthy, they look like a very dangerous team, on paper. There are weather concerns, so watch the status closely as the Nats are usually over cautious and will PPD games easier than most other teams. Baltimore will look to starter David Hess tonight, who is giving up a .401 wOBA to LHH, with a 5.54 SIERA. The bullpen for Baltimore is ranked as the second-worst this season which will allow the Nats hitters to rake all night. Bryce Harper is ice cold, but this looks like a great spot to break out of his slump.
A team which might be forgotten about tonight, are the Cleveland Indians. Hosting the Chicago White Sox, the Indians have a 5.31 implied run total this evening against Carlos Rodon. In 2018, the White Sox pitcher has a 2.70 HR/FB rate and struggles with both right and left-handed hitters. He has a 3.60 ERA, but owns a 5.11 xFIP which suggests regression. The Indians are a team who have underperformed thus far in 2018 but have massive, run-producing upside.