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I am again skipping the early games (to give our West Coast friends a chance to get in on the fun) and will focus on the games from 7:05pm Eastern onward
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DraftStreet Team of the Day
As of the time this was written, there was no confirmation on the Cleveland Indians’ starter after Josh Tomlin pitched in relief on Wednesday against the Orioles. The speculation was on AAA pitcher Travis Banwart (a 28 year old righty who would be making his major league debut) or Kyle Davies (also a righty) but nothing is official. For purposes of this column, I am going to assume the Indians put a righty on the mound on Thursday.
Jon Niese | LHP | Mets | $16,459 – The Dodgers have a fantastic offense….against righties. They rank 28th in wOBA against lefties. Niese struggled in his last outing, but otherwise has been solid over the course of the year.
Wade Miley | LHP | Diamondbacks | $12,074 – There is some risk here as Miley isn’t great, but he’s pitched well in spots and the Cards are below average against left handed pitching. The key will be control for Miley.
Alternative: Zack Greinke ($23,116) has a fantastic matchup against a struggling Mets’ offense that is terrible against righties even when all cylinders are firing. Lance Lynn ($16,722) is also an option as he faces a D’backs lneup that isn’t great on the road.
Mike Zunino | Mariners | $4,330 – Zunino gets lefty Jared Cosart and he’s put up a healthy .360 wOBA against them this season.
Alternatives: Not a lot else excites me – I say go cheap if you don’t like Zunino. We might see Tony Cruz ($3,928) get a start with the extra innings game the Cards played Wednesday night.
Alternative: Chris Davis ($8,252) made some mechanical adjustments to his swing this week. Then he went out and hit three HRs that night. He followed that up with a couple of other hits on Wednesday night. He’s locked in at the plate and should be in your lineup.
Jose Altuve | Astros | $7,683 – Altuve’s .436 wOBA against lefties rates him first overall in all qualified second basemen in the majors this year.
Alternative: Neil Walker ($6,507) gets a righthander, has solid power against them and bats in the middle of the order.
Matt Dominguez | Astros | $5,203 – Dominguez has a solid .367 wOBA against lefties this year, but perhaps more importantly his K% is only 10.07 against lefties. He faces off against Roenis Elias who has teetered on the edge all year long with less than optimal control.
Asdrubal Cabrera | Indians | $6,092 – The Indians are the worst hitting team in MLB against left handed pitching. However, they do have a couple of shining stars including Cabrera. He’s usually at the top of the order against lefties so he’s my guy today at short.
Alternative: Much like catcher, I don’t see a ton of value here – Chris Owings ($4,364) has had a couple of solid games over the last week, hits righties relatively well, and has been batting up in the order so I’d take a chance on him.
Dexter Fowler | Astros | $6,514 – Fowler has been fantastic since his move to the three hole in the Astros lineup (or the turn of the calendar to May or some other reason). Whatever the reason, Fowler has enjoyed his recent time in the lineup. He also gets a left hander and he’s got a .349 wOBA against them this season and .361 for his career.
Nick Markakis | Orioles | $5,097 – Markakis has been seen as a disappointment by many, but he’s a solid player and in the leadoff position gets a lot of opportunities to score runs with his single/double approach. He gets some right handed pitcher and should be good for a couple of times on base and at least one run scored.
Alternatives: Denard Span ($5,488) looks to be entering one of his rare hot streaks and gets Edinson Volquez who looks to be turning back into a pumpkin. Seth Smith ($6,347) also gets a nod based on his matchup and his general hotness at the plate over the recent few days. If you are sneaking Greinke into your lineup, you might like to have Scott Van Slyke ($4,674), noted lefty killer in your lineup.
I like the Astros against a lefty and the Orioles against whatever unnamed righty takes the mound against them.
Good luck on DraftStreet today!