I changed up the format of my article yesterday and I have decided to keep using that format from now on. This new format allows me to give more analysis and a breakdown of each game. Let me know in the comment section if you would like me to revert back to the old format.
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4:05 pm Detroit Tigers vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Detroit Tigers pitching: Matthew Boyd has gotten off to a strong start to the season, but I don’t expect him to sustain that success. His matchup with the Pirates is decent, but he doesn’t strike enough hitters out to be viable in tournaments and he gets shelled too often to be viable in cash games.
Pittsburgh Pirates pitching: Jameson Taillon is on the mound for the Pirates and is one of my favorite pitchers on the slate. The Detroit Tigers are far from the offensive juggernaut they were a couple of years ago and their lineup has very few lefties. Those two reasons are why I will be streaming right handed pitchers against the Tigers all year long. Taillon offers a nice mix of floor and ceiling and is the top point-per-dollar pitcher on the slate.
Detroit Tigers hitting: Because of the amount of exposure I will have to Taillon, I will be completely fading the hitters on the Tigers.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitting: The Pirates offense started out red-hot, but has since fizzled. I won’t be going in the direction of stacking the Pirates, but instead will just be playing a couple of Pirates. Josh Bell always deserves consideration whenever he is going up against a subpar lefty like Boyd. I won’t be forcing Bell into my lineups, but I will be content with having him as the last guy i land on when making a lineup. Some of my favorite value plays of the night are Sean Rodriguez and Jordy Mercer. Both absolutely mash lefties and play at very thin positions. If you want to be able to play Kershaw, you will have to play value guys like Rodriguez and Mercer.
7:05 pm Arizona Diamondbacks vs Philadelphia Phillies
Arizona Diamondbacks pitching: I fully expect this game to turn into a pitchers duel since two aces will be facing off against each other. Zack Greinke is doing the pitching for the Diamondbacks, and while I don’t like him in cash games, he is an intriguing tournament play. The Philadelphia Phillies are a boom or bust matchup as they have plenty of power, but they also strike out a ton.
Philadelphia Phillies pitching: This will be Jake Arrieta’s most difficult test in his new jersey. The Diamondbacks are a much better offense than the other offenses he has faced this year. While that doesn’t mean you should just rule him out, it is something to keep in mind when you are determining to start him or not. Luckily for Arrieta the Diamondbacks perform worse against righties. I won’t have that much exposure to him, but I may put him in a couple of tournament lineups. One interesting strategy for tournaments is to roster both Greinke and Arrieta and hope it turns into a full-fledged pitchers duel.
Arizona Diamondbacks hitting: Arrieta is a very good pitcher that I don’t like targeting hitters against.
Philadelphia Phillies hitting: The same thing I said in the line above applies here.
7:05 pm Tampa Bay Rays vs Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays pitching: The Rays will be starting Jake Faria on the mound. He is a pitcher that has had a variety of outcomes in different games this year. In his first game he pitched decent, but wasn’t able to last very long. In his second game he got shelled for 8 runs. In his third and fourth games, he turned in strong performances. For such a volatile pitcher, there couldn’t be a more fitting matchup. The Baltimore Orioles are a boom/bust matchup as they will either strike out a ton, or mash a couple of home runs. Because of this, I see Faria as a decent tournament play, but I will be avoiding him in cash games.
Baltimore Orioles pitching: Alex Cobb has had one of the worst starts to the season that we have seen in recent memory. Every single one of his pitches seems to get clobbered. Even though he draws a mouth-watering matchup with the Rays, he should be completely avoided.
Tampa Bay Rays hitting: The Rays draw a near-perfect matchup, but they don’t have that many hitters that will be able to take advantage of it. Nevertheless, there are a couple of interesting spots to target. Joey Wendle, Brad Miller, and Denard Span are all cheap enough and offer enough upside to be played in both cash games and tournaments. While they aren’t necessarily core plays, they make for strong lineup fillers.
Baltimore Orioles hitting: As I stated earlier, the Orioles will either get completely shut down, or they will absolutely go off for a big game. I don’t love their matchup with Jake Faria, and because of how I will have more exposure to Faria, I will be avoiding the Orioles for the most part. However, Manny Machado at least deserves tournament consideration given the way he has been swinging the bat recently. Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez are also decent tournament darts.
7:07 pm Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox pitching: I have been streaming right handed pitchers against the Blue Jays, but have been avoiding lefties against them. That is because of the discrepancy in how they perform against righties compared to how they perform against lefties. Seeing as how Eduardo Rodriguez is a lefty, I will be fading him.
Toronto Blue Jays pitching: Aaron Sanchez has always seemed like a wild card to me. He has always had plenty of talent, but has been too injury prone to show that talent. He has a high strikeout rate, but he also tends to give up runs in bunches. I don’t make a habit out of rostering pitchers against a very disciplined Red Sox lineup, and I won’t be making an exception today.
Boston Red Sox hitting: I won’t have as much exposure to the Red Sox as I probably should. The only player that really stands out to me is Andrew Benintendi. Benintendi has absolutely clobbered righties ever since entering the majors last year.
Toronto Blue Jays hitting: There isn’t a whole lot of talent in this Blue Jays lineup, and Eduardo Rodriguez is good at limiting damage. Because of those two reasons, I’m not keen on rostering any Blue Jays today.
7:10 pm Chicago Cubs vs Cleveland Indians
Chicago Cubs pitching: Two of the best teams in the entire MLB will be facing off in this game. Whenever two good teams play each other, there isn’t that much fantasy value to go around. At this stage in his career, Jon Lester isn’t someone you should go out of your way to roster; especially when he is facing a talented lineup in the Indians. He should be avoided in both cash games and tournaments.
Cleveland Indians pitching: Trevor Bauer is a pitcher that I try to put into my lineups as much as possible. He has a high strikeout rate and always seems to be criminally under-owned. His matchup with the Chicago Cubs is very boom or bust, so I will be avoiding him in cash games, but will have some exposure to him in tournaments.
Chicago Cubs hitting: Trevor Bauer is inconsistent and that leads to his opponents having big games sometimes. I wouldn’t go in the direction of a Cubs team stack, but there are a couple of players that should be on your radar. Anthony Rizzo is too cheap for his talent level and tends to perform well in big games. He should at least be on your radar in cash games. Kyle Schwarber is always a strong tournament play given his immense power.
Cleveland Indians hitting: Jon Lester is a pitcher that can be stacked against, but there are better spots to attack in this slate. Yan Gomes and Brandon Guyer are interesting value plays that will help you pay up for Kershaw.
7:35 pm Miami Marlins vs Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins pitching: Trevor Richards is on the mound for the Marlins. He is a very inexperienced pitcher that is not expected to do well tonight against a disciplined Dodgers offense. Because of that, the Dodgers are one of the best team stacks on the slate.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitching: Wow. I don’t think there has ever been more of a no-brainer than Clayton Kershaw pitching against the Marlins. He is very expensive but is worth every penny given his matchup with the Marlins. He will be very highly owned and rightfully so. Kershaw is the top overall play in both cash games and tournaments.
Miami Marlins hitting: Kershaw is the best pitcher in the league and the Marlins have the worst lineup in the league. In other words, don’t play a single Marlins hitter tonight.
Los Angeles Dodgers hitting: Thanks to their mouth-watering matchup with Trevor Richards, the Dodgers deserve consideration as the top overall team stack on the slate. My favorite Dodgers to target are Corey Seager, Yasmani Grandal, and Cody Bellinger (in that order).
8:05 pm Oakland Athletics vs Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics pitching: Pitching for the Athletics is Kendall Graveman who currently owns a 10.07 ERA on the year. The Rangers have a couple of righty-mashers in their lineup and that doesn’t bode well for Graveman. He is an easy fade for tonight.
Texas Rangers pitching: Doug Fister is set to return from the DL and is slated to start tonight. He isn’t a pitcher who should be on your radar since he doesn’t strike enough hitters out and serves up too much hard contact.
Oakland Athletics hitting: Matt Olson and Matt Joyce are my preferred targets whenever the A’s are going up against a subpar pitcher. They both perform extremely well against righties and are strong plays in both cash games and tournaments.
Texas Rangers hitting: The Rangers have their fair share of righty-mashers as well. Joey Gallo, Shin-soo Choo, and Nomar Mazara are all lefties that destroy right handed pitching. Of the three, Gallo is my preferred target in tournaments, Choo is my favorite in cash games, and Mazara is viable in both.
8:15 pm Milwaukee Brewers vs Kansas City Royals
Milwaukee Brewers pitching: Jhoulys Chacin is a very volatile pitcher that tends to perform poorly more often than not. His matchup is a positive one, but he doesn’t offer enough reward to justify the risk.
Kansas City Royals pitching: Jason Hammel is a pitcher that gives up plenty of hard contact and doesn’t strike enough batters out. Those two reasons make Hammel an easy fade in a boom/bust matchup.
Milwaukee Brewers hitting: There are three Brewers that should be on your radar tonight. Those players are Eric Thames, Travis Shaw, and Christian Yelich. Thames is strictly a tournament play for me, Yelich makes more sense in cash games, and Shaw is a strong play in both settings.
Kansas City Royals hitting: Lucas Duda and Mike Moustakas are really the only targets from the Royals. Both are secondary tournament targets at best anyways.
8:15 pm New York Mets vs St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets pitching: The Cardinals are not a very good lineup, but they do have a number of righties that excel against left handed pitching. It is a very good pitchers park, but I won’t have any exposure to either of the pitchers in this game.
St. Louis Cardinals pitching: Michael Wacha is on the mound for the Cardinals and will be facing off against a lineup that performs better against right handed pitching. Wacha is an easy fade in all formats.
New York Mets hitting: There are a couple of hitters on the Mets that absolutely destroy righties. Yoenis Cespedes is one of those players, but he always carries risk, which makes him a better tournament play. Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce are both lefties that have historically mashed right handed pitchers. Both are decent tournament plays.
St. Louis Cardinals hitting: The Cardinals are a very underrated stack for tonight. Matz is a pitcher that has a propensity to give up runs in bunches and that bodes well for the Cardinals lineup. Jose Martinez is one of the best hitters in the MLB against lefties. He is one of my favorite tournament plays, but also makes sense in cash games. Tommy Pham has plenty of upside thanks to his ability on the base-paths, but his elevated price tag makes him more of a secondary play.
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