With the World Cup in full stride, less attention will be on MLB but that doesn’t mean there aren’t slates to break down!
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Turning our attention to the MLB slate today, we have a sizable early-only slate and a small main slate, so I will try and get two articles out today (one for each slate), starting with this one. You guys know the drill, three players that I am building every lineup around. Here we go…
It’s a Scherzer slate, and unlike other days where Scherzer takes the bump, there aren’t any appealing mid-tier options to pivot to, meaning that we need to eat the chalk and find value. With that being said, my three FanCave Favorites will be priced at a bit of a discount. That doesn’t mean players like Mike Trout, Freddie Freeman and Nolan Arenado* are off the table, but I want make sure you find the key ancillary pieces to build a solid line without sacrificing too much salary.
*my top overall play on the slate – if you can fit him, do it.
Let’s get to it.
C/1B – Justin Bour | FD – $3,300 / DK – $4,100
The Marlins are never a team that people look to when building cash game stacks, but the fact that they face off against Alex Cobb this afternoon completely changes things.
Cobb has been miserable this season, posting a 7.23 ERA and a 4.40 xFIP while allowing 1.77 HR/9 and striking out less than 6 batters per nine innings. His peripheral stats suggest some positive regression coming his way, but with his recent form (9 ER last start) and overall numbers so far this season, I’m more than willing to target him.
Bour has quietly posted a solid 0.366 wOBA and a 0.243 ISO against right-handed pitching this season to go along with his 42.5% hard-contact percentage. Side note, does Justin Bour remind anyone else of Toby from the TV show “This Is Us” or is it just me? Huh, anyways, I don’t expect him to garner much ownership seeing that Eric Thames is leading off for the same price and more upside (who I will get to), but I don’t know if another hitter is in a better spot today.
UTIL – Eric Thames | FD – $3,300 / DK – $4,800
Speaking of Thames, here we are. He was recently activated off of the DL this week and gets to slide right into the leadoff spot in Miller Park against Zach Eflin tonight. That’s already 3 pros to playing him.
Eflin hasn’t been bad this season, but has struggled against lefties throughout his career, allowing a career 0.376 wOBA, 2.48 HR/9 and a 35.2% hard-contact rating, while Thames has crushed right-handed pitching since the beginning of last season. He’s posted a 0.369 wOBA, a 0.271 ISO, wRC+ of 124 and a 41.5% hard-contact rating.
He’s a great way to get relatively cheap exposure to a red hot offense in a smash spot.
OF – Derek Dietrich | FD – $2,700 / DK – $4,000
Another Marlin, are you crazy Joe? Maybe, but they’re in a great spot and even Vegas likes them (4.3 IRT is higher than normal for MIA).
Dietrich comes in as the leadoff hitter for the Marlins against Alex Cobb tonight in a game that should be a bloodbath. I touched on Cobb in the blurb about Bour, but specifically against left-handed batters this season, Cobb has given up a 0.453 wOBA (!!!) and 2.28 HR/9.
While Dietrich isn’t a huge power hitter, he gets on base. Against righties this season, he’s posted a 0.336 wOBA and a 0.155 ISO with a 37.5% hard contact rating.
He should be a shoe-in for 5 at-bats and comes at a great price for the spot he’s in.
Other options (that will help free up salary): Lewis Brinson, Craig Gentry, Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop, Marcus Semien, Danny Valencia, Ryan Braun, Hunter Renfroe)