I hope yesterday’s advice worked out as well for you as it did for me.
I was on the cusp of a pretty big day but still finished pretty well. Our pitcher rankings have been spot on for two of the last three days. Maybe adding the innings pitched category and calculating my own pitcher strikeout probability is paying off.
We’ll find out in the long run. For now, let’s get to day’s top plays.
Actually, before we get there, let’s talk weather. There are two games with serious rain concerns: Miami at Philadelphia and Atlanta at New York Mets. There are four others expecting 14+ MPH winds during the game: Indians-White Sox, Cubs-Pirates, Cardinals-Nationals and Yankees-Tigers.
You can’t win with some rainouts in your lineup, so check on those games’ statuses before lineups lock.
Pitcher rankings for Wednesday, April 22
Things seem pretty straightforward today. The studs are at the top — the top four players average $10,475.
In cash games, I can’t fault you for trying to roster Clayton Kershaw and David Price. It’s going to leave you weak in the bats, but you lock in potential for 70 or 80 points from your pitchers. That’s the trade.
You could also go Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto. I love everything about their profile today except park factor. Unfortunately, that’s a big one for me. If a pitcher hangs one curve, misses on one fastball, there’s a three-run dong and a potential early exit. I’ll still definitely have some exposure to Hamels, pitching at home against the Marlins who have struck out the fourth-most this season.
My top pairings: Price-John Lackey, Hamels-Lackey, Price-Cueto.
I built a value factor into my formula. I haven’t talked about it much because I’m not sure how reliable it is. I take a pitcher’s salary, subtract it from the most expensive SP of the day then divide the result by that player’s average rank.
Using that formula, here are the top-10 value pitchers for today (again, use at your own risk):
Pitcher extreme (risky) value plays
Higher VAL is better. The numbers next to the pitchers’ names are actual rank.
A Vance Worley–Nate Karns pairing is certainly intriguing. You can get a lot of sluggers with those savings.
Hitters to target for Wednesday, April 22
There is one game, the Rockies at home against the Padres, with a 10-run over/under. The Baltimore-Toronto game has an O/U of 9 and Rangers-Diamondbacks is the only game with an 8.5.
Top stacks: Houston against J.A. Happ, especially Evan Gattis and Jose Aluve; Minnesota against Jeremie Guthrie, especially Joe Mauer, Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia; Toronto against Ubaldo Jimenez, especially Russell Martin, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes and Dalton Pompey.
It’s also not a bad idea to consider stacks against the pitchers we have ranked lowest because a lot of factors are in favor of the hitters and against the pitchers: Detroit against Adam Warren, Kansas City against Mike Pelfrey, the Mets against Eric Stults, the Orioles against Aaron Sanchez and the Mariners against Roberto Hernandez.
Hot, could get hotter
Batters on a hot streak but with a surprisingly low batting average on balls in play indicates their streak has potential to grow:
OF Leonys Martin, C Russell Martin, SS Brandon Crawford, C Kurt Suzuki, C Miguel Montero, OF Starling Marte, 2B Dustin Pedroia, OF Jose Bautista, OF David Peralta, 2B/3B Luis Valbuena, 1B Freddie Freeman
Here are the hitters I’ll have the most exposure to. They are listed in order. Check starting lineups before opening pitch to make sure these guys are playing:
C Gattis, Mauer, Martin
1B Freeman, Encarnacion, Joey Votto
2B Altuve, Valbuena, Pedroia, Robinson Cano
3B Todd Frazier, Yangervis Solarte, Valbuena
SS Santana, Reyes, Brandon Crawford, Eduardo Escobar
OF Pompey, Corey Dickerson, Giancarlo Stanton, Arcia, Marte, Bautista, Peralta
Good luck today and every day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: EP has been playing fantasy sports since 1996. He is among the top third of overall players at RotoGrinders.com. He won two NBA GPPs this season, his first dedicating significant time to NBA lineups, and is among the top 32% of hockey players. He’ll use the same methods in an attempt to crack an MLB tournament in 2015.