Joel Dorcas |July 12th, 2019
Another MLB All-Star game is in the books and we can finally get to some real competition with most of the league returning to action Friday night, Yesterday the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros squared off. As for tonight, we have a nice 13 games to sink our teeth into. Baseball is back and we’re going Around the Horn!
Gerrit Cole HOU $11,500
The risk-reward factor is in play with Cole and the Astros traveling to Texas but the split is somewhere in the neighborhood of 60/40 in favor of reward. Cole’s massive strikeout potential and the Rangers being the third-highest team in K rate this season at 25.9% outweigh what kind of offense the Rangers put up in this one. There should be no doubt that they can get to Cole as they are hitting .258 with a .312 wOBA off the flamethrower. Cole carries a 6.61 ERA versus the Rangers this season but has 29 Ks in 16.1 innings and his last showing May 11th, he got the win allowing just a single run while striking out 12 in six innings of work. Lifetime Ranger hitters are hitting just .218 with four HR in 133 at-bats(three belonging to Joey Gallo). As for Cole’s recent outings, he has been nothing short of spectacular. 4-0, 39 IP, 54 Ks, 1.38 ERA. It should be noted that only one of those starts were on the road.
Starlin Castro MIA 2B $3,000
At the whole, it has been a struggle for the Marlins middle infielder this season but if we look at Castro’s hitting when matched up against southpaws he has proven to be more effective. The Marlins will draw left-handed starter Jason Vargas and the New York Mets. Against left-handed pitching, Castro has produced a .348 batting average with three homers and 10 RBI in 92 at-bats. As for facing Vargas, in 13 at-bats he has five hits, one HR, two runs, and three doubles. Vargas pitched five innings in his only outing this season against the Marlins allowing eight hits, four doubles, one homer, only two strikeouts, but only two earned runs were given up.
Yuli Gurriel HOU 1B $5,400
Extremely tough to go against the Cuban hitting machine lately. All of a sudden Gurriel is a power-hitting force featured in the middle of one of baseball’s best lineups. His last 10 games(not including Thursday) have been tremendous, eight HR, 17 RBI, a .585 wOBA, and a .390 average. Jesse Chavez is the scheduled starter for the Texas Rangers and Gurriel and the ‘Stros have handled him quite well. Gurriel is 7-for-13 with two HRs. The Astros are 36-for-121(.298), .912 OPS, .392 wOBA against the right-hander.
Michael Brantley HOU $4,700
An Astros stack is fully in play with the Stros and Rangers squaring off at hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. The entire Houston outfield looks really good, including left-handed-hitting Michael Brantley. Brantley has taken Chavez deep three times in his career, and on the whole, is 4-for-12. Brantley’s last 10 games have gone well, a .342 average, .378 wOBA, and 10 runs scored.
Alex Verdugo LAD $4,200
The Dodgers travel to Boston in a rare appearance at Fenway Park. They will face left-handed starter, Eduardo Rodriguez who has actually struggled more against left-handed hitters compared to when facing hitters from the right side. Versus lefties, in 22 innings he has given up seven HR, a .292 average and a .369 wOBA. The Dodgers feature a lot of left-handed hitters and are holding their own. They rank ninth in baseball in wOBA(.331) versus left-handed pitching. Verdugo hits from the left side and carries a .354 average in 82 at-bats when matched against southpaws this season.
A FEW OTHER NOTES
Ian Kinsler 2B SD versus projected starter Dallas Keuchel(ATL): 11-for-36, 1 HR, 6 Runs
Washington Nationals versus Nick Pivetta(PHI): 39-for-96(.406), 9 HR, 1.238 OPS, .521 wOBA
Anthony Rendon(WAS) versus Pivetta(PHI): 10-for-18, 4 HR, 7 R, 10 RBI, 1.968 OPS, .797 wOBA.
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