We’ve got a game at Coors tonight, and two of the three teams with an implied run total over six in Vegas are playing the Coors game. Shocking, we know. Los Angeles is in Colorado with Dennis Santana likely to make his major league debut. Santana has only two starts above Double-A, so he’ll really be getting thrown into the fire in Coors tonight. Left-hander Tyler Anderson will start for the Rox.
LA has the highest implied total in Vegas, so we’ll start with them. The Dodgers have a whopping eight hitters on the roster who have been at least 10 percent better than league average against left-handed pitching dating back to last season. Leading them is Justin Turner who has literally been twice as good as league average with a wRC+ of 200 vs. LHP. Their hottest hitter of late is Matt Kemp who is hitting .455 over the last 15 days. Enrique Hernandez has fared well against Anderson in his career going 4-for-16 with all four hits being for extra bases. The Dodgers provide plenty of options to fill out a stack, but you should start with those three.
As for the Rox, Charlie Blackmon is the obvious name as he’s the only one of Colorado’s studs that hits left-handed, so he’ll have the platoon advantage on Santana. Their hottest hitters of late have been Ian Desmond , who has multi-hit games in each of his last three, and Nolan Arenado , who has three home runs in his last six (all at home). Arenado is around average against same-handed pitching, while Desmond struggles without the platoon advantage.
New York Yankees
The Yankees are the third team with an implied total over six runs. The Yanks will be in Baltimore with Andrew Cashner on the hill for the O’s. Cashner has an ERA over 5.00 and an xFIP that isn’t much better at 4.82. The weather will be hitter-friendly in Baltimore with the highest dewpoint of the night at 71 degrees. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but moisture in the air helps the ball travel farther.
New York’s big three are all obviously in play anytime the Yanks have a good matchup, but there are several other Yankees in play, which means you don’t have to roster all three studs for this stack to work. Miguel Andujar has a 136 wRC+ against same-handed pitching since the start of last season, Brett Gardner has hits in five of his last six including three multi-hit games and three home runs, and Didi Gregorius is also coming out his slump going five for his last 13.
Not the Chalk
Maybe this is a bit of a cop out pick since the A’s have the fourth highest implied total of the night. But with the Coors game and the Yankees being in such a good spot, the A’s really should avoid super high ownership. We’ll get more contrarian in a minute, so just consider this an extension of the chalk if you’d like.
The A’s are getting a positive park shift on the road in Kansas City tonight. The main advantage for their bats is weather as they’re going from the cool Bay Area to warm and muggy conditions in KC. The game time temp will be in the 90’s, and this game and the one in nearby St. Louis are the most humid games on the slate outside of Baltimore.
The A’s also have a nice matchup against Ian Kennedy . Kennedy is one of four starters going today with a hard contact rate allowed over 40 percent, and he leans toward the fly ball end of the spectrum. You can do the simple math here: fly balls hit hard are the best way to hit home runs.
Oakland has five guys who have been at least 10 percent better than league average against right-handed pitching since the start of 2017: Matt Olson , Khris Davis , Jed Lowrie , Matt Joyce and Matt Chapman . Collectively the A’s haven’t seen much of Kennedy, but Davis has had the most success against Kennedy going 4-for-12 with three extra-base hits.
Here’s your more contrarian pick for the night. The Mariners will be hosting the Rays tonight, and the Rays will be employing their “opener” strategy with Sergio Romo set to start the game. Romo has been struggling of late allowing six earned runs in his last four appearances over 2.2 innings.
After Romo exits, Austin Pruitt is expected to take the ball, and Pruitt has a 4.91 xFIP on the season. That’s the sixth worst xFIP among today’s probable starters (or probable innings-eaters in this case), and he has third lowest strikeout rate and seventh lowest soft contact rate generated. Active Mariners have a 24 total PA against Pruitt and have combined for a 1.006 OPS against him.
Seattle has eight hitters who have been league average or better against right-handed pitching dating back to last season (which both Romo and Pruitt are), and five of them have been at least 13 percent better. Nelson Cruz leads the way with a 143 wRC+ vs. RHP. Their hottest hitter has been Jean Segura who is hitting .393 over the last 30 days and .449 over the last 15. Segura has a 113 wRC+ vs. RHP since last season. Segura tends to lead off and Cruz hits clean up, so you can build the stack around whoever is sandwiched between them in the order or closely following Cruz.