Worth the money: Jose Altuve (HOU, $5100)
Simply put, Altuve is on fire lately. The likely batting champion has hit an outstanding .407 over his last 15 games with 2 HR and 11 RBI over that span. Tonight he is facing lefty Francisco Liriano, making his first start of the season in the hitter friendly Rogers Centre. Liriano has a monstrous WHIP this season at 1.61 and has given up 71 BB over 119.2 IP (5.4 BB/9). Altuve has also hit unbelievably on the road this season. In 54 games he has a .434/.500/.637/1.137 stat line through 212 ABs. Those are simply incredible numbers and he looks to make them even better tonight in Toronto. With Altuve’s speed and ability to get on base at a videogame like pace, look for him to accrue points in a variety of ways. Whether it be via the home run or the stolen base, or simply just by collecting 3+ hits, the tiny man looks to have a productive night. The astros as a team have a very good matchup tonight. Use other pieces of their team in accordance with Altuve if you’re looking to stack against a pitcher. It could prove to yield a lot of points.
Batter Pick: Carlos Beltran (TEX, $4300)
Beltran has done well since his trade from the Yankees. In 9 games with Texas, the veteran switch hitter has collected 9 hits in 29 ABs, 4 of which have gone for extra bases. That’s good for a .310 AVG and .517 SLG. Beltran is showing no signs of slowing down, even at the age at 39. He has a favourable matchup against Detroit veteran RHP Anibal Sanchez, who has struggled this year putting together a 6-11 record with a 5.88 ERA and 1.55 WHIP through 26 games (18 starts). With Beltran doing very well since the trade and Sanchez’s below average numbers, Beltran could be set up to do very well tonight in Arlington. He continues to put is bat on the ball with power and until he fails to do so, he will be a very effective major league hitter. My bold prediction is for him to put one out of the yard and cash in a couple of RBI while adding a single to it as well. Texas also makes a case for another potential team stack.
Pitcher Pick: Jon Gray (COL, $8900)
Gray is a pitcher on tonight’s slate that might get overlooked as a potential 25+ point guy due to the likes of David Price and Steven Strasburg taking the mound. The Rockies have seemed to find their ‘ace’ in Gray and he looks to continue his impressive season against the woeful Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies come into tonight near the bottom of the league in both average and runs scored. That bodes very well for Gray who has been stellar post all star break, a 3-1 record with a 3.03 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 5 starts. Gray’s numbers are also considerably better on the road than at home, which is not surprising considering baseballs tend to just fly out of Coors Field. The only thing that is not better is his W/L record (5-1 at home, 1-4 on the road). This could be due to the Rockies ability to give Gray many runs in support at Coors Field and less on the road. Gray is also averaging over 9 strikeouts per 9 innings and could be a very good source of points for a moderate salary. He offers salary relief compared to some of the other pitchers on tonight’s slate but has the same point potential. His ceiling is high while his basement in turn is also relatively high. Use him with confidence tonight versus the Phillies.