Me and the wife welcomed a new addition to our family on Friday, with newcomer Halle Thorburn announcing her presence with authority. It was a long holiday weekend and I'm suffering from sleep deprivation, so let's head straight for the splits as we get ready for a full slate of Tuesday games.
Torii Hunter, OF ($4200)
vs. LHP: .291/.352/.488 in 2641 PA
vs. RHP: .274/.327/.456 in 6656 PA
vs. Buchholz: .172/.294/.241 in 34 PA
The 39-year old has been one of the most consistent players in the game for the majority of his career. His current slugging percentage of .465 is a dead ringer for his career rate, and though steals are no longer a part of his game, the power remains intact as he attempts to post 14 or more homers for the 15th consecutive campaign. He started slowly out of the gate, but Hunter has been on fire lately, including a line of .345/.404/.595 with six of his seven homers since the calendar flipped to May. It will be an interesting battle of contrasts in today's game as Hunter faces off against Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox, with a career full of struggles against the Boston right-hander and time potentially winding down for Hunter to exact his revenge.
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Carlos Beltran, OF ($4100)
vs. LHP: .281/.347/.507 in 2545 PA
vs. RHP: .279/.357/.484 in 7003 PA
The switch-hitter's splits have been essentially even for his career, with just a 12-point difference in OPS when facing left-handers or righties. That split covers the entirety of his 18-year career, but for the last couple of seasons southpaws have posed a major problem. Beltran is hitting just .192/.241/.316 in 191 plate appearances against left-handers since 2014. He has been shielded from lefties this season, with just 38 of his 150 plate appearances coming against southpaws, but the Yankees have him penciled into the six-spot today against Royals left-hander Jason Vargas.
Marcell Ozuna, OF ($3900)
vs. LHP: .283/.319/.465 in 213 PA
vs. RHP: .267/.317/.416 in 872 PA
Ozuna was a chic preseason pick for a breakout, given the massive raw power exemplified by his .186 ISO last season as a 23-year old. He joins a packed Miami outfield that is teeming with potential, offering a solid complement to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich while exemplifying the power to clean up any messes that Giancarlo hasn't polished himself. However, Ozuna's power has mysteriously disappeared this season, with a .280 batting average yet a .104 ISO in 2015, despite upping his walk rate while cutting down on the K's. The contact-heavy approach might be the best thing for Ozuna';s development in the sense of creating a long-term blueprint for success, but the immediate returns leave something to be desired. Facing southpaw Jeff Locke of the Pirates, Ozuna will get a chance to rediscover some of the power that was lost in translation over the off-season.
Julio Teheran, ATL at LAD ($9300)
Teheran has not been himself this year, losing ground in nearly every statistical category when compared to the previous two seasons. The strikeouts are right in line with the past two years, staning at 21.4 percent of batters faced in '15, but his penchant for giving up walks, hits, and homers effectively cloud the prospects of his future performance. Today he faces Clayton Kershaw and a Dodger ballclub that has struggled to score runs in recent ballgames, and his own success (two earned runs over last two starts, covering 12.7 innings) would seem to indicate that a turnaround was afoot, but the fact that Teheran has surrendered nine or more hits in three of his last five games is a harbinger of doom. With a FIP that's a full run higher than his ERA, Teheran could run into trouble against a Dodger lineup that is gunning to breakout of their own slump.
Jesse Chavez, OAK vs. DET ($6800)
The price on Chavez tends to be downgraded, likely due to his starting the year in the bullpen. But the A's have shown no trepidation in stretching Chavez out, utilizing him as a starter last year and allowing him to compile 146 innings after being held under 60 frames the year prior. Chavez has thrown 97 or more pitches in his last three starts, and the only thing keeping him from another 100-pitch outing is his performance, but he is facing a power Tigers club that could send him to the showers before he reaches any predetermined pitch counts.
Archie Bradley, ARI at STL ($5000)
The price is certainly inviting to roll the dice on the top prospect, but the context is covered with warning flags. The 22-year old has just 19 strikeouts yet 16 walks in 27 innings this season, and though his ERA was a sparkling 1.45 ERA heading into the game in which he took a comebacker off the face, and his ensuring struggles make for a convenient storyline, but his peripherals were in trouble from the get-go. Bradley gave up more walks than hits in those first three games (by a margin of 11-to-7), continuing the trends that plagues the right-hander in the minor leagues. He has continued to keep the ball in the park, however, as the pitcher who gave up just 0.3 homers per nine innings in the minors has surrendered just a lone longball in 2015. Even at that price and as a pitcher who has squelched safeties thus far in his young career, I will be diverting my imaginary funds elsewhere on Draft Kings today.
Chris Colabello, 1B/OF ($3400)
As if the Blue Jays weren't already loaded with players who experienced a performance spike later in their careers, they went ahead and spared the 31-year old Colabello from the Twins system and he has responded with a silly stat line of .378/.439/.581 this season, including nine extra-base hits in 82 plate appearances. He has raked throughout the minors, earning the true Quad-A label with a .313/.386/.519 line across 3807 plate appearances in the bushes, but he hasn't had much of an opportunity to crack the big club and ply his trade against the game's best pitchers. Sadly, his best days might be behind him from a physical standpoint, with zero plate appearances to show for it prior to age 29 and only 483 total PA despite the minor-league domination. He's currently on a run with the lumber, so get strike while the iron's hot.
Pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (hand) was a late scratch for the Rockies today and will be replaced by left-hander Chris Rusin. Both are southpaws, but the performance gap is worth some late lineup adjustments.
Brandon Phillips (toe) has turf toe that could keep him out of the lineup for a couple of games. Consider him day-to-day.
The game in Minneapolis (BOS-MIN) is likely to be delayed, but the rain is expected to pass and the teams should be able to get the full game in tonight – check here for updates
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