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Platoons

Target: RHB's Kris Bryant 3B ($4400, +75 OPS and +.005 ISO vs. RHP) and Addison Russell SS/2B ($3000, +242 OPS and +.013 ISO vs. RHP) against RHP Michael Wacha ($9900, +103 OPS and +.060 ISO career vs. RHB)

The rivalry matchup tonight between the Cardinals and Cubs will feature a bizarre interaction of reverse platoon splits. The Cubs have a pair of rookies that both hit right-handed and yet have enjoyed more success with the platoon disadvantage this season, and though sample size caveats will loud the sustainability of these splits, the fact that Addison Russell and Kris Bryant are facing a right-handed pitcher would seem to be an edge, at least in the short term. Russell's heavy splits have more to do with complete ineptitude against left-handed pitchers than it is an indicator of success against right-handers, as the middle infielder has hit just .153 against southpaws while 11 of his 13 homers this year have come against righties (including yesterday's blast off of Seth Maness). Similarly, Bryant has hit 17 of his 23 homers in 2015 against right-handers, and though the isolated power has been virtually even in either scenario, his superior batting average against right-handers effectively raises the components of his OPS. In an odd twist, Wacha matches Bryant on the other side of the ball, with 23 homers given up in his career and 17 of those having come against right-handers. Wacha's excellent changeup has been hell on like-sided hitters in his career, so the Cubs best shot against him might be to buck convention and attack with right-handed rookie bats.

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Steals

Temper: Ketel Marte SS/2B ($3200, 5-of-6 SB this season) and Brad Miller SS ($2800, 12-of-16 SB) against LHP Cole Hamels ($10300, opponents 21-of-23 SB this season)

The raw totals aren't there yet due to his only having played a month in the big leagues, but Marte has been hitting at the top of the Mariner order and has the minor-league track record to back up the steal recommendation, as he was 20-of-25 in steal attempts in just 65 games at Triple-A Tacoma this season. On the flip side of the coin, Miller struggles against southpaws and wasn't a steal threat until this season, so take his recommendation lightly, and the pessimism is magnified by the fact that he is just one-for-four on stolen base attempts over the past month. Hamels has been susceptible to the steal throughout his career and the vulnerability has been exposed in Arlington just as it was in Philly, as the southpaw has already allowed five steals in as many attempts through his six starts with the Rangers.

Recency Bias

Target: LHB Jackie Bradley Jr. OF ($4500) against RHP R.A. Dickey ($6600)

Last 28 games (25 starts): .424/.480/.880 with 24 extra-base hits in 102 plate appearances

After a game against the Yankees on August fifth, Bradley's stat-line stood at .102/.220/.163 in 59 patchwork plate appearances that were concentrated into one-week pockets of playing time. He's finally had a defined role for the past month and Bradley's bat has absolutely taken off, with a 28-game stretch that has included seven homers, 13 doubles, and four triples. He has also scored 31 runs and knocked in 32 batters, and though he is playing out of his mind right now, the overall performance is not completely out of line with what he did in the minors (.294/.391/.460). He capped things off with a monster, going four-for-four yesterday with a double and a homerun, including four RBI en route to a 33-point day on Draft Kings, a performance that scored the most points on the of the winner of last night's 34-thousand-person Moonshot tournament.

Avoid: LHB Brett Gardner OF ($4200) against RHP Kevin Gausman ($4500)

Last 22 games (20 starts): .184/.260/.276 with 22 strikeouts in 96 plate appearances

Gardner's stock has plummeted along with his ratios over the course of summer, as a slash that once stood at .305/.377/.502 in late June has now fallen to a .267/.351/.414 showing. He does have nine walks and three steals over that stretch, and though Gausman is a non-threatening opponent (see the sub-$5000 price tag), Gardner's struggles with swinging a big stick stir the clouds of doubt over his lineup viability, and the price tag looks less and less like a bargain the longer that this slump continues.

Price

Target: LHB Rougned Odor ($3200) against RHP Taijuan Walker ($7700)

He may have cooled down after his sizzling return to the bigs, but Odor has continued to outplay his price tag. All of the indicators are trending the right direction, include his 931 OPS over the last nine ballgames and his extra .043 points of isolated power when facing right-handed pitching. Throw in the implosion factor that's associated with Walker, and you have the recipe for a positive return on investment that carries the upshot of a very profitable performance. Odor has even started accepting free passes; after walking just once for the entire month of August (a stretch of 86 plate appearances), the 21-year old has walked three times in his first six games of September.

Target: RHB Evan Longoria ($4000) against LHP Matt Boyd ($4000)

The fact that Longoria and Boyd are the same price is incidental, but targeting the Tampa third baseman against a novice southpaw with the lowest salary on the slate is just good business. Even in a down season that has brought his season-long fantasy owners nothing but tragedy and despair, Longoria has been a badass when facing lefties, sporting a .348/.420/.554 line on the year that is pretty much par for the course of his career. He has really taken off in the past week and his homerun yesterday was Longoria's fifth trot in the last seven ballgames, though it comes on the heels of his worst month of his season as he crawled through August with a sub-700 OPS. Boyd presents a tremendous stacking opportunity, particularly against a Rays club that is loaded with lefty specialists.

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Resources used for this article:

Baseball Prospectus Stats and Player Cards

Draft Kings player prices

Brooks Baseball

Baseball-Reference

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