Value Vault: MLB 5/8/17

Padres starting pitcher Trevor Cahill pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Sloan Park. (Joe Camporeale / USA Today Sports)

We’ve got a reasonable 10-game MLB slate on tap tonight with the CUBS in COORS. Lucky for us, the Cubs played an 18-inning marathon against the Yankees last night plus there’s some legitimate weather concerns in Denver, so I personally will likely be fading Coors entirely in cash (wish me luck).

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There’s already a ton of value on the slate tonight, and unlike the other value vault articles, I am going to include a pitcher in this article today as well because his value is way too nice to pass up. Also unlike the other articles, the two value plays are on the same team, so it’s more of a value stack rather than individual plays.

Trevor Cahill (FD – $7,200 / DK – $7,600) vs TEX

While I expect Cahill to be the chalkiest pitcher on the slate, there’s incredible reasoning behind it. He’s experienced a bit of a career revitalization this season for the Padres, as he’s posted a 2.78 xFIP, 3.02 SIERA, 11.10 K/9, 0.80 HR/9 and a 0.214 opponent batting average – all rather elite numbers. I highly doubt these numbers are all 100% sustainable throughout the season, but with all of his peripherals backing his stats and production, these numbers are too hard to ignore. His 40.0% hard contact percentage is a bit alarming, but he neutralizes that with a 57.3% ground-ball rate and only a 25.3% fly-ball rate.

He matches up with the Texas Rangers tonight, a team that has been one of the most surprising disappointments to start the season. They rank 24th overall in team wOBA, 28th in team batting average and have the 5th highest K-rate in the MLB at 24.1%. While they do rank 7th in team ISO (0.178), their offense has proven to be nothing major to fear. With Cahill’s ridiculous start to the season and the sputtering Rangers offense clashing tonight, I see a nice night for Trevor Cahill on the horizon.

Jedd Gyorko (FD – $3,100 / DK – $3,800) @ MIA

The first of the two Value Vault plays from the St. Louis Cardinals has seen both a nice bump in playing time and greater success from the plate this season. On the season, Jedd Gyorko has posted an extremely impressive 0.449 wOBA, 0.321 ISO and a wRC+ of 178. While those numbers seem rather unsustainable, he’s been more than a simple platoon player and draws the platoon advantage tonight against Miami’s left-handed pitcher Adam Conley. Over his career, Gyorko has posted a 0.335 wOBA, a 0.179 ISO and a wRC+ of 113 against left-handed pitching. Conley has posted a career 4.59 xFIP, 1.34 WHIP and a 1.11 HR/9 rate against right-handed batters. This season alone, he’s allowed a 0.354 wOBA, a 5.43 xFIP, and an alarming 6.27 BB/9 rate against right-handed batters. Gyorko is hitting cleanup in a banged-up lineup tonight and finds himself priced extremely reasonably in a plus matchup.

Tommy Pham (FD – $2,000 / DK – $3,000) @ MIA

The second Cardinals’ value play tonight is the min-priced Tommy Pham, a player that’s seen his uptick in playing time due to the injuries that are beginning to plague the Cards. Through his first three games this season, Pham has gone 6-12 with 3 home runs, 5 RBIs, 3 R, 2 BB and a stolen base. It’s safe to say that he’s red hot. These are extremely unsustainable numbers based on his career trends. While they may be unsustainable, he comes into tonight with a nice matchup against a lefty looming. Over his career, Pham has posted a 0.333 wOBA and a 0.168 ISO with a wRC+ of 109 against left-handed pitchers. While batting in the 7-hole isn’t necessarily ideal, he comes in at the minimum price on FanDuel and offers a ton of salary relief with Coors’ Field on the slate.


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