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We’ve got a nice main slate tonight in the MLB and there’s a ton of different ways to go with your lineup – but the one thing that every lineup will need: value.
Personally, I plan on pitching an underpriced Alex Wood tonight, meaning I’ll need a bit more value than those of you electing to use Trevor Bauer or dip even farther down.
Below are my three favorite value plays for tonight’s main slate.
Tzu-Wei Lin ($2,000)
The minimum-priced Red Sox rookie has seen more and more playing time over the last week and a half and it’s been in large part due to his success against right-handed pitching. While he’s only received 24 plate appearances against righties, he’s posted a 0.371 wOBA, a 12.5% walk rate and a 33.3% hard-contact percentage.
Lin and the Red Sox square off with everyone’s favorite gas can tonight, Andrew Cashner. He’s playing above his skill level (regression is coming, trust me) and has struggled against left-handed pitching over the last number of years. He’s allowed a 0.324 wOBA to lefties this season (0.380+ past two seasons), a 6.11 xFIP and is only striking out 9.6% of lefty batters.
I fully expect Lin to continue to platoon against right-handed pitchers given his recent play, and you won’t find a better minimum-priced option tonight.
James McCann ($2,700)
I’ve written James McCann up versus a lefty before and I’ll do it again – because he CRUSHES lefties. This season against left-handed pitching, McCann has posted an absurd 0.426 wOBA, 0.438 ISO, and a 46% hard-contact percentage. Yes, you read all of that right and yes, I double checked the numbers.
The lefty with the unfortunate responsibility of pitching to him tonight? Ty Blach of the San Francisco Giants. Blach has surrendered a 0.357 wOBA, 1.16 HR per 9 innings and a 0.510 SLG%. Combine those numbers with McCann’s dominance of lefties and you’ve got a beautiful play at the catcher position tonight.
Manny Machado ($3,200)
This is the first time I’ve ever considered Manny Machado as a value play, but FanDuel has knocked his price down to an insulting tier regardless of his recent struggles. A career reverse-splits hitter, Machado has struggled against righties this season (0.287 wOBA, but a 0.194 ISO), but over the last two season has posted a 0.350+ wOBA and a 0.230+ ISO against right-handed pitching.
He gets to face off with Matt Garza of the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, who while has impressed this season, is still allowing a 33.5% hard-contact percentage, a 4.60 SIERA and doesn’t get batters to whiff anymore (8.7% SwStr%).
Third base is actually somewhat ugly tonight, but getting a perennial all-star at such a discounted price is something I don’t recommend passing up.