Today’s preamble to the daily picks section of this post falls squarely in the “may not mean a damn thing” category. But I was running various subsets of players through the Draftstreet scoring system and eventually just decided to run the numbers so far this year for all hitters and all starters through the system. What I found was that hitters have combined to score 21,118 points this year, and starters have combined to score 5,993.6. When you divide those numbers by the nine hitter slots and three pitcher slots in a Draftstreet salary cap lineup, you see that hitters are averaging 2,346.44 points per slot, and starters are averaging 1,997.86 points per slot. If you add those two numbers up, you’ll see that hitters look to be responsible for about 54% of points, and starters are responsible for 46%.
This makes me wonder if 54/46 is a good split for how much money to spend on hitters and starters. It probably means nothing, but I’d be curious if any of you guys have any thoughts on the best split for your money or any way that might be good to research that issue. Ultimately, I think it just depends on where the value lies on a given day. Some days there are cheaper pitchers that are good value plays, and I can split my spending 60/40 for hitters. Other days I don’t feel safe with any starter under 15K, and I have to spend at least half my money on pitching. But I just thought the 54/46 split was interesting even if it probably doesn’t mean a damn thing.
The Daily Five
Eric Stults ($10,010) – The Royals have been downright atrocious against left-handed pitching this year with a wRC+ vs. LHP of 59, which is the worst in the league. The sample size isn’t large yet, and they’ll likely improve to the point where they’re not over 40% below average. But I think we can safely say this team will remain below average against left-handers going forward, especially when you consider they were 9% worse than league average against them last year. Oh, and the game is at Petco. If you need cheap pitching today, Stults is your man. The three guys that are cheaper than him have much tougher matchups (Detroit, Oakland and Milwaukee).
Yordano Ventura ($17,330) – Also taking the hill in Petco will be Mr. Ventura. He’ll be facing a Padres lineup that is almost as bad against right-handed pitching as the Royals are against left-handed pitching with a 63 wRC+ vs. RHP, which is also the worst in the league. The worst offenses in the league against pitchers of each handedness are squaring off against each other in Petco. You don’t need an expert to tell you that should be good for the pitchers.
Zack Greinke ($21,779) – I’ve given you a cheap and mid-price option for the day, but if you have enough cash to splurge on a pitcher, Greinke is your guy. The Nationals offense only has a 90 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, and they should be worse than that with Bryce Harper and his career 140 wRC+ vs. RHP now out of the lineup.
Cardinals Stack – The top of the Cardinals order will likely feature two left-handers who predictably do well against right-handed pitchers like the one the Cards will face today in Aaron Harang. That would be Matt Carpenter ($5,686) and Matt Adams ($5,073). And they’ll also have two of their three right-handed hitters that have a wRC+ vs. RHP of 130 or higher since the start of 2012 up at the top of the order. It’ll be two out of Allen Craig ($5,718), Matt Holliday ($6,878) and Yadier Molina ($6,344). My guess is that it will be Craig and Holliday, and the two of them plus the left-handers will only cost you $23,355.
Indians Stack – This is another value play here as Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana, Lonnie Chisenhall and Asdrubal Cabrera will only cost you a total of ($22,523). They’ll be facing Kyle Gibson and his 5.74 career ERA. Despite being pretty bad this year, Gibson has managed to not give up a home run. He’s due.
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