Let’s once again discuss the stackable hitter types to consider against today’s starting pitchers.
Cubs vs Dario Agrazal @ PIT
I’m not sure how Agrazal did enough at the minor league level to earn a promotion, but he has proven that he isn’t ready to succeed at the big league level. He owns a sad 12.1% strikeout rate, which results in a ton of balls in play. His SwStk% of just 6% supports the low strikeout rate. He has been equally poor against hitters from both sides of the plate, but has struck out a single digit rate of right-handed hitters, while allowing an extreme rate of fly balls against lefties. Given the splits so far, I would slightly prefer right-handers to take advantage of the measly strikeout rate.
Blue Jays (especially lefties) vs Gabriel Ynoa @ TOR
I continually wonder how guys like Ynoa earn their first start, let alone get continued changes in the rotation. Ynoa strikes out no one, and because of an extreme fly ball rate against them, has posted an awful 6.09 xFIP against lefties this year. He has also been poor against righties, but not as bad as he has been against left-handers.
Orioles vs Jacob Waguespack @ TOR
Waguespack is a rookie so we only have 72 innings of data, but his minor league record is ho-hum, suggesting he’s clearly a stream against candidate. With a 5.07 SIERA and low strikeout rate, and xFIP marks above 5.00 versus batters from both sides of the plate, it shouldn’t matter which Orioles hitter you choose to stream here.
Mets lefties vs Robert Dugger @ NYM
Since Dugger is a rookie, we have to rely on his pitch mix and small sample splits to make a predictive call here. He’s been brutal against lefties, allowing a .374 wOBA and 7.97 xFIP, thanks to an impossibly bad 10% strikeout rate versus 15.7% walk rate. That’s just seven strikeouts and 11 walks to 70 batters faced. He does rely on a slider as his primary off-speed pitch, which could lead to severe splits, but he does throw his curve ball 12% of the time, which should have helped neutralized left-handed batters. It hasn’t yet, perhaps maybe the pitch just stinks.
Rangers lefties vs Rick Porcello @ TEX
Porcello has been so terrible against lefties this year not only because he hasn’t struck out a very good rate of them, but also because he has allowed such an inflated fly ball rate. Lots of flies and lots of balls in play equals lots of homers. Throw in a favorable ballpark, and you have the making of a slugfest.
Red Sox vs Kolby Allard @ TEX
I’m not sure why Allard has gotten any sort of positive reviews for his post-Braves performance, as his skills have been horrid and his SIERA sits at 5.33. His strikeout rate is poor, and surprisingly lefties have been more troublesome than righties, though the sample sizes are too small to offer any sort of predictive value. His uninspiring minor league record suggests there’s little upside from here.
Indians righties vs Ross Detwiler @ CHW
Man, Detwiler is still around?! The left-hander has allowed a .422 wOBA and 6.02 xFIP against righties this season, thanks to a poor mid-teen strikeout rate and double digit walk rate. He’s been better than that for his career, of course, but still rather bad. Why he wasn’t limited to facing only lefties his whole career, I’m not sure.
Giants lefties vs Tim Melville @ SF
Even with the disadvantage of pitching half their games at Coors Field, the Rockies still seem to be unable to find many good starting pitchers. It’s almost always an easy call to stream against them, and tonight’s matchup featuring Melville is no exception. The sample sizes are tiny, but he has walked more left-handed hitters than he has struck out, resulting in a vomit-inducing 7.21 xFIP. That’s because he’s primarily a two-pitch guy, fastball/slider, so lefties have no problem teeing off on him.
Astros righties vs Yusei Kikuchi @ SEA
Kikuchi’s MLB debut has not gone as hoped for, and although he has also struggled against left-handers, right-handers have absolutely clobbered him. He has struck out just 15.5% of them, en route to a 5.25 xFIP and .378 wOBA.
Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.