Let’s look at the Monday slate.
Players to Buy
Jung Ho Kang, SS, at PHI (Williams), $2600: Everyone is crushing Jerome Williams this year, righties and lefties, so you’re invited to send it in on any Pirates bats that make sense to you. Isn’t it time the Bucs made Kang a full-time player? He’s on a .462/.517/.769 wave over his last eight games (two homers, one steal), and when you drop a four-year, $11 million contract on a 28-year-old infielder, you’re expecting some sort of immediate returns. Kang’s notably underowned in Yahoo leagues, too (11 percent); I added three shares myself in the past week.
Yasmani Grandal, C, vs. MIA (Koehler), $3000: Tom Koehler didn’t have nightmare platoon splits until this year (LHB: seven homers). All sorts of Dodgers to dial up tonight. I would never blame anyone for paying up for Joc Pederson ($4300), but the discount lefty plays are Grandal, Andre Ethier ($2800) and Jimmy Rollins ($2700).
Evan Longoria. 3B, vs. NYY (Sabathia), $3800: His price has climbed up a bit after a recent binge (three homers in five games), but when you see CC Sabathia on the docket, you want to make arrangements. Longoria has always owned Sabathia (1.390 OPS, six homers and 13 walks over 58 at-bats), and much of that sample came when Sabathia was still a good pitcher. Just push play.
Gerrit Cole, SP, at PHI, $9000: Let’s enjoy the buy before the price gets silly (there are five pitchers pricier than Cole on the Monday card). Cole has most of the key stats moving in the right direction (whiffs up, walks down, grounders way up), and then there’s the lowest-scoring team in the majors on the other side.
Marcus Semien, SS, vs. BOS (Porcello), $2900: I don’t understand why the price has been so slow to catch up to Semien, but he’s the No. 2 shortstop in the Yahoo game to this point (.307-18-5-14-6) and he’s still under the 3K umbrella in Fan Duel. There’s nothing particularly tantalizing about a Rick Porcello draw (there are weaker pitchers you can pick on), but there’s plenty of upside at that price.
Chris Davis, 1B, vs. TOR (Estrada), $3600: Although his platoon numbers are a little messed up this year, we know Davis’s best foot comes at home and against right-handed pitching. Marco Estrada is off to a tidy start, but let’s not forget he allowed an MLB-worst 29 homers last year. Take some hacks with Crash Davis. If you want a cheaper Baltimore swinger, Alejandro De Aza ($2400) could fit the bill.
Alex Gordon, OF, at TEX (Lewis), $3200: While the early ratios on Colby Lewis are sharp, he needs to pitch to much contact (strikeouts under 7/9) and we know the Royals put the ball on the ball very well. I’m not going to cut the check on a suddenly-pricy Eric Hosmer, but I’d like to dial up Gordon in this spot, and maybe Mike Moustakas if he rejoins the club in time.
Jeff Samardzija, SP, at MIL (Peralta), $8900: You never really know what Shark Sandwich you’re going to get, but the Brewers are fourth in strikeout rate and 25th in walk rate. And their pitchers can’t hit, just like everybody else’s pitchers.
Players to Fade
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, at OAK (Kazmir), $2900: He’s a switch-hitter in name only – it’s Sad Panda when he’s forced to bat right-handed. Sandoval is 2-for-28 against southpaws this year, and he slashed .199/.244/.319 against them last season. Even in seasonal formats, you steer away from him here.
Max Scherzer, SP, at ARI (Collmenter), $10,900: I’m a secondary-ace type of guy, if I even pay that much – I don’t like springing for the biggest ticket for any pitcher, especially when it’s a road start in a hitter’s park. I know there are tons of chalk-eaters in this racket, and I’m usually on the other side of that. Just a value call.