Atlanta Braves vs. Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas ’ numbers are embarrassing. Not only are they embarrassing, but now he runs into the best team in baseball against left-handed pitching in the Atlanta Braves. Both sides of the dish are doing damage against Vargas. Righties are hitting .371 while lefties have posted a cool .348 clip. He’s allowed 24 ER in just 20.1 IP which is why his ERA currently sits at a league-high mark of 10.62. Vargas is giving up all the hard contact too, allowing a career worst mark of 37.5-percent. This is HORRIBLE news for the Mets starter.
We start our stack off with some of the obvious choices in Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies . Freeman is hitting .380 off of southpaws while Albies is right behind him at .376. Their respective wOBA’s against the handedness are nearly identical at .470 and .469. Freeman is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak in which he’s hitting .390.
Moving right along, we have another lefty bat with skills not diminished by which side of his body the opposing pitcher throws from. That would be Nick Markakis who’s hitting .364 this season against LHP. He also has a .988 OPS versus southpaws and a hard-hit rate of 35.4-percent which is three percentage points higher than when squaring off with a right-hander. He’ll go lower owned because of the LHH vs. LHP matchup, but don’t be the guy who fades him if you have the money to pay for him.
Atlanta is going to have a tough decision at catcher seeing how both Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers rake against left-handed pitching. Both are great plays whoever gets the start. Flowers is hitting .471 with two bombs and a .603 wOBA against them, but only has a 17 at-bat sample size to go off this season. Suzuki has double that sample size and has notched a .321 AVG with three home runs in his own right. Flowers comes in the hotter hitter, however, batting .303 with an OPS of 1.101 over his last 10 while Suzuki is hitting a measly .257.
Guys like Johan Camargo and Ender Inciarte are also in play, but I view them more as secondary plays. Both are hitting under .215 against left-handed pitching but Vargas is so bad, they could break out of their LH struggles tonight. Besides, Camargo has an OPS over 1.000 over his last 10 games.
Primary Option(s): Freddie Freeman , Ozzie Albies , Nick Markakis , Tyler Flowers
Secondary Option(s): Kurt Suzuki , Johan Camargo , Ender Inciarte
Seattle Mariners vs. Matt Moore
Matt Moore comes off of the disabled list to make a start on Wednesday and will likely be in for a rude awakening when he does. Moore has been horrible all season long posting an ERA close to eight. Moore has allowed righties to hit .325 but it’s even worse to lefties as they’re batting .429. Albeit a small sample size to left-handers, but it’s the fact his track record says lefties crush him is what makes me believe that he’ll sustain this level of horribleness throughout the season.
Since Robinson Canó ’s suspension and Dee Gordon ’s injury, this offense is being led by Jean Segura . Over his last 10 games, Segura is slashing .419/.409/.651. He’s been steady against both RHP and LHP this year but his average (.355) is greater against left-handed pitching. He very well could be the top SS play of the day. Even as a one off. Following Segura, we have the like of Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger . Cruz has homered twice over his last four games as the power stroke looks like it’s coming back. Haniger on the other hand is hitting a robust .375 with a .453 wOBA to boot versus southpaws. Matt Moore is allowing a 46.1-percent hard-hit rate to right-handed hitters so expect both of these guys to make very LOUD noises on a whole bunch of Matt Moore offerings.
I really like Ryon Healy and Mike Zunino in this spot, truth be told. Neither player has been great by any stretch of the imagination, but both bolster a TON of power potential. Zunino walked it off for the Mariners the other night and now has gone deep twice over his last six starts. Healy on the other hand has a great track record against southpaws. He hit .325 against them in 2017 and now in ‘18 he has an extremely good .394 wOBA. Guillermo Heredia is last but definitely not least. He’s been great of late quite frankly hitting .323 over his last 10 games and posting an .884 OPS. He’s cheap as hell across the board too, so you can fit him in any stack you want. The Mariners as a whole other than Segura are cheap, so you could pair them with an expensive stack such as the Braves or Rockies and make it work.
Primary Option(s): Jean Segura , Mitch Haniger , Nelson Cruz , Guillermo Heredia
Secondary Option(s): Mike Zunino , Ryon Healy
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Sean Manaea
Since the seven innings of shutout baseball the start after his no-hitter, Sean Manaea has been, well, average. In his five May starts spanning 26.1 innings, he allowed three earned runs or more in every game. He’s notched a 7.18 ERA and has allowed opponents a slash of .301/.364/.545. The strikeout numbers from April to May have dipped from 7.63 to 5.47 per nine innings and his xFIP is up from 3.56 to 4.64. The increase of line drives he’s allowing is alarming, too, as his 15.5-percent LD rate from April has soared to 31.9-percent in May. Those are all terrifying numbers.
Those numbers are so bad and I’m wondering how many people realize it. Those that do will be in on the Rays today. The Rays rank 11th in baseball in wRC+ against left-handers and 12th in wOBA, so they’re better than league average. They have a few bats that are raking left-handed pitching this year as well. C.J. Cron is first, hitting .328 with four homers and a .416 wOBA against them. Cron went deep for the 12th time on Tuesday and could replicate that performance here on Wednesday.
Fielding the rest of our stack, Johnny Field and Wilson Ramos both are actively crushing left-handed pitchers. Ramos is hitting .313 with an .853 OPS off of southpaws this year. He went deep on Tuesday which extended his hitting streak to nine games. He has actually posted an OPS of 1.032 over his last 10 games so get the man in your lineups while he’s hot! Field has gone in the complete opposite direction, but he’s still hitting LHP. On the year his average sits at .306 versus the handedness with a very respectable .370 wOBA. He’s also flashing all his power against LHP with a .500 SLG compared to a .392 mark versus RHP.
Three wild cards could end up making a huge impact are Christian Arroyo , Daniel Robertson and Carlos Gómez . All three are SO cheap and have a lot of GPP upside. Robertson has crushed southpaws to the tune of a .407 wOBA this season. He’s hit half of his homers against lefties this year despite having 75 more plate appearances against righties. Arroyo continues to make the most of his opportunities as he’s hitting .350 with a .950 OPS over his last 10 games and we all know CarGo can get ahold of a baseball and send it a very, very long way.
Primary Option(s): C.J. Cron , Wilson Ramos , Johnny Field , Daniel Robertson
Secondary Option(s): Christian Arroyo , Carlos Gómez , Mallex Smith