Welcome back from the All-Star break and we’re now on to the second half of the baseball season! It’s Friday so all teams are active, although all of these hitters are part of the Main Slate (including the 6:05 PM EST Padres @ Phillies game); the three games starting at or after 9:38 PM EST are not reviewed here. Also, multiple games have rain in the forecast so keep a close eye on your lineups in the event there’s a postponement.
Matchups to Target
Turner wasn’t exactly hot heading into the break, but he did end June on a 7-game hit streak and had at least one hit in 5 of 8 July games, including 3 multi-hit efforts. He actually has a better batting average against righties this season (.263 v .208), and has seen Yu Darvish quite a bit in the past, having gone 7-for-20 against him in his career with 2 doubles and 2 HR. Darvish seems to be particularly vulnerable on the road with 3.83/6.16 home/road ERA splits. Not only is this the case in 2023, but this was also the case in 2022 and 2021. Turner is also a capable base stealer, having swiped 19 bags on the year — the bulk of which have come since June 1st or later (April – 4, May – 3, June – 11, July – 1).
Welcome back, old friend. As I mentioned in my last article, Naylor and Jose Ramirez against poor right-handed pitching is the gift that keeps on giving. Naylor went out and hit 3-for-5 with a double and 2 RBI after that recommendation on 7/8. Here he is again, this time against the Rangers’ Jon Gray who has a decent ERA on the year (3.29), but when we look under the hood we see an xFIP of 4.48 which is considered ‘poor’ according to FanGraphs. Naylor is just 2-for-7 against Gray in his career, but he also has 4 walks against Gray which puts his OBP against him at .545. Also, in those 11 plate appearances Gray has yet to strike out Naylor.
While we see Naylor here often, Suwinski is not a name featured here much despite his 19 HR on the year. But that is why he’s here today, plus the fact that he’s facing Ross Stripling and the Giants bullpen. Stripling will likely go just 3 innings, no more than 5, but he’s been allowing a .328/.466/.875 slash line to lefties this season. The Giants ‘pen has been “bend but don’t break” this season as evidenced by the fact that they have the third-lowest ERA in the NL, the second-lowest WHIP, the most K’s, and the most saves, yet they’ve allowed the second-most hits in the NL and fifth-most HR. Suwinski is 0-for-3 in his career against Stripling with a K, but he’s hit 18 of his 19 HR against RHP and after a dreadful 0-for-29 slump in mid-June he’s 13-for-40 since (.325), including 3 2B and 4 HR.
Semien was originally listed under the “Targets” but when I looked closer I noticed he went into the break ice cold and is facing the Guardians’ Aaron Civale. Despite the fact he’s been cold, he’s been one of the most consistent hitters all season which included the league’s longest hit streak of 2023 at 25 games. He’s 4-for-5 off of the Guardians’ Aaron Civale, including 2 doubles and zero K which is what originally stood out to me, but Civale has been good, especially his last time out when he went 7 strong innings where he allowed 0 ER on 2 hits, 0 BB, and 9 K against the Royals. Buyer beware!
Looking for some power? After hitting a buck-sixty-five (.165) in May and a buck-eighty-five (.185) in June, Adames came out of the gates in July with ferocity. He’s hitting .308 in July (12-for-39), with 5 doubles and 4 HR — the latter coming in just his last 5 games. We’ll see if it continues and the recipe is ripe for success. He’s going against the Reds’ Graham Ashcraft (6.28 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. GABP is considered one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the game and tonight will be no different according to BallparkPal.com.
Flores is going against the Pirates’ Rich “Over the” Hill, who carries a 4.78 ERA and 1.44 WHIP into the matchup. Flores has history on his side here, going 5-for-17 off of Hill in his career with 2 doubles and an HR. These aren’t eye-popping numbers, however, Flores is 9-for-17 (.529) over his last 5 games. There aren’t a bunch of extra-base hits, RBIs, or runs scored in those games, but he could be a cheap plug-and-play option to help you save money to use elsewhere in your lineup.
The following hitters are being called up for their major league debuts and could provide some cheap, under-the-radar production:
Johan Rojas — Phillies OF
- Rojas’ profile is outlined here per Matt Gelb of The Athletic
Tyler Soderstrom — Athletics C
Zack Gelof — Athletics 2B
- Both players are profiled here by Matt Snyder of CBS Sports
Jack Suwinski 2 Total Bases (+110): I like Adames for 2 TB as well, but he’s at -135, so Suwinski gives you a little more juice.
Diamondbacks Moneyline (): Ryne Nelson has been intriguingly effective on the road this season, boasting a 2.81 ERA in NINE road starts versus an 8.08 ERA in NINE home starts. The D-backs are no slouches; they’re tied for 1st place in the NL West with the Dodgers and Corbin Carroll & company won’t be intimidated by middling Toronto’s Jose Berrios.
No Run Second Inning parlay LAD/NYM + MIA/BAL (+179): Urias/Verlander and Alcantara/Kremer, all the reasoning I need against the (presumably) lower parts of these lineups.
ALT Strikeouts Glasnow 7+/Rodon 5+/Castillo 6+ (+115): conservative estimates on some good matchups for strikeout pitchers.