Outfield, High End Spend
Bryce Harper, $5,500
.250/.333/.500 with 0 HR in 4 at-bats
This analysis is pretty simple. When the slate is so small and the starting pitchers are relatively cheap, you almost have to play Harper. If you don’t and he goes nuts, you’re going to have a harder time replacing his points. He should be highly owned despite his sky high price tag. The good thing is Harper is in such great form, he’s liable to smash any pitcher in his path. His stats against righties so far in 2018 include a .391 average, 1.611 OPS and a .607 wOBA. His ISO is also one of the highest we’ve run across so far at an insanely high .652. Do not fade Harper no matter what.
Also Consider – Josh Reddick, $3,900 and Marcell Ozuna, $,3800
J.D. Martinez, $3,900
.556/.556/1.444 with 2 HR in 9 at-bats
The Red Sox likely won’t hit double digits in runs like they did last night but Martinez still hasn’t quite found his footing with the Red Sox. He’s simply too good of a hitter to stay quiet for long and he’s seen Tanaka well when they’ve faced each other. Last year, Martinez had an OPS against righties at .985 and a wOBA at .405. Getting a player like that under $4,000 could work out very nicely tonight.
Also Consider – Mike Trout, $5,300 and Yoenis Cespedes, $3,700
Preston Tucker, $2,700
.667/.667/2.000 with 1 HR in 3 at-bats
The final Braves hitter we’re going to highlight is Preston Tucker. It’s a small sample to be sure but Tucker’s stats look even better than Swanson. He’s hitting right handed pitching at a clip of .400 batting average, 1.149 OPS and a .485 wOBA. Those are video game numbers and while he’s due for regression, it might not come against a pitcher like AJ Cole. His price tag is incredibly appealing in that middle range and it will help you afford whoever else you want.
Also Consider – Carlos Gomez, $2,900 and Mitch Haniger, $3,200
Kevin Pillar, $3,100
.440/.481/.480 with 0 HR in 25 at-bats
Pillar has been hitting very well to start the season and he has flat out owned Gausman in their encounters. He’s got an average of .310, an OPS of .838, and a wOBA of .369 vs. right handed pitchers so far this season. The Blue Jays could have their way with Gausman tonight and if they do, Pillar should be scoring plenty of points. He can also steal bases at any point and he’s probably going to go overlooked in the middle class of outfield tonight.
Also Consider – Jesse Winker, $2,600 and Adam Jones, $3,200
Mallex Smith, $2,400
0 at-bats vs. James Shields
Smith is getting more playing time with the injuries that the rays are dealing with right now and he’s hitting well in his little bit of playing time so far. His splits vs. righties are just fine and Shields is giving up hard contact over 40 percent of the time. Smith might not have a lot of power potential but he’s a stolen base artist. As long as he gets on base, the points should be there. It’s especially helpful that his salary is so low.
Nomar Mazara, $2,500
One of the final bats we’ll highlight for Texas is young outfielder Nomar Mazara. everything we said about Gallo and Beltre hold true for him as well. What’s weird is Mazara has reverse splits because he’s worse against righty pitching. I’ll still take the chance at this price tag that he can come through against a rookie pitcher.
Also Consider – Albert Amora, $2,400 and Chris Young, $2,100