Early MLB Targets: April 20th

With only four games being played this afternoon, the choices are going to be slim across the board, and every roster spot can make or break our lineup. Let’s jump right into today’s information, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Pitcher

Stud

Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays – $13,300- What more can you say about the start that Chris Sale has gotten off to? In his first three starts with the Sox, Sale has dominated, allowing there runs in 21.2 innings with a 29:5 K:BB ratio. He’ll face a Blue Jays team that has struggled to score runs in the early going of this season, as they rank second-to-last in the league. Even with his sky-high salary this afternoon, I have no doubt that Sale will be highly popular across the board, so be aware of that.

Other Options – Lance McCullers ($9,800).

Value

Daniel Norris – Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays– $7,500 –

Norris at $7,500 is a low price for someone who will be in a pitchers park with strikeout potential this afternoon. Norris will face a Rays team that leads the league in K% against lefties so far this season with a 30.4% mark. In 14 appearances last season, including 13 starts, Norris posted a K/9 of 9.2, a number that he’s hovered around during his journey through the minor leagues. This Rays team has been extremely boom or bust, but playing in Tropicana Field always gives a slight advantage to the pitchers.

Other Options – Ervin Santana ($8,200)


Catcher

Stud

Evan Gattis – Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels– $3,900 – The quality of the catcher position drops off dramatically as you start going down the list, so Gattis is a quick pick here for a stud. Gattis owned a .328 wOBA at home last season against righties with a .503 SLG. He faces Matt Shoemaker, who has struggled out of the gate thus far and has allowed four home runs in three starts.

Other Options Brian McCann – ($3,400),

Value

Sandy Leon – Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays – $2,700 – I don’t love Leon in this spot against Estrada, but his price tag remains too cheap to ignore on a slate like this. Leon should be in consideration especially if you’re looking to take Sale, as he’ll provide some relief in salary. Leon owned a .329 wOBA against righties last season with a .337 OBP.

Other Options – Jason Castro ($2,800)

First Base

Stud

Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays – $4,700 – Cabrera has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but he’s still hitting right-handed pitching well. In the small sample size that is the 2017 season, Cabrera owns a .397 wOBA with a .564 SLG and a .391 OBP. Cabrera has already parked one in this series at Tropicana Park, and he’ll face Erasmo Ramirez this afternoon, a pitcher prone to giving up home runs.

Other Options – Carlos Santana ($4,500)

Value

Rickie Weeks Jr. – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers– $2,700 – Weeks doesn’t have very impressive numbers across the board thus far, but his matchup against a left-handed pitcher always gets my attention. Last season, Weeks owned a .419 wOBA against lefties with a .642 SLG and a .368 OBP. Even though I like Norris, Weeks is way too cheap with that type of production last season against lefties.

Other Options – Joe Mauer ($3,500)


Second Base

Stud

Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians– $4,400 – Dozier will match up against Trevor Bauer this afternoon. After allowing 20 home runs last season, 12 of those to right-handed batters, Bauer has let up three in the early going this season. With Dozier hitting 21 home runs at home last season with a .364 wOBA, he’s an early target at $4,400.

Other Options – Jose Altuve ($4,900)

Value

Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays – $3,800 – The salary feels a bit cheap for Pedroia, who has been off to a modest start in 2017. Hitting leadoff for the Red Sox, however, boosts his value on a daily basis. Pedroia owned a .360 wOBA against righties on the road last season with a .367 OBP and a .471 SLG.

Other Options – Danny Espinosa ($2,900).


Third Base

Stud

Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians – $4,100 – Sano has gotten off to a hot start in the power department thus far, belting four home runs and knocking in 13 runs. He won’t win you any batting titles, but Sano is always a threat to go deep. Sano owned a .327 wOBA against righties at home last season with a .468 SLG and nine of his 25 home runs last season.

Other Options – Alex Bregman ($4,000)

Value

Lonnie Chisenhall – Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins – $3,400 – This one is a bit of a Hail Mary when you figure in how well Ervin Santana has pitched lately. With that being said, Chisenhall owned a .333 wOBA against righties last season with a .451 SLG and a .332 OBP. He certainly will be low owned this afternoon, making him a consideration in GPPs.

Other Options – Nick Castellanos ($3,700)


Shortstop

Stud

Alex Bregman – Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels– $4,000 – Matt Shoemaker has gotten off to a bit of a rough start this season, allowing four home runs in three starts with seven walks. Bergman hitting near the top of the order gives him some nice protection and his eligibility to be slotted into either the third base or shortstop position. Overall, shortstop is extremely thin, so Bregman, in my opinion, makes the most sense here.

Other Options – Xander Bogaerts ($4,100)

Value

Troy Tulowitzki –Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox – $3,700 – If you want to go contrarian at a position, Tulo against Sale will certainly do it. I don’t love the matchup by any means, but Tulo hits well against lefties and has done so at home. Tulo ended 2016 with a .331 wOBA against lefties at home with a .436 SLG and a .339 OBP. They aren’t great numbers, but his ownership will be so small that anything he produces could make a difference.

Other Options – Tim Beckham ($3,000)


Outfield

Stud

George Springer – Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels – $4,700 – Springer has been on a power surge so far this season, hitting seven home runs and knocking in 11 runs. Averaging 11 FPPG thus far, Springer has hit five of those home runs in Houston. I’ve mentioned the struggles of Shoemaker thus far, Springer batting leadoff could get the ball rolling early.

Other Options – Carlos Santana ($4,500)

Value

Note: Josh Reddick is not the starting lineup for the Astros.

Josh Reddick – Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels – ($3,600) – Reddick has such extreme split that I like sneaking him in when he’s facing a right-handed batter. Reddick ended 2016 with a .371 wOBA against righties with a .386 OBP and a .485 SLG. He should draw the start this afternoon and hopefully be part of the barrage against Shoemaker.

Other Options – Tyler Collins ($2,700) Steve Souza ($3,600)


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