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StatHero MLB picks 5/14




Mike Montgomery

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Stat Hero MLB Picks for today

Here is a look at my favorite plays on StatHero for Friday’s slate.

StatHero MVP

Your team MVP scores 1.5x the amount of fantasy points and you lose points for strikeouts so pick someone you feel is safe, ideally with a low chance of striking out.

J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox

Griffin Canning has been a reverse-splits, fly ball pitcher in his career, so that favors Martinez and the righties on Boston. After a very rough April for Canning, he has only given up one earned run in two starts this month, but the Red Sox have scored the most runs in baseball, so he should be tested. Martinez dominates right-handed pitching with the best of them. Since 2018 he has a .379 wOBA, .242 ISO, and 44.1% hard contact rate. 

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

Tarik Skubal continues to give up home runs, 10 on the season, tied for the third most in baseball. The long balls aren’t the only spot he’s struggling with. Against right-handed hitters, he’s giving up a .405 wOBA, .370 ISO, and whopping 59.3% fly ball rate in his career. Since 2018 Bryant has a been one of the best hitters in the league against left-handed pitching (.456 wOBA, .347 ISO, 39.2% hard contact rate). 

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

Another lefty masher on the list, Bregman is facing Wes Benjamin, who is making his second career start and first of the season after being recalled from Triple-A. In his 19.1 innings against right-handed hitters, he’s allowing a .341 wOBA, .182 ISO and 39.7% hard contact rate. None of those numbers jump off the page at you but the inexperience combined with Bregman’s ability to destroy left-handed pitching (.434 wOBA, .300 ISO, 40.7% hard contact rate) make this play for me. 

StatHero flex pick

Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs

After going six for eight in two games in Cleveland, Contreras is finally heating up at the plate. Most of his success this season has been against lefties (.439 wOBA, .382 ISO, 44% hard contact rate). It’s not just this season he’s dominating left-handed pitching either, since 2018 he has a .366 wOBA, .231 ISO, and 37.3% hard contact rate. He matches up well with Skubal’s pitch types and don’t forget his struggles against right-handed hitters mentioned above.

Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers

Regular readers know he has been in the article a lot lately and that it’s been paying off with hits in five of his last seven games, including home runs in back-to-back games. Sandy Alcantara is a really talented young pitcher but has given up a home run in each of his last five starts. That’s nothing to freak out about but I like how hot Muncy has been and that his high fly ball rate can negate Alcantara’s ground ball tendencies. Muncy also is hitting all of Alcantara’s pitches well this season with a WRC+ of at least 108. 

Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels

Opposing starter Nick Pivetta has been solid this year, only giving up more than three earned runs in a game once this season. However, I feel that he has been a bit lucky given that his 4.97 SIERA and very high 14.7% walk rate would both be career worsts if the season ended today. He’s currently getting away with all the free passes thanks to his 76.9% left on base percentage, but that isn’t sustainable either. Walsh has had a great season so far and has proven to be a very solid hitter against right-handed hitters in his career (.388 wOBA, .282 ISO, 41.6% hard contact rate). He also has a career wRC+ of at least 116 against Pivetta’s three main pitches.

Rowdy Tellez, Toronto Blue Jays

Vince Velasquez has been pretty solid in his four starts since moving into the rotation from the bullpen, but he has still given up a homer in each one. I like Tellez’s chances to be the one hitting the deep ball with Velasquez’s struggles against left-handed hitters since 2018 (.362 wOBA, .223 ISO, 37.7% hard contact rate). It’s a super small sample but Tellez has hit a home run off him in three at-bats.

StatHero sleeper

Mitch Moreland, Oakland Athletics

It hasn’t been the best start for him, but that may be changing after collecting hits in nine of his last 12 games. Opposing starter Matt Shoemaker is coming off his best start of the season but it was against the Tigers who have a lackluster offense. When you look at his starts this season, he has allowed one earned run in 11 innings pitched against the Tigers but has allowed 19 earned runs in his other 17 innings pitched. Moreland has won the head-to-head battle against Shoemaker, going 7-14 with two home runs and five home runs!

Andrew McCutchen, Philadelphia Phillies

After a very tough April for McCutchen, he is hitting .333 this month with hits in every game but two. Opposing stater Steven Matz has done the exact opposite after giving up one run in each of his first three starts, he has given up 17 in his last four. I’m banking on the trend continuing for Matz and McCutchen’s talent he has shown against left-handed pitching since 2018 (.375 wOBA, .207 ISO, 41.9% hard contact rate).

Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers

Drew Smyly had a terrible April, giving up 17 earned runs in 19 innings and then somehow shut down the Nationals for six innings in his last start. I’m banking on that being a fluke and Cain’s price being cheap at $7,400. Plus since 2018 Cain has had more than respectable numbers against left handed pitching (.364 wOBA, .151 ISO, and 41.3% hard contact rate). Cain is also 4-10 with a home run against Smyly in his career. 

Note: salaries change throughout the day as news and lineups come out.

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