Just two days worth of games remain before Friday’s 4 p.m. MLB Trade Deadline. Things have already been very interesting thus far and should continue to be. Unlike yesterday, there aren’t many trade candidates on the mound on Wednesday, but there are six day games and nine night games. The full day features seven five-figure pitchers and the early slate looks to be a tough one for picking hitters. As we often do here at BangTheBook on days with getaway games, we’ll add in a team/player from the matinees in each section.
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Here are the top teams to stack for July 29:
Chicago Cubs – This is about the only viable stacking option I see for Wednesday afternoon. Perhaps the Rays against Justin Verlander, but their recent offensive stretch doesn’t erase what they have done up to this point. Eddie Butler has terrible command and the Cubs have good power. That’s not a good mix for the right-hander. Butler has some decent stuff, but he has no consistency with it. It’s a small sample size, but even in 39.1 road innings, Butler has allowed a .291/.396/.481 slash, so it’s not just a Coors Field problem.
Chicago White Sox – I wasn’t ready to buy into the White Sox offense, but they seem to have something going on with Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino setting the table. On Wednesday, they draw Rick Porcello, whose command has taken a nosedive this season. A 1.44 HR/9 and a .321 BABIP against have been contributing factors to a 5.51 ERA. Porcello has one of the league’s worst changeups so far this season and his big ground ball drop has kept him from being effective.
Miami – This one could be a little bit of a stretch, but the matchup helps the Marlins. They are built on contact and speed without Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup. Against Doug Fister, with Washington’s defensive performance this season, that could lead to some good things. Fister has shown very little command in his 13 starts this season with a .317 BABIP against and nine home runs allowed in just 74 innings. His strikeout rate is poor and his walk rate is elevated from the last two seasons. Some Marlins hitters could get some easy points with stolen bases and the manufacturing of runs.
Here are the top value hitters for July 29:
Eric Hosmer ($3,900) – Hosmer continues to maul Indians pitching this season and a very hot day in Cleveland could have the ball jumping off the bat. Hosmer is batting a robust .502/.548/.887 over his last 10 games and is now up to .313/.372/.478 for the season. Corey Kluber has been excellent again this season, but one flat cutter could result in a souvenir with the way that Hosmer is swinging the lumber right now.
Chris Davis ($4,200) – Chris Davis is starting to swing it again for the Orioles. He has now hit five home runs over his last 10 games and is in a good groove. Mike Foltynewicz will help supply the power with his straight, upper 90s fastball on Wednesday night and Davis could very well go yard again. Power hitters can get into groove where they barrel up everything and go on some nice runs. That looks like the case with Davis right now.
Jayson Werth ($3,600) – Jayson Werth had the unenviable task of returning to the lineup to face Jose Fernandez. Things should be a bit easier against Tom Koehler on Wednesday. Werth swung it well over 26 PA in Triple-A on a rehab assignment and should get things turned around pretty quickly at the big league level. Given the price of outfielders, Werth with an above average matchup should be able to pick up a few points at a low price.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 29:
Felix Hernandez ($11,200) – Gotta do it. The Diamondbacks don’t get to see much of the Mariners ace and he’s not a real comfortable plate appearance, even if you face him a lot. He’s having another strong season, even if the strikeout rate isn’t there, but the element of surprise is on his side against a lineup with very little to go on. The Diamondbacks have tomorrow off and have already won the series, so this may be a bit of a letdown spot for them.
Garrett Richards ($9,300) – Hard-throwing sinkerballer Garrett Richards draws the Astros on Wednesday night. A lot of Houston’s offensive damage comes via the long ball. Richards doesn’t give up a lot of those. They do work counts and draw walks, which is a concern here, but Richards seems to have worked out some mechanical kinks this month and has his best walk rate of the season over his last 30 innings pitched.
Clayton Kershaw ($15,000) – You’ll have to bite the bullet by hoping for any positive score you can get from a low-priced starter, but you have to love Clayton Kershaw against the A’s. Oakland is 22nd in wOBA against lefties on the season. Kershaw is elite, as we all know. It’s a stiff price to pay, there’s no question about that, but if you’re going to get 25+ points, it’s worth the investment. There’s a lot of risk in every pitcher outside of the four, except for Quintana and Lackey, but sometimes the best value is on the guy that costs a lot of money.