Coors Field looks to be a priority for our stacks again as we continue to navigate a season with suppressed offense. And while pitching isn't quite as deep tonight, we have some fantastic options up top.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Lucas Giolito ($10,000): Giolito has sparkling numbers over three starts, putting together a 2.43 SIERA and 37.9% strikeout rate. A 10.3% walk rate could use some improvement, but after posting a 7.2% walk rate in 2021, we should have confidence in his ability to slash that high mark.
Perhaps most importantly, Giolito jumped up to 99 pitches in his last start, so his workload isn't a worry moving forward, as well.
While winds shouldn't be as much of a factor at Wrigley Field tonight, it's another evening with temperatures below 50 degrees, giving Giolito a run-suppressing environment.
Peralta was shaky to begin the year, but he's only allowed one earned run over his last two starts. The end result has been an encouraging 3.23 SIERA and 29.5% strikeout rate despite the inflated ERA.
Of course, walks are always the issue with Peralta, and that's no different so far this season (10.3% rate). But this Cincinnati team is still stuck on three wins, and their active roster is 25th in wRC+ (86), 19th in strikeout rate (23.0%), and 26th in walk rate (7.1%).
The Reds have a slate-low 2.89 implied total, and Peralta's an excellent value at his salary.
Nestor Cortes ($10,000): Giolito and Peralta are the top options on the board, and given their salary gap, you should be able to use one or the other in most roster builds. But if you're looking for an alternative, Cortes should fall under consideration despite a tough spot versus the Blue Jays.
Cortes has been lights out this year, compiling a 1.94 SIERA, 35.9% strikeout rate, and 3.8% walk rate. A 9.6% swinging-strike rate suggests those punchouts should come down a bit, but the lefty posted a 27.5% strikeout rate in 2021, so he should remain a force in that department.
Toronto's got some formidable bats, but they're actually been a middle-of-the-road offense so far, giving us some added hope for Cortes. While the righty-heavy lineup won't do the southpaw any favors, this is still a team checking in with a modest 3.96 implied total.
Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals
We've got another Coors game tonight, and unsurprisingly, its 10.5 over/under runs laps around every other game.
It was the Washington Nationals that ultimately came through yesterday, but the Colorado Rockies once again own the slate's highest implied total (5.67). Although Colorado may have failed to take advantage of their home digs last night, this is a golden opportunity to bounce back versus Patrick Corbin.
Corbin is coming off his best start of the young season, and he's been saddled with some poor luck due to an inflated .443 BABIP. But he's still carrying a lackluster 13.0% walk rate, and his 39.2% ground-ball rate could get him in trouble in this hitter-friendly venue. He's also managed a decent 23.0% strikeout rate, but that's hardly enough to move us off the Rockies' bats.
The left-hander was effective against lefty hitters last season, so our eyes shift over to the righties this time around, with Connor Joe ($3,900), Randal Grichuk ($3,800), and C.J. Cron ($4,000) being the obvious choices batting high in the order.
Those are some hefty salaries, though, so Elias Diaz ($3,100) and Brendan Rodgers ($2,600) could be necessary additions to make room. Diaz emerged as a solid contributor last season, and he's sporting a 15.9% strikeout rate and .172 ISO in the early going.
The Nationals don't have quite as good a matchup against lefty Austin Gomber, who's put up a respectable 3.66 SIERA, 23.0% strikeout rate, and 8.0% walk rate. But with offense down this season, we probably need to take advantage of positive hitting environments like Coors Field more than ever.
While Gomber was decent in 2021, he allowed 1.61 home runs per nine innings with a 41.7% ground-ball rate to right-handed batters, and they're naturally the priority.
Juan Soto ($4,000) is a no-brainer despite the lefty-lefty spot, and switch-hitter Josh Bell ($3,800) has career .185 ISO versus lefties. It gets less exciting after those two, but Cesar Hernandez ($3,100), Nelson Cruz ($3,000), and Maikel Franco ($3,100) all hit high in the lineup and have easy-to-like salaries for Coors. Despite the big-name value of Cruz, he's struggled mightily in his age-41 campaign, which could be something to consider.
Vladimir Gutierrez had a rough rookie campaign last year, and things haven't gotten any better for the 26-year-old in 2022. Gutierrez owns a 6.43 SIERA, 13.3% striekout rate, 18.1% walk rate, and 47.2% fly-ball rate this season, all of which should benefit the hometown Milwaukee Brewers tonight.
Although Gutierrez hasn't allowed many home runs yet, it's probably only a matter of time until that changes. He was atrocious against lefties last season, coughing up 2.15 dingers per nine innings while also logging a poor 13.7% strikeout rate and 11.2% walk rate.
Christian Yelich ($3,300) and Rowdy Tellez ($2,500) are the top lefties to roster, and both are showing double-digit barrel rates thus far. Kolten Wong ($2,600) isn't as much of a power threat, but we'll happily scoop up the lefty leadoff hitter at this salary.
Gutierrez was better against right-handed sticks in 2021, but a 21.6% strikeout rate isn't anything to write home about. Willy Adames ($3,500) and Hunter Renfroe ($3,300) are still hitting for power in spite of this year's deadened ball.
New York Yankees
Yusei Kikuchi endured a bumpy April, and his underlying numbers raise several red flags. Despite a promising 2021 season, Kikuchi has recorded a worrying 5.62 SIERA, 18.1% strikeout rate, and 18.1% walk rate over four outings. He's performed terribly against right-handed batters so far, with an even uglier 16.7% strikeout rate and 24.1% walk rate in the split.
Line up those Yankees righties, and that naturally begins with Aaron Judge ($4,600) and his incredible 27.4% barrel rate.DJ LeMahieu ($3,500) is getting on base at a solid clip out of the leadoff slot, while Giancarlo Stanton ($3,300) and Josh Donaldson ($3,300) offer power in the middle of the order. Unsurprisingly, Stanton hasn't been a slouch in the barrel rate department, either (19.4%).