The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday’s Showdown slate features the Houston Astros at the Boston Red Sox at 8:08 pm ET. We’ll be using Bales Player Model to highlight some of the top options to consider.
The two pitchers on the mound today are:
- Eduardo Rodriguez (L)
- Jose Urquidy (R)
Eduardo Rodriguez is priced at $15,000 CPT and $10,000 UTIL. He has the highest projection on the slate with a whopping 10.07 projected Plus/Minus. That said, the matchup is a difficult one.
During the regular season, the Astros were 30th in strikeouts and fifth in ISO against left-handed pitching. Since 2015, Rodriguez has faced Houston six times. I narrowed down the search to the last three years and, per the Trends tool, he’s averaged 8.71 points with a negative 4.25 Plus/Minus and 33.3% Consistency Rating. In two starts this season, Rodriguez failed to pitch into the fifth inning and produced scores of 4.63 and 6.63 DraftKings points. The Vegas Dashboard has the Astros implied for 4.5 runs.
This is tough because pitchers are the most bankable fantasy producers and Rodriguez has the better numbers than Urquidy, but over his last 10 starts he’s averaged a negative 1.09 Plus/Minus and exceeded points expectations only 10% of the time. Much will depend on the projected ownership numbers and the story I want to tell with my lineup.
Jose Urquidy doesn’t have impressive numbers. The K/9 is only 7.57, the HR/9 is 1.43, and the FIP is 4.14. Unlike Rodriguez, though, he had success in an earlier meeting. Back in late May, Urquidy went six innings with nine strikeouts against the Red Sox, good for 27.1 DraftKings points.
The Red Sox were 14th in strikeouts and second in ISO against right-handed pitching. The Vegas Dashboard has them implied for 4.6 runs today.
Urquidy is $400 more expensive than Rodriguez but I somehow feel more comfortable with him even though I’m a little leery because the projections clearly favor Rodriguez. Urquidy has been better on the road than at home as the K/9 is above 8, the HR/9 is lower, and the FIP is 3.88 compared to 4.42 at home.
Much will depend on the projected ownership numbers, but if Urquidy comes in lower-owned, which is what I expect, then Urquidy it is with a stack against Rodriguez. What could go wrong?
Alex Bregman is $7,800 and will likely bat third in the order for the Astros. Three years ago, he mashed 41 home runs (690 plate appearances) with a .296 ISO while scoring 122 runs and driving in 112. That seems like a lifetime ago. This season, he’s hit 12 home runs in 400 plate appearances with a .152 ISO. The power may be way down but he’s still an excellent hitter, especially against lefties. The slash against them this season is .300/.397/.442. I’m not a big bvp guy but Bregman has faced Rodriguez 12 times in his career and gone 5-for-12 with a double and two home runs. Over the last six games, Bregman has a hit in every game and went 8-for-24.
Jose Altuve is priced at $9,800 and will likely bat leadoff for the Astros. On the season, he hit 31 home runs, scored 117 runs and drove in 83. The walk rate was 9.7% while the strikeout rate was only 13.4%. He had a .278/.350/.489 slash with a .211 ISO. Over the last six games, he’s gone 6-for-24 with two home runs. In his history against Rodriguez, Altuve has gone 5-for-13 with a double and a home run.
Xander Bogaerts had some cold streaks during the season. Who doesn’t? It’s baseball. That said, he was one of the best hitters for the Red Sox this year. He hit 23 home runs with 90 runs and 79 RBI. The slash was a robust .295/.370/.493 with a 10.4% walk rate, 18.7% strikeout rate, and .198 ISO. Against right-handed pitching, he had a .301/.367/.520 slash with a .220 ISO, which was better than his numbers against lefties. Urquidy has a 1.82 HR/9 and 4.64 FIP to righties compared to 0.94 HR/9 and 3.53 FIP against lefties.
Values and Punts
Martin Maldonado is priced at $4,000 for a reason. The strikeout rate is 29.8% while the slash is .172/.272/.300, and he bats ninth in the lineup. That said, his numbers are better against lefties and he has more power against them. The slash is .212/.294/.372 with a .159 ISO compared to .115 against righties. He’s faced Rodriguez nine times in his career and notched two hits, one of which was a home run.
Jake Meyers is priced at $4,000 and will likely bat eighth in the lineup. His slash against lefties this season was .304/.328/.571 with a .268 ISO. He also has a little stolen base upside with three on the season in 163 plate appearances and a 95th percentile sprint speed ranking on Baseball Savant.
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