It's a studs and duds kind of slate on Tuesday with the likes of Luis Castillo, Patrick Corbin, Trevor Bauer, James Paxton, Zack Wheeler, Kenta Maeda, and Chris Paddack on the mound, as well a host of backend arms like Tyler Beede, Peter Lambert, Mike Leake, Manny Banuelos, Freddy Peralta, Chris Archer, Trent Thornton, and Jake Junis.
I feel like several of my recommended hitters are carrying far too low roster rates and should be considered beyond Tuesday, too.
Spencer Turnbull (R), rostered in 21 percent of ESPN leagues, Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals: Turnbull has come back to earth a bit with a 4.00 ERA and 24 strikeouts in his last five starts (27 innings). His 1.41 WHIP has been the biggest negative, but he's still worth holding and starting in most matchups. The Royals offense has dramatically fallen off against righties of late, too. They are 28th in weighted runs created-plus (wRC+) with just an 80 mark (100 is average). Turnbull has allowed just three runs to the Royals in 13 innings across two starts with 17 strikeouts.
John Means (L), 41 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Means keeps plugging away. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last six starts, posting a 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 35 innings of work. He only has 25 strikeouts as his swinging strikeout rate has dropped from 15 percent in April to just 7 percent in these last six starts. The Jays have been a major strikeout team all year and could be Means' best chance to spike. They have fanned 24 percent of the time against lefties this year.
Jon Duplantier (R), 2 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies: A brilliant outing against the Dodgers has garnered some attention for Duplantier and now I'm very interested to see how he can handle the Phillies. He will probably max out at six innings and that's only if he's particularly efficient, but I'd take another solid five-inning effort. The Phillies sit just 26th in wRC+ against righties over the month at 81 with a 23 percent strikeout rate.
Projected game scores
Catcher -- Robinson Chirinos (R), 23 percent, Houston Astros vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Freddy Peralta): Chirinos is crushing righties to the tune of a .921 OPS with 9 of his 10 homers on the season. He opened June with homers in four straight games and now sits 11th among catchers on the Player Rater. He is on pace for a career high in homers even if he only matches last year's 113-game output.
First base -- Howie Kendrick (R), 27 percent, Washington Nationals at Chicago White Sox (LHP Manny Banuelos): Are you aware that Kendrick has been the 12th-best 1B on the Player Rater this year? He's not even a full-time player, with just 173 plate appearances. He is decimating lefties with a .396/.407/.623 line and three homers in 54 PA. Banuelos has struggled mightily against everyone this year, including a .307/.403/.579 line against righties.
Second base -- David Bote (R), 3 percent, Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies (RHP Peter Lambert): Deep leaguers are definitely hoping that Bote finds some playing time in Colorado. The 26-year-old utility man has hit seven homers in 182 PA on the year, including crazy work against righties with a .287/.359/.496 and six of those homers. Bote is starting more often and could become an interesting player for shallower leagues if this playing-time surge continues.
Third base -- Yandy Diaz (R), 33 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Mike Fiers): After a brilliant April (.990 OPS), Diaz sputtered through May (.597) and missed half of it with an IL stint. He has returned in June with an .845 OPS in eight games, including multihit efforts in three of his last five. Diaz has done his best work against lefties so this matchup against Fiers isn't the best, but pick him up now and hold him for a run of three straight against lefties starting Wednesday against Brett Anderson.
Shortstop -- Marwin Gonzalez (S), 46 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners (RHP Mike Leake): Gonzalez was about the only Twin not tearing the cover off the ball in April as he managed just a .501 OPS and two homers, but he joined the hit parade in May and has a healthy .877 OPS with five homers from May 1 through June 9.
Corner infield -- Jay Bruce (L), 35 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Jon Duplantier): Welcome to Philadelphia! Bruce has ripped four homers in his first six games with the Phillies, including three against right-handers. Bruce's 18 homers are tied for fifth most in baseball despite an ugly .231 AVG and .293 OBP. The recent injury to Andrew McCutchen opens to the door for regular playing time now, after Bruce was originally brought over to fill the fourth OF/power bench bat role.
Middle infield -- Niko Goodrum (S), 10 percent, Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals (RHP Jakob Junis): This is a hot-hand play as Goodrum is hot again, toting a .293/.346/.493 line with 3 HR and 4 SB over his last 80 PA. It's unfortunate that he isn't more mixed league viable because he qualifies at 1B, 2B, SS and OF. Junis has a massive 248-point platoon split favoring lefty hitters, so Goodrum will look to add to Junis' .951 OPS against lefties.
Outfield -- Franmil Reyes (R), 46 percent, San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants (RHP Tyler Beede): Reyes hits a home run every time I see him. I actually think his 19-home run count is too low. Surely the stat-keeping sites missed 20 of them. I remember thinking that Reyes couldn't keep up the 16 homers per 87 game pace from last year. I was right ... it has been even better. He has ripped his 19 homers in just 63 games. His 12.0 PA/HR rate is actually the fourth best this year behind only Christian Yelich (10.8), Bruce (11.4), and Joc Pederson (11.5). He is only hitting .246, but this roster rate is still a shock.
Outfield -- Randal Grichuk (R), 25 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles (LHP John Means): While I did recommend Means in the pitcher section, Grichuk has been solid against lefties this year and is starting to heat up a bit. He has popped three homers in his last six games. Grichuk has always had a rough profile where he strikes out too much and doesn't walk enough, but a .267 BABIP has exposed those weaknesses and led to a .224/.282/.416 line. He should be able to chase down another 12-15 homers, but if he improves a bit, he could hit 20 the rest of the way.
Outfield -- Garrett Cooper (R), 2 percent, Miami Marlins vs. St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Dakota Hudson): The Marlins offense is starting to deliver some treasure. Cooper probably needs to be on more than 2 percent of rosters at this point. He has a strong .281/.375/.448 line with five homers and a full-time role. He bats second and while no one will confuse the Marlins for a powerhouse, batting second every day in any lineup is good if hitter is performing. Cooper's .305/.425/.424 line against righties makes him an interesting play against Hudson and the Marlins face only one lefty in their next 12 games.