We move on to an 11-game slate here on Wednesday.
There are only two more editions of the Drill Down after today before we make the full-time switch to football. It has been a fun season to this point, though it has also been rather tilting at times. Let’s hope tonight isn’t one of those instances.
wOBA vs LHP: .410 (15th in MLB)
The Twins face a weak lefty tonight in Ross Detwiler, putting seemingly the entire offense in play. Of course, you have to consider Nelson Cruz as arguably the top play of the entire slate but do not sleep on Cron, who has been incredible against southpaws this season. Cron ranks 15th in the majors in wOBA (.410), 13th in isolated power (.321) and 10th in slugging percentage (.642) against left-handed pitching this season. Detwiler, meanwhile, is coughing up a .326 batting average, .410 wOBA, .617 slugging percentage, 11 home runs, 3.06 HR/9 and 28.9 percent HR/FB rate to right-handed hitters. He is also striking them out just over 17 percent of the time. Detwiler is also allowing contact at a healthy 84.5 percent clip, while his 7.2 percent swinging strike rate certainly isn’t anything to write home about. Cron isn’t even striking out that much against lefties, doing so just 16.9 percent of the time on the season. Cron is my favorite first baseman of the entire slate tonight.
Los Angeles Angels
Contact rate: 91.5 percent (1st in MLB)
The Angels are a top-tier stacking option tonight, facing a righty who doesn’t miss bats in Ariel Jurado. He continues to be reverse splits, surrendering a .326 batting average, .383 wOBA, 12 home runs, 1.96 HR/9, 25 percent HR/FB rate and 42.3 percent hard contact rate to right-handed hitting. Los Angeles has a ton of righties in their lineup, and good ones at that. Fletcher may not have the highest of ceilings but facing a pitcher like Jurado who allows contact nearly 85 percent of the time, he sets up very nicely. No hitter in the majors is sporting a higher contact rate than Fletcher (91.5 percent). He’s also been a reverse splits hitter, sporting a .304 batting average, .331 wOBA, 27 percent line drive rate and 10.9 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. I love the Angels offense tonight and Fletcher is someone you can use in a stack or as a one-off here.
Fly Ball Rate
Fly ball rate vs RHP: 44.9 percent
I usually don’t love paying a premium for a hitter like Eaton but the matchup is very interesting, facing Asher Wojciechowski and the awful Baltimore bullpen. Woj has been giving up a ton of power to left-handed hitters, surrendering a .376 wOBA, eight home runs, 3.00 HR/9, 54.9 percent fly ball rate and 20.5 percent HR/FB rate to the handedness. Keep in mind that he has all of these poor numbers against lefties while also sporting a 100 percent strand rate against them. That is insane. Eaton, meanwhile, quietly ranks 17th in the majors in fly ball rate against right-handed pitching (44.9 percent). He is also sporting a solid .286 batting average, 10 home runs, .349 wOBA and 10 home runs against the handedness. This has to be the first time Eaton has been in the Drill Down and although he is expensive, he’s been hitting lately and is in a strong matchup.
Also consider: Carlos Santana, Neil Walker, Albert Pujols, Matt Adams, Matt Olson, Yulieski Gurriel, Jeff McNeil, Brian Dozier, Jason Kipnis, Greg Garcia, Miguel Sano, Alex Bregman, Yoan Moncada, Josh Donaldson, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Francisco Lindor, Dansby Swanson, Freddy Galvis, Andrelton Simmons, Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Danny Santana, Michael Conforto, Alex Gordon, Ian Desmond, Justin Upton, Anthony Santander.
Stacks to target: Nationals, Twins, Angels