MLB | Must-Haves | 5/19/17

Justin Upton (DK: $4,200 FD: $3,400): Our first Must-Have of the day will have a strong advantage at the plate tonight against the struggling Texas right-hander Nick Martinez. Martinez will look to put out the surging fire that is the Detroit offense, but one right-handed slugger in the heart of the Tigers’ lineup matches up too well tonight.

Martinez has struggled mightily on the road this season, with a 3.97 HR/9, 9.13 FIP, 1.131 OPS to go along with five homers allowed already in 2017 away from home. To right-handers specifically, Martinez has allowed them to slug .769 with a 3.38 HR/9 and a 28% hard hit rate this season on the road. When looking at a larger sample size with Martinez, we can see in 125 IP in 2015, he showed to be more exploitable against right-handed batters thanks to a 1.58 HR/9, 5.58 FIP, and 30.4% hard hit rate allowed to them showing reverse splits, compared to just a 0.72 HR/9, 4.39 FIP, and 29% hard hit rate to left-handed hitters.

One of the best hitters in the Tigers’ lineup against right-handed pitching is none other than the right-hander Justin Upton. In 2016, Upton slugged right-handed pitching to the tune of a .783 OPS, .225 ISO, .333 wOBA and belted 23 homers off of them. Upton is off to another hot start against right-handed pitching this season, with an .895 OPS, .284 ISO, .380 wOBA, and seven homers. This double-reverse split matchup is not the only thing Upton has going for him tonight as Martinez is primarily a fastball-throwing pitcher and Upton is the best fastball hitter on the Tigers’ squad. Martinez is showcasing his four-seam fastball at 22%, two-seam fastball at 24%, and cut fastball at 31% of the time to right handed hitters. Upton crushes all three fastballs from righties with a .250 ISO vs FA, .350 ISO vs FC, and .266 ISO vs FT in 2016. With the wind forecasted to be blowing out to right-center field at 13+ mph and Upton’s career .805 OPS at Comerica Park as bonuses, he will be locked into all of our lineups tonight.

 

Brandon Drury (DK: $3,700 FD: $2,600): Jered Weaver has been one of the more exploitable pitchers to begin the 2017 season and Drury will be in a great spot tonight to provide value and upside at a thin position. Drury is checking out all across the board in our research and should be locked into all of your lineups tonight.

Weaver has already allowed 10 homers to right-handers this season to go along with his ugly 4.09 HR/9, 8.95 FIP and 30% hard hit rate allowed to them. With a fastball maxing out in the mid 80s and much slower off-speed stuff, Weaver isn’t going to overpower many major league hitters these days, relying upon finesse to get the job done. Weaver also has a fly-ball rate above 42% to RHB with an eye-popping 32.3% HR/FB allowed to RHB in 2017.

Drury has crushed fly-ball pitching in his career thanks to his .757 OPS and five homers against them. Finesse pitching hasn’t been very efficient against Drury either as he holds down a .796 OPS and 8 HRs against them in his career. Drury has also torched right-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .337 BA, .920 OPS, .191 ISO, .395 wOBA, and 2 HRs. Weaver mixes up his pitching arsenal well with three different pitches thrown above 20% (FA, SL, CH). We can tell you that Dury carried a .160 ISO vs FA from RHP, .156 ISO vs SL from RHP and a .242 ISO vs CB from RHP in 2016. Drury will have a huge advantage tonight at the plate against Jered Weaver and is our second Must-Have of the day.

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