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Stat Hero MLB Picks for today

Here is a look at my favorite plays on StatHero for Friday’s slate.

StatHero MVP

Your team MVP scores 1.5x the amount of fantasy points and you lose points for strikeouts so pick someone you feel is safe, ideally with a low chance of striking out.

Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

Matt Shoemaker has gotten roughed up basically all season and is coming off his worst start this season, giving up eight earned runs and getting just one out. Shoemaker is struggling with left-handed hitters, allowing a .351 wOBA and .225 ISO since 2019. Alvarez is having a great season and riding a four-game hit streak with two doubles and a home run. He’s also one of the best left-handed hitters in baseball, especially against right-handed pitching with a .417 wOBA, .305 ISO and 44.8% hard contact rate in his career.

Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

One of the premier players in all of baseball has yet to find his power since returning from a leg injury but has collected a hit in six of his last eight games. Mike Foltynewicz has been inconsistent all season, giving up two or fewer earned runs in five of his starts but also giving up four or more earned runs in just as many. Left-handed hitters have taken advantage of Foltynewicz with a .347 wOBA, .253 ISO, 38.8% hard contact rate and a 47.5% fly ball rate since 2019. Bellinger also matches up well with Foltynewicz’s four main pitches, hitting each with a career wRC+ of at least 132. 

StatHero flex pick

Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins

After a rough May, Cruz is back on track, hitting .421 with three doubles and one home run this month. José Urquidy is a reverse-splits pitcher giving up a .344 wOBA, .205 ISO and 44% fly ball rate to right-handed hitters since 2019. Cruz is a great hitter against right-handed pitching as well with a .379 wOBA, .262 ISO and 43.7% hard contact rate since 2019. A Hall-of-Fame hitter at $9,500 in a plus matchup is great upside.

Pete Alonso, New York Mets

Blake Snell has been much worse on the road this season, with a 9.70 ERA compared to 1.65 at home. Alonso is heating up this month hitting .367 with three home runs, all of which have come in his last two games. He is also a great hitter against left-handed pitching with a .353 wOBA, .299 ISO and 40% hard contact rate. I like his upside at $8,300 with Snell on the road and Alonso making some adjustments since seeing him June 4. If you’re playing the overnight slate, I don’t mind playing him with StatHero since he is in their lineup as well. 

Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox

Finally starting to heat up after a tough first two months (walks aside), Grandal has a hit in five of his last seven games, including four home runs. Tarik Skubal has been excellent over his last six starts, getting opponents to chase pitches out of the strike zone 11.4% more than in his first six starts where he was getting roughed up. He did just shut down the White Sox in his last start with 11 strikeouts over five innings but I’m going to bank on Grandal and the White Sox hitters making adjustments. In his career, Skubal has .362 wOBA and .292 ISO to right-handed hitters. Grandal also matches up well with Skubal’s three main pitches, hitting his fastball, slider and splitter with a wRC+ of at least 141 this season.

Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox

Anderson is on fire to start June with a hit in every game, including four multi-hit games. Anderson is a great hitter against left-handed pitching with a .396 wOBA and .226 ISO. I know it’s a small sample, but he is one of the few White Sox hitters to have success against Skubal going 3-4 with two doubles and a home run. I love that all three of his hits have gone for extra bases.

Josh Donaldson, Minnesota Twins

He’s not quite on the level of Cruz but that’s OK, especially since we’re paying less at $9,100. He’s also very good against right-handed pitching with a .368 wOBA, .252 ISO and 42.4% hard contact rate since 2019. Plus he matches up well with Urquidy’s pitches, hitting each with a career wRC+ of at least 106. 

StatHero sleeper

Michael Brantley, Houston Astros

A big name at a cheap price is fairly rare on StatHero. All of the reasons to attack Shoemaker are above so I’ll focus on Brantley. He is 4-9 in two games since coming back from a hamstring injury. Since 2019, Brantley is crushing right-handed pitching with .385 wOBA, .207 ISO and 40.2% hard contact rate. He also matches up great with Shoemaker’s pitch repertoire, hitting each of his pitches with a career wRC+ of 109. I love his upside at $7,800. 

Carlos Santana, Kansas City Royals

It’s been a tough month for Santana, hitting just .156, so I imagine that’s one reason for his depressed price of $7,700. However, he has been a great hitter against left-handed pitching since 2019 with a .386 wOBA, .210 ISO and 44% hard contact rate. Cole Irvin has been inconsistent this season but has allowed four or more earned runs in five of his starts this season. Santana also hits Irvin’s four main pitches well with a career wRC+ of at least 101. 

James McCann, New York Mets

McCann is one of the cheapest players on the overnight slate at $6,300 in a tough matchup with Snell. McCann has a hit in every game this month except for the one he faced Snell in last week. Since 2019, McCann has crushed left-handed pitching with a .393 wOBA, .231 ISO and 38.8% hard contact rate. I’m banking on his history against lefties and him making some adjustments since seeing Snell a week ago. 

Note: salaries change throughout the day as news and lineups come out.

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