Wednesday brings a nice mix of day baseball and night games across MLB. The early portion of the slate will include the culmination of the series between the Yankees and Mariners. That will be a battle of left-handed pitchers when Nestor Cortes Jr. takes on Robbie Ray. A couple of aces will take the mound during the evening, one of which will be Justin Verlander against the Rangers. The other is Sandy Alcantara, who will be on the road versus the Phillies. As we focus our efforts on the evening slate on Yahoo, here are some pitchers and hitters to consider for your entries.
Justin Verlander ($59) has been locked in, allowing two or fewer runs in seven straight starts. He's already faced the Rangers twice this season, giving up one run and recording 16 strikeouts across 13 innings. As far as the safer starting pitching options go, Verlander should be considered at the top of the list.
The White Sox have to be thrilled with Johnny Cueto ($38), who has proven to be a valuable member of their starting rotation with his 2.91 ERA. His 4.02 FIP isn't nearly as impressive, so some regression could be in the cards down the stretch. With that being said, it might not start in a matchup against the Royals, who rank inside the bottom-10 in baseball in runs scored and OPS. The only prior time he faced them, he recorded seven strikeouts over six scoreless innings.
Looking at his 4.21 ERA and 1.42 WHIP for the season, there doesn't seem to be anything impressive about Mitch Keller ($33). He's been better of late, though, with a 1.74 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP over his last five outings. Another valuable stat line could be on the horizon against the Diamondbacks, who rank inside the bottom-10 in OPS.
Drew Hutchison ($25) doesn't miss many bats, posting just 35 strikeouts over 55.2 innings. He actually has almost as many walks (27), which has contributed to his 1.44 WHIP. Look for him to face an uphill battle against Jose Ramirez ($19), who has just a 9.5 percent strikeout rate to go along with his .380 wOBA.
Paul Goldschmidt ($27) has always hit left-handed pitching well, but his numbers against them are insane this season. Versus lefties, he has a .389 ISO, .576 wOBA and a 282 wRC+. Not only will he be facing a left-hander in Kyle Freeland ($27), but he will be doing so at Coors Field.
Going back to the Guardians' matchup versus Hutchison, Josh Naylor ($12) is also worth considering. He's on pace to set a new career high with his .345 wOBA, and he's been even better with a .374 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers.
It's not often that you see Kyle Tucker ($11) at such a cheap salary. Although his numbers have declined compared to last season, he is still dangerous, hitting 19 home runs to go along with his 16 steals. He doesn't exactly have a difficult matchup versus Glenn Otto ($27), who has a 5.31 ERA and a 5.19 FIP.
Stacks to Consider
Rockies vs. Jose Quintana ($33), Cardinals: C.J. Cron ($15), Randal Grichuk ($18), Jose Iglesias ($18)
This will be a tough test for Quintana, who has allowed one run over his last three starts combined. Coors Field is a hitter's haven, and the Rockies have a .815 OPS there as a team. In general, they have a .773 OPS versus left-handed pitchers, compared to a .718 OPS versus righties. One hitter to build a Rockies stack around is Cron, who has a .416 wOBA at home.
Braves vs. Nick Pivetta ($34), Red Sox: Austin Riley ($25), Matt Olson ($22), Eddie Rosario ($13)
The Red Sox have had plenty of injuries hit their starting rotation throughout the season, so at least Pivetta has been healthy while making 22 starts. The problem is, he hasn't been great with his 4.51 ERA and 4.16 FIP. His strikeout rate is all the way down to 22.6 percent, which is nearly four percentage points lower than last season. This could be a difficult matchup for him against the Braves, who have the fourth-highest OPS in baseball. They have been led by Riley, who is making a legitimate case to win the NL MVP with his .296 ISO and .405 wOBA.
Blue Jays vs. Dean Kremer ($28), Orioles: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($22), Teoscar Hernandez ($22), Matt Chapman ($23)
After getting shelled by the Reds in his previous outing, Kremer bounced back to shut out the Pirates over 6.1 innings in his last start. This will be a much tougher opponent for him, given that the Blue Jays have scored the fifth-most runs in baseball. After a slow start to the season, Chapman has caught fire, hitting 24-for-70 (.343) with eight home runs over his last 20 games.