This article is part of our FantasyScore MLB series.
There are 15 games on the schedule Wednesday, with every team in the league taking the field. However, the Mastersball 50/50 GPP and BaseballHQ GPP contests only include the four night games. Both contests lock at 8:05 p.m. EDT.
Picks and analysis are focused on the four evening games which comprise the player pool for the two GPP contests.
Lineup Configuration Notes
With an extremely limited player pool, it is difficult to differentiate your lineup. This is even truer with FantasyScore's cushy hitter prices. However, there is a nice selection of hurlers to choose from, so finding variance on the mound is one path to a contrarian lineup.
While Josh Collmenter has strung together a few nice starts, he stands out as the weakest starter, so exposure to the Cardinals is advised. And maxing out with four of them in your lineup isn't out of the question.
Alex Wood is another arm who could be worth a stack against. He has been good but not great thus far, he missed his last start because of a stomach virus and hasn't pitched in 11 days. There is potential for rust and an off-start.
Catcher and second base are the shallowest positions, so hunting out a speculative bargain is one way to provide cap relief and add a contrarian element to your line. However, spending up for the top options – Derek Norris, Kolten Wong and Howie Kendrick – might be the safe play in cash games.
Nationals at Cubs – There have been eight combined runs through the first two games of the series, and with Max Scherzer and Jon Lester on the hill, there doesn't project to be many more Wednesday. Still, there is plenty of star power in each lineup, and it is likely many of the hitters will carry low ownership percentages.
Diamondbacks at Cardinals – St. Louis has won both meetings in the series, and they've now won three consecutive games. As previously mentioned, this could present the biggest mismatch on the mound, and the Cards average 4.6 runs per game at home. The best part, though, is St. Louis boasts plenty of affordable options.
Padres at Angels – Two quality pitchers square off against offenses struggling to produce. San Diego scored 11 runs Sunday, but otherwise have been underwhelming at the dish. The Halos, similarly, posted a 12-run showing Friday, only to follow with eight runs over their next three games. Over exposure to this game could be detrimental to lineups.
Braves at Dodgers – The Dodgers have a sub-.700 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season, so the previously mentioned stack against Alex Wood is more inclined for a high-risk, high-reward approach. The Braves are struggling mightily at the dish of late, though, as they've scored just eight runs over their past five games.
Arms to Target
Max Scherzer, SP, WAS, $9,400 salary, 18.8 percent of cap – The safest bet among the eight starters, especially going against the Cubs, who strike out more than any team in baseball. The safest bet isn't always the best one though, and in this case, it is also the most expensive. Still, when the totals are counted, it shouldn't be a surprise to see Scherzer lead all players in fantasy points Wednesday night.
Zack Greinke, SP, LA, $8,700 salary, 17.4 percent of cap – All Greinke does is take care of business and post fantasy points. He lacks high-end upside, but he makes up for it with his start-to-start consistency. Truly reliable arms are few and far between. He has allowed a single earned run and struck out five batters in each of his last three starts.
Andrew Cashner, SP, SD, $7,100 salary, 14.2 percent of cap – A tough-luck loser, Cashner is sporting a 2.29 ERA with 48 strikeouts over 51 innings through his last eight starts, yet he sits with a 1-6 record. During that span, he has pitched at least six innings in every start. Expect to see him post another solid outing and be faded by the majority.
Lance Lynn, SP, STL, $6,400 salary, 12.8 percent of cap – A bit on the inconsistent side of late, as Lynn has allowed at least five earned runs in three of his last six starts, including his last outing. However, he has allowed two over his other three contests with 26 strikeouts over 20.1 innings. He is another high-risk, high-reward option, but Lynn comes at a very affordable cap hit given the upside.
Bats to Target
Matt Carpenter, 3B, STL, $5,500 salary, 11.0 percent of cap – Since returning from extreme fatigue May 12, Carpenter has a .309/.367/.527 slash line with eight runs, three home runs and seven RBI. In arguably the friendliest matchup of the night, target the Red Birds' offensive catalyst.
Erick Aybar, SS, LAA, $3,000 salary, 6.0 percent of cap – He entered Tuesday's game with a .349 batting average and 15 runs over his past 21 games dating back to May 3. The recent bump to the leadoff spot boosts his fantasy value, and Aybar has only failed to register a hit in two of his last 22 games.
A.J. Pollock, OF, ARI, $4,100 salary, 8.2 percent of cap – The outfielder has caught fire in May, where he sports a .302 batting average with 16 runs, three home runs, eight RBI and six stolen bases. There is plenty of room for profit on his cap hit.