The weather is insane in a lot of the country right now. It's scorching hot, outside of intermittent thunderstorms. That may keep you indoors watching baseball, but warm weather often leads to an increase in home runs - and it's not like the current baseball needs any help to fly out of the park. There are 15 MLB game Saturday, including a few in the afternoon. You could get away with playing an evening slate, because there aren't really much in the way of stud pitchers or big bats in the early games. However, since it's the weekend, I figured I'd look at the full landscape and some of the info will still be helpful even if you just play the night slate.
The first thing that pops out to me is Clayton Kershaw ($58) starting at home against the Marlins. He's no longer the best pitcher in baseball - or even the best pitcher on the Dodgers - but he's excelled with a 2.52 home ERA. Just as importantly, the Marlins don't do much on offense. They have no punch to their bats, with a .364 team slugging percentage.
Blake Snell ($37) has had an up-and-down season after winning the AL Cy Young in 2018, but he's recently enjoyed a good run by posting a 2.25 ERA over his last three starts. Snell has posted much better numbers at home this year, and will be facing a White Sox team that sits in the bottom-five in runs scored.
Luis Castillo ($51) isn't a big name, but he probably would be if he pitched for another team other than the Reds. He's managed a 2.41 ERA, including 1.69 mark at home. The hurler has also averaged 10.77 batters per nine innings. St. Louis wasn't expected to be an easy matchup this season, but finds themselves in the bottom-eight in runs scored. By this point in the year, the sample size is large enough to believe that's just the team they are.
If you want to take a flyer on a cheap option, consider Daniel Norris ($27). Yes, he's struggled with a 5.12 ERA - 4.89 at home - but a 4.70 FIP. Norris and the Tigers are hosting the Blue Jays, who also aren't a good team and are starting a struggling pitcher in Trent Thornton. The Jays own a .231 batting average and .298 OBP, so maybe Norris can put up a quality start and get a win, which would pay off given his price.
Hitting is Yordan Alvarez's ($25) business, and right now business is booming. Since being called up by the Astros, he's put up a .692 slugging percentage with 10 home runs in only 27 games. He'll face off with Texas starter Ariel Jurado, who comes in with a 5.47 ERA over his last 10 outings.
After hitting 34 homers last year, Rhys Hoskins ($18) has hit 20 this season. He's also getting on base at a career-best .399 OBP clip. Home has not been where the heart is for Trevor Williams this year, thanks to a 6.37 ERA. He's also racked up a 9.53 ERA over his last four starts.
Alex Gordon ($16) has struggled against lefties the last few years, and also hasn't been great versus righties. This year, he's been alright against southpaws, but he's finally hitting well against right-handed pitchers again, posting a .842 OPS in those matchups. Adam Plutko has a 5.40 ERA, but that's flattering him since his FIP is even worse at 6.47.
Harold Castro ($14), who is playing second base for the Tigers if you didn't know, is getting his first real look in the majors. So far, he's shown a little potential with the bat. He currently is batting .315, though that is due to struggles against lefties. That won't be a problem with the right-handed Trent Thornton on the mound for the Blue Jays with his 5.25 ERA.
Eshelman has made only two starts in the majors during his career, but - fitting for an Orioles pitcher - they haven't gone well, as the 5.06 ERA and two homers allowed in 10.2 innings will prove. The sample size is small, but I don't fear recommending a stack against Eshelman, especially with some of the bats in the Red Sox lineup. I didn't mention Mookie Betts, but it goes without saying that if you want to pony up the cash for him, he's always worth a look.
Devers was considered a great prospect, but now he's finally getting it done in Boston. The lefty is also mashing against righties, with a 1.003 OPS in those matchups. Devers is getting a lot of love and Betts is the reigning AL MVP, but don't overlook Bogaerts. He's as solid of a hitter as you can find at shortstop, as he's slashed .311/.396/.568 with 21 homers. Then there's Chavis, a rookie who has stepped up into the hole left in Boston's lineup by Dustin Pedroia. He's proven worthy to stick in the lineup, as he's managed a .258 batting average and has hit 16 home runs over 77 games.
Junis struggled in 2018, registering a 4.58 FIP and allowing 1.63 home runs per nine innings. Things have gone even worse this year, with a 4.92 FIP and giving up 1.67 homers per nine innings. Since joining the Royals' rotation, Junis has proved to be a mediocre pitcher at best, and at this point it seems safe to stack up your lineup against him when he's on the mound. Cleveland's been a little disappointing this year, but they possess a few strong bats.
While Lindor has registered a low RBI total, you can blame that on his teammates not getting on base and not his performance. The smooth-hitting shortstop has notched 15 home runs to go with 14 stolen bases, despite a slow start after beginning the year on the injured list.
Somehow, as a 33-year-old, Santana is enjoying the best season of his career. He's recorded a personal-best batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage, and is on pace to achieve an OPS over .900 for the first time. While Santana's hitting lefties well, he also has destroyed righties with a .964 OPS, which bodes well in this matchup.
Bauers isn't the first hitter you think of with this team, but I wanted to get a lefty in my recommendations against the righty Junis. He's far from an elite hitter with a .246 batting average - which is fine in the modern landscape - but he's hit 11 homers. You'll need to save some money somewhere in your lineup, and a lefty like Bauers in a matchup like this has a fair amount of upside potential.