The Chalk

Los Angeles Angels

David Hess has the worst xFIP of any starter going tonight both for the season and over the last 30 days, so it’s no surprise that that this game opened with an over/under of 10 runs and the Angels as a -150 favorite. In addition to the good matchup with Hess, the Angels are getting a positive park shift on the road in Baltimore.

Mike Trout is the obvious chalk name here, and Justin Upton isn’t far behind as he trails only Trout among Angels in wRC+ and ISO. That would be an expensive but ideal mini-stack for cash games. Andrelton Simmons is the only other Angel who has been significantly better than league average against right-handed pitching this season, so he’s a good option at a non-premium position. And don’t sleep on Kole Calhoun who has started to turn it around hitting .321 over the last 15 days and who will have the platoon advantage against Hess.

Texas Rangers

Surely you’ve heard that heat is good for hitters by now, and the hottest game time temp of the day for an outdoor game will be in Texas. That’s why the game between the Rangers and White Sox opened with the highest over/under of the night with the Rangers as -135 favorites.

Texas has three lefties that could do some damage against the right-handed Dylan Covey . Shin-Soo Choo leads off and leads the team in wRC+ vs. RHP with a 155 mark this season. Nomar Mazara is the only other Ranger noticeably above average against righties with a 119 wRC+. Then there is Joey Gallo who leads the team in ISO against righties.

The problem with Gallo for stack purposes is that he’s unlikely to hit higher than sixth in the order while Choo and Mazara hit in the top third of the order. Jurickson Profar hits in between them, and a chalk Ranger stack might be best limited to the top of the order.

Not the Chalk

Houston Astros

We’ll get significantly more contrarian after this pick given that Houston is almost always chalky as the league’s best offense per wRC+ this season and especially over the last 30 days. They’re in Tampa to take on the Rays with Wilmer Font on the mound. Font is not one of Tampa’s “openers,” but he has only recently claimed a true rotation spot, and he has pitched five innings or more just once this season. You’d think the Astros would have a high projected run total against Font, but the game opened with a low over/under of seven with Gerrit Cole going for Houston, so it’s possible they avoid being the chalkiest play tonight.

George Springer , Marwin González and José Altuve have all homered against Font in three or fewer plate appearances, and Alex Bregman has doubled twice off Font in as many PA. Springer, Bregman and Altuve are going to hit atop the order, and this may be a rare chance to stack them without absurd levels of ownership. Josh Reddick hit cleanup behind them last night, and he has walked twice against Font in three PA, so he could be added to the stack. Marwin hit sixth last night so he could be included as well if the lineup does not change.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies opened with the eighth highest projected total of the slate and only rank 21st in wRC+ over the last 30 days, so they shouldn’t be too popular of a play tonight. That’s especially true with LAA and Texas leading the pack in projected run total by a wide margin.

The Phillies will host the Nats who will send Erick Fedde to the mound. Over the last 30 days, Fedde’s difficulties missing bats and limiting hard contact have gotten worse. His strikeout rate and soft contact rate generated are both third worst among tonight’s probable starters in that stretch.

The easy part here, aside from picking on the good matchup, is picking which Phils to use in a stack. Philly has four guys who have been above average against right-handed pitching this season, and those four happen to be their regular top four in the order.  César Hernández leads off typically followed by Rhys Hoskins , Odubel Herrera and Carlos Santana .