Chris Sale, P: $11,800 & Max Scherzer, P: $11,600 – I’m not going to even waste your time telling you how good they are. Play them.

Wait a second…I’m sure all you faithful readers out there are saying “But this is a FanDuel article, we only get one pitcher!”. You’re right. So, Sale or Scherzer? This comes down to matchups and ballparks. Scherzer is facing a very good Arizona lineup, in Arizona – and unless it’s confirmed that the humidor has begun being used, Chase Field is a top-3 non-Coors offensive ballpark. On the other hand, Chris Sale is facing the pathetic Angels offense, which is approaching 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers territory for lopsidedness. For those who don’t remember, that’s the Cavs team that made the finals with Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Sasha Pavlovic, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and a small forward that remains comically underappreciated and underrated throughout his entire career. The problem is, baseball isn’t basketball. One amazing hitter can’t carry an otherwise inept lineup. The 2002 San Francisco Giants demonstrated that absurdly lopsided offenses only work if you have the single greatest offensive player of all time and a second elite-level hitter (and have at least one or two other guys that aren’t complete embarrassments – that year it was Benito Santiago and David Bell). Trout’s trying his best to be Barry Bonds, and Andrelton Simmons, shockingly, isn’t a complete embarrassment, and neither is Luis Valbuena. But the lack of Jeff Kent means this offense isn’t going to give anyone trouble. Additionally, Angel Stadium is an offense-killer, although it does get credit for not selling its naming rights (although the Cubs played in Cubs Park, but then changed the name for the 1927 season to a gum company, which is now considered a non corporate name, so the lesson is, just last a long time). So while I couldn’t fault anyone for deciding that Scherzer’s their guy tonight, when you consider that Sale is facing a vastly inferior lineup and pitching in a far more pitcher-friendly ballpark, the choice (for cash) seems fairly straightforward. And yes, astute readers of mine should note that Scherzer’s GPP-value is through the roof as my hunch is that Sale’s ownership is far higher, and it’s entirely possible Scherzer outscores Sale as both are quite dominant and it may just come down to who gets 11 strikeouts as opposed to 8.

On to the picks as soon as Guaranteed Rate Field becomes a fun, cozy name…

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Francisco Liriano best protect his neck on Thursday as he takes on the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are an enticing stack as they face Liriano, who lasted just two innings his last time out with neck tightness. Liriano has a 6.04 ERA this year with a 5.01 BB/9, which is high even for his standards. Hanley Ramirez ($3,200) is a huge bargain as the Streamonator’s fifth-highest ranked player, while Mookie Betts ($4,100) takes the top spot by a large margin. Lefty-killer Chris Young ($2,600) is a fantastic play in the outfield, as he should be batting fifth in the Red Sox order. Just about any hitter who makes it into Boston’s lineup is worth looking at with such a favorable matchup.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Who’s got one thumb and hit over 60 home runs in their career? Sorry, Carlos Correa ain’t what I’m looking for. Yeah, so what if I spent my Tuesday night researching weird thumb stuff? We already know Correa wasn’t the first person to pull off a thumb injury like this. But hey, turns out, he’s not even the first person named Carlos to do it! Yep, former Chicago White Sox-ian Carlos May blew off his own thumb in 1969 while serving in the U.S military. His story is one hundred and ten times cooler than Correa’s, and it’s kinda scary that he went on to have a more productive career with one appendage, than 40% of all Major League players.

A week after the All Star break is the best time to ignore actual stats and ride on a whim of “yeah, he should probably play better in the second half, my Dad thinks so”. It’s like a relapse of Opening Day optimism, only by now you probably know that your team sucks. Enough of the history/heartfelt reflection, though, here’s my take for Wednesday’s slate:

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And how did you spend your All-Star Break? Rocking and crying in a corner, like I did? Thankfully, baseball is back and my twitching has even just about subsided. Today, for our first over-the-halfway-hump Saturday on FanDuel, there’s a ton of good pitching (discussed below), but my focus turns to one game in particular: the sweet intra-state match-up as Madison Bumgarner (at a not-so-sweet $11,000) squares up against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park.

This is, of course, Mad Bum’s return from the DL after leaving his dirt bike shoulder-first (ouch). I know, normally I too would be leery of starting a returning pitcher immediately, but this is Mad Bum. This start’s in Petco; it’s not quite the pitcher’s mecca it used to be, but still pitcher friendly. The Padres can’t hit lefties, to the tune of a .214 average. And in his last rehab start, Bumgarner struck out 8. So I’m paying up for him and finding ways to fill up my lineup around him as cheaply (and probably badly!) as possible. Mostly by picking on Derek Holland, to be honest: Mariners hitters offer a definite stack possibility today.

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After one month spent as a visiting blogger for Monday picks, I have returned to the spot where I really broke through in the world of Daily Fantasy Blogging, FanDuel Friday. So we’re back to a one-pitcher site and positions mattering. And on today’s slate, we actually have a perfect example of how positions matter, because Third Base is loaded today. You’re going to have to make a tough choice at third, and that choice  may well be the difference between winning and losing (because if your third baseman stinks, you’re in trouble because with so many good choices in good matchups, odds are the public will get good production at the position). It’s actually to the point where the Braves decision to move Freeman leftward on the defensive spectrum makes everything more complicated – if Freeman was a 1B, he’d be the lockiest chalk-lock of all-time today, and you’d have one less quality 3B to consider. Instead, we have an absolute logjam at 3B, and very little in the way of cash-viable 1Bs. I remember the good ol’ days of one month ago, when Donaldson and Beltre were hurt, Turner and Lamb were overpriced, Machado and Seager were still priced as if they weren’t in massive slumps, and Nolan was priced as if he was playing in Coors even when he wasn’t – you were pretty much looking at either spending up for Bryant, spending down with Gyorko or Castellanos, or splitting the difference with Longoria. Those were the good ol’ days!

On to the picks once Freeman is 1B again…

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Before we proceed: a disclaimer — granola is not good for you. It’s full of calories and sugar, but it served my title purposes and it will make you, you know, go. I’m all about helping the collective Razzball digestive system, so let me give you this to chew on: In his last 3 starts, Aaron Nola ($8,900) has earned a grand total of 3 runs, all while striking out 25, and going at least 7 innings per game. Maybe he’s finally becoming the pitcher we yearned for, pre-season? I’m going to put my breakfast cereal where my mouth is and predict that he’ll manage to repeat the good stuff for you today (and not repeat on you, hopefully) if you start him on FanDuel. To do a little caveat-diving: the Phillies are predicted to beat the Padres -135, but which team is actually going to get the most run support in this game is debatable, as the Phillies are second-last in MLB in terms of runs scored (321 this season) — but hey, they’re still above the Padres (305)! And you should get K’s out of him. But if all this is feeling like overpriced sawdust and sadness in your mouth, I’ve got a couple of other suggestions for you after the jump.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot  for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Happy Friday fellow DFSers!  As you all likely know, Friday is the day of the biggest and best DFS contests of the week.  This makes sense, it’s a full slate day with all the games pretty much starting at 7 ET (Naturally we have 2 games starting early today…WTF Philly?  6:35, really?) and it’s basically the weekend, so everyone is fake working while researching and building their DFS lineups.  Hence, more action.  So let’s get started with the first piece of the puzzle as we try to get our piece of that big action, starting pitcher.  If you’re trying to win a GPP tournament where 100,000 of your closest friends are all trying to do the same, it helps to uncover that low owned play that scores big.  It’s always nice if that play is a pitcher so you can pay up for big bats in a good match-up, especially when Coors field is on the slate.  Tonight, I’m looking at James Paxton ($9,200) to be that play.  Most people will go towards Max Scherzer as the “safe” bet tonight.  That’s well and good but if you’re looking to differentiate yourself a bit, I’d look to Paxton instead.  The Braves are actually the 4th hardest team to strikeout this year.  Sure, Mad Max is an alien, but something has to give and I think his upside might be a bit limited.  Paxton of course has been less alien, more Jekyl and Hyde this year.  He does however, get a home date with the Oakland A’s, MLB’s 3rd most K-happy team.  It would not surprise me in the least if Paxton strikes out out as many A’s in 6 IP as Scherzer does in 8 IP, at which point the Nationals closer, Matt Blake Enny Sammy Solis Albers Treinen will surely lose the win for him.  So, stray from the pack a bit tonight and take a chance on Pax.

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Dodgers lefty Rich Hill gets an enticing matchup at home against the DBacks on Thursday, making him a valuable play on FanDuel. In his last three starts, Hill has been the dominant pitcher that we came to know last year, striking out 26 batters in 19 innings with just six walks and a 1.89 ERA. The Diamondbacks might seem like a scary opponent, but when they’re away from their home ballpark, they’ve got just a .299 wOBA, which ranks them 26th in the league. Furthermore, they struggle mightily against left-handed pitching, with a .289 wOBA against southpaws, as well as a 25.3% K-rate. So on the road against a lefty, the Diamondbacks are actually among the worst lineups in baseball. With Rich Hill pitching his ass off, $8,700 is an outstanding price for his upcoming outing. Just hope there’s no blisters.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Someone, somewhere out there has to give me the 411 on where ‘gravy train’ came from and why it’s an idiom for a lucrative endeavor that requires minimal effort.  Was there ever a time where gravy was, in fact, a product hauled by train in a shipping container, perchance?  Now that I think about it, we also have a gravy boat…how many possible vehicle mentions should a meat juice-based sauce be given?  Where’s my gravy helicopter, yo!  But I digress…Jon Gray.  He’s only $6,400 today.  Yes, he’s $6,400 because he’s pitching in Coors, but so what?  Gray pitched in Coors for 83.2 IP last year and came away with a 21.9% K-BB ratio to go with a 3.07 xFIP.  Remember the year Ubadlo Jimenez had way back in 2010 for the Rockies?  Yes, it was a dandy but Gray’s stuff could be considered even better as his control is just as impressive as his whiffs.  His first start off the DL was in Arizona and all he did at Chase Field – a place deemed ‘Coors lite’ by many – was go 6 while striking out 10 and only walking 1.  That’s called ‘impressive’.  So back to that there train…hop on today and enjoy the strange idiomatic ride.  But enough of that, let’s talk about this.  Here’s my gravy trains, planes, and automobiles taeks for this Wednesday FD slate…

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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If you’ve hung with me on previous Saturdays, you’ll know that in real life (where I’m Victoria in a hat rather than Victoria on a hat), I live in Canada. And so on this first day of July, I’d like to take the opportunity to say happy birthday to my adopted homeland! Because today is Canada Day, which is like your Independence Day, only with more beavers and people saying “sorry”.

The magic number of the day is 150. That’s how old Canada’s turning today. It’s how many “Canada Day Sale!” emails have arrived in my inbox in the last 10 minutes. It’s how many degrees below 0 it is here, every single day of the year. It’s how many Altuves you need to stand on so you can pat a moose on the antlers. It’s the thread count of my plaid sheets. And it’s how many strikeouts Chris Sale is going to record against the Toronto Blue Jays on our nation’s birthday. (Some of these things may not be true.) Historically, the Jays who have faced him have hit a collective .184. Josh Donaldson has the best shot, having gone 5-for-18 with two home runs against Sale in the past, but offset that against his .150 (magic number!) average in the last week, and I think this match-up is pretty safe. So for my FanDuel slate today, I’m happily paying $11,600 for El Condor, even in Canadian dollars, and I’ll live with sticking the rest of my lineup together with maple syrup and poutine gravy. No, really — you’ll see what I mean.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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