If you’re a risk-it-for-the-biscuit kinda guy (or gal), you’d do well to back J.A. Happ ($7,700) tonight. He holds a .196 AVG vs. the current Red Sox lineup, and has struck out 31 of Boston’s hitters to go with it. I normally liken Happ to a sparkling bottle of Merlot – too much is a bad thing, but just enough can be quite healthy. Therefore, go ahead and get plastered on Happ tonight. He’s allowed an earned run in 18 of his 19 games this season, but hey, the Red Sox have struck out 58 times at Rogers Centre this season – their highest ballpark total away from Fenway. On a night where there’s few “elite” pitchers to pick from, Happ is your man. Here’s who else I like on this fine Wednesday.

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I fired up the trusty Razzball Stream-o-Nator to glean its wisdom about the pitching slate for today, and nearly fell over. The top-ranked pitcher of the day? Kyle Hendricks versus the Phillies, which in itself is not surprising; the surprising part is that he is 8.9 Stream-o-Nator dollars ($SON 8.9), which is oscillating wildly on the brink of “don’t start this guy.” To put this into perspective, things get back to normal with SON’s Sunday’s prospects, with the top-rated pitcher of the day being Yu Darvish at $SON 33.6. Uhhh… can we punt pitcher altogether today? Sadly, FanDuel’s not going to let us do that and still enter a valid lineup (harrumph; the cheek of it). SON’s number 2 (so to speak) for the day is Ross Stripling ($6,000 on FanDuel; SON$ 7.5), who has actually been Quite Good as a long reliever, but this is a spot start and he has a limit of 55 pitches. So, as much as I’ve made it my life’s purpose to follow the Way of SON, I’m going risky and starting Gio Gonzalez (a terrifying $SON 1.3), while trying to compensate by paying up for batting, with games going down in hitter-friendly parks like Arizona today. A.k.a.: time to stack and hope!

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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So it’s MLB Players Weekend, which I will admit is a legitimately great idea (of course the Cardinals have the least nicknames, because it’s a serious game played by serious people). Some players flat out nailed it – Travis Shaw with “Mayor of DDC” (that’s Ding Dong City for the uneducated), and Alex Avila with “Parkman” – google it, you’ll see the resemblance were two players that absolutely crushed the choice of what to put on the back of the jersey. That said, a few players missed out on truly great choices for the back of the jersey. First, Justin Turner – I know your twitter handle is @RedTurn2, but come on – how can you not have a nickname that references your twin brother, Tormund Giantsbane? That’s just horrible. And I understand “Chuck Nazty” is your nickname, Mr. Blackmon, but how can you not put something on the back of the jersey that references your truly amazing beard (it’s the #1 beard in baseball right now, and probably the 2nd best in all of sports, behind only this glorious mane .  Finally, while it’s great that Kyle’s referencing his brother, it could have been so much better. What if someone like Justin Upton put “The Good One” on his jersey (although Melvin might not like that)? So thinking about some of the missed opportunities got me to thinking about possible nicknames for retired players – here’s a few I came up with:

Prince Fielder – 

Randy Johnson – “R.I.P. Bird

Edgar Renteria – “Lefty-Mashing Patriarch”

Rickey Henderson – “I Am The Greatest”

Bucky Dent – “#%*@$*&”

Barry Bonds – “Ne Plus Ultra”

Anyway, you didn’t come here for nicknames (as awesome a discussion that could be), so onto the picks…

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The Padres might be away from home on Thursday, but they’re still going to have to deal with a tsunami against Carlos Martinez ($9,800). Of course, Martinez goes by the curiously misspelled Twitter handle @Tsumany27, and he’s got the stats to back up the nickname. C-Mart’s rocking a career-high 25.5% K-rate and 17.0% K-BB, as well as a 3.36 Deserved Run Average. He’s a worthwhile start against even the toughest lineups in baseball, so he’s straight cash against the Padres. San Diego has just a .305 wOBA against right-handers this season, ranking them 29th in the league. They also have the second-highest K-rate versus righties at 25.3%. This easily puts Martinez as the top starting pitcher option on Thursday’s 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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Zack Godley ($8,800) takes on the Mets tonight. He’s dropped a serious poo in the pool since his fantastic July, surrendering 9 ER’s in 17 IP over his last three starts. Those are three chunky nuggets of bad, but hey, good thing David Wright has taken the form of Jesus to distract us! But let’s be real, there’s no forgetting this is the Mets, a team that has struck out 56 times over the last week. Here’s the game where Godley gets back on track, but the Mets are persistent, give em’ cred. This dumpster fire never dies quietly, but if Godley throws another 8 K’s against them like he did back in May, maybe, just maybe, the toaster will finally be thrown in Terry Collins’ crap-bath. On that positive, here’s your DFS plays this fine Wednesday!

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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Whilst doing some exhaustive research on mascots (i.e., I stumbled across this ranking of MLB mascots by a two-year-old, which you should read because you probably need a break from real news this week), I discovered that the San Diego Padres’ mascot is a priest-like figure named the Swinging Friar. … “Swinging”? Ohhhh…kay. Anyway, it seemed a propos in a way because I predict a lot of swinging and missing of the strikeout kind as Stephen Strasburg ($10,400) takes on the Padres in Petco today. I’m starting him in my FanDuel lineup, even though he costs a small fortune. I’m with SON and its no. 1 pick for the day: it’s Strasburg versus the Padres today, all the way, baby. Yes, he costs a slightly horrifying $10,400 on FanDuel. Yes, this is a return-from-the-DL start, and we don’t usually fancy those — also, at time of writing on Friday night Dusty Baker is still being coy about whether he’ll actually be activated on Saturday, so keep an eye on that. But I’d like to remind you that last time he faced San Diego, he earned himself 15 strikeouts in 7 innings, with 3 hits, 1 walk and 0 runs. Today he’s in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, to boot. Three days ago, he breezed through his rehab start; in fact, after 66 pitches in 5 innings, “he made such quick work of the Salem Red Sox that he had to throw in the bullpen to get up to the 75 the team had prescribed.” However, you may be dubious — that start was against single A hitters, after all — and it’s also a Rockies-at-home day, so perhaps you want to save money for batter-stacks instead. If so, I have an answer for that…

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James Shields has given up a home run in 11 of 13 games this year. Outside of the first 2 games when he gave up 2 each, he’s given up at least 5 hits a game (he’s gone more than 6 once this year and that was 6.1). He’s walked someone in every single start. This is a more flavorful way of saying what you already know – Shields is terrible and won’t have his option year picked up in 2019 (that’s right, we’re going to have another year of James Shields to pick on). The other plus about this game is it’s in Texas and it’s going to be hot. Also, Shields’ splits this year are hilarious. When a left hander is in the box, he strikes them out 15.7% of the time and walks them 12% of the time (with a normal .313 BABIP), gets a ground ball 35.7% of the time and allows a home run on 23.6% of his fly balls. All of which is leads to an unfathomable 9.17 FIP and a 6.86 xFIP. Yes, loyal readers, James Shields has a FIP over 9 vs lefties. The worst FIP I can find vs lefties is Jose Lima’s 6.14, including an 8.29 in 2006 and Lima’s 8.29 was in only 7 innings. James Shields is having a legendarily bad season vs lefties (he’s actually relatively decent vs righties with 21.2% strikeouts and 8.2% walks for a 4.14 FIP and 4.73 xFIP). So given all of this information, here’s what I would do: play Texas Rangers lefties as much as physically possible, with Mazara and Gallo being the top ones, but all of them are good plays. As for the righties, they aren’t nearly as good as the lefties, first, because each Rangers righty you play is one less Rangers lefty to play if you’re going to have four Rangers, and second, a lot of the Rangers righties are expensive. That said, in a vacuum, the righties are still good plays as it’s hot, James Shields is on the mound and when he’s out of the game, the White Sox gas can of a bullpen will come in and suck. Beltre leads the righties since he hits righties pretty well over his career (113 wRC+) and has hit them well this year (.382 wOBA). Basically, play all the Rangers you can.

On to the picks once James Shields allows another home run to a lefty…

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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After his electric White Sox debut, Reynaldo Lopez ($7,200) will be back on the mound against the Rangers on Thursday. Lopez was shredding triple-A before his call-up, striking out 63 batters in his last 46 2/3 innings, and continued his success in the majors with six strikeouts in six innings against the Royals. In his second start of the year, Lopez gets to face a Rangers team that strikes out 23.7% of the time against righties, which is the 5th-highest mark in the league. That’s a ton of strikeout potential for dirt cheap, although it’s a possibility that the 23-year-old completely implodes. For that reason, you might want to avoid him in cash games, but Lopez is gold in GPPs.

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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Hi, do you have a second to talk about Dinelson Lamet? Seven innings pitched and seven strikeouts last night, what da f? He’s gangbusters when he wants to be, then he leaves us hanging with a multi earned run seizure once a month. Not cool man. Anyway, I’m from the church of quality DFS arms. You could throw a dart and pick anyone from tonight’s terrible slate of pitching, but since Lamet confirmed that there are some semi-reliable guys still around, Jacob Faria ($8,100) is your winner today. He threw 8 K’s across 6.1 innings last time he was in Toronto, and against a Blue Jays team that has hit .217 all week, hallelujah, praise Father Faria all night long. Here’s who else I like for this fine Wednesday:

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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I’m starting to think there’s a conspiracy on my FanDuel Saturdays: this is the 3rd? 4th? week in a row where the pitching options are either expensive or dismal or both. But we do have an @ARI game, huzzah: the Cubs are taking on the Diamondbacks. [Sidebar: this sounds like a nature movie in which a baby bear tries gamely, vainly, to defend his wounded mother from the evil snake, while everyone in the audience cries. (Sub-sidebar: I have a friend who tells me I always take things to the dark place.)] The Brewers have a good match-up at home versus Scott Feldman, too. Thus, we DFS warriors will make do as we can on the pitching front (Hyun-Jin Ryu, $8,200: I’m looking at you) and otherwise stack like the stacking great bastards we are.

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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