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Have you ever been to one of those beer gardens that has 150 beers on tap? At first the menu is completely daunting. You look at it and are overwhelmed by the amount of potential options. You take your time and carefully read through the first couple of pages trying to pick the right brew for your taste. Meanwhile the waitress is stopping by your table every few minutes to see if you finally made up your mind. You’re feeling the pressure. You hastily make a choice, and pray it doesn’t taste like skunked Old Milwaukee. This is exactly how I felt looking at the pitching options for today’s game. I think I looked at the DraftKings pitching roster for an hour last night. Do I go Clayton Kershaw and Sonny Gray? How about Kershaw and Julio Teheran? Could I manage to start both Kershaw and Chris Sale? Oh wow I’d spend half my budget doing that, can’t do it. As much as I love Sale and Kershaw, I couldn’t bring myself to pony up the dough to buy either. They were particularly expensive today, and with good reason. They both get great matchups in their respective contests, with Kershaw facing the Giants in San Francisco, and Sale getting the Twins in Minnesota. I could certainly vouch for you going with either. I’m putting together a lineup for a GPP today with Sale and Kershaw as my starters, the tough thing is my average salary per hitter is a measly $3,000. So more or less I’m going to have to wait until rosters are published for the day to plug in my scrubs. A lineup of punt plays!

For our purposes, I’m going to share my roster for leagues (like our 20 Teamer) and 50/50’s. This way we’ll have some actual exciting bats to talk about. Plus I can fit in some players from that Rockies vs. Pirates matchup at Coors. Hopefully the Pirates got over the curse of “Sky’s Opening Game of a Series at Coors Dud”, and they’ll be safe to start for the next two days. Any the who, big shouts to our winners from last night’s Razzball 20: Frogkaytee, Rasjuba, Fremka, Jackieinertia, and the Homie and fellow Razzball writer BTXJ. Great job guys! I suggest celebrating your wins by investing in today’s 20 Teamer. If you’ve been playing in our leagues and haven’t been consulting with the Stream-o-Nator, DFSBot, the Hitter-Tron, or the Ombotsman, it could be why you’re not getting mentioned here on Saturdays. But hey, what do I know, I only invented Fantasy baseball, daily fantasy sites, and peanut butter a la Al Gore did the internet. Don’t worry you can thank me in the comments.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

Julio Teheran, SP: $9,800 – Mr. Teheran got back on the good foot early this week striking out 11 in a no decision against the Marlins. Looking for his 10th win of the season tonight JT faces the Padres. I’m hoping he can avoid the a case of the “Alex Wood’s” and not get beaten up by a quad-A Friars offense. Teheran has been very good all season and a bit lucky, with his xFIP at 3.61 a full run higher than his 2.64 ERA. The thing about Teheran is he doesn’t walk many batters, in fact his BB/9 is 1.95 just ahead of Adam Wainwright for 23rd in all of MLB. Pair his K/9 of 7.94 with his BB/9 and a BAA of .217 and you get a deeper look into why Teheran is great alternative to Sale and Kershaw today. I’m not saying he’s in Sale or Kershaws tier because only Felix Hernandez can stake that claim, but he’s the tier below, and facing the Padres may just bridge the gap, if only for today.

Sonny Gray, SP: $9,100 – Anybody who’s read my Daily Fantasy blogs knows I have an unhealthy infatuation with Gray. At night when most men my age are dreaming about peace and quiet, a fast car, or a haram of college girls, yours truly is dreaming about Sonny Gray. There’s a few reasons for my infatuation, but primarily he’s a model of consistency, producing a quality start in 23 of his first 30 starts. In fact, Gray has only given up more than 4 runs in 5 starts. The other reason is his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark. Gray sports a .48 HR/9 putting him in the top ten in baseball. It’s not like hitters are making good contact against him of any kind as his BAA of .217 also places him in the top ten right next to our good friend Julio Teheran. The last time I suggested Gray in this space he let me down giving up 5 runs against Miami. I’m over it and buying today’s matchup against the now putrid Rangers. Remember when people used to be scared to start pitchers against the Rangers, Red Sox, and Phillies? How times have changed.

Carlos Ruiz, C: $3,300 – I’m not going to sit here and make some statistical case for starting Ruiz today because I don’t think there is one. At his price of $3,300, he seems like a low risk option for a solid return. Since returning from the DL he has put up two 8 point games on DraftKings in his two appearances. Truthfully I’m not even sure he’ll start but his price tag gives me enough leeway to cut bait for a cheaper option if need be.

Lucas Duda, 1B/OF: $4,100 – Duda is smoking hot, he’s now homered in 3 of his last 4 games including back to back nights. He faces Wily Peralta today at Miller Park and do you know what Peralta does best? Make Model Airplanes! Wait what? That’s not what I was going to say! The correct answer is give up Home Runs. Peralta has a HR/9 of 1.15, that’s among the worst 15 in all of baseball. So it’s a good bet that he gives another dong tonight, and who else in the Mets lineup is going to hit it? Exactly. Duda is tonight’s player most likely to induce my very serious condition of Dong Erectus. That’s the condition of being aroused/unusually excited by home runs. I swear it’s the pleats!

Rickie Weeks, 2B: $3,500 – Since Scooter Gennett went down with Quad injury earlier in the week, Weeks has filled in admirably. His DraftKings scores over his last 5 games have been 11, 7, 7, 8, and 11. That’s consistent production and really all I’m looking for from a player under the $4,000 price range. Gennett looks ready to return but it more than likely will not be until tomorrow with lefty Jonathon Niese on the mound for the Mets.

Josh Harrison, 3B/OF: $3,900 – For the second night in a row, I’m trying to get as many Pirates into my lineup as possible. The matchup against lefty Tyler Matzek at Coors has me salivating. Harrison has hit lefties pretty well, in particular on the road as he’s putting up a wOBA of .347 and wRC+ of 124 away from PNC. He’s not a huge power threat by any stretch, but he gets hits, scores runs, and steals bases. If the Pirates have a mile high blow up today, I expect Harrison to be in the middle of it.

Jordy Mercer, SS: $3,700 – This pick could and will change to Josh Rutledge if I find a cheaper option at catcher and cut bait with Ruiz, I just do not have the $200 additional clams available to get Rutledge into my lineup. Mercer is alright and has been a solid punt play for me at times this season, but he also a sneaky good play against lefties on the road. Much like his teammate the aforementioned Josh Harrison, Mercer excels against lefties outside of PNC. Putting up a road wOBA against southpaws of .405 and wRC+ 164. So today’s game sets up pretty nicely for Mercer to have a good day. At worst he could visit one of the very nice establishments in the Denver area that provide herbal recreation. Hey as the popular Meme says “why not both!”

Andrew McCutchen, OF: $5,900 – The catalyst of my offense for tonight will be the Dread Pirate himself. McCutchen much like all the other Pirates featured in this space today likes hitting lefties. Unlike his teammates Harrison and Mercer, McCutchen does it any where and every where. His wOBA and wRC+ vs. LHP is a tasty .399 and 159. If you learn two things from this article today it should be Pirates hit lefties and home runs give me boners.

Jarrod Dyson, OF: $3,500 – This is all about the speed. Dyson is a total feast or famine player in daily leagues putting up double digits or goose eggs. If you decided to go David Peralta in this space I could dig it.

Jordany Valdespin, 2B/OF: $3,100 – This is a 100% punt play. He’s actually pretty bad, but he does have some speed/power upside that makes him a candidate to payoff as a lottery ticket play. He also has 2B eligibility making him a punt play you could fit in your lineup a few ways. He’s been starting for the Marlins for the better part of a week. So give Jordany a Valdespin! Pun point!

I’m Only Happy When it Rains

A couple of games in Cincinnati, Philly, Minnesota with chances of showers, but they are all listed at 30% presently. Play at will!

Doing Lines In Vegas

Yankees vs. Blue Jays – 8.5 – Over

Phillies vs. Diamondbacks – 7.5 – Over

Brewers vs. Mets – 8 – Over

As always be sure to check the lineups, give a look at the weather and I toast your team with slightly chilled Manischewitz.

 

From Around The Web

  1. BTXJ

    BTXJ says:
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    Pretty sure old milwaukee (AKA the beast) comes pre-skunked. High life light for life!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BTXJ: Hahaha more or less true but sitting in a warm cooler for 10 hours makes it worse….I know from experience…

  2. Darryl Sorensen says:
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    I can almost taste that step 4 ticket… i hope.
    Thank you for the insights

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Darryl Sorensen: Good luck! Thanks for reading!

  3. Darryl Sorensen says:
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    Like i told BTXJ, it only took me half a season, but i finally figured out the key to winning more then losing is to not do the moon shot contests with 3000-8000 entrants trying for that huge prize, but do the 10 team leagues, and 50/50 leagues. Sure it won’t win you a lot right away, but you seem to win more then you lose playing straight up.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Darryl Sorensen: Yes and no, I do the cheap $2 moonshots daily and cash in a few a week. The most I’ve won is $100. I typically only do a lineup maybe two if I like the board and the prices.
      Your general premise is correct though the Leagues and 50/50’s have a better chance of paying.

  4. Joe says:
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    Ralph i have jake arrieta and Gio González and julio Teherán , sonny gray today pitching….i just need 14 innings to complete the límite and secure some catagories….which ones are the best bet to start? also which OF i should start today David Peralta or gregory Polanco?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Joe: okay first things first Peralta is out of the lineup, the D-Backs have Alfredo Marte in right. I would’ve picked Polanco anyway but that makes it easy.

      As for the starters I would go Gray and Teheran hands down. I don’t believe in Arrieta and am not a Gio Gonzalez fan the last year or so. I expect the Cards to hit Arrieta. As for Gio I could see him being a solid play. The Red’s lineup is Frazier, Hamilton, The Ghost of Jay Bruce, and a bunch of junk. Still never love a road matchup at Great America.

      • Joe says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: thanks ralph Iam going with Teherán and sonny gray i already bench arrieta and González

  5. pickleball says:
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    I really like the SON and hitter-tron but sometimes i just scratch my head at some of the daily rankings. the other day they had edwin jackson ranked #4 or 5 because he faced the padres, while corey kluber was ranked 10th and nearly throws a no-no vs the royals. not an exact science i know, but really edwin jackson?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @pickleball: Haha I agree, the thing you have to keep in mind with the SON, is that a lot of it’s rankings are based on historical info. So sometimes guys like Haren or Jackson can be overrated. I typically look at a few things when comes to daily rankings. What a pitchers profile is K/9, BB/9, home vs. road splits, historical BvP, the opposing teams wOBA, K%, and wRC+. It’s an inexact science but it works more often than not.

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