It’s nice to have a breather now and then. To kick back and relax, enjoy some time with your family and re-energize for the final home stretch of the baseball season. Of course, I’m talking about myself seeing as the All-Star break just happened and I didn’t write a post last week to do DraftKings coverage. What, you thought I was doing a send up to the actual ball players? Psssh, they’re finally tuned athletes, they don’t need no stinkin’ rest. Plug them into the wall, let’um recharge overnight and send them back out there, damned prima donnas. But as mentioned, it was nice to get a reprieve from the DK roll that we’ve been rolling on. It reminded me that life is short and that I should do something different than DK baseball. Yeah, something important. SOMETHING THAT COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. So I wrote about my team for the Scott Fish Bowl over on Razzball Football, of course. Yeah, that’s live right now if you wanna talk to me there while I’m also over here. Bi-posting, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. But for those of you who don’t give a rip about Fantasy Football, let’s get down to brass tacks. Your favorite niece may look pretty in a polka dot dress but my favorite, Jonathon Niese, probably wouldn’t look good in an armani suit. That nose, bro…but of course, what has looked good is starting a left-handed pitcher against the Mariners so far this year. To date, the Mariners have the second lowest team wOBA and wRC+ (.286 and 80, respectively) against southpaws. Not to mention the worst ISO against them on the year at .102. They always say it’s tough to start a pitcher coming back from a DL stint which is true but I think the matchup will hold precedence and Niese will keep the M’s at bay for the day, making him a solid shot as your SP1 despite only being priced out at $7,200. But enough family talk, let’s move on. Here are some other picks and observances for July 21st contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…
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!
Kris Johnson, SP: $5,600 – Tourney alert! There is zero reason that Kris should do well, let alone last until the 5th inning based on prior performances. But much like Niese, Johnson is facing a team that hasn’t gotten it done against lefties on the year as they’re 25th in team wOBA on the year against the opposite hand. I’d sooner throw your Mom out there against a team than Kris in H2H set ups but in tourney, the numbers say he’s a worthy risk/reward play.
Franklin Morales, SP: $6,100 – What, you wanted me to tell you Chris Sale was a good play today? If you didn’t know that already, quit now and forever hold onto your monies. This goes back to the ‘I have zero proof, but I have this theory’ thing that the first game in Coors is always a snooze-fest for the first game there. Well guess what, snitches, Washington is just arriving for this one so I’m putting Morales in play for your tournament delights. I’ll also put Doug Fister’s hat in the ring here seeing as it’s the first game for the Rockies at home from a road trip as well, but I’m more smitten with Morales’ price tag.
Julio Teheran, SP: $9,400 – If you’re looking for a guy that could produce Sale-type numbers on the day at a more reasonable price, come see Julio down by the school yard. That sounded pervy, but I assure you it’s a song lyric and nothing more. The Marlins haven’t exactly been the best road team on the year, boasting the worst K% and fifth worst wOBA when Jack Kerouac’ing. Julio has had some regression fairy visits of late but he’s been much better at home than on the road for the year and has a prime matchup to be worth the price.
Ryan Vogelsong, SP: $7,500 – Nope, this isn’t a suggestion, this is an anti-suggestion. Vogelsong’s home/road splits have been quite drastic this year as he’s averaging 7 less DK PPG on the road (10.2) than he does on the home bump (17.3). Plus, I am one of those people that believes a little bit in momentum. The Phillies are getting their ace back today so I could see a bit more pep in an otherwise mostly quiet lineup on the year. I wouldn’t spend a huge amount to be a part of the lineup but I’d backfill roster spots as needed from it.
Edinson Volquez, SP: $7,300 – Don’t look now, but the Pirates are building yet another reclamation project. On the year, Volquez is slanging a 3.65 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He pitched for San Diego last year and found a way to have a 6.01 ERA with them prior to being traded to the El Ay Dee. Basically, Pirates can right every ship that’s lost at see which is weird cuz that’s kinda the opposite of what you’d expect from a Pirate. These things aside, Volquez has been in a groove of late, scoring 20+ in four of his last six contests and in three in a row.
Jordany Valdespin, 2B/OF: $3,100 – Jordany spins me right round, baby, right round and he’s finally back with a big league club. He batted second yesterday, going 1/3 with a walk and 1/4 on Friday. I see him as a solid 2B punt play given he has both power and speed potential.
Yan Gomes, C: $3,700 – So you’re not feeling my Kris J call. Understandable, it is a risky proposition. Well why not get yourself set up at C with a .405 wOBA against left-handers, then? Oh and just for funsies, let’s go back to March when I called this kid a sleeper. I love it when a plan comes together!
Victor Martinez, 1B: $4,600 – Not sure how they’re going to get the vet into the lineup in an NL park but they’ll find a way with the lefty Vidal Nuno taking the hill. On the year, V-Mart has an obscene 1.196 OPS against LHP. I’ll take a Detroit mini-stack for $1, please, topped with Ian Kinsler, Austin Jackson and Nick Castellanos. Heck, I might even supersize it and throw in Eugenio Suarez. And if you wanna dip into some D-Backs players against a Verlander who’s not the Verlander you remember, I shant hold it against you.
Kelly Johnson, 1B/3B: $3,400 – I’m typically not one to punt 3B or 1B but I do occasionally make exceptions. Miles Mikolas is said exception. If you’re going with a Yankees stack, getting a cheap lefty into your lineup isn’t the worst way to go.
Billy Butler, 1B: $3,900 – Big Country Breakfast has 3 blasts off of Chris Sale and a 1.078 OPS for his career over 37 ABs. I’m not the hugest proponent of BvP unless there’s homeruns involved and, welp, there is. Considering most will avoid starting any KC hitters today, Billy should be a nice tourney play.
Alejandro De Aza, OF: $3,600 – If there were ever a day that De Aza should hit a bomb, it would be today. Jeremy Guthrie has given up 15 HRs on the year to LHBs in just 67.1 IP. That’s 2 HR per 9 right on the dot for the year. I’m completely on board with sneaking in some other lefties against Guthrie as well. Consider this a tramp stamp of approval on starting Conor Gillaspie, Adam Eaton and Paul Konerko (if he starts, of course).
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
There are some slight chances of rain in the ATLvsMIA matchup but it’s hovering around 40% at the moment so this is more of a ‘be aware’ than a ‘beware’ moment. Outside of that, it looks like baseball finally figured out it was summer. Took ya long enough!
Doing Lines In Vegas
Of course the high on the day goes to COLvsWAS but if you’ve read my post, you’ll know I’m taking the under here. Outside of that, Vegas expects plenty of runs in Minny as there’s an o/u of 9.5 for the MINvsCLE game. I’ll stay with under there as well. And while we’re at it, AZvsDET is only 8.5 in AZ? Pluh-leeze. Gimme the ‘o’ there, too, k thx bye.