It feels like forever ago that Michael Pineda was busted for having pine tar on his neck in a start against the Red Sox. Now, over three years later, Pineda takes on the Red Sox at home and is a strong play on FanDuel. First things first: the Red Sox lineup hasn’t been as good as you might expect. They are 16th in the league in wOBA against right-handers at .321, so they’re pretty much league average. And while the start is at Yankee Stadium, Pineda has actually been much better at home this year with a 2.31 ERA. I’m hoping that the matchup scares off others, because it’s actually pretty favorable despite looking scary so this would make Pineda a great contrarian play. Pineda has had himself a fine season, posting a 9.32 K/9 and 2.09 BB/9 and avoiding the poor results he’s had over the last two seasons as his ERA is down to 3.76. At $8,200, he is cheaper than any other elite option at pitcher so “stick” him in your lineups to get some production.
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Lance McCullers Jr., SP: $9,700 – I couldn’t possibly go without mentioning McCullers on Thursday. I’m sure you’re all well aware by now of how good McCullers has been, and he gets one of the easiest matchups in baseball at Kansas City. The only issue with McCullers is that everybody is going to be playing him, since he’s under $10,000 for some reason. But honestly, even then I’m fine with rolling with him. You can’t go wrong with a top 10 pitcher in a spacious ballpark against a feeble Royals lineup, who have a .299 wOBA against right-handers. McCullers can provide big strikeout numbers with his 10.46 K/9, while keeping the baserunners to a minimum.
Jon Lester, SP: $9,500 – There seems to be this weird misconception that the Rockies lineup is actually good, like good as in “good away from Coors Field.” They’re really nothing special, though, as they’ve got a .315 team wOBA on the road which is 13th in baseball. And unless the wind is really blowing out at Wrigley, (which it shouldn’t be on Thursday) it doesn’t play like a hitter’s park. Lester hasn’t been quite as good this year as he has in the past, but he’s still striking out guys at an 8.96 K/9 rate. Against an average Colorado lineup, he should fare well.
Patrick Corbin, SP: $7,700 – If you want to go cheaper at starting pitcher, Corbin is your best bet. I normally try to avoid DBacks pitchers at home, but he’s facing the Padres, who have a pathetic .262 wOBA versus lefties, which is dead last out of all teams. Corbin has gotten thrashed his last two times out, but those outings were against a Marlins team that is 4th in wOBA agianst lefties, and a start at hitter-friendly Miller Park. Corbin isn’t the most talented pitcher, but, y’know… Padres.
Alex Avila, C: $3,200 – There’s no catcher hotter than Alex Avila right now, as he’s got a .983 OPS with four homers in his last 15 games. The wheels have fallen off for opposing starter JC Ramirez, who gave up seven earned his last time out and is serving up lots of homers with a 1.51 HR/9. It’s insane to think that you can get production out of your catcher slot without paying a fortune, but it’s actually possible with Avila.
Brandon Belt, 1B: $3,600 – Belt would be so much more valuable if he didn’t have to play half of his season in San Francisco. That’s the great part about DFS – now that he’s in Milwaukee, Belt is a fantastic option. Belt is going to tee off on career minor-leaguer Paolo Espino, who the Brewers are rolling out, and pairing Belt with another Giants hitter or building a complete San Francisco stack might not be a bad idea.
Brandon Drury, 2B: $2,200 – Drury is mired in a slump right now, which explains the basement-level price, but he’s always a strong option at home. He faces Clayton Richard, owner of a 4.63 ERA, who the Diamondbacks are going to put up lots of runs against. Drury is a legit play at punt prices.
Aledmys Diaz, SS: $2,800 – Look, I get it, Diaz is not a very exciting option. However, against Scott Feldman in Cincinnati, he’s got some potential. Scooter Gennett reminded us that anything is possible at Great American Ballpark, and Feldman has really fallen apart lately, putting up a 5.76 ERA in the last month. This makes Diaz a savvy play on Thursday.
Josh Harrison, 3B: $3,100 – J-Hay is hot again, batting .333 over the last 15 days out of Pittsburgh’s two-hole. He’s facing Edinson Volquez, who threw the quietest no-hitter of all time last week. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there was hardly any coverage on Volquez compared to other no-hitters, and it seems like everybody has moved on like nothing ever happened. I think people have finally become accustomed to random pitchers throwing no-hitters, and not expecting them to be suddenly great moving forward. Basically, Volquez is still meh, so don’t feel reluctant about Harrison.
Billy Hamilton, OF: $3,500 – Hamilton could steal his 30th base on Thursday, June, 8th, which is bonkers. He’s facing Mike Leake, who despite the low ERA, is still regular old Mike Leake if you dip into his peripherals. Hamilton is not only a play for steals, but for runs atop the Reds lineup.
Matt Kemp, OF: $3,300 – Kemp faces off against Phillies starter Ben “Lounging between two pillars of ivory, I’m lively.” Unfortunately for Ben Lively, he’s not nearly as dope as the 4th Chamber. SunTrust Park in Atlanta has been ultra hitter-friendly, so Kemp could get some real action.
Kyle Schwarber, OF: $2,600 – Schwarber homered on Wednesday against the Marlins and is looking for more on Thursday against Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood. If Schwarber starts hitting, it will look crazy that his price was ever this low.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Thankfully, there’s no real threat of rain anywhere. Wind looks like it will be blowing out a ton in Seattle, but normal everywhere else.
Doing Lines In Vegas