Are you also old enough and/or vaguely goth enough to know “Severina” by The Mission (if you do, hit me up in the comments! 1986 represent!)? And perchance does that song also pop into your head every time you think of Luis Severino? I’m starting him on FanDuel today, not only as an attempt at earworm exorcism, but because I like his chances versus Baltimore in the [email protected] series (a.k.a. the “baloney” series). The last time he faced the Orioles, he struck them out 8 times, walked 1, and gave up 1 earned run. I also like his price ($9,500): how nice it will be to build a good, balanced lineup around that, rather than trying to do my usual balancing trick of going top-heavy on pitching or bottom-heavy on hitting. Note that he is pitching at home in Yankee Stadium, where he’s given up 5 home runs thus far this year and has a 3.77 ERA — not horrible, it’s a quality start, but sure, maybe you’d prefer to steer clear, like all the boys from a goth girl in late-eighties nightclubs (#notbitter). So let’s gird up with eyeliner and take a look at some other options. I’ve leaned pretty heavily on Tigers (dangerous!) and Astros in the lineup I’ve created for FanDuel, but you could also look to stack Cleveland hitters against the White Sox’s David Holmberg, and Yankees versus the Orioles’ Chris Tillman.
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Here’s the lineup I’m entering into FanDuel for Saturday 10 June (GPP all-day, start time 12:05 p.m. [arooga! early start alert!])
SP: Luis Severino ($9,500)
C: Jonathan Lucroy ($2,700)
1B: Victor Martinez ($2,500)
2B: Jose Altuve ($3,800)
3B: Yunel Escobar ($3,100)
SS: Didi Gregorius ($3,100)
OF: Matt Kemp ($3,300)
OF: Tommy Pham ($2,900)
OF: George Springer ($4,000)
Jose Berrios, SP: $9,200 – If I weren’t going Severinaaaaaa, I might actually play Joeberries (delicious!) — I’d be hugely deviating from Stream-o-Nator here, mind you; at time of writing, SON has him at a somewhat scary SON$5.5 today. But the Giants are the third-worst team in the league, with a team average of .236 versus righties, and I don’t think they’re going to give him and his pretty 2.76 ERA a whole lot of trouble. But OK, OK, fine: some more SON-approved pitching options would be Alex Wood ($8,900; I considered it, but there’s that whole pitchers-who-have-just-come-off-the-DL thing; on that note, I’m excited to see Matz back, but am not touching him today), Jeff Samardzija ($9,200; he’s just been so up and down) and Chris Sale ($11,400; too expensive for my (tiger) blood, even though Detroit should go down fairly easily against him [Victor Martinez excepted—see below]; plus, you know everyone is going to play Sale, and why would you want to follow the crowd?). I might also look to Marcus Stroman ($8,800), who’s been consistently good over his last few starts and gave up only 2 runs to the Mariners last time he faced them — in Toronto, to boot; but the Mariners are hotter now.
Brian McCann, C: $3,400 – This is expensive for a catcher, I know, but possibly worth it. McCann has a somewhat astonishing 75 at-bats against LAA’s Ricky Nolasco, and he’s hit Nolasco for 24 of them. Plus he’s hitting .421 over the last week. Yes we McCann.
Jonathan Lucroy, C: $2,700 – I thought I’d have to pay up for JL today — $2,700 is pretty ridilucroylous (OK, that didn’t work, but lemme distract you with the fact that there are a lot of good hitters and nice prices today, for some reason). Sure, he’s been hitting a pretty meh .231 over the last week, but he does have a small-sample-size-but-still-not-to-be-sneezed-at 8-for-13 history versus the Rangers’ Gio Gonzalez. Generally, he’s liked lefties to the tune of .295 this year.
Victor Martinez, 1B: $2,500 – Here’s a nice little BVP for you, at a price that is quite absurd today. Yes, Chris Sale may be amazing, but VMart is 21 for 49 against him, with 4 HRs, for his career. This match-up is also happening at lovely, teeny-tiny Fenway, where VMart has hit .306 over the last 3 years. No wonder he looks so secretly thrilled.
Jose Altuve, 2B: $3,800 – Uh, $3,800 for Hittertron’s favorite 2B today? With his .323 average, which climbs up to .335 versus righties like Ricky Nolasco? Hitting third in the order of the best team in baseball? Do. Not. Mind. If. I. Do. But if you do, try…
Neil Walker, 2B: $3,300 – Make sure he’s in the lineup, because at time of writing, he’s DTD with a knee thing (Kneel “Bring Me My” Walker), but if he does play, he’s got a nice match-up versus Matt Wisler (7.00 ERA; SON’s third-worst pitcher today, Fact Fans) in the hitter-friendly Braves park. And he’s been ticking along at a pretty decent .283 average and 8 homers.
Evan Longoria, 3B: $3,400 – I have only kind of boring reasons for this recommendation. Longoria is 6 for 20 versus Sonny Gray. Weirdly coincidentally, he hits .289 against righties like Gray and is also hitting .289 at home; plus, 4 of his 8 home runs have come at the Trop. (I’m reiterating my theory that no one can hit at the Trop except the Rays. It’s like when you play pinball: you have to know exactly what bits to hit to reach all the secret levels. OK, it’s nothing like that.) Most excitingly, he’s hit .316 over the last week. But really this is for the price; all the other 3Bs worth their salt (I’m looking at you, Kris Bryant, Jake Lamb and Nolan Arenado) are $4,000 and up, and of course you should grab them if you can, instead. I cannot.
Yunel Escobar, 3B: $3,100 – Well, that’s a suggestion out of left field, you’re thinking. (Psych! It’s out of the infield.) This suggestion is for his price (I’ve got to stash some cash at this point) but also his quite nice 6 for 15 and 2-homer history against Mike Fiers. (Sidebar: I think his name is pronounced “Fires,” but I wish it wasn’t, because every time I read it, I want to add an exclamation mark and snap my fingers in a Z formation.)
Didi Gregorius, SS: $3,100 – This is a tasty BVP in the Baloney game. The Notorious D.I.D.I. is mashing right now (.375 over the last week), and he’s 9 for 18 versus Chris Tillman. Plus this is at Yankee Stadium, where he’s hit .320 and 3 HRs. (#notbitter that I can’t afford Trea Turner ($4,400), who is Hittertron’s top hitter overall today. Again, if you can, you should.)
Jose Iglesias, SS: $2,000 – I know, I know, I keep trotting out Tigers when they’re facing Sale. But here’s another BVP match-up at an absurd price. If he makes it into the lineup, Joey Church is 9 for 29 with a homer versus Sale (he’s hitting .296 versus lefties generally). If you need to save a whack of cash somewhere in your lineup, go to Church.
George Springer, OF: $4,000 – Here’s my splurge o’ the week. I’m picking on poor old Ricky Nolasco again; Springer is about as hot as they come right now, hitting .333 with 3 home runs over the last week or so, so I like his chances against Nolasco and his 5.05 ERA.
Carlos Beltran, OF: $3,600 – He’s a little boring at .248 with 8 homers (mind you, that’s 8 more than I’ve ever hit, so who am I to be so dismissive?) but he’s metronome-steady, and this suggestion is mostly for his nice 19 for 54 history versus Nolasco.
Matt Kemp, OF: $3,300 – This could be a good match-up versus Robert Gsellman. Kemp is 6 for 12 versus Gsellman — sure, a smallish sample size, but he’s hitting .322 right now and has 10 homers, plus this is in the hitter-friendly Braves park. He also likes righties to the tune of .326 so far this year.
Tommy Pham, OF: $2,900 – I’m mostly playing him for the price, but also for this match-up versus the hapless (and Happ-less, poor things) Phillies. He hasn’t been lights-out but steady, hitting .292 and 5 HRs.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
(Remaining defiantly goth and hearing the Jesus and Mary Chain version of this song today.) I don’t want to say this too loudly… but at time of writing, there is <whispers so as not to snag the baseball gods’ attention> no rain forecast in places where Major League Baseball is being played. I think that’s the first time I’ve been able to say that in 10 weeks of writing these posts.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I didn’t talk too much about the White Sox at Cleveland today, but Cleveland are the HEAVY favorites to win there, at -269 (again, definitely worth a stack). The Dodgers are projected to take the Reds at -217… but as mentioned earlier, I’m slightly worried about Alex Wood, so I dunno — but maybe I’m crazy to argue with Vegas. Tightest race is projected to be the Pirates versus the Marlins, at precisely 100 apiece.