In 2008, Eric Thames was drafted by the Blue Jays. At the very end of Spring Training in 2012, he won the starting left fielder job over Travis Snider (it was a fierce competition, but in our house, it was always Team Thames). It did not go well and by August 2012, he’d been traded to Seattle for relief pitcher Steve Delabar. (Steve Delabar who, now relegated to the Cleveland minor league system, was given an 80-game suspension for PED use this week.) Shortly thereafter, Thames took his talents and his fine, fine biceps to the Korean league, and the rest, as they say, is history. As a Jays fan, I’m pretty depressed about all this back-story (well, I’m Jays-depressed generally right now, TBH; the highlight of my baseball week was Chris Coghlan’s audition for the Cirque du Soleil), but I’m going to make myself feel better by building a whole damn FanDuel lineup around Eric Thames. I choose to believe that this Saturday is not the day he stops hitting, and this matchup versus lefty Jaime Garcia, at home in Milwaukee, is the gift that all mournful baseball girls (and boys) deserve. I’m slotting Mike Trout in as well and filling in the gaps around them both. Thankfully, there are also some good pitchers on the slate today who won’t break the bank.

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Did you see last night’s Yankee/Red Sox clash? No? It lasted a super fast 2 hours and 20 minutes and here’s a recap: Sale crushed souls to start the game and then gave up runs late. Masahiro Tanaka threw the year’s first Maddux (CGSO under 100 pitches) and it was glorious. Maddux’s are fantastic. The dominance and efficiency is a thing of beauty (Come on DFS sites, let’s get a Maddux bonus!). On the other side, the Red Sox offense continues to struggle. They have the league’s worst isolated power (.107) and are a below average offense (99 wRC+) with the league’s 2nd best BABIP (.319). They are thoroughly mediocre despite getting well above average offense from Benintendi (143 wRC+), Betts (144) and Moreland (151). Hanley (62), and Pedroia (66) are going to rebound, but I’m not sure that regulars Chris Young (77) and Pablo Sandoval (74) will improve by much – those numbers are likely just who those two players are at this point in their careers. A rebound from Hanley and Pedroia will likely be offset by the normal regression of Benintendi and Moreland and the extreme regression of Christian Vazquez after he just had the best 25 PAs of his life (254). All of this means the Red Sox might be an offense to target in GPPs with pitching because without Ortiz it relies on Betts and Benintendi and a bunch of average-ish bats.  As we are seeing with Toronto right now, you take a link or 2 away from a very top-heavy chain and the entire thing breaks down.

On to the picks once we celebrate the year’s first Maddux, which are better than no-hitters…

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I’m salivating about my hitters against Mr. Home run allowed Jered Weaver and his 84 MPH fastball in Chase Field.  Weaver has allowed a whopping seven home runs in twenty three innings this year.  But wait, he gave up 37 in 178 innings last year.  In fact, Mr. Weaver has given up 68 home runs in his last 360 innings.  And half of those innings have come in Angel stadium and Petco Park.  These are not home run havens, need I say more.  I should?  Well ok then.  Paul Goldschmidt ($4,300) has been hot hitting .522 with 2 homers in his last 7.  He’s 3 for 4 with a homer against Weaver and he loves home cooking at Chase.  Meanwhile, Jake Lamb ($3,800) has hit .293 this year with .333/.614 split against righties, and Lamb hit .291/.621 in the first half last year before he injured his hand.  Really, Dbacks galore so take your pick among Lamb, Goldy, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings, David Peralta, and even Brandon Drury (if he’s not hobbled today; check those LUs).  Weaver will be giving, I promise.  There are other stacking targets like the Cards against Matt Latos, the high-powered Indians against Mike Fiers, or the obvious Coors stacks, but I still dream of a Jered matchup .  That 84 MPH heater against Senz’s at 94?  Is 84 MPH actually a heater?  Exactly.  This is why I dream of Weaver today.

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Today’s slate is chalked full of horrible pitchers and the launching pad we know as Coors Field.  This is the worst kind of situation…you have Colorado/Washington in Coors who everybody wants to stack.  Adding two trashy starting pitchers going – Tanner Roark and Tyler Chatwood – makes this a nightmare situation for DFS players.  In cash games this seems simple, you just play them and move on.  In GPP this isn’t so easy, everyone is going to have a piece of this game.  You can differentiate yourself by doing the opposite, I personally will be doing that.  Do this 10 times and you may only be right a few times,  but your probability of winning big money goes WAY up.  So fair warning, I won’t be covering Colorado or Washington guys in my picks.  Obviously you can play them, and should play them (especially in cash games) but I’m here to try and win you all a GPP!

Now onto the picks…

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Man is baseball great and unexpected. We’ve got Bronson Arroyo throwing Quality Starts and getting wins versus the defending champs.. IN 2017!! Eric Thames loaded on Kimchi and Korean BBQ hits every pitch out of the ball park. One of the best pitchers in the game, Madison Bumgarner, is out for a while cuz he fell off his dirt bike. You never really know what to expect in this game. Only thing we know is that we have games every night and a chance to play the greatest game of all…Fantasy Baseball. We have a solid slate for Tuesday night, but one pitcher that really stands out to me is Micahael Wacha ($13,600) of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has been pitching well this year, 2-1 record with a 2.41 ERA. He has been striking people out at a pretty good rate as he has 17 Ks in his 18 innings of work this season, and he has a great matchup vs. the depleted Toronto Blue Jays. They currently rank 25th or worse in Runs Scored, HRs and Avg. Already down Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki due to DL stints, they are now traveling to a National League park and wont have the luxury of the DH. To add insult to injury, the Blue Jays ranked 5th in the MLB in Strikeouts, so a big strikeout potential is in the cards for Wacha.

Clayton Kershaw is also taking the mound tonight, I don’t need to tell you to pick him. He is an automatic start in DFS as long as you are willing to pay the price. He is priced at $27,600, squaring of against the San Fransisco Giants. A slugfest is expected in Coors in a matchup between Joe Ross and German Marquez. As always there will be a high own percentage in this game but it might be smart to fade Kershaw and get some bats from this game. Some solid pitching options are available on the slate tonight. Lets take a look at the picks.

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Zack Greinke, $18,000 was the 2015 Cy Young runner-up to Jake Arrieta.  Jake from State Farm’s second half was magical, but at 19-3, 1.66 ERA, 200 Ks in 222 innings Zack Attack was a close second. For all that hard work he was rewarded with a 6 year, $206 million dollar contract (that’s basically a million per start or $10k per game thrown pitch).  Damn Son, that’s a whole lotta bread, enough bread to lure him into the confines of Coors Jr.  We knew his stats were going to take a hit, but Greinke’s stats for 2016 were awful; 13-7, 4.37 ERA and 134 Ks over 159 innings of work.  That was his highest ERA in the last 10 seasons and he pitch in hitter friendly Miller Park for two seasons.  I hope he’s enjoying all that dough, because his stats were right there with Jon Gray who pitches in Coors.  Not what you were looking for with a top draft pick, but the good news he looks like he’s back.  If you threw out the clunker against the Dodgers, he’s sporting a 2.22 ERA with 16 Ks over 16.2 innings.  Tonight he is at home. Not ideal, but Arizona did install a humidor like Coors to keep the HR’s down.  Obviously it’s an extremely small sample size but over 9 games, the 2.44 HR’s per game are just a tick above the league average of 2.34.  Zack Attack is facing the struggling Padres who own the league’s lowest slugging percentage and at $18K I’m feeling it.  Now that we’ve got tonight’s Ace in place, let’s see who else we can roster so we can get a small piece of that Zack Greinke bread.

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Early season DFS is tough.  DFS on the regular isn’t easy, but add in the uncertainty of playing time, crazy weather, early slumps, offseason adjustments, new teams, new teammates and there are a lot of extra factors.  It’s for this reason I tend to ease myself into the DFS waters.  I take it pretty slow in April while we let some data collect.  When May hits we can start ramping it up and really be ripping come June.  We’ve got three weeks worth of data to work with so far and Ivan Nova ($15,600) has been fantastic.  The strikeouts have been a bit lacking but it’s hard to quibble with a 2.25 ERA and a sub 1.00 WHIP.  If you are prone to quibbling, I’d point out that Nova is smack dab in the middle of the road for pricing today, allowing you to afford those sweet Coors bats we all crave.  Plus, I mean, come on, #RevengeGame, #EnoughSaid.

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28.4, 12.2, 21.4, 34.1, 24.9, 43.6, 28.7, 31.4. What Power Forward game log is this? You have a 7x day where he puts up 20 points and 15 rebounds, a day where he flopped hard because he got in foul trouble, and then a lot of 4x and 5x scores. Wait, what’s that? It is the last 8 games of Eric Thames? That’s absurd. I’m not even saying he’s a great play simply because of his last 8 games, but Adam Wainwright’s a decent innings muncher, who is losing the ability to get ground balls so Thames is in play again, even at his elevated price. Are we at the point where Thames is always in play because he’s a good hitter who obliterated the KBO and will spend 2017 obliterating major league pitching. I think the previous sentence answers your question. You might be asking where does Eric Thames rank in the greatest hitting seasons ever with a minimum 50 PAs? And I would tell you that it’s not first, it’s actually 2nd. Yes, Eric Thames 281 wRC+ ranks 2nd. That’s because Freddie Freeman this year has a 282. It helps when you decide that outs really aren’t your thing for 3 games. I’m also sure you are wondering who’s 3rd, and I will tell you that this year Bryce Harper is 3rd at 256. We’ve had some insane starts this year, but only one of them is making crotchety old pitching coaches and grumpy veteran pitchers subtly hint “things.”

On to the picks as soon as Freddie Freeman makes an out…wait, that may be a while…I’ll just do the picks now…

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Welcome to another beautiful Wednesday slate.  I was so pumped for this slate until I looked and realized Clayton Kershaw $12,900 is on the bump..Don’t get me wrong I love Kershaw; he’s an amazing pitcher.  My only issue with him is he makes the DFS slates he’s in very tough.  You basically have to use him, even in GPPs.  If you don’t and he goes off for 13 ks over 9 shutout innings, you’re screwed.  Today is no different as he’ll be pitching against the Rockies (remember that almost perfect game??) and the total is only 6.5 right now.  Don’t overthink this;  play Kershaw and try to find low owned value plays to build around him.

Now onto the picks…

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The man who used to eat donuts before and in between games, will now try to fill up the scoreboard with them. If you aren’t familiar with Kevin Gausman‘s love for donuts, he had a ritual throughout college and even early on in his pro career in which he would eat donuts before each start. He even took it as far as eating 3 powdered donuts in between innings. What a great story it would have been if the ump checked the ball for banned substance and it was just a little Hostess Powdered Sugar. Well hopefully he can use the powdered sugar tonight for some extra grip on the ball as he takes on the Cincinnati Reds. Gausman and the Orioles are a decent favorites at -165, so he should be in line for a win. He is coming off his best start of the season at Toronto (6IP, 1ER, 3Ks) and a trip to the national league could add to those sweet strikeout numbers. As for the rest of the slate, some good stacking opportunities are available. Lets take a look at the picks.

New to FantasyDraft? 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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