Let me start this off by making one thing abundantly clear – Do Not Play Carlos Martinez in Cash. But, winning GPPs often requires the cliched attitude of “go big or go home”. Carlos Martinez offers you a pitcher with a 25.8% K-rate for $7400. Go take a look at all the pitchers in baseball with a 25% K-rate or higher. The cheapest they run you is $9000 (which is around what Carlos normally costs). In addition to being cheap, the fact that he is pitching at Coors Field will keep his ownership quite low. Peak Carlos Martinez involves a lot of ground balls (career 54.3%) and a lot of strikeouts, and you know what doesn’t care about Coors park factors? Ground balls and strikeouts. So you have a pitcher with massive strikeout upside, at a very low price, and who will be very underowned. While it’s entirely possible he walks 6 Rockies and gives up 6 runs in 4 innings, it’s also entirely possible that he gets you 10 Ks in 7IP and puts up just as big of a number as deGrom or Scherzer, and costs $3500 less. Is it the most likely outcome? No. But it’s an entirely plausible outcome, and if luck shines on you today, you’re looking at a massive edge in GPPs.

On to the picks once luck shines on me…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Dirt McGirt, Dirty Nasty, Tha Ol’ Dirty Chinese Restaurant, Big Baby Jesus, Odubel Herrera went 0-for-5 with 5 Ks.  Last Phillie to do that was Pat Burrell.  Burrell remembers wistfully, “Ah, yes…’Slump Buster September 2008.’  That was Jamie Moyer’s granddaughter’s friend.  She was like a keg with two arms.  She looked like Matt Stairs with longer hair.  I believe Brett Myers introduced us.  Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why she was always flinching.”  Odubel’s average is down to .226 and his OBP is .275.  M-E-T-H-O-D MAN that is bad.  Shame on a Herrera.  Ooh, baby, I like it raw, but that’s filled with salmonella.  He swings at the third most pitches outside the strike zone and his strikeout rate is up 4% while his walk rate has fallen 4%.  Put it all together and you have one of the worst hitters in the majors right now.  So, can he come out of it?  Future:  Cloudy.  He’s more of a .265 hitter, but swinging at balls outside the zone can quickly spiral and shove him further into his slump.  Before last year, he had a full season of 8 HRs and 16 SBs, couple that with .265 and you’re not looking at the guy you thought you were getting in March.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh my God, Drew Smyly is more like Smyly Corleone.  Every time you think you’re out, he pulls you right back in.  Fredo, you went against the family, and we can’t have that.  “Smyly, is that you?  Why do you keep calling me?”  That’s Alfredo Griffin getting annoyed with Smyly Corleone.  “I made them offer at a pitch they couldn’t refuse.”  Seriously, stop Smyly Corleone!  So, there’s always one pitcher (sometimes more than one) that befuddles and seduces, seduces and befuddles.  Justin Masterson carried the torch for a while when he was Justin Masterson:  Passive Aggressive Starter.  Now, Drew Smyly seems to be carrying that same damned if you do, damned if you don’t torch.  Yesterday, his line was 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners with 12 Ks.  On the year, his K-rate and walk rate are 10.3 and 2.2.  Those are ace numbers.  Unlike a lot of other big strikeout guys and actual aces, Smyly doesn’t throw very hard and seems to tire after about two starts in a row.  His ERA on the year is 4.75, but that’s absurd, as in I will absurd you while you’re on waivers.  But, ugh, that K-rate, that walk rate, it’s hard for me to resist and if he was dropped in your league, I could see giving him another chance, but I’d be wary of matchups because I just don’t see him overpowering most teams when he’s not working on ten days rest.  He just doesn’t throw hard enough.  I.e., leave the speed gun, take the cannoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks.  I took some guff in the preseason for being down on Tanaka, in the non-sexual way.  I projected him for the line of 10-4/3.49/1.15/150.  His line right now is 11-6/3.57/1.01/125.  Yeah, I was waaaaaaaaay off.  Multiple A’s to allow time for an eye roll.  Kids write me letters and say, “Unkie Grey, how did you know what Tanucky (sic) would do so mediocrely?”  My answer is always the same, I’m a witch.  Then I continue, “No, that’s just a broom.  Male witches ride around on Vespas.”  Tanaka was an easy person for me to avoid this year due to his elbow tendon.  For 2016, sadly, I don’t see my enthusiasm changing.  Or at any point for him until he has surgery, rehabs for 12-16 months and then returns.  I wish he would, because I would like to get excited about him, but it’s just not gonna happen, said like Dana Carvey impersonating George H. W. Bush.  Now, excuse me, I double-parked my Vespa on Sandoval’s foot.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*swirls a glass, takes a gulp. spits it back in a bucket*  “That’s vintage Justin Verlander,” said Kate Upton.  “Okay, this might sound gross, but can you spit into my mouth?”  That’s you getting up the nerve to say something to Kate Upton.  I just thought of a moneymaking idea for Shark Tank!  You stand outside of Comerica Park with a cardboard cutout of a naked Verlander and have people pay $10 to take a picture with him, pretending to be Kate Upton.  Oh, and no, this post isn’t an attempt to Bleacher Report up Google’s rankings by mentioning Verlander and Upton repeatedly, though it does seem that way…Verlander/Upton, Verlander/Upton and Verlander/Upten for the illiterates.  So, Verlander did look magnificent yesterday until the 8th inning when he began to tire, ending up with a one hitter –> 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (1 Hit), 9 Ks with an ERA at 3.45.  Big Magoo captured Verlander’s upside about two weeks ago with this post.  Worth reading, but the key part (cause I know, y’all can only read so much), “Since the All-Star break, Verlander’s 7.25 K/BB ratio is the 5th highest among qualified starting pitchers, and his 1.1 BB/9 is the 6th lowest.  He shares the same swinging strike rate (12.1%) as Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole over that span as well.  Now, excuse me as I go drain the weasel on a picture of Grey.”  Hey, wait a minute!  I didn’t remember that last part.  So, if Verlander is out there in your league, the one-hitter yesterday doesn’t seem to be a hirame.  Sorry, I just had sushi.  It’s not a fluke.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Give me a buy, a bouncy buy!  Wait, might have my Martin Short characters mixed up.  *Googling*  Damn, that was from his Irving Berlin.  Jackie Rogers Jr. didn’t have much of a catchphrase.  Last Saturday, JBJ was sworn in as the hottest schmotato in the land as Jackie O., his mother and who he was named after, held the Bible.  After the ceremony, JBJ stated, “Compared to taking a free pass, hitting is a cakewalk.”  Then he high-fived himself.  Jackie Bradley Jr.  is more or less a hot platoon player, but Cousin Sizzlechest is about as hot as they come right now.  JBJ will cool off at some point, he strikes out a bit too much, but he’s worth owning in all leagues where you’re hurting for that little extra spark.  Plus, to get JBJ on your team, you don’t need the assistance of the Cubans, the FBI, Frank Sinatra, Joe Pesci in a bad wig, a vast right wing conspiracy, Joe DiMaggio and some dude named Zapruder.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greg Bird was called up by the Yankees. I wonder if when Greg Bird dies his ghost will be harassed by a 1980’s black gang calling him Larry Bird. But, more importantly, let’s pray Bird doesn’t wear ball-hugger shorts. Whoever thought those 1980s shorts were a good idea? They were so tight, you can tell which players manscaped. When Marv Albert said someone was dribbling a ball down the court, I had to wonder which ball he meant. Yes! Bird, Greg that is, has done nothing but hit at every stop in the minors — 20 HRs in Single-A in 2013; 20 HRs in 2014 across three levels; 12 HRs across two levels this year with six homers in only 34 games in Triple-A. He’s also not the type to strike out a lot and knows how to take a walk, and not like it’s a bad thing as, “Hey, take a walk!” Bird started yesterday (0-for-5), but for now he’s a bench bat, but I get the sense the Yankees are going to start looking towards the future as of next year and Bird should be someone on dynasty and keeper radars. And you know I have me some radar love. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*Grey adjusts his chiseled body, places himself on a seat, props his chin up with his hand, makes sure that he’s not covering his mustache.* “Welcome to today’s symposium on the intersection of art, science and fantasy baseball. Thank you for joining me at the New Brunswick Holiday Inn. For those arriving late, please fill in the front seats. Don’t groan, my handsome will distract you from wherever you’re sitting if you allow it. Carlos Rodon showed yesterday what he’s capable of — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks — but his 4.61 ERA shows everything else. Yes, he will be a 2016 sleeper; his stuff is just so nasty. He has a 10 K/9 in 91 2/3 IP this year (good for sixth best in the majors if he qualified). Yo, Prince, what you say to that? He’s a sexy M.F. Unfortunately, his walk rate is 5, which is as awful as his K-rate is good (would be the worst qualified starter’s BB/9). You know who that reminds me of? Just about every hard thrower when they first came up: Scherzer, Randy Johnson, Sale, Carrasco…. Even Kershaw’s first full year’s BB/9 was 4.79. I’m not saying Rodon will be that good next year, but he’s 22 years old and by the age of 24 he could be a top ten starter. Okay, that should be enough for you to digest for now. For the five ladies joining us, I will continue this in the hotel bar, The Cheeky Monkey, for refreshments and chicken fingers.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Drew Hutchison has been somewhat of a gas can this year….on the road. That’s right, away from the hitter-comfy Rogers Centre, D-Hutch has been atrocious on the road. Consider these away stats:

.433 wOBA/,429 OBP/.592 SLG

4.66 xFIP/5.40 FIP/9.6 K-BB%

It’s gross. And it’s in line with his whole career numbers, though not as individually garish as the 2015 stats are.

So how is he at home, where he’ll be taking the mound Wednesday. Surely in such an offensive haven as the Rogers Centre, Hutchison may pitch better than on the road, but it’s negligible, right? Again, please consider:

.266 wOBA/.282 OBP/ .315 SLG

3.50 xFIP/2.80 FIP/ 15.9 K-BB%

Look around the league and you may find guys like this; SPs who are super at home, no matter the park they call home, but are stinkers on the road. Last season, Jorge De La Rosa had much better numbers at home than on the road, scary when you consider his home park is Coors Field.

So Hutchison is better at home than on the road and he’s not just better, he’s a good pitcher at home, raising his K-rate and lowering his other qualitative numbers at home. He’s a big favorite (or at least Toronto is a big favorite) and should be able to dial up the 15 or so points he’d need at this rock bottom price of $5,400 to make value. Since most of the DFS players are going to remember all the shellackings that has been administered to Hutchison on the road, and the offensive numbers at the Centre, he’s always very low owned. He’s not a solid cash game (50/50, H2H) play, but he’s on my tournament rosters. Come join me, if you dare!

Hutch likes to pitch at home,

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Please, blog, may I have some more?