A quick look at the Saturday slate has baseball fans excited for three double-headers.  The excitement quickly stops when fans realize PIT/CIN is one of the double-dips.  I am staying away from this mess (or am I?) considering you could not pay me to watch 18 innings of baseball between the Pirates and Reds.  Remember, you do not have to watch the games to win money.  I digress.

Can you imagine being a Reds fan in the off-season eyeing a rotation of Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo at the top with a very good chance of Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene making the opening day roster?  Throw in India, Moose, Eugenio, Castellanos, Winker, Stephenson, Votto who all appeared primed to provide a solid, fun-to-watch, slow pitch softball team offense.  “Hold my beer” says Reds owner Bob Castellini allowing prized free agent Nick Castellanos to walk coupled with a brutal trade shipping Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to Seattle.  Asked earlier this week how many true MLB players were starting for the Reds, I replied with “2.5 and that number is a stretch”.  This is sad to watch as someone that fondly recalls the days of The Big Red Machine.

Wait…before you stop reading and think I am all negative, push through as I target all three double-header’s to include the Dodgers rolling into Wrigley to maul the Cubs, Toronto at Cleveland, and some sneaky advice for the aforementioned PIT/CIN games.  Some of the double-header games do not have full pricing at the time we publish this article, or aren’t included on a main slate, so you will need to check both sites for any player you see below with $X,XXX next to their name.

 

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Clayton Kershaw, SP: DK: $10,000 / FD: $9,600 – This is my lock of the day.  Guaranteed win with double-digit K’s for Kershaw in the early Saturday game of the day-night double-header.  Certainly, the Cubs have some boppers in Suzuki, Wisdom, Happ, Contreras, and Schwindel, but those same big bats also swing and miss A LOT.  Kershaw is locked in to start 2022 and I think you lock him in until the wheels fall off.

Mitch Keller, SP: DK: $X,XXX / FD: $6,300 – I had this section saved for Roansy Contreras and the Friday weather issues pushed my guy back by a day, so now I am scrambling for a non-chalk pitcher.  I pivot to Mitch Keller and start to find something, anything to defend using the Streamanator’s #15 overall SP for today and then notice he has no price on DK.  If you can hold out long enough to publish a lineup, I think Mitch Keller is a solid, cheap option that will allow you to stack your offense with big money bats.  He had his longest outing last time out while striking out seven and walking none with only one earned run.  That is what we call a quality MLB start regardless of his name.  Throw in the AAA Reds lineup and you have the makings of a solid, cheap starting pitcher option.  If not Keller, based on timing, now what?  If required to move from Keller I am doing so with Dylan CYease against a BoSox lineup that appears lost right now.  He is poised to mow through a lackluster Boston offense and the ChiSox bats should put it on Nick Pivetta today providing sufficient run support for a Cease win.

Will Smith, C/1B: DK: $5,200 / FD: $X,XXX – Pay up for Smith in either game he plays in on Saturday.  Both are against southpaws (Smyly, D. Norris) who Smith crushes.  I normally prefer to stay away from catchers as it is tough to assume days off but with two games on Saturday, Smith is guaranteed to start one, if not both.  His average is sitting below .250, but his counting stats are reasonable enough to stick with him.  I especially like his 9 walks versus 11 strikeouts.  He is patient and will undoubtedly see pitches to hit all day.

Josh Bell C/1B: DK: $4,900 / FD: $3,800 – I am far from a Josh Bell believer, but I believe in his current slash line (.282/.380/.495) more than I do those of Michael Lorenzen (3.04 ERA/1.10 WHIP).  Is it possible the Reds were wrong (again) or is Lorenzen about to regress ala Dylan Bundy this week?  Trust my TARF (NFBC) league roster when I say you do NOT want to be around for the implosion I saw from Bundy this week unless you are playing the bat against him.  Hence my Josh Bell recommendation as he takes advantage of what I feel is about to be Lorenzen coming back to the pack.  If you need a little more fodder, check his 14 Ks over 23+ innings.  He is not missing a lot of bats.

Javier Baez, 2B: DK: $5,000 / FD: $3,200 – Swinging from his heels all day, I think Baez runs into a hanger from Framber and makes this pick all you want it to be.  I have not quite figured out what is going on with Framber and do not have time to watch any tape…I do have a job folks.  With that being said, Framber is not quite himself to start the year and we should take advantage of that today.  Also, the Tigers are quietly starting to hit the ball a little more (psst check out Jeimer this week—you’re welcome).

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B: DK: $X,XXX / FD: $2,700 – I hinted at a Pirates bat and here you go!  Again, if playing on DK, you will need to keep checking for pricing.  Quietly hitting over .300 after missing some time early in the season, I like Hayes to start warming up along with the weather.  Going up against two lefties on Saturday is just what we like to see when building lineups.  I am going out on a limb here and calling Hayes’ first HR of the season today and doubling down with a stolen base.  He is not expensive and is a good player to count on to double-up his asking price.

Willy Adames, SS: DK: $5,000 / FD: $3,800 – Average (.235) be damned, this dude is on an absolute heater.  I do not necessarily love him against Max Fried, but goodness gracious, how do we not get on board right now?  I have no analysis for you other than second in NL HR, fourth in RBI, and look at his last seven days.  That should be enough.

Bryce Harper, OF: DK: $5,800 / FD: $3,900 – Before you roll your eyes and scream, “MAX SCHERZER” at me, hear me out.  Harper hits everyone.  Max is prone to the long ball and is always in/around the zone.  At some point, these things will come to a head in Philly.  For good measure, the wind will be blowing out at almost 20 mph.  There, see, I have a method to my madness and you can thank me later.  If the weather note below concerns you, I like Mookie Betts versus two lefties today.  His average is about to shoot up from the current .240’s.

Luis Robert, OF: DK: $4,600 / FD: $3,200 –  If you did not catch the White Sox lineup for Friday, you may want to check it out.  It appears as if LaRussa was not in charge of the lineup.  I say that because the lineup appears to make sense.  Abreu moved up to #3 and Robert up to #4.  Quietly over the last seven days, Luis is batting .400 with a HR and three each runs/RBI.  We all know the ChiSox will hit and with Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu setting the table and Yasmani Grandal protecting him, I look for Robert to go off against Nick Pivetta.  Need additional information to feel good about this pick?  Check these stats from Pivetta; 7.84 ERA/1.84 WHIP.

 

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Some rain chances (40-60%) in both Philadelphia and New York, but I am not worried.  In fact, if you have a lot of money to spend on offense, you may want to look at Aaron Judge with the wind blowing out at 20 mph against some dude named Glenn Otto (who actually has decent early stats).  The only other wind to discuss is at Wrigley (shocker), but nothing too major.  As discussed above, I do like the LAD in both games.

 

Doing Lines In Vegas

We started with the “Double Down” title, so how fitting we will end the same way.  Scared money don’t make money, so give me both ends of both double-headers for both the plus money Pirates (+150) and minus money Dodgers (-233).

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