Being a Mariners fan since 1977 is hard to explain to fans of other teams. People understand our futility and stopped making fun of/joking about our plight many years ago. Sure, we had a season in which we won 116 games. So what? Do you recall what happened in the postseason that year? HINT: Do not go looking for a World Series trophy in our front office. We had one of the best all around players in Ken Griffey, Jr. I still rank him Top 5 of players in my lifetime and he is absolutely the first bust on the Mariners Mount Rushmore. We had Alex Rodriguez when he was a true five-tool kid playing his heart out for an up-and-coming team. We had Randy Johnson when he threw over the head of John Kruk at the All-Star game and came out of the bullpen to beat the Yankees on no days rest in the greatest baseball series I have witnessed. We had Ichiro, possibly the best pure hitter ever in the game and the guy that opened the league up to Japanese players with numerous 200 hit seasons. We had Sweet Lou Piniella as the boss throwing bases and kicking dirt on umpires.
Those are some of the fun memories. The rest of our history is rather sad if I am being honest. We watched Junior force his way out of town to play for this “hometown” Reds only to watch his career derailed by injuries. A PED laden ARod took the first of two back-to-back $250M contracts to leave Seattle. We currently have the longest World Series drought at 45 years; fourth longest in MLB only because Texas, Milwaukee, and San Diego have not won and have been around longer. I am tired of longing for those good times and remembering, so vividly, the bad times. The Kingdome is long gone and so should our memories of pathetic Mariners teams.
So, here we are with a new team (thanks Jerry DiPoto). A new outlook. As much as I love the off-season moves and the young bats in the line-up (sans Kelenic for now), today I am focusing on one dude. I am not afraid to admit it has happened again. I am officially in love with a Mariners starter after one start. I had a quick fling with Matt Brash and can see that blossoming again, but for now, for today, I am head over heels for George Kirby (DK: $7,800 / FD: $8,500). Being a lifelong Mariners fans, I struggle to recall viable starting pitching outside of “King” Felix Hernandez, Randy Johnson, Aaron Sele (tip of the cap to my long-time friend and official name drop of the former All-Star pitcher), and Mark Langston. If Brash corrects the control/reduces the walks, Logan Gilbert keeps up his pace, Emerson Hancock gets the call, and Kirby is the Kirby as advertised then I will have a bevvy of beauties to adore. For today. Kirby will need to navigate the 22-12 Mets and hope the Mariners offense can break through against Chris Bassitt. I am looking at 7-10 Ks, QS with a clean sheet for ERA for a second straight start. Insert big red heart emoji here!
After reading my other starting pitcher recommendation, buckle up for the batters. For the first time this season I am going with guys that have been disappointments to date that are ready to break out. Anyone can drop money on chalk, right? I ask you, ‘Who has the guts to dig deep for the struggling bat that will turn it around today?’ The answer, my friends, lies below and I promise no chalk! Some of the names below sound chalky, but just look at their season-long stats and you will find they certainly are not chalky picks. I leaned on my Razzball DFS writing partners to provide some names of lackluster bats. Some of those you will see below. I am not saying this is your big money roster of the day, rather DFS should be fun, so have some fun with one of your (low dollar) entries today. Also, you can use some of the information provided to reap the benefits of low cost players to buy up for someone you love. You can also, snub your nose at this write-up by fading all of the names below. Psst, fading them is the easy thing to do and we do not do easy around here!
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Zac Gallen, SP: DK: $9,800 / FD: $9,900 – Who saw this Zac Gallen coming? I certainly did not, especially with the AAA lineup being run out by the D-Backs. Currently, the #1 Streamonator pitcher, and I am sticking with him until he breaks my heart like so many pitchers over the years. Taking on a Cubbies team that may be without Seiya Suzuki and that does not strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, I see Gallen vacuuming up the K’s just like our Kirby above. Mix in his pinpoint control and the counting stats will be low. Akin to Kirby, Gallen will need the slightest run support to come out on top today.
Jose Abreu, C/1B: DK: $4,600 / FD: $3,100 – CHALK! Is that what you just screamed at your phone? Pfft, I huff my retort. Currently, the 21st ranked 1b in fantasy baseball. When has Abreu ever been that low? Trust when I say he will not be there long. But, we have to talk about how he got there. Last 15 games Abreu has been brutal. He is batting .186 with one HR and a dozen RBI over that stretch. He is two measly points above the Mendoza line for the season. Just like 2am at a dive bar, in walks the slumpbuster we call Yankee Stadium. What could be better than a weekend in the Boogie Down Bronx, especially with a lefty on the bump? Not much in my opinion and Abreu, coming off an 0-5 on Friday is primed to go off today. The ChiSox are starting to get healthy with Moncada back and, as the weather heats up, so does this potent lineup. Buy while the bat is cheap.
Rhys Hoskins, C/1B: DK: $2,700 / FD: $3,300 – I am providing two 1b options versus a catcher today as it seems almost all catchers are non-chalk. So, we discussed softball scores earlier. You want softball scores? How does 12-10 sound when looking for offense? Take a look at the PHI/LAD box from Friday and take note Kyle Gibson and Walker Buehler were on the hill. These two offenses can hit the ball and that ball appears to be flying out of Dodger Stadium. Hoskins against a lefty? I will take it considering he is batting in the middle of a lineup that is fire right now. Sure, Jose Urias’ numbers look good on paper, I do not think this is 2021 Urias. I am happy to play Hoskins in what I feel will be another slugfest.
Brandon Lowe, 2B: DK: $4,500 / FD: $3,100 – Last season’s darling at 2b, Mr. Lowe has provided five long-balls this season. End of Tweet! Seriously, this guy’s stat line can be ignored after looking at the HR count. But, for discussion’s sake, let’s take a look. Lowe is batting .211 and those five HR (and 19 other hits) have netted only 12 total RBI. He is striking out almost three times more than he is walking and his current K% is 29%. To make this even less chalky, Lowe gets lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu coming off some time on the shelf today. Lefty on lefty is not something I usually recommend, but we are going nuts today and I think Lowe steps into one today. If not a fan of the lefty-lefty match-up, look to Javier Baez against left Bruce Zimmerman today. Hint – You may notice some Tigers love/hate from this point on.
Ryan McMahon, 3B: DK: $4,500 / FD: $3,400 – Every year, when making up my season-long rankings, I promise to NOT draft Ryan McMahon. Then, at some point in nearly every draft, the Coors bias creeps into my head and dude ends up on my team. I recall thinking if the guy can hit between .250 and .275, he will drop 30 HR easy. Well, folks, McMahon is sitting at .250 with a paltry two HR and 14 RBI. But, but, Coors, right? Absolutely correct for today! Our lefty against a weak right-handed starter (Carlos Hernandez) at home is exactly the time to start McMahon. Sneaky non-chalk pick not quite living up to the hype this season is Spencer Torkelson. Provided by my guy @MattTruss, Tork was on my short list before I checked the McMahon numbers.
Marcus Semien, SS: DK: $4,300 / FD: $2,500 – It’s happening today! Semien hits his first homerun off of 89 year-old Rich Hill today. No analysis. You do not need it. You know the monkey has to come off his back at some point and I am telling you today is that day!
Jesse Winker, OF: DK: $3,700 / FD: $2,600 – I watch the Mariners every chance I get and Winker is hitting the ball hard almost every at-bat. That, coupled with his 19/18 BB/K numbers and we are looking at a guy that should have more than one dinger. As much as I love Chris Bassitt, I am doubling down on my M’s today and providing Winker as the guy to help Kirby garner his first win in The Show.
Alex Verdugo, OF: DK: $3,700 / FD: $2,800 – I recall getting beat down early in a H2H by Verdugo. A quick look at his numbers show that was the one week he hit the ball. Shout to @MarmosDad for providing this name as this is an easy non-chalk addition to the list. I am happy to list Verdugo against some dude named Otto starting for TEX. Similar to other names above, Verdugo has a stacked lineup around him and they have to start hitting sooner or later (right?). Side Note: This was the section I was about to pile on the Detroit bats with Austin Meadows but it appears he may sit all weekend with an inner-ear infection. @RyanHoover, and others, were all over listing Meadows, but I had to pivot to Verdugo. I play Meadows over Verdugo if Meadows gets the nod.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
No rain and no significant wind to discuss.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I started with my Mariners and I will end with them, too. I am taking the +150 on Seattle over NYM. Sprinkle in some plus money on CHW (+143) and you should more than make your money back on the non-chalk entry above.