The good folks at Razzball seem to believe Shohei Ohtani > Aaron Judge when it comes to MVP (or at least most do, anyway, without taking a formal poll). It’s possible to recognize Judge’s ridiculous/fantastic/phenomenal/etc season while also believing that the things Ohtani has done this season and last are historical outliers that still trump (not that trump!) this probably historic season. But this column isn’t here to try to settle this debate; the esteemed voters of the BBWAA will decide and that will be that; everybody will agree and unite in support, with no valuable internet time spent arguing about it.
No, we’re here today to tell you to roster Ohtani (FD $10,100/DK $10,800) as he takes on the struggling Twins offense. Minnesota had been a top-10 team vs RHPs this year, but the last 30 days has seen the bottom fall out of the Twins offense, as they’ve sunk to the bottom-10 vs RHPs over that span. And they aren’t facing some normal RHP; they’re facing the (potential) MVP of the league.
Since we’re only rostering him as a SP today, I won’t even get into the terrific batting stats. Just look at these numbers from the bump: a 2.43 ERA, with an xERA of 2.91; an xFIP of 2.67; 4th in K%, 6th in CSW%, 7th in fastball velocity, 8th in SwStr%, and a massive 7% improvement from the league average in giving up hard contact, and a career-low BB%. In only 148 innings, he has amassed 196 Ks. He doesn’t get the Cy Young love that guys like Verlander, Cease, and McLanahan get because Ohtani doesn’t have the sheer number of innings, but he cedes ground to almost nobody on a per-game or per-inning basis. It’s always more fun to chase and root for history, so let’s have some fun today and root for Ohtani to further state his case as the 2022 AL MVP (just as I’m rooting for Judge to continue murdering baseballs).
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Cody Morris, SP: FD $7,800/DK $5,400 – Let’s get nuts here; if you go this direction, you can stock up an extra expensive bat or two with good matchups like the ATL boys or somebody in Coors. In Morris’s last 13.2 IP, he’s given up 2 ER and struck out 12. He carried a terrific K/9 through Triple-A this year, and Cleveland has a lot on the line, so you can expect everybody to be locked in–hopefully, his hitters as well. Morris is catching his stride, so play the momentum, count on his hitters to push some runs across, and get Cleveland the dub they so badly need in their division chase.
Martin Maldonado, C: FD $2,100/DF $2,700 – Going 8-for-15 with a pair of bombs the last seven days is enough to get you in the DFS column today, Martin. JT Realmuto has been on fire, but we’re going expensive a couple of other places here, so let’s bargain-ish shop here.
Josh Bell, 1B: FD $3,200/DK $3,800 – Bell is two for his last 17, with no HRs, no RBI, and a single, solitary, lonely run scored. I may be an idiot, but I know a cheap 1B play at Coors when I see one. Cronenworth could be another one if you’d rather go in that direction. Cron will be too pricey, though he gets to face Sean Manaea.
Gleyber Torres, 2B: FD $3,500/DK $4,100 – Torres is top-20 on the Razzball Player Rater the last week, going 9-for-21 with a pair of bombs. He gets to face lefty Rich Hill in Yankee Stadium, hitting high in the order. Don’t be a Dick, Mountain, and feed Torres some meat tonight.
Rafael Devers, 3B: FD $3,800/DK $5,700 – Gerritt Cole may be one of the very best pitchers in MLB, but Devers treats him like it’s BP, pounding six HRs off of him in 30 career ABs.
Javier Baez, SS: FD $2,700/DK $3,600 – Last week I recommended Lucas Giolito as your SP2 in this column, but cautioned that almost every number in the match-up vs. Detroit went against him; the only thing for him was, well, Detroit. But Baez has been a top-10 SS in the second half and gives Gio the business to the tune of 9-for-21 with a homer, a triple, and a pair of doubles to buoy his 1.262 career OPS vs Giolito. Look for Schoop, Candelario, and Haase, too, if you’re seeking a cheapish stack–they all have good career numbers in the Gio match-up.
Ronald Acuna Jr, OF: FD $3,800/DK $5,800 – The Braves are facing Aaron Nola, who many consider an ace. The Atlanta hitters don’t, however, as Acuna has a 1.371 career OPS vs Nola, with four homers and four doubles among his 13 hits in 36 ABs. Austin Riley also terrorizes Nola, with three homers, five doubles, and a 1.179 OPS in 40 career ABs vs Nola.
Amed Rosario, OF: FD $3,100/DK SS-only – Topping the Razzball Player Rater for the last seven days, Rosario has done it all–15 hits in 40 ABs for a .275 AVG; two HRs; 12 RBI; 4 SBs. He’s only scored five runs, surprisingly, but that’s still a good week. With Cleveland trying to nail down a division title, there’s no let-up with this lineup, and we’re betting on Rosario keeping the good times rolling.
Edward Olivares, OF: FD $2,400/DF $3,200 – Olivares was hurt for two months, but since his return, he’s 6-for-19 with three doubles and a HR. He’s hitting over .300 against lefties this season and has Marco Gonzalez standing between him and DFS-goodness tonight.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
@BallparkWeather says everything looks clear; a few stray showers in a couple of locations but nothing that should impact play. *Friday Morning 7:45 a.m. EST Edit* My lead SP, Ohtani, may be in trouble in the Twin Cities, as @BallparkWeather says there is an increased chance of postponement here. He doesn’t say it’s likely or probable, but from Thursday to Friday morning he’s changed from “nothing to see here” to “may wanna pay attention.”
Doing Lines In Vegas
I’ve mentioned last week and this week how well many of the Tigers hit Lucas Giolito, so let’s put our ducats where our mouth is, and take Detroit at +100 to go over 1.5 runs in the 1st 5 innings.
The east coast media will select their native son. The actual MVP who is having another GOAT season is Shohei Ohtani.