Summer time is wedding time, right?  Who cares?!?!  I can guarantee Summer is baseball time and I am here for it.  As we move toward the third month of baseball and the temperatures are quickly rising, we need to keep our eyes on players that can keep our bank accounts rising.  Today, I will focus on four arms, thus giving you the ability to plug-and-play your starting pitcher names based on your overall budget and roster construction

Something Old: Adam Wainwright, SP: DK: $8,100 / FD: $9,100 – is as old as starting pitching gets toeing the rubber at 40 years old.  He has shown an ability to get better with time and his current 2.73 ERA and 5 wins certainly instill some confidence he will be able to navigate toward a win against the swing-and-miss Reds.  Now, the one caution I will throw out regarding Waino is his slightly elevated WHIP (1.23) and the Reds ability to score runs.  If he gets the hot-hitting Reds, this could be a disastrous start.  If he gets the Reds we all know in 2022, then expect middling Ks and a Win from our elder statesman.  Something New: I am a big fan of 22 year old Shane Baz, SP: DK: $7,000 / FD: $8,300 – even as he comes off an extended injury to start the 2022 season.  He made four rehab starts and I truly believe those starts are indicative of what Baz brings to his start against Minnesota.  He ramped up his velocity and pitch count during the four rehab starts so I do not think he is being rushed back into action.  In fact, his final rehab start saw him miss a lot of bats while striking out 10 batters. Sure, those opponents are not MLB lineups, but they are the next best thing and Baz does not choose his opponents, the schedule does.  It is his job to mow them down and he did just that.  My only concern with Baz is actually more about Kevin Cash possibly placing our guy on a pitch or innings count.  Please consider this is Baz’s first start of the season and Cash has a well-documented history of using the bullpen at a moment’s notice.  If you need a little more to feel comfortable add in the Rays swinging from the blue tee’s against rookie Chi Chi Rodrigu….oh wait, wrong guy….correction: Gonzalez.

Something Borrowed: I will harken back to my 16Apr22 column and borrow Carlos Carrasco, SP: DK: $9,400 / FD: $9,500 – against the Trout-less, Ward-less, Rendon-less Halos.  Just coming off a double-digit losing streak and without Joe Maddon at the helm, the Angels are in a bad way right now.  I look for Cookie to improve on his 7-1 record while recording 7-9 Ks against half of a MLB team.  In theory, he only needs to worry about Ohtani for 2-3 at-bats as the remainder of the lineup is simply not good.  Something Blue (Jays): I do not shy away from my mistakes.  In fact, I own them and am here to admit I have been wrong on the Gas-Man to date.  Heading into Motown, my lock of the day is Kevin Gausman, SP: DK: $10,300 / FD: $10,600 – against the Tigers.  At this point in the season, Gausman has proved me wrong with the only lingering stat I can hold onto is his near .500 win/loss record.  As we are all painfully aware, wins are not always within control of the starter once he departs the game.  With that being said, Gausman brings more than 9 Ks per 9 IP, a sub 3.00 ERA and WHIP sitting right around 1.15.  These are all numbers you will happily take from your Saturday Ace especially when the Jays bats jump all over the 0-5 rookie, Beau Brieske.  One Bo will have a good game (spoiler alert) and it will not be the one wearing the “D” on his cap.

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Cal Raleigh, C: DK: $4,100 / FD: $2,400 – Last week I recommended a catcher batting over .300 and playing at Coors and it did nothing for me.  Thanks for nothing William Contreras!  Since I make it a habit of sneaking a Mariners player into each column, allow me to introduce you to the league’s best sub .170 hitter.  I know.  I know.  You must be thinking ‘how possibly could this joker be recommending a player 30 points below the Mendoza Line?”  To me the recommendation is simple: We need a catcher and we want to save money.  Raleigh is the clear starter in Seattle right now and he is a switch-hitter with undeniable power as is evident by his 3 HR over the last 10 games.  So, for a bargain-basement price, you roster a guy tied for 4th among catchers in HR (7), then you take the savings and pay up for a stud at another position.

Ryan Mountcastle, 1B: DK: $3,500 / FD: $3,100 – I really want to recommend Freddie Freeman here, but think he is too easy and even though he hits lefties well, I am going to throw the Orioles a little love.  If you end up with funds left at the end, consider Freeman against the Giants as you just never know what can happen in the LAD/SFG series.  For now, give me Mountcastle against lefty Daniel Lynch and his ugly ERA/WHIP.  If I told you I can get you, Matt Olson, for the same price as Ryan Mountcastle, would you jump all over it?  I knew you would.  Go look at their stat comparison and you will see virtually the same numbers.  Save the money on Mountcastle and we are going to pay up for our OF very shortly (stay tuned).

Jazz Chisholm, 2B: DK: $5,900 / FD: $4,300 – I am going against the grain a little here by recommending lefty on lefty batter match-up, but I must have some shares of quite possibly the most fun player in the league.  Side Note: I have ordered his ‘Drill Ya Mama’ shirt from Rotowear because we all need some Jazz in our life!  Most HR (10) /RBI (37) by a 2b and it’s not close, so give me Jazz at the high price Saturday.  OK, ok, ok, he is second to Altuve in HR, but that all changes this weekend…mark it down now.

Manny Machado, 3B: DK: $5,400 / FD: $3,900 – Do you remember a couple of weeks back when Machado was the talk of the fantasy world and being handed MVP?  I do.  His stats of late place him in the bridesmaid’s line.  We need Manny to get back in the game and start raking again.  What better time than when the bottom feeding Rockies come to town?  Over his last 15 games, he is only hitting around .250, but his lifetime stats show he is much closer to the .300 hitter we crave in our DFS lineups.  Big weekend from Machado and he will be back on bride watch!

Bo Bichette, SS: DK: $5,800 / FD: $3,900 – In support of our Ace, Kevin Gausman, look for Bichette to have a great Saturday against the rookie starter in Detroit.  Though his numbers are not eye-popping, we should appreciate the 9 HR and 30 RBI from our middle infield position(s).  Sprinkle in 4 stolen bases and with Springer ahead and Vlad Jr behind him, look for Bo to see a lot of strikes Saturday as he takes full advantage of the 0-5 Tigers starter.  Once the Jays chase ‘the other Beau’ look for the runs to pile up with ‘the real Bo’ to be right in the middle of all the action.

Bryce Harper, OF: DK: $6,100 / FD: $4,400 – This is where we start spending the big bucks.   I recommend Harper as your first name.  Just suck it up and pay for the guy.  He hits any and all pitching.  Though the arm injury has him playing DH more than RF these days, it has not stopped his production.  Consider he missed a handful of games due to the injury and is still tied with America’s Sweetheart Aaron Judge for 5th in RBI at 45.  Add in his +.300 average and 6 bags and you have the makings of your cornerstone offensive player for Saturday at home against a struggling MadBum.

Yordan Alvarez, OF: DK: $6,300 / FD: $4,200 –  This is where we keep paying up, my friends!  Lock in Alvarez as your second player of the day and then you can start to determine where you need to save money (HINT: Raleigh, Mountcastle).  Logging 17 HR and 38 RBI, his numbers are not as gaudy as Harper (or Judge), however, this guy is a legit threat every time he digs into the box.  Mix in a Miami starter with an ERA above 10 and WHIP approaching 2 and you have the makings for an old-fashioned HR Derby.  If you find yourself with extra money and you want to be boring, you cannot go wrong with the aforementioned Judge.  We are looking at the future AL MVP.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains

We are not looking at any rain or wind in the forecast for Saturday.


Doing Lines In Vegas

Since I could not find a way to squeeze George Kirby into my pitching names, I recommend taking the Over 5.5 strikeouts for him on Saturday.  You should be able to find plus money considering his low strikeouts over the last three starts.  If you have a couple extra bucks to lay, I recommend the same bet for Gausman and Carrasco; Over 5.5 Ks.

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