The trade deadline has come and gone and some big names were moved while others stayed put.  While players like Wilson Contreras will have to continue to put up big stats for a terrible team, others like Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Luis Castillo clicked their heels like Dorothy to thankfully find their way to new homes.  For those escaping Washington, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, the day could not have been any better.  Keeping with the theme of players moving on/around the trade deadline, let’s come up with an all-deadline starting line-up for Saturday.

Our plays for Saturday will only include players that were on the moved at the deadline.  As with most weeks, I started my research with pitching and immediately identified the match-up of aces in New York with Max Fried coming into town to face the Mets who counter with Max Scherzer.  As much as I would love to chat about this match-up neither of these guys (obviously) was dealt at the deadline.  That means I need to dig deeper to fill out the pitching staff.

After scrolling down the list of games, I found my man-crush George Kirby who has not factored into either decision in the two games since his demotion to AAA just prior to the All-Star Break.  Editor’s Note: He was not demoted based on performance as much as the Mariners brass wanted to limit his inning count.  I just want to make it clear my guy was sent down based on front office business vice negative performance.  Now that that has been cleared up, I am going to pivot away from Kirby as he does not thematically fit today and, frankly it is time for me to shake it up and leave GK off the list for once.  Kirby will be good for a long time and just needs some additional seasoning and experience to find his groove.  I can still co-sign on your roster if he is on it for Saturday, but I will be providing two other names.

A final note about starting pitching as we move forward in the season.  Keep an eye on the IL as there are a number of names that have recently come back to start (Edwin Cabrera, Freddy Peralta to name just two).

Keep reading below the names/prices for a small caveat regarding the recommended names.  Maybe you will understand the method behind my madness.

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Mitch White, SP: DK: $6,600 / FD: $6,400 – Who?  Starting pitcher dealt from Los Angeles to Toronto at the deadline who steps right into the Jays rotation.  He was pitching well, if unspectacular for the Dodgers; mainly as their 6th starter and long-relief guy.  With the return of Andrew Heaney and the overall health of the LAD staff, White was seen as expendable.  The Jays need someone to step in while Kikuchi continues to try to figure it out.  White is not going to light it up, but he can give you a QS and win if the Toronto offense can figure out Dylan Bundy.  Who hasn’t, am I right?  On the road for his first Jays start, I look for White to be energized and possibly playing for a contract with the Jays.  I like his 2-to-1 K-to-BB ratio lately and think he can do enough to bring solid numbers Saturday.  If you like saving money, the #28 SP on Saturday’s Streamanator list will certainly help you do so.  We will need some of that cash to fill out the remainder of our line-up.  A solid pivot from Mitch White is Jake Odorizzi (SP: DK: $7,800 / FD: $8,200) who leaves Houston only to find himself with another contender in Atlanta.  Jake’s numbers are sneaky good, so I will happily approve him if White scares you off.

Jordan Montgomery, SP: DK: $7,700 / FD: $8,500 – Since we are about a month away from half of the world playing fantasy football, why not enlist the classic revenge game theory right?  Editor’s Note: Revenge game is not really a thing, but folks sure do like to bring it up.  To be honest, I was not a JoMo fan heading into the season.  There were many who pushed him their draft boards and I was not one of them.  I recommended him once in DFS and he brought results, so when I noticed he fit my narrative, I thought ‘why not?’  His numbers are solid and the Yankees do strike-out a lot (when they are not absolutely mashing baseballs).  I lean toward the home team Cardinals a little in this one and think JoMo is a solid start even though the Streamanator has him down at #11 for Saturday.

Christian Vazquez, C: DK: $4,600 / FD: $2,500 – This trade surprised me especially considering the BoSox immediately dealt for another catcher after sending Vazquez to the Astros.  The Houston back-stops were statistically the worst offensive catchers in MLB and that immediately changes with the acquisition of Vazquez.  Facing a mediocre Cal Quantrill after a few days off, post-trade, should be just what Vazquez needs to endear himself to his new teammates.  For some reason, we did not see Vazquez (again) on Friday.  There is no injury news to report.  If you find him sitting again, consider our favorite punch line (Google if you do not know the joke), Reese McGuire (C: DK: $2,100 / FD: $ )

Josh Bell, 1B: DK: $4,600 / FD: $3,200 – The other guy in the Juan Soto deal to San Diego.  Bell immediately steps in to upgrade the Pads 1B position that was the second worst for HR (only 10) this season.  Luke Voit was included in the deal back to Washington (poor, poor, Luke Voit) and Eric Hosmer, after almost being the Grinch to Soto’s Santa Claus when he refused to waive his no-trade clause, was later dealt to Boston.  That means the switch-hitting Bell has nobody to compete with for playing time and at-bats.  I like him in LA against Andrew Heaney who is recently back from an IL stint.  If you are not a fan of Bell versus Heaney based on Heaney’s numbers, check into Daniel Vogelbach who should play at least one of the double-header Mets games and do not sleep on Eric Hosmer in Boston.  All are solid plays Saturday.

Whit Merrifield, 2B: DK: $4,100 / FD: $2,900 – Good news for folks wanting to roster Merrifield = he can go at least the weekend without getting the vaccine.  I digress.  Whit is another player moving from a tough situation to a winner in the rough and tumble AL East.  Domingo German has been knocked around since coming back from injury, so Merrifield is a good option to hit (and run) for the Jays.  Look up and down the Toronto lineup and it is a formidable one for sure.  One German is certainly not ready to face.  When headed back north of the border, keep an eye on Whit’s vax status before using him again.

Brandon Drury, 3B: DK: $5,400 / FD: $3,700 – (NOTE: Qualifies at 2B, too.)  One of the good news stories of the Reds season is Drury who seems to have found his groove precipitating his move to the Padres.  Can you imagine playing for Cincinnati all season, killing it for no wins, only to be dealt to a contender that also added Josh Hader and Juan Soto?  Count me in if I am Drury!  Please know Drury will not EVER start over a healthy Manny Machado at 3B, but it is important we keep an eye on the starting lineups as Jake Cronenworth also mans 2B, so we want to ensure Drury is active before starting him.

J.P. Crawford, SS: DK: $3,700 / FD: $2,700 – And this is when it became tough for me to fill the roster.  I do not recall as SS being on the market and none of consequence other than C.J. Abrams, were moved at the deadline. Since Abrams is not seeing any playing time (yet) for the Nationals, I will go the Mariners well for SS.  Give me J.P. Crawford against the Angels on Saturday.  He should play both ends of the double-header so start him with confidence, especially in the second game as he supports my guy George Kirby.

Tommy Pham, OF: DK: $4,700/ FD: $2,900 – Sure, Juan Soto is the easy name here and since we saved a lot of money with our starting pitching, you should absolutely consider Soto though the Hittertron does not love him against Andrew Heaney (#32 overall bat for Saturday).  Since we have already handed two Pads (Bell, Drury), we are turning to Fantasy Football HOFer, Tommy Pham for Saturday at Kansas City lefty Daniel Lynch and his 4.70 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.  If you need a little more, take a look at what happens to KC once their ‘pen takes over in a game.  They are, per Steve Stone (ChiSox broadcaster) ‘incendiary’ meaning Pham should have all kinds of chances to succeed.

Trey Mancini OF: DK $3,200 / FD: $2,700 – I wrote this article and had a coin flip Jose Siri and David Peralta from TB.  Both are sneaky cheap plays and listing both would give you another set of options, but after watching Trey ‘Bomb Bomb’ Mancini hit three HR for his first three hits for Houston, I must recommend the hot bat Saturday.  He should still qualify at OF.  If not, the Hittertron loves Siri on the cheap today.

OK, so after reading the name above, you must think only a crazy person would put a roster like that together and expect to win some money.  You are correct and I am not suggesting you use all of the names listed above and expect to win any contests, rather, the names above are all lower cost options that will allow you to pay up for the big boys (Yordan, Judge, Riley, Goldschmidt, Devers, Trea/Freeman, Alonso, etc.).  DFS is about leveraging pricing and the trade deadline names above will absolutely help you do that.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains

No weather to report for Saturday.


Doing Lines In Vegas

I will repeat my previous future’s bets…get your money on Verlander (AL CY), Goldschmidt (NL MVP, and JROD (AL ROY).