Welcome back to another edition of “Who to Draft on Draft” with your host, Butters. Sadly, the season is drawing near its end. But fear not, I’m here for you. Our first contestant is finally putting it together, especially this past month. He’s gone 33 strong innings, allowing just 7 runs while racking up 31 Ks. And despite pitching for the Royals, he’s even picked up a couple wins. I’m talking about the very super talented baseball man Jakob Junis. The match-up against the offensively inept White Sox is very enticing and should allow him to keep rolling. And the best part is, he should be available in the mid-rounds. Scratch that: the best part is this. Baseball really is the gift that keeps on giving.
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Justin Verlander, SP: There’s really not much to say here that you don’t already know. Verlander is one of the best and has turned in a Cy Young-caliber season. The ERA, the Ks, the innings: it’s all Kate Upton levels of beautiful. Oh yeah, and the Astros are absolutely rolling right now. He should dominate his former team. But at time of writing, Draft doesn’t seem to be counting the Astros-Tigers game (or the Dodgers-Reds game), so a fine first-round pitcher alternative would be another Jacob, this time of the deGrom variety, whose start versus Miami was pushed back yesterday thanks to the rain.
J.A. Happ, SP: He’s done pretty well since being traded to the Yankees. Since moving over, Happ has thrown 40 innings with a K per. Those are pretty solid numbers and his win chances are certainly strong against the Twins. He’s a viable option if you wait to grab your pitcher.
Alex Wood, SP: Speaking of the Dodgers, let’s take a look at Alex Wood against the Reds. He’s allowed only 7 earned runs over his last 6 starts, with solid if unspectacular K numbers. And when you’re backed by that strong offense, a win is always in play. That makes him well worth your consideration later in drafts. If the Dodgers-Reds game doesn’t count for Draft later today, think about grabbing Sean Newcomb here, for the start against the Giants in AT&T Park.
Manny Machado, IF: As a Giants fan, it pains me to say this, but the Dodgers are pretty good, and you’ll want to grab a piece of their offense. So why not pick up one of the best pieces, in Manny? He’s batting over .300 and has already matched last season’s home run total of 33. Great American Ballpark has a reputation for aiding power, so I predict he will surpass that mark today. Don’t @ me if he doesn’t put one in the seats. Or do, my Twitter doesn’t get much action. Again, if Dodgers players aren’t available to you in your Draft draft, try everyone’s favorite Torrenado, Nolan Arenado, for the Coors factor.
Trevor Story, IF: If we’re gonna talk about power, did you see that absolute bomb Story hit last week? It went 505 ft! That’s the longest home run that Statcast has ever recorded. And he’s at Coors again today. He probably won’t top that distance (because 505 is insane), but fortunately he doesn’t need to hit it that far to get it out.
Yuli Gurriel, IF: Looking to grab a piece of the Astros offense but don’t want to pay up for it? *robot voice * “look no further.” That’s Hittertron telling you that Gurriel is in line for a good day against Francisco Liriano and the Tigers. Batting in that lineup gives him a great chance to put up counting stats. However, if you can’t grab a piece of the Astros offense on Draft, look to Francisco Lindor around this stage of your draft — the Tamba Bay park factor isn’t great, but Lindor has been hot lately.
Anthony Rendon, IF: A consistently solid player who, because of his various health issues, is often overlooked. He’s always had the talent. Now he has the health and has been putting up numbers. Good numbers too, not like the number of supermodels who want to go out with me. Zero is a number. In Rendon’s case, the numbers are on average right around .300 with 19 homers. Those are the numbers we like. Make sure you don’t overlook him, too.
Mike Trout, OF: Let’s go big. And if you’re gonna go big, you might as well take the best player in the known universe. Like Verlander, there’s really not a whole lot to say. Trout is a baseball god. There’s no scenario where he isn’t a great play. The only reason you shouldn’t take him first is if you want to go for pitching.
George Springer, OF: So you’ve decided you want in on the Astros and you don’t mind paying up. Here’s your man. He was a little banged up, but since his return he’s started to heat up. He’s a top 10 option on the day and you should fire him up with confidence as Stream-o-Nator pegs Lirano as one of the worst starts on the mound. But if Draft won’t let you in on the Springer action, this would be a great spot to grab Paul Goldschmidt, if you can, or how about Lorenzo Cain? Hittertron is high on him today, for the lefty-righty match-up versus Jon Lester (he’s hitting .374 versus LHP this season).
Ryan Braun, OF: Here’s a blast from the past. He’s certainly not the player he once was, but he can still be a valuable piece to round out your outfield. Hittertron likes his match-up against Jon Lester. Look for him to snap out of his funk and provide value late.
Andrew McCutchen, OF: He’s often found himself in a prime position since the trade to New York, getting time in the lead-off spot and batting third. That bodes well for his run-scoring ability as he still has very good speed. The power is a nice bonus, too. I really like McCutchen to fill out your team.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
We’ve got thunder rolling through New York and Philly, so be aware of that when selecting any players from the Mets, Marlins, Phillies and Nats. With the weather concerns, it’s probably better to play it safe and avoid them all together.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Vegas expects some fireworks in the desert, so fire up your Rockies and DBacks hitters (10.43 runs projected). On the flip side, the Giants and Braves are projected for a more low-scoring game (7.83), and as a Giants fan I can tell you, their offense has been painful to watch at times.