There was a great conversation taking place on Twitter recently regarding how a pitcher has certain pitches working, or not working, from start to start. The incredible amount of feel it takes to make a baseball dance the way so many pitchers do today is something that sharpens, or dulls, at different phases of a season. German (pronounced Hair-mahn) Marquez has pitched like his hair is on fire the last few turns. When a guy strikes out 8+ a few starts in a row, it’s a good sign his feel is peaking. Get German and these other dialed-in players into your DFS contests on Draft.com for today.
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James Paxton, SP: Early. All of the top options at SP have had recent stumbles. I’ll target the latest one available: that should typically be Paxton. He’s scuffled a bit in 3 starts since coming off the DL. What’s encouraging is that Big Maple has exceeded 100 pitches in the last two outings and can match strikeouts with anyone.
German Marquez, SP: Middle. Away from Coors? Check. Pitching against a team with a sub 100 wRC+ the last two weeks? Check. Second half K/9 over 11? Check swing called third strike.
Alex Wood, SP: Late. It’s a risk, but if Wood lasts in a draft, he makes a good late-pick SP. The Dodgers’ great win odds (-185) are attractive. The gamble is how late into the game Wood will go, coming off the DL. He’s actually been rather reliable, posting a quality start in 8 of his last 10 starts.
Jesus Aguilar, IF: Early. Big Jeezy has made great strides, hitting pitchers from both sides this year. He’ll always see left-handed pitching better, though (.397 wOBA vs LHP). Lefty Jose Quintana has been below average all season. Should be a great spot in the hot Chicago summer.
J.D. Martinez, IF: Middle. Your best bet to hit a home run on any given night. He’s projected for 0.5 points by Draft, being a DH. You have to take a guess at whether he’s in the lineup on the road against the National League Phillies. Not a bad risk to take if you can monitor for a late swap.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF: Early. If you’ve used Rudy’s Tools (you know there’s a free trial, right?) at all this year, you know where Stanton usually ranks. Cruz is starting to cruise with 6 homers in the last 2 weeks.
Michael Brantley, OF: Middle. Against the odds, Brantley has got back to being one of the more reliable hitters in baseball (.343 wOBA). He hits righties a good bit better (.368 wOBA vs RHP), and the Indians are visiting Great American Smallpark.
Juan Soto, OF: Late. Soto remains criminally under-projected by Draft at 8.2 points. You might get lucky and have him slip past your league-mates. John Gant does not have the tools to get the Childish Bambino out.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
As usual, there’s pop-up risk in the Mid-Atlantic. The biggest risk could be in Kansas City, however. It may be raining at game time; that always makes for a bumpy ride.
Doing Lines in Vegas