…You should occasionally look to the results,” goes the rest of the quote by Winston Churchill, but we’re going to ignore that last bit for now (although it’s generally good advice) and talk strategy for our lineup on Draft.com today. It’s an interesting day, given the pitching. We have a bunch of excellent – Cy Young-level excellent — pitchers who have the misfortune of playing in good hitting parks or facing good hitting teams. And then pitchers who would normally be only mid-tier suddenly get a bump because of the teams they’re facing or the parks they’re pitching in. In short, there’s a lot of pitching and you can probably afford to wait until your second round to grab a pitcher. So I’d aim for a top IF first, then a pitcher, then an OF. Let’s take a look at who’s out there for the grabbin’.
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The Cy Young Three-Headed Monster, SP: Early – I know. You want a name here. Here are some names. This three-headed monster consists of Max Scherzer in Philly, Aaron Nola also in Philly, and Jacob deGrom in Wrigley. See what I mean about great pitching, horrid parks? Honestly, they’re all pretty much of a muchness because it’s tight at the top among pitchers, so you could draft any of them and hopefully go home smiling (or if you’re home, walk from the fridge to the couch smiling). As mentioned above, I’d go for an SP in your second round; don’t be the first to pick one of these 3, but aim for the last one who’s still available.
The Middling Three-Headed Monster, SP: Middle – This tier would consist of Charlie Morton (taking on the A’s at home in Houston), Madison Bumgarner (also at home, in San Francisco) or Carlos Carrasco. These guys are a notch below the Cy Young guys but excellent in their own right, and either pitching in a favorable park today or have a favorable match-up. Again, you could probably grab any of them and yadda yadda smiling, but if I’m committing to one, I’d say MadBum’s my favorite of this lot.
Cole Hamels, SP: Late – If none of the Cy Youngers are still out there, look to Cole Hamels, whose narrative is that he’s turned his season around after his trade from Texas to the Cubs: a move from the AL to the NL can never hurt. Julio Teheran and Lance Lynn would be the other two heads to his monster. We normally wouldn’t really look at either, but both are pitching better of late. This is the latest I’d go with drafting pitching, though; after these guys, there’s a drop-off.
J.D. Martinez, IF: Early – Hittertron loves him today, giving him the honor of the top-rated IF on the day (well, Draft calls him an IF and Hittertron calls him an OF, but you know what I mean), and I agree. He’s at home in Fenway, he’s our home run leader, and he’s hitting against a righty: on the season so far, he has 5 HRs vs LHP, and 33 vs RHP. All good things come in 3’s today. My only caveat to this pick: Jose Urena just pitched a complete game against Washington before his suspension. Note that there’s a bit of a drop-off after Just Dong, but other great picks in this tier would include Jose Ramirez and Manny Machado.
Ronald Acuna, OF: Early – TBH, none of the OFs really inspire today. With that smattering of Cy Young pitchers on the slate (a Cy Young smorgasbord, if you will), many of the OF greats are facing them. I’d shy away from people like Murphy or Baez or Bryce or Rizzo. But we do have to pick an OF, and Ronald Acuna is ranked pretty low by Draft today, so there’s a chance he may get overlooked. While you’re busy drafting Just Dong and your Cy Young pitcher, Acuna may fall to you – you may not need to reach for him. It’s rather weird that he’s ranked so low, given he’s hitting .343 in Aug with a 1.157 OPS and 10 HRs — the hottest-hitting player in the last 30 days, fact fans, and facing Ryne Stanek today, to boot. But if you miss out on him, Giancarlo Stanton would make for another fine option, for the match-up versus James Shields at home.
Justin Turner, IF: Middle – He has been so hot, and should be good for hits if you manage to draft him, playing as he is in the hitter-friendly Rangers park. Among all the Dodgers infielders, he’s the one most likely to be guaranteed at-bats. If you can’t get him, in this round I also like Alex Bregman for the match-up vs Edwin Jackson.
Rougned Odor, IF: Late – I’m pointing out the Odor for the lefty-righty match-up versus Walker (how I wish he played for the Texas Rangers) Buehler in Texas, where he’s hitting .305 on the season. Odor can go hot and cold, but right now he’s hot (2 HRs in the last 3 games). Another nice late IF option would be Miguel Andujar, facing Big Game James and hitting .320 at home. If they happen to fall to you late, you could also do worse than grab Freddie Freeman or Jose Altuve, who is ranked weirdly low by Draft.
Tyler O’Neill, OF: Late – Here’s hoping he makes it into the lineup, but there’s a good chance of it: he has been getting playing time lately while also getting hot. The match-up versus Ivan Nova should suit him.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Doing Lines In Vegas
Vegas is preeeeeeeetty sure that Houston is going to beat Oakland, giving it to Charlie Morton and the Astros at -273. And Lance Lynn and the Yankees are likely a sure bet over James Shields and the White Sox at -219.