Alright everyone, get ready. It’s time to hole yourself up inside your house even when it’s sunny and think long and deep thoughts about things that really don’t mean anything. But being fantasy baseballers (Grey’s mom’s term!), you’re already doing this more often than not so you won’t even need to limber up. So the question today, kids, is what’s the cutoff point for bad team facing ‘x’ pitcher equals good to great pitching stats? Hrm, that didn’t sound very philosophical, let’s try again. What’s the sound of one fan base not clapping? If a team sucks in Philadelphia and no one is there to watch it, does it make a sound? There, that’s better. Ponder on, you ponderers. I’ll be here while you insert your thinking emoji down in the comments at me. PS, it just shows up as a couple of weird squares if it shows up at all. The latter is absolutely fine when your user name is ‘Eat A [email protected]#$, Sky’ cuz you’ve already told us all what everyone was already thinking. But where were we? Oh yeah, the answer to said question is ‘the sound of your pen breaking as you write Tommy Joseph into your cleanup spot on a regular basis’. The Phillies tricked the baseball world that doesn’t pay attention to stats into thinking they were good for a few weeks to start the year. It was a fun ride while it lasted guys but now that it’s over, let’s look at said stats and why we should care. The Phils are a mediocre offense but when they face a lefty? Whew…Philly comes in second to last in wRC+ at 62 and give you a 23.8% K rate when facing a southpaw. With that, in steps Robbie Ray. Ray not only gets the bonus of stepping out of Chase Field where he owns a 5.89 ERA to the road where it’s 3.06, he also gets to be a lefty who already owns a 10.17 K/9 for the year. Basically, on Saturday, all the regular season articles are gonna lead with ‘pick up Robbie Ray!’ and you’ll be like, ‘Fool, it was the Phillies and he’s in Toronto next. DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT.’ Ok, maybe that’s just me. Anyhoo, starting Ray at $8,400 promises Ks o’plenty and I’m comfortable in all formats rolling him out there. But let’s stop thinking deep thoughts and get on with being shallow as we’re wont to be. And with that, here’s my God is dead hot taeks for this Friday DK slate…
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Jose Quintana, SP: $9,600 – I’m perplexed, nonplussed, flabbergasted, and other thesaurus dot com words for confused about the top five priced for today. I mean, yeah, I get Matt Harvey at home vs the Braves even though I’m not in on it but…Zach Davies away is over $200 more than Quintana? Two words for that. Shark back in the AL is over 10K? I mean, I know it’s the Rays but eh? Whatever. RE: Jon Gray, I’m fine with it, but I think he’s a bit overpriced given that three of his games have come against the Padres, but admittedly the talent is there. I don’t even know what to say about Michael Fulmer leading the pack while pitching in KC against the Royals…of course, none of this explains my Quintana pick so lets get to it: the Indians are mediocre against lefties which means a good to great one can set phasers to great K day. Yes, that’s a phaser setting. Don’t argue with me, we have a lot more to get to.
Joe Ross, SP: $9,400 – Ross is god awful against lefty bats and silly good against righties. The Padres throw seven of eight position players out there as righties. Ross is your cash game SP1 today and don’t even think about it further.
Lance McCullers, SP: $8,900 – Lance looks like he’s still getting his sea legs after a long time away from MLB action, but has seven or more Ks in five straight games. Against a Reds team that ain’t nothing special, Lance has a chance to do something special.
Adam Conley, SP: $6,200 – Rockies were terrible against lefties last year and that seems to have carried over, albeit not as much as we all remembered. Rockies have the fifth worst K rate against southpaws on the year and sport a bottom 10 wRC+ against them to round it out. Conley doesn’t provide enough of a safety net for cash games – and you don’t really need him on a day where pitching prices are manageable anyway – but he’s definitely a great zig to the crop out there rushing for Gray today.
John Lamb, SP: $6,000 – If you’re throwing out multis in a tourney, you gotta be playing Lambs. Astros sit at a 24.7% K rate against lefties for the year. It’s a risk/reward play that could decidedly put the lotion in the [email protected]$ing basket for you.
Welington Castillo, C: $4,000 – Where’s the Beouf? No really, dude hasn’t hit a HR in, like, a month and a half. Really, it doesn’t matter if he does or doesn’t go yard, he’s hitting .365 against lefties on the year and gets a middle of the road one in Adam Morgan. So hit one or don’t, Castillo, we’ll still love you (but we’ll love you more if you bomb one). While we’re on this, let’s just recognize that a Ray coupled with Dbacks bats mini-stack sounds pretty nice. Gimme Paul Goldschmidt and maybe sprinkle in some Peter O’Brien in tourneys.
Stephen Vogt, C: $3,300 – The Maker of Shoes has been on fire of late, but I still believe his splits can get exposed on any given day. He has struggled against lefties even when he was groovin’ back in 2014 and Vogt has four days of rest on his side heading into the matchup.
Dae-Ho Lee, 1B: $4,300 – Admittedly, we’re getting up to the price where you don’t really want to play this platoon player but he’s against a lefty of lesser caliber than Ian Snell and he handled him just fine yesterday. If you want to stack Mariners, you shall have it. I’d go for Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez for starters and then feel free to sprinkle in the good lefty bats like Robinson Cano and/or Kyle Seager if you’re going all out.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B: $3,500 – What, you didn’t come here for me to tell you to play Edwin Encarnacion, did you? You don’t need me to help you make an obvious choice…at least I hope that’s the case. Alvarez has sat the last three days and it’s not entirely certain why, but he’s back in Camden facing a righty and seemed to be heating up in the last series vs the Blue Jays so maybe we’ll see El Toro bully one out tonight.
Aaron Hill, 2B/3B: $2,600 – If it’s not clear, I’m looking to punt my 2B for the day and Hill probably hits second against a lefty. Everyone is either overpriced or in a bad match up. To get Shakespearean for a minute: 2B or not 2B? I’d prefer the latter if possible.
Jimmy Paredes, 2B: $2,500 – See the last two sentences on Hill.
Alex Rodriguez, 1B/3B: $4,200 – I guess? I know, rousing endorsement over here. Third isn’t as bad as 2B today but it’s giving me grief, I’ll admit to that. If you wanna pay up for Josh Donaldson or roll Nolan Arenado, I can’t blame you but I’m feeling an old man dong today…an Archer ‘PHRASING’ doesn’t begin to describe how bad that was. But given Minnesota’s starter being a lefty and their bullpen being a collective mess, a chance to get something out of old man A-Rod seems high today.
Corey Seager, SS: $4,000 – Two weeks ago, this kid hit 3 bombs in one game. Now he’s priced lower than Danny Espinosa. This aggression will not stand, man! I’ve already mentioned my scoff at Davies being priced near 10K today. You don’t have to Dodgers stack, but Seager is a wise choice regardless.
Jose Iglesias, SS: $3,300 – For you penny pinchers out there, why not take the SS with a .386 average in June? Good idea, you.
Joc Pederson, OF: $3,800 – As I mentioned in the Seager blurb, you don’t have to stack Los Doyers but feel free to get a bat or two in there if you’re willing. Zach Davies is a bigger fraud than Mrs. Doubtfire.
Michael Conforto, OF: $3,800 – I’m sticking down in this price range because a few weeks ago when JD Martinez was left for dead, he was sitting around this price. Now he actually IS dead – for at least four weeks anyway – and he’s price in the mid to high 4K range. You feel me? Zig when others zag. But when others Zig Zag, you go Top because you’re a rebel like that when you roll your own.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Um, I hate to be the bearer of good news, but it looks like everything is dry today. I know you look forward to this section being longer than two sentences but you’re gonna have to move along.
Doing Lines In Vegas
If you’re playing the early slate it’s because you like Cubs bats and Jake Arrieta and who can blame you? Liriano has been terrible and the Cubs have a -260 line in their favor. You know what to do there. If you thought that line was impressive, you should look at the HOUvsCIN line…well alrighty then. Yeah, McCullers at -260 will probably be a popular play. I’m still inclined to fade in cash given other options available. Harvey and his Mets opened at -270 but have since slid down to -210. Obvious statement is obvious: he’s still a good play. Obvious statement is obvious part two, revenge of Captain obvious: probably just a cash game play. Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka and his Yanks hold a -170 advantage on the road vs the Twinkies while Ross and the Nats sit at -165 against the Padres. If you’re looking for some runs, we have BOSvsSEA topping the o/u charts at 9.5 while HOUvsCIN and BALvsTOR come in at 9. I didn’t mention any Astros hitters but yeah, a McCullers paired with a bunch of Astros bats makes plenty of sense if you can afford it. Meanwhile, the line shift from 8.5 down to 8 for MIAvsCOL tells you plenty about how to view that game: take the pitching and only take one bat if you’re feeling it.