Sometimes you think you know what a player is. He’s a stud. He’s a stiff. He’s hot. He’s not. And so on. Players get labels pretty quick as they come into our consciousness and it’s awfully hard to shake that.
The same goes for teams throughout a season. Oh, they aren’t hitting well or that’s a hitter’s park. These types of unwitting biases can keep you from rostering the exact players you need to win so it’s important that you keep investigating the trends that are going on throughout the season.
Those that though, prior to the 2014 season, that Anthony Rizzo can’t hit lefties were right…..prior to that season. In 2015, Rizzo broke out and it was, in a significant part, due to a much improved approach against LHP. Those that didn’t just accept the current track record were rewarded when they rostered Rizzo against lefties when few other people did.
This season, maybe it’s a guy like Tampa’s Erasmo Ramirez, who looks to be turning the corner as a pitcher and has put up some solid numbers so far this season. You might write him off as stinky based on prior track record or by him burning you when you did roster him, but a look at the most recent 30 days show a different story.
It’s a good idea to look at a player’s metrics over the last 30 days or so to get an idea which way the player it trending or if he’s been able to continue a trend that he hasn’t exhibited before. You’re likely to find some player emerging and give you an edge over your competitors who are still reading last month’s news.
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Matt Harvey, SP: $10,700 – Harvey is a real good cash game play but his GPP dominance will be limited by the Giants’ excellence on the road and against RHP. Still, I wouldn’t fault anyone for playing Harvey everywhere, even against the Giants, because his numbers over the last 30 days are dynamic (2.97 xERA, 15% Swinging Strike rate, 10.4 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9)
Trevor Bauer, SP: $8,700 – Bauer gets the continuing slumping Mariners and is currently enjoying a KK/9 rate over nine. He’s also heavily favored in Vegas to win in a modestly forecasted eight run game in Cleveland. He’s a tourney play and if this game were in Seattle, the line would likely be lower and Bauer would’ve made a decent cash player, too.
Vincent Velasquez, SP: $4,300 – Vincent Velasquez has had excellent results this season in the minor leagues and has the pitch repertoire to make things work at the major league level. His price on DraftKings is c-razy low for someone of this ilk, so I’m willing to roll the dice on the righty in tournament games.
Mitch Moreland, 1B: $3,900 – Moreland continues to pound RHP, which makes Hahn in trouble when Moreland comes up Wednesday. Moreland’s power and batting in the middle of the Rangers lineup against RHP make him a solid play.
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B: $4,200 – A-Gon has Hellickson Wednesday and continues to be one of the most powerful players at a position with a lot of power players.
Chris Davis, 1B/3B: $3,900 – Davis is all power, whiffs and walks and he has a terrific matchup at home with RHP Rick Porcello. Davis leads almost everybody in the expected power metrics, especially first basemen.
Neil Walker, 2B: $4,000 – Kyle Lohse gives up the longball and Walker is posting strong power metrics to take advantage of the Brewer right hander.
Andre Ethier, OF: $3,200 – Ethier went double yard last time out, so there could be some chase out there in the field, but his price is right against Jeremy Hellickson and the power metrics have no faded.
Billy Burns, OF: $3,400 – Burns fits the mold of a solid leadoff player who hits singles, a combination of variables that DraftKings find very point-worthy. With the Rangers pitching Yovani Gallardo, Burns is a prototypical leadoff hitter for your teams.
David DeJesus, OF: $3,100 – DeJesus has been posting surprising power metric numbers and being one of the few strong lefty hitters to take on Jeff Weaver, who struggled historically against left-handed hitters, he’s a solid play as long as he’s in the top six in the lineup.
Chris Coghlan, OF: $3,400 – Coghlan is a solid play given his power credentials over the last 30 and 60 days and has Shane Greene and the Tigers ahead of him, a good situation from Vegas’ perspective with a game total of 8.5. Coghlan is hitting the ball hard and into the air instead of into the ground, which math says means that it’s more likely to hit home runs that way. Check the lineups before lock to be sure he’s in there and to make sure he’s in a good spot in the lineup.
Andrew McCutchen, OF: $5,000 – One big priced outfielder, Cutch gets the homer-happy Kyle Lohse at home. Cutch has maintained his metrics profiles for a solid month now and who, like Neil Walker above, can fully take advantage of Lohse’s longball ways.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains:
Seattle at Cleveland and San Diego at Atlanta are the two games to watch in the evening slate. In Atlanta, it’s a measure of pop-up thunderstorms that can quickly delay the games, but not PPD. Not as familiar with the weather patterns in Cleveland, but it’s supposed to be thunderstorms out there Wednesday.
Doing Lines In Vegas:
Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox are at 8.5 runs, and so are the Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. The Rangers/A’s and Mets/Giants are at 7 for their totals. The SP with the best odds to win are Matt Harvey (-165) and Brett Anderson (-175).