Before I put internet pen to internet paper about my leads, I want you to know something: I do research.  I know, I know, it may SEEM like this stuff is off the cuff because it’s so off the chain (kids say that still, right?) but I swear to you, I spend a good amount of time looking into season long stats as well as current trends before I start snuggling up to my starting pitchers, especially when I’m looking to go cheap.  As you know by now if you’ve played a bit on DK, strikeouts for pitchers are the black gold of fantasy baseball DFS so scouting out the right scenario to rack them up is key.  So first I go and look at team K% for the season to see how teams are fairing and see – sarcastic drum roll please – the Astros sitting on top at 25.1%.  Then I change the view to last 7 days and guess what?  The Astros are still waiving their bats in the air like they just don’t care as they’re at 26.2%.  Why check both?  Well, it puts you on going after teams that are perhaps slumping or it could make you recognize a particular team that normally Ks seems locked in as a group and may not be one to pick on at the moment.  But for now, I’m following this whiff wagon and taking the Erasmo Ramirez discount of $5,600 so I can have all of the Coors.  No not the beer, silly!  I’d rather be a teetotaler than do that.  I’m talking about those Atlanta and Colorado bats, of course.  And of course, now that I have, I don’t have to mention them again.  Damn, I covered a lot in this opener, I should just quit now!  But instead, we’ll keep this Friday post rolling.  Here’s some of my other hot takes for this Friday DK slate…

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Cole Hamels, SP: $10,700 – Remember how I said I pay attention to the last 7 days?  Well not only are the Giants K’ing a ton of late with their 24.4% strikeout rate, they also own a lowly 45 wRC+.  Like I said in the intro, teams can and do slump and Hamels isn’t someone you’d look to as a slump buster.  Given most people will want to attack the Phillies with Madison Bumgarner today, I have no problem veering and making Coley Bear my SP1 in cash if I’m trying to swerve the industry.  It’s ok, he told me I could call him that.  Ok, he didn’t really but it’s the internet.  What’s he gonna do about it?  Love ya Coley Bear!

Gerrit Cole, SP: $10,000 – Speaking of slumps…Cardinals haven’t been playing great offensive baseball of late.  Though I’d prefer to attack them with a lefty, I GUESS a guy with a 2.28 ERA on the season with a 9+ K/9 rate will do but you’re making my life way more difficult than I’d like.  I’m guessing Cole will be the second most loved pitcher today just behind MadBum and I’m just telling you I respect the love if you want him as your SP1 in cash.

Collin McHugh, SP: $8,700 – Collin is having himself a very lumpy 2015 but seems to have turned the Irish charm back on of late with some decent outings in the game log.  Given the recent Rays plunge into whiffery – 26% rate over their last 7 – Collin makes for an interesting play if you’re avoiding the studs.

Noah Syndergaard, SP: $8,200 – Projection models love him today and it’s hard to hate on him but I am being cautious since the Dbacks have been hitting well as a team of late.  The ballpark helps but when Stella or anyone gets their groove back, it’s hard to take it away.  Noah is probably the chalk SP2 for your cash games, though, so don’t just ignore him.  All this to say, you’re going to need a Killer Instinct to add the right players to get a combo breaker from Synder today.

Clay Buchholz, SP: $6,900 – Wanna hear something crazy?  Here.  Wanna hear something else crazy?  Yes, the Yanks are still walking a ton but over their last 7, they’re 4th worst in team K rate at 23.2%.  Tourney only play in my eyes but I still say you can go Buch yourself here and come away happy.

Yasmani Grandal, C: $4,100 – Jimmy Nelson is on the mound so basically, gimme all of your lefties.  Consider this a ringing endorsement for Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier and a tourney nod for Joc Pederson and Jimmy Rollins.  Ah heck, just Dodger stack and throw in Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner while you’re at it.  You know you want to.

Derek Norris, C: $3,700 – He hasn’t been hot of late but has any Padre?  He’s still facing a lefty and he’ll be in a hitter friendly park against a regressing Wandy.  Hrm, that sounds like something from a Harry Potter book that requires Cialis.  Lay off the butter beer!  If you’re doing multiple tourney stacks, Padres are in play or at the very least, I’d consider Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and even Will Middlebrooks and Jedd Gyorko.

Mitch Moreland, 1B: $4,300 – There is always plenty of talent to choose from at 1B so I’m gonna point out someone who might go overlooked since you can’t have both Prince Fielder and Mitch on the same team.  Ahem, HINT HINT DK; add a UTIL, wouldja?  But I digress, Kennedy has been homer-prone against left-handed bats and Moreland would go well in a lefty Texas stack.  Consider this a thumbs up to Rougned Odor, Shin-Soo Choo, and Josh Hamilton if you’re going tourney style. Also, this will be the last time I’ll suggest a stack…I think!

Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF: $3,800 – Probably better in the OF but if you really wanna dive a bit lower, Trumbo has gone 5 for his last 7 and could be heating up.  Just in time to face a lefty on the mound.  That is decidedly as sexy as $240 worth of pudding.  Ah yeah…

Steve Pearce, 2B/OF: $3,300 – He’s getting close to punt territory with this pricing and has batted as high as 5th lately against a left-handed pitcher.  He will get just such a thing on Friday in Gio Gonzalez and he will be in the friendly confines of Camden Yards while he’s at it.  This is the kind of day where I’d go against my original stance against body modification and go get a Pearce’ing.

Maikel Franco, 3B: $3,200 – Yeah it’s against MadBum…but dat price, doe.  If he were playing a full season, He’d be on pace for 30 HRs.  Totally a tourney get here but Franco my dear, I don’t give a damn Madison is on the mound.  Gimme Maikel.

Nick Ahmed, SS: $2,900 – Probably batting low in the lineup and probably batting 8th right in front of the pitcher so this is probably a punt play with a Kim K-sized but: Ahmed has been hitting well for about a month now.  Don’t just punt.  Punt with panache, my friends.

Chris Colabello, OF: $3,300 – The seemingly forever hitting .300, forever under $3,600 Cola gets a lefty today in Duffy.  In fact, so does every other power hitting righty bat in that Toronto lineup.  Yes, all eight of the others.  I know I said I wouldn’t talk stacks anymore BUT all those Blue Jays bats could bring the boom to a pitcher like Danny.  At the very least, looking at Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion is a moral imperative.

Marc Krauss, 1B/OF: $2,200 – The lefty journeyman has been seen batting in prime RBI spots behind the big Detroit bats.  A run scoring double pretty much makes him mint at this price.  Krauss’ing Tiger, hidden bargain, TBQMFH.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

The only game that looks slightly menacing is the KCvsTOR event but all the action seems to be at game time with clear skies beyond it.  It probably gets in, but there could be a delay.  Hopefully the Jays have already scored 10 runs before Duffy gets pulled…

Doing Lines In Vegas

Vegas is out here letting us know it’s gonna be a pitcher’s kind of night with all these low totals as half the slate has an o/u of 7 or under with SFvsPHI leading the pack at 6.  If you’re trying to get in expensive bats, you should easily be able to find relatively safe plays for cheap toeing the rubber with that in mind.  One such game that surprisingly joined this fray is CLEvsOAK.  Not only did Vegas shave a half run to get this game down to 7, but the betting line for under on the game is heavy and Danny Salazar has seen a slight increase from -140 to -152.  I’m gonna keep my eye on this line today like Sauron on a hobbit on the off chance Vegas is seeing something in the ‘zar of Ks for today.  Overall, there aren’t many heavy favorites today unless you go by the Teamonator.  Rudy’s Vegas robot lovechild – sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there…and comes with child support payments – has San Fran garnering the win at a heavy 67.1%, followed by CLE and LAD sitting at 63%.