Contrary to what I previously believed, the San Diego chicken is not in fact the mascot for the Padres. That dubious honor goes to “The Swinging Friar”. What he’s swinging, we don’t really know, but we do know he’s swinging…and missing…a lot. In fact, there’s only one other team that is striking out more than the Padres. The numbers are darn near video game level. A really easy video game though, not like World Championship Baseball, that shizz was darn near impossible. Vince Velasquez went for 16, Clayton Kershaw went for 14 (and 9), Cueto went for 11, and Jon Gray got 11 Pads. Multiple other pitchers have K’d 9 Padres in a night as well. It’s ugly. So, tonight we’ve got Noah Syndergaard taking the mound, he of the 12.25 K/9 and 2.51 ERA. The scary thing is, he could be even better, his FIP is sitting at a tidy 1.39 and his xFIP is a wonderful 1.79. *Drool* How do I not own this guy in any leagues this year? Brutal. Things shouldn’t get any worse in Petco Park. I don’t need to blab about how amazing Syndergaard is, but I will. A stat I love to look at is SwStr%, or the % of strikes a batter swings at and misses. Noah’s 15.9% currently leads the league. He’s throwing strikes and guys still can’t touch it. Could be that 97.6 MPH average fastball. I also like a pitcher that can get a batter to chase a bad pitch. Even if they get ahold of it, it’s usually weak contact, so making a guy chase a pitch is a nice skill to have. Well, Syndergaard’s 36.6% O-swing %, or percentage of non-strikes swung at, is 2nd in the league behind only Zack Greinke. That would help explain why he has a soft contact % of 26%, good for 11th in the league. All of this is to say, he’s really, really good and the Padres are really, really bad. This is a no brainer top cash game option of the night, despite the lofty price tag ($12,900). Don’t overthink it and just watch those K’s pile up. Let’s see if we can make our bankrolls pile up with the rest of these picks:
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Madison Bumgarner, SP: $10,900 – It would be irresponsible of me to not mention Madison Bumgarner as a pivot option to Syndergaard. While not quite as great a match-up, Mad Bum is at home run in the pitcher friendly AT&T park and draws the Rockies, on the road. While it hasn’t surfaced as much this season, the Rockies road woes have been long documented. If you’re one of those folks who just likes to be different, then Bumgarner might be the choice for you tonight.
Zack Greinke, SP: $10,100 – I mentioned Zack up there in my open as being the #1 pitcher in the league in O-swing %. This is one among many stats that suggest he’s been getting unlucky in the early going. Sure, his 3.73 FIP/xFIP isn’t exactly wonderful, but it’s surely better than his 5.50 ERA suggests. Tonight, he draws the Braves, on the road, away from Coors South. The Braves are the Padres of the East and should be attacked and any and every opportunity. They are dead last in Runs, dead last in team OPS and dead last in home run runs with six…SIX!!
Taijuan Walker, SP: $9,500 – More like Taijuan striker-outer, am I right? I mean, Taijuan has only walked three batters all season long. That’s amazing and I love when a guy doesn’t beat himself by walking his way into trouble. Pfft, Walker, no way. Not to mention, the other team in MLB that is striking out at an epic rate is the Houston Astros. They don’t wait around for walks, they are a free swinging bunch. Strikeouts pay the bills in DFS and I expect Taijuan to mow them down tonight. He’s been great against the Astros in the past, striking out 58 of them in 50 innings.
Chad Bettis, SP: $7,200 – It’s a shame all these Rockies pitchers have to pitch in Coors. Just look at the K/9 on Jon Gray, yumm-o! If the Rockies have an ace right now though, I’d probably lean towards Bettis. This kid is a total bull-dog on the mound, something I love to see. While his K/9 isn’t exactly inspiring, his ERA despite playing half his games in Coors is. He’ll actually be in a pitcher’s park tonight and for the price tag, I think he’s the best cheap dice roll for a GPP play there is tonight.
Joey Votto, 1B: $4,500 – Hey, walks score points too, OK? I really think this game gets out of hand fast. Tyler Cravy gets the call after Wily E. Peralta had a baby coy-pup. Cravy faces Adleman and neither guy is a world-beater. The wind looks to be blowing out in the bandbox that is Great American Ballpark and I could see a lot of scoring here.
Byung-ho Park, 1B: $3,800 – #Latos
Brett Lawrie, 2B: $3,600 – If it’s not Latos, it’ll be Nolasco that I’m looking to beat up on first. This is another game that could get really out of hand tonight. So, most likely someone will win this game 1-0 with both pitchers going 8 scoreless. Because, baseball. Lawrie is a great value at this price and getting to face Nolasco is icing on the cake.
Chris Coghlan, 2B/3B: $3,600 – Whenever Coghlan draws a RHP, my ears perk up a bit. Righties are his bread and butter. He owns an OPS 150 points higher vs. RHP (.776) than LHP (.623). Ubaldo has been all over the map and struggling early on to the tune of a 5.20 ERA and 4.70 FIP. He doesn’t really have any discernable platoon splits, so that just means everyone will hit him tonight!
Josh Donaldson, 3B: $4,300 – Josh Donaldson being the same price as Eugenio Suarez is a thing that makes me go hmmmmm. Sure, Donaldson is facing a RHP, and one that’s been very solid so far this season in Maeda, but it’s Josh DONGaldson for crying out loud. With any luck everyone will be scared off by Maeda and we can reap the benefits.
Evan Longoria, 3B: $3,200 – With Garrett Richards apparently needing a nap, Cory Rasmus will get the start. Rasmus hasn’t started yet this year and it seems like this will end up being a bullpen game. The TB offense is pathetic, but even they should be able to get something going against a slew of long relievers.
Jonathan Villar, SS: $4,100 – It’s no fun when your cheap middle infielding hidden gem suddenly blows up, but sometimes you just have to stick with the hot hand. Villar has been getting on and tearing up the basepaths. I mentioned above how I think this game gets out of hand in a hurry. Villar will be the catalyst atop the Brewers lineup. If things do get out of hand, expect a lot of points from Villar.
Danny Santana, OF: $2,900 – Speaking of hot and cheap. Just like how I like my…coffee, coffee people! Danny has been working it at the top of the Twins lineup and we all know how much we want to target Latos.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF: $3,800 – Here’s an interesting bit of BvP data for you. CarGo has gone 16/46 vs. Bumgarner with 5 HRs and a .400 OBP. Granted, some of that was no doubt in Coors, but still. I can’t imagine anyone will be on him given the match-up so he makes for a very interesting GPP pick tonight.
Brandon Drury, 3B/OF: $2,400 – DraftKings is typically pretty quick on the draw to up the salary of a hot player. Drury has clubbed 4 HRs in 8 games Jake Lamb might swipe back some playing time now that he’s back so watch the lineup. For the price though, Drury is totally worth a shot.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
The Red Sox @ Yankees game is pretty worrisome tonight. I never like seeing rain on the front side of a game since those storm systems tend to shift to later which puts it right smack in the middle of game time. With these two teams playing so often, I’d guess calling it will happen a little quicker than normal. Another game on the east coast looks to be a disaster and that is the A’s @ Orioles tilt. There’s a steady stream of 66-85% chance for showers all night long.
Do my eyes deceive me? Is it the sign of the apocalypse? There’s a threat of rain in San Diego AND Los Angeles? I’m officially worried and you should be too. Keep an eye on those west coast games…words I never thought I’d say.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Madison Bumgarner and the Giants are the biggest favorite of the night, checking in at -200. That game features a 6.5 over/under. Noah Syndergaard and the Mets are right there as -150 favorites, however that game features the elusive 6 over/under.
There are 4 games with 8.5 over/unders and a lot of games off the board due to late pitching changes. There are a lot of moving parts, so be sure to check who is actually taking the mound for some of these games. The games with the 8/5 over/unders include [email protected], [email protected], MIN[email protected], and [email protected]