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:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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.

Dioner Navarro, C: $2,700 – Cheap catcher de jour.  Ricky Nolasco is still in the major leagues huh?  He probably shouldn’t be and I’ll take my cheap catcher facing off against him.

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], [email protected], and [email protected]

  1. Richie says:
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    I doubt it rains here during the game in San Diego…it’s raining now but its supposed to clear up and then come back towards the end of the game.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Hope so. The ocean hasn’t turned to blood or anything else has it?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I feel the Padres have been rained out once in ten years

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Sounds about right.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Last night they were showing a shot of the tarp actually out on the field. They said typically it’s just stashed away underneath the third base side seats. The Mets announcers were joking that the SD grounds crew was currently watching an instructional video on how the hell to use the thing. Probably not too far from the truth.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            HA, Mets announcers are the best

            • MattTruss

              MattTruss says:
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              I almost always listen to the home feed when I watch random games, but I’ve heard a ton about the Mets announcers in the past couple weeks. You’ve mentioned them and MauledByPandas did too, so I figured I should see what all the fuss was about. They did not disappoint. Never had much of a reason to watch a Mets game I guess. I’ll be sure to flip them on more.

              • Cram It says:
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                @MattTruss: I’ll attest to that. While probably biased being a Mets fan, still, they’re the best. Gary Cohen is the man and, well, Keith Hernandez’ hot takes are so funny.

                • mauledbypandas says:
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                  @Cram It: Ron has really been bringing his A game lately. They were talking about how great the band X was and if Keith was going to get Seinfeld to help with his basement restoration.

              • chris says:
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                @MattTruss: Matt, make sure you listen to a mets game when keith, ron and gary and doing it. Ron and Gary alone are great but when they bring Kieth Hernandez into it, its a whole other level of entertainment.

                Im biased but i have yet to listen to a group as good as they are

              • MattTruss

                MattTruss says:
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                That’s awesome, I didn’t realize Keith Hernandez was part of that screw too. he must do the home games maybe? I’ll be tuning in to their broadcast more often. I own Harvey and Cespedes a few places, so I have some vested interest. Thanks for the heads up guys.

                I’m a Braves fan, so I’ve been pretty partial to Chip Caray for some time, long line of solid broadcasters there. I live in New England, so I always enjoyed Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy doing the Sawx too. They were real good, then NESN got the bright idea to fire Orsillo for some reason and ruin that whole thing.

                Pretty sure you always develop a bias for whomever you listen to most. Unless it’s NYY radio (Sterling is the absolute worst) and/or White Sox TV w/Hawk Harrelson who makes my ears bleed.

                • chris says:
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                  @MattTruss: Im a Mets fan in RI so I know i get a bias, as i know the red sox broadcast is good (but faltering now).

                  white sox and yankees are by far the worst, but definitely tune into the mets when they have a three man booth, especially during blowouts because Kieth Hernandez just starts talking about stupid stuff and its hilarious

                • mauledbypandas says:
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                  @MattTruss: The mets WOR radio team is really good too. Josh Lewin rubs some people the wrong way, but I like him personally.

                  The SNY guys are great, but Keith only does like 60% of the games. Usually just the home games. You can play the Keith Hernandez drinking game now! Drink every time he or Ron mentions their playing days.

                  • MattTruss

                    MattTruss says:
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                    Oh man, I have a feeling that wouldn’t last too long

        • Vegans says:
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          @Grey: It was last year. I remember because I had someone pitching in that game. Since I live about 1.5 to 2 hours north of SD and since it was sunny, I laced the TV with a barrage of $&@€# calling the Padres a bunch of sunshine pu$$i€$. However 2 hours later the storm moved up to us and delivered one hell of a deluge. Frickin’ curse of the Franciscans.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Looks like the rain has cleared out in NY too, BAL still trouble though

  2. Scott says:
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    Here’s a fun exercise. If you want to find out how effective your pitching is in your RCL, paste the standings into a spreadsheet and determine your K/9 and Wins per Game Started compared to the other teams.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Kinda outta left field here Scott, haha. It’s all good though, I’m the RCL guy too, so I get the connection. Yea, I’m pretty sure I mentioned how your should track that during the year in one of my preseason posts. Actually, even more important that K/9 I think is K/GS. Since your GS are what is capped, that’s a good thing to measure against. Keep that around 8.5 or so and you’ll be looking good. I actually track all that for my RCL, ECFBL and post it to the league each week for everyone to see. Check it, last tab:

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x8QpUvhtxkNbhbNXb5sEyyba2k1uP3ITyfRnjejAoPk/edit#gid=0

      I obviously track a lot more than just that there, but it’s a good thing to keep tabs on. I’m a numbers nerd, in case you didn’t notice.

      • VinWins

        VinWins says:
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        @MattTruss: Nice. You should do that for all 85 leagues.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          That’s where you come in Vin! I should at least set that up for the 4 leagues I’m in though huh?

          • VinWins

            VinWins says:
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            @MattTruss: You just want to make me look bad.

            My brother, feeling generous, added GS and moves to the app. I’ll get that too you soon.

            • MattTruss

              MattTruss says:
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              Oh wow, no way, that’s totally sweet! Can’t wait to see where Rudy is Booty ends up in moves and GS is pretty huge. Wonder if Rudy would add that to the Master Standings page? It’d be nice to see there, just as a gauge.

              • VinWins

                VinWins says:
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                @MattTruss: Yeah, he said he’d work it in somehow.

                • MattTruss

                  MattTruss says:
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                  Sweet!

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @MattTruss: Can you somehow jimmy those stats to make my team look better?

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          You mean just yours or formatting-wise?

          • mauledbypandas says:
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            @MattTruss: just mine. Use your maths to make my teams better!

            • MattTruss

              MattTruss says:
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              Haha, that only works in the spreadsheet though, not the standings!

  3. Scott says:
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    Sit or Start Hamels today?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Sit

  4. mauledbypandas says:
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    Yesterday I was expecting deGrom to get more than a measly 2 K’s versus the lowly Padres. My nation turns it’s blue eyes to you, father of K’s, keeper of the mighty Worthen slider. THOR! hear my call. Strike down thy enemies with furious anger

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      I won’t be satisfied with anything lees than 15 tonight!

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @MattTruss: After seeing deGrom and Harvey look so deficient lately I will be happy with 7 as long as it’s a win.

        Can we get some bananas for the Mets starters? they need more K, and Potassium and… that’s all I got

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          That’s your fan talking, not your over demanding fantasy owner talking! 15!!

          Rendon(g) at it again today!!

          • mauledbypandas says:
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            @MattTruss: At least I still have Rendon in one league and Yelich is hitting bombs now!

            I am not sure what is wrong with deGrom and Harvey. They both have been extremely bleh so far. Honestly they look worn out from all the innings they put on their arms last year.

  5. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    Let’s pretend I have a team with bad pitching (the pretend part is there is just 1 team that fits that description). Should I trade Piscotty for Quintana?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Haha, I’d so that deal. I’m not that enamored with Piscotty, I think his stats are replaceable via the waiver wire personally.

      • VinWins

        VinWins says:
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        @MattTruss: He offered Rendon for Piscotty; I countered with Quintana. Probably will be rejected. Another offer I got today was Wong for McGee. As bad as McGee has been, still don’t see a reason to trade for Kolten.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Nope, Wong’s WW fodder right now. I scooped him off waivers in one league, which is fine, gave up nothing for him in hopes he shows something soon. I surly wouldn’t trade anything of value for him, not a closer for sure. Wong right now is part of that MI cluster that’s just ok enough to keep around, but barely.

  6. Scott says:
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    Fun fact! The highest ERA in the RCL that’s still in first place is 3.13, in the South Side Titans.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      They are in first place in ERA you mean?

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