Decisions, decisions…we all love when a bad hitting team gets to go up against a good to great pitcher. But do we love it when it’s in a friendly hitter’s park? This is the question you’re going to have to ask yourself today. With so many good pitching options on this slate priced reasonably, is it the kind of day you should toss Jon Gray out there on your team? Clearly Gray isn’t without risk given Coors is the backdrop but lets consider a few things for a moment. His K/9 on the year is nestled right in between David Price and Jake Arrieta. His GB% sits at a healthy 47.8% and his xFIP (3.53) is nearly a run less than his ERA (4.33). Also, Gray has done a tremendous job this year of taking advantage of cush matchups no matter where he was at. He went seven and K’d seven Padres back on June 10th in Coors and just finished up the Braves in Atlanta with eight Ks for a seven inning shutout. When Jon is given an opportunity to take down a bad team, he does it with authority. The asking price of $8,200 isn’t the cheapest nor is it unmanageable; it’s just there asking you if you like taking a bit of risk with your LU. Well, do ya punk? Alright then, let’s get on with the getting on. Here’s my fuerte taeks for this Friday DK slate…
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Tanner Roark, SP: $10,500 – Let’s start by saying this: I like Madison Bumgarner in New York but I don’t looooove him, especially at the price. He makes for an interesting tourney play to me since you’ll have a hard time affording Coors with him, but I’m not gonna go hog wild about an NL West pitcher going to a hitters park in the AL. Good, now that we’ve covered that, lets get into analysis: Ummmm, because Padres? Strong analysis! San Diego may not be the most inept team when playing away from home, but they are against righties in general with a 24.6% K rate and a wRC+ of 81. I am Tanner, hear me Roark!
Matt Shoemaker, SP: $10,000 – Nope, I’m not endorsing him. In fact, I’m telling you to avoid him. I won’t go so far as to tell you to stack against him – but I strongly do if the rest of the world is stuck on him like Matt Damon on Greg Kinnear – but I have a bias against guys after they throw a complete game shut out. One, it’s hard to ignore that ‘Last Game’ line on the ‘At A Glance’ tab. It can sway ya. Two, I have an unfounded belief that after a CGSHO a pitcher tends to be not as sharp or less likely to go deep into a game. Yes, this requires more research and yes it is an old wives tale until you can back it up with facts, but I’m not playing Old Mother Hubbard here and living in a Shoe.
Trevor Bauer, SP: $8,900 – Trevor is gonna fall into a similar gray area that Jon does in that the matchup isn’t overly enticing given the backdrop and situation. However, we all know for all the power in that Orioles lineup, it also has a lot of swing and miss and Trevor has just the pitching arsenal to get that. Bow Chicka Ba Bauer!
Gerrit Cole, SP: $7,400 – Too cheap to ignore, too rusty to start. Yay, more gray area! Cole gets the Phillies at home and should be a lock for six innings and at least eight Ks if he’s right. At this price point, he’s valid for both cash and GPP, but I’ll more likely than not fade him in the tourney world unless the twitter winds are blowing the other way. Gotta zig when others zag, fam.
Dan Straily, SP: $6,900 – If you wanna get crazy with the cheese whiz, the Diamondbacks have the 5th worst K% against righties on the year at 23.2% and have a middling 90 wRC+ against them. If you wanna come Strail away with me, you can, Eric Cartman. Just keep it confined to GPPs, wouldja?
Tony Wolters, C: $2,900 – Julio Teheran has a 2.79 ERA and a 4.02 xFIP. Hrm, that doesn’t add up…throw in he’s in Coors AND has a gross line vs lefties away from Atlanta and you’re looking at a Coors game that could go nuclear. This is also your daily reminder that yes, on days where there’s a Coors game, all bats are in play. I’ll let The Legend Of Zelda handle this one for ya. Oh and catchers…Russell Martin ain’t bad at $3,600 but really, I’m gonna do what I always do and look to punt catcher if I can.
Steve Pearce, 1B/2B: $4,900 – I mention Pearce here for a few reasons. One, if you wanna get Logan Forsythe in so you can do a full Rays stack along with Evan Longoria – and yes I’m greatly encouraging this – then you kinda gotta do it this way. Secondly, even if you don’t go full Rays stack or leave Logan out of it, you’ll gain more LU variance with Steve at 1B compared to the rest of the field who’ll more than likely bat him at 2B. And thus concludes our LU construction seminar. Juice and snacks are at the back of the room.
Kennys Vargas, 1B: $3,700 – I am a huge fan of Kennys for long term fantasy but I’m really a huge fan of him against a lefty in Boston. Vargas is physically a Big Papi clone and if history repeats itself like it’s wont to do, the Twins will trade him away for a pittance this offseason to the Red Sox and he’ll become a masher until he’s 40. Why? Because the Twins can’t have nice things. Why part deux? BECAUSE THEY’RE STUPID. Sorry, no joke there. Just truth.
Daniel Murphy, 2B: $4,900 – So last post-season Murphy found out something revolutionary: if you swing hard and pull the ball, you hit the ball with force and sometimes out of the yard. Seriously, how did he not get this prior? Anyhoo, a Nats stack along with Roark is in full play for me today. Gimme Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Wilson Ramos. If you’re feeling frisky, chuck in Trea Turner while you’re at it.
Scooter Gennett, 2B: $3,300 – He’ll bat 2nd and has the potential to hit a bomb out in the friendly confines of Miller Park. On a night where there will be plenty of people chasing Coors, it’s good to remember that there are other parks deserving of some offensive attention. The fact that Jason Hammel has been off of late makes this all the more intriguing. I’m in.
Wilmer Flores, 3B: $4,200 – Wilmer should be the everyday starter at 1B with Loney as a defensive replacement late in games. Instead, he’s mostly spot starting against lefties. Thanks for the price reduction, Terry Collins! You idiot…Flores owns a 194 wRC+ and a 1.094 OPS against southpaws this year. On a slate with Coors and Josh Donaldson against a lefty as well as Longoria and Jake Lamb in a nice spot, Wilmer could be a very under owned HR. Unless Terry Collins finds a way to sit him in this situation, too.
Manny Machado, 3B/SS: $3,700 – Even the best of players go into offensive lulls. I still love the Bauer call, but I’m willing to admit this is just too cheap to leave Manny out of a LU.
Tim Beckham, 2B/SS: $3,300 – Beckham of late has been doing what he’s always done: swinging at everything. The difference is he’s connecting and hitting HRs. His hot streaks last about a week. Hop on, even if you’re not stacking Rays.
Ian Desmond, OF: $4,300 – He’s been too hot to ignore coming out of the break. I see you, Desmond. Duffy is good, but I like hot bats who get the platoon advantage.
Lonnie Chisenhall, OF: $4,100 – Lonnie isn’t amazing, but he’s pretty good. Maybe we should just say ‘blahmazing’? No matter, Camden Yards is a beautiful place to hit for lefties and Chis could hit one Lon gone there.
George Springer, OF: $3,700 – Remember how I said I wasn’t taking Shoe’? Yeah, Springer’s price is being repressed by Matt’s dominance. I’ll take the reduction kindly and thank you.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Overall, not a bad day…unless you wanna stack Coors! Muah-ha-ha. Keep aware of the goings on in Colorado. Weather for the game looks fine, its the early stuff that could linger.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Vegas is drawing a heavy line in the sand for Cole and Roark as they sit at -225 and -230, respectively, and lead the pitching pack today. Outside of them, there are many heavy lines in favor of any pitcher. Marco Estrada and his Blue Jays sit at -170, but Marco is just coming off the DL and the O/U of that game has jumped a half run since its open to 9.5. Hitters = yay, pitchers = nay here for me. Similar with Eduardo Rodriguez who sits at -180, but is in a 10.5 O/U game. NO THANK YOU. Much like after a night of drinking and street tacos, there’s expected to be a lot of runs today. Only two games sit below an 8 O/U and that would be KCvsTEX at 7.5 and NYYvsSF at 7. If I expect anything about these lines to come true, it’s that the Rangers win 5-1. I would’ve talked about Yu Darvish but I’m just not sure he’s healthy enough to go a full five, let alone six or seven to justify his price.