Well look who’s here…Yep, I’m talking to you. It’s Sunday and we’re both building daily baseball lineups while everyone else is in a fever pitch about the NFL. You know what? I’m more than okay with that. We can start our own support group on Sundays. You know, just the handful of us left that still care about the best game on Earth. We can also talk about how distressed we are about Brad and Angelina. Your choice, really. I’m open to discussing anything. I need friends actually. Like real friends, not the internet kind. At least that’s what my therapist (Mom) tells me every morning. So hit me up on Myspace and we can hangout sometime. Anyway, let’s get back on track. I’m going big with pitching today and by big I’m talking about the Astros 6’5″, 238 lb strapping right-hander – Joe Musgrove. At first glance you’re probably saying “Honcho…The Angels don’t strike out enough?!” True, they’re a high-contact team, but they’re below league average in just about every other category. Over the last 14 days, they’ve been impossibly inept. How bad you ask? Well, they’re hitting just .219 with a .296 OBP and they’ve produced a .323 slugging percentage. That’s bad. On top of that heaping mess Mike Sciosia’s bunch has put up a .274 wOBA and 73 wRC+. That’s gross. I’m not worried about the lack of Ks either – mainly due to the respectable 8.35 K/9 Musgrove’s produced thus far. Add in the fact that he’s allowed three or fewer runs in each of his past three starts and he owns a nifty 51:16 K:BB in 55 innings this year and we have the makings of a sneaky starter. Oh yeah, he’s only $7,100 today. So that helps. So there you have it, I’m with Musgrove. Here’s a look at the rest of my suggestions for Sunday’s slate:
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Jon Lester, SP: $13,000 – He’s the best option as far as pitching is concerned today. Lester has allowed no more than one run in each of his last seven starts and boasts a respectable 8.67 K/9.He’s also limiting opponenets to a .242 wOBA at Wrigley Field. The Cardinals are striking out at a 21.4% clip vs. LHP.
Tyler Anderson, SP: $8,800 – You’re probably wondering why I’m suggesting a Rockies’ pitcher against the NL West leading Dodgers, right? Well, Anderson’s a lefty and the Dodgers are just awful against southpaws. In fact they’re ranked 30th (That’s last in the league if you’re scoring at home) in baseball when facing a left-hander. The Dodgers own a 22.7% K-rate, .277 wOBA and 73 wRC+. So yeah, I’m taking the discount and rolling with Tyler.
Evan Gattis, C: $4,200 – We’ll go with a hot bat for our catcher’s spot. Gattis has launched 6 HR in 16 games this month and his plate discipline has been tremendous as his 8:17 BB:K suggests.
Ian Kinsler, 2B: $4,500 – Kinsler’s hitting .344 (21-of-61) in September and he’s recorded six multi-hit outings in his last 16 games. The Tigers right-hander also owns a career .924 OPS vs Edison Volquez.
Yuliesky Gurriel, 1B/3B: $2,900 – He’s been hitting 2nd in the Houston lineup and the 32 year-old rookie is batting .284 with two home runs vs RHP.
Manny Machado, 3B/SS: $4,400 – The Orioles’ slugger is hitting .296 with 8 HR over his last 30 games and has racked up 10 multi-hit efforts over that same period. Braden Shipley has allowed a .425 wOBA and .437 OBP to right-handers this season.
Justin Upton, OF: $4,300 – Here’s our BvP special of the day. Upton is 11-for-26 with a 1.175 OPS vs Edison Volquez, while 6 of those 11 hits have been for extra bases.
Adam Jones, OF: $4,600 – We’ve discussed Shipley’s problems with right-handers. but Adam Jones takes those to a new level. Jones’ has blasted 25 of his 28 HRs off of RHP this year and he owns a .380 wOBA against righties at Camden Yards.
Nelson Cruz, OF: $5,100 – Cruz has been unreal over his last 14 games, batting .327 with 4 HR and a 1.044 OPS. He’ll face Hector Santiago who’s allowed a .376 wOBA to right-handers at Target Field this year.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
The only problem area on the radar seems to be in Chicago for the Sunday night contest between the Cardinals and Cubs. This game will likely get in, just keep an eye out for any last minute forecast downgrades. Other than that we’re a full go for the rest of the slate.
Doing Lines In Vegas
As I type this, Dylan Bundy (-246), Joe Musgrove (-196) and Robert Gsellman (-181) are the biggest favorites according to the Projected Starter Money Lines. The ARI/BAL & STL/CHC contests each carry an O/U of 9.5, while KC/DET, NYY/TOR, SEA/MIN & LAA/HOU are tagged with a 9 run total. Remember, the ATL/MIA game is cancelled so it’s off the board. RIP #16