I’m taking a stand. I officially want to change Thursday to Slowday. Is anyone else with me? No? OK, well, anyways, it’s another slow day for baseball on Thursday, with just four games in the evening slate. Personally, I prefer days where there are 12 games or so to play in the evening, allowing for numerous possibilities. On a day like today, the importance of having one or two guys different from everyone else can’t be understated. Now to hit on that person or two is another story.
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Straight to the cash, homie:
Madison Bumgarner, P: $10,500 – Eight pitchers on the board, and I’ll be damned if I don’t pay up for the ace. DraftKings knows you want him, too, hence the price. It doesn’t matter to me that Madbum didn’t have his best stuff his last time out. He’s 7-4 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP lifetime against the Diamondbacks. Arizona does have the eighth best average (.282) against southpaws this season, but it’s a sample of just 85 at-bats. Pay up for the stud, especially in his home park.
Jarred Cosart, P: $6,600 – I like Archie Bradley so much more than Cosart, and he’s actually my second-favorite matchup of the day. However, you can’t start two pitchers opposing each other. That’s automatically taking away a chance at a win for you. Cole Hamels at $10,000 isn’t bad, but I’ll take my chances with Cosart, who faces a recently-depleted Mets lineup without David Wright. Michael Cuddyer, who left Tuesday’s game, played in the newly-configured lineup for the Mets on Wednesday, but I’ll still take my chances with Cosart, who has a good chance at a victory, at least.
Travis d’Arnaud, C: $3,700 – Speaking of the Mets, I was pleasantly surprised and excited when Terry Collins laid out the lineup card on Wednesday. Due to the Wright injury, the Mets shuffled around their lineup and moved d’Arnaud up to the second spot in the lineup. At $3,700, he’s a solid value play for a guy who will get four at-bats, minimum. Well, unless Cosart throws a no-hitter, then you’re in a win-win situation.
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: $5,100 – I hate you, Toronto. Every time I stack you, I hurt. Every time I turn you down like you’re an ex who hurt me one-too many times, you just hurt me again. I have thick skin now, and I’m ready to be hurt again. Don’t cry for me. Edwin has the best value to me at $5,100, even if he is the highest-priced first baseman. A contrarian play is Lucas Duda, but give me Encarnacion at home. In the early part of the season, Rays pitcher Chris Archer has a 28 percent fly ball percentage, which is 56th in the league and slightly lower than his 30 percent last year.
Devon Travis, 2B: $3,200 – Man, do I wish Toronto would bat him higher in the lineup. Either way, this is my punt play of the day, which isn’t bad all things considered.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B: $4,100 – He’s batting just .256 lifetime off of Cole Hamels, and he’s the third-highest priced third baseman, but after him, there’s an immediate drop off. I’ll take my chances with Zimmerman in the Nationals lineup, that has looked much better over the past three games. Maybe that’s just the Red Sox pitiful excuse for a pitching staff, but maybe Zimmerman can capitalize on Hamels’ early struggles to keep the ball in the yard.
Jose Bautista, OF: $4,900 – The Bautista, Encarnacion stack has to work sooner rather than later. He’s the most expensive outfielder, but that’s OK. He’s just 2-21 lifetime off of Archer (Edwin is just 4-21) but the sample is too small for me to worry about. Trust your studs.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF: $4,800 – If you’ve got it, flaunt it. At this point, you may as well trot out the top two outfielders. They’re in New York, which is a plus with the fences moved in. But Stanton hits in Miami anyway, where only he and pre-Governor Arnold could put the ball out. In an extreme small sample, Stanton is 1-9 off Gee, with that one hit being a homer.
Angel Pagan, OF: $3,600 – He’s priced fairly, and he contributes when healthy. As long as he’s healthy and hitting toward the top of the Giants lineup, I have no problem running him out there a few times per week in cash games.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
With so few games on the slate, let’s pray that Mother Nature isn’t making an appearance. As it stands now, the only game that has above a 10 percent chance of rain is Toronto, and they obviously have their roof. Hey, play ball!
Doing Lines In Vegas
Tampa Bay and Toronto is opening with the highest over/under, set at eight. All the more reason to get your Blue Jays in the lineup. You can also consider a few select Rays, but you’re dancing with the Devil there.