Tonight should make for a fun decision on pitchers, and by fun I mean, un-fun.  There’s the big two of Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw followed by a mass of mediocrity.  The gap between these two and the rest of the field is pretty enormous.  I’m tempted to pay up for both of the studs and pay for certainty they bring to the table.  Paying up for pitching is nice for cash games, but I’m even considering this strategy for GPPs as well.  With bad pitchers, bad match-ups and pitch counts abounding I don’t think I can pinpoint two lesser starters to get behind.  It’s not worth it to risk tanking my roster trying to dig for pitching value tonight.  It’s not easy to spend that much on hitting and come up with a great roster.  People don’t like things that aren’t easy, therefore, the double aces might just be the contrarian play.  My advice is to pay the $13,400 for Bumgarner (@SD) and $12,800 for Kershaw (vs. COL) and dig for value hitters.  Don’t worry, I’m here to make that digging a little easier for you.  Consider me your designated shoveler.  Let’s take a look at what we can uncover for tonight:

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Ariel Miranda, SP: $7,500 – Can we get “the little merman” nickname to stick for Miranda?  Man, I hope so.  What other major leaguer has two female first names anyway?  Miranda is what he/she is, a 4 ERA pitcher with “meh” Ks.  That’s what he/she’s been in the majors and that’s what he/she was in the minors.  Lucky for him/her, the Twins are essentially a minor league team.  Miranda’s been on a bit of a roll and if you want to save some dough, you could do worse.

Alec Asher, SP: $4,300 – I considered recommending Jhoulys Chacin here, but when the only thing a guy has going for him is he can eat innings, that’s not great.  Alec at least is ridiculously cheap and gets to face the Mets “offense”.  With the Mets going with a full-on bullpen start, Alec might even get a shot at a win tonight.  For $4K, he doesn’t need to do much to pay himself off.  I could see pairing Alec with your stud of choice in a GPP if you don’t love the value hitting options tonight.

John Ryan Murphy, C: $2,800 – The first spot to save is always catcher.  I had John Ryan Murphy as one of my deep league sleepers this year.  That whole demotion to the minors put a kink in that plan, but what are you gonna do?  You’re going to use him in DraftKings, that’s what!  JR is catching just about every other game and while there isn’t much pop in the bat, he’s not a .140 hitter either.  He gets the little merman (just doing my part) tonight and makes a nice value play.

C.J. Cron, 1B: $3,300 – Remember when Cron was a thing?  With a 3 for 5 last night, maybe he’s trying to become a thing again.  We’re just all waiting for the Brad Peacock implosion and maybe it happens tonight.  If so, a luke warm Crondog could pay nice dividends.  Just be wary, if it’s been sitting out too long, it could lead to botulism.  

Trey Mancini, 1B: $2,500 – I’ve got a soft spot for Trey since I snagged him early last year in the Razznasty before he got buzzy.  He’s got pop and a nice ballpark, so watch the lineup.  As with most value plays, watching the starting lineups to make sure they are playing will be key.  Robbie Ray has great strikeout potential, but also has great potential to give up runs.  Mancini has the platoon advantage on the lefty Ray so he might get a chance to showcase his bat some more for the Os.

Jonathan Schoop, 2B: $2,900 – Wow, what a value for Schoop tonight.  Apparently DraftKings thinks Robbie Ray is Kershaw light, but I’ve got news for them, he’s not.  It was just a week ago that Schoop was priced at $4,600…what gives?  I’ll happily stack these cheap O’s against Ray in an AL park.

Yuli Gurriel, 1B/3B: $2,700 – Since arriving Yuli’s been all over the map.  He’s been cold, he’s been hot, he’s gone cold again.  The fact remains, he’s hitting near the top of a dangerous lineup and could rack up the points at any moment.  He’ll again occupy the 2-hole against Jhoulys tonight, not bad for under $3K.

Maikel Franco, 3B: $3,300 – Franco has homered in back to back games and is priced as if he were facing Syndergaard (as was expected).  With the Mets turning to the bullpen, there’s no telling what type of awful arms might get thrown out there.  Maybe it’s an end of season power binge for Maikel to help ease the pain of owning him all season.

Jose Peraza, SS/OF: $3,600 – All Jose does is hit and yet, he’s very fairly priced.  While the rest of the Reds have seemed to pack it in for the season, Jose is trying to prove he belongs.  Jungmann was demoted all the way down to Double A this year and if you believe he’s fixed himself, I’ve got some water front property to sell you.

Yasmany Tomas, OF: $4,500 – I love Wade Miley in Camden Yards, it’s an auto-stack each and every time.  Find your favorite D-Back and enjoy the carnage.

Byron Buxton, OF: $3,000 – Yes, yes I am offering several options facing a pitcher I recommended.  Look, the little merman isn’t good, he’s a price play only.  Buxton has had a nice little run to finish the season and I like his chances to keep that going tonight.  Buy him this offseason in any keeper league you can.

Mark Trumbo, OF: $3,700 – More cheap Oriole power.  I’m building potential lineups for tomorrow and depending on if Mancini starts or not, I can build a pretty sweet Orioles stack with Kershaw/Bumgarner.  I wouldn’t have thought that would be possible.

Roman Quinn, OF: $2,200 – When you’re spending so much on pitching, guys like Quinn become ultra valuable.  As I mentioned with Franco, the Phils are priced as if they are facing Syndergaard, so jump on that change.  Quinn has a decent bat and some speed to burn and is a steal (no pun intended) at $2,200

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Looking only at the evening games that will affect us, there’s some potential rain in Minnesota, otherwise, all is quiet.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are the biggest favorites tonight (-300) in a game that is also the lowest run total of the night (6).  Two games are tied for the largest run total and you can probably guess one based on my stacking choices.  That would be the Diamondbacks visiting the Orioles and The Mariners at the Twins.  Both games feature a 9.5 run total.  Maybe I’ll reconsider my little merman recommendation, although, Seattle is a -128 favorite.