Have you ever had one of those pineapple upside down cakes?  Those things are weird, I can’t get over the fact that it looks like the cake is staring at me.  It’s like some sort of creature from the deep I wouldn’t want to bump into while out for a snorkel (Snorkeling? Snork?).  Weird is also a great way to describe Michael Pineda’s season thus far.  April and May saw him post around a 7 ERA while June has provided a 2.75 ERA.  What will July bring?  Well, the K rate has increased from 10 to 12 and the walk rate has dipped slightly from 2.5 to 2.  Both are good signs.  The best sign of all though is the number of hits he’s allowed.  April/May’s hit rate was over 12 per 9 IP.  June’s hit rate is about half that, at 6.75 H/9.  So what happened here?  Well, even though it FEELS like Pineda’s been around forever, he’s only 27 and maybe he just hit a rough spell.  The metrics weren’t really that out of whack and we could have is a classic case of a guy getting unlucky, pressing, having some control issues and things snowball before something clicks.  I’m guilty of hitting the panic button, perhaps a bit too early, in my season long leagues.  In the daily game, it’s time to hop back on board thanks to the strikeout upside Pineda can provide.  With any luck, the masses will still be scared off by the ugly overall numbers.  Ugly like a pineapple upside down cake.  Here’s some more picks for the night’s DraftKings slate:

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Steven Wright, SP: $9,400 – Of course it’s a Steven Wright day, I’m writing my picks, it has to be so.  Did you get burned by Wright last time out?  Me too.  I’m here to explain that all away, however.  You might recall in my last post I talked about the dangers of the knuckleball in the rain and to avoid him if there was rain in the forecast.  Well, the game got started fine and then there was a pop up storm come the 6th inning.  I know the knuckleball is no good in the rain, you know the knuckleball is no good in the rain.  You know who doesn’t know apparently?  John stinkin’ Farrell who sent Wright back out in said rain and turned 5 scoreless innings into a 5 IP, 4 ER meltdown.  That’s right, the rain turned a shutout into a mess just like that, and it was all so easily avoided.  Farrell should be fired for this action alone, apologies Sawx fans.  The plus side is the “meh” outing lowered his price for tonight.  Yahtzee!

Jaime Garcia, SP: $8,300 – Deja vu all over again here too.  Garcia was the safest call of the bunch 6 days back.  Johnny Cueto at home vs. the Rockies probably earns that distinction tonight, but the second best bet for a win, I think, is Jaime.  This might have more to do with Jeff Locke against the Cardinals than Jaime himself, but his 8 IP, 6 K performance last time out is a confidence boost.  He’s my 4th option tonight, but when there’s 16 to choose from and half can be immediately disregarded, that’s not too shabby.

Evan Gattis, C: $3,000 – I typically pay down for catcher, but for the chance to beat up on Wade LeBlanc, count me in.  There’s no way Wade keeps this charade up, although, I’ve been saying the same thing about Bud Norris…so…yea.

Hanley Ramirez, 1B: $4,900 – Martin Perez, welcome to Fenway Park.  Don’t look now, but Hanley’s been heating up a bit of late.  He’s been doing his best Yasiel Puig impression though, they must have shared tips, and hair stylists, in LA.

Mark Reynolds, 1B: $2,800 – Reynolds will be a big time contrarian play, on the road against Cueto.  Of the bargain bin hitters at this price, he’s at least been hot of late.  $2,800 for any bit of power upside is nice though and it only takes one swing to pay off this price tag.

Jedd Gyorko, 2B: $3,600 – Speaking of power upside, we have the Gyorko store, open for business.  The misplaced “h” left yesterday’s game with a sore thumb so a starting infield spot should be all Jedd’s.  He’ll get to face Jeff Locke and I like his odds to take one yard.

Evan Longoria, 3B: $3,800 – It’s going to be a sad day when Jered Weaver hangs up the spikes.  Almost as sad as the day(s) the Sawx moved Clay Buchholz out of the rotation.  Give me any and all Rays against the 78 MPH heater of Weaver.

Carlos Correa, SS: $4,200 – You could pay up $5,100 for Aledmys Diaz…or not.  If I’m spending money at SS, it will be to get more exposure to Wade LeBlanc.  If you’d rather get spendy in the OF, I’d recommend checking in on Nick Franklin for $3,100 against Weaver.  If he’s not in the lineup, Ketel Marte will have to do.

Travis Jankowski, OF: $3,700 – Shelby Miller has been so bad I’m actually looking to stack Padres against him.  So that is what rock bottom looks like.

Randal Grichuk, OF: $3,400 – Everyone’s favorite preseason sleeper is back thanks to Moss landing on the DL.  He’s supposedly set to split time with Tommy Pham but it’d be nice if they let Randal have it for a little bit here.   He was hitting respectably down on the farm and Jeff Locke is the MLB equivalent of a AAA pitcher.

Alex Gordon, OF: $3,300 – I’ve been happily rostering Gordon while his price has been sub $3,000.  $3,300 is still too little for the current Royals leadoff hitter.  This is simply a case of an injured player’s price not catching up with his talent just yet.  It will come and could come in bunches.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

There’s some rain issues in middle America tonight.  NYY @ CHW and PIT @ STL could both see thunderstorms.  Keep an eye on these.  This would be no fun at all as it would eliminate two of my top four pitching options.  Cueto and Wright doesn’t do much for me outside of cash games, so I might mix in a little Mike Fiers if need be.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Johnny Cueto is the night’s biggest favorite at -235.  Steven Wright is right there as well, checking in at a -180 favorite.  The big difference in the over/under, 7 in the COL@SF game (the lowest of the night) and 10.5 in the TEX@BOS game (the highest of the night).  I’m still buying Wright though.  Pineda is  a -139 favorite on the road against the Pale Hose.