So let me be the first person on the internet to reference Chris Farley’s Matt Foley character when talking Daniel Norris. You hear me. THEE. FIRST. Don’t google it, just trust me. And what could you really want from this blog? Want me to reference Into The Wild? So what you’re saying is you want to be depressed by Eddie Vedder acoustic material. You can go get mopey on your own time; around here, we aim for the yucks not socio-political stances. BTW, meat is murder, can you sign my petition?!? Now for this young season, our young arm hasn’t really done much in his matchups to garner trust so this is strictly a GPP call but the numbers are there to exploit. Though the season isn’t too far along, the Braves offense wasn’t looking too sparkling on paper against LHPs coming into the year and they’ve proven that on the field so far. In an albeit small sample size of 74 PA, the Braves have a .247 wOBA against southpaws while mustering a woeful 56 wRC+. But that’s what happens when you initially sign Jonny Gomes to be your full time left fielder. Yes, Atlanta, I’m throwing you some shade. There’s a difference between rebuilding and derailing and you definitely crossed that line but it’s all good with me because for $5,800, I just freed up some salary for some bigger bats today. So without further ado, let’s get to it. Here are my scorching hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…
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Matt Harvey, SP: $9,900 – If I’m paying up for a pitcher, I’m all about Harvey Day. Harvey Day All Day, E’er Day if we’re being honest. Given the pricing of some of these other arms, it’s pretty feasible to squeeze him in without cramping your style. Of course, your style is still 90’s grunge so I ain’t worried about your cramps at all. Go buy some midol for all I care.
Jon Lester, SP: $9,200 – The Padres are an improved offense and I’m suggesting a dude with a 7.94 ERA. I must be crazy, right? Well, those surface numbers will keep people well away from Lester on Sunday and the reality is, much like many married men in the world, he ain’t getting lucky. His xFIP is 2.41, BABIP is .486 and 5.00 K:BB ratio says things should right themselves sooner rather than later. As I’ve said many times, you don’t always have to go with a low-priced pitcher to get low ownership. Now hopefully we don’t all get MoLestered by Jon today.
Gerrit Cole, SP: $8,400 – With so many aces on the mound on Sunday, it’s easy to overlook some arms and their situations. Again, it’s early but the Brewers are near the bottom in wRC+ and team wOBA against RHP so far. When you factor in the home ballpark and Milwaukee also being without Carlos Gomez for an extended period, it’s hard not to think Gerrit’s gonna be as Cole as Ice to their LU. Synth Solo!
James Paxton, SP: $7,200 – Am I in love with this call? Meh, not really but in looking at the Rangers, they feature four mainstay lefty hitters in their lineup and the lineup as a whole is, well, meh. So what happens when ‘mehs’ collide? Usually nothing and in terms of runs, that’s hopefully what he gives up. He’s not likely to K 10 but I’m gonna bank on him getting the win given Vegas’ love of Seattle in this game (-165 as of this writing).
Shane Greene, SP: $6,000 – In honor of JB’s Pitching Rankings love as well as other guys on the site (I see you, JFOH and Big Magoo), I’m getting into this Shane kid. So far the K’s haven’t been there but no one is gonna trot him out against the buzz saw that was this White Sox offense that tattooed Anibal for 12 runs on Saturday. Far from a safe call so if you wanna see if Greene is the color of money, I suggest you do so in GPPs only.
T.J. House, SP: $5,900 – You know, it’s never easy facing the Tigers lineup but when you’re a lefty, it’s even worse. The cards were stacked against TJ in his first start of the year and he sputtered but Vegas might be seeing what I be seeing in him when I wrote up my T.J. House Sleeper earlier this spring. The line has shifted from 9.5 and a -124 favorite for the Twins all the way down a full run to 8.5 and a slight Indians advantage at -130. I know, I know, not a lot to base things on but House is a better pitcher than his first showing and he’s gonna get a chance to prove it. But will he on your DK team? The suspense is killing me!
David Ross, C: $3,100 – To put it mildly ‘Catcher…I just ain’t feelin it’. I’m gonna be looking to pay down most likely unless I have some money to throw at this shituation. If I do, I’ve got a side eye on Russell Martin at $3,800 if he’s starting.
Josh Phegley, C: $3,200 – Did I stutter? Look a few inches higher for the why here. With a lefty on the mound, Phegs (that’s what he likes me to call him. No really) likely gets a spot start. He could go 3/3 with a HR or 0/1 and they pull Duffy by the 3rd inning and then Vogt takes over at catcher. So yeah, back to that Ross suggestion…
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: $4,500 – At times like these (EE is 2 for his last 23 with no homeruns), you have to look back on Rudy’s Hitting Streaks post to fully appreciate a discount when you get it. Since 2012, Edwin has the 4th highest ISO when hitting at home and gets a league average pitcher from the NL to toss him some softballs for the day. Given that Miller gave up a whopping 15 HRs away from home last year in the NL, this matchup could be ripe for the stacking.
Victor Martinez, 1B: $4,100 – Now there are some concerns for Martinez as he sat two straight games heading into the weekend while trying to rest his recently re-re-repaired knee. That said, the Tigers team against a LHP makes them ‘Los Tigres’. You see, when you change it to Spanish, it makes it fuerte. it’s science. Victor had an ISO of .322 in 2014 while his teammate J.D. Martinez had a cool .333. Heck, even a hurt Miguel Cabrera had a .235. And what the hey, Rajai Davis had it at .201 and batted .356 off them as well. As a southpaw myself I hate picking on my brethren but Jose Quintana, gonna have to swipe left on you.
Devon Travis, 2B: $3,500 – This is a ‘check the lineups’ call. If Reyes is still out, chances are Travis is still in…the leadoff spot, that is. He’s still priced like he’s Devoff but let’s hope this keeps going Devon and on and on and…
Rickie Weeks, 2B/OF: $3,400 – What, you don’t have $100 more to spend on the hottest 2B in baseball? Sometimes, it’s nice to find a pivot off the hot bat. Speaking of, Weeks has decidedly not been one himself but if trends hold true, he’s probably leading off for the Mariners facing a LHP. The trend is your friend. Unless the trend is how Weeks is hitting, of course.
Kris Bryant, 3B: $4,300 – Not sure if you’ve heard of this kid. He got called up on Friday. Has big time power to all fields according to scouting reports. Oh, you’ve heard of him? Ok, moving on…
Nolan Arenado, 3B: $4,200 – Now for as much love as Brandon McCarthy gets (and deserves…I call him B-Mac: MY COLUMN), his numbers since his uptick in fastball MPH suggest the HR/9 rates that sit above league average might be here to stay. He pounds the strike zone and doesn’t let up so he’s gonna give up a shot here and there. The real question is, to who and how many will be on? I can’t answer these questions but I can tell you, Arenado is reasonably priced to find out.
Eduardo Escobar, SS/OF: $2,800 – Probably not a punt extreme you need to take but Eduardo has found his way into the lineup a lot when a lefty has been on the mound and his career 123 wRC+ over 236 PAs kinda gives the reason why. If you just couldn’t punt catcher, here’s your second chance to disregard an offensive position. You’re welcome!
Jean Segura, SS: $3,700 – I’ll meet you half way. If you wanna or can spend up at SS, feel free to. Segura most likely bats leadoff today so he makes for a nice, cheap play to get bigger bats in your lineup surrounding him. Yes, I’m ok if you start Cole and Segura at the same time. Yes, I know that’s like trying to eat your own head but sometimes it works so don’t fight it.
Jose Bautista, OF: $5,400 – I already explained my reasoning on EE, don’t think you need it repeated here. Who’s up for a little Joey Batty call?
Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF: $3,900 – It’s all about the power potential. Hudson does a great job of keeping the ball on the ground but Trumbo is much like the locks at the Panama Canal: He can raise things up to another level. We know HRs are worth 14, right? Just take the cheap shot at a big shot and run with it.
Michael Taylor, OF: $3,500 – This one you’ll need to keep your eyes on. If and that’s a big if (like this: IF) Denard Span is back in the lineup on Sunday, this is a non-call. But if he’s not, David Buchanan has given us some beautiful reverse splits: 1.26 HR/9 and a .352 wOBA against righties as 10 of his 12 career HRs against have come at the hand of a RHH. Taylor probably gets lead off if Span isn’t back and has the pop to make it happen. Oh and really, this isn’t a major splits thing. If you wanna go all Nats, go nuts.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Lots of potential problems for the Sunday fun day we all had in mind. STLvsCIN looks like it could be washed out with weather troubles before, during, and after play and all the precipitation numbers in the 50% range. Mildy put…given this is an intradivision game, don’t discount a the likelihood of a reschedule happening. In other weather news, if they don’t get the game in for CHCvsSD early enough, it could get washed out as their forecast isn’t looking too dry after the game. If you’re taking either pitcher, get as much info on this game as possible. Hate to lose a CGSO to a game delay. There’s also a good chance KCvsOAK gets rained out as reports have scattered thunderstorms at gametime but given how tumultuous the series has been, that might just be a forecast based on rage.
Doing Lines In Vegas
If you wanna feel safe and warm, Harvey and his Mets are the only team with a run line leaning heavily their way with an O/U under 7. Meanwhile, though the O/U is slightly worrisome (increase from 7.5 to 8), the SEAvsTEX game features Vegas making the Mariners a heavy favorite at -175 so that Paxton win might be safer than many believe. Meanwhile, runs o’plenty expected in the BOSvsBAL matchup. They also expected it yesterday. How did that work out? Oh…meanwhile, split messages in the MINvsCLE game. They pushed the O/U down but now expect the game to go over? What gives? Still, I wouldn’t bet against the House. Yes, that was a pun. Why else would I capitalize ‘house’? HELLOOOO.