Take a chance on Lance! He’s gonna do his very best and it ain’t no lie. If you put him to the test, if you let him try. Take a chance on Lance! All Lance McCullers needed was to get a blister and some rest to get back to his 2015 self. In his last start against the Mariners he threw 7 innings of 1 run ball, giving up 5 hits and 1 BB, while racking up 10 K. Mariners are no slouch against RHP either. They have a 114 wRC+ and a 19.6% K%. This time out, Lance draws the Athletics, who only have a 84 wRC+ and a slightly lower K% at 18.1%. McCullers best pitch this season has been his curveball, which he throws 47% of the time and generates 23% whiffs. The only batters he needs to watch out for are Valencia and Davis. Valencia has been the best Athletics hitter vs RHP, and Davis has hit curveballs well throughout his career. Lance has been struggling with walks this season, but has been striking out batters to help limit the damage. He is tied for second highest K-rate for today’s slate at 28.3% with Danny Salazar, behind Scherzer at 32.8%. More good news for those willing to take the chance, Lance has been much better pitching at Minute Maid Park. There, he has a career 1.97 ERA and a .612 OPS against. At $9,700 he won’t break the bank, and you should be able to squeeze in an extra bat. All Abba and I ask is to take a chance on Lance. And with that, here are the rest of my Saturday DFS picks.
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Max Scherzer, SP: $13,700 – He is a must for those playing cash games. He’s the top pitcher on today’s slate. The Mets are nothing special against RHP and own a 22.4% K-rate. Last time out against the Mets, Max threw 7.1 scoreless of 2 hits, 1 BB, and 10 K, earning him 38.7 fantasy points. Over his last 10 he has averaged 28 fantasy points. CA$H!
Carlos Martinez, SP: $9,300 – Earlier this season I was wondering if Carlos was injured, but over his last 7 starts he has put those thoughts to rest. In his last 7 starts, he has averaged 21.6 fantasy points. Carlos has enjoyed pitching on the road in his career. He has 2.80 ERA and has held hitters to a .618 OPS. He has particularly enjoyed his time spent in Milwaukee. In 33.2 innings in Miller Park he owns a 1.34 ERA, with a 9.6 K/9, a .891 WHIP, and has held hitters to a .506 OPS.
Adam Conley, SP: $8,000 – In 41 innings this season, Conley has a limited hitters to a .310 slugging at home and a respectable 3.29 ERA. Today, Conley gets to face the Reds and LHP John Lamb. Conley in on a better team, has higher K% and swinging strike rate, a lower BB%, and has better chance for the win. The Reds have not been good this season, and Conley should be able to provide productive fantasy numbers today.
Buster Posey, C: $4,100 – I don’t often like spending up on catchers, but today is the day. Robbie Ray gives it up to righties and Posey crushes lefties. Ray has allowed 22 of his 26 career homers to righties. Since 2012, Posey has been the best hitting catcher vs LHP. He has logged over 790 plate appearances and is batting .340 with a 172 wRC+.
Chris Herrmann, C: $3,700 – I’ll give you one like and dislike I have for Herrmann. Like: He bats left (Peavy .895 OPS vs LHB). Dislike: his last name more R’s and N’s than it needs … one of each would suffice.
Albert Pujols, 1B: $4,600 – In 36 career plate appearances, Prince Albert has dominated Gallardo. He is batting .433 with a 1.400 OPS and 4 homers. Side Note: My dream would be to have a HR derby for Albert and the other old timers in the league, but that might be too harsh on their old bodies.
Jurickson Profar, 1B/2B: $3,900 – He has been bouncing around the infield and the lineup card. All this moving around may be getting to him as his numbers haven’t looked too hot as of late. However, with Nolasco coming into town, Profar will be batting from the left side of the plate. Here, he is batting .369 with a .945 OPS.
Tommy La Stella, 2B/3B: $3,300 – Chad Kuhl was better in his second MLB start, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits. But that was against the Athletics, who were shutout by Weaver. La STELLAAA! Against RHP, he is batting .282 with a .844. He also plays on the Cubs, who, if you haven’t heard, have an all-star lineup.
Aaron Hill, 2B/3B: $3,200 – Is today the day Hill gets his first start in a Red Sox uniform. He is back in the AL East, where he got his start and had plenty of success. He has career .309 batting average and a .839 OPS in Fenway.
Miguel Sano, 3B/OF: $4,800 – After his DL stint, he’s back up in the MLB and so is his price. Against RHP he may strike out 34.5% of the time, but he also walks 11.5%, which is good for 3rd highest on the Twins. Opposing pitcher, Nick Martinez, has walked more than he has struck out in each of his last 4 appearances. He also also allowed 4 homers in his last 3, and we all know Sano can let ’em ride.
Evan Longoria, 3B: $3,500 – Reverse splits Rick Porcello will be throwing to Longo today. Porcello has been inconsistent this season and has allowed 7 runs in his last two home starts. Longo is a seasoned vet with raw talent. He has a 123 wRC+ vs both left and right handed pitchers.
Xander Bogaerts, SS: $4,500 – He’s only batting .247 with 2 doubles since mid-June. This has dropped his price drastically from what it was earlier this season. With Matt Moore on the mound for the Rays, I believe Xander can bust out of his slump. Moore has surrendered 15 doubles and 14 homers to RHB this season.
J.J. Hardy, SS: $2,900 – You will hardly have to spend any of your budget to get JJ in your lineup. He has been starting to heat up this past week. In his last 4 games he has 6 hits, 3 doubles, and 5 RBI.
Kole Calhoun, OF: $4,500 – Gallardo has allowed 6 homers in his past 5 games. He has been very good this season, and has not be able to go deep into games. Cron and and Trout are also good options for the Angles, but I like Calhoun for the L/R split, lower price, and his spot in the lineup.
Matt Holliday, OF: $3,900 – RHP Chase Anderson has been not been able to figure out how to pitch to RHB. Opposing RHB are batting .321 with a .417 wOBA. At 36 years old, Bid Daddy still knows his way around the plate, especially with RHP. He’s also 3rd this season in average exit velocity behind Stanton and Cruz at 95.4 mph.
Trayce Thompson, OF: $3,700 – You thought he was good playing with Curry and Green, wait till you see him when Durant is in the mix. Whoops … wrong Thompson! It’s not too often you get to bat against a pitcher with an ERA nearly at 8 and a wOBA over .400 to both left and right handed batters. Well today the baseball Thompson will get his chance to do so.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
I didn’t mention any Phillies or Rockies, because we all know what Coors can do. The skies are clear in Colorado, so plug in those players. Those paying for Scherzer beware! 30% chance of thunderstorms to start the game, and 50% by the end. Keep an eye on the weather report closer to game time. Homers and triples potential are looking good, as there are 15 mph wind blowing out to McCovey Cove in AT&T.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Runs, runs, and more runs. Everywhere you look you can find runs today. The Coors game tops the totals at 11.5, but right behind at 11 is MIN/TEX. Also up there is TB/BOS at 10.5, and LAA/BAL at 10. The biggest favorite of the day goes to McCarthy and the Dodgers at -215. I worry that the Dodgers will have him on a pitch limit and my not pitch deep enough in the game to provide value at $9,600. Although, it is the Padres he’s facing. Both McCullers and and Conley come in as -195 home favorites. Scherzer and the Nationals are right behind at -175.