Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend and if all went well, a profitable one. Labor Day weekend is a fine time to cruise for overlay as it’s a busy outdoors weekend for many folks. I, for one, took the weekend off from DFS. I enjoyed some of the great outdoors and took part in a few fantasy football season-long drafts. I’m ready to hit MLB hard for the last five weeks as people become less focused on it and turn their eyes instead to NFL. With any luck, that will lead to some dead money out there. Terrible transition time as we go from dead money to the Grateful Dead. I know there’s a few deadhead fantasy baseballers out there reading Razzball, I’ve seen the steal your face avatars. Truth be told, I’m a fan via love as the woman whom I live with and to whom I’m related by marriage is a huge fan. When I saw that both Sonny Gray and Jon Gray were pitching tonight and both had nice match-ups, I couldn’t help myself. I’m choosing to focus on Jon Gray since, frankly, Sonny Gray has, and will continue to be, a great play all year. Jon Gray on the other hand, gets the hard to handle task of pitching in Coors for his home games. We saw the effect this can have when he faced the Mets at Metco and was on the golden road (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks) and then faced them again a couple weeks later at Coors and had the Mexicali blues (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 0 Ks). Gray faced the Padres in Coors a few weeks ago and made barely a ripple, giving up just one run in 5 IP and striking out five friars. Doing some quick math means he should only give up negative five runs when he faces them in Petco Park. It’s like a box of rain when a promising young arm gets drafted into the Rockies system, but we always have their away games to look forward to. Gray’s got a pretty nasty looking 95+ MPH fastball and a nice change-up (85 MPH)/slider combo that makes him at least serviceable with upside for more. Thanks to his home park and some rough outings there, he’s practically free for $4,600. The pitching friendly Petco Park and a bottom three team OPS for the Padres makes me pretty excited to roster the young gun tonight. You should be too and if nothing else, we will get by, we will survive.
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Aaron Nola, SP: $8,100 – Nola, N-O-L-A, Nola. Tell me I’m not the only one that sings his name every time I see it. Nola gets to face the Braves tonight who, speaking of bad team OPSs, have sunk to the league worst over the past month or so. They are now 15 points worse than the next best team (Miami) and are easy targets for picking pitchers. They are still one of the tougher teams to strike out, but when they aren’t getting hits or scoring runs either, it all works out.
Cole Hamels, SP: $10,300 – Now we move to a team that does strike out a lot (3rd most in MLB to be exact) and a team that I always love to target lefties against, the Seattle Mariners. Hamels is a slam dunk here tonight and hopefully gets overlooked a bit as he’s priced right under Sonny Gray who also has a nice matchup. Hamels is always a threat to throw a complete game and should be good for 8+ Ks along the way.
Josh Phegley, C: $2,900 – Cheap catcher du jour is Mr. Phegley. This may be completely anecdotal but I’m a believer in catchers facing off against their former battery mates. It would make sense that they would have some insight into their pitch selection and also be intimately familiar with the type of movement and velocity a pitcher has if they used to catcher them frequently. For dirt cheap and earning the platoon advantage, I’m willing to roll the dice.
David Ortiz, 1B: $4,300 – BvP vs. a knuckleballer such as Dickey always sticks out to me. It’s such a different type of pitch that if a guy can really hammer them, there must be something to it. David Ortiz has been the hottest old fart in the land and seems dead set on reaching the 500 HR plateau this season. He’s, for some unknown reason, buried in the pricing with the likes of Kendrys Morales and Carlos Santana. I’m calling number 498 tonight. Oh, and those numbers vs. Dickey, 9 for 28 with 3 long balls. Not too shabby.
Ryan Howard, 1B: $3,600 – Let’s stick with the old fart theme and take a look at Howard facing Braves rookie Ryan Weber. Weber will be making his MLB debut and had been being used as a reliever in triple A before being stretched out a bit to spot start. The numbers weren’t bad, but considering the majority of those were in relief, it’s hard to get a great gauge on him. What I do know, is he won’t last more than 5 innings and the Braves bullpen is fugly. Edwin Jackson might make an appearance for crying in the clouds. Exploit the rookie and the pitiful bullpen at will.
Dee Gordon, 2B: $4,500 – I’m convinced Jungmann is going to turn back into a pumpkin here soon. Until he does, I’m going to keep looking to stack against him.
Daniel Murphy, 2B/3B: $3,400 – Daniel Murphy earns BvP special of the night honors tonight vs. Jordan Zimmermann. There’s a pretty respectable sample size here too and the numbers are pretty impressive, 20 for 59 with 4 HRs. Not bad for a relatively well priced 2B.
Josh Donaldson, 3B: $5,400 – Any night he’s facing a lefty and under 6 grand is a gift. Owens is another young starter that will probably be great someday, but right now is not that day. The 1927 Blue Jays are poised to knock him around at Fenway Park and MVP favorite Josh Dongaldson should be right in the middle of that action.
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B/3B: $4,100 – Sure he’s facing Matt Harvey, but maybe for only 2 innings if Scott Boras has anything to say about it. Zimmerman is the hottest hitter in the league right now and even against the dark night his price seems too low. If it helps you make up your mind at all, he has taken him deep once before.
Stephen Drew, 2B/SS: $2,900 – Dirt cheap SS is his name and hitting homers or going hitless is his game.
Chris Colabello, OF: $3,900 – I want lots of exposure to this game and this a reasonable price for a 5 hole hitter in a stacked lineup.
Khris Davis, OF: $3,600 – Baby crush has always had enticing power, but his struggles against righties and you know, actually putting the bat on the ball has held him back. He’s had a clear path to playing time since Carlos Gomez was shipped out and he’s been a pleasant surprise to me during that time. Adam Conley is nothing too special and has given up 4 HRs in the 6 games he’s started. Khris could easily plant one in the unicorn vomit tonight.
Domingo Santana, OF: $3,500 – We might have some baby bash brothers on our hands with these two next season. I’m currently repping the pair in one of my RCL leagues and it’s been a rather enjoyable few weeks. I like the prices and could see a mini stack in the works tonight vs. Conley.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
The rain has returned as a dry August is now in the rear-view mirror. There are major rain troubles to keep an eye on in the [email protected] game as well as [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] Basically the entire middle part of the country is worth monitoring.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Not at all surprising that Clayton Kershaw is the biggest favorite on the night. Somewhat surprising that he’s only a -185 favorite. The Angels have a league worst team OPS by a long shot in the month of August and that offense just doesn’t look right. The highest over/under of the night is found in friendly Fenway Park where Dickey vs. Owens sports a 10 run total. Meanwhile Kershaw’s Dodgers at the Angels of California is the lowest total at 6.5 runs.