Good Saturday to you all, I hope it has been a lucrative week and I can help you keep it rolling through the weekend.  Typically, I like to write about either the best pitcher of the day or a the best pitching value of the day in my intro paragraph.  Today, though, I feel like it’s warranted to use it as a sort of PSA.  The trade deadline is a mere eight days away and the rumors are starting to swirl.  It’s silly season but none the less, it would be wise to keep an ear to the grindstone.  Just last night it was being reported that Chris Sale might be on the trade block and that the Rangers were discussing trading for the White Sox ace.  While I don’t see it happening today, it’s none the less something to ponder.  When you’re making a lineup call and deciding between Max Scherzer or Chris Sale and Sale has the potential to get pulled early if a trade is in the works, or worse yet, get scratched minutes before first pitch, it’s something to consider.  It would be an unfortunate loss of salary to leave $12,300 on the table and for that reason I’d pass on Sale.  That, and Max Scherzer gets to face the Padres.  Let’s look at some more picks for tonight’s DraftKings slate:

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David Price, SP: $11,100 – It’s a tough night for pitchers.  There are some great (expensive) options at the top and a lot of junk and bad match-ups at the bottom.  I think it’s a night to pay up and dig for hitter discounts.  It’s not as though the Braves have been lighting it up at Coors, so I’m fine fading that game tonight.  I fully expect David Price to go on a run of starts here soon of 8 IP, and double digit strikeouts.  Just when everyone has bailed on him, he’ll put it all together.  He’s too good not to.  The Twins have scored three runs the past two games at Fenway and I don’t think Price lets them add more than one or two more tonight.

John Lackey, SP: $10,600 – The Brewers are the Oprah Winfrey of strikeouts right now.  “You get a strikeout, YOU get a strikeout, EVERYONE gets a strikeout!”

Robbie Ray, SP: $8,300 – When Robbie Ray is only a couple grand cheaper than John  Lackey, you start to understand what kind of night it is.  It’s not that Ray has been terrible, I just prefer when he’s priced in the $7K range.  He’s coming off a great start though, so that could be what earned the price increase.  Ray’s value is tied directly to his strikeouts.  His 10.5 K/9 is drool worthy when it comes to DraftKings points.  The Reds do their fair share of striking out (13th overall) and if you have to dip below $10K for a pitcher, Ray would get my bid.

Kevin Gausman, SP: $6,500 – The absolute cheapest I would go tonight, Gausman also provides that K-upside, much like Robbie Ray.  He’s Ray-lite though and I’ll admit the Indians make me nervous.  If you’re looking for salary relief to fit some Rockies in against Matt Wisler, Gausman is your best bet at upside that won’t break the bank.

Sandy Leon, C: $3,000 – Yes, I’m trying to ride the wave.  Cheap, hot catchers, facing Ricky Nolasco don’t grow on trees after all.

Chris Davis, 1B: $3,700 – It appears Chris is over his tummy troubles and fits the bill for cheap, high upside hitters tonight.  I’m going to go through the picks today as if you are paying up for Scherzer and Price and need to dig for bargains.  If this is the case, Pedro Alvarez at $3,300 isn’t an awful option either.  Camden Yards lefties against Josh Tomlin is the theme here.

Steve Pearce, 1B/2B: $2,900 – Also a cheap option at first, it’s very hard to pass up a sub $3K second baseman batting 4th/5th.  Those are the spots Pearce has resided upon in his return from the DL and his power potential is exactly what we’re looking for on a night where pitching is at a premium.

Ryon Healy, 1B/3B: $2,500 – Astute Razzballer have been cyclopsing Healy the past week as he’s shown power in the minors and smacked a HR his 2nd MLB game.  Drew Smyly continues to have a high FB% (46.4% is top 5).  That in itself isn’t a bad thing but his .349 wOBA vs. RHB is in the Ricky Nolasco, Ubaldo Jimenez class, ie: not good. For the price, Healy is a nice flyer to see if he can get one up in the air vs. Smyly and have the oompf to hit it out.  Plus, like everyone else it seems, he can play first as well.

Manny Machado, 3B/SS: $3,600 – Did Josh Tomlin turn into Clayton Kershaw overnight or am I missing something?  Why does DraftKings hate Manny Machado?  He’s the same price tag as Aaron Hill.  Hill doesn’t even play everyday!  Take advantage of the terrible pricing, please.

Trea Turner, SS: $3,500 – Look at little Dusty using his big boy brain and playing Turner regularly!  Now it up to Turner to do something with it.  I don’t expect Edwin Jackson to have a perfect game through 4 innings like he did during his first start and in fact, I’m all set to start stacking against him.

George Springer, OF: $4,200 – Not everyone will need to cheap out in the OF, depending on how they chose their pitchers.  For those folks, Springer is my numero uno OF play.  For the price you get a great hitter facing a terrible pitcher and there’s not much else you can ask for.  It’s going to be sad when Weaver retires (maybe mid start tonight) as we’ll lose an auto-stacking option, but I’m sure we can find someone to fill his shoes.

Carlos Gomez, OF: $2,700 – If you want to get in on the Weaver fun on the cheap, Gomez is your guy.

Jason Heyward, OF: $3,200 –  Heyward has burned you , I get it, trust me.  However, he’s not going anywhere in the Cubbies lineup and Zach Davies is prime for a visit from the regression fairies.

Ryan Raburn, OF: $3,300 – The cheapest Coors field exposure we can find.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Weather looks like a non-issue tonight, I love when that happens.

Doing Lines In Vegas

I’m all about the chalk tonight as Max Scherzer and David Price check in with Vegas at -300 and -280 favorites, the two biggest of the night by far.  Jacob deGrom vs. Jose Fernandez should be quite the pitchers duel and Vegas agrees, giving them the lowest total on the night at 6.5 runs.  Outside of the Coors over/under (11.5) the biggest run totals are in three games.  The three games, all earning a 9.5 over/under are: MIN (Nolasco) @ BOS (Price), SEA (Iwakuma) @ TOR (Dickey) and ARI (Ray) @ CIN (Sampson).  This does make me a little nervous for Robbie Ray, not so much for David Price and not enough to knock me completely off either pitcher.