I feel like I’m walking a little on the wild side today. I should just start Chris Sale versus Tampa Bay; he’s likely your Sure Thing o’ the Day (sorry if I just jinxed him, Sale owners), him and his 3.03 ERA at home, but he costs $11,300. Thus, I’m going to go a little cheaper and start Alex Wood ($9,200) — with some trepidation, admittedly. Of course I’m hoping for a repeat performance of Wood’s last match-up versus Colorado, on June 23rd, at home in Dodger Stadium: 6 innings pitched, 1 earned run, 3 hits. I’m aware I might not get that: in his last outing, he got beaten up by the Padres (! [Sidebar: I have to confess to feeling secretly glad when the Padres do well]) to the tune of 4 earned runs, in San Diego (!) and he has been falling victim to the long ball (ah, Wood and the long balls…[ya, I’m 12]), but he still sports a very decent 2.57 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and he’s going to get run support. Moreover, he has a 2.77 ERA in Dodgers Stadium, while the Rockies are hitting .251 away. So I’m crossing fingers and hoping for the best and building my lineup around him. More pitching options below, though, for the more sensible among you!
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Here’s the lineup I’m entering into FanDuel for Saturday 9 September (GPP all-day, 1:05 p.m.):
- SP: Alex Wood, $9,200
- C: J.T. Realmuto, $2,600
- 1B: Carlos Santana, $4,200
- 2B: Joe Panik, $3,100
- 3B: Yandy Diaz, $2,500
- SS: Trea Turner, $4,100
- OF: Jay Bruce, $3,500
- OF: Adam Jones, $3,200
- OF: Harrison Bader, $2,400
Programming notes: 1) In case you missed it, I just wanted to draw your attention to Cinthree’s post yesterday on the plague of last-minute scratches (not the skin kind, the baseball kind) at this time of year. His advice on being ready to pivot is helpful and worth bearing in mind — it’s part of the reason I try to give you a couple of options in different price ranges. Check your lineups early (and late) and often, people! 2) Only the 4:05 p.m. game of the Astros and A’s double-header counts for all-day games on FanDuel, and that’s the one I’m referring to if I mention Astros or A’s players in this post. 3) Stay safe, Florida.
Stacks of stacks: Here are the lowliest pitchers on the Razzball Stream-o-Nator totem pole today: Gabriel Ynoa (Baltimore) in a spot start away versus Cleveland (who are a juggernaut right now. A Cleveland steam…roller, if you will), and Andrew Cashner (Texas) at home versus the Yankees. I’d take the last one with a pinch of salt, as Cashner has actually been quite good since the end of July (earning 2 runs or fewer in 6 of his last 7 starts), but you’re probably safe with stacking Cleveland hitters against Ynoa. Stream-o-Nator also has no love for Matt Andriese versus the Red Sox. Lastly, note that Arizona is playing at home today (the Padres are coming to town), and the ball usually flies there.
Other pitching options, SP: $9,200 – If you’re not feeling Wood (so to speak), in a similar price range might I recommend a little Carlos Martinez ($9,600) versus Pittsburgh or Charlie Morton ($8,700) versus the Oakland A’s? They’re Stream-o-Nator’s 3rd and 5th most highly rated pitchers of the day, forming a delicious starting-pitcher sandwich around 4th-place Luis Severino, at a much pricier $10,200.
Brett Anderson, SP: $6,600 – This is your other-other pitching option, a.k.a. your super-cheap, super-super-super-risky, to-hell-with-it pitching play of the day which, if you choose to try it, would save you a ton of cash to load up on hitting. Anderson has been solid since joining the Jays rotation: it’s a small sample size, sure, but he’s allowed 4 runs on 13 hits in 11 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, the Tigers have been tamed with trades and injuries and suspensions (oh my) and have lost 7 out of their last 10 games. All that said (Caveat Alert! Arooga! Arooga!), at time of writing they’ve just finished beating up Marcus Stroman (sigh). And oh yeah: Anderson could be on a pitch count. Other than that, it’s a great idea! <chews nails>
J.T. Realmuto, C: $2,600 – He has certainly not been setting any worlds on fire lately, hitting-wise, but this is one of those situations where I just need a warm, cheap body in the catcher slot, and he is getting at least a hit or something every start he makes. He’s also the Razzball Hittertron’s 3rd-ranked catcher for the day (behind Gary Sanchez [$3,600] and Buster Posey [$3,300]), for the decent lefty-righty match-up versus the Braves’ Max Fried.
Carlos Santana, 1B: $4,200 – This is a little bit of a gouge, pricewise, but also sort of not — I can see it: he’s still slightly cheaper than the other Cleveland 1B, Edwin Encarnacion ($4,400), he’s hitting .355 in the last 7 days with 2 home runs, and he prefers righties like Ynoa over lefties. But if he’s too rich (or Smooth?) for your blood, try…
Justin Smoak, 1B: $3,400 – Smoak cooled down into a smoulder, from his hot start to the season, but lately he’s been catching fire again (OK, officially overdosed on that metaphor, and now I am sated for the rest of the season). This is a great match-up for him, versus Detroit’s LHP Chad Bell: he has significant lefty-righty splits this year (.373 versus .259), and this price is not bad at all.
Joe Panik, 2B: $3,100 – In pre-post-writing research, I had righty Joe Panik penciled in, for his 9 for 20 BVP versus LHP James Shields, and I’m so glad to see he’s going at a reasonable cost (thanks, FanDuel!). Here’s hoping he takes his recent Colorado-hitting ways over to the White Sox’s park. Hittertron and I also like Starlin Castro ($3,500) versus Andrew Cashner in the Rangers park (where he’s a pleasant 4 for 11); Hittertron has Castro ranked 8th of 2Bs for Saturday.
Yandy Diaz, 3B: $2,500 – I decided to both save some money and continue the Cleveland stack. There’s a chance he won’t start — he’s been spelling Jose Ramirez while the latter is out, and Ramirez may be back today— but if he does, he’s worth a play at this price for his solid hitting and his .333 average at home. In case he doesn’t play, I also like the looks of Jake Lamb (with a little mint sauce) for the Arizona factor and the relatively cheap $3,000 price tag. Your Cadillac 3B choice, though, if you can afford him, is Kris Bryant at $4,100.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B: $2,200 – Here’s another, even cheaper option for 3B, if you need to sock away some cash somewhere. Since being re-called up to the majors on September 1st, in 4 games Middlebrooks has managed to go 3 for 7: yes, tiny sample size, but he has a chance of seeing more playing time as Adrian Beltre deals with a hamstring issue. This is probably going to be a tough match-up versus the Yankees’ Luis Severino, but again, it’s a save-cash play if you need it.
Trea Turner, SS: $4,100 – I went so cheap elsewhere that I was able to afford Hittertron’s overall number 1 hitter today! I feel like I’ve been given the keys to my dad’s Porsche for the night. (Theoretical Porsche. He doesn’t actually have a Porsche.) He has only 1 at-bat against RHP Mark Leiter, and went 0 for 1 against him, to boot, but here’s hoping it goes better today. It may not: Turner is actually hitting only .192 in September. But he had a great game on Friday night (3 for 4 with a double, 1 home run, 2 runs and 3 RBIs), he hits RHP well (.296, 7 home runs) and he hits well at home (.293). So everything is conspiring for this to be a good start. However, you may balk at paying $4,100, and that would be fair enough. So how about…
Eduardo Nunez, SS: $3,700 – He’s been held out of the lineup since back spasms on Wednesdays, but is rumored to be good to go today. I hope he can get right back into the swing of things: he was hitting .308 in the last 7 days before sitting out. I like him for his .309 average at home and the match-up with Matt Andriese. Another, nice-and-cheap option at shortstop is Corey Seager: he’s been pinch-hitting only lately as he deals with an elbow injury, hence the great $2,800 price tag, but was good to go on Friday night (he hit a double) and would be a good lefty-righty play today again against the Rockies’ Chad Bettis and his 4.91 ERA.
Jay Bruce, OF: $3,500 – Check he is indeed in the lineup today, as the word is that at some point over this weekend, he may get some more rest after returning from his neck injury on Friday. But I thought I’d take a chance on him anyway versus RHP Gabriel Ynoa, based on Hittertron’s mechanical thumbs-up: it rates Bruce 1st of 1Bs and 8th of OFs today.
Adam Jones, OF: $3,300 – I’m trotting out Jones for his 11-for-21, 1-home run history versus Josh Tomlin. Mind you, Jones hasn’t been lighting it up lately, as in at all (his last home run was on August 31st), but he does hit pretty well at Progressive Field (11 for 37) and Josh Tomlin’s ERA at home this year is 5.71. Also, Jones was ejected in the 1st inning of the Friday night game, so he’s bound to be well rested! #brightside (Sorry if you played him in DFS on Friday night, though. Yikes.)
Starling Marte, OF: $3,100 – I’m going risky again here. Sorta. I’m aware that Marte has been pretty meh since returning from his suspension: he’s sitting on a really average average of .257, with only 5 home runs. This suggestion is for Marte’s indecently decent BVP history of 12 for 25 against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez. Over 3 years, he’s also hit .310 in Busch Stadium. At this price, he could be worth a flyer.
Harrison Bader, OF: $2,400 – I got a serious case of the giggles over Grey’s Master Bader joke in the Buy/Sell column yesterday. That’s not the actual reason I’m playing him, though. It’s more for his 9 for 25 over the last 7 days, and his 3 home runs. Oh ya, and this price.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
At time of writing, I think… <whispers so as not to tempt the fates>…it’s pretty clear everywhere (OK, some cloudiness here and there, but no risk of delays or rainouts).
Doing Lines In Vegas
Vegas has the Red Sox, with Chris Sale at the helm, to beat the Rays at a pretty staggering -218. Similarly, the Dodgers are projected to beat Colorado at -214. I was interested to see the -131 line favoring Cleveland over Baltimore; I actually thought it would be bigger than that, as Cleveland can’t stop winning.