I’m with Streamonator: Carlos Carrasco is your No-Brainer O’ the Day. (Not to be confused with your Darren O’ the Day, which is a fish submarine sandwich.) The last time Carrasco faced the White Sox, at home, it was to the tune of 1 ER over 7 innings, and this matchup is in the more pitcher-friendly Sox park. (Mind you, his last start versus the Tigers was a tad more worrying — still only 2 ER, but he struggled with command.) But today on FanDuel, he’s $10,300. And at the same time, the Giants are in Coors. I’ve set myself a silly challenge: to play Carlos Carrasco AND stack as many Coors bats as possible, all while plugging the remaining holes as cheaply (and well? Ha) as I can. And you’ll see that through my own stubbornness, I’ve created possibly the most lopsided FanDuel lineup ever, one that will need complete rejigging if any one of my players doesn’t actually start. Like George Michael, I may come to be filled with regret and (totally logical consequence to cheating on someone!) never dance again, but it’s not for nothing that my mother calls me Victoria Mary Quite Contrary. So here goes!
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Here’s the from-the-sublime-to-the-ridiculous lineup I’ve entered into FanDuel for Saturday April 22 (GPP, 1:00 All-Day):
P Carlos Carrasco, $10,300
C J.T. Realmuto, $2,600
1B Mark Reynolds, $3,400
2B Joe Panik, $3,600
3B Nolan Arenado, $4,800
SS Troy Tulowitzki, $3,100
OF Juan Lagares, $2,000
OF Kevin Pillar, $2,700
OF Scott Van Slyke, $2,300
And now, sprinkled amid my explanations, some saner alternatives, so YOU can make Better Life Choices.
Jameson Taillon, SP: $8,400 – An ace at $8,400?! Does FanDuel think he’s… on the rocks? (Sorry.) Streamonator, that sad robot, ranks him high today and rightly so, even against the Nyankees: Taillon’s been bloody great over 20 innings, with his pretty 0.90 ERA. If I do have to give up on my Carlos dreams and go with Jameson, I won’t even have to drown my sorrows too much.
Matt Boyd, SP: $6,700 – Boyd is a much riskier play than Carrasco, but he’s facing the Twins, whom he shut out last time. I think he’s better than his first start made him look; he may have scooped himself 5 runs in that 2.1-inning “effort,” but he’s earned only 1 run over 12 innings since. But if you have still have trust issues, see Taillon above.
Victor Martinez, C: $2,700 – Hey, another Saturday, another day of VMart’s phantom catcher status on FanDuel! Can you go wrong with that? Well, yes, maybe. He may be cheap and a probable for the starting lineup, but he’s also hitting .208. So perhaps check whether Jett Bandy (Jett Bandy: hillbilly or international playboy? You decide) ($2,900) is starting; he’s been hot. You could also pay up for…
Nick Hundley, C: $3,700 – Because Coors. But honestly, that’s way too much for a catcher. I’ve decided to go for J.T. Realmuto at a much more reasonable $2,600; his hot streak continues and he’s got a favorable matchup against righty Jered Weaver. The only drawback is it’s in San Diego, where hits go to die. (Sidebar question: does anyone know whether Pitch — which is basically a Padres vehicle, isn’t it — is going to be renewed for a second season? I enjoyed that show. Judge me if you like.)
Mark Reynolds, 1B: $3,400 – Or Brandon Belt ($3,900) if you can. I was originally going to go with Ryan Zimmerman (also $3,400) as he’s been so hot lately, but the weather’s looking dicey in New York today. Also keep an eye on whoever the Tigers call up to replace my (as in I have him in two RCL leagues… sigh) poor Miguel Cabrera. But the man I really wanted was (here, in every league, etc. etc.)…
Eric Thames, 1B: $4,100 – You’ve all heard about his astronomical numbers. Ride the rocket while you can! (Watch, my endorsing Thames so thoroughly will mean this is the day he finally crash-lands back on Earth. Apologies in advance, eh.)
Joe Panik, 2B: $3,600 – Let’s meander over to the Coors visitors’ dugout now: a.k.a., The Panik Room. Joe’s never faced Antonio “La Senza”tela (that’s edible Nutella underwear, Fact Fans), but again, I have three(ish) words for you: hot, Coors, lefty-righty matchup. But for $500 less, there’s…
Nolan Arenado, 3B: $4,800 – Yes, I know, my little Turbinado Sugar costs a fortune. The gouging hurts me as much as it hurts you (buh-leeeve me). But a) Coors, b) a .545 lifetime average against Matt Moore, and c) hitting .450 in the last 7 days. But if the pain is too, too much, how about…
Jake Lamb, 3B: $3,700 – I expect Lamb to make sauce with Canned Tomayda today. (Wait… that seems vaguely cannibalistic.) He’s .471 against Maeda, who’s earned 11 runs in his last 3 outings and has to pitch in Arizona today. <rubs DFS hands gleefully; gnaws full-season-league-Maeda-owner nails>
Jedd Gyorko, 3B: $2,800 – The Gyorko Store called: it’s running out of him, because he is hot, cheap, playing in the bandbox that is Milwaukee today, and seems to have some guaranteed playing time at 3B.
Brandon Crawford, SS: $3,900 – If I were able to continue with the Coors stack, I’d take Crawford over Trevor Story (also $3,900), who has apparently developed writer’s block. [Interjection from future VictoriaB to past VictoriaB, who was writing this on Friday evening: he hit a grand slam on Friday night! Maybe he’s found the plot again!]. I’d also happily start Francisco Lindor today ($4,000), if I could afford either. But I need to go a little cheaper, so I’m going to try…
Troy Tulowitzki, SS: $3,100 – Meet Tulo: if the Jays were a boy band (more sad-prince Spandau Ballet than Wham, I’m thinking), he’d be The Hitting One (right now, anyway). He also likes lefties, as Tyler Skaggs is.
Charlie Blackmon, OF: $4,300; Carlos Gonzalez, $3,900; even Hunter Pence, $4,000 – At this point in trying to set my FanDuel lineup, I feel like I’m standing in the cold, dark, wet street with my nose pressed up against the living room window of a stranger’s house, and inside there’s a roaring fire and hot cocoa and a bunch of Coors-hittin’ outfielders that I can’t afford anymore, but maybe you can. I know, I know: just like George Michael, I’ve no one to blame but myself.
Khris Davis, OF: $3,600 – This matchup, versus lefty Lin Ariel Miranda, could honestly go either way. But Khris is another one who can’t stop hitting, and he does it against lefties about as happily as he does it against righties, so I’m saying there’s a chance.
Juan Lagares, OF: $2,000 – Hear me out! If I were his manager, I’d give him a start today. I’m hoping he could make for a nice little batty call: in a healthy 35 at-bats against Gio Gonzalez, Lagares has hit him 14 times and has a .432 OBP. And I bet no one else on FanDuel is going to start him. Zig where they zag, my sweets!
Kevin Pillar, OF: $2,700 – He’s The Cheap One in the band, good for hits right now, and especially facing a lefty; his average is 20 ticks higher against LHP than RHP (it’s Kevin Pillar’s Greatest Splits!).
Scott Van Slyke, OF: $2,300 – Spackle! Grout! Filler! No, it’s not the breakfast cereal of construction workers, it’s Scott Van Slyke! There’s a chance he starts, with the Dodgers facing lefty Robbie Ray today, but there’s a bigger chance I’ll be scrambling for another way to fill the hole. At this point, if I don’t change the rest of the lineup, I can still afford Hyun Soo Kim ($2,400) or Travis Jankowski ($2,400). Lowercase yay, as Grey would say!
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Bad weather could mess you up in a few places today, so keep an eye on that: the Red Sox at Baltimore, Braves at Phillies, and Cubs at Reds are all facing the possibility of a delay or rainout. There’s a 56% chance of rain for the Nats at Mets. I also note, fearfully re: my Carrasco start, that for Cleveland at the White Sox, gusty winds will be blowing out to right field, giving hitters a significant advantage. Well, I’m in now, me and Edith Piaf: “Je ne regrette rien!” (I regret nothing!) … Gulp.
Doing Lines In Vegas
There’s a heavy tilt in Cleveland’s favor over the White Sox at -203. The Cubs are the -134 favorites over the Reds, but again, watch that weather. The game I shall be watching with the most interest is the slim, slim margin of -101 in favor of the Nyankees over Pittsburgh.