In 2008, Eric Thames was drafted by the Blue Jays. At the very end of Spring Training in 2012, he won the starting left fielder job over Travis Snider (it was a fierce competition, but in our house, it was always Team Thames). It did not go well and by August 2012, he’d been traded to Seattle for relief pitcher Steve Delabar. (Steve Delabar who, now relegated to the Cleveland minor league system, was given an 80-game suspension for PED use this week.) Shortly thereafter, Thames took his talents and his fine, fine biceps to the Korean league, and the rest, as they say, is history. As a Jays fan, I’m pretty depressed about all this back-story (well, I’m Jays-depressed generally right now, TBH; the highlight of my baseball week was Chris Coghlan’s audition for the Cirque du Soleil), but I’m going to make myself feel better by building a whole damn FanDuel lineup around Eric Thames. I choose to believe that this Saturday is not the day he stops hitting, and this matchup versus lefty Jaime Garcia, at home in Milwaukee, is the gift that all mournful baseball girls (and boys) deserve. I’m slotting Mike Trout in as well and spackling in the gaps around them both. Thankfully, there are also some good pitchers on the slate today who won’t break the bank.

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Here’s my lineup (GPP all-day, 1:05 p.m.):

Brandon McCarthy, P: $8,000

Victor Martinez, C: $2,800

Eric Thames, 1B: $4,100

Ryan Goins, 2B: $2,500

Mike Moustakas, 3B: $3,300

Chris Owings, SS: &3,500

Mike Trout, OF: $4,700

Corey Dickerson, OF: $3,100

Aaron Altherr, OF: $3,000

Stephen Strasburg, SP: $10,600 – Back from the DL (that’s Dad List, of course) and pitching today and if you decide you don’t want to spend on bats, Strasburg is pretty much your sure thing (mind you, I still feel like it’s tempting fate to say that, after the last couple of years of chewing my nails off over Strasburg). He’s pitching at home, which is his happy place, versus the currently struggling Mets. And actually not that pricey, overall. I tried my damndest to fit him in; I couldn’t make it work, but maybe you can.

Brandon McCarthy, SP: $8,000 – It’s Mr. Fanglasstic! Quick, grab him before he cracks. I love this price and I love that he’s at home versus the Phillies. (By the way, did you read that poor BMc went through a case of the yips last year? I love that when the Dodgers put him on the DL to let him get over it all, they called it a “hip” injury instead. I can just imagine the discussion in the front office: “How are we gonna hide that it’s the yips? What rhymes with yip?”).

Joe Musgrove, SP: $7,400 – This is your riskier-I-need-to-go-cheap-on-pitching-to-afford-big-bats (catchy, eh?) option of the day. He’s been shaky and he’s “working on his mechanics”, which makes me nervous, but he’s cheap and he’s pitched well against the A’s.

Victor Martinez, C: $2,800 – Welp, he’s still a “catcher” (oh, FanDuel). Exploit it! But for other options, look to…

Willson Contreras, C: $2,900 – “I can levitate birds, but nobody cares,” Steven Wright says to no one in particular as various Cubs trot past him on the way to home plate. Seriously, Stream-o-Nator has Wright pegged at -$18.4 today (above only Yovani Gallardo at -$28; more on him later), so you could probably do worse than stream a bunch of Cubbie hitters against him.

Eric Thames, 1B: $4,100 – I thought he might cost more than this. I’m glad he doesn’t! If you can’t afford him, though, there are actually a fair number of affordable 1B options on the slate today. Below, I talk up my former beloved, EE, but perhaps also look to Chris Davis ($3,400) or Kendrys Morales ($2,800).

Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: $3,700 – I know, Edwin has been fairly cold (perhaps it’s karma for leaving my Jays. Oh, sorry, did I say that out loud? #notbitter). But he’s starting to hit, as he generally seems to the closer it gets to May. What’s more, as mentioned above, Stream-o-Nator has Seattle’s Yovani Gallardo at a tasty, tasty -$28 today, pitching in Cleveland. In 23 at-bats versus Gallardo, Edwing has an equally delicious .348 average and 3 home runs. Prediction: parrots.

Starlin Castro, 2B: $3,200 – Darlin’ Castro has been hitting .364 through April and he’s traditionally hit around .294 against Kevin Gausman, who has a 14.63 ERA over the last two games. With this whole show going down in Yankees Stadium today, I’m bringing popcorn.

Ryan Goins, 2B: $2,500 – This is my “hear me out” blurb of the week. R Goins (or GRoins, as we call him in our house) is going to be in the lineup no matter what, because no Tulo <shakes fist at the hamstring gods>. He’s light-hitting, yes, but he’s also dirt cheap, a lefty facing a righty, and he’s been heating up. In a very modest way. But he’s good for a couple of points. Haha. Sold? OK, OK: Also look at lefty Scooter Gennett ($2,300) versus righty Mike Leake. Or for $100 more, Javier Baez is stepping into the box against Stephen Wright.

Jose Ramirez, 3B: $4,000 – Is it just me, or does Ramirez always look like he’s eating something? He just has that kind of face. I’m predicting he’ll make a light snack of Gallardo, with his favorable home park, .380 versus RHP so far this year, and a hot streak.

Mike Moustakas, 3B: $3,300 – You take Moistasskiss because you can’t afford Kris Bryant ([$4,200] versus Steven Wright in Boston: drool. Wait, actually, I don’t want the word “drool” anywhere near “Moistasskiss”). But I have high hopes for this one, too. Not exciting, but a solid lefty-righty matchup versus Phil Hughes, whom Moustakas has hit consistently.

Trea Turner, SS: $4,300 – If you can, TreaT yo’self to Hittertron’s Pick o’ the Day for middle infidels. He has been hot. Yes, the Coors factor may have contributed to said heat, but I have faith that the steamroller will continue with this favorable match-up versus RHP Zach Wheeler. But if you need to save some cash, as I did, try…

Chris Owings, SS: $3,500 – He’s hit over .300 every day for the last 10 days. This righty has been chowing down on lefties. He’s facing Tyler Anderson and his 7.11 ERA in Arizona, which has been even better than Coors for home runs so far this year. So grab what’s owing to ya.

Elvis Andrus, SS: $2,900 – Will Elvis (’s hits) leave the building? Probably not. But he’s hit Jesse Chavez quite consistently in the past, and at this price, you might be able to squeeze him in with Stephen Strasburg.

Mike Trout, OF: $4,700 – Here’s the other bat I’ve paid up for today. In a robust 39 at-bats against Darvish, Mike has hit .308 with 4 home runs. Not to mention that he’s showing no sign of slowing down lately: at time of writing on Friday (don’t screw this up for me by Saturday, Mike), he’s on an 11-game hitting streak.

Corey Dickerson, OF: $3,100 – This is kind of a steal. He was off to a slow start this season, but he’s warmed up beautifully. Square him up against lefty Francisco Liriano in the hitters’ haven of Toronto (where beer costs about the same as he does), and this could work out.

Aaron Altherr, OF: $3,000; Ezequiel Carrera, OF: $2,700 – If you do go with Thames and Trout, at this point you’re going to need a cheap third outfielder. I slid in Aaron Altherr ($3,000), right thurr right thurr into the last OF slot, because he’s been hitting so consistently over the last couple of weeks. But if Zeke Carrera makes it into the lineup — which is likely, given all the Jay injuries and that Matt Andriese is a righty — this might work for you too, as he’s been seeing the ball well generally and is playing at home. Also look to Carlos Gonzalez, $2,800; the Arizona locale is nice, but note he’s facing Greinke, a tougher matchup.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

There is some rain in the forecast — I’m looking at you, St. Louis (44% chance), Kansas City (69%) and Arlington (70%); plus, there’s a possibility of rain (19%) in Cleveland — but no likely rainouts or rain delays. Furl those umbrellas, chaps! (Sidebar: every time I read “Domed Stadium” in the MLB weather reports, I read it as “Doomed Stadium”. Where did this dark sensibility come from? Too much Wuthering Heights and Lord of the Rings as an impressionable child?)

Doing Lines In Vegas

The Dodgers are expected to trample over the Phillies: -216; the next likeliest stomping is Cleveland (-187) over the Mariners. Here’s an interesting one, though: the line on the Red Sox is -101 to beat the Cubs. That’s slim and I think the Cubs have a bigger chance than that, but let’s see.