I fired up the trusty Razzball Stream-o-Nator to glean its wisdom about the pitching slate for today, and nearly fell over. The top-ranked pitcher of the day? Kyle Hendricks versus the Phillies, which in itself is not surprising; the surprising part is that he is 8.9 Stream-o-Nator dollars ($SON 8.9), which is oscillating wildly on the brink of “don’t start this guy.” To put this into perspective, things get back to normal with SON’s Sunday’s prospects, with the top-rated pitcher of the day being Yu Darvish at $SON 33.6. Uhhh… can we punt pitcher altogether today? Sadly, FanDuel’s not going to let us do that and still enter a valid lineup (harrumph; the cheek of it). SON’s number 2 (so to speak) for the day is Ross Stripling ($6,000 on FanDuel; SON$ 7.5), who has actually been Quite Good as a long reliever, but this is a spot start and he has a limit of 55 pitches. So, as much as I’ve made it my life’s purpose to follow the Way of SON, I’m going risky and starting Gio Gonzalez (a terrifying $SON 1.3), while trying to compensate by paying up for batting, with games going down in hitter-friendly parks like Arizona today. A.k.a.: time to stack and hope!

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Stacks of stacks: Perhaps consider starting hitters against the following pitchers: per SON, your lowest-ranked hurler of the day is Yovani Gallardo, at Yankees Stadium. One up from him would be Dillon Gee, facing the Jays in Rogers Centre. And with Ben Lively at third last, perhaps you’d like to stack Cubs hitters against him in Philadelphia.

Here’s the lineup I’m entering into FanDuel, Saturday 26 August (GPP all-day, 1:05 p.m.):

  • SP: Gio Gonzalez, $9,500
  • C: Victor Martinez, $2,500
  • 1B: Paul Goldschmidt, $4,100
  • 2B: Starlin Castro, $2,700
  • 3B: Jorge Polanco, $3,200
  • SS: Amed Rosario, $2,600
  • OF: Mookie Betts, $3,900
  • OF: Starling Marte, $3,600
  • OF: Ryan Rua, $2,000

Gio Gonzalez, SP: $9,500 – As mentioned in the preamble, I’m turning my eye to Double G today. I don’t love the price, and the start in hitter-friendly Nationals Park would normally make me a little nervy, but in 75 innings pitched at home, he’s kept his ERA to a kind of ridiculous 1.79. Meanwhile, the Mets are 24th in runs scored in MLB. But if you want to save some cash, try…

Kyle Hendricks, SP: $8,000 – The Cubs are playing away today, against the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park — which could be scary for the park factor. Hendo hasn’t pitched in the Phillies’ park this year, but from 2014-2016, hitters, well, hit him there to the tune of a 3.86 ERA, which is not terrible (my enthusiasm is firmly set to “lukewarm,” eh?). However, note that the Phillies are stone-cold last in runs scored and Hendricks has kept his earned run numbers to 3 or fewer in his last 6 starts. He has a pretty good chance of getting you a win (sorry, Phillies fans). Lastly, this price is tasty.

Wilson Ramos, C: $2,700 – If you’d like to start an actual catcher (as opposed to the not-actually-a-catcher I’m starting; see below), try The Buffalo, for his 5 for 18 history, with 2 home runs, versus St. Louis’ Mike Leake.

 Victor Martinez, C: $2,500 – I do not believe Papicho ventured into the brawl of the century, thus is not suspended, and is flying further under the radar by still having catcher eligibility (oh, FanDuel). He’s cheap today and has better numbers against lefties than righties — and Carlos Rodon is a LHP. This is a bit of a “get a warm body in the catcher slot” situation, and why not a “catcher” who will get you a few more at-bats than most actual catchers?

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $4,100 – Expensive but good, just like… uh, uh, what’s the hard, yellow-ish mineral I’m trying to think of? I’m playing him for the Arizona park factor (Goldy is .332 at home), and the lefty-righty match-up versus Madison Bumgarner (Goldy is .327 versus LHP). But it’s MadBum, you cry! Oh ya, but in 52 at-bats, Goldy has 17 hits and 2 home runs off him, with a .419 OBP. Ooh, shiny.

Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: $4,000 – Honestly, at this price, I’d just play Goldschmidt, but I thought I’d trot EE out as an option in case (God forbid) Goldy doesn’t play or something. EE has a good BVP versus KC’s Jason Hammel, of 8 hits in 27 at-bats, and has hit 4 homers off him in the past. Note that he’s sitting at a mere .230 in the last month, but he is hitting for power, with 8 homers in that time.

Chase Headley, 1B: $3,200 – Here’s a cheaper 1B option. Head (per his Players’ Weekend jersey) has gone 10 for 29 in past…head-to-head (sorry) match-ups with the Mariners’ Yovani Gallardo. He’s also hitting .291 at home in Yankees Stadium.

Joe Panik, 2B: $3,000 – Lefty Panik is just back from the DL with concussion, and should do quite well in Arizona versus righty Walker — he’s hit .385 there in the past. However, I prefer one other recent DL returnee…

Starlin Castro, 2B: $2,700 – I love it when good players sneak back from the DL and FanDuel doesn’t seem to notice. This is a silly price for a guy who’s hitting .324 at home in Yankees Stadium and is 16 for 45 versus Yovani Gallardo. He already hit a double in his first game back on Friday night, and it’s all uphill from here. Mark my words <waves finger threateningly, at no one>

Kris Bryant, 3B: $4,300 – 3B is tough to fill today, for some reason. Everyone seems to be expensive or on the DL. In the former category, we may as well look to Hittertron’s top 3B crush for the day, who will be taking on the Phillies’ Ben Lively. (FYI, Hittertron’s also all over Manny Machado, $4,200.) Bryant hasn’t yet faced Lively, but he has hit a stupid 9 for 11 at Chase Field so far this year (that’s an .811 average. Seriously). Lively has a 6.75 ERA there. Look Lively, chaps! (Well, don’t. Look Bryant.)

 Jorge Polanco, 3B: $3,200 – Grey told you to buy! And so do I! (Poetry!) I’m going to give Jorge a whirl for his price and Polanco’s hot-hitting ways. (He went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs and a steal in the Twins-Jays game on Friday night. And oh yeah, 4 home runs this week?) There’s also the pleasant Toronto ballpark factor and the fact that Marco Estrada has been so up and down lately.

Francisco Lindor, SS: $3,900 – Mr. Smile is Hittertron’s top pick for shortstop today (actually, it’s Manny Machado, but MM doesn’t qualify for SS in FanDuel). It’s a small sample size, but switch-hitting Lindor is 3 for 11 with a homer versus LHP Jason Hammel, who can’t seem to get out of the 4.70-something ERA zone this year.

Amed Rosario, SS: $2,600 – I need to save some cash for outfielders, so I’m punting shortstop a little today. Although I don’t know if this is totally a punt. I have faith in Gio Gonzalez, but Rosario is hitting .318 against LHP like Gonzalez and he’s .321 in the last week.

Mookie Betts, OF: $3,900 – This is the kind of BVP that has the pitcher dragging his heels out to the mound (I’d imagine): versus Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman, Mookie is 10 for 23 with 3 home runs. The only caveat is that Mookie’s hitting an utterly blah .148 this week — so I hope this doesn’t turn out to be an overpriced play.

Starling Marte, OF: $3,600 – Here’s a Hittertron call: Marte is ranked 5th of outfielders today for this game versus Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo. Castillo has pitched well — but not at home; he has significant home-away splits of 4.50 and 2.68. Meanwhile, Marte has been quietly getting it done over the last 7 days, at a clip of .296 with 2 homers and 5 RBIs. He also has 6 steals this month.

Billy Hamilton, OF: $3,000 – Speaking of steals, Hamilton has 9, and is one at this price, for the 6 for 17 match-up (with 13 steals!) versus Gerritt Cole.

Ryan Rua, OF: $2,000 – Here’s your “hear me out!” play of the day. Yes, he’s pretty much sucked, with his .200 average and .270 OBP in 48 games. But he’s dirt cheap and he’s also gone 6 for 13 against Oakland’s Sean Manaea, so there’s a chance he’ll make it into the Rangers lineup today. If he doesn’t start, or if you really can’t stomach him, try Adam Lind at $2,300 for the lefty-righty match-up with Robert Gsellman. Or Juan Lagares ($2,100) for his BVP of 15 for 40 against Gio Gonzalez.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

At time of writing, there’s a little cloud and overcast about, but mostly clear. Well, there’s the chance of a thunderstorm in Miami, but there’s a roof so we throw our cares to the wind. Woot!

Doing Lines In Vegas

Vegas is fairly certain the Cubs are going to take the game today over the Phillies, at -194. The money line basically agrees with me that the Nats are going to beat the Mets at -123 (higher would be nice, of course, but I’m still gonna start Gonzalez!). And lastly, Vegas is hedging its bets (literally) when it comes to the Angels-Astros game, with -101 to the Astros.