Before we proceed: a disclaimer — granola is not good for you. It’s full of calories and sugar, but it served my title purposes and it will make you, you know, go. I’m all about helping the collective Razzball digestive system, so let me give you this to chew on: In his last 3 starts, Aaron Nola ($8,900) has earned a grand total of 3 runs, all while striking out 25, and going at least 7 innings per game. Maybe he’s finally becoming the pitcher we yearned for, pre-season? I’m going to put my breakfast cereal where my mouth is and predict that he’ll manage to repeat the good stuff for you today (and not repeat on you, hopefully) if you start him on FanDuel. To do a little caveat-diving: the Phillies are predicted to beat the Padres -135, but which team is actually going to get the most run support in this game is debatable, as the Phillies are second-last in MLB in terms of runs scored (321 this season) — but hey, they’re still above the Padres (305)! And you should get K’s out of him. But if all this is feeling like overpriced sawdust and sadness in your mouth, I’ve got a couple of other suggestions for you after the jump.
New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!
Before we get to some specific Saturday suggestions, some notable stacks: White Sox and Rockies hitters (Coors game!). Also, Yankees hitters versus the Brewers’ Brent Suter — Streamonator’s lowest-ranked pitcher of the day; and Nationals hitters versus the Braves’ Julio Teheran — Streamonator’s second-lowest ranked pitcher for today. Are you sensing a pattern? These match-ups are also going down in good hitting parks.
Here’s the lineup I’m entering into FanDuel for Saturday, 8 July (GPP all-day, 1:05 p.m.):
Aaron Nola, SP: $8,900
Jose Lobaton, C: $2,100
Matt Adams, 1B: $2,600
Daniel Murphy, 2B: $3,800
Freddie Freeman, 3B: $3,200
Marcus Semien, SS: $2,700
Lonnie Chisenhall, OF: $3,400
Bryce Harper, OF: $4,800
Steven Souza, OF: $3,300
Brandon McCarthy, SP: $7,500 – Mr. Fanglasstic is back from the DL! Again! This price may mean that FanDuel has lost all faith in him, but I haven’t — and neither has Streamonator, which rates him fourth overall today versus the Royals at home, where he’s pitching with a 3.02 ERA so far this season. In the deeply politically divisive Kennedy versus McCarthy match-up, the Dodgers are projected to take this one -167. But if you’re leery of doing the starter-back-from-the-DL thing, Streamonator ranks in order Luis Severino ($9,300) versus Milwaukee at home, Stephen Strasburg ($10,800) versus Atlanta at home, Nola, McCarthy, then Jeff Samardzija ($9,000) versus Miami at home. ‘Spensive, though, and not easy match-ups.
Jose Lobaton, C: $2,100 – Spending this little on catcher is usually a signal that I’m punting the category — but this time, I’m sort of not. I’m actually fairly sure he’s not going to start, given he’s the backup to Matt Wieters, but he should, and if he does, you should start him: in 18 at-bats against Julio Teheran, he’s had 7 hits and 2 home runs. There have been so many “if”s and “should”s and other qualifiers in this paragraph that it may have conditional-tensed itself out of any kind of sense, so TL;DR: See green check mark next to “Lobaton” on FanDuel? Hit “add”.
Russell Martin, C: $2,900 – If Lobaton doesn’t start (he won’t), try R-Mart, who should be starting today after Miguel Montero caught Aaron Sanchez (for slightly less than 2 innings!) on Friday. Russell has been showing signs of life of late, and has a OK-very-small sample size of 3 for 10 with a home run versus Mike Fiers.
Logan Morrison, 1B: $3,800 – In Argentina, which is where meat lovers go to die (I traveled there 5 years ago and still wake up sweaty and yearn-y after dreams of the asado, the grill), the best and most prized cut of beef tenderloin is the lomo, cooked over coal with only salt to flavor it. This is also how I like my first basemen. LoMo is hitting a stupid .412 this week (at time of writing) and he has a BVP of 10 for 27 against Rick “For He’s a Jolly” Porcello, who hasn’t earned fewer than 3 runs in an outing since late May. Mind you, historically Porcello has pitched well at Tropicana Field (2.79 ERA over 3 years), and LoMo has only a .235 average at home, so consider that your pinch of salt with your 1B. The reason I’m not starting him: I want to play Harper and Murphy as well as Nola, so I’m going cheaper and trying…
Matt Adams, 1B: $2,600 – He’s been a little cool lately, but I’ll make this recommendation anyway for the price and his 6 for 17, 2-homer BVP history versus Strasburg. Alternatively: even cheaper, but he may not start, is brand-new baby Yankee Ji-Man Choi ($2,200): he jumped right of the gate on Wednesday in Toronto, going 1 for 4 with 1 home run and 2 RBIs. Let’s see what he can do in Yankee Stadium.
Daniel Murphy, 2B: $3,800 – Ya, he’s expensive, but in this case, it’s (this) 2B or no 2B for me. (OK, not really — I’ll make you another suggestion below.) There’s the sweet 8 for 25 BVP versus Teheran; there’s the good park factor; there’s his ranking as no. 1 hitter in MLB at time of writing. I’ll pay up. But if you don’t want to, try…
Rougned Odor, 2B: $3,600 – At time of writing, he’s DTD with a left hand contusion (not “confusion” — that’s when the left hand doesn’t know what the right one is doing), so check he’s in the lineup today. If he is, he’s worth a look for the way he’s been heating up lately. He’s Hittertron’s third-ranked 2B o’ the day — behind only Murphy (see above) and LeMahieu ($3,400; Coors game; nuff said) — and his 5 for 11 versus Jesse Chavez in the very tight [email protected] (sorry) series.
Justin Turner, 3B: $3,700 – This Justin (which was the Jays’ slogan to get Smoak voted into the All-Star game, and the punctuation nearly drove me to distraction: godammit, could they not have hyphenated it? Capped the “i”? Ellipses: “This Just…In”?): Turner is hot — 9-for-21-over-the-last-week hot (OK, now I’m committing punctuation crimes of my own). He also sports an 8 for 16 history versus Ian Kennedy. But FanDuel knows this, and FanDuel’s priced him accordingly. For a cheaper 3B, try…
Freddie Freeman, 3B: $3,200 – He back! Well, I know, that happened on Tuesday — I only get to speak to you guys in here once a week; I need to get excited retroactively. So let’s hope that by Saturday, he’s blown off all the DL cobwebs! He has a juicy match-up against Stephen Strasburg today: in 38 at-bats, he has 14 hits, with 4 of them going for homers. (Final note: it’s weird to plunk him in at 3B.)
Francisco Lindor, SS: $3,500 – I’m prevaricating a little on this one, TBH. Lindor is 9 for 26 historically versus Justin Verlander, but he has been cold of late. He’s finally maybe kinda sorta starting to do something this week, perhaps, but he’s still sitting on a .235 average for July, after a .214 June, and this seems pricey.
Didi Gregorius, SS: $3,100 – Here’s where you may want to dip into one of those stacks I mentioned earlier. Gregorius has been scuffling the last couple of games, but he has a .304 average against LHP. And Brent Suter only knows how to hit hockey pucks.
Marcus Semien, SS: $2,700 – This is a decent price for a shortstop who shows much more potential than his current numbers show. On his return since landing on the DL in April, he jumped right back into things in his return on Thursday night with 2 runs, a walk, and a steal.
Bryce Harper, OF: $4,800 – I hardly ever bother writing about Bryce (outside the feverish entries in my diary, that is!), because he’s the kind of guy you’ll just pick up if you can afford him, and one of my missions in writing this column is to find you overlooked or value plays wherever I can. Harper is not a value play. Look at the price. Look at it! (Then look at the Bryce! … Sigh.) A million of your DFS competitors are going to start him. But I still think he’s worth mentioning, and worth paying for, today: he’s a crazy 16 for 36 against Julio Teheran, .340 at home, .329 versus righties… The pretty, gaudy numbers just keep coming.
Steven Souza, OF: $3,300 – Souza was crazy good in April, until I picked him up in my roto leagues, at which point he began to suck immediately. But now he’s been kicking it up in July again, to the tune of .333, and at this price, could be worth a flyer.
Matt Kemp, OF: $2,600 – Here’s the cheap guy you’re targeting because you spent all your cash on Bryce Harper, right? But he actually also has decent numbers versus Stephen Strasburg: 7 for 22 with 1 home run.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
I…don’t seem to see any rain in the forecast today! Gasp!
Doing Lines In Vegas
Vegas has the Yankees to beat the Brewers at a somewhat robust -197. The Mariners are projected to beat the A’s at -126. Meanwhile, Vegas is leaning Jays over the Astros at -134, but I’ve been watching Houston smack the ball the last few days while the Jays whiff sadly at the plate, and I’m not at all sure I agree…