You know how some days you stand in front of the fridge with the door open (until your wife/husband/love-ah/mum/dad/other shouts at you for letting the cold out), staring at all the perfectly nutritious, healthy, slimming foodstuffs you bought from Whole Foods in a fit of enthusiasm because really you ate far too many crab cakes and drank too much Natty Boh while on holiday in Baltimore, and you know you should make a spinach and hard-boiled egg salad because that has like zero calories, but none of it is exciting, and all you really want is a honking great Big Mac? Well, that’s what the pitching slate is like today. It’s all…spinach. Yes, you know your only real options are Corey Kluber (at the White Sox; $11,900), Rich Hill (at home versus the Giants; $9,400—and hopefully starting, after his respiratory ailment), or Zack Greinke (at the Cardinals; $10,200), because they’re all good and they all have decent match-ups. But $$$$, you know? And then there’s Dinelson Lamet ($7,900) and Jacob DeGrom ($11,200) with iffy match-ups, followed by Ivan Nova ($8,300; more on him below), and after that the pitching options fall off a cliff. None of it is particularly appealing. Today I want something heavy, calorie-laden, sexy. I just want to use a cheap-ish pitcher as a plate for my delicious FanDuel hitter pancakes and smother the whole lot in syrup and whipped cream: in other words, Mama’s gonna stack. (Mama is also hungry, can you tell?)
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Here’s the lineup I’m entering into FanDuel today (Saturday 29 July, GPP all-day, 1:05 p.m.):
Ivan Nova, SP: $8,300
Russell Martin, C: $2,600
Jose Abreu, 1B: $3,100
Jose Ramirez, 2B: $3,600
Justin Turner, 3B: $3,500
Jose Reyes, SS: $2,800
Mike Trout, OF: $4,800
Yasiel Puig, OF: $2,800
Bradley Zimmer, OF: $3,500
Stacks of stacks: Here are your three lowest-rated pitchers of the day, per Stream-o-Nator; I’m going to cram in as many hitters as possible from the teams opposing these pitchers:
- 30th: Miguel Gonzalez (White Sox) at home versus Cleveland
- 29th: Trevor Cahill (Royals) at Boston
- 28th: Ty Blach (Giants) at LA Dodgers
Corey Kluber, SP: $11,900 – As mentioned, Kluber is one of your play-it-safe guys today. He’s the proud owner of a ridiculous—in 2017 terms—2.74 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. In 15 innings pitched versus the White Sox, he’s held them to 3 earned runs and struck them out 17 times, for an ERA of 1.80. The last time he pitched against them in their own ballpark, he shut them out completely. The White Sox are 6th last in runs scored. Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera could give him some trouble—I’ll talk about them below—but other than that, it’s probably going to be OK. For me, it’s just the price and the fact that I think everyone’s going to start him that makes me want to go all Victoria Mary Quite Contrary (as my mother used to call me), and go a little riskier, with…
Ivan Nova, SP: $8,300 – Actually not even that risky, hopefully. If past performances are anything to go by, Nova may well earn himself some runs, probably no less than 2, but he’s posted quality starts in all but 2 of his 20 starts this season—and as we know, QS = points in FanDuel! Most importantly, this match-up is versus “the struggling San Diego Padres” (it’s now a permanent prefix, rather like “the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho”…poor Padres), who are stone last in runs scored, and it takes place in Petco Park, where Nova has a 1.69 ERA. So I’m going to chance it.
Russell Martin, C: $2,600 – Save for Justin Smoak, it’s hard to advocate starting any Jays hitters just now, eh (#Canadian #bacon). But if he starts (do check on this, because he is playing on Friday night so may get an off day on Saturday), he actually has a bit of a chance versus the Angels’ Yusmeiro Petit: he’s gone 5 for 13 against him in the past. I like him for this price, too. If he doesn’t start, I’ll slide in Evan Gattis ($2,700), Hittertron’s top-ranked catcher o’ the day, for his .341, 5-homer July and his match-up versus Matt Boyd. Or there’s always Victor Martinez ($3,000), who’s got catcher eligibility again! Oh, FanDuel.
Eric Hosmer, 1B: $3,700 – Embryonic Kangaroo is prettay prettay hot lately: .375 over the last week with 2 HRs, as KC and their 8-game win streak climb up the standings. The lefty-righty match-up versus Hector Velazquez (this was supposed to be Rick Porcello, but with David Price on the DL, everyone got moved around last night) is good for him, too. Lastly, even as a lefty, Hosmer has always played reasonably well at Fenway, going 13 for 39 with 1 home run.
Jose Abreu, 1B: $3,100 – Here’s the first half of the White Sox pair I’d think out about trotting out today, for his 12 for 37 history versus Corey Kluber. Oh yeah, add 3 home runs to that BVP, and then there’s his .385 AVG with 2 home runs in the last week. He plays pretty well at home, too: .292 so far this year; .315 in the previous 3 years.
Jose Ramirez, 2B: $3,600 – Ramirez is the first of my stackables, versus Miguel Gonzalez. It’s a small sample size, but Ramirez has faced him 10 times and hit him 4 of those times, including 2 doubles and a home run. He continues to be consistent, although not overly hot lately, so maybe you might want to take your chances with…
Joe Panik, 2B: $2,800 – Panik on the streets of Los Angeles: this is mostly just a suggestion for the price, as he’s the wrong side of the stack I mentioned with the Giants-Dodgers, facing Rich Hill (his career against Hill consists of a grand total of 1 walk!), but he has been playing well lately, thriving on increased playing time since Eduardo Nunez was traded. Or you might try Jonathan Villar ($2,900), Hittertron’s top-rated 2B today—just make sure he starts, because Sogard. <shakes fist>
Justin Turner, 3B: $3,500 – Turner has a delicious lefty-righty match-up versus Ty Blach <resists making inevitable “blech” joke>, who, may I remind you, is Stream-o-Nator’s third-lowest-ranked pitcher today. With Turner hitting .430 against lefties so far this year, I’m all over this start. If he doesn’t start—he seems to be back in the lineup, but he did have the Dodgers’ respiratory curse this week—you might consider Eduardo Nunez ($3,600), part of another suggested stack today and hitting a tasty .354 in July so far.
Rafael Devers, 3B: $2,800 – Here’s your dirt-cheap 3B option, in case you need to sock away some cash. He’s hit the ground running so far, going 3 for 12 with 1 home run in 3 games, and a run scored in each of those games. Also, FanDuel hasn’t caught up to his value yet, so you may as well take advantage! [Sidebar: Here’s #1 in an occasional series, titled Fantasy Baseball Couple Problems: I’d like to publicly apologize to Dr. Easy for making him miss out on picking up Devers because I dragged him out to dinner. It was to Shake Shack, though, so totally worth it, right? But just to add insult to injury, I grabbed Devers on my phone while Dr. E was collecting our order. I’m the worst.] If Devers doesn’t play: albeit a tiny sample size (aroooga!), it may be worth noting that Nicholas Castellanos (also $2,800) is 6 for 11 versus Collin McHugh. And Friday night light-up alert: Castellanos hit a 3-run home run yesterday, so signs of life are evident!
Corey Seager, SS: $3,600 – He hasn’t been scorching hot all season, but he’s been at a nice slow burn (his average is .291, and he’s somehow gathered 16 HR and 50 RBIs: I didn’t realize this, and I actually own him in one league). This match-up against Ty Blach should work out well for him: Seager is a lefty who’s hitting LHP at a clip of .303. One caveat: Seager is hitting better away than at home (.306 versus .279). However, if you’re feeling dubious, try Elvis Andrus, Hittertron’s 6th-ranked shortstop for the day (1 below Seager), at $3,200.
Jose Reyes, SS: $2,800 – Why, yes, this would be your “hear me out!” of the week. I’ve suggested him for this crazy cheap price, and the fact that Reyes is 5 for 17 versus Yovani Gallardo and hitting .305 since the All Star Break. I want to save money for sluggers, so at this price, I’m starting him.
Mike Trout, OF: $4,800 – This is the guy for whom I’ve been hoarding my cash. This is my whip-cream-smothered pancake. I can’t really afford him, but I can’t resist him, either—he’s sitting there before me, dripping syrup, with his 6 for 16 versus Francisco Liriano (who can either be really good or really horrible. Stream-o-Nator thinks it’ll be the latter today—it’s ranked Liriano 18th of SPs, at SON$ -6.9). And Trout is just generally silly-hot after returning from his DL stint at superhuman speed.
Jay Bruce, OF: $3,600 – If you can’t afford Il Pesce Grande, you might look to Jay Bruce for his 18 for 51 versus Yovani Gallardo. He hit a homer last night and 1 the night before, so here’s hoping for a hat trick. He’s been so solid this season: 27 homers? When did that happen?
Bradley Zimmer, OF: $3,500 – Another stackable in the shape of Cleveland’s white-hot lefty: over the last week, he’s hit .385 with 4 doubles and 2 HRs. He’s been sitting against LHP, but I’m fairly confident he’ll be out on the field versus RHP Miguel Gonzalez.
Yasiel Puig, OF: $2,800 – I’m playing him for this price and with the enduring hope that my stack works out. He was utterly bangers-and-mashing (an excellent side to pancakes!) it during the Dodgers’ last series, against Minnesota, so fingers crossed he can continue versus Blach. Do note that he’s struggled a little versus lefties this year, though. If you’d rather pass, how about Melky Cabrera? Even cheaper, at $2,500, he has a great BVP history: Melks is 13 for 32 versus Corey Kluber.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Doing Lines In Vegas
I think this is the heaviest lean I’ve seen so far, over the last 17 weeks (how did that happen!) I’ve been writing these posts: Cleveland are projected to beat the White Sox at -300. Ya, I like that stack, as well as the Dodgers over the Giants at -192. My other suggestion is less of a sure thing, per Vegas: -125 for Boston over KC. In slimmest-chance-of-the-day news, A’s juuuust hold the money line over Minnesota, at -102.