I had the occasion to travel to Montreal this week. I live a mere two-hour train ride away, but visiting Montreal always feels like entering a different country. Suddenly, you’re surrounded by French. You can get the best bagels <looks defiantly at New York>. People are Paris-elegant. All the boys are still wearing man-buns, because dear God they are still pulling it off. Also, suddenly, there’s no Blue Jays on the telly: in Montreal, they’re (wistfully) all about the Washington Nationals. It’s partly a TV rights thing, partly a geography thing, but also partly because, of course, the Nats used to be the Montreal Expos. So all that to say (at last! The point!), this week I got to watch a fair bit of the Diamondbacks versus Nats series. The Nats ultimately ran away with it, but Arizona, second-place run leaders, were so fun to watch. I’m looking forward to tracking them in Colorado this weekend and I’m going to hoard as many Diamondbacks and Rockies bats in my FanDuel lineup as I can today (spoiler alert: not many — they’re pricey. [Shocker!]), and find ways to plug up the gaps. That said, in case you’re looking to pursue a strategy that may be a little different from mine, Boston and Baltimore bats should make for good picks versus Nick Tepesch and Dylan Covey, respectively. Without further Machado, let us unveil the crystal ball (because really this is a crap shoot, isn’t it?) and see what the future holds.
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Here’s the lineup I’ve entered into FanDuel for Saturday May 6, All-Day, 2:10 p.m. (weird start time alert!):
Jake Odorizzi, P: $7,500
Ryan Hanigan, C: $2,300
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $5,300
Jason Kipnis, 2B: $2,800
Nolan Arenado, 3B: $4,600
Darwin Barney, SS: $2,000
Kevin Kiermaier, OF: $2,900
A.J. Pollock, OF: $4,800
Byron Buxton, OF: $2,700
Here’s where I ’splain myself and also give you a few other options in case you’re not picking up what I’m throwing down:
Clayton Kershaw, SP: $12,300 – When I started writing this post, I was all about Brandon McCarthy pitching in San Diego. But by the time I’d finished it, Mr. Fanglasstic had had his pushed back to Sunday because he tweaked his shoulder lifting weights last night <eye roll> and ClayKer had been substituted in. It’s true that Kershaw in Petco is like some pitching erotic dream, but there’s no way I can afford this. So I’m unpeeling my nose from the shop window, forced to turn to…
Jake Odorizzi, SP: $7,500 – If you ever read this column, you know the Blue Jays are my true loves, but I have to confess that these days, starting pretty much any right-hander versus the Jays is reasonably safe. Sigh. And Jake’s going at a stupid-good price today, which I need thanks to all my stubborn Coors bat-stacking.
Lance McCullers, SP: $8,500 – Lance is a little expensive for my liking, but I think this matchup versus the 20th-place Angels in Angel stadium is in his favor. Even Mike Trout is a mere 1 for 15 against him. I feel obliged to caveat this with the note that I’m veering away from Stream-o-Nator here; the sad robot has Lance at a mere $5.9, which is risky. If you want to follow the way of SON, go with…
Gerrit Cole, SP: $9,500 – Old King Cole (well, 26-Year-Old King Cole) is second-place lord of all he surveys in Stream-o-Nator Land today (he was first last night, but then Emperor Kershaw rolled in in his tank). This is a matchup at home, where he’s always pitched his best, versus Milwaukee. Caveat: he hasn’t yet faced Eric “the Juggernaut” Thames, who may march into Cole’s fiefdom and stage a coup. Then again (plot twist!), ET has slowed way down this week. (I think I broke him by making him the lede of my post last week. Sorry.)
Ryan Hanigan, C: $2,300 – He’s just been called up to replace the concussed Tony Wolters. He may not play—he’s second fiddle to Dustin Garneau—but if he does make it into the lineup, this is a no-brainer price for a Coors game. So far in Triple-A this year, he has a slash line of .282/.360/.359 in 13 games. If he doesn’t play, I’d grab Dustin Garneau in Coors at $3,200. Or there’s always…
Victor Martinez, C: $3,100 – Because FanDuel! This price isn’t that great (it’s like FanDuel’s “catching” on!) and it’s in pitcher-friendly Oakland, but V-Mart’s been producing fairly consistently over the last few days and he has a strong preference for righties, such as Jesse Hahn is.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $5,300 – This is a gouge and it hurts like hell but I think he’s worth his weight in… FanDuel dollars. Au Schizz is literally Hittertron’s top-rated batter, overall, today. It’s Coors. It’s a terrific righty-lefty matchup versus Tyler Anderson, who’s had trouble with the long ball of late. May all Paul’s balls be long! (Eww.)
Matt Carpenter, 1B: $4,100 – He doesn’t have a long history versus Julio Teheran, but it’s a decent one of 4 for 10 with a HR. If you don’t want to shell out for Au Schizz, Carpenter is … nails. Playing in the Atlanta park is not going to hurt, either.
Carlos Santana, 1B: $3,800 – Historically, Santana is 7 for 26 versus Jason Vargas. I do have the Black Magic Woman in one roto league and I’m aware he’s been somewhat mediocre, but he’s walked and ribbied (is that a verb? … It is now!) safely in the last few games.
DJ LeMahieu, 2B: $3,600 – Here’s your Coors 2B, at a reasonable price; I can’t make it work, mind you, but if you can, do it. It’s a good righty-lefty matchup versus Patrick Corbin. I wouldn’t say DJ has been causing le mayhem on the base paths or anything, but he’s been pretty steady, walking more and striking out less this season so far than last year.
Jason Kipnis, 2B: $2,800 – Ugh, ya, he’s been pretty awful. But because I want to stack my Coors bats AMAP (as much as poss), I’m going to punt 2B a bit and toss his name out there for this dirt-cheap price, his 8 for 23 and 1 HR history versus Jason Vargas, along with the Kansas park factor.
Gift Ngoepe, 2B: $2,200 – Even more of a punt! But he’s done something pretty much every time he’s stepped up to the plate, and at this price, all he needs is to a) be in the lineup and b) get a hit. #expectations
Nolan Arenado, 3B: $4,600 – More like Yes-Lan, amirite? Especially as I actually thought he’d cost more than this. He admittedly doesn’t have mind-blowing numbers against Patrick Corbin (he’s only 4 for 29), but he loves lefties to the tune of a .457 average in 35 at-bats so far this year (as opposed to .211 versus righties in 76 ABs). I like these odds.
Kyle Seager, 3B: $3,600 – If my Turbinado Sugar is too rich for your veins, try Seager and his robust 14 for 32 and 4 home runs versus the Rangers’ Martin Perez. He hasn’t been on fire, but he’s been steady.
Eugenio Suarez, 3B: $3,400 – There aren’t a whack of cheap, good 3B options out there (well, are there ever, really), so this is as cheap as I’d go. Hittertron fancies righty Suarez versus lefty Tyler Blach, in hitter-friendly Cincinnati.
Xander Bogaerts, SS: $3,500 – If you do want a decent shot at shortstop (as opposed to punting it, as I have — see below), try the Bogaerts Man versus Nick Tepid, err, Tepesch, in Minnesota. We know the Red Sox as a whole have been yawnstipating, but Xander has been solid over the last week.
Darwin Barney, SS: $2,000 – I’m totally punting shortstop, so I can play Pollock AND Arenado AND Goldschmidt. The Purple Evolutionist, a.k.a. Darling Barney (seriously, girl and other interested parties, have you clocked his dimples?), may not even play, and he’s likely going to suck against Jake Odorizzi, but hey, he’s cheap (“Saturday Razzball: where your writers are brutally honest!”). Like poor Gift Ngoepe, all he needs is a hit to pay back your investment in him. If he doesn’t start, I’ll try Tampa’s Daniel Robertson ($2,100), who hit a home run off Liriano on Friday night.
A.J. Pollock, OF: $4,800 – Here’s your other gouge. But he’s been on fire and this is in Coors and you know this pain is going to hurt so good, so pay the man.
Nelson Cruz, OF: $4,600 – Obviously, Nelson’s not a great deal cheaper than Pollock, so I’d just, you know, go with Pollock, but I thought I’d suggest him for his 6 for 12 numbers versus Martin Perez, along with 3 HRs, and his general heating up-ness. So if you need to save a couple of hundred bucks, give him a look.
Kevin Pillar, OF: $3,400 – The best AL East Kevin CF (the Other One is below). He is 5 for 20 versus Jake Odorizzi. He also has a .314 average for the week. (Was it Grey who made the Kevin Pi-llar joke? If it wasn’t, I’ll give it to him. He deserves some kudos for getting up and giving it to us every damn weekday and twice on Fridays.)
Kevin Kiermaier, OF: $2,900 – Kevin K is one of the biggest thorns in the Blue Jays’ side and I hate advocating him for anything (those blue eyes tho), but he is 7 for 20 versus Marco Estrada, he’s done a little somethin’-somethin’ every day, and he’s cheap AF. Mind you, he also did just leave Friday’s game with a possible hand injury, so keep an eye on whether he’s starting. If he doesn’t play, I’ll give Hernan Perez ($2,900) a go.
Ben Gamel, OF: $2,800 – When you’re out of money and you’re scouring the wire for someone you can sort of hit, and you stumble upon a $2,800 guy who’s been hitting recently … that’s amore! But my first choice will be Byron Buxton ($2,700), if he’s in the lineup on Saturday: he was held out on Friday after Thursday’s collision with a wall (‘xton traffic, indeed).
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Lies! I am NOT happy with the rain today. We actually have flood warnings here, and the train route from Montreal was beset with lake-like puddles. And that trend continues all over the east, alas: showers and, hence, possible delays are forecast in Philly, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and New York (possible rainout here–keep an eye on that). Also, weirdly, showers are forecast in San Diego and Anaheim, with possible delays.
Doing Lines In Vegas
The Dodgers (-255) are very, very likely to run away with everything versus the Padres today. The Orioles (-168) are projected to stomp on the White Sox, but again watch that weather. The Rangers (-101) are the slight favorites over the Mariners, but I’m actually more pro Seattle than that, given Martin Perez’s dodgy numbers versus some of the Mariners.