Hello, poppets! VictoriaB here, pinch-hitting for Wander34 while he summer vacates (totally a verb). I was pleasantly surprised to find that MLB is not running a skeleton crew this sunny summer Monday: in fact, it’s rather a fulsome slate, with 11 games going down across baseball land. Options are varied by position, but I think we can build ourselves a decent enough slate on FanDuel today, around our anointed centerpiece, Robbie Ray.

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Stacks of stacks: Upon consultation of the great oracle of stream, a.k.a. the Razzball Streamonator, we learn that Peter Lambert of Colorado is way down near the bottom of the pitcher rankings today. And that’s not even pitching at home, poor man; he’ll be at Nationals Park. Look at loading up on Nats where you can afford ’em. I’d like to get some Astros into the mix, too, for their match-up against the aptly named Homer Bailey (Streamonator’s officially lowest-rated pitcher for the day, at time of writing), in Houston.

Gerrit Cole, SP: $11,700 – But turning our attention to good pitchers, I suspect Gerrit Cole or even Mike Clevinger ($10,200) will not lead you astray. Those price tags hurt; not gonna lie. In both cases, of course you’re paying for the strikeouts (Cole had 11 last time up, versus the Angels; Clevinger racked up 12 against the Tigers), as well as Cole’s 2.94 ERA at home. But I’m also not gonna lie that both the Jays and A’s have been holding their own lately.  That’s why I’ll be looking slightly cheaper for my slate and turning my attention to…

Robbie Ray, SP: $9,600 – Ray is Streamonator’s second-ranked pitcher today, at a marginally less outrageous cost than your Coles, Strasburgs ($10,000) and Clevingers. Yes, he has been prone to the long ball, but his 11.7 K/9 in 21 starts is very attractive, and he’s been reasonably good at home at Chase Field: a 3.45 ERA this year. But to me the biggest bonus is that this start comes against the lowly Baltimore Orioles. There’s also Eduardo Rodriguez, at an affordable $8,000, but the matchup versus Tampa makes me twitchy, especially in Tropicana Field, where the Rays seem to have developed some sorcery that allows only them to play in it.

Gary Sanchez, C: $3,900 – Does anyone ever play a catcher rather than a first baseman in the C/1B slot, in FanDuel? I suppose you might if it’s Sanchez, who is the Hittertron’s 5th overall best hitter today, for his matchup versus lefty Martin Perez. (And if you’re in a league where you’re looking to pick up a catcher, you could do worse than Kurt Suzuki, one of those Washington players I mentioned earlier!) But I think I’d just rather go for a 1B, such as…

Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: $4,200 – He’s pricey but Hittertron bestows upon him the honor of its second-ranked 1B for today (behind Jose Abreu, who’s definitely cheaper at $3,300). Edwin’s just always enjoyed playing at Target Field, hitting .291 there over the years with 9 home runs. He’s been hot over the last seven days, too: .304 with 7 HRs. Or you could look to the other Yankees 1B: Luke Voit, at a more reasonable $3,700. In “does not have a broken jaw” news, Voit returned to action on Sunday. He hasn’t been crazy hot of late, but I like the lefty-righty matchup with Martin Perez (over three years, Voit has a .309 average versus LHP).

Carlos Santana, 1B: $3,900 – Breaking away from the whole Twins/Yankees thing for a second, you might try the Black Magic Woman, mostly for the lefty-righty matchup versus Toronto’s Ryan Borucki, who is just back off the DL. Santana is hitting .301 versus lefties this year and has hit a decent .286 with 3 HRs in the Rogers Centre, with a 1.010 OPS.

Jose Altuve, 2B: $4,000 – 2B is, frankly, uninspiring today. There’s Altuve and then there’s everyone else, but if you pay for Altuve you can’t afford anyone else. You could also consider Eduardo Escobar and his 22 home runs (taking on Aaron Brooks; $3,900), or Gleyber Torres (versus LHP Martin Perez, $3,700). I still think Altuve is a pretty solid bet, given the matchup versus Homer Bailey (remember earlier, I said you could do worse than stack Astros today? Altuve especially: it’s a small [in every way] sample size alert, but he’s pwned Bailey for a .364 average in 11 at-bats). Plus, over the last seven days, Altuve has hit everyone to a nice, tidy .333 average with 2 home runs. But all that said, I think I’m going to punt 2B and look to…

Dee Gordon, 2B: $2,600 – (If he plays.) I picked him up off the waiver wire in one of my roto teams and have been pleasantly surprised – and this price is a nice surprise, too. He won’t set the world on fire for you, but he’ll give you some points (he’s hitting .462 this week) and the lefty-righty matchup should be in his favor. If he doesn’t play, try the same-priced Brock Holt.

Jose Ramirez, 3B: $3,800 – If you can afford them, grab Rafael Devers ($4,400) or Anthony Rendon ($4,300) or Mike Moustakas ($4,100) or DJ LeMahieu ($4,000), but if you can’t, how about a little JoRam? I thought Hittertron’s top 3B of the day would be a lot pricier than this. I know he’s been streaky, but he’s hit .310 over the last week and he has a 3-year average of .304 versus LHP.

Eugenio Suarez, 3B: $3,500 – Here’s another decently priced 3B who’s been ticking along at a nice rate lately – 3 HRs in the last week. He sits just outside the HR Top 10 Leaderboard, with 24. He’s facing Chase Anderson, off whom he’s hit 3 homers in 21 at-bats, with an OPS of .939. Anderson has kept the earned runs down but hasn’t gone deep into games – the last time he hit 6 innings was June 9.

Francisco Lindor, SS: $3,900 – Shortstop is not particularly deep today, and the options are all expensive. But Lindor is relatively cheap (compare with Alex Bregman, $4,400; Javier Baez, $4,300; Xander Bogaerts, $4,000; Trea Turner, $4,000… then we fall off a cliff  into a pile of SS you do not want to bother much with), plus he’s the number-one hitter overall today, according to the Hittertron. I think you need to cough up for him, at this price. But if you absolutely can’t afford him, try…

Freddy Galvis, SS: $3,300 – He’s probably going to be good for a hit or two. That’s a Victoria Bell Ringing Endorsement.TM

Yasiel Puig, OF: $3,400 – And then we get to OF, which runs deep and wide and tall. And expensive. You know all about your Judges ($4,700) and Yeliches ($4,900) and Ketel Martes ($4,000; he’s been hitting a ridonkulous .409 over the last week. I am tempted by him, I shall say). So I’m going to try to find you some cheaper alternatives. Such as Yasiel Puig. Keepin’ on keepin’ on, up to 22 homers this year now, Hittertron’s third-best OF for the day. That’ll do, Puig. That’ll do.

Jarrod Dyson, OF: $3,000 – We have a cordless Dyson vacuum now and it’s one of the best discoveries of my life. I’m not actually kidding. I was about as thrilled to discover its namesake going for 3 grand on FanDuel; Hittertron’s number-9 OF for the day, hitting .429 over the last week, lefty-righty matchup? Sure!

Marwin Gonzalez, OF: $2,800 – Desperate salary caps call for desperate measures. Actually, that’s a little cruel. He had a nice little hit streak going until he broke it on Saturday; Sunday saw him pick it up again. He’s faced CC Sabathia only 6 times, but he has put up 3 hits and a home run against him, and is generally hitting .307 versus LHP this year.

Garrett Cooper, Util (1B): $2,800 – When you literally cannot afford to start anyone else, play Garrett Cooper! Actually also Hittertron’s no. 11 OF for the day, versus Ivan Nova, so maybe not a total disaster?

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Remember how I said stack your Nats versus your Rockies? Well, you may also need to stack your umbrellas, sadly. But hopefully not for too long. There’s “possible light rain” in the forecast for Nationals Park tonight. Everywhere else looks OK at time of writing, but as always, check your lineups, kids.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Probably not a shock to learn that Vegas is leaning fairly heavily in Houston’s favor over Oakland’s, at -240, and in Arizona’s over Baltimore at -232. I’d like to think that Toronto will put up some runs over Cleveland, but I think I agree that Cleveland will ultimately take it (-169 toward Cleveland). Vegas is tilting very, very mildly toward the Yankees over the Brewers, at -118.