The glory of Rome, even now, is a wonder to behold. The Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the fountains, the beauty of the Renaissance everywhere you look. But for pure 800 pound gorilla dominance, nothing tops the Colosseum. And today Max Scherzer ($11,700) is the “Colosseo” of the FanDuel slate. You may say he has a 3-5 record with a 3.06 ERA, how is that mighty? Well my friends, he leads the league with 12.3 K/9, and the revamped Padres, even with Manny Machado, hit him to a minimus .188/.563 batting average/OPS slash line. They also strike out 37% of the time against him. Maximus dominante daverro! Don’t judge him on my bad Italian, just start him. On to the picks.
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Kyle Gibson, SP: $9,000 – Gibson is rocking career best ratios in K/9, WHIP, BB/9, and, naturally, K/BB. He’s facing a weak Detroit Tigers team, that even in his lesser self hits him to a .200/.615 slash line. His Twins team is hitting on all cylinders. You won’t get Scherzer’s Ks, but he’s likely to go deep.
Framber Valdez, SP: $6,300 – This is the bargain of the day, he gets the Orioles at home in Houston and has a .79 ERA as a reliever over his last 30 days. Did you catch that? 0.79 ERA. Even against the Orioles he might not go beyond 5 or 6 innings. But then again, he is facing the Orioles.
Yasmani Grandal, C/1B: $3,500 – This keeps happening on Saturdays, the Catchers are too good to pass up! Grandal is killing the ball, with a .436 ISO the last few weeks. For perspective Yelich leads the league with a .400 ISO for the year. Grandal has 8 Home Runs vs righties this year, and he gets the immortal Jordan Lyles of the Pirates today.
Boston Red Sox: These are for the early game, when they face lefty Ryan Yarbrough of the Rays. First there is catcher Christian Vazquez ($2,300). His .962 OPS vs lefties prodded Alex Cora to use him as the DH today, batting 5th. 2B Eduardo Nunez ($2,400) is on fire the last two weeks, hitting .400/.983, to go along with the best laugh in the game. He’s batting 6th. 3B Rafael Devers ($4,100) is batting cleanup, and even though he’s a lefty he has a HR against Yarbrough in limited at bats, and is stinging the ball to a .336/1.017 slash line the past 30 days. SS Xander Bogaerts ($4,400) is batting third, with a .333/1.142 slash line against lefties this year. Steer clear of Mookie Betts. Yes, he could erupt at any time, but he’s not in a good place so far this year. J.D. Martinez is not starting, otherwise he would be a great pick.
Austin Meadows, OF: $4,400 – Meadows is pricey, but he’s leading off against young righty Josh Smith in the early game at Fenway, and he’s punishing righties to a .349/1.097 OPS this year. He’ll get plenty of at bats to enjoy his breakout year this afternoon.
Dominic Smith, OF: $2,500 – Meadow’s fellow 2013 first round pick, Smith is quietly hitting .386/1.111 this year. He generally starts against righties, and the Mets are facing another 2013 first round pick, right-hander Jonathan Gray of the Rockies, at home today. Double check the lineup, but Smith is hitting .375/1.085 vs righties, and .370/1.078 at home.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
A beautiful day for baseball all around this great country. It’s raining in Miami, but life is good with a retractable roof. The wind is blowing in at Wrigley for the Cubs and Cardinals, which can tamp down offense.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Stack ’em, pack ’em and rack ’em: The highest projected runs scored today are the Red Sox (5.89) vs the Rays 1pm, the As (5.48) at the Rangers, and the Red Sox (5.51) vs the Rays 6pm. The Olde Town Team, that plays in that lyric little bandbox of Fenway, better put a hurtin on the upstart Rays today if they still harbor any forlorn hopes for the AL East. The odds put them in Katniss Everdeen territory!
The best and the brightest: The biggest favorites today are the Astros (-237) vs the Orioles, the Dodgers (-233) at the Giants (this line is a little iffy, Dodgers and Giants can get funky no matter the standings), and the Red Sox (-160) vs the Rays 1pm (it’s -155 Sox at 6pm).