I have so many questions about the 2020 season. How long will it last, for starters. For seconds: Piped-in crowd sound. It’s just… weird. Is there a crowd-sound DJ and how are their skills tested during the job interview? Are the players really fooled? Has the crowd sound ever been so loud that players can’t hear each other across the field? But I digress! Today I come at you from the great sultry north with some FanDuel picks for your DFS state this Thursday, 30 July. Another question for me today is pitching: it’s one of those days where it would be nice to dispense with a pitcher altogether, but we cannot and still, you know, actually submit a valid line-up on FanDuel, so perhaps we go the punt-pitching, splurge-on-hitting route. That’s where John Means comes in. Not to start him, but because I sense he’s going to present us with some stacking opportunities as he squares up against the Yankees. Let’s take a look at what else is out there, after the jump.

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A note before we get started:

  • Picks are for the All-Day contests on FanDuel. The first game is at 4:05 Eastern.
  • I always say this, but I’m-a reiterate like never before in this ever-changing environment: check yer lineups before game start!
  • My first post of the season always includes a (literal?) hat-tip to Minor Leaguer for my logo—which is actually his Victoria Day Cap image (scroll down to number 6)—and for his general all-round good-eggness.

Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP: $8,400 – Shane Bieber ($10,700) is probably the chalk play, but to save some money, I might look to the Little Hyun-Jin That Maybe. Streamonator (SON) has him rated at a lowly SON$ 4.0 (it’s generally best to stick with pitchers rated higher than about SON$10, to give you an idea of we’re dealing with), but I’m putting some faith in the Cy Young runner-up (a.k.a. The Sighing Award). He fell to pieces a bit at the end of his last outing versus the Rays, but had been looking pretty OK before he did. And on the other hand, the Nationals are looking pretty toothless sans Soto.

Dylan Bundy, SP: $8,200 – …I guess…? I’m mentioning him mostly because he’s the highest-rated pitcher on SON today, at a lukewarm SON$ value of 14.9. I see the reason for the lukewarmth (is that a word?): he was good last time versus Oakland, giving up just 1 ER and walking no one, but do we trust him? This is 4.79 ERA, 1.35 WHIP Dylan Bundy, after all. And these are times in which we’re all a little traumatized.

Steven Matz, SP: $7,800 – Speaking of toothless: Boston! Versus Steven Matz, that is. Matz looked strong last time out versus Atlanta, with just 1 earned run, and today he’s on the mound in decent-for-pitchers Citi Field. Don’t expect miracles, but you’d save some money for hitters.

Erick Fedde, SP: $6,000 – This is the “Hear Me Out”TM play. SON puts Fedde dead last for the day. I know this. But it’s also the could-surprise-you, I’m-trying-to-save-money-for-Giancarlo play. With Randal Grichuk and Bo Bichette DTD and Travis Shaw out on Family Medical Leave, and Cavan Biggio falling off his on-base streak, and Vladdy just not quite there yet, the Jays don’t have a super-strong hitting lineup just now. So there’s a chance Erick Fedde (I swear, if I type Eddie Fedde one more time?) could keep it to the same kind of score that he pulled off on Saturday versus the Yankees: 1 ER in 4 innings. But keep an eye on this, because there’s also a chance Strasburg could start today.

Will Smith, C: $2,700 – You’re probably more likely to enter a 1B rather than a catcher in FanDuel’s C/1B slot, but if catchers are how you roll, try Smith. He didn’t play yesterday so there’s a chance he’ll be catching for the Dodgers today, and when he plays, he hits. And he’s cheap!

Freddie Freeman, 1B: $3,500 – He came back to form in a big way last night, going 4 for 5, with 1 HR and 3 RBI. He’s better versus righties than lefties (Yarbrough), admittedly, but could be worth a look at this price, set by FanDuel before last night’s game.

Mike Ford, 1B: $2,200 – I know: who? This is who you play if you need to save a bunch of money and can’t bring yourself to draft a catcher. That said, he’d be part of that Yankees stack  versus Means, and Hittertron likes him—a lot, like he’s the number-3 1B for the day.

DJ LeMahieu, 2B: $3,300 – There are a fair few cheap-ish options at 2B today, but I’m looking to Hang the Crowd-Sound DJ LeMahieu. His season is younger than some but he’s waded into it hitting. He had a monster night last night, going 4 for 5 with 1 HR and 2 RBI (I could almost have copy-pasted that from Freeman’s blurb!). He generally fares well versus LHP (and the Orioles’ John Means is an LHP!) and in 2019, put up a .400 average in Camden Yards.

David Fletcher, 2B: $3,000 – Aww, his average dropped from .556 to .435 after last night’s game versus the Mariners, but I sense he’ll be good for some contact tonight versus lefty Marco Gonzales. The price is pretty nice, too. He’s a guy you could grab if you’re just short $300 (hate it when that happens) and can’t afford LeMahieu.

Jose Ramirez, 3B: $3,800 – 3B is kind of tricky today. JoRam is Hittertron’s top 3B. He’s hitting a very lovely .368 so far this season, with 2 HRs, but I do worry about his history versus Jose Berrios. Anthony Rendon might be even safer, for a lefty-righty match-up versus poor old second-lowest-rated Marco Gonzalez in Angels Stadium, but he’s a steeper $4,000.

Maikel Franco, 3B: $2,600 – And here’s your dirt-cheap 3B, a possibly sneaky play today: a solid .263 average, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, .882 OPS. Last night he brought all the things, going 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Hittertron puts him 10th of 3Bs, sandwiched between Josh Donaldson ($3,000) and Max Muncy ($3,600). I think that’s pretty good company.

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS: $3,700 – Ah, Bodacious Tatis. He’s hot and he has a spectacular lefty-righty match-up versus the Giants’ Tyler Anderson… but he’s expensive.

Gleyber Torres, SS: $3,100 – There are a few options in this price range at short stop. If Bo Bichette is playing, grab him: $2,900 and a lovely lefty-righty match-up versus Fedde. But if not, look to Hittertron’s third-place SS: Torres. He’s a little up and down this season, but I like him for this LHP-RHP sitch versus the Orioles’ John Means.

Adalberto Mondesi, SS: $2,600 – This is a little risky. Mondesi is Hittertron’s top SS today and is dirt cheap, but he also has a whole bunch of zeroes in his game log before last night, when he went 1 for 4 with a triple and a run (meh). But tonight he is facing Ivan Nova and his 5.40 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.

Cody Bellinger, OF: $4,300 – Ringing my bell as Hittertron’s top option at 1B today (yes: confusing – he’s OF-only in FanDuel). Yes, he costs a fortune (OF is where you’ll need to cough up today), but if you’re punting pitching and can afford him, give him a look. He’s been hitting solidly (no word on whether this includes Astros) since the season began and he should continue the trend in the Arizona stadium, where he had a .370 average last year.

Giancarlo Stanton, OF: $3,800 – Well, this ridiculously lovely chap is just off to a ridiculously lovely start, isn’t he, at a .417 average with 2 HRs. He’s also Hittertron’s top OF of the day, for the match-up versus lefty John Means (does it feel like I’m picking on this poor pitcher? But this is what stacks are made of, my friends: opportunism and cynicism).

Whit Merrifield, OF: $3,300 – Hot schmotato with a lefty-righty match-up alert! He’s hit consistently since the start of the season and he’s a very decent price today.

A.J. Pollock, OF: $2,900 – He’s barely playing, given the crowded Dodgers outfield (not crowded with prone Astros), but if he does, see if you can get him in your lineup. When he gets to hit, he’s making it count, with a .500 average and 1.084 OPS. Not bad at the price, if you need to squeeze in a cheap-ish OF or UTIL.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

At time of writing, the northeast is showing overcast, hot and humid (“Shocker,” she thinks, as she attempts to smooth down the frizz in her hair). There’s a very high possibility for rain for Cubs versus Reds. Elsewhere, pretty much clear!

Doing Lines In Vegas

Nothing overwhelmingly exciting jumps out at me when I give the betting lines a quick glance, but there are some items of possible interest. Vegas likes the Blue Jays odds’ to take their game versus the Nationals, at -166. The Yankees are favourites at -188 over John Means and the Orioles (hence the stack suggestion!). I’m interested in Luis Castillo (Reds) versus Yu Darvish (Cubs), with the Cubs projected to take it at a slim margin of -108, but I dunno, I think Castillo could make that interesting. (If that game happens—thanks, rain!).