It’s actually really unfair that poor Stephen Strasburg still has the “Stressbird” moniker in these here Razzball parts, but old habits and nicknames die hard. [Sidebar: Plus I went to a music festival last week and wanted to use a title that keeps me in nostalgic, douchey concert-goer mode. (Side-sidebar: I saw Rodriguez, a musician I’ve loved for 30 years and never thought I’d get to see; I was one of that generation of kids in South Africa described in Searching for Sugarman, if anyone’s seen that. Think it’s on Netflix.)]. Strasburg has been lights-out for weeks, earning 1 run so far in September and 2 runs in August, after a whopping 4 in July. He’s facing the 25th-ranked, 3-game-losing streak Mets; the only Met who’s had real success against him is Yoenis Cespedes, who is out with an injury to one of his many legs, to boot (sorry). Of course Strasburg does cost a small fortune on FanDuel today: $11,300. If that’s too rich for your blood, I’ll explore some more reasonable pitching options below. Read on, MacDuffs!
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Stacks of stacks: A couple of teams whose hitters you may consider stacking today: as its bottom-ranked pitcher of the day, the Razzball Streamonator has the White Sox’s Dylan Covey at home versus Kansas City. You might also look to stack some Astros at home versus the Angels’ Bud Norris.
Here’s the lineup I’m entering into FanDuel, Saturday 23 Sept (GPP all-day, 1:05 p.m.):
- SP, Stephen Strasburg: $11,300
- C, Cameron Rupp: $2,200
- 1B, Chris Davis: $2,900
- 2B, Jonathan Schoop: $2,800
- 3B, Anthony Rendon: $3,900
- SS, Paul DeJong: $3,100
- OF, Starling Marte: $3,400
- OF, George Springer: $3,300
- OF, Ezequiel Carrera: $2,000
Carlos Carrasco, SP: $10,200 – While today Streamonator loves Strasburg the most of all its children, in second place is Carlos Carrasco. [Sidebar: Here’s a thing that’s been happening to me all season, and with 2 weeks to go, I’m gonna tell you about it, because we’re officially in “what the hell” mode. Every time I hear Carlos Carrasco’s name, I start singing “Was it the movie or the Making of Fitzcarraldo…” from Destroyer’s “Virgin With A Memory”. I don’t know why, but I can’t help it and it drives Dr. Easy CRAZY.] Carrasco is facing the Mariners at Safeco Field today; it’s the 7th-most pitcher-friendly field in 2017 and Seattle is on a 6-game losing streak at time of writing. Robinson Cano (2B, $3,600) is a possible threat, with a 7 for 17 BVP and a .360, 1-homer week, but Carrasco should be able to contain the rest of the Mariners (kind of like a ship! See — Fitzcarraldo is also a ship and everything is connected!).
Sean Manaea, SP: $6,600 – You’d have more guts than I to play him, but I wanted to mention him in case you’re looking for a very cheap option, because Streamonator seems super-confident (ranking him 3rd) in Manaea’s start at home versus Texas today. Even though he’s allowed 3 runs or fewer in 5 of his past 6 outings (note: last time versus the Red Sox, he earned 7 runs in 3.2 innings…), this makes me a little nervous. Elvis Andrus could also be a factor; see below. Play Manaea at yer own risk. Hyun-Jin Ryu (6th on Streamonator today; $8,200) facing the Giants in Dodger Stadium may be a saner option.
Salvador Perez, C: $3,200 – You’ll have to pay up for him, but he of the golden locks is back with a vengeance after sitting out a couple of days with an intercostal issue. I actually think Sal Perez is made of iron, or at least Ned Yost treats him as such: he’s had a grand total of 29 days off this year. Which, for a catcher…my old-lady knees hurt just thinking about it. Anyway, the White Sox’s Dylan Covey is the lowest-ranked pitcher on Streamonator today, and it’s an admittedly tiny sample size of only 6 at-bats, but Sally does have a wOBA of .400 against him. He took a foul ball to the jaw last night though, so if he does end up with a rare day off you could check out…
Cameron Rupp, C: $2,200 – He’s not going to play. I’m telling you now. He’s like the definition of backup catcher. Open the dictionary to “backup,” and there’s a picture of him (which is weird, but whatever). But he should maybe play, today, because in past match-ups he’s gone 10 for 28 against Julio Teheran. So if you happen to see that he IS playing, get him in your lineup (to quote Kevin from ESPN [© Grey Albright]). If he doesn’t, see if Evan Gattis ($2,300) starts, versus Bud Norris. And if HE doesn’t play, how about Wilson Ramos ($2,400) in Baltimore, versus Streamonator’s 2nd-lowest-ranked pitcher of the day, versus Jeremy Hellickson.
Freddie Freeman, 1B: $4,100 – I really don’t want to bet against Henderson Alvarez, for whom I have a soft spot after watching him debut with the Jays years ago, and who is finally coming back to the majors after years of injury and setbacks. The Phillies are giving him 3 starts, and in his first, he pitched 5.0 innings and earned 4 runs off 4 hits. So that’s…well. Also, in the past Freeman has gone 7 for 21 against him, generally is hitting RHP at a .330 clip, and is hitting .324 in September. So I guess I am betting against Henderson.
Jose Abreu, 1B: $3,700 – This could go either way. Danny Duffy is a good pitcher. However, Jose Abreu is a good hitter, and has hit Duffy 14 times in 40 at-bats, which is good for a .350 average and .391 wOBA. And in the last 7 days, he’s gone .318. And cherry on top, he’s a reasonably ridonculous (the technical term) .359 versus LHP.
Chris Davis, 1B: $2,900 – Well, I dunno about this, but I need to save some cash, so I’m going to give him a go. I know, I know: he’s been awful. Owning him in roto has been what can only be described as “a trial.” And it sucks, because every now and then, he gives one of those tiny flicks of the wrist that he does and knocks the ball out of the park and you remember this all too well and when he isn’t doing the wrist-flick thing, you want to yell “HELLO-O-O-O” like Agent Cooper yelling into slot machines in the new season of Twin Peaks, in the hope of waking him up so he’ll spit out coins for you (you kind of need to see the episode, I guess). Maybe today will be the day. He’s cheap. He’s gone 7 for 29 versus Jake Odorizzi in the past and has 3 home runs against him; a .414 wOBA. It’s a lefty-righty match-up at home, and if you’ve been to Camden Yards, you’ll know Eutaw Street is littered with plaques that say “Here be dragons and also another Chris Davis home run” (I’m paraphrasing). Is today the day the slot machine wakes up? I’m not sure, but I might…take a gamble to save some cash.
Brian Dozier, 2B: $3,900 – He’s been Dozier more than awakier over the last while, but there may be hope in this match-up versus LHP Matthew Boyd (providing Boyd doesn’t throw an almost-no-hitter again): he’s hitting .311 versus lefties, and in the past has seen Boyd to the tune of 9 for 24 with 2 home runs.
Neil Walker, 2B: $3,200 – Kyle Hendricks has been pretty good this year, but has not fared extremely well versus the Brewers, particularly at Miller Park: a 4.09 ERA. Meanwhile, switch-hitter Walk Stander is hitting righties at a decent .275, and Hendricks in particular at a very decent .300 average, .396 wOBA. If he doesn’t play, for whatever reason, try Ian Kinsler (also $3,200): this has been a pretty meh season for Baseball James Franco, but he has been showing signs of life this week, with a .280 average and 3 home runs; there’s also his robust 23 for 73 (with 3 home runs) history against Ervin “Smell Baseball” Santana (that’s a .315 average, .396 wOBA).
Jonathan Schoop, 2B: $2,800: He’s been a little quiet over the last few days (hopefully not an injury we don’t know about), but he’s usually so boringly regular (just kidding — Schoop knows how much I adore him) that I’m sure he’ll bounce back soon, possibly today; plus this price seems cray-cray given his 8 for 24 history versus Jake Odorizzi and .296 history at home.
Anthony Rendon, 3B: $3,900 – Anthony Rendon-and-on more like: he just keeps hitting this week, to the tune of .353. The Mets are running out Noah Syndergaard for 1 inning tomorrow (OK. Just a pause here. I can’t quite believe Syndergaard costs $10,600 on FanDuel today. WHAT.), but then Matt Harvey will take over, and Rendon is 9 for 21 against him. I’m biting the pricey bullet and running him out.
Josh Donaldson, 3B: $3,700 – I actually thought he’d be more expensive than this, that 5 homers in the last 7 days would come at a bit of a higher cost, along with his 4 for 10 (AROOGA! small sample size!) BVP versus Sonny Gray (.400 average, 487 wOBA).
Elvis Andrus, SS: $3,700 – Yikes, this is a little costly for a shortstop, but I thought I’d suggest The Nicest Surprise of 2017™ anyway, as he’s 9 for 16 versus Oakland’s Sean Manaea. He’s slowed down a tad in the last weeks, but he’s still hitting and scoring runs most days.
Paul DeJong, SS: $3,100 – Forever DeJong had slowed down a little from his torrid August pace, hitting just .233 in September so far, but he’s picked it up again this week. Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole has been somewhat shaky lately, earning 14 runs in 4 starts in September. Annnnd while DeJong plays well at PNC Park, with a .304 average and 2 home runs in 23 at-bats there, Cole has a .408 ERA at home so far this year.
Hunter Pence, OF: $3,700 – The Gangly Manbird has been hitting steadily since coming back from injury. He’s also 12 for 28 versus Ryu, who admittedly is Streamonator’s 4th-ranked player of the day, so proceed with caution. Just throwing him out as a mid-priced option for you.
Starling Marte, OF: $3,400 – He was out for a few games with a jammed finger injury that at some point was rumored to be season ending, but apparently not (hurrah!) as he’s back, and in a big way, too: he’s 4 for 8 with 2 steals in his 2 games since returning. He also has a nice BVP of 8 for 26 versus Lance Lynn (.409 wOBA, .308 AVG).
George Springer, OF: $3,300 – I’m giving him a go for this cheap-ish price and because I like this match-up versus the Angels’ spot-starter Bud Norris (did I mention he’s Streamonator’s 3rd-lowest-ranked pitcher today?).
Ezequiel Carrera, OF: $2,000 – He may not make it into the Jays’ lineup, but he should, because this is a great lefty-righty match-up for him (talk about extreme splits: he’s .308 versus righties and….097 versus lefties), and he’s gone 4 for 11 versus Sonny Gray (.417 wOBA) in the past. For this price, he’s worth a go (as long as he plays); he’s a threat to steal, too.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
It should be clear absolutely everywhere, except for Seattle spoiling the party by being “partly cloudy” (harrumph).
Doing Lines In Vegas
Not terribly surprisingly, Vegas has the Nationals taking it over the Mets (-162). Similarly, it has the Royals beating the White Sox at -163. Interestingly, it’s completely undecided on the Tigers versus the Twins: at -100, it’s a dead heat.