Hope everyone is ready for a sun tan today!  The Tampa Bay Rays are going to give our skins some much needed color…ok, I’m done I promise.  I’m sure you already know, but I like the Rays as a whole today.  As a team they’ve been heating up, and they’ll be facing off against a pretty unknown pitcher in Austin Bibens-Dirkx.  WHO?  I didn’t even know he existed before today, nor if he was any good or not.  I did some digging and his stats aren’t terrible in the minors with a little over 3.00 ERA this year.  Also has an ERA of just under 4.00 this year in long relief.  I’m still going to load up on bats here.  Mostly because of three things: stadium, conditions, and how often does a long reliever last more then a few innings?  The bats I’ll be targeting start with Logan Morrison at $3,500.  I think he’s a great play for the price and the potential.  I also like Evan Longoria at $3,300.  He’s had a rough time this year but I think he’s a much better hitter then what he’s shown.  Corey Dickerson at $4,200 seems obvious at this point, but he’s always in play if your stacking Rays.  Last guy I really like from this team is Tim Beckham at $2,900.  The former #1 pick hasn’t done much of anything in his career but with the injury to Matt Duffy, he’s finally getting a chance to play everyday.  Its beginning to pay off as he’s showing a power stroke and a decent average.  I expect his success to continue through today, at least.

Now on to the picks…

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Jacob deGrom, SP: $11,200 – Pretty obvious play here as deGrom has been on fire in his last two starts.  Milwaukee has really struggled to hit lately, play deGrom everywhere unless you want to be different.

James Paxton, SP: $8,800 – If you want to be different then look no further.  Paxton is coming off an injury – this is his first game back – and playing against Colorado.  Him coming off an injury alone may make people forget about him.  I also think people may get confused and forget the game isn’t in Coors Field tonight (I know it got me for a little bit.)  Before his injury, Paxton was amazing.  Maybe he’s a little rusty, but I’m going to risk it in GPPs.

Gary Sanchez, C: $3,500 – I’ll just tell you right now, Sanchez might be in my article every week.  I love this kid and I love how he plays the game.  He matches up against Gausman who’s a solid young pitcher, but not someone that really scares me.  Finally, Baltimore is a sneaky place to hit.  I know Sanchez is expensive, but he’s worth it.

Alex Avila, C: $3,000 – If you told me we’d be one day away from June and Avila was hitting .320+, I would’ve laughed at you until I passed out.  Well guess what, HE IS…shocker, I know.  He has a .450+ BABIP which will fall a lot…but luckily he gets to face off with Ian Kennedy today.  Ian Kennedy is TERRIBLE, so I don’t think Avila completely drops off the table today.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit a home run, honestly.

Matt Holliday, 1B: $2,900 – Morrison is the play at 1B today but if you want to go a little cheaper, Holliday is your guy.  He’s coming off a two home run game and he gets Gausman who I’ve already talked about.  Holliday may be getting old, but he still has some pop in his bat.  He also hits in the middle of a great lineup and has plenty of opportunities for RBIs.

Whit Merrifield, 2B: $3,200 – When a LHP is on the mound against the Royals, you should consider Merrifield.  Hes hitting over .400 on the season against them and .366 on his young career.  Merrifield is also red hot right now, hitting over .400 in the last two weeks.  Finally, he knows how to use his legs and is hitting a decent amount of home runs this year.  I may go pick him up in my fantasy league right now, actually…

Elvis Andrus, SS: $2,900 – Never been a big fan of Andrus but he’s proving me wrong this year.  He’s hitting for more power than I ever expected him, too, with 20 extra base hits already.  He’s also turning into a run producer for the Rangers.  I like Beckham more today but if you want to move off of him for Andrus, I won’t argue.

Mookie Betts, OF: $4,600 – I wanted to write up more Boston guys but I couldn’t fit them in.  Ill tell you guys right now: Boston is against Mike Pelfrey today.  You could realistically play anyone on the team, I’ve settled on Betts but that doesn’t mean you have to.  Why have I settled on him? It may seem obvious but to me he’s probably the best hitting outfielder in the AL now with Trout hurt.

Lorenzo Cain, OF: $3,100 – Kanzas City could’ve been my lead, I guess; didn’t even realize I liked this many KC players.  I can see why I do, though.  Matt Boyd isn’t a good pitcher and doesn’t have the ability to get RHBs out.  Cain hasn’t done much against LHP this season, but he is a .295 hitter against them on his career.

Seth Smith, OF: $2,800 – Smith isn’t anything special, but he has shown in the past he can dominate against RHP.  He also should hit lead off with plenty of chances to score some runs today.  Tanaka has been a shell of what he was last year as well.

Jorge Soler, OF: $2,600 – First want to state I doubt he plays.  If he does play, though, you have to use him, IMO.  He can hit moon shots and like I said before, Boyd can’t get RHBs out.  Not much else to go off of here because Soler has struggled all year.  May get lightning in a bottle here at a very low ownership.

Ben Gamel, OF: $2,700 –  BONUS PICK!  Since the Soler one is really hit or miss and if you don’t want to use Jorge or can’t sit around waiting to see if he plays, go with Gamel.  He’s been hitting at the top of the order in front of Cruz, Cano and Seager.  He’s also still hitting over .300 which surprises me, but take advantage of it while you can!

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Today’s weather seems pretty good; a few places have a chance of late thunderstorms, but nothing real scary.  If you want to know what those places are just in case, they’re in Baltimore, St Louis and Kansas City.  As far as wind goes its also very clean, so for the first time in two months of writing my article I can tell you not to worry about weather…for now.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Today should be a fun, with more coin flips than I’ve seen on a Wednesday slate in awhile.  Only two that really stick out are deGrom at -170 and Scherzer at -180.  I’m a little surprised Boston isn’t a bigger favorite against the White Sox, and I think Paxton coming back from injury has the line obscured a bit in Seattle.  Expect some scoring to take place as well; four out of the nine games on the docket today have a game total of 9 or higher.  I wrote about all of them: Yankees vs Baltimore, Detroit vs Kansas Ciy, Boston vs Chicago, and Tampa Bay vs Texas.