So loyal readers of mine will recall how last week’s FanDuel slate was so painfully bad, it was akin to coming home drunk and looking for some good drunk munchies, only to find some mustard, 2 week old leftovers you forgot to throw out and something wrapped in tin foil, which even though shows promise turns out not to be that delicious piece of chicken you had yesterday, but rather some sort of substance you can’t identify, but looks a little too liquidy to be food. Well, this slate is an entirely different painful experience. It’s drunk-stumbling into Pat’s Hubba Hubba (or your cities’ best drunk food spot), but then finding out that 25% of the time, the only thing you get is Hubba Water (the Westchester people will get this). Why is this slate like that? Because even though it’s a seven game slate, the hitting is basically concentrated in 2 games. Normally, that’s not an issue – you can build lineups with the offenses from 2 games most of the time (and can do it today). The problem is that both games have massive rain issues (at least as of this writing), and will require constant monitoring all day. If those games are rained out, or at least pose enough of a PPD threat to make it so that the players are unplayable, suddenly there’s absolutely no offense of note. The result will be lineups with Scherzer and meh and RNG-centric hitters.
On to the picks…
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Madison Bumgarner, P: $8,600 – I’m only putting him here because I like to put down a 2nd (usually much cheaper) pitcher so that people who play GPPs have a pivot from the cash pitcher, or if something happens (like Scherzer gets scratched) you have a 2nd option. Madison Bumgarner is that 2nd option because the Padres are so bad and even though Bumgarner may be bad, Padres are worse. Play Scherzer. Onto the hitters.
Chicago Cubs – The Dark Knight is back in our lives and with the Reds he’s been the same awful pitcher as he was with the Mets. He’s got a 17% strikeout rate and a 7% walk rate, which is much improved from his 10.9% walk rate last year. He’s managed to be OK this year vs righties with 18.7% strikeouts, 5.8% walks and 45.1% ground balls. It’s not actually good enough to put you off of right handed bats, especially since Kris Bryant is the only one you’re going to want to play in cash. Bryant and Rizzo are the top plays here and Heyward and Zobrist are definitely viable cash saving plays. Schwarber if he bats at the top of the lineup would be excellent play, but if he’s batting 6th or lower, he’s not necessary in cash but if you price point into him, he’s fine.
Oakland Athletics – Lucas Giolito is another guy to target today. His career and single season numbers tell the same story. He doesn’t get any strikeouts and walks guys, which, I don’t know if you know this, is a bad combination for a pitcher. His 6.1% K-BB vs righties is only “bettered” by his -0.6% K-BB vs lefties. It’s not like he’s getting ground balls vs righties or lefties (44.5% for righties and 38.4% for lefties). Anyone on the A’s is playable and we might get the added bonus of Matt Joyce returning where FanDuel does the thing where DL guys get priced to $2,000 so that we get a nice easy 90% ownership guy when they return and are stone min. Which other A’s you play will just come down to your own lineup construction since you’re going to have to pick your 4k player (Rizzo, Bryant, Khris Davis) and then go from there.
Joe Panik, 2B: $2,900 – I’m not entirely sure why Hittertron likes Panik so much – it has him as one of the top 2Bs today. I don’t get it, personally, but I feel obligated to at least point it out because he’s fairly cheap at $2900 and the obvious play at 2B (Zobrist) has weather issues. If the weather in Cincy is looking ominous, then you may have to turn to Panik instead.
The If Rain Makes the 2 Good Games Unplayable – You’re probably looking at a dash of Washington, Cardinals, Milwaukee, and Anaheim. If Luis Valbuena and Jose Fernandez start they are solid value plays to let you pay up for the expensive Nats, Brewers and Cardinals (or if you can fit him, the homer happy Paul Goldschmidt). The Washington bats are too expensive for cash games if Chicago and Cincinnati games play, but Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy are all fine play if they don’t. The issue with that game is Kevin Gausman is actually a pretty solid pitcher and isn’t someone you want to attack with any consistency. I’d have a hard time paying up for most Cardinals but Marcell Ozuna at $3,500, Yadier Molina at $3,200 and Jedd Gyorko at $3,000 are fine plays that are in line with the “meh” plays I spoke about in the intro.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
As of now, it looks like there should be a massive rainstorm in Chicago and most likely rain in Cincinnati, which is a problem since if those two games don’t play, that’s going to nuke the good spots today.
Doing Lines In Vegas
How are the Cardinals +104? Brent Suter isn’t “bad” by any stretch, but he’s not particularly good, and more importantly, he’s a lefty who doesn’t miss bats and doesn’t walk guys, and the Cardinals are an entire lineup of righties. Meanwhile, Carlos Martinez is also fairly “meh” – so while it’s entirely possible Thames, Yelich and Shaw each go yard off of him, it’s not like it’s a lock by any means. Cardinals definitely should be favored, so take whatever underdog odds you can get and fire away.