I used to be a Catholic schoolgirl. I was bad at it (ahem), but some things stay with one, lo these many years later. The urge to dip my fingers in holy water and genuflect (why does that word sound so dirty somehow?) whenever I walk into a church. The impulse to reply “and also with you” when someone says “May the fourth be with you”. An enjoyment of wafers and religious experiences, such as watching James Paxton ($24,100 on FantasyDraft today) deal a no-hitter against the Blue Jays last week. He’s taking on Detroit today: yes, his last start, which was also against the Tigers, saw him give up 3 earned, but I’m going to put it down to the food poisoning he was allegedly dealing with (gotta go easy on the loaves and fishes) and exhort you: Pay up and start him and may (a) piece (of the action) be with you.
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Stacks of stacks: For the main slate (7 pm and later games; I’ve concentrated mainly on that slate in this post, but tried to give you early-slate options as well), Streamonator has cast Miami’s Jose Urena to the bottom of the pitcher pile, so you could look to stacking Braves hitters; also of possible interest would be Cubs hitters in the second game, travelling to Cincinnati to take on Sal Romano. For the early slate (1 pm to 4 pm games, but note FantasyDraft is not counting the first Dodgers-Nationals game, but it IS counting both Cubs-Reds games), Streamonator dislikes Zach Eflin, so pile on any Cards hitters not on the DL.
Luis Severino, SP: $24,900 – Sadly, he’s even more expensive than Paxton (not as bad as Max Scherzer, though, who’s been slotted in for the main game of the double-header, post-postponement: he’s a cool $27,600… <cough>), but I like Severino for this match-up versus the poor old Royals (not the ones having a wedding today), who have a team OPS of .413 against him. He has a ridiculously tiny ERA of 1.67 in 32.1 innings pitched at home. It’s a match made in heaven (especially if you’re named Harry or Meghan).
Patrick Corbin, SP: $22,300 – No Corbin your enthusiasm here: Patrick’s definitely worth a look today. The Mets are last in the league in OPS versus LHP, and Corbin’s taking the mound in pitcher-friendly Citi Field, where he’s held hitters to a .178 AVG over 13 IP. Pair these pricy main-slate guys up with Nick Kingham ($14,700, facing the Padres) or Jose Quintana ($13,700; yeah, he was bad last time out, but Streamonator is pretty high on him for this start versus the Reds).
Corey Kluber, SP: $23,100 – Here’s your expensive early slate option! I am honor-bound to let you know he’s Streamonator’s fourth-favorite pitcher o’ the day, after the aforementioned Mssrs. Paxton, Scherzer and Severino. But this start makes me a little nervous, I’m not gonna lie: the Astros have a team OPS of .751 against him, he’s home-run prone (10 so far in 2018; in all of 2017, he had 21), his Ks are down, and he doesn’t love Minute Maid Park: a 6.30 ERA in 10 IP. But you could cross to the other dugout and look at the much cheaper Dallas Keuchel ($18,600). Either of them pair up nicely with Jon Gray ($14,800), who takes on the Giants in AT&T Park.
Freddie Freeman, IF: $10,200 – Here are some more gaudy numbers for you. Hittertron has Freeman as its number 1 hitter overall today. The bespectacled one also needs to be respectabled for his 11 for 24 showing with 3 home runs in the last week; I did a double-take at that .458 average and thought wistfully back to all my roto drafts where I had the chance to grab him and didn’t. Anyway! Here’s our chance to play him. Yes, he costs a fortune. But bear in mind he also sports an OPS of 1.413 versus Jose Urena, it’s a good lefty-righty match-up, and he’s hitting .293 at home.
Anthony Rizzo, IF: $9,000 – Hittertron’s second-favorite IF today (after Freeman), and top option for the early slate. Not cheap, but not bad for a lefty-righty matchup versus Luis Castillo, and in Great American Ballpark, where he’s hit 11 HRs over his career. Another early IF option: Josh Donaldson ($8,200) versus lefty Sean Manaea.
Justin Bour, IF: $6,700 – I’m throwing him out there as a cheapie choice who may fly under the radar. Hittertron ranks him eight overall today, and while he hasn’t been tearing the cover off the baseball lately (well, maybe he does so in the privacy of his own home, but he hasn’t been doing it on a baseball field), it’s a lefty-righty match-up, and he gets to escape the confines of Marlins Park for the infinitely more hitter-friendly SunTrust Park.
Mookie Betts, OF: $10,700 – Can you afford him? No? Cough up anyway, son (and daughter). He’s been so en fuego (hitting .375 in the last week), and in 22 ABS versus Bundy, he has an OPS of .930.
Tommy Pham, OF: $9,300 – Moment of silence for Starling Marte, whose spot this was originally going to be. Stupid injuries. Instead we turn it over to Pham, Hittertron’s highest OF for the early slate today. He’s been hot and cold lately, but fam, we hope for hot versus Eflin, after his 3 for 3 night on Friday. I’m going to give Marcell Ozuna ($6,300) a look as an early-slate OF, as well, plus Kevin Pillar ($7,300) versus lefty Sean Manaea.
Matt Kemp, OF: $6,500 – Consider Kempt (so manscaped, this one) if he’s in the lineup. Initially this recommendation was because he’s gone 6 for 18 against Tanner Roark; now he’s facing Scherzer in the main slate, which is… less favorable, shall we say. But I’m grabbing him anyway, just for this price (and see if you can scoop him up for a double-header batty call <fans self> in your roto team!). He’s been hitting steadily, and he’s hit 4 HRs in Nationals Park, so perhaps not all hope is lost.
Marwin Gonzalez, OF: $5,800 – Marwin (…Marwin… So, so old I am), he is a friend of mine, I hope, with this match-up versus Corey Kluber. In 14 at-bats, he has 7 hits and 2 home runs against Kluber. Yes, that is a .500 AVG. Mind you, he’s also been putrid lately (and I know this because I own him in every roto league). I’m taking him for the price tag and the hope that Kluber wakes him up.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Oh, so much rain. So much rain. Things are looking dicey in Cincinnati, Washington (for the early game, which FantasyDraft isn’t counting, but I’m just flagging it for you anyway), Pittsburgh, Boston, New York, and Kansas City. Check yer lineups, kids.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Vegas is super “pfft” about the Tigers’ chances of beating the Mariners today, giving it to the Mariners at -342. It’s also pretty dismissive of the Royals over the Yankees: it projects the Yankees to take it at -241. In the last heavy lean of the day, see Quintana and the Cubs at -209 over Sal Romano and the Reds. For Astros and Cleveland, it could swing either way, but at -101, Vegas is fractionally in favor of Cleveland.