I so wanted to be able to highlight a Mexican pitcher today, as it’s the day after Cinco de Cuatro [Sidebar: You heard about the remix, right?] Alas, the closest I could get is this jug of margaritas and Aaron Sanchez at Tampa Bay and…no. It’s one of those days I wish I didn’t have to draft a pitcher at all for my FantasyDraft lineup, actually. The selection is all iffy pitchers and/or bad ballparks (Charlie Morton is pitching! … in Arizona. Kenta Maeda is pitching against the Padres! … in Coors South [more on that below]). I’ll be going with Charlie Morton anyway and stacking some hitters — thoughts on which ones after the jump. It may be a wild, white-knuckled ride, like the first time you drink tequila slammers with your mother-in-law.
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Stacks of stacks: If you’re a pitcher and you’re named Tyler, 50% of you are SOL today, according to the Streamonator: Ty Blach (@ATL) (more like Ty BLECH amirite) and Tyler Chatwood (@STL) are its two lowliest pitchers today. (It’s begrudgingly lukewarm about Tyler Skaggs and Tyler Mahle, though.) So consider Ty-ing one on (margaritas for everyone!) by racking up some Braves and Cards hitters today. Also of interest may be the Dodgers-Padres series taking place in Monterrey, Mexico, this weekend: on the Hittertron, Rudy has inched up the HR factor by 21% higher than the average park for LH and RH batters, as Monterrey has a similar altitude to Coors. Nom! Might this be the first time ever that you start a Padres hitter in a “home” game?! .. Still not, eh?
Charlie Morton, SP: $21,400 – …So, yeah, part 1. I love Charlie Morton and his crazy 1.72 ERA and 0.98 WHIP and his 11.05 K/9. I want to marry him and have his fantasy baseball children (nobody tell Dr. Easy). Normally I would endorse him wholeheartedly. Streamonator ranks him second (at 15 SON$, which is quite the drop from first-place Matz’s (not placemats’) value of 22.1 SON$. It’s just that match-up, you know?: Diamondbacks in Arizona. Hmm. For the early slate, in equally iffy territory, you may as well grab Luke Weaver ($15,700; ranked 4th on Streamonator today) for his start at home in St. Louis against the Cubs; you could pair him up cheaply with Sonny Gray ($12,900) or expensively with Trevor Bauer ($20,800). Caveat: I am sure of nothing here.
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP: $16,900 – This is what it’s come to: Eduardo Rodriguez and his 4.78 ERA. Streamonator ranks him 5th today, but you will recall that’s among pretty slim pickins [Sidebar: Can anyone settle for me whether that should have an apostrophe in it? Or is it “pickens”? I’m an editor; I care about these things]. I’d run him out only for this price and because he’s facing the Rangers. At least he’s K-ing people at 9.91, while the Rangers, languishing way at the bottom of the AL West, are, conveniently, striking out at a rate of 25%.
Steven Matz, SP: $11,700 – …So, yeah, part 2. He’s crazy cheap — I think the FantasyDraft lineup gods might think he’s still DTD, but apparently he’s over his back issues and scheduled to pitch today. This is maybe a little risky, though. He hasn’t been the tightest of tight things lately, I know. But he hasn’t been that awful (that’s a VictoriaB Level II Ringing EndorsementTM). Yes, he’s earned a yawnstipating 3 ERs in his last 3 starts (in a not-so-fun 3.1 IP last time out, @STL). But! In his favor, Matz can count pitcher-friendly Citi Field, and his pretty decent K/9 of 10.8, while the Rockies are striking out at a 25% clip. Whether he’ll get the win over the Rockies is debatable—note, though, that Vegas has the Mets to win at -178. Together with Streamonator, which has nominated him Number 1 pitcher today, I think I like him even more than Charlie Morton (who has that above-mentioned possibly tough assignment against the Diamondbacks in Arizona).
Tyler Skaggs, SP: $15,100 – A.K.A. The Second Tyler. Tyler “Boz” Skaggs (my God, but I’m old). The Risky-But-Cheap Tyler. This is some bonus coverage, for the gambler. Streamonator doesn’t like this start at all (-0.5 $SON), whereas I’m kind of intrigued by him at this price if you’re trying to stash some money for big hitters. Kyle Seager’s done damage against him in the past, as has Robinson Cano, but he’s not unhappy in Safeco Field: he holds a 3.57 ERA in 17.2 IP there.
Didi Gregorius, IF: $10,200 – Welp, he’s pricy. And Trevor Bauer’s been good lately. But I’m going to pay up for the Gregorius DIDI and his hot-hitting ways and his .915 OPS versus the Bauer Glower (seriously, he’s so frowny and fierce, that one, like a baby owl).
Trea Turner, IF: $9,400 – Also not cheap, but when is it ever cheap to TreaT Yo’self? Note that Turner is Hittertron’s top-ranked IF today while simultaneously being ranked 9th of infielders on FantasyDraft, so he may just fly under your competitors’ radar a little. Maybe. He’s been hot lately—hitting .348 in the last week—while Vince Velasquez has not (10 ERs in his last 2 starts).
Brian Dozier, IF: $8,600 – This is a riskier play, because he’s slowed way down from his hot start to the season. Way, way down. OK, let’s be frank, he’s been horrible lately. [ETA on Saturday morning: 3 for 5 with a HR and a 3B last night, though! Sweet!] But this is not a bad price to run him out against the White Sox’s Hector Santiago. In 13 ABs, Dozier has a nice OPS of 1.044 against Santiago. It’s also a good lefty-righty match-up.
J.D. Martinez, OF: $10,300 – This would be your big spend on OF, depending on whether you roll with some stacks or not (and/or the classics like Harper [$10,700] or Trout [$11,200].) He seems to have got over the situation with his thumb this week, and against Whole Camels, he has a 1.051 OPS in 12 ABs.
Ronald Acuna, OF: $8,900 – He cannot stop hitting. Plus he has a projected OPS of 0.821 versus lefty versus the hapless Ty Blach. Acuna patata, which means “no worries, no chips.” (Not really. I don’t know what that means. We speak French here in Canada.).
Starling Marte, OF: $8,000 – I’d been cyclopsing him for today’s slate even when he was scheduled to face Zach Davies, who has rather abruptly gone on the DL, but now he gets to face Jhoulys Chacin (4.54 ERA, 1.60 WHIP), so… even better! And at a mere $8,000, that’s a nice surprise. Star(t)ling, even.
Odubel Herrera, OF: $7,700 – I know. You’re like, really? But consider the price. Consider his tear over the last week: hitting .333 with 2 HRs. Consider his 29 at-bats and .448 (seriously) AVG versus Tanner Roark. I think this is a below-the-radar play that just might pay off.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
As of this morning, there is no rain in the forecast. Check it again anyway, though, later.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Lots of close ones today, sez Vegas. The Phillies just have the edge over the Nats and the Rays just over the Jays and the Reds just over the Marlins, all at -102. The Dodgers are strong favorites to beat the Padres (-168).