So the good news is I had two of my tickets advance to the semifinal round of 50 in the 10K Fantasy Aces 4-day Survivor Tourney, with one squad leading the pack with last night’s top score. The bad news is having the high score doesn’t mean anything until tomorrow night and I lost another of my original eight tickets.
The key question for today is to double up what I feel is my best lineup or to diversify a little. Adding an interesting twist to the decision is there are three legit aces, each with a caveat to their matchups. Using some sort of mix gets me a share of all three with two shares of one. Here are the elite arms available.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondback – The matchup isn’t ideal in that it’s a road tilt in a hitting-friendly venue. For the season, the Snakes home weighted on base versus southpaws is a tick lower than league average at .306 but they don’t whiff as much as other squads, checking in with an 18.6 percent strikeout rate. But this is Clayton Kershaw we’re talking about, someone whose name will be a consensus top-three choice next season in traditional fantasy drafts. Opposing Kershaw is Wade Miley. The visitors have the second base road wOBA versus southpaws in MLB and are favored to with the game.
David Price, Detroit Tigers versus New York Yankees – Price has the luxury of working at home though Comerica Park isn’t as pitcher-friendly as many perceive. For the season, on the road versus left-handers the New York Yankees are below average as they tote a .299 wOBA and 21 percent whiff rate. However, since the All-Star break, those have improved to a better than average .319 wOBA and paltry 16.5 percent punch out rate. Right-hander Shane Greene takes the ball for the Yankees. The home team has the eighth best home wOBA versus righties and is a favorite, but not as heavy a favorite as the Dodgers.
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox – Like Kershaw, Kluber is on the road in a hitter’s haven. The White Sox home wOBA versus right-handers is league average but they fan at a healthy 22.4 percent clip. Toeing the rubber for the home-nine will be right-hander Hector Noesi, like the Tigers, the Indians are slight favorites and while the wise guys obviously know what they’re doing, I can’t ignore the Indians’ .325 road wOBA facing right-handers and am confident Kluber will have a great shot at a win.
A fourth possibility is Julio Teheran as the Atlanta Braves visit Citi Field for a date with a depleted New York Mets lineup. David Wright and Daniel Murphy are not starting and I bet Teheran sees a lot of run. Maybe if I had more tickets I’d be more inclined to go with Teheran, but under the circumstances I’m feeling a fade.
My lean is to use Kluber in both lineups with Price in one and Kershaw in the other. Their prices on Fantasy Aces are nearly identical so having a lot of duplication in the hitters should be easy to pull off. I may consider going off the board tomorrow, assuming I still have a ticket in the running, but for now I’m again confident enough in my ability to find ample support with hitting to have both lineups survive.
Speaking of hitting, the left-handed portion of the human Strat-o-Matic team better known as the Oakland Athletics are in a great spot facing Brad Peacock in Minute Maid Park. I’m looking for Brandon Moss to get off the schneid this evening and show some of the form that made him a DFS darling in the middle of the summer. I also like the lefty swingers on the Cleveland Indians (Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis).
Buster Posey is my highest ranked catcher for the evening but since I’m going all-in with the pricey pitching, this is a good spot to fade the San Francisco Giants receiver. Many will be on him after last night’s two-homer performance with the incendiary Franklin Morales working for the visiting Colorado Rockies.
I’ll pop back and post my rosters in the comments as well as providing updates throughout the course of the evening.
#1: David Price, Corey Kluber, Stephen Vogt, Zach Walters, Jason Kipnis, Brandon Moss, Jesus Guzman, Jake Marisnick, Hunter Pence, Michael Brantley, Adam Lind 51239 50/50 EDIT #2: Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Stephen Vogt, Zach Walters, Jason Kipnis, Brandon Moss, Jesus Guzman, Jake Marisnick, Hunter Pence, Michael Brantley, Matt Dominguez
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Affectionately known as Lord Zola, Todd was the 2013 Fantasy Sports Writers Association recipient of the Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year, Web. He's been with Mastersball since its inception in 1997 and presently Todd writes for the ESPN Insider and Baseball HQ. Todd is a frequent guest on SiriusXM and is a regular on HQ Radio. He's a veteran of Tout Wars and LABR as well as a multi-time NFBC champion. Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddZola
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