Two, that is number of wins the Dodgers need to win the N.L. West. Considering all the injuries to the starting rotation the team dealt with this year, this will be quite an accomplishment. I can tell you now, it will be a very exciting night around my house two victories from now, at least for me. As for the kids, well, they could probably care less. Go Dodgers!
So, who had given up on Byron Buxton? During his slump time when everyone gave up on him, yours truly was on eBay buying up all the auto RC’s I could and all for around 10-percent of their value. Anytime a player of his minor league pedigree is struggling, you buy on him and get them off to PSA or BGS, ASAP. On the other side of the coin last night speaking of Buxton, how about James Paxton? I am telling you now, if you are in a dynasty league, go after this guy now while you can still trade for him at a reasonable rate.
So with Quick Pitch playing in the background, and a fresh cup of the “Nectar of the gods”, I bring you today’s Pitching Coach Article.
Possible weather concerns
I am very happy to say, that at this time, I see nothing anywhere to worry about. It looks like a beautiful day for baseball.
Keep in mind, it is 4 a.m., and weather has a funny way of changing.
Want MLB weather dates? Tune into the Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 4-to-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, hosted by Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster. Also follow our weather updates on Twitter @MLBDailyWeather.
I find it interesting that DK was able to fit the Red Sox-Rays game in the early schedule while FD could not. Rick Porcello today is certainly a viable cash game play on the early slate if you are playing on DK, or, the all-day slate on FD. The problem is, he is expensive. Although Porcello often times gets you the W, on DK, that is not so big, so why spend a couple grand extra for Porcello when you can have players with much higher DK upside.
Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers (Cash, GPP)
Darvish gets a great park shift today pitching in Oakland facing an A’s team that is striking out 20.5 percent of the time versus RHP, while batting a whopping .198, with a .288 wOBA over the last seven days. Prior to his last outing where the A’s beat him up pretty good in Texas, he had 15 strikeouts, over 12 innings, allowing four earned runs in his previous two starts versus Oakland this season. Darvish has a 11.44 K/9 to compliment his awesome 13.3-percent swinging strike rate, and will be my numero uno today. The current A’s roster is batting .283 (32-for-113) with four HR (Khris Davis, Marcus Semien, Jake Smolinski, and Joey Wendle), 15 RBI, and 30 strikeouts versus Darvish. Keep in mind, the Rangers clinched last night, they may just stretch him out for five innings and sit him down.
I will be running three LU’s on FD today, one with each of the players listed. On DK, I am playing two LU’s, both with Darvish, and one each of these two.
Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals (SP2, GPP, DK Value)
Wild, dicey, Trevor Bauer, that is what comes to mind when I use Ventura. He gets a positive park shift today in Detroit facing a Tigers team that is batting .243, while striking out 24.2 percent of the time over the last seven days. Ventura is 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA this season versus Detroit, with 25 strikeouts over 30 2/3 innings. His price is criminal today on DK, while right where it should be on the other two, and he gets my call as the top SP2-GPP play of the slate. We have extensive history with the current Tigers roster batting .271 (60-for-221) with three HR (Victor Martinez (3)), 17 RBI, and 51 strikeouts versus Ventura. Although the average looks high, the production has been low.
Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals (SP2, GPP, FD Value)
I do not care who the opponent is, anytime you have a pitcher with a 10.29 K/9 and ERA of 1.03 taking the mound for the price of $5,500 on FD, you take a shot. Even if it is the Cubs. The Cubs are striking out 21.9 percent of the time this season versus RHP, but, are still red hot batting .299 with a .361 wOBA over the last seven. We have a day game after a night, and a clinched team, so, I am thinking they may rest a few guys today. Regardless, the last time Reyes faced the Cubs he went 4 1/3 innings with four strikeouts, allowing zero earned runs. The reason for the early pull? He walked six batters. Reyes in his next start went seven innings striking out six versus the Giants, allowing zero earned runs, and I am all in today versus the mighty Cubs. Did I mention he has only surrendered four earned runs in his last five starts? The current Cubs roster is batting .100 (2-for-20) with seven strikeouts, and zero earned runs versus Reyes.
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Cash games are easy tonight with no Coors Field game, Clayton Kershaw, or Madison Bumgarner. It really is that simple. After these two, it is a serious drop off in rankings. This slate is in serious need of a solid SP2. Instead, we got two stud SP1’s, and a slate full of GPP plays.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (Cash)
The Colorado Rockies are striking out 21.6 percent of the time versus LHP this season, while carrying a low .305 road wOBA, and low wRC+ of 87. Tonight they get Kershaw at home where he is a -265 favorite in a game with an expected run total of 6.0. He looked back to form in his last start versus the Giants where he had seven strikeouts over six innings, allowing zero earned runs. His price is a little lower than his competition due to matchup, but I see no way Kersh does not dominate the Rockies tonight. He has a 1.19 home ERA to compliment his 16.6 swinging strike rate (which is MLB the show quality) and gets my call as the top dog tonight. Soon, the magic number will be one. The current Rockies lineup is batting .247 (58-for-235) with four HR (Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Carlos Gonzalez (2)), 17 RBI, and 70 strikeouts. Most of this damage has been done at Coors Field, regardless, the numbers are still great.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants (Cash)
This is another no-brainer. Not only are the Padres striking out 25.8 percent of the time versus LHP this season, but, they are also batting a whopping .160, with a wRC+ of 44 (Wow!), while striking out an incredible 28.7 percent of the time (believe it or not, there is worse) over the last seven days. Madison is a heavy -205 favorite tonight facing a team that he has 34 strikeouts over his last 28 1/3 innings against, while they are in a slump. The current Padres roster is batting .259 (41-for-158) with three HR (Wil Myers, Derek Norris, and Adam Rosales), 15 RBI, and 47 strikeouts versus Madbum.
Ivan Nova, Pittsburgh Pirates (SP2, GPP, Aces value)
Prior to his last start in Cincinnati (which didn’t go so well), Nova had only allowed five earned runs over his previous four starts while striking out 25 batters over 27 innings. Tonight he gets a great park shift at home facing a Nationals team that is striking out 25.6 percent of the time over the last seven days while batting .236. He has a 4.19 ERA versus a 3.72 xFIP which always makes me feel a little better, and I see no way you do not take a stab here. The current Nationals roster is batting .260 (13-for-50) with one HR (Stephen Drew), two RBI, and eight strikeouts versus Nova. LHB have a .366 wOBA which makes Bryce Harper look like Babe Ruth.
Ariel Miranda, Seattle Mariners (SP2, GPP, FD, and Aces value)
The thing that really scares me here is this, I really love this play tonight. I find that often, when I think something is too good to be true, it is. He gets a decent park shift in Minnesota tonight, facing a Twins team that is striking out a whopping 32.7 percent of the time (told you there was worse) over the last seven days, while batting .165 with a wRC+ 38. 38. Meanwhile, Miranda over his last two starts versus the Astros at home, and Angels on the road, has a 1.38 ERA, with 11 strikeouts over 13 innings. We have no BVP, but he has a mighty offense behind him facing Tyler Duffey. Who is quite bad, quite often.
Alec Asher, Philadelphia Phillies (GPP, Boom or bust, Value play)
The Phillies SP is the more unpredictable than Kitty Colvin on catnip. They all have potential, good outings, and massive implosions.
Asher is facing the Mets tonight who are striking out 21.4 percent of the time versus RHP while batting .243 over the last seven days. The Mets offense is as unpredictable as the Phillies pitching, but Asher has allowed two earned runs, or less, in all three starts. The K upside is not high (4.32 K/9), he has a 2.16 ERA versus a 5.19 xFIP which is like planting a red flag on the moon, and a .226 BABIP. The numbers all send me mixed signals for greatness, or disaster, making him the perfect cheap boom or bust GPP play tonight. The BVP is next to zero (4 AB).
Dan Straily just missed today but he may be worth a look. The Brewers strikeout a ton versus RHP. First in MLB actually at 27-percent. They also only have a .295 wOBA over the last seven days batting .214. Straily is tough on RHB, and the Brewers lineup is certainly RHB heavy. There is a good chance I pair Straily with Miranda today on two-pitcher sites in a small GPP. You never know.
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