Exhausted would be an understatement. It’s days like this where I realize I am almost 43 years old and not a young man in his twenties anymore. This year, well, my degenerative arthritis has gotten so bad it hurts to open a packet of Splenda. That is the beauty of DFS and fantasy sports in general. They are an escape. When I am poring over stats, match-ups, and setting lineups, I do not think about these things. My rent, my car payment, buying school clothes for four girls, keeping the bills paid, and getting ready for a newborn in early November all go away to be replaced by Jon Lester, Matt Kemp, wOBA, xFIP, and the same feeling of happiness and love for the sport I had when I was seven. Oddly enough, I get the same feeling when I am looking at my baseball card collection that is in my safe deposit box. The funny thing, my favorite baseball card is neither my most valuable nor a Dodger. It is a 1954 Topps Al Kaline rookie card graded 7 by PSA. This card has special meaning that goes back to memories of being eight years old. You see what I mean? I have already drifted off.

Possible weather concerns!

Besides the usual hot temps and humidity across most of the country this time of year, we have the usual beautiful weather out on the West Coast. Otherwise, as far as baseball is concerned, it looks like a beautiful day across the country. I see nothing at this early hour to be concerned with.

Day Slate

9.5, 9.5, 8.5, 9.5, 9.5, 9.0, 8.0, 8.0, and 9.5. No, that is not the grades I got back on my last batch of cards I sent to Beckett for grading. It is the expected point totals for the early slate today. There are also two games that currently have no line, more-than-likely though, you are looking at similar numbers there as well. This tells us that Vegas is expecting a high scoring day across baseball, and then when you take a look at the SP selection, you realize why. I have, literally, been staring at the slate for 20 minutes trying to figure out who is a good cash game play. I see none. This slate is junk even though it is large and, honestly, the four-game night slate is more cash-game friendly than this one, believe it or not. So I am going to run some small GPPs with the players below and not get too crazy.

Doug Fister, Houston Astros

You see what I mean about today? Doug Fister is the best I could come up with. Even though he has a low 5.94 K/9 he does have a sweet matchup facing the Tampa Bay Rays in a great pitcher’s park (Minute Maid is 30th in runs scored in MLB). The Rays are struggling terribly right now batting .238 with a .296 wOBA and wRC+ of 87 over the last seven days striking out 27.4 percent. Although Fister got roughed up a bit by St. Louis in his last home outing, he has only allowed five earned runs over his last 16 innings pitched at home with 13 strikeouts, which by Fister standards is pretty good. My biggest concerns are that LHB carry .374 wOBA and his ERA is 3.59 compared to his 4.55 xFIP. Neither of which, knock him out of the one spot for me today at his low price.

Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals

Jaime Garcia is the 50/50 dice roll of the day. Really, look at the numbers. In his last six starts he has been blow up three times, and dominated the other three. He is the classic pitcher where either he comes out and “has it”, or, “does not”. Today he gets a positive park shift at home facing the Athletics who can hit LHP (.324 wOBA versus LHP on season) but are looking rather dogged as of late. Over the last seven days the A’s are batting a low .235 while striking out 22.1 percent of the time with a miserable wRC+ of 74. Garcia has a 58.8 percent groundball rate, 3.66 home ERA (5.37 road), decent 7.50 K/9, a ton of offense behind him, and is also a -179 favorite. That is enough for me on this slate.

Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays

The reason Chris Archer today is number three and comes in behind Fister is price. He is not expensive, just expensive on this slate. Although he gets a great park shift the Astros still have a .334 wOBA versus RHP, and a .332 home wOBA. Both scare me with an unpredictable up and down pitcher like Archer. The key to this play is strikeouts. The Astros still strikeout 22.1 percent of the time versus righties, Archer has a 10.67 K/9, and the highest swinging strike rate on the slate at 13.3-percent. You do the math? Over his last two starts versus the Red Sox and Padres at home he has 15 strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings with a 0.73 ERA, and today is facing an Astros team batting .236 striking out 23.2 percent of the time over the last seven days. The reality is by days end he will probably let up a few runs, but with the strikeout total, should still give you decent fantasy production. FIY, the current Astros lineup is batting .172 (16-for-93) with no HR and 30 strikeouts versus Archer.

Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles

I feel like I am making a big mistake here. Here is why, Gary Sanchez scares the Brett Anderson out of me. Really he does. RHB have a .370 wOBA versus Gausman (this is known as a reverse split) and he has yet to face Sanchez or Aaron Judge (Starlin Castro looks pretty good as well). And let’s be honest, the recent Yankee youth explosion is actually making me like the Yankees again, a little. You still cannot deny the fact Gausman has looked absolutely fabulous as of late. He has allowed two or less earned runs in four of his last six starts, striking out 36 batters over a 32 2/3 innings span. Although the Yankees are batting .317 with a monster wRC+ of 145 over the last seven days, Gausman historically has owned the Yankees with the current roster (minus Judge and Sanchez) batting .200 (27-for-135) with two HR (Brett Gardner and Mark Texeira), six RBI, and 27 strikeouts versus the “Gaus”. I will throw him in a lineup or two and pray his 8.87 K/9 can rack up some points today.

Robert Gsellman, New York Mets

For $1200 less on FanDuel than Mike Trout or the same price as Kris Bryant on Aces you can get a SP who is in a decent matchup today. Not only do the Phillies have a pathetic .300 wOBA versus RHP striking out 22.3 percent of the time, but, they also over the last seven days are batting .209 with a horrid wRC+ of 55 while striking out 24.4 percent of the time. Gellman’s minor league numbers show an up and down K/9 ranging from 8.23 (AA) to 7.47 (AAA) on the high side so we have strikeout upside here. In his only major league appearance he went 3 2/3 innings versus the Cardinals with two strikeouts and zero earned runs. I am not sure how many innings he goes today but I would be happy for the price with five innings, five strikeouts, and one earned run in a great pitcher’s park. Which I can see versus this pathetic Phillies team.

                vs Lvs R   
Kevin GausmanBALR133.08.872.571.56.26612.0%3.933.711.32.30745.6%34.1%1.340.2900.370$8400$8700$6450
Danny SalazarCLER122.110.013.971.03.23111.8%3.903.721.32.29148.1%31.9%1.510.2800.325$9000$7500$6950
Chad BettisCOLR146.16.712.891.11.2929.8%$6800$4000$5600
Carlos RodonCWSL123.08.632.711.24.28110.1%4.023.981.43.33145.4%33.5%1.350.2490.354$8200$8900$6750
Anibal SanchezDETR126.27.963.341.71.28310.3%5.834.351.48.31441.4%39.3%1.050.3490.367$6600$5500$6850
Doug FisterHOUR153.05.942.881.06.2506.3%3.594.551.28.27347.0%33.3%1.410.3740.245$7500$8400$6600
Tyler SkaggsLAAL30.08.704.200.90.3007.8%5.704.521.67.35142.4%34.8%1.220.3230.363$6300$7700$6000
Justin NicolinoMIAL64.$6300$4000$5550
Chase AndersonMILR119.07.423.331.74.2709.2%4.994.661.42.29038.3%36.9%1.040.2960.413$6300$5300$5600
Kyle GibsonMINR106.06.373.061.19.29510.3%5.094.541.54.32451.0%25.4%2.010.3950.306$6600$5600$5650
Robert GsellmanNYMR3.24.917.360.00.16712.0%$5500$4900$5650
Michael PinedaNYYR141.210.162.481.40.26915.0%5.023.341.35.33547.4%31.0%1.530.3490.336$8000$6900$6550
Andrew TriggsOAKR49.18.392.190.73.26310.8%4.383.671.30.32453.4%23.6%2.260.3080.317$5800$4000$5700
Vince VelasquezPHIR119.010.363.251.44.26612.7%4.313.661.37.32837.8%39.0%0.970.3580.315$7800$8200$6200
Ivan NovaPITR122.26.941.831.54.27610.1%4.903.912.46.30054.2%25.1%2.160.3640.334$7000$8000$6700
Luis PerdomoSDR106.27.092.781.27.3249.8%6.244.311.76.36259.8%20.2%2.960.3700.379$6400$5100$5700
Taijuan WalkerSEAR95.28.001.981.88.24910.4%4.143.881.21.26444.6%35.5%1.250.3060.345$6900$5800$6850
Jaime GarciaSTLL146.17.512.771.11.2639.7%4.373.831.34.29958.8%23.7%2.480.3030.329$7900$7300$6400
Chris ArcherTBR162.010.673.221.28.24213.3%$9400$9900$7150
Derek HollandTEXL78.25.492.861.14.2678.0%4.925.091.37.28336.5%41.2%0.890.2520.346$6700$4400$6050
R.A. DickeyTORR154.16.473.381.57.25311.3%4.434.671.34.26844.8%34.5%1.300.3490.340$7200$6600$6150
Lucas GiolitoWSHR11.04.107.361.64.2736.0%4.916.751.91.27042.1%34.2%1.230.3830.383$6700$6400$6800

Night Slate

This one tonight is a no brainer. Outside of the top two plays I believe that all the other pitchers will have similar outcomes. Aaron Blair, Homer Bailey, Archie Bradley, and Brock Stewart, are all likely going to get the crap beat out of them. I also would rather upgrade and spend the $2,000 or so extra for the studs before taking Ventura versus the Red Sox, or even the unpredictable Eduardo Rodriguez. This means, either spend up, or go bargain basement here.

Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs

As much as I love the Dodgers they are in real trouble tonight. The Dodgers are striking out 20 percent of the time and have a .291 wOBA (29th in MLB) with a low wRC+ of 82 versus LHP on the season. Lester in his last start versus the Dodgers went nine innings with one earned run while striking out 10 batters on June 1st. In his last two starts he has a 1.42 ERA with 15 strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings. He gets a great park shift at Dodgers Stadium tonight and is a -161 favorite with a K/9 of 9.0 facing a team striking out 22 percent of the time over the last seven days. With positive BVP and a fair price tag he is my numero uno tonight in cash, GPP, you name it.

Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco

Mad Bum has been killing my team in the Brian Ambos league each start. Especially at his high $38 salary. He has allowed nine earned runs in his last 17 innings. For Madison, that is unheard of. He did however still strikeout 21 batters over them 17 innings. Tonight I look for him to get back on track facing a Braves team that although is a little hot right now batting .281 over the last seven, still only has a .315 wOBA versus LHP on the season. The thing that concerns me is the Braves have been hitting the whole second half of the season, and well, since getting Matt Kemp (my favorite player who also has two HR off of Mad Bum) , the second half they a batting .272 with a .335 wOBA. Madison is home tonight though where his ERA is only 1.77 and he is also a huge -277 favorite. Despite his recent woes, he is still the next best option tonight after Lester.

Brock Stewart, Los Angeles Dodgers

You can swap any of them names above with Stewart and more-than-likely still get the same result tonight, poop. So, if I am going to take a stab, which I will, I am going to attack the team with a .342 road wOBA who strikes out 21.3 percent of the time versus RHP, in one of the best pitcher’s parks in MLB, with a subpar pitcher with a 7.5 K/9. Why not? It is always the Brock Stewart type facing the Cubs that leaves us all sitting there at some point throughout the week saying, “who the hell would have thought to play that guy?”. For $3 in a Squeeze or Moonshot, I am all in at the price.

                vs Lvs R   
Archie BradleyARIR105.08.664.291.20.2698.5%5.064.361.57.31349.7%28.1%1.770.4140.283$6100$5200$5800
Rob WhalenATLR24.29.134.381.46.21710.9%6.574.551.30.23944.3%37.1%1.190.3210.349$6200$4000$5850
Eduardo RodriguezBOSL68.27.873.011.70.26811.0%5.114.511.40.29832.4%44.6%0.730.3420.345$7200$6400$6800
Jon LesterCHIL154.09.002.511.11.21911.1%2.813.431.08.26148.3%30.8%1.570.2690.281$10600$11500$7800
Homer BaileyCINR22.011.042.860.82.32610.4%5.733.541.68.41847.0%22.7%2.070.4030.300$7100$8300$6100
Yordano VenturaKCR145.17.063.591.24.2439.6%4.274.371.33.26852.5%28.8%1.820.3200.311$8500$7200$6550
Brock StewartLAR12.07.504.503.75.37010.2%11.254.842.25.38554.8%31.0%1.770.4590.475$5500$4000$5450
Madison BumgarnerSFL180.210.062.341.00.21212.4%2.443.291.05.26641.7%38.2%1.090.2410.278$10800$12800$8100

Good luck today. Check your catchers if they played last night.

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