How can we talk about baseball when we are coming off a masterful Tiger Woods’ Masters victory and the airing of the first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones?
Like, it’s a little hard to focus coming off of these things on Sunday.
While we saunter around in sports and TV victories, baseball is still going to be played Monday and I hope the excitement and momentum from Sunday can move into our sports’ Monday.
Hey, Chris Davis even got a hit and 4 RBIs on Saturday. What is the world coming to???
A reminder, back to the new format, so pricing consists of FanDuel, comparing to Draftkings and percentages of salary cap. FD pricing will be listed first, then DraftKings’ pricing. Pitching percentages are based on ranges of rostering the recommended pitcher plus the lowest-priced DK pitcher the highest-priced DK pitcher. Don’t understand? Read on!
Also, this is the last installation that will be without a paywall, so enjoy the new format and we hope to see you on the other side!
Also, #teamMotherofDragons #teamKhaleesi
Yusei Kikuchi – vs. Cleveland Indians – $7,700
Analysis: Kikuchi was difficult to stomach last time out and left the game early to leg cramps. Probably explains his poor performance, too. But hopefully he’s well hydrated and over those issues because he has a mouth-watering matchup at home against the hapless Cleveland Indians who are 27th in wOBA and sport a paltry .094 ISO against lefties this season. They also are striking out 35% of the time! Kikuchi hasn’t pitched much in the majors, so the sample size is small, but he’s got an 8.1 K/9 against lefties and a 5.89 K/9 against righties. Bump to Kikuchi though based on matchup and pitches for a team that’s been hot prior to getting swept this weekend to a hotter Houston Astros team.
Trevor Richards – vs. Chicago Cubs – $7,300
Analysis: Let’s see how the battle between hitter’s death park and the best team against RH pitching fairs tonight as the Cubs travel to Miami to take on the Marlins. Trevor Richards has been great to start the season, but he’s outperforming himself at the moment. But pitchers in Miami are usually a safe bet and Richards is the home pitcher here. The Cubs are striking out 22% of the time. Richards is more of a reverse splits pitcher though, and the Cubs should have more than half its lineup as lefties plus the pitcher’s spot. So if Richards can get by Bryant, Contreras and Baez and limit the damage against lefties, Richards could have a quality start, strikeouts and eat some innings. The win will be the part that will be hard to come by, though the Marlins are facing Yu Darvish who just doesn’t seem to have it together right now.
Joey Lucchesi – vs. Colorado Rockies – $8,200
Analysis: The Rockies are not a scary team right now. They may not be except in Coors for the whole season. Derek Holland, a lefty, got touched up Sunday, but he was still able to manager 12 DK points through it all. And he’s a bad pitcher. Tonight we get Lucchesi, a good pitcher, taking on Colorado, who once again has to play away from home. The Rockies are actually worse than the Indians against lefties so far this season, 28th in wOBA to be exact and a .100 ISO. They strikeout at 24% clip, too. As for Lucchesi, he’s been solid to start the season, striking out RH bats 7.89 times per 9 innings and lefties at a whopping, yet unsustainable 18 times per 9 innings. But he gets lefties out with ease, striking them out at a 11.28 K/9 in 2018.
HITTERS – Just so everyone is aware, if he plays, Mike Trout is the first guy in and that’s who I am building around. Not need to make him an official pick, he kills the Rangers.
Justin Bour – 1B – Los Angeles Angels – $2,900/$4,000 – 8%/8%
Analysis: My favorite play on the Bour-d. See what I did there? Yea, terrible play on words. But Bour is a great play tonight at a sub-$3K price tag, on the road against Rangers’ version of Theon Greyjoy (Game of Thrones reference) – Shelby Miller. Look at these numbers for Miller this season so far through 2 starts (6 1/3 innings to be exact)…7.71 ERA/8.52 xFIP with a .222 BABIP vs. lefties…10.8 ERA/10.46 xFIP and .488 wOBA vs. RH bats. Miller has given up 40% hard contact to both sides of the plate, and SOMEHOW hasn’t given up a home run yet. Considering he gave up a 4.05 HR/9 to RH bats and 1.93 HR/9 to lefties in 2018, and he’s pitching in Texas, the bombs will come…man, I love the Angels tonight. #rideordie. Oh yea, and you know already that I support BvP. Bour happens to be 5-for-12 with 2 home runes against Miller.
Travis Shaw – 3B – Milwaukee Brewers – $3,000/$3,900 – 8%/8%
Analysis: The Brewers come back home to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in Miller Park. These two teams kicked off the season with 4 games in Miller Park already and the two teams scored 38 runs. The Brewers scored at least 4 runs in every game and gave up four or more in 3 out of the 4 games. The Brew Crew draws Dakota Hudson, who they touched up for 3 ER on 3 HR and 7 hits in their first meeting. On the season, Hudson is allowing a .568 wOBA on 52% hard contact this season. Clearly those numbers will regress to the mean, but hell, his mean may not be too far below the .568 wOBA if he keeps giving up long balls. Miller Park is not exactly pitcher friendly either, especially when it comes to facing lefties.
Jose Ramirez – 3B – Cleveland Indians – $3,100/$3,900 – 9%/8%
Analysis: Yes, rostering the Indians is maddening, especially Ramirez. But look at this price! It keeps dropping and dropping, so I’ll keep playing him and playing him to be on that boat when it sets sale. While I like Kikuchi a lot, he has been giving up long balls, 1.96 HR/9 so far to start the season. Ramirez owned a .344 wOBA against lefties and over a .200 ISO in 2018, but is well below both numbers this season. The Indians are really in shambles, but Ramirez’s talent is there and this futility can’t continue forever. Maybe just stick with Ramirez for tournaments though.
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – St. Louis Cardinals – $3,900/$4,300 – 11%/9%
Analysis: While $3,900 is a good chunk of your FanDuel cap, this price tag just feels too cheap for such a good hitter on the road in Miller Park. The Cardinals draw 2-pitch fireballer Freddy Peralta, a heralded spring training flop whose lack of pitches is barely keeping him afloat. Peralta has been touched up more by lefties, but is still allowing a .339 wOBA and 42% hard contact rate to righties. I could see the Cardinals being a little sluggish coming off a series in Mexico in altitude, but Goldy is still a great hitter and there’s no change in time zones for that series, so I am not too worried about it. Against RH pitching so far, Goldy owns a .367 wOBA and .375 ISO, accompanied by 58% hard contact rate and .200 BABIP!
Matt Carpenter – 3B – St. Louis Cardinals – $3,400/3,800 – 9%/7%
Analysis: Against lefties, Peralta is allowing a .335 wOBA, 42% hard contact rate and 2.84 HR/9 with a 57% to 7% fly ball to ground ball ratio. Carpenter against lefties so far? .359 wOBA and .211 ISO.
Yonder Alonso – 1B – Chicago White Sox – $2,600/$3,900 – 7%/8%
Analysis: The White Sox are a sneaky stack today at home in a hitter-friendly ballpark taking on Kansas City and starter Heath Fillmyer, who has yet to give up a home run this season. While Alonso has had a couple good games, he’s really been struggling this season. But against RH pitching, the contact is there, sporting a 42% hard hit rate and .111 BABIP. Things will turn around and Fillmyer might be the antidote. Against lefties, Fillmyer is giving up a .440 wOBA and a 57% hard hit rate. I like the buy-low, low-owned home run possibility for Alonso. If it wasn’t for Bour having such a dream matchup in a dream hitter’s park, I would put in my call for Alonso here.
Yasiel Puig – OF – Cincinnati Reds – $2,300/$3,600 – 6%/7%
Analysis: Are #revengenarratives applicable for hitters? I’ll pretend it is as Puig gets his first home run Sunday and gets his first crack at the Dodgers tonight as Clayton Kershaw returns to the mound. But let’s look at this a little more closely. This is Kershaw’s first start and with Dave Roberts’ tendency to pull healthy starters after five, don’t expect Kershaw to pitch deep here (#hotdogphingersjinx). So the Reds are priced like they are facing 2012 Clayton Kershaw, not an unknown 2019 version. So we should get more of the bullpen than Kershaw here and I like those chances for Puig, who could still put it to Kershaw seeing that he had been a teammate of his for nearly a decade. I do like those players because they know pitcher tendencies in the count and placement. Anyway, Puig is super cheap and I wouldn’t play him in cash, but as a high-upside tournament dart.
Kole Calhoun – OF – Los Angeles Angeles – $2,500/$3,800
Analysis: I’ll bite on this play. Facing Shelby Miller and the Rangers bullpen is just too good to pass up, especially when you get a guy near the top of the batting order on the road at this price on FanDuel. Calhoun’s wOBA is below average against RH pitching this season, but when he connects, they are going for extra bases and home runs, says his .205 ISO and 55% hard contact rate.