As long as new episodes of Game of Thrones exists, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around baseball for Mondays.
But there’s only one more episode ever for #GOT, but it’s possible my overall sadness of its completion could spill over to many days of the week, and baseball might be put behind me temporarily.
I do love that show, almost as much as I love The Office. And there will be sadness for me when it ends.
And Game of Thrones really caps the end of a busy week overall, too.
We have a full slate of baseball, NBA Conference Finals, playoff hockey and the second major of the PGA season, the PGA Championship, in it’s newly slotted spot in the schedule.
So enjoy the week of entertainment and I will see you on the other side.
Trent Thornton – at San Francisco Giants – $6,200
Analysis: Blessed be those who get to face the Giants. Thornton is coming off his worst outing of his career, and while on the road, gets a more peaceful offense to face this time around in a pitcher-friendly park. Thornton has been rather unlucky against lefties this season, sporting a 6.41 ERA with a 3.71 xFIP. He’s been solid against righties. He’s striking out both sides of the plate at a 9+ K/9 clip. His opponent is bottom 10 in wOBA against righties and strikes out 22% of the time. The Giants are not a strong offense, have little power and are missing Buster Posey, too. This price allows for all kinds of roster construction and you get him as a late-night hammer.
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – St. Louis Cardinals – $4,000
Analysis: The Cardinals face Mike Foltynewicz tonight and boy has Folty been baaaad this season. He’s usually a guy we target lefties against, but he’s been about as bad as it gets on this slate against right-handed pitching. Folty is No. 1 overall in wOBA allowed to righties among the pitchers on this slate at .449. His xFIP vs. RH pitching is 6.12 and he’s allowing a 3.52 HR/9. Goldy on the road in the two hole against a pitcher he can smash? All in!
J.D. Martinez – OF – Boston Red Sox – $4,200
Analysis: I don’t know what the Red Sox bats have to do to get a price increase, but this sub $4.7K price tag for both J.D. and Mookie are mind boggling. But I’ll keep rolling them out there and tonight is another great night to roster the Red Sox as they take on noodle-armed lefty Kyle Freeland in Fenway. Right-handed bats get the bump in this ballpark and I expect lots of shots to be fired over the Green Monster tonight. Freeland has been super lucky against RH bats, sporting a .303 wOBA with a 5.06 xFIP and .207 BABIP. It’s crazy that he even has luck on his side considering the home ballpark he pitches in. Anyway, the Sox are surging and get to beat up on a starter allowing 44% hard contact to RH bats along with a 1.66 HR/9. J.D. smashes lefties by the way, if you didn’t know or hadn’t figured that out yet.
Robinson Cano – 2B – New York Mets – $3,000
Analysis: The Mets are another great stack tonight facing the ghost of the ghost of Jeremy Hellickson, who has been awful this year. Helly is allowing a ridiculous .474 wOBA with a 6.68 xFIP and 3.86 HR/9 rate this season. The Mets are a team that seem to be boom or bust this year and I really haven’t figured them out, except with Cano. His price at the 2B position is very affordable here and it can’t hurt that Cano has 3 home runs off Hellickson in his career.
Billy Hamilton – OF – Kansas City Royals – $2,500
Analysis: I have really started to love playing Billy Hamilton, and that’s going to be a hard pill to swallow most nights. But I am exceptionally eager to play him tonight because he should get an AB against Shelby Miller. And I believe that one AB is worth the $2,500 price tag because Miller might be the one pitcher Hamilton could hit a home run off of this season. Am I putting in my call? Well, no, but Hamilton is the cheapest guy in the batting order facing the worst pitcher in baseball. I can’t turn that price tag down, especially since Hamilton is always a double stolen base candidate. He has BvP against Gerrit Cole of all pitchers, so shouldn’t we believe Hamilton can get something done tonight in the 9-hole vs. Miller with all of the big bats hitting after him?
Vlad Guerrero, Jr. – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays – $2,700
Analysis: Hey, at least he is starting to hit and draw some walks. But I still like pain I guess. I don’t care about the ballpark or the venue, Vlad Guerrero will be in my lineup every night until he hits that damn home run. I hope the increase in EV the past couple of games is a sign of things to come. By the way, the Blue Jays draw the whole opener/long reliever combo. For what it’s worth, tonight’s LR for San Fran is Tyler Beede. He’s a right-handed pitcher and against right-handed bats this season, Beede has allowed a .441 wOBA with a 10.58 xFIP (laughing on the inside about that stat). He’s allowing a 41% hard contact rate and has yet to give up a home run to a RH bat this season. It’s a 2-game sample size here, but it’s worth noting because apparently he might really suck.
Matt Olson – 1B – Oakland Athletics – $3,000
Analysis: Going to continue to chase this storm, too, apparently. I like the A’s tonight but many are very expensive. Olson is the one guy that is cheap and provides lots of upside, provided he is able to get it going finally. I missed out on Olsen’s first homer of the season (go figure), but I am more than OK with the chance of another one tonight against Seattle starter Mike Leake, who burned us all against the Yankees last time out. Against lefties this season, Leake allows a .339 wOBA with a 4.03 xFIP, 39.8% hard contact and a 1.65 HR/9. It’s not the best matchup in the world, but Olson has the pop that can pay off this price tag more than easily.