Five Notes for Today’s Games
**Watch out for weather in Cubs/Angels, A’s/Pirates, and Rangers/Orioles. All have 40+ percent chance of precipitation.**
1. Starting Pitchers-
- Adam Wainwright RHP STL vs HOU- I’m not typing anything about this matchup. If you don’t understand that you should start RH Aces vs the Astros, you may need to take a break from daily fantasy baseball. Wainwright is expensive, and he rightfully should be. He’s easily the top SP of the day.
- Julio Teheran RHP ATL @ MIA- Time for the Julio Teheran fanboy to get back on my soap box. Teheran has figured out how to pitch. He has all the skills to be a truly dominant ace one day. My favorite improvement in his game has been the way he has pitched to contact rather than going after the strike out every time. People forget that Teheran is only 22 years old. His K/BB rate is up in the realm of Adam Wainwright, Cliff Lee, and King Felix Hernandez. Simmer on that for a second. Miami is an improved offensive team with the returns of Stanton and Morrison, but they will still struggle to get anything going against this version of Teheran.
- Justin Verlander RHP DET vs CHW- If you follow me on twitter (@naturalslugger), then you would know that I’ve been preaching patience with Verlander. I’ve even had to defend that position with other analysts in the industry. In Verlander’s last start we saw him hitting that 98 MPH plateau that he must hit in order to set up his off speed pitches. He threw stronger later in the game and held the potent Jays to only 3 hits. Today he’ll face the anemic White Sox offense that may rival the Marlins as the poorest in the game. Verlander is a reasonable 8,500 on Fanduel this evening and will be used at a very high rate I’m sure.
- Cole Hamels LHP PHI vs WAS- We saw just how bad the Nationals can be against LHP yesterday as they struggled to score runs against LHP John Lannan. Hamels is a much better LHP than Lannan. Hamels hasn’t been very good this year. In fact, it’s strange how similar this season has been to his 2009 season. The LineDrive rate of 22.4 percent is the highest of his career. It appears his fastball has been more hittable than years past as I analyze the Pitch f/x. I don’t expect much out of Hamels for the season, but I think he’s well worth a look today. I’m beginning to feel like ANY LHP is worth a look vs the Nationals.
- Joe Blanton RHP LAA @ CHC- Joe Blanton is going to make you sick if pick him as your starter today. This play isn’t for the faint of heart. Blanton has some really interesting underlying facts so far in 2013, he has the highest swinging strike percentage of his career (10 percent which is top 25 in MLB). During the month of June, Blanton had a 3.44 ERA and 0.91 WHIP highlighted by 40 Ks to just 5 walks in 34 IP. The Cubs are unpredictable or else I’d be more of a Blanton guy today than I already am. He’s also facing Travis Wood who is somehow playing like a front-line ace. The win might be a little hard to come by. Blanton may be more of a GPP play or 2nd/3rd SP, but I think he’ll rack up some Ks and get his points. Let’s just hope he doesn’t give them back with earned runs.
- Dillon Gee RHP NYM @ SF- Just in case you already wanted to stop reading my advice after mentioning Blanton, I bring you a Dillon Gee reccommendation, and you definitely click away. For those that stayed, Gee is a super-secret play today. Other than one blow up 5 ER start @PHI, Gee hasn’t given up more than 2 ER in 6 of his last 7 starts. He’s striking out a fair amount of batters as well. Gee is a bit of a reverse splits RHP. The LHB don’t scare me for the Giants. Heck, the RHB don’t scare me either sans Posey. The Giants have just been bad in July so far. They are last in every measurable offensive category (exaggeration), but they are hitting .169 and have OPS of .518 during this very small sample size of ABs. Even with the small sample size, you can’t ignore the slump. Gee is hot. The Giants are not. Put them in a pot, and what ya got?.. Super-secret play of the day, that’s what ya got.
2. Stud Hitters
- Brian McCann C ATL- Borderline must start these days. There aren’t many other top tier options behind the plate today.
- Jonathan Lucroy C MIL- Lucroy likes to hit HRs in bunches. He has a HR in each of his last 3 games. I would not be surprised if he had another good game against soft-tossing LHP Tony Cingrani.
- Joey Votto 1B CIN- Peralta has brought his splits down a bit vs LHB, but I think we see a reversion to his past struggles today.
- Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARI- I have no belief in the success of Nolasco tonight. Goldy has 4 multi-hit games in his last 5 and 4 XBH during that span. I’d still go Votto, but Goldy is an option.
- Ian Kinsler 2B TEX- **Must start** Love Kinsler’s matchup today vs LHP Zach Britton. While Kinsler has yet to HR off of a LHP this year, he has historically smashed them. I expect he’ll turn that around today.
- Chase Utley 2B PHI- Utley has been hitting LHP pretty well this year. He may be worth a look vs rookie LHP Taylor Jordan.
- David Wright 3B NYM- 9 games hit streak combined with Wright’s ability to smack LHP.
- Kyle Seager 3B SEA- **must start** Seager vs a bad RHP, um yes please. Easy call.
- Adrian Beltre 3B TEX- Beltre is only $3,300 on FD. You will want to seriously consider him at this price. If not for my love fest with Seager today, Beltre would easily be my top option. Beltre is in the zone. He has 5 multi-hit game in his last 6 and 4 HRs during that span. I just wish I could roster Seager and Beltre. If you play on other sites than FD that offer this scenario, please take advantage of it.
- Jose Reyes SS TOR- Reyes is the best stud option at SS today. I urge you to consider going cheap at SS today, but if you decide to roll out an expensive shortstop, I think Reyes offers the best bang for your buck facing RHP Ubaldo Jimenez.
- Hanley Ramirez SS LAD- If you can somehow afford him, you should use him. I only avoid because his price is a little too high for my liking.
- Ryan Braun OF MIL- Braun is back! I expect him in the LU vs LHP Tony Cingrani. Take advantage of the price depression while you still can.
- Nelson Cruz OF TEX- Cruz loves to hit the ball far against RHP. Easy call as we continue the Rangers stack.
- Raul Ibanez OF SEA- No clue what’s gotten into Ibanez these days, but can I have some please. Raise your hand if you knew that Ibanez has 22 HRs this season. Oh you knew that. Now raise your hand if you knew that he was in the middle of a 13 game hit streak. You knew that too, huh. Now raise your hand if you are going to roster him against a bad RHP Allen Webster. That’s what I thought.
- Shin-Soo Choo OF CIN- Choo has a hit in each of his last 6 games, including 3 multi-hit games. While Choo has been struggling, he keeps pumping a .326 AVG with all 12 of his HRs vs LHP.
- Alfonso Soriano OF CHC- 6 HRs in last 10 games is nothing to scoff at. He’ll face RHP Joe Blanton who has been dominant but can still serve one up on occasion. If you want to fade Blanton, there isn’t a hotter Cubs hitter than Soriano.
3. Value Hitters
- Matt Wieters C BAL- He looked lost yesterday until he hit that 2 run jack. Expect the same today.
- Carlos Santana C CLE- $3,200 just seems to cheap not to list as a cheap C play on Fanduel.
- Darin Ruf 1B PHI- **Must start** Ruf is a very enticing HR play facing a rookie LHP in Taylor Jordan. Ruf has hit safely in all three of his first three games.
- Rickie Weeks 2B MIL- Weeks is only $3,100 on FD and should find a LHP Cingrani matchup to his liking. Weeks hit .355 in June and has 6 Ks to 5 BBs here in July.
- Dustin Ackley 2B SEA- Ackley is a minimum price guy on FD today and could be a great filler play. Don’t expect him to set the world on fire but I could see enough points to get value facing a weak RHP.
- Martin Prado 3B ARI- Prado has been much better in recent days. I am not a fan of Nolasco. Don’t be schocked if Prado and the D’backs have a big day.
- Jimmy Rollins SS PHI- Rollins has been a lot better towards the end of June and into July. His price has yet to reflect his skill gains. I like the matchup against rookie LHP Taylor Jordan.
- Elvis Andrus SS TEX- Andrus has a five game hit streak rolling. I don’t know how many SBs he’ll get.
- Jason Heyward OF ATL- Somehow JHey is still underpriced. He’s just $3,000 on FD today. I’m sure his ownership will be through the roof facing RHP Henderson Alvarez.
- Scott Hairston OF WAS- Hairston is a very high risk/high reward play today. His 8 HRs in 78 ABs vs LHP and a meager .179 AVG against LHP echo that sentiment.
- Josh Reddick OF OAK- It’s only a matter of time until we see the power of Reddick displayed once again. He went deep yesterday, I would not be shocked if he took the hard-throwing RHP Gerrit Cole deep today.
- Matt Joyce OF TB- I know Joyce is in a HR funk, but what better way to get yourself out of a funk then to face a rookie RHP that isn’t quite ready to be in the Majors. Joyce is due to go deep today.
- Michael Saunders OF SEA- Saunders has 3 XBH and 5 RBIs in his last 3 games.
4. Stack ‘em Up
- Phillies vs LHP Taylor Jordan
- Mariners vs RHP Allen Webster
- Braves @ RHP Henderson Alvarez
- Rays vs RHP Kyle Gibson
- Reds LHB @ RHP Wily Peralta
5. My Fanduel GPP LU
P- Adam Wainwright STL $9,800
C- Brian McCann ATL $3,100
1B- Darin Ruf PHI $3,100
2B- Dustin Ackley SEA $3,300
3B- Kyle Seager SEA $3,300
SS- Jimmy Rollins PHI $2,800
OF- Raul Ibanez SEA $4,300
OF- Michael Saunders SEA $2,500
OF- Jason Heyward ATL $3,000
$300 dollars left over