**I didn’t rank anybody from the Twins/Royals game due to inclement weather**
1. Cliff Lee PHI vs NYM- I think Cliff Lee is a must start against the Mets today. I wasn’t impressed with Lee’s eight strikeouts in his last start against the Braves, but I was impressed with the fact he only surrendered two hits and no runs against probably the most potent offense in baseball when it was at full strength. The Mets have one superior right-handed hitter in David Wright. Wright is 6 for 21 against Lee with only one extra base hit. I’m not concerned one bit about this pick. Lee will deliver. Finding the budget to fit him into your staff may be a different story.
2. Kris Medlen ATL @ MIA- Medlen look very out of sorts in his last start. He was working himself in-and-out of trouble all night mostly because of his location on his change-up. When Medlen is on that change-up is what dictates his success. I think he looked a lot better the last two innings of that game.
I hope that he doesn’t bring that slow start into his start against Miami. But when I look at Miami, I see a bunch of mediocre players, most of which bat right-handed. Picking Medlen today is me saying I believe he rights the ship and shows how good a pitcher he really is. His price has dropped a bit across the sites which is an added bonus.
3. Gio Gonzalez WAS vs CHW- Gio is my one pick of an elite starter where I don’t necessarily like his matchup. I put Gio on this list solely based on his talent. I think the White Sox power righties could give Gio some trouble, but I don’t think they will. Gio has shown time and time again that he belongs in the discussion as one of the very best lefties and pitchers in baseball.
4. C.J. Wilson LAA vs OAK- Even though C. J. didn’t look amazing in his last start versus the Reds, he gets a much favorable set-up today in the spacious Overstock (Oakland) Coliseum versus the A’s. Taking a look at the BvP logs, Wilson owns the A’s hitters. C.J. has also been a great April starter in the past. I’m putting his last start out of my mind. If he can maintain control, he could be brilliant today. I’m sold.
5. Andy Pettitte NYY @ CLE- Pettitte was awesome in his first start of the season against Boston. People can forget Pettitte is still pitching at a high level at 40 years of age. In 74 at bats against him, the Indians hitters have no home runs and only 8 extra base hits.
Pettitte isn’t much of a strikeout pitcher so don’t expect 8+ Ks, but I think you can pencil him in for a win, 7 IP, 2 earned runs, and 4-7 Ks. He’s not a sexy pick, but he gets the job done.
1. Robinson Cano 2B @ CLE- I hope you all had Cano yesterday as I said you should on my twitter yesterday. If not, here’s your chance to buy again. Carlos Carrasco is not that good of a pitcher, and Cano can heat up like a microwave. I expect multiple hits in this game and a win for the Yanks.
Cano is 3 for 6 over his career against Carrasco. Just look at Carrasco for a minute. He has a career ERA of 4.93 which rises to 6.87 at home in 2011. Yes 2011, he didn’t pitch in the Majors in 2012. He’s going to get shelled, and I expect Cano to do the shelling.
2. Ryan Braun OF MIL vs ARI- Braun returned after a two game absence yesterday to go 3 for 4 with a run, an RBI, and two doubles. Big shocker of the day, Braun can mash. Travis Wood pitched really well last time out, but there is no way he can replicate that success against the Brewers loaded righties.
Braun has had at least one hit and RBI every game this season and had an extra base hit in 3 of the 4. He is the picture of consistency and doesn’t get much more favorable matchups than he will today against the cubs and LHP Travis Wood.
3. Adrian Beltre 3B TEX vs TB- I’m not buying the return of Roberto Hernandez. I’m also not buying Beltre’s slump to start the year. Beltre will make him pay if Hernandez misses his spots. It’s only a matter of time before Beltre breaks out with a multi-xbh game.
4. Carlos Gonzalez OF COL @ SF- CarGo is hitting like the CarGo we know and love. In fact he hit a homer yesterday off an elite lefty in Bumgarner. When CarGo is smashing elite lefties, you need to take note. He gets a much lesser pitcher in Lincecum who issued 7 walks last time out and was really all over the place.
Tim is still struggling with replicating that pitching motion, and he is going to get rocked every once in a while. This isn’t the game to bet Lincecum puts it all back together. CarGo, Tulow, and Fowler could all be in for huge days.
5. Justin Upton OF ATL @ MIA - I didn’t feel comfortable making a list of elite hitters with plus matchups without mentioning Justin Upton. As a Braves fan, I have been very fortunate to savor every one of his home runs, but as a daily fantasy player, I have not rostered him one time yet.
On sites that don’t count strikeouts against you, Upton is a must play. His 11 Ks in 26 at bats have me a little nervous, but Upton is the best hitter in baseball through week one and there’s no reason to think he doesn’t carry that over against LHP Wade LeBlanc. It’s becoming not if Upton hits a HR, rather it’s more like how many and how far. Simmer on that for a little bit.
1. Erik Bedard SP HOU @ SEA- I watched Bedard pitch this Spring on a couple of occasions. Remarkably he looked like his old self. I like that he’s using his fastball more. Bedard gets to face his old team, and I think he rises to the occasion. There are a lot of free swingers up and down the Seattle line-up some of which can hit far when they connect with the ball. I just don’t think Bedard comes up short in this game.
He won’t pitch more than 6 innings but Bedard should do enough damage during those six to warrant consideration for your team. I wouldn’t expect a win so he may have less value on sites where wins are huge points-getters, but he’s a solid Draftstreet third pitcher.
2. Evan Gattis C ATL @ MIA- I love his story. I love that he doesn’t use batting gloves. I love his hard swing. Most of all I love his price across all sites. If Gattis draws the start again tonight, he could slot back into the clean-up spot.
In the Braves line-up that is a sweet spot to be. Gattis is also a righty catcher who finally gets some at bats against left-handed pitcher. He’s only had one to this point. He can’t fail. He won’t allow himself.
3. Justin Maxwell OF HOU @ SEA- Riding a five game hit streak into Seattle, I think this may be the game we see Maxwell power one into the seats. Maxwell hit 18 last year for the Astros in 315 at bats and has yet to go yard on this young season. Justin has still been a solid hitter with a .360 AVG and two triples (both in same game).
The rookie pitcher for the Mariners, Brandon Maurer, was hit hard his last time out, and even though I don’t think the Astros are capable of hitting anybody hard, I think Maxwell has the talent to come up big in this game. If the price is right, buy.
4. Jason Kubel OF ARI vs PIT- Kubel is way overpriced on Draftstreet but is much more reasonable on Fanduel and Draftkings. Kubel is starting to heat up as he is 4 of his last 10 with two extra base hits.
Kubel is also 2 for 2 in his two at bats against opposing Pittsburgh pitcher James McDonald. Kubel owns right-handed pitching, and this is one match-up to expose.
5. Mitch Moreland 1B TEX vs TB- I’ve used Moreland twice this past week, neither of which worked out for me, but he seems to be warming up. He was 3 for 3 last night against TB and has 2 HRs in his last three games. This year Moreland is not threatened by losing playing time, and I think he’s on the verge of moving up to another tier of first basemen.
Echoing what I said about Hernandez being garbage, I think Moreland could run into a few balls and knock them far. Moreland is only 2,400 on Fanduel, but it will take some stones to sacrifice the opportunity to go after better first basemen.
“Stacking” is the term given to playing multiple players from the same team in your lineup. In baseball, it can especially be effective because you get credit for bringing in other players via RBI and scoring runs. So if you stack a few players from the Mets and they score 10 runs, the odds are that your Mets players will have a nice night because of hits, RBIs, and runs scored.
- Milwaukee Brewers right-handed batters @ CHC Travis Wood
- All Texas Rangers vs TB Roberto Hernandez
- Atlanta Braves right-handed batters vs MIA Wade LeBlanc
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