P- Julio Urias (vs. San Diego Padres): $9,600. Urias is coming off his best career start, which happened to come against the best team in baseball. In six innings against the Chicago Cubs, Urias gave up one run and he struck out eight. Over his last three starts, he has a 3-0 record, 0.61 ERA, and 17 strikeouts. He is facing a sub-par offense on Friday.
P- Carlos Rodon (vs. Minnesota Twins): $8,800. Rodon has pitched six innings or more in his last six starts. That right there is great for daily fantasy. In 62 career at bats against Rodon, the Twins’ lineup is batting .210 and a .300 OBP. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 1.45 ERA, and 15 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched.
P- Jon Lester (vs. San Diego Padres): $12,500. Just to warn you, Monday could be a brutal day for pitching match-ups. Some of the top tier starters who find themselves on the bump have been struggling recently (Strasburg and Carrasco specifically). Lester has been very consistent this season though and he is facing a pretty mediocre offense. Over his last three starts, he has a 2-0 record, 2.29 ERA, and 21 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched. Over the last seven days, San Diego has the worst OPS in baseball.
P- Zack Godley (vs. Atlanta Braves): $5,500. Like I said, the pitching match-ups are brutal, so I’ve decided to start a pitcher just based off of his opposing team. The Braves offense has been brutal all year long and they have been exceptionally bad over the last seven days with a .236/.305/.380 slash line. Godley hasn’t been spectacular this year, but he is coming off a very good start his last time out against the Mets. He went 7.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits. This cheap play really opens up the rest of the offensive picks.
P- Masahiro Tanaka (vs. New York Mets): $9,700. In two career starts against the Mets, Tanaka owns a 1-1 record with a 1.20 ERA. The Mets offense has struggled all season long, so hopefully Tanaka can take advantage of their struggling bats. Over the last seven games, the Mets’ offense has a .622 OPS, which is ranked 27th in baseball.
P- Gerrit Cole (vs. Atlanta Braves): $9,000. Cole is coming off a beautiful complete game performance. He is also facing one of the worst offenses in baseball, so this should be a favorable matchup. In his last two starts, he has allowed two runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out 13 batters.
P – Jose Fernandez (vs. Atlanta Braves): $13,800. Jose is expensive on Saturday, but he is worth it. He is facing one of the worst offenses in baseball and he has been red hot recently. Fernandez is coming off an absolute gem against the Chicago Cubs, in which he threw seven innings, striking out 13, and allowing only one run. He is now averaging 13.12 strikeouts per nine innings this season.
P – Adam Wainwright (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $7,500. This is a bit of a risky pick, but it was necessary to choose a cheaper option since Jose Fernandez was so expensive. Wainwright has struggled this season, but he is facing an offense he has dominated throughout his career and they are ice cold over the last seven days. In 137 career at bats against Wainwright, the Brewers’ offense is batting .234, with two home runs, and a .274 OBP.
Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com)
P- Jon Gray (vs. San Diego Padres): $7,900. This is a pretty risky play on Monday, but many factors point towards Gray having a big game.
Gray struggled in his first two starts this season, but they have been against two very tough teams, the Pirates and Dodgers, and they were played at Coors Field.
Coors Field has not been kind to Gray in his 7 career starts at home. In those starts, he has thrown 29.1 innings, with a 9.20 ERA, 52 hits against, 9 walks, and 29 strikeouts.
In 4 career starts on the road, he has thrown 20 innings, with a 2.70 ERA, 16 hits, 8 walks, and 25 strikeouts. Luckily, Gray will be on the road on Monday.
Not only will he be on the road, but he is pitching at a pitcher’s park in San Diego against a mediocre offense. In his only career start versus the Padres, he threw 5 innings, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts.
Gray’s impressive career strikeout rate (9.5 strikeouts per 9 innings), success on the road, and favorable matchup all point to a great performance on Monday.
P – Johnny Cueto (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $10,800. This start is going to be an emotional one for Cueto. He will be returning to Cincinnati for the first time since he was traded.
He played 8 years in Cincinnati, so the fans will be behind him and I’m sure he wants to put on a show.
Not only will his emotions play a factor, but he is facing one of the worst offenses in Major League Baseball.
The Reds are ranked as the 28th overall offense, which is clearly a huge advantage for Cueto. In Cueto’s first 5 starts in 2016, he is 4-1, with a 2.65 ERA, 33 strikeouts, and only 5 walks.
In his 98 career starts at Cincinnati’s home stadium, he has a 48-22 record, and a 2.91 ERA.
All signs point to a huge day for Cueto on Monday. He is averaging 25 points per game on Draft Kings this season.
To see the rest of the picks, click the link below:
Thursday August 4, 2011
Rob Bland (Intern- MLB Reports): The Brett Lawrie rollercoaster started December 6th, 2010. Lawrie was sent to Toronto in exchange for Toronto’s incumbent ace, Shaun Marcum. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos immediately said that Lawrie would be working out at third base, switching from second base. This would be Lawrie’s third major position change in 3 years. He was drafted out of Langley, BC by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1st round (16th overall) of the 2008 MLB draft. That year, Toronto held the 17th pick, and it was said that they coveted him greatly. They instead had to settle for college first baseman and current AAA prospect, David Cooper.
Lawrie hit .293 in spring training this year, while playing decent enough third base to warrant a discussion of keeping him on the roster. However, Anthopoulos deemed he was not ready to play in the Major Leagues, and the fans in Toronto grumbled as the Blue Jays consistently put Edwin Encarnacion at third base to start the year. Lawrie started off hot in AAA Las Vegas, and played good defense. This still wasn’t enough, as the Jays asked him to be more patient and change his approach. Lawrie did just that, and by May 31st, was hitting over .350 with power and walking more often than he had in the past. When the Jays were on the brink of calling him up (see our Report from June 2nd), Lawrie was hit by an errant pitch on the back of his left hand. Blue Jays fans collectively held their breath, and Lawrie declared it was a bruise. Two days later when swelling subsided, it was found out that Lawrie had a non-displaced fracture.
When he finally returned to Las Vegas in the middle of July, Lawrie came right back to where he left off. He is now hitting .352 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI. More importantly, he has 26 walks and is playing much improved defense. Now, the Jays’ faithful are continuing to call for him. Anthopoulos and manager John Farrell have repeatedly said “he’s close” and that they want to get him everyday at bats before rosters expand in September.
Now, when Lawrie gets the inevitable call (my guess being Friday, August 5th, before the beginning of a road series in Baltimore), where will he play? The Jays have Jose Bautista, one of the top three players in baseball at third base. Well, the plan that Anthopoulos has set out is that Bautista would shift back to his preferred right field, creating a logjam of young and talented outfielders. Travis Snider is 23 years old and he will play every day at one of the corner positions. Colby Rasmus is 24 years old and will be in center for the foreseeable future. That leaves Eric Thames, also 24, the corner outfielder who came out of seemingly nowhere to win the love and admiration of many fans, on the bench. You could say that Thames can just DH because he isn’t the best fielder of the bunch (although more than adequate and constantly improving), but where does Edwin Encarnacion play then? Encarnacion is one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball since the beginning of July. He has 9 doubles, 4 home runs, and 14 RBI with 12 walks in 25 games over that span. Thames most likely gets optioned to AAA to get every day at bats until rosters expand in September. Here is how that lineup stacks up.
If one of these players is traded, then there won’t be a problem. The only other option barring a trade, is something that Anthopoulos has stated adamantly will not happen. Moving Lawrie to second base and sitting former Silver Slugger Aaron Hill on the bench. This could possibly be the best option available for both the short-term and long-term. With Hill underperforming (ranked 20th out of 21 qualified 2nd baseman in WAR), and his $8M option for 2012 likely to be declined, Lawrie could slot into that spot for a very long time. Anthopoulos has preached having talent and skill “in the middle of the diamond” and second base is a spot that sorely needs some stability after Hill’s last two years. The only thing that could stop this movement is if Anthopoulos sees Hill, who is a good defender, as a guy who can turn his career back around. If Hill were placed in the 9 hole, and changed his approach, he could be a very serviceable player there. One idea that has been bandied around is that the Jays decline the option on Hill, and sign him to a much smaller deal to bring him back as the second baseman.
I honestly believe that Anthopoulos has the wheels turning, and with Encarnacion being so hot, many teams would love to take him on to make a push for the playoffs. If Encarnacion is not in the picture, there is a spot for Thames as a full-time player. He and Snider would probably split time between left field and DH, with Bautista in right, and Lawrie at third.
What gets lost in all of this, is that the Opening Day center fielder, might become a 5th outfielder. Rajai Davis has 33 stolen bases, and is playing better in a part-time role since Rasmus joined the team. He will be reserved to being a pinch runner, and possibly a late inning defensive replacement for Thames.
The odd man out for this year seems to be Thames, even though the Blue Jays see him as a valuable asset for the long-term. Whether that means for him to be on the field, or using him as a trade chip remains to be seen. Lawrie will likely end up playing third base every day, proving why the Jays gave up Marcum for an unproven “troubled” prospect.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern, Rob Bland. We highly encourge you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***
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