And the weekend finally arrives. All of the weekend’s series started yesterday, but we were a little preoccupied with Clayton Kershaw to acknowledge that. The Braves and the Nationals are in a dead heat in the NL East, currently. The Orioles-Yankees series has some standings implications. As does the Indians-Tigers. Given the Royals’ recent run, that series is especially interesting.
We’re at a point in the season where things are fluid. Standings can change on a whim, but the series seem to start meaning a little more. The Red Sox are one of the teams that needs to begin making up ground. They’re 6.5 back as of Friday, after a loss to Oakland on Thursday, in the first game of a four game series. While Boston is trying to gain ground, Toronto will be facing off with divisional foe, Baltimore.
On the other coast, the Giants’ slide has helped the Dodgers make up ground, dropping the difference between the teams to 4 games, as of Friday afternoon. Best of all, for LA, they’re facing an anemic Padres squad this weekend. With good play and a little luck, the Dodgers deficit could be trimmed even further.
On what figures to be a warm Saturday across the country, options for picking offense against are plentiful. Andre Rienzo and Kevin Correia face off in Minnesota. Neither are very good. Brad Peacock is facing a Tampa Bay team that has swung the bat better of late. J.A. Happ’s start almost couldn’t come at a worse park, given his flyball tendencies and Great American Ballpark’s small-ish dimensions.
And, finally, it feels weird typing this, but stacking against Justin Verlander is actually a play I’m in favor of today. The Indians’ offense has been top 10 all season, and they haven’t shown many signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, Verlander hasn’t looked very good at all, watching his strikeout dwindle to a paltry 15.8%.
The Daily Five
Similar to yesterday’s stack in the sense that isn’t cheap. The matchup, however, is phenomenal. The Rockies are starting lefty Christian Friedrich who has pitched his way to a 5.32 FIP this season in Triple-A.
Todd Frazier – $7,088
It’s almost unreal how good Frazier has been this season. He crushed seemingly everyone, but he’s really put a beatdown on left handed pitching, posting 173 wRC+.
Jason Vargas – $14,565
James Shields burned me last night, but I’m going back to Kansas City tonight anyways. Nothing does Vargas does is sexy. He doesn’t post gaudy strikeout totals, but he eats innings and limits runs, especially in his last five starts, posting a 2.31 in 35 innings.
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