- Free Power
- Daily DFS
- Thin Thursday
1. Free Power
Home runs can be one of the hardest categories to turn around mid-season. Not only are home runs hard to find for free, the cheap players who can hit them will hurt you in other categories. The following is a list of players who might prove of help to you. Generally, these guys are platoon bats – often the wrong side of the platoon. They’re between zero and five percent owned on Yahoo!
The list includes: Carlos Pena, Sean Rodriguez, Gaby Sanchez, Ryan Hanigan, Logan Morrison, Chris Young, John Mayberry, Michael Choice, Derek Dietrich, Scott Van Slyke, Yasmani Grandal, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Ludwick, Mike Olt, Danny Espinosa, Oswaldo Arcia, Luis Valbuena
Some of those players lean more to pure power while others have a pinch of pop mixed in with other skills. Young, Choice, Dietrich, Van Slyke, Gomes, and Arcia are the superior options, assuming you can put up with their warts.
2. Daily DFS
Early: We have a mini four game contest for the early goers.
Marco Estrada has succeeded in past seasons by posting a strong strikeout to walk ratio. This season, a few extra walks has cut into the quality of his peripherals. A handful of extra home runs accounts for the rest of the difference from past seasons.
Nationals Park is a neutral stadium, which is an advantage for Estrada. He should still be considered a decent target for power.
Back when I used to obsessively follow the Phillies farm system, Yohan Flande was one of those exciting non-prospects. Now he’ll make his major league debut as a 28-year-old at Coors Field. It’s not the place you want to make your first impression when you’re a soft tossing lefty.
It’s debut day at Coors. Marco Gonzales is an interesting prospect, but he’s being asked to make his debut in Colorado. Talk about throwing him into the fire. Personally, I would have stuffed Tyler Lyons or some other less important pitcher into this situation. We’ll see how he does.
Late: Hector Noesi is always a decent target for a meltdown. He’ll face the Orioles at hitter friendly Camden Yards today.
Edwin Jackson has been underperforming his peripherals for a long time. This year, he’s working with a 5.12 ERA and 3.86 FIP. DIPS theory says he’ll be better. Years of experience say otherwise.
Brad Mills is a bit of an unknown quantity. It’s hard to gauge soft-tossing command and control pitchers on their minor league numbers (Mills’ were quite good this season). He’s had a few shots at a major league gig and has never really stuck.
The right-handed Detroit machine will face mediocre lefty Joe Saunders. He’s hittable and that’s about all we need to know.
Yohan Pino is yet another
lefty pitcher with a sub-90 fastball. He’s yet another Yohan with a sub-90 fastball. His debut was great, but color me skeptical. I think we’ll find some home runs in bunches.
You know I’m not a fan of the Mariners offense. Clay Buchholz is back for the Red Sox, and I’m tempted to go after him. I’ll be on an airplane, so I won’t get to run with my temptation. Let me know how it goes if you try it out.
3. Thin Thursday
Pitchers to Start: I’m surprised with myself and this is why: I would consider using Jarred Cosart. The situation has to be right, but his ground ball profile makes him relatively safe (ish). I think he’s going down the Charlie Morton path. It took Morton a few years before he became a reliable play. Cosart always had more exciting stuff, so it’s not a surprise to see it coming together quickly.
Including his minor league starts, Vance Worley has walked two percent of batters faced this season. When he was pitching well for the Phillies, he lived on looking strikes. He’s lost that wrinkle, but a little Bartolo Colon style stinginess could make up for it. Consider using Worley because you have to use somebody, not because you want to use someone.
If you can snatch up Mike Leake, a matchup at the high-walled fortress known as AT&T Park is worth a sniff. Probably more so than the two games above.
Pitchers to Exploit: The Angels have a scary lineup. Ricky Nolasco has had a scary season – in a bad way. Do the math.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is the punchline of some bad commercial – the kind that start with some innocuous event like going to the bank and end with you getting peed on by a three-armed hobo. Dice-K used to be somebody and now he has a 2.68 ERA. He’s also walked 15 percent of hitters. Steer clear.
Nicholas Martinez seems like a decent pitcher, but his peripherals say he’s the kind of righty the Tigers can hit around a bit. Plenty of balls in play, too many walks for his low strikeout rate, and few ground balls round out the scary profile.
The Brewers just gave Christian Friedrich his 6.00 ERA. Now they’ll rematch in Milwaukee. The good news for Friedrich – the game won’t be at Coors Field. The bad news – Miller Park is an almost equally crappy beer when it comes to offense allowed.
J.D. Martinez is a good place to look for power if he starts. I like when people become places.
Dayan Viciedo can mash lefties. It is known.
Hitters (speed): Kole Calhoun isn’t a big runner, but somebody should hold down the steals department.
Eric Young Jr. is a speedier speedster to target.
Tommy La Stella is a not-so-speedy stolen base target.
The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.
It’s a day of scattered storms, so watch the reports. Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Texas, and Kansas City could be affected.
The Link. The early contest has one very obvious locale for power. Otherwise there are more than enough choices to avoid these rain games.
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