“I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4” – OR – “Pair up in threes” – #RIPYogi

It’s Deja-Vu all over again…

It is inevitable.  The older I get, the more heaven seems to load up on talent – it’s a helluva team up there.  Yogi, went from Northern Italy, to St.Louis, to New York, to one of the best catchers of all time.  For my money, it is him and Roy Campanella for the title, to quote Casey Stengel: “you can look it up.”  Need more proof – how many baseball players have a cartoon character named after them?

With that said, Yogi Berra passed at the age of 90, Tuesday evening. Yogi died 69 years to the day after he had made his major-league debut, on Sept. 22, 1946; against the Philadelphia Athletics, Yogi went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in a 4-3 Yankees win. Yogi won 10 World Series titles as a player.  That is an all-time record, and one more than the great Joe DiMaggio.Logo_alt#2

Berra’s record of 75 World Series games played may never be threatened, much less actually broken. Consider Derek Jeter, who played 20 years for maybe the best team of his era, wound up playing 38 World Series games, barely half of Berra’s total. The only active players who have appeared in more than 15 World Series games are Yadier Molina (21), Matt Holliday (16), Buster Posey (16) and Albert Pujols (16). Furthermore, if the 28-year-old Posey (the only one of them not yet 30 years old) plays in the next eight World Series (through 2022), and all of them extend to seven games, he would still be three games shy of Berra’s record.

Not everyone makes the Hall of Fame, fewer still become icons – Lawrence Peter Berra’s legacy transcends baseball.  He was one of the greatest players, for one of the greatest teams, in all of sports, and for the lucky ones who knew him, they say he was a better person.  Beyond his success on the field, was the quality of the man.  So, when you come to the fork in the road, take it, because if the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.


In memoriam – more Baseball

Here is last night’s #DraftKings Perfect Lineup – 9-22-15…maybe I should have took the other side of the Mets v. Braves game for the #sleeper pick.

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Baseball’s first 20-game winner

Jake Arrieta became baseball’s first 20-game winner and he did it with style, tossing a three-hit, complete-game shutout and striking out 11 in the Cubs’ 4-0 victory over the Brewers. He became the first major-leaguer whose 20th victory of a season was a shutout with double-digit strikeouts since 1993, when Jack McDowell’s 20th win met those parameters.

Arrieta became the first Cubs pitcher to become the majors’ first 20-game winner in a season, with all the victories coming for the Cubs, since Larry Jackson did that back in 1964. (In 1984, Rick Sutcliffnulle was the first big-leaguer to reach 20 wins, and he won his 20th while pitching for the Cubs; but Sut had won his first four games that season while pitching for the Indians.)

Arrieta lowered his season ERA to 1.88, second-lowest in the majors to Zack Greinke’s 1.65. But Arrieta is putting some pressure on the Dodgers’ right-hander: in each of Arrieta’s last five starts, he has thrown at least eight innings and has allowed no more than one run. The last major-league pitcher who strung together five straight games like that was Roger Clemens in 1997; the last to do so this late in a season was Orel Hershiser in 1988, when he tossed five straight shutouts and then a 10-inning scoreless outing in his last six starts of the season, fashioning the major-league -record 59-inning scoreless streak that Greinke had challenged earlier this season.

It’s a Bird in Toronto

Greg Bird’s line-drive three-run homer in the 10th inning cut through the tension at Rogers Centre and lifted the Yankees to a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays. It was the 10th home run of the season for the Yankees rookie, who replaced the injured Mark Teixeira down the stretch. Bird became the first Yankees rookie to hit an extra-inning home run in a road victory since July 14, 1962, when Tom Tresh belted a two-run homer in the 10th inning off Angels rookie (and future Cy Young Award winner) Dean Chance in New York’s 9-8 win at nullDodger Stadium. (The Angels were the Dodgers tenants for four years in the early 1960s.) Tresh filled in for Tony Kubek that year when Kubek, the Yankees regular shortstop, spent most of the season in military service.

Bird has now hit eight home runs in September, tying Chris Davis for the highest total by any American League player this month. Bryce Harper leads the majors with 10, while Nolan Arenadoand Yoenis Cespedes have smashed nine.

Edwin Encarnacion homered in the bottom of the tenth, his 35th of the season, joining teammates Josh Donaldson (39) and Jose Bautista (36) at that level. Prior to this season, the last big-league team that featured three players with at least 35 home runs was the 2006 White Sox, with Jermaine Dye (44), Jim Thome (42) and Paul Konerko (35). The lone previous season in which a Toronto trio achieved that feat came in 1998; the three players were Jose Canseco(46), Carlos Delgado (38), and Shawn Green (35).

Crazy-ness in Detroit

Fans leaving Comerica Park on Tuesday night must have been thinking of that old adage: there’s a chance at the ballpark you’ll see something that you may not have seen before. Here’s the recap of the Tigers-White Sox game:

Detroit starter Daniel Norris, in his second game since returning from a recent injury, was removed from the game after he retired Chicago’s first 15 batters of the game. His was the first perfect-through-five start by a Tigers rookie since Armando Galarraga did it – no, not in his 8.2-perfect-innings effort against Cleveland in 2010 – but in 2008 against the Royals. The last major-leaguer to be taken out after at least five innings with a potential perfect game still intact was Houston’s Bob Knepper in the final game of the 1986 season, as the Astros readied their starters for that year’s postseason.single logo_small

After four relievers extended the potential no-hitter through one out in the ninth inning, Tyler Saladino ruined the bid with a triple. He became only the second major-leaguer in the last 20 years to spoil a potential no-hitter with a ninth-inning (or extra-inning) triple, the other being Baltimore’s Jerry Hairston, Jr., against the Rangers in 2002. The odd thing: Hairston’s blow leading off the ninth also ruined a potential combination no-hitter in a game in which Texas starter Aaron Myette was ejected after throwing two pitches, Todd Van Poppel pitched two innings, and then Joaquin Benoit threw no-hit ball until Hairston’s triple.

The Tigers won, 2-1, in the 10th inning, on a walkoff triple by Rajai Davis, the second walkoff triple in the majors this season (Pittsburgh’s Pedro Florimon had the other on August 18). The last Tigers player with a walkoff triple was Ramon Santiago in 2011, but prior to him you have to go back to Mickey Stanley in 1968.

Mike and Albert

Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, in a gripping 4-3 victory in Houston. The home runs were the 40th of the season for Trout and the 36th for Pujols – it was the first time that baseball had seen back-to-back homers by a pair of players, each of whom had already belted 35 homers that season, since 2006 – when Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome of the White Sox did it.

Jimenez with the bat

Ubaldo Jimenez lifted his September record to 3-0 (he had previously beaten both the Blue Jays and the Yankees) and added a nice little cherry with an RBI single as the Orioles shut down the Nationals, 4-1, and, coupled with the Astros’ loss, shaved a game off Houston’s Wild Card lead. Jimenez’s single produced the first run of the game, and Baltimore never relinquished the lead. He became the second American League pitcher this season to be credited with both a victory and a game-winning RBI in the same game; back on July 21, Tampa Bay rookie Nathan Karns hit a home run for the game’s only run in his victory over the nullPhillies.

Jimenez became the 25th American League pitcher in 19 years of interleague play to achieve that daily double – but the amazing thing is that of the 25 pitchers who did it, seven of them have at least one Cy Young Award on their mantles: David Cone, CC Sabathia, Johan Santana,Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer and R.A. Dickey. Even more remarkably, among the other guys who did it was Jon Lester. As we all know, Lester didn’t get his first major-league hit until this season, but in a game at San Francisco in 2010, he was credited with the game-winning RBI in his victory for the Red Sox with a sacrifice fly.

The RBI was the second of the season for Jimenez, who knocked in a run in a game at Philadelphia on June 17. Since the designated-hitter rule was enacted in 1973, severely limiting their opportunities to hit, only eight other American League pitchers have driven in a run in two different games in the same season. But three of those eight others also pitched for the Orioles -Mike Mussina in 1999, Kris Benson in 2006 and Zach Britton in 2011.

Rangers perform sacrifices

Mitch Moreland hit a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth inning, but other than that, it was mostly a rat-a-tat-tat attack of sacrifice bunts (three), sacrifice flies (four) and heads-nullup base-running that allowed the Rangers to beat the A’s, 8-6. Sacrifice flies have been recorded as a category separate from sacrifice bunts since 1954, and over those 62 seasons, there have been only two other major-league games in which a team had at least three sacrifice bunts and at least four sacrifice flies. The Astros used that combination to help beat the Braves, 7-5, in 2009, while the Braves found that four sac flies and three sac bunts weren’t enough to win in a 12-inning contest that was won by the Padres, 11-10, in 1991.

Goldschmidt’s has 30 HRs include 7 vs. Dodgers

A. J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt hit back-to-back home runs off two different Dodgers pitchers in the seventh inning and the Diamondbacks went on to rout the Dodgers, 8-0. Pollock’s home run chased starter Alex Wood, and Goldy’s greeted reliever Chris nullHatcher. It was the 30th boundary belt of the season for Goldschmidt, who also has 21 steals. He became the fourth player in Arizona’s 18-year major-league history to be admitted into that 30/20 club, joining Chris Young(2007), Mark Reynolds (2009) and Justin Upton (2011). It was Goldschmidt’s seventh home run against the Dodgers this season, the most by any Dodgers opponent in a season since 2004, when Barry Bonds and Vinny Castilla each hit eight and Jeromy Burnitz seven. Still some distance away from the record of 13 home runs hit against the Dodgers, then in Brooklyn, by the Milwaukee Braves’ Joe Adcock in 1956.

Iwakuma brings it in K.C.

Hisashi Iwakuma blanked the Royals and struck out 10 batters over seven innings in the nullMariners’ 11-2 win at Kansas City. Iwakuma became the third different Mariners pitcher this season, joining Mike Montgomery and Vidal Nuno, to win a game in which he did not allow a run and had a double-digit strikeout total. Only two other major-league teams have had three different pitchers provide such victories this season-the Indians (Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber) and the Nationals (Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez).

Cardinals win another low-scoring game

The Cardinals took a 3-1 decision from the Reds on Tuesday, marking the 31st time this season that they have won a game in which they scored no more than three runs. Only one other major-league team in the last 20 seasons has won as many games of that type (the Giants won 31 such games four years ago). And in the long history of the Cardinals’ franchise, the only other year in which they won as many as 30 games in which they scored three-or-fewer runs was 1968. In that season – the one in which Bob Gibson fashioned his other-worldly 1.12 ERA – St. Louis won 41 games in which they scored no more than three runs (with Gibson having started 14 of those games).

Mahtook(LSU) blasts Fenway

Rookie Mikie Mahtook belted a two-run homer in the eighth inning to put the icing on the Rays’ 5-2 victory at Fenway Park. Mahtook has now hit five home runs this season; his previous blasts came in games at Toronto, Seattle, Chicago (against the White Sox) and nullDetroit. Mahtook, Washington’s Denard Span and San Francisco’s Gregor Blanco are the only players this season who have hit at least five home runs, all on the road.

By the way, among the players from the past whose first five major-league homers came away from home are Hall-of-Famers Eddie Mathews, Reggie Jackson, George Brett, Frank Thomas, Willie Stargell (first six) and Hank Aaron (nine). But none of those Hall-of-Famers holds a candle to the all-time major-league record-holder for home runs, all on the road, from the start of a career. That would be Johnny Hodapp, an infielder who, while playing with the Indians, hit 22 home runs, all on the road, from 1927 to 1931. The streak ended when, after being traded to the White Sox in 1932, his first home run with his new team was hit at Comiskey Park.

Marte + Ramirez and 75 RBIs

Starling Marte knocked in two runs and Aramis Ramirez one, lifting the season total of nullRBIs for each player to 75, in the Pirates’ 6-3 win over the Rockies in Denver.  Andrew McCutchen leads the Pirates with 95 RBIs, and though Ramirez has not produced all of his RBIs for the Pirates, Pittsburgh is one of the two National League teams that have at their disposal three players who have 75 RBIs this season. The other such team is Cincinnati, with Todd Frazier (88), Jay Bruce (83) and Joey Votto (75).

nullErvin = Johan

Ervin Santana came through again for the Twins on Tuesday night, holding the Indians to one run over seven innings and earning well-deserved credit for Minnesota’s 3-1 victory. Santana is now 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA over his last five starts, with 39 strikeouts in 36 innings.

Old minor-leaguer clocks home run, sends Mets to defeat

Hector Olivera clocked a three-run, go-ahead homer with two outs in the sixth inning and the Braves went on to defeat the Mets, 6-2. Olivera, a 30-year-old rookie, became the second 30-year-old rookie in the last 11 days to smash a home run against the Mets; on September 12, Olivera’s teammate Adonis Garcia connected. Prior to the last two weeks, only four rookies on the far side of 30 have homered against the Mets over their 54-year existence, the oldest being the Phillies’ Chris Coste, at 33, in 2006.

What You Need to Know to #win Tuesday Night, #DraftKings #FantasyBaseball

…But First…

The Jets had five takeaways in their 20-7 win in Indianapolis on Monday, three of which were by Darrelle Revis, who recovered two Colts fumbles and intercepted an Andrew Luck pass. Revis had never before had three takeaways in one game. This is after last week when the Browns had five turnovers in the season opener. The Jets are the first team since the 1992 Steelers to have five takeaways in each of their first two games of a season. The Steelers did that in Bill Cowher’s first two games as their head coach – is history repeating with Todd Bowles?

Aside from the Jets looking legit – Indy NEEDS an offensive line.  Luck looked uncomfortable all night and made weird mistakes – some of that has to be attributed to the Jets, but I’m going with the hot-mess upfront.  For those freaking out about Andrew, let’s breathe for a moment – this is not a Drew Brees situation – this is a QB with what was and still is a suspect line that played two quality defenses, back-to-back.  Next up is Tennessee, I’m prettay, prettaaay sure all will be normal for Luck after week 3.  If not, then we can have a full-blown freakout.

As for Gang Green, the D appears to be strong and with Chan Gailey dialing up plays for the Denver Jets, this game could have been a lot worse – Decker and Marshall, each with a touchdown and almost 200yds receiving between them.  Revis Island seems to be a non-vacation spot again and Sheldon Richardson comes back soon to join an already impressive front line.


#NFL week 2 is in the books and it was another successful week and also for those that follow us.  We are still continuing to update+add features to our site – so check it out and join us at theDiRTCanon.com – let us teach you how to #win!!!

Here are week 2’s Perfect Lineups:

Fanduel

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DraftKings

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It’s almost post-season baseball time and with a full-slab of games on tap tonight, it seems like “Revenge of the Lefties” –  we got a lot to get to with SEA+CHC stack ideas and TAM RHB+BOS LHB  – so let’s get it on!

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

Logan Verrett vs. Atlanta Braves (-261) – Raise your hand if you saw this one…Verrett has become a spot start extraordinaire, as his one mission in life is to preserve the innings of Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom.  A tall task indeed, but something that Verrett thus far, has done successfully. Coming into tonight, Verrett owns a 2.89 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP in just two starts. Verrett has pitched only 37 innings this season, but he looks like he’s locked in. Getting a matchup tonight against the Braves is about as good as you could ask for with Verrett. He’s going to cost you next to nothing, priced at just $4,500. Even if Verrett only goes five solid innings, he will certainly be worth the price of admission. Verrett has only allowed two runs in his two starts this season and his looked great in doing so. Without much to go on in the majors, Verrett is someone who’s shown in a short amount of time that he can be a viable option for you tonight. I mean really, can you complain about a pitcher that is just above the minimum?cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png

John Lackey vs. Cincinnati Reds (-210) – We’ve seen plenty of this, this season, as Lackey gets a start against the Reds. Lackey enters tonight with a 2.79 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 7. Going against a team that owns a .316 wOBA in the second half of the season with a K% of 20.8%, Lackey looks primed for another solid start. Owning a career best ERA at this time, Lackey goes against a Reds team who he dominated two starts ago. In that matchup, Lackey went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out 10, scoring 25.8 in that start. His price tag certainly matches his production, as I think this is the highest I’ve seen it for Lackey at $10,300.  As the fourth most expensive pitcher on the night, I think Lackey would need some serious consideration to be in your lineup tonight. If you’re thinking about rostering Verrett, you have no excuse to not fit ANY pitcher going tonight, seeing as how much you’ll be saving with his $4,500 price tag.

Lance McCullers vs. LA Angels (-170) – I’ve been a big fan of McCullers since he’s got the call to the big leagues. Coming into tonight, McCullers owns a 3.18 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.9. McCullers gets matched up with a truly weak Angels lineup, a lineup that owns a .291 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for the lowest in the league besides the Braves. A truly baffling stat if you think about the amount of talent this team possesses. They’ve kept the strikeouts down, which of course is disappointing to hear if you’re rostering an opposing pitcher like McCullers. Their 19.5 K% ranks 22nd in the league. However, at this point, the Angels are entering a territory where no matter who is starting against them, you should at least give them a look. Out of sheer curiosity, I looked up what the Angels have done over the past week, and things don’t get much better. The Angels own a .310 wOBA over the last seven day with a 20.6 K%. Things aren’t looking up for the Halos. With a nice price of $9,400, McCullers should be another pitcher you should look at.

Top Overall Game per O/U

Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies 11 Over/Under – The Rockies remain at home, so we’re lucky enough to talk about how they’re the highest projected run total of the day, again. This matchup intrigues me. We have a leftie on leftie matchup, with both teams not exactly hitting LHP all that well. On the season, the Pirates own a .306 wOBA against lefties, which ranks 20th in the league. The Rockies are at .283 which is LAST in the league for wOBA. Soooooo, what should we do here? If this game was at Pittsburgh, I would be loading up on Happ like he was shotgun shells during a zombie-apocalypse. But we have to give some respect to Coors Field here. Can the Rockies overcome their woes against lefties with their home field advantage? It truly brings up a tough question. Overall, I don’t think Happ is someone that should scare you off too much. He has his stretches which he pitches great, but also can do the complete opposite in a heartbeat, evident by his 3.84 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. I think if anything, if you want to play it safe tonight, the Pirates will be the way to go. Rusin owns a 5.11 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP. This will be quite the strange game in Coors tonight, one that you might want to watch.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Jake Arrieta CHC (LwOBA .213)
    • Lance McCullers HOU (LwOBA .265)
    • Martin Perez TEX (LwOBA .266)
  • Right handed batters
    • Jake Arrieta CHC (RwOBA .248)
    • Marco Estrada TOR (RwOBA .264)
    • Sean Nolin OAK (RwOBA .269)

Easiest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Tyler Cravy MIL (LwOBA .403)
    • Henry Owens BOS (LwOBA .403)
  • Right handed batters
    • Matt Moore TAM (RwOBA .396)
    • Tyler Cravy MIL (RwOBA .369)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Jorge Soler CHC – DiRT Canon Value127.44
  • Dioner Navarro TOR – DiRT Canon Value117.31
  • Franklin Gutierrez SEA – DiRT Canon Value111.10
  • Omar Infante KC – DiRT Canon Value108.40
  • Deven Marrero BOS – DiRT Canon Value108.20
  • Drew Stubbs TEX – DiRT Canon Value107.34

Other notables:  Tommy Pham: 12-22, 4HRs, 9 RBI, 10 runs scored – Anthony Rizzo: 12-28, HR, 7RBI, 2SB, 6 runs scored – Xander Bogaerts: 9-24, 2HRs, 7 RBI, 1SB, 7 runs scored

Best BvP matchup Tonight

David Ortiz vs. Matt Moore- Ortiz will always remember Moore, the man who gave up his 500th home run. The reason alone, Ortiz will always crush Moore when he’s on the mound. What stats back that up? Zero. That was just a hot take. Good one, eh? Ok, Ortiz is 8-18 against Moore with five extra base hits, three of them being home runs (including a 500th) and a 1.529 OPS.

Brian Dozier vs. Danny Salazar-  Dozier has seen Salazar in a small sample, but he’s done quite well for himself in that time. Dozier is 8-15 against Salazar with five extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.722 OPS.

Miguel Cabrera vs. Jose Quintana- I was talking about this the other day.  He never seems to take advantage of his superior matchups anymore.  Everytime I put him here, or take him, he does not justify his salary. If it wasn’t for the high batting average for Cabrera, could you consider this season a bust for him? I’m leaning towards yes.  At the least, he has a good matchup tonight against Quintana, who he’s 11-30 against with five extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.041 OPS.  Which he could duplicate if you did not take him, so….you’re move Miggy.


Weather

We seem to be getting the ALL CLEAR sign tonight


Top 4 by Position – in no particular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Danny Salazar ($11,100) – Salazar has two things I look for when picking my starting pitching for the night. A weak offense, and a high strike out ceiling. Check and check. Facing the Twins tonight, Salazar is certainly in line for a quality start in this one. The Twins own a .307 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 26th in the league. Add on the fact that they also have the 3rd highest K% in that same time span at 22.7 and you suddenly have a good start lined up. Salazar comes into tonight with a 9.7 K/9 on the season, which has me licking my chops for this one. After a couple of disaster starts for Salazar against Detroit, which saw him give up nine runs in nine innings, he bounced back nicely against the Royals. In that start, Salazar went seven innings giving up one run on four hits while striking out six, which is impressive, as the Royals are the toughest team in the league to strikeout. Even with the expensive price tag, Salazar is certainly worth the price of admission with this start tonight. I mean, you can always pair him with Logan Verrett.

Worth Considering

Matt Carpenter ($4900) –Carpenter, going against Keyvius Sampson, batting leadoff. I could end it right here if I wanted to. But, I’ll give you my reasons. Carpenter batting leadoff against a pitcher who’s allowing a .430 wOBA to left handed batters is a huge reason in itself. Carpenter hits right handed pitching well, with a .328 wOBA and an ISO of .233. In a game that should provide plenty of offense for the Cardinals, Carpenter is in a perfect positon tonight to be a table setter. He’s been hitting extremely well lately and I don’t see that slowing down tonight.

Save $$$…

Mikie Mahtook ($3100) –Mahtook (LSU) has been fantastic since his callup. Batting .289 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his short stint in the majors is about as much as you can ask for (unless your Tommy Pham.) Mahtook hit left handed pitching really well and faces Henry Owens tonight. Owens does fairly well against righties, with a .303 wOBA. However, it’s the .403 wOBA against lefties for Mahtook that really entices me. He’s dirt cheap and his some pop in his bat, something I like to target with my low tiered priced guys. I think you could find a way to squeeze Mahtook into your lineup


The Rest by Position

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Logo_Snap#1

What You Need to Know to #win Tuesday Night, #DraftKings #FantasyBaseball

Encarnacion is on FIRE!  Seriously, he is raking more than Groundskeeper Willy and I doubt it ends tonight against Cody Anderson.  It seems like yesterday we were complaining about the weather being to cold and could not wait for leisurely attire, with Boat Drinks – September all ready?!  I re-tweeted an earlier article from back in February today, check it out it was pretty accurate, except that bit about the Rockies – cripes – Now on with the show, and if you want to try your hand tonight click the link and get started – I know the highest O/U is in Colorado tonight, but I think Seattle and Houston could provide an equally impressive display of batted-fireworks as well.

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

Jonathon Niese vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-221) – On a night where we have quite a few quality starting pitchers taking the mound tonight, Niese gets the nod as the favorite against the Phillies. Interesting choice I must say, but this is why Vegas is worth about 348 billion dollars and I’m not – yet. Anyways, I found this one interesting because Niese has been anything but solid lately. In his last three starts, Niese has scored a combined 19.8 points. Yes, that’s all three starts combined. His last start, was even against the Phillies, the team he’s so heavily favored to beat tonight. During those three starts, Niese has given up 15 runs on 21 hits in just 17 innings with a 13:9 K:BB ratio. Does this sound like a guy you want to be investing your salary cap into tonight? Granted, Niese is very cheap tonight at $6500. Not too shabby for a guy who owns a 3.95 ERA on the year with a 1.36 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.1. If you read this article on the regular, you’ll know that the Phillies are hitting well since the All-Star break, owning a .327 wOBA, good for 8th during that time span. So with Niese tonight, he certainly his a cheap price tag to reach his value, it’s just a matter of if he can actually do it or not. cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.pngHonestly, I won’t hold my breath on this one.

Marco Estrada vs Cleveland Indians (-185) – Estrada may not be the most enticing name on the slate tonight, but he’s certainly pitched well enough to be. Estrada enters tonight with a 3.19 ERA to go with a 1.09 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.9. He faces the Cleveland Indians, who have been hitting well in the second half, just behind the Phillies, with a .326 wOBA during the time, good for 9th in the league. Estrada continues to give us what we pay for at the $7000 tier level, a mid to high teens score with a decent amount of strikeouts and good command. The Indians don’t strike out a lot, owning a 19.6 K% in the second half, but Estrada really isn’t that type of guy either. It’s not a stretch to except maybe four or five strikeouts from Estrada tonight, as he’s usually very consistent with that. Of course as always, with the absurd amount of runs the Blue Jays are scoring, it’s pretty safe to say that Estrada is also a good bet to nab a win here, as the run support has been high for all the Blue Jays starting pitchers. Playing at home tonight, look for Estrada in terms of some salary relief, as you load up on some of these premium pitchers tonight.

Johnny Cueto vs. Detroit Tigers (-150) – The only problem with some of these elite pitchers going tonight, is that they face some fairly tough matchups tonight, or their price is sky high. A couple of these sky high prices, in my opinion, will still be worth it, it’s just a matter of identifying who. Cueto could be one of them, if he can right the ship tonight. Cueto is coming off two disappointing starts in a row now, one against the Boston Red Sox and one against the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox one, I wasn’t overly surprised about, since they’re hitting so well lately. The Orioles I was, since they have such a high K% and their wOBA in the second half of the season is near the basement in the league. Tonight, Cueto gets the Tigers, who are also near the bottom of the league in wOBA in the second half at 19th, with a .314 wOBA. The Tigers are also striking out at a decent pace, with a 20.9 K%. Cueto isn’t excessively high price wise tonight at $10,100, especially compared to some of the other pitchers priced above him in some less than stellar matchups. I think with how poorly Cueto has pitched lately, his won’t be as highly owned across the board as he normally might be. For tonight ,I think I’d use Cueto only in tournaments, maybe not cash. Even though the Tigers are hitting nearly as well as they were in the first half of the season, they still have some serious talent on that team.

Top Overall Game per O/U

Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10.5 Over/Under – The night game checks in just like the day game, with a 10.5 projected run total. Rubby de la Rosa takes on Kyle Kendrick, in a battle of “who can be worse against LHB.” It’s true, both of these pitchersREALLY struggle against left handed batters tonight. De la Rosa checks in with a .405 wOBA against them and Kendrick with a .422 wOBA. Mix that in with some Coors Field and lefties should have a field day tonight. Also tonight, both of these starting pitchers LOVE giving up home runs. Between the two of them, they’ve given up 53 home runs. 53 HOME RUNS, between the two of them! Truly, if you normally fade the Coors Field game to (hopefully) separate yourself from the rest of the field in case the game doesn’t go as planned, tonight would not be the night to do that. Between how poorly these pitchers perform against lefties and how easily they let balls fly out of the park, this one could be a mess. Target wise, anyone you can afford. Just keep your eyes on the lineup, as they’ll be playing a double header, so a couple of key guys could potentially get some rest in the second game. Let’s hope not.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Johnny Cueto KAN (LwOBA ..240)
    • Zack Greinke LAD (LwOBA .249)
    • Justin Verlander DET (LwOBA .253)
  • Right handed batters
    • Joe Ross WAS (RwOBA .205)
    • Jimmy Nelson MIL (RwOBA .246)
    • Rubby DeLaRosa AZ (RwOBA .258)

Easiest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Rubby DeLaRosa AZ (LwOBA .405)
    • Kyle Kendrick COL (LwOBA .422)
  • Right handed batters
    • Cody Martin OAK (RwOBA .422)
    • Kyle Kendrick AZ (RwOBA .368)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Edwin Encarnacion TOR – DiRT Canon Value99.77
  • David Ortiz BOS – DiRT Canon Value96.25
  • Jason Castro HOU – DiRT Canon Value94.21
  • DiDi Gregorious NYY – DiRT Canon Value89.16
  • Jonathon Lucroy MIL – DiRT Canon Value – 88.26
  • Michael Cuddyer NYM – DiRT Canon Value – 86.20

Other notables:  Ryan Zimmerman – Marlon Byrd

Best BvP matchup Tonight

Evan Longoria vs. Chris Tillman – Last night we killed it with the BvP. For all the non believers, I hope you enjoyed watching from the outside. Tonight, we hope to do more of the same. To kick us off, we showcase Longoria and his long battle with Tillman. Longoria is 16-43 with 10 extra base hits, six of them being home runs, and a 1.321 OPS.

Salavdor Perez vs. Justin Verlander – Perez has really seen Verlander well in his career. Perez comes into tonight 18-38 against Verlander with nine extra base hits, two of them being home runs and a 1.266 OPS.

Jacoby Ellsbury vs Rick Porcello – This one is is absolutely mind boggling. Ellsbury isn’t a big power hitter, but how sure seems like one when he faces Rick Porcello. Ellsbury is an amazing 11-17 against Porcello with five extra base hits FOUR of them being home runs and 2.078 OPS.This is not a drill folks. This is insane. My mind is blown.


Weather

REJOICE – it appears to be all clear


Top 4 by Position – in no particular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Gerrit Cole ($10,800) – You know, when you look at the pitching slate for a particular night and see that Chris Sale is associated with that slate, your eyes grow a little wide and you go YUP,this is who I’m going with. Then you see he’s going to run you for $13,900 and your eyes become a little droopy now. Not as enticing. Now, we realize he’s facing the Twins, well alright, I’m back on board! Surprisingly, the Twins actually are decent against left handed pitching. They own a .312 wOBA against them and the a K% ranked 18th in the league at 20.1 Am I saying the Twins are going to knock Sale around? Most likely not. Will I throw Sale out to the masses for $13,900 and tell you to start him? I don’t think so. Not for that much. Instead, I’m going to run with Cole tonight, who looks to be back on track. Cole takes on a Brewers team who seems to have fallen back to their old hitting ways, which is not good at all. The Brewers own a .307 wOBA in the second, good for 25th in the league with a high 21.7 K%, which runs for 7th in the league. His price tag tonight seems reasonable at $10,800, when you compare it to the likes of Sale. Cole has scored 28.2 and 23.5 in his last two starts, against the Giants and Marlins respectively, which gives me a good indication that he’s seems to be on the right path again. Cole enters tonight with a 2.44 ERA to go with a 1.11 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.8.

Worth Considering

David Peralta ($4700) – As I mentioned earlier, getting exposure to Coors Field is a must tonight, in my opinion. Looking at either side, both pitchers have given up a combined 53 home runs, so I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing some balls leaving the park tonight. I think Peralta is a way to get “cheap” exposure to one of the premier players on the Diamondbacks. When I say cheap, I referring to how AJ Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt are going to run you for at least $6000. That’s going to be tough to do if you’re going to be rostering any pitchers worth over $10,000. On the year, Peralta owns a .388 wOBA against RHP with an ISO of .236. Peralta has been mostly in the clean up spot for the Diamondbacks, which I think makes this pick all the more intriguing. Of course, check that closer to came time, but I think this could potentially pay off well without totally destroying your salary cap for tonight.

Save $$$…

Andres Blanco ($2300) – Man, it is seriously getting hard to keep Blanco off my roster on a daily basis. I honestly find him becoming automatic. Tonight, he faces the leftie Niese, which is great news for everyone planning on picking Blanco tonight. He has crushed lefties this season, owning a .447 wOBA with an ISO of .220. Truly, these are numbers for a guy almost costing the minimum on DraftKings. The fact that his price tag has barely budged is not only amazing, but completely ups his value for a daily pick. Blanco doesn’t have to produce much to exceed his value, which he continues to do on an almost nightly basis.


The Rest by Position

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Randomly Generated Lineup Combinations – Ideas

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What You Need to Know to #win Friday Night #DraftKings #FantasyBaseball

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Summer is almost out of here, so we are trying to drink the rest of the Daiquiries and Margaritas we have left from the machine – we have a lot left and so little time, scha-mon!  It reminds us that baseball still has the unwritten rules in place for awhile longer, like what we saw Tuesday night, when the Astros were killing the Yankees – if anyone thought you would ever say that the last few decades – we need to talk.  Anywhoo, it got crazy, and I have no idea why these rules exist, except to give grown men a reason to act like morons – makes them feel tougher when they are getting their a$$e$ handed to them, I guess.  Tonight it looks like a fireworks show in Toronto, so let’s open another case of tequila and rum, pour it into the frozen machine and enjoy!

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

Max Scherzer vs. Miami Marlins(-240) – The poor Marlins. They struggle to hit as it is, now tonight they have to face Max Scherzer? That’s just unfair. Scherzer has been fantastic this season, as expected, checking in with a 2.79 ERA with a WHIP of 0.93 and a K/9 of 10.5. It’s been said time and time again if you read this article on the regular, but the Marlins are one of the worst offensive teams in the second half of the season. They come in with an overall wOBA of .293 in the second half of the season, ranked 27th during that time span. Their power is basically non existent, with an ISO of .109, which is dead last in the league. Truly, I don’t think anyone really has much to worry about here when it comes to this start. The only factor that causes some trouble is the fact that the Marlins don’t strike out much. They own the second to last strikeout percentage in the league during the second half, at 17%. Only the Royals have a lower strikeout percentage during that time. This could be a brutal night for the Marlins, as Scherzer not only is the favorite for Vegas, but one of the guys I like tonight as well. He’s going to be expensiveeeeee tonight at 12,500 so keep that in mind.cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png

Francisco Liriano vs. Colorado Rockies(-220)- It’s funny because when you think of the Rockies, you think of an explosive lineup that can crush almost anyone, right? If you don’t well, maybe it’s just me. Regardless, I think the Rockies are at least thought of as a good offense, which they should be. It seems strange that once we start pulling numbers, their wOBA in the second half only sits in 13th, at .322. You’d expect it to be higher, wouldn’t you? They’ve been striking out quite often during that time frame as well, coming in at 21.8% with their power rating at .182, which is fantastic, good for 6th in the league. When it comes to lefties however, the Rockies really run into trouble. Believe it or not, the Rockies owns the 28th worst wOBA against lefties on the season, at .289. Even more surprising, is that their power is basically gone when facing a leftie, as they own the second to worst ISO in that respect at .107. I know what you’re thinking now, how about the strikeouts? Great question young chap, they strike out the 4th most in the league, with a 23.4%. Liriano has been great this season, of course with some bumps in the road. However, with his 9.6 K/9, I fully expect him to be able to mow down the Rockies tonight and rack up some strikeouts. With this game taking place in Pittsburgh and not Colorado, you have to like your chances with this one. Liriano is “cheap” tonight at 10,000. That is super enticing.

R.A. Dickey vs. Detroit Tigers (-220) – The first thing that popped into my head when I saw how much of a favorite Dickey was tonight, it’s because he’s matched up against Matt Boyd and his horrible stats. I still think that’s a huge part of if, however, it might also have to do with the fact that the Tigers are a sinking ship. So let’s just roll it all into a ball and figure this out. First and foremost, it should be full expected that the best offensive team in the second half of the season, is going to absolutely crush Boyd tonight. Can we all agree on that? Perfect. Second, the Tigers truly have been a sinking ship. Checking in with a wOBA ranked 16th in the league during the second half at .320, it’s baffling to think what happened to this Tigers team. Their ISO rating is still good, at .169, good for 9th in the league. The strikeouts aren’t that shabby either, only striking out 20.9% of the time. So, it comes down to, is this a good spot for Dickey? I think he certainly has a good chance to outduel (sarcasm, guys) Boyd here tonight, so it’s very possible to get the win, I just don’t think I trust Dickey to have a good game – see his value# below. He doesn’t strike out many guys, owning a 5.3 K/9 on the season, so you’re really hoping for some clean innings from Dickey. No offense, but I don’t see that happening to often with a knuckleball pitcher. He might be able to sneak in a good start tonight, but even with the numbers not backing up a good offensive showing from the Tigers in the second half, they’re too talented of a team to be down for so long. It also doesn’t help that this game is……

Top Overall Game per O/U

Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays(Rogers Centre) – 9.5 Over/Under –…the top projected overall scoring game of the night. Anytime we have a game in this category, I often stay as far away as possible from these matchups. Vegas thinks this game is going to produce a lot of offense, that’s not exactly odds I want for my starting pitcher. We briefly touched upon both pitchers and the Tigers offense, so let’s focus on the Blue Jays offense. As I mentioned, the Blue Jays have the top wOBA in the second half of the season by a decent stretch. Coming into tonight, it sits at .343, which is seven points higher than the Mariners are, at .336 (uhhh, when did they start hitting?!) It should also come as no surprise that their power also ranks at the top of the league, at .195. Tonight, when they face Matt Boyd, it’s against someone who hasREALLY struggled since being in the majors. His splits are downright ugly, with a .362 wOBA against righties and an atrocious .522 wOBA against lefties. Not exactly anything that makes you feel like he’s going to do well here, right? For as good as the Tigers “should” be right now, the Blue Jays ARE that good and should put up a crooked number by the time this game is over. Target suggestions for tonight? The guys with Toronto on their jersey.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Erasmo Ramirez TAM (LwOBA .238)
    • Andrew Heaney LAA (LwOBA .241)
    • Sonny Gray OAK (LwOBA .235)
  • Right handed batters
    • Max Scherzer WAS (RwOBA .218)
    • Matt Harvey NYM (RwOBA .237)
    • Sonny Gray OAK (RwOBA .250)

Easiest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Ian Kennedy SDP (LwOBA .347)
    • Williams Perez ATL (LwOBA .375)
  • Right handed batters
    • Matt Boyd DET (RwOBA .362)
    • John Danks CWS (RwOBA .366)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Trayce Thompson CWS – DiRT Canon Value – 122.96
  • Mike Moustakas KC – DiRT Canon Value – 111.38
  • Francisco Lindor – DiRT Canon Value97.78
  • Nick Swisher ATL – DiRT Canon Value93.96
  • Michael Cuddyer NYM – DiRT Canon Value93.88
  • Rusney Castillo BOS – DiRT Canon Value92.72

Other notables:  Travis d’Arnaud NYM is 9-23 with 3 HR’s, 9 RBI and 6 runs scored.  Evan Gattis HOU 8-22 with 4 HR’s, 7 RBI and 6 runs scored.

Best BvP matchup Tonight

Austin Jackson vs John Danks- Every once in awhile, we get a real good sample size of a batter and pitcher, and it shows how well that particular batter has done against said pitcher. Well tonight, we have Austin Jackson against John Danks. The fact that Danks has someone that hits well against him is SHOCKING to me. Jackson is 23-52 with six extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.164 OPS.

Dexter Fowler vs. Clayton Kershaw- If you asked me, “name a hitter that has hit Kershaw quite well in their career” my first answer would HAVE to be Dexter Fowler. It’s SOOOO obvious, right? Maybe not. But regardless, Fowler is 17-40 with three extra base hits and a 1.002 OPS.Sure, Fowler has singled Kershaw to death, but anyone with good numbers against Kershaw can certainly give you a slight edge.

Ian Kinsler vs. RA Dickey- Small sample size compared to the other two, but nonetheless, Kinsler has seen his success against Dickey. Kinsler is 6-16 against Dickey with two extra base hits, and a 1.194 OPS.


Weather

REJOICE – it appears to be all clear


Top 4 by Position – in no particular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Francisco Liriano ($10,000)- Truly, we have a LOT of good pitching options tonight. This could be a number of different pitchers tonight, and all would be worthy of a roster spot. Kazmir vs. Minnesota, Jungmann vs. Cincinnati, Tanaka vs. Atlanta, Gray vs. Arizona, Kershaw vs. Cubs, but he’s too expensive. You get the idea though. Overall, value wise and matchup wise, I love Liriano tonight. As I mentioned earlier, the Rockies are BRUTAL against  left handed pitching this year. If you need a refresher, just scroll up, I did all the research for you, so don’t roll your eyes. At the price point of 10K tonight, it makes Liriano all the more enticing. He hasn’t been as sharp as he was in the first half of the season, as he’s scored 20, 10.4 and 15.5 in his last three starts, which would most likely explain the drop in salary. Honestly, that’s fantastic. Again, you have a TON of options to pick tonight and I’ll be super curious to see what pair of pitchers end up taking down tournaments tonight. I just think Liriano deserves the extra long look.

Worth Considering

Josh Donaldson ($5700) – I know, I know. Give me a night you WOULDN’T want to roster Donaldson. So yes, it’s an obvious choice. But at least let me give you some numbers as to why Donaldson is a must in my eyes tonight. First off, he’s got Matt Boyd. I mean, I could end this section right here and you’d understand. But I’m not that kind of guy, I’ll give you some more. Boyd is a leftie, Donaldson loves lefties. This season, Donaldson owns a .464 wOBA against them with an insane .361 ISO. In other words, Donaldson destroys left handed pitching. Again, I get it, he’s an obvious choice, but I think it’s crazy not to include him in your lineup tonight.

Save $$$…

Pedro Alvarez ($3200) – The problem with Alverez is that he’s not starting like he used to. For someone who was always a lock in the lineup, Alverez isn’t seeing the starts he’s used to. Regardless, when he’s in the lineup, he’s always a threat to go deep. If he does indeed start, he faces Jonathan Gray, who’s averaging about 1.5 home runs per nine innings. Alverez has some good power against RHP, with a .224 ISO and wOBA of .324. They aren’t slam dunk numbers, but at the same time, you’re not paying much for him to begin with.


The Rest by Position

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– player capsules via Steve Buchanan


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What You Need to Know to #win Tuesday Night #DraftKings #FantasyBaseball

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97 years ago today, the highest scoring game in Major League Baseball History was played.  The Cubs lead the Phillies 25-6 at one point before giving up 14 runs in the final two-at-bats.  Chicago won 26-23.  Hack Miller of the Cubbies went 4-for-5, 2HR’s and 6 RBI.  Sounds like what the Rockies might do against Foltynewicz tonight – Now on with the show, and if you want to try your hand tonight click the link and get started.

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

Noah Syndergaard vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-200) – Vegas starts off their picks for today with Syndergaard going against the Phillies tonight. Not too shabby of a pick here, as Syndergaard enters tonight with a 3.17 ERA to go with a 1.14 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.5. Syndergaard has been struggling as bit as of late, especially in the first inning, where a lot of the damage has been coming in his starts. His inconsistensty might be the biggest factor that would shy me away from him, as otherwise, he’s been solid all around. We also do have the fact that the Philles are still hitting well in the second half. They own the 8th best wOBA in the league during the time span, and ruined quite a few nights last night as they took care of deGrom. Priced at $10,900, Syndergaard suddenly seems a bit pricey for a matchup that isn’t as much as a slam dunk as we once thought it would be. Vegas might love Syndergaardcropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png tonight, but I don’t know if I’m fully on board.

Alex Wood vs. Cincinnati Reds (-153)- For a short while last night, it looked as if the Reds might even get shut out by Buck Farmer last night. It truly would have been the icing on the cake for a horrible night last night. Eventually, the Reds busted out of their early game slump and starting piling the runs on the Tigers. Crisis averted. As for tonight, Wood is the second favorite for Vegas tonight, coming into tonight’s start with a 3.79 ERA to go with a 1.42 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.7. He hasn’t been that great since joining the Dodgers, giving up at least three runs in each of his four starts. His K:BB ratio also sits at 17:11 during the time span, which isn’t exactly going to get you a stamp of approval. Even though the Reds haven’t been hitting that well in the second half, a .308 wOBA in the second half, good for 22nd in the league, they’re still fully capable of piling on the runs as seen in last nights game. Wood is priced very cheap tonight, at $6,600, which is most likely the other reason I’d consider him for tonight. However, with how inconsistent he’s been with the Dodgers, I would only be using Wood in tournament plays.

Josh Tomlin vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-150) – Making two starts this season, and Vegas is already favoring him tonight? Man, someone must know something we don’t know and maybe we should go with that somebody! Tomlin enters tonight with a 2.03 ERA to go with a 0.68 WHIP. His two starts this season have come against the Twins, where he scored 17.3 points and the Yankees where he scored 27.4 points. So yes, he’s been great thus far. His K:BB ratio has also been on point, sitting at 11:2 in 13 1/3 innings. Priced at $5700, he could be a steal tonight with a good matchup against the Brewers. The Brewers have the 24th wOBA in the league in the second half of the season at .303 while striking out the 15th most in the league, at 20.9%. Honestly, even though it’s a small sample, Tomlin is almost too cheap to pass up tonight. I realize that you shouldn’t get all excited after two starts, and believe me, I’m not. But, at $5700, that sounds awfully good now doesn’t it?

Top Overall Game per O/U

Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers (Globe Life Park in Arlington) – 9.5 Over/Under – Tonight features the best hitting offense in the second half, the Toronto Blue Jays, against the Rangers with the 7th best wOBA at .330. Let the runs pour in on this one. Mark Buehrle takes on Derek Holland in this one. Buehrle comes into tonight with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He’s been pretty solid this season, and by that I mean on Buehrle standards. He isn’t someone you’re going to count on to get you 20+ points, but he’s good for the mid teens. However, going against the Rangers tonight, he could see some trouble. Buehrle has given up 19 hits in his last three starts, which seems to be happening a lot in his starts lately. He might limit the runs given up, but guys are getting on base, and not because of walks. The Rangers can certainly hit the ball, so Buehrle will certainly run into trouble with that tonight. Holland, is making his second start since returning from a shoulder injury in April. He’s made one start against the Mariners, scoring 21.5 points. I would very rarely recommend a pitcher going against the Blue Jays, who are just an offensive force. Besides have the top wOBA in the league, they also have the most power, with a .196 ISO. Insane numbers. Best of luck to Holland tonight.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Dallas Keuchel HOU (LwOBA .158)
    • Jake Arrieta CHC (LwOBA .237)
    • Alex Wood LAD (LwOBA .244)
  • Right handed batters
    • Jaime Garcia STL (RwOBA .221)
    • Alfredo Simon DET (RwOBA .265)
    • Jesse Chavez OAK (RwOBA .266)

Easiest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Mike Foltynewicz ATL (LwOBA .416)
    • Matt Cain SFG (LwOBA .433)
  • Right handed batters
    • Jerome Williams (RwOBA .407)
    • Mike Foltynewicz (RwOBA .369)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Nick Swisher ATL – DiRT Canon Value – 113.22
  • Mike Napoli TEX – DiRT Canon Value – 104.55
  • Josh Donaldson TOR – DiRT Canon Value – 103.65
  • Blake Swihart BOS – DiRT Canon Value – 94.80
  • Mark Canha OAK – DiRT Canon Value – 89.75
  • Melvin Upton SDP – DiRT Canon Value – 87.9

Other notables:  Wilmer Flores NYM is 12-27 with 3 HR’s, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored.  Edwin Encarnacion TOR went 4-4 recently and is 9-20 with 3 HR’s, 9 RBI and 8 runs scored.  Ian Kinsler DET is 15-31 with 2 HR’s, 6 RBI and 9 runs scored.

Best BvP matchup Tonight

Evan Longoria vs. Ervin Santana- Longoria hasn’t been doing much this season, but the least he could do is help us out against Santana tonight. Longoria is 6-15 with two extra base hits, both of them being home runs, and a 1.244 OPS.

Miguel Cabrera vs. Jered Weaver- I’m honestly surprised more players don’t hit Weaver well. He has like a 54 mph fastball. I might be off on the number, but it’s close! Cabrera is 8-26 against Weaver with five extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a .977 OPS.

Chris Young vs. Dallas Keuchel- Ah yes, the left handed pitcher killer, Chris Young. He’s seen some moderate succcess against Keuchel, going 6-17 with three extra base hits and a .977OPS.


Weather

REJOICE – it appears to be all clear


Top 4 by Position – in no particular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

James Shields ($8,900)- Soooooo, I’m hoping tonight goes a lot better than last night for my pitcher pick. Everyone last night was like, “Oh Steve, you idiot, deGrom is getting rocked tonight! Buhhhhh, we hate you!” So I said, “Hey look player haters, I picked Iwakuma, so just relax and wait and see.” Well, Iwakuma scored -0.30 points. Hey, it least it was better than deGrom and his -6.60, right? Regardless, we messed up yesterday. But I feel good about Shields tonight (hard to believe me right now, huh?) Shields takes on the Nationals, who have completely fallen off the face of the earth in the second half of the season, with a wOBA of .302, good for 25th in the league. They’re also striking out a TON, with a K% of 23.6, which is second in the league. That’s Chicago Cubs status right there. I wish this start was in San Diego, but we’ll settle for Washington. At $8,900, Shields will be an nice start to your lineup without killing your salary cap.

Worth Considering

Charlie Blackmon($4600) – Blackmon batting leadoff against Mike Foltynewicz should be a good one tonight. Foltynewicz really struggles against lefties, and righties too, but especially lefties. They own a .416 wOBA against him, which is one of the worst on the night. As for Blackmon, he owns a .377 wOBA against RHP with some decent power, showcasing a .192 ISOrating. The added bump for Blackmon goes to the fact that he bats leadoff, so he’ll get the most exposure to Foltynewicz tonight, banking on the fact that he even makes it deep into this game. The Rockies have struggled a bit offensively in the second half, but have still feasted on below average pitching. At $4600, he won’t break your salary either, which is always an added bonus.

Save $$$…

Chris Young ($2900) – This is not going to be a popular pick. Hence, why I’m making it mine. Keuchel is just nasty, so the Yankees are going to be low owned today. Which is why, I love Young tonight. His price tag is super low, at $2900. Then, we have the fact that he crushes lefties. On the season against lefties, he owns a .435 wOBA with a .296 ISO. MONEY numbers I tell you. Also, if you’ve noticed in the BvP section, he’s hit Keuchel fairly well in their meetings together. 6-17 and only costing me $2900? I’ll take my chances.


The Rest by Position

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Randomly Generated Lineup Combinations – Ideas

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Tuesday DiRT

Only a mother could love this face.  This is the face of $96 million dollars – $45m of it guaranteed.  Sure, Tannehill had his best season last year throwing for 4,045yds and 27 TD’s, but what has he done to deserve this kind of love?  According to his contract, he’s the 5th best QB by average salary: Brees ($20m), Peyton ($19.2), Rodgers ($18.7), and Romo ($17.1).

Tannehill has a career record of 23-25 with 70 turnovers in 3 years, and this should make Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck very happy!  In a league that seems to find new ways to overpay for generic brands, just imagine the monopoly numbers that will be coming for Luck.  The Seahawks just called the Dolphins to say ‘thanks for that’!  Luck and Wilson are looking at $120-$150m contracts with 2/3 guaranteed.  Nobody is saying that Tannehill is Blaine Gabbert – he just hasn’t done enough to justify the same level of contract as Luck, Brees, Manning, Rodgers, Wilson, etc…He’s more Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, without the potential – like Uncle Rico (Kyle Orton).

Tonight we have a large compliment of games.  Furthermore, it is also interesting to some of us seamheads, how well the game is doing on TV.  In the 1st month of the season, Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network have seen their viewership double as have a handful of teams so far:  The Cubs, Royals, Astros (since the worked out their cable deal, finally), Arizona (largest in a decade), Cleveland, Detroit, St.Louis and San Diego.  In fact, baseball games have eclipsed NBA and NHL Playoff games, including first run shows on network TV.  Baseball is making money, largely due to the cable companies, and with people increasingly choosing to disconnect, it will be interesting to see how far that model actually works.  Unplugging your cable package currently means you’ll miss your local team due to blackout restrictions by said cable companies – but, the biggest change to the entire model could occur when the Chicago Cubs’ deal expires in 2019.  The Diamondbacks just secured a deal worth more than $1 Billion dollars and much like Tannehill – the Cubs are excited.  How do the Cubs change the game?  Simple, if they work out a way to limit the cable company and their grip on the market and instead choose a format that allows us, the consumer, to unplug and stream the games at a certain price point – it will change TV forever.  Allowing the consumer to finally pay for what they want and not for all the other stuff they don’t, like the Lifetime channel.

However while we watch tonight, along with our Draftkings lineup – keep some guys in mind, that are having the kind of year that might get them recognized for their first all-star game, guys like:

  • Stephen Vogt
    • Would you believe this 30yr old has a higher WAR than Mike Trout?  He has the same number of HR’s right now (9) than he did all of 2014.
  • Freddy Galvis
    • now that Jimmy Rollins is gone, he has his chance and is currently hitting .341 with a .360wOBA.  He’s cut down his strikes and increased his walk rate and at 25 continually sprays the ball all over the field.
  • Mike Moustakas
    • He might have figured it out, finally.  He has cut down his strikeout rate by 7%, creating 40% more runs than the league average – generating a .380 OBP to go with his great defense.
  • Jake Odorizzi
    • After his first full year as a starter and entering his prime years, at 25, all he has done is pitch like an ace.   Currently has the 6th highest WAR at 1.6 and an ERA and FIP below 2.50 – wlaking less than 4% and striking out over 20%.
  • Jake Arrieta
    • As a Dark Horse candidate for the NL Cy Young at the start of the year, all he has done is put him at the table.  4th in WAR and has a 2.77 ERA with a FIP and xFIP of 2.23 and 2.69.

Tonight, play Swing for the Fences with us! It’s only $3 to play, $300,000 is up for grabs (1st place will win $100,000), and the top 25,930 finishers will win a cash prize!!  We all can guess at guys like Bryce Harper, Michael Brantley, Mike Trout, etc…So here are some of those value guys you might need to plug in to afford all that talent – keep a lookout to see if some of these guys actually start:

Pitchers:  Carlos Frias(LAD) $5,500 – Erasmo Ramirez(TB) $5,100 – Tim Hudson(SF) $6,200 – Tim Koehler(MIA) $5,900

Catchers:  Bobby Wilson(TB) $2,000 – Roberto Perez(CLE) $2,400

First Base:  Chirs Colabello(TOR+OF) $2,900 – Mark Reynolds(STL) $2,800 – Justin Bour(MIA) $2,600

Second Base:  P.Ciriaco(ATL+3B) $2,100

Third Base:  Brock Holt(BOS+OF) $3,100 – Logan Forsythe(TB+2B) $3,200 – Eric Campbell(NYM) $2,700

Shortstop:  R.Ynoa(COL+3B) $2,300 – T.Field(TEX+2B) $2,600

Outfield:  Kyle Blanks(TEX+1B) $3,600 – K.Kiermaier(TB) $3,800 – T.Cunningham(ATL) $2,800 – Adam Eaton(CHW) $3,600 – Grichuck(STL) $3,100 – Ichiro(MIA) $2,900.

So good luck tonight – I will be rolling with Liriano and Gray as my pitchers in most of my lineups – yours may vary.

 

Diamonds in the DiRT

It was April 2nd, 1996 and a peppy kid dreamed to be exactly where he was now – except no one really dreams of being in Cleveland.  The city by the lake isn’t the kind of place where dreams come true in sports – hell, nothing good in Cleveland has occurred in the form of championship recognition since the 50’s with Jim Brown and Otto Graham winning titles.  Sure Cleveland’s had its moments. The Indians were good for a stretch in the 90’s, the Browns in the 80’s – they had and lost LeBron, only to get him back – but still the bridesmaid, never the bride and their hopes were always creatively ripped out of their chest only to be shown their still beating heart – Kali-Mah!

But on this Opening Day in 1996, new beginnings and hope belonged to the visiting team.  It was a sunny, brisk 38 degrees, with the wind blowing out to centerfield at a cheery draft.  Jacob’s Field, the epicenter of tribe fans wearing red, white and blue – a bunch of wahoos.  Long sufferring baseball fans in Cleveland had witnessed the eclipse of the dark-ages of baseball in their city, no longer made fun of by Hollywood and each season was a year long celebration that few players/fans ever experienced.  The Tribe was loaded and fresh off a 100-win season and their first World Series appearance since 1954 – they would win 99 games in 1996 and again have the best record in baseball.  Do you remember Kenny Lofton, Julio Franco, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, age less Eddie Murray, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar, Omar Visquel – this was Cleveland’s Steel Curtain of baseball – the crowd was like a pack of crazed jackals and into town come the Yankees to start the season and another frenzied march to glory, to finally capture a title – all the Yankees brought with them was a new manager and a new shortstop.  “It’s our year!” – Cleveland fans shouted.

Game 1 of the season is rarely a hitchhiker’s guide to the future, but on this day – the God’s of baseball anointed a team, a manager and a shortstop for the next decade.  The Yankees would go on to win their first division title since 1981 and their first World Series since 1978.  Joe Torre would win the first of his 1,173 victories as manager of the Yankees – establishing during his 12 year tenure, 12 straight post-season appearances, winning 10 AL East crowns, 6 AL Pennants and 4 World Series Championships.

For the 22 year old shortstop, thrown to the wolves in Cleveland, all he did was become the first rookie shortstop to start the season for the Yankees, since 1962 – record his first-ever hit off El Presidente-Dennis Martinez, for a home run – building a resume for dramatic moments the rest of his career.  Career-In Memoriam, we do not get to watch Derek Jeter play shortstop for the Yankees anymore and it’s amazing to think back to that brisk April day in Cleveland where the legend began.

 

With Opening Day approaching, a time where we move past the winter of last year’s struggles to blossom once again on what might be.  A time to share a hot dog and a beer with someone special, a time to return to your youth, looking forward to it like a birthday party.  Baseball is seductive to anyone with an enduring interest, knowing exactly how it should be played, secretly believing they could do it – if only the good lord saw fit to make them less inept.  At least Fantasy Baseball let’s you prove your GM skills.  So you weren’t successful today, like baseball, there’s always tomorrow’s lineup.  In honor of the approaching National Holiday here are some alternate position examinations:

Yogi

Catcher

Matt Wieters – had Tommy John surgery so his issue becomes how many at-bats can he get to, but if he can reach at least 400 of them, he should bounce back.

The Beast, Double X

First Base

Aside from Goldschmidt and Miggy there are several other 1st basemen to consider.  Like Adam Lind for the Brewers who gets a shot to start full time and should hit in the 5 hole were he could hit 20+HR’s.  Someone who was productive last year that should see a regression this year is Chris Carter.

Jackie

Second Base

Chase Utley – the Phillies could be terrible but Chase will bat 3rd and will have a chance to provide a surprising rebound – not sure what kind of dead-cat rebound it’ll be, but it could be considerable, for stretches at a time.

Cal Ripken Jr

Shortstop

Stay away from Xander Bogaerts and Jean Segura as both are slotted to bat 8th.  For Xander, batting 8th in what might be the best offense is bad news – batting 8th is never a positive for your lineup.  For Segura and Bogaerts potential on the field does not equate fantasy value consistent enough.

Brooks Robinson

Third Base

Kris Bryant – whenever he gets called up, he has the potential to be a dominate player and another in a growing list of young talent in the game.  But the questions remain, relating to his strikeout rate – almost 30% last year in Triple A.  What does that mean for daily leagues?  It means that you should watch his Batting-Average-Balls-In-Play, because if that doesn’t negate the strikeout rate then he will be a consistent hit-or-miss play.  Either way he will be fun to watch.

Clemente, Mays and Aaron

Outfield

Christian Yellich – is getting a lot of press and is part of one the best outfields in the NL – however consider how often he hits fly-balls – less than 20% of the time.  If you believe he gets 600 plate appearances this year, only 120 of those will generate fly-balls – then multiply that by his Home-run/Fly-ball rate which was 15% last year (3.5% higher than his average) – that is 18 HR’s and he is batting second and likely will not steal as often in front Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton.

Michael Cuddyer – has only recorded 500+ plate appearances once in the last 3 years and now that he is with the Mets and still batting 5th, there is not much to suggest that he has much value left in the tank – or the health to sustain solid numbers.

Corey Dickerson – has the batting average talent, but struggles against lefties and until you see that change you have to pay attention to that matchup.  However if he gets 600 plate appearances he could be a top 5 outfielder with a healthy Tulo and CarGo.

Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Warren Spahn

Pitchers

You have to look at how many innings they pitched last year.  Example being Bumgarner pitched 270+ innings in 2014 and so expect him to have rest and lightened workloads to save him – plus the Giants only win in even years.  Too many innings is the result we see from all those pitchers breaking down – it has the Tigers worried for Verlander and Wainwright is 700 innings removed from Tommy John Surgery.  Think of it like this – pitchers usually are in the 25-30% risk for injury category and Wainwright is more like 40%.  So look for those new young guys that have the promise for consistency like Jake Arrieta, Jacob DeGrom and Carlos Rondon.

 

As they said in Bull Durham: “it’s an easy game, you catch the ball, you hit the ball, you throw the ball…and sometimes it rains