It's interesting what doing a podcast will do to changing or narrowing your thoughts on things, here's a few updates ...
- The more I look at the AZ/COL game the more I cannot build a lineup without a few players from it. The temps are even WARMER here than I thought it would be and yes the roof is open again.
- Oakland is someone to keep an eye on, if they roll out all righties they're a great stack -- credit to Geriak for putting me on this one.
All games play, any weather impacts on games playing are baked into my analysis.
Dallas Keuchel ... Keuchel faced the Rangers in Arlington three times last season and won each time. He posted 6 innings and 7 strikeouts or more in each of the three starts and the only time he got beat up by the Rangers last year was in Houston late in August. This is virtually an identical Rangers lineup and with Doug Fister toeing the rubber on the other side, Keuchel should get a ton of run support to lock down the win today.
Kyle Hendricks ... I think we'll see Hendricks among the more popular plays today. When there's no Kershaw, Sale, Kluber, Scherzer rolling on the slate then it becomes really common for folks to simply look at which pitcher has the strongest win probability and that's gonna result in people seeing who is facing the Marlins, Rays and Royals all season long. Insert Hendricks who draws the Marlins and is $8200 on FD and $9900 on DK. Expect him to be more popular on FD than DK today due to his price range. We normally expect 6 innings from Hendricks so the FD path to fading is that he might get pulled early and lose the quality start. The matchup is solid, as this game wouldn't shock me to be really low scoring on both sides.
David Price ... I get it. He's facing his old team. Boston shouldn't lose two in a row to start the season and as you see below I really like the Sox bats tonight. So this is a case of I don't think he pitches that amazing but he gets the win. In fact, I'd be more confident in Boston winning tonight than the Cubs. How about them apples.
Jhoulys Chacin ....Pull up a chair if you have no idea where I am going here. If you already know, then move along. Ok, are you sitting down? Cool. Chacin was a Padre last year. He didn't exactly have the same stats when he pitched at PETCO as he did on the road. Here are those stats since you don't already know them ....
Home (at PETCO): 100.1 IP, 1.79 ERA, 83 K, .173 BA against
Away (Not at PETCO): 80 IP, 6.53 ERA, 70 K, .295 BA against
Clearly he had something at PETCO that made him feel comfortable. We kept waiting for it to regress last year and it never did. Thanks for coming and please return the chair to the cubicle outside my office.
Nick Pivetta ... Do not be duped by the sum of his total numbers. When Pivetta first came up to the big leagues, two of his first three starts were against the Washington Nationals in warm temps. He got pummeled and immediately appeared to be a target to attack because hitters could essentially just sit on his fastball. Pivetta, however, is expected to trust his slider and curveball more this season and really started to show some positive signs towards the end of last year and during the Spring. There's a reason he's starting game 2 of the season for the Phillies as they clearly believe in him. He's a major sleeper this year for them and while going into Atlanta isn't the best spot in the world, I don't mind him today as an SP2 with it only being around 60 degrees in Atlanta.
Joey Lucchesi ... The profile on this kid is really tempting. Big tall lefty with a deceptive delivery and more than a K/IP stats in the minors. He is not on the level of MacKenzie Gore who is the Padres prized pitching prospect for the future, but they're confident enough to roll him out here today against Milwaukee. So why am I considering someone who has so much going in his delivery on that could lead to disaster? As an SP2 on DK today we're gonna see a ton of Chacin in my opinion. If you wanna get off that chalk and get a little different in a second and third lineup then pivot over to the other side. I don't believe Milwaukee will hit much on the road this year (just my hunch) and we saw them do almost nothing against Clayton Richard yesterday. The upside is that if Joey's stuff is deceiving then he's going to rack up the strikeouts and earn the trust of the coaches to get through 5 innings. The downside is a bunch of walks and a quick pull to save the kids confidence.
Robbie Ray ... Guess how many times Robbie Ray pitched into the 7th inning against Colorado? Once. Guess how many times Robbie Ray held the Rockies under 3 runs the last two seasons? Zero. Guess how many times Robbie Ray gave up a HR to the Rockies? 100%. Now, sure, he's always going ot be facing them in an extreme positive hitting environment so the stats are going to be boosted up. But with this being his first start of the year and the roof being open again I am not crazy about chasing a Ray-Day outing where he throws up one of his 12 strikeouts over 7 innings type performances. He'll have a few of those this year but not tonight.
ASTROS ... Houston's in a fantastic spot today going up against Doug Fister. There's not a ton to say here, but in that ballpark this lineup is a major threat to do some longball damage. Carlos Correa remains at the top of my target list today but Fister is easily a target for HR power from lefty hitters. Enter Josh Reddick, Marwin Gonzalez and Brian McCann who should all be looked at if stacking the Astros today.
ROCKIES ... The Roof remains open and since I am not going Robbie Ray you can bet your bottom dollar I'll have a few Rockies today. Starting with Charlie Blackmon who despite the LvL matchup has destroyed Ray in his career. This is also a better matchup for Arenado who did jack one out finally off Corbin but not until his 3rd AB last night. Blackmon-Story-Arenado.
Meanwhile, YES, the D'BACKS are definitely in play today. Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings (if he plays) are my main targets here but I love Peralta in the lead off spot even against a lefty because he'll see RHP out of the bullpen.
RED SOX ... Playing in Tampa with some higher totals on the board the Red Sox should get passed up today for ownership and I love the matchup against Blake Smell Ya Later. The only question here is will JD Martinez tie or pass Matt Davidson for the HR lead tonight? Okay, that's a bit extreme, but Mookie, JD and Andrew Benintendi (yes, LvL) are leaping off the page at me and start this stack. Boston won't lose two in a row to the Rays.
BLUE JAYS ... Donaldson, Smoak, Grichuk ... These are the Jays have the power to make Tanaka miserable. I hate stacking against the Yankees because their bullpen is insanely good but with Tanaka we have a guy who should stay in the game even if he gets into trouble with the long ball, allowing for that 2nd/3rd HR to come into play.
- Brian McCann
- Gary Sanchez - Curious to see if he is the DH today given the theory that he and Tanaka dont work well together. If he is catching lock in a couple Jays bats. If he is DH'ing then lock HIM in.
- Chris Iannetta - Might get day off since he caught yesterday.
- Marwin Gonzalez
- Paul Goldschmidt
- Justin Smoak
- Carlos Santana - I won't let the lack of a HR yesterday get me off him yet.
SECOND BASE - Shocker, second base sucks again
- Javy Baez
- Chris Owings - PH last night, so good chance he gets in today
- Jed Lowrie
- Josh Donaldson
- Just play Nolan dammit
SHORTSTOP - Loaded position today
- Carlos Correa
- Trevor Story
- Corey Seager
OUTFIELD - TIER 1
- J.D. Martinez - Love JD, Blackmon and Judge today if you spend up at OF. Which you should with cheap SP options.
- Charlie Blackmon
- Aaron Judge - His turn today.
- Josh Reddick - He's the odd ball of this group. He's also going to be popular vs Fister. I think he's a tough fade today like Lucas Duda was yesterday.
OUTFIELD - Tier 2
- Mookie Betts
- A.J. Pollock
- Justin Upton
- Andrew Benintendi - Sox stack only
OUTFIELD - VALUE TIER
- David Peralta - LOL, 2700 on FD. He looks as healthy as ever right now and won't be touched vs lefty. Praying he leads off.
- Randal Grichuk
- Nick Williams
- Stephen Piscotty
THE DONGERS CLUB
- Aaron Judge - OF - Chairman
- JD Martinez - OF
- Nolan Arenado - 3B
- Randal Grichuk - OF
- Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
- Brian McCann - C
- Corey Seager - SS
- Javier Baez - 2B
- BONUS ....... Josh Reddick - OF
- Padres ML
- Marlins ML
- Phillies ML
- Rockies/DBacks OVER
Side Note .... Some of you who are new to MLB need to understand that if you send me a lineup asking for help and you haven't read my article I am going to send you right here. Think about this for a moment. Would you want me to tell you that a player you have listed who I didn't take the time to write-up is a recommendation? No. You wouldn't. So don't shoot me your lineup and ask for thoughts if you haven't read this. If you have and it has players who aren't in here or I clearly state I don't like, then don't expect me to give a favorable response. That doesn't mean you shouldnt follow your gut when it's there. But don't get pissed when I disagree with it!!!!!!!!