Let’s see if I can turn things around today as I was extremely wrong on that Det-LAA game last night as I would have thought it would have been 12-2 the other way. I hope you did like what I had to say about Eduardo Rodriguez as he put on a show in his debut. Make sure you pay attention to the weather tonight as there seems to be a number of spots that have some rain in the forecast. Lets take a quick look at the game lines and then get into my favorite pitchers and stacks to target for your lineups tonight.
Rockies @ Phillies(-170) 7
Nationals(-140) @ Reds 7.5
Marlins @ Mets(-185) 6.5
Diamondbacks @ Brewers(-135) 8.5
Dodgers @ Cardinals(-125) 7.5
Pirates @ Padres(-115) 6.5
Braves @ Giants(-165) 7
Rays @ Orioles(-125) 8
Red Sox @ Rangers(-125) 9
Blue Jays @ Twins(-115) 9
White Sox @ Astros(-135) 8.5
Yankees @ Athletics(-160) 7
Tigers @ Angels(-120) 8
Indians(-115) @ Mariners 7.5
Matt Harvey, NY Mets (FD $10,700, DK $10,600) – Every time Harvey is pitching on a slate he becomes the top dog. He recently had some arm fatigue and that bears monitoring as it caused the Mets to decide on going with a 6 man rotation for the time being to give their young staff an extra day off along with allowing them to limit some innings for the season. The Mets and Harvey are -185 favorites at home against a Marlins offense that is really struggling. He is the largest favorite on the board tonight.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies (FD $9800, DK $10,200) – Hamels and the Phillies are the second largest favorite tonight as they are sitting at -170 against the Rockies. The ball park scares me a little bit as it is considered a band box and home runs can come in bunches. Hamels has been prone to solo home runs so far in 2015 and will have to work to get by Tulo and Arenado. As long as he can contain those two and possibly somebody like Rosario, I think he is in a great spot tonight and has been pitching unbelievably so far in 2015.
Sonny Gray, Oakland A’s (FD $10,100, DK $9400) – Gray has some questions about him in regards to tonight as he is coming off of a 5 innings performance in which he was pulled after getting hit by a come backer in the 4th inning. He threw a bullpen session and reported no issues with his ankle. If everything is 100% and there is no issue, I think Gray could be the best start of the night as he has been filthy so far this season and the Yankees can rack up the strikeouts. Of course, the Yankees offense is very dangerous as well as they have a lot of pop. I think on FD I like him as the #3 guy behind the two guys above and on DK I think I have him as my favorite play because of his price.
Lance McCullers, Houston Astros (FD $5400, DK $5100) – McCullers picked up his first career ML W last time out against a very dangerous Tigers team and gets to take on a somewhat weak White Sox lineup tonight. McCullers is one of the top prospects in the Astros system, which says a lot because of how highly regarded their farm system is. The Astros and McCullers are -135 favorites but this game does offer one of the higher over/unders of the night at 8.5 runs.
Miguel Gonzalez, Baltimore Orioles (FD $7400, DK $6700) – Gonzalez has pitched 13.1 innings against the Rays so far in 2015 and has allowed just 1 run on 7 hits while striking out 11. I have been on Gonzalez all season and I am not ready to give up on him after having rough starts in 3 of his last 4 (1 of those rough starts still yielded 23.6 DK points). The Rays run out a pretty uninspiring lineup and I think Gonzalez is in an excellent spot to pick up a win even if they are only a -125 home favorite in this one.
James Shields, San Diego Padres (FD $9300, DK $9800) – You will notice that I have the Pirates listed as a stack below, but it comes with some reservations as Shields has been unbelievably elite in the strikeout department so far in 2015, but he is homer prone right now and I think you can make an argument for using Shields on one GPP team and stacking the Pirates on another. He has given up 7 home runs at Petco already this year, but has only allowed 9 runs at home. I think both sides are high risk/high reward.
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals (FD $8400, DK $8900) – I can’t believe I am going to recommend Strasburg right now, however if there was a time to get a pitcher with elite type strikeout potential and get him at what could be 3% or less owned I think tonight is the night. Listen, Strasburg has been horrendous so far this season and that is going to keep the masses away from him. We always want to differentiate ourselves in GPP’s and take some shots in order to win a GPP. The Reds are a very up and down offense and do offer some dangerous weapons but also can be shut down, especially if Votto and Frazier are avoided.
Cleveland Indians: Jason Kipnis (FD $4900, DK $4700), Michael Brantley (FD $4400, DK $4700), Brandon Moss (FD $3300, DK $4200), Lonnie Chisenhall (FD $2600, DK $3700) – The Indians are taking on a struggling Taijuan Walker in this one tonight and I expect their lefties to do a lot of damage. With Carlos Santana on the paternity list, it will be interesting to see what they roll out for a lineup and who is in the number 2 spot. I like David Murphy, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn as well but Murphy is always a candidate to get pinch hit for by Aviles or Raburn.
Houston Astros: George Springer (FD $3900, DK $4900), Jose Altuve (FD $3800, DK $4400), Evan Gattis (FD $4000, DK $4400), Chris Carter (FD $2900, DK $4200) – Tonight might be one of those nights where the Astros righties break out against a rookie left hander who has some control issues. He has also allowed 4 stolen bases in just 22 innings so far this season. The calling card of the Astros so far in 2015 has been power and speed with a low batting average. I am interested in seeing who will be in the 3 spot as Preston Tucker had been hitting 3 but I do not think they will stick the youngster in that spot in a lefty on lefty match-up.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Neil Walker (FD $2700, DK $3200), Andrew McCutchen (FD $4500, DK $4500), Starling Marte (FD $3700, DK $4200) – Initial looks probably have you thinking, really, against James Shields? I know it is not the ideal match-up but Shields has been the most homer prone pitcher in all of baseball so far in 2015 as he has allowed 15 long balls so far, 7 of which have come at the “Pitcher’s Park” that is Petco. He does have elite strikeout numbers so far this season but is being touched up at times and I think this stack makes an interesting contrarian GPP play. I would struggle to use it on efficiency sites (one’s that penalize for strikeouts). I would also include Kang, Alvarez and Polanco.
Minnesota Twins: Brian Dozier (FD $3900, DK $4600), Tori Hunter (FD $3400, DK $4200), Trevor Plouffe (FD $2900, DK $4100) – I think the Twins stack makes an intriguing option going up against Buehrle tonight as it seems like everybody is hitting him so far in 2015 and the Twins are one of the hottest teams in all of baseball. Kurt Suzuki could be included as he has 11 hits in 28 career at bats against Buehrle. When you look at the BvP numbers, you are not blown away and might think that Buehrle will put up a gem but I just do not think he is the same pitcher he had been up until this season and the Twins battle everybody.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
Kolton Wong, St Louis Cardinals
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
Lucas Duda, NY Mets
Andre Ethier, LA Dodgers
Derek Norris, San Diego Padres
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals