Yesterday, hitters did well in my lineups, but I didn’t do a good job pairing pitchers.
Yes, the Jorge de la Rosa advice paid off with an 18.45-point performance. And Mike Fiers, our No. 2 pitcher, went ballistic for 36.5 points in the early games.
Gio Gonzalez and David Price combined for 60.7 fantasy points for the winner of the .25-cent arcade yesterday. Second-place paired Price and Miguel Gonzalez for 58 points.
Pairing a star with a mid-priced sleeper feels like the key to taking down a big tournament, but it’s not exactly easy.
There are a bunch of potential pitchers in play today. I’ll give you my top six then a list of a couple more you should consider.
1. Jason Hammel, $7,400 — Hammel is my top sleeper choice in the mid-priced range. He gets the Brewers, who have struck out a lot and his weighted on-base average matchups both in handedness and at home are favorable.
2. Johnny Cueto, $11,000 — Rostering Cueto isn’t easy today, but he’s pitching lights out and is among the pitchers most likely to win today in the projected lowest-scoring contest. The Braves have been good about not swinging and missing to much this season.
3. Michael Wacha, $8,400 — If Wacha got more strikeouts he’d be elite. Instead he’s just extremely good. Today, he faces the Pirates, who have struck out fifth most this season. That should be good for a few extra points out of Wacha today.
4. Julio Teheran, $8,100 — Another mid-priced option for you is the pitcher on the other side of that ATL-CIN game. The Reds don’t strike out a ton, but Teheran is a good strikeout pitcher and should pitch late into the game.
5. Sonny Gray, $8,400 — Gray’s WHIP indicates there is a negative regression on the way, but everything else points to another big game from Gray against the Rangers.
6. Nathan Karns, $5,500, and Severino Gonzalez, $4,000 — In this last spot I try to give you a basement option. Gonzalez definitely fits that description. He has a 4.50 WHIP and a laughable 23.63 ERA. Unless he made a bad deal with a demon to be the worst pitcher in the history of the universe, he’s going to be better than those numbers and going to be worth more than $4,000. If he puts in a serviceable performance, against one of the most strikeout prone lineups in MLB, you probably cash. There’s also a good chance Giancarlo Stanton goes yard twice and Gonzalez gets lifted after four innings. In a few words I’m going to tell you the Orioles are a decent team to stack today, making Karns a risky play. The Orioles also don’t strike out a bunch. However, Karns will pitch late into the game and has a high strikeout profile. He’s also third on that list, behind only James Shields and Cueto.
Other pitchers to consider: Shields, Joe Kelly, Trevor Bauer.
Lineups to stack
- Minnesota vs. John Danks, especially righties, Brian Dozier, Torii Hunter, Trevor Plouffe and switch-hitter Kennys Vargas
- Houston vs. J.A. Happ, especially Colby Rasmus and George Springer
- Detroit vs. Jeremy Guthrie, especially Anthony Gose, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Alex Avila
- Boston vs. Adam Warren
- Baltimore vs. Karns
- Oakland vs. Yovani Gallardo
At least one of the lists I made has Pittsburgh against Wacha as an option. That stack will be super low-owned and if it connects you win.
If you don’t stack, use hitters from those games, especially the ones with good matchups, to fill out your lineups.
Also consider: SS/OF Hanley Ramirez, 2B/3B Justin Turner, OF Justin Upton, OF Mike Trout, OF Jose Bautista, C/OF Evan Gattis, 1B/3B Miguel Cabrera, 2B Brian Dozier and 1B Justin Morneau.
Get on the hot streak before it’s hot. Hitters with breakout potential (Extremely low batting average on balls in play and a low batting average in the last two weeks): OF David Peralta, batting .190; OF Jay Bruce, .150; 1B/3B Frazier, .233; Wil Myers, .232; Ryan Braun, .250; Trout, .227, Gattis .220; Bautista, 250.