Baseball

DAILY FANTASY LEAGUES REVIEW FOR SATURDAY

Saturday, 30 August, 2014

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Daily fantasy leagues are starting to become the new fascination. They offer what participants in money leagues want and that’s the opportunity to cash in one day. A few times a week I’ll give a take on high reward guys to put in your lineup on specific days. The goal will be to look for blue chip salary cap guys that can give you a chance to boost your lineups.

Today we will go off of Fanduel.com’s MLB game for Saturday. To win in these style of leagues typically requires grouping together multiple players from one team. Predicting a team that is going to score a lot of runs means success for several guys on one team. Here are a few teams that you can group together for your fanduel rosters.

Here are a few guys I believe will be high reward players for their salaries Saturday.

Marlins position players and Jarred Cosart
Miami has been in a bind as of late, dropping some costly road trip games against Colorado, the Angels, and the first game against Atlanta. Still they’re in position to recover if they can win these next few games against Atlanta. Cosart has been phenomenal for the fish and was the catalyst in their last win in Anaheim. I’d expect Miami’s bats to step up a bit against Aaron Harang. Last month Aaron Harang gave up seven hits, with two walks, and two runs against the Marlins. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I’d expect players like Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Casey McGhee to be low value high reward guys today.

Pittsburgh’s lineup
Pittsburgh seems to reappear and disappear in Criss Angel fashion up and down the standings. Right now they’re on the up swing as they’re putting the final dagger to the Reds playoff chances. They’ve won six of their last eight games and look to continue that tonight against the Reds. Alfredo Simon for the Reds went seven innings in his last start against the Braves. He is typically a five inning type of pitcher. Before his last outing he had only pitched seven innings once out of eight starts. I like the way Pittsburgh is coming together as a team and expect them to rattle Simon out a bit early. We all know the documented woes with Cincinnati’s ever-struggling bullpen.

Others: Baltimore and Mets

MLB FIRST FIVE INNINGS FREE PLAY

Wednesday, 27 August, 2014

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Today’s first five innings free play comes in the Reds versus Cubs. Yesterday saw a 3-0 underdog win from the Cubs over the Reds. Today’s starters are Matt Latos and Jacob Turner. Many are going to eye Turner’s name and automatically side with the Reds or the over. Against fifteen or twenty different MLB teams I would agree. But not against the Reds.

The lineup has hit a wall once again after seeming to come to life just a few weeks ago. They’re just not getting any hits or getting on base. Yesterday they saw solid looks from Travis Wood but could not get any hits. They had three on the day and were consistently hitting into fly ball outs.

I expect Matt Latos to have a strong comeback today after having a rough outing a week ago in Colorado. The Cubs bats take a major hit with Anthony Rizzo out today with a back injury suffered yesterday.

With Jacob Turner his stint in Miami was filled with inconsistency. He had two different stretches in which he was a part of the Marlins starting rotation. His woes in May were what cost him his rotation spot. But when he was called to duty in late July with Alvarez and Cosart missing starts he filled in admirably. Against Houston and Atlanta he got a win allowing just three runs in both starts.

The problem with Turner is he can’t be a rotation starter at this point in his career. Starting for his third and last time as a Marlin he had a rough game against the Reds. That is where we see the high price value today on Latos.

Off of relief outings as a Cub I expect Turner to be comfortable tonight in his normal four to five innings on the mound. That’s his maximum and is why I suggest taking the under tonight of 4 in the first five innings.

Good luck and take a look at today’s other premium plays under today’s picks.

MLB FREE PLAY TOTAL: MARLINS VS A’S

Monday, 25 August, 2014

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Miami is coming off a disheartening series in Colorado. They lost in heart break fashion two nights ago after grabbing a top of the ninth go-ahead run. A blown save by Steve Cishek sent the game into extra innings where the Marlins eventually lost. That game could have put the Marlins two games ahead of .500 and gained on the wild card as the Giants and Braves also lost.

Instead it derailed them as they got off to a poor start yesterday against the Rockies and lost again. That’s how fast things can change.

This is a crucial interleague series for them. Cosart heads to the mound today for Miami and Wade LeBlanc the former Miami pitcher does so for the Angels.

Cosart has been impressive since coming to Miami, and has turned into the 1-2 punch behind Alvarez as Eovaldi continues to struggle. Even though Miami lost yesterday they had 7 extra base hits last night (season high) against the Rockies. Unfortunately for them a lot of those came with 2 outs and no runners on.

Strong money is on the Angels side tonight and maybe rightfully so. In July before being traded to Miami, Cosart had a sky high ERA. A new setting has calmed that but how long will it hold for?

The only other time the Marlins travel this far west is against the Dodgers. You’d have to wonder the mental affects of losing in Colorado and traveling further west to play the Angels tonight. I’m sure Mike Redmond will have a few non-regular bats in the lineup that may struggle the first few times at the plate.

Cosart is effective enough in the first five to like the under in this situation. I surely don’t want to trust the bullpens especially the Marlins who have used it quite a bit lately.

Grab the first five under tonight.

FIRST FIVE MLB FREE TOTAL

Monday, 18 August, 2014

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Today’s free total comes in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals matchup. Arizona has actually had a successful road trip in Cleveland and Miami pitching wise. Which is a surprise considering the struggles the staff had for the month of July and early August.

Don’t let their recent success fool you. They faced two teams in the Indians and Marlins that had been struggling mightily at the plate, especially the Indians. That series also featured a double header due to a rain out. Miami finally got going against Josh Collmenter yesterday and carried that over into pummeling the Diamondbacks bullpen.

The juice of -233 doesn’t please me enough to take the Nationals but I do like the over in the first five innings of this matchup. It’s just 3.5 because of Nuno’s latest strong performance and Zimmerman’s command all year.

Arizona has been getting on base plenty of times but failing to score runs. Against the Marlins they did score three first inning runs against Brad Hand and had several base runners on against Alvarez, and bases loaded against Tommy Koehlher yesterday.

They’re bound to get some runs plated across. Take the first five over.

MLB FREE TOTALS PLAY PHILLIES VS GIANTS

Saturday, 16 August, 2014

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The total on the Phillies vs Giants is 7.5. Rather than rely on the bullpen we are going to take a look at the first five innings in this one. This outing is a bit of a redemption marker for Tim Hudson.

In a day game on July 24th, Hudson lost on 2 unearned runs that proved to be the difference. Tim pitched well in his last start before giving up a solo shot in the fifth followed by a couple more runs in the 7th.

This Giants team is just not hitting the ball well. There is no getting around that. Similar to the other bay team, Oakland, they are just not producing runs for their pitchers. Kyle Kendrick should have the type of stuff to get around the Giants lineup twice without allowing more than a couple of runs.

Last night bettors that had the under lost on an unfortunate couple of sequences. Two on and a three run shot from the Giants in the 3rd inning, and a two run shot from the Phillies in the eighth. That won’t be the result today. Take the under on 3.5 runs today.

MLB WILD CARD NL CHASE

Wednesday, 13 August, 2014

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While MLB pundits want to chase the AL wild card race because it has the media spotlight teams (Yanks, Red Sox, etc), I’ll focus on the NL wild card. There are several teams bunched together that are going opposite ways. San Francisco, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Miami, and even the up and coming San Diego Padres are all bunched together in a tight NL wild card race.

Up atop currently is the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have been defeating teams in late July/August series to gain ground on the struggling Giants and Braves. They’ve done it with a spark provided by losing their star Andrew McCutchen in the series against Arizona. They’ve had following success against the Marlins and the Tigers.

San Francisco on the other hand has been in a well documented tail spin since starting the first month and a half of the season sharp. At their current rate it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them continue to drop. Pitching has deteriorated for them and the continual issues with getting runs has not waned.

The Reds are a team that likely would be much further ahead than they are if they were completely healthy. But they have just had enough success with their starting pitchers to keep rolling along especially with the Giants and Braves sliding.

Atlanta has a similar story as the Giants. They looked the part for a fair stretch of the season. Their accruement of veteran pitchers worked in spots but the lack of finesse hitting has hurt them dearly. They’re unable to get consecutive hits strung together and strikeout at too high of a rate.

St. Louis has tried to acquire the magic they perceive to be better options. Thus far Justin Masterson looks to be just as rusty as he finished in Cleveland. Their lineup seems to be too aged for success as they’re lacking home run ability which has stopped several threats with RISP.

That leaves the Marlins and Padres. I’ve mentioned the Marlins several times as my darkhorse candidate and now the door is fully open for them. They’ve managed to dodge several issues with their pitching staff and extra-inning losses. At the plate they’re one of the streakiest teams in baseball and right now they’ve come together collectively to hit the ball well. The only regular starter that may need to be taken out is Garrett Jones. He has had a few errors at first base and has brought next to nothing for the team at the plate.

Atlanta and San Francisco have the prestige of being renowned. Pittsburgh would be a great story but has felt short before. That would leave Cincinnati which if healthy probably should be the favorite. They have great all around pitching, lead the MLB in defense, and have just enough hitting to win games.