At some point last night between the incessant tweeting about the Knicks’ stupidity and the Dallas Keuchel complete game shutout, I was reminded of a great life lesson.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
I’ve spent much of my downtime the last week rewatching all of the hit comedy, “The Office.” My week-long marathon has jogged my memory on some of television’s most brilliant and comedic characters in recent history and I figured I would take all that I could from the show and apply it to this week’s picks article. Typically I’m forced to reference “The Office” merely as a way to describe to others the geographic location of my hometown (I grew up about an hour north of Scranton), but today, I’m going to exploit the show for so much more.
By the way, if you haven’t taken the time to experience the wonders of Steve Carrell and company, please do so.
But back to baseball…
Starting Pitcher: Max Scherzer
Office Character: Michael Scarn – Michael Scott’s brilliant alter ego
This comparison requires that you watched quite a bit of the show, but if you did, I’m sure you might see the similarities. Both Scarn and Scherzer are unorthodox, but they ultimately get the job done. Scherzer has been nothing less than dominant his last two starts and gets an awesome matchup with the Phillies. Scherzer has cut his walk rate in half and he’s striking out an astounding 10.82 hitters per nine innings. He’ll be the most popular play, but you can’t possibly miss out on this opportunity.
Catcher: Brian McCann
Office Character: Mose Schrute
McCann and Mose are similar thanks to their frequent enigma status. One second you’re reveling in a large success, and the next you’re scratching your head at a weak ground ball into the shift on a 3-0 count. Catcher is a typically a very shallow position and McCann frequently finds himself on top thanks to his generous ballpark. He receives a negative park shift moving to Minute Maid Park, but he’ll still be involved in one of the best offensive games on the slate and comes with an accessible price tag.
First Baseman: Prince Fielder
Office Character: Darryl Philbin
Prince and Darryl really resemble each other in my opinion. They’re both big dudes with a solid grasp on authority. You might wonder why I’d recommend Fielder in a matchup with a left-handed pitcher, but here is why. 1) Mark Buehrle doesn’t miss any bats and doesn’t carry any threatening set of platoon splits. 2) Fielder gets a park boost, which is tough since his home games are played at Globe Life Park in Arlington. 3) Fielder, like McCann has an accessible price tag for one of the best offensive games on the slate.
Perhaps you’ll view him as more of a GPP play, but I like Prince tonight.
Second Baseman: Brian Dozier
Office Character: Stanley Hudson
This might seem like an odd pairing, but it fits. Stanley Hudson by all accounts is a great salesman that goes about his job and doesn’t cause too much commotion on a daily basis. The same can be said for Dozier, who plays in a small market but still doles out a lot of damage to opposing pitchers. Typically I try to deploy him against left-handed pitchers, but at a shallow position and a matchup with Kyle Lohse, I’ll take advantage. Lohse has really struggled with home runs this season, allowing almost two per nine innings at this rate. His matchup doesn’t get any easier tonight.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Office Character: Oscar Martinez
I’m going back to the game at the Rogers Centre that has opened up with a total of nine. Reyes sits atop a loaded offense that is always a huge threat when in their home ballpark. Couple that with the fact that the team is facing Nick Martinez who is finally coming back to Earth, and you have yourself a great play. Reyes doesn’t run quite as much as he used to, so he’s lost some upside, but he’s a way to get exposure to an elite offense in a great run scoring environment without too much opportunity cost at shortstop.
Third Baseman: Miguel Cabrera
Office Character: Jim Halpert
I’ve been waiting this whole piece to deploy Jim Halpert, one of the show’s best characters. Halpert is eerily similar to Miggy in my opinion, they both like to have fun and fool around, but they are both really good at their respective jobs. Miggy’s job today will be quite to his liking as he’ll be facing a left-handed pitcher. In his career, Miggy has piled up a .245 ISO and a .416 wOBA against southpaws. Take advantage of him today.
Outfielder: Giancarlo Stanton
Office Character: Dwight Schrute
This was the most oddball of all the comparisons I had to make for today’s piece, but I promise it is there. Subtract the subservient attitude from Dwight and you have Giancarlo. Always prepared, great at his job and a bonafide crusher. Remember when Dwight takes down a computer in sales? Giancarlo crushes baseballs on the reg. They’re both perhaps the best at their respective positions and it gets even better when Giancarlo faces a left-handed pitcher. His home ballpark is spacious, but it doesn’t matter when you hit the ball as far as he does. A career .325 ISO against southpaws? Sign me up.