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After turning twenty-two years old earlier this week (send birthday cards) I let my mind begin down the never-ending spiral staircase that mimics the evolution of life. No, I’m not talking about  microadaptation or Social Darwinisim, but about the journey upon which the course of life takes you. As a result, I started thinking about the path I’ve seen others take. The thought trail stumbled me on the journey of Ted Mosby to find love and all the adventures that followed. I’ve frequently been compared to Ted Mosby and I’ve never really understood it. Sure, we share devilishly handsome good looks and a knack for impressing the ladies, but really, that’s about it.

Perhaps the following comparisons are a little more in line.

Catcher – Russell Martin
HIMYM Character – Ranjit

Ranjit and Martin are in similar situations. Both of them are integral parts of their “team” (without Ranjit, the gang wouldn’t get where they wanted to go) but they sort of hang out in the shadows. Martin is overshadowed by the much more powerful offensive forces that surround him in a lineup full of baseball mashers, but as a result, he gets plenty of quality opportunities to hit. The Blue Jays are back at home ready to face off against recently traded Matt Boyd, who is probably going to wish that he was still a Jay for this game. The Jays have an implied runs total hovering in the mid-fives, and Martin has been noticeably better against left-handers this season (.229 ISO and .402 wOBA). His salary is accessible and he’s going to hit in a lineup that you’ll want to have exposure to.

Let Russell make the difference in…. cash games.


First Baseman – Prince Fielder
HIMYM Character – Marshall Eriksen’s Brothers

I tried to think of the biggest, baddest dude that ever appeared on How I Met Your Mother, but typically the largest guy in the shot was Marshall, who wasn’t tough enough to be Prince. Prince often goes forgotten, but he’s playing a pivotal role for a team that has come out of nowhere trying to get into the playoffs. His power numbers still aren’t there, but everything else is trending upwards. He’ll be swinging it with an accessible price tag in the middle of a lineup pegged to do some damage against a flyball pitcher in Kevin Gausman (1.23 HR/9). I think a lot of people will gravitate towards the bigger standout names in the first basemen list, so…

Let Prince make the difference in… GPPs.


Second Baseman – Scooter Gennett
HIMYM Character – Scooter (Lilly’s old boyfriend)

This was really fitting and perhaps the closest comparison I’ve ever tried to make because they actually share the same name. The best part about Scooter Gennett is the value he provides with the potential for a premium spot in the order (hopefully leadoff) in a good ballpark. He isn’t going to blow you away with any staggering numbers, but he has been serviceable in his time as a big leaguer against right-handed pitchers, posting a .349 wOBA and a .160 ISO in his short time in the league. This play is more or less about grabbing value at a shallow position with not many options so that you can spend where you need to.

Let Scooter make the difference in…cash games.


Shortstop – Troy Tulowitzki
HIMYM Character – Barney Stinson

At another point in time, this comparison made a whole lot more sense, as just a short time ago Tulo was the “bees knees” and the sexiest shortstop on the planet. He’ll have some work cut out for him to potentially ever reclaim that title from Carlos Correa, but for the day, he deserves it. It’s going to be really hard for you not to just default and enter Tulowitzki into all of your lineups at shortstop today because of his lineup position, the lack of options at shortstop and his accessible price tag. Oh, not to mention he’s facing a left-hander in a great ballpark. It’s a bit too early in Matt Boyd‘s career to insult his ability, but so far he’s giving up 2.35 HR/9 and he’s not missing any bats. I could tell you that he’s giving up a lot of hard contact and a ton of flyballs, but it doesn’t really matter because you’ve probably already inserted Tulo into your lineup. Good choice.

Let Tulo make the difference in…cash games.


Third Baseman – Anthony Rendon
HIMYM Character – Lilly Aldrin

No, I’m not comparing these two because I think Anthony Rendon looks like a girl. Both Lilly and Rendon share a similar role in their respective “shows.” Lilly is great, but people aren’t watching because of her humor or character flaws and Rendon is an excellent player, but people aren’t coming to the park to watch him, they want to see Bryce Harper. Rendon hasn’t shown quite the success I was hoping for against left-handed pitchers so far this season (.056 ISO against southpaws…eek) but I think sliding him in against them is a +EV move. Barring any strange Matt Williams moves, he should be near the top of the order squaring off against Adam Conley in a game where the Nationals offense should go under the radar. The Nats offense has been bad, but they are finally healthy, and they’ve shown some flashes of brilliance recently. Rendon provides salary relief and fills in nicely as a secondary option to auto-pick Josh Donaldson. The Nats are heavy favorites with a team total sitting comfortably over four.

Let Rendon make the difference in…GPPs.


Outfield – Jose Bautista
HIMYM Character – Marshall Eriksen

I didn’t want to default to Joey Bats, but it had to be done. I’m expecting a complete onslaught of former Jay Matt Boyd tonight, and while everyone else will be dipping their toes into the water with Blue Jays tonight, the price tag might keep them off of Bautista. I say bad move, because Bautista is more than ready for this matchup. I already made note of the reasons to pick on Matt Boyd (home run prone, doesn’t miss a lot of bats, etc) and Joey fits right into the mold. He’ll be right in the thick of things as the third hitter in the order and his price tag isn’t so outrageous that you can’t find a way to fit him in. While it’s been a down year in the average and on-base departments, Bautista has actually increased his ISO by 39 points over last year (.239 to .278). He’s going to trot around the bases at least once tonight.

Let Joey Bats make the difference in…GPPs.


Starting Pitcher – Clayton Kershaw
HIMYM Character – Ted Mosby

I saved the best for last with this final comparison, pitting the best in the game, against the most fun-hearted, loving guy on the show, Ted Mosby. I know I don’t really need to explain why you’d want to roster Kershaw against the Cubs, but allow me to at least make one point. Regardless of salary, Kershaw’s 11.29 K/9 versus the Cubs lofty, league-leading 24.2 K% smells like a lot of fantasy points. I know you’ll be finding every way possible to make your way into and out of cash game lineups without using him and focusing on perhaps better values, but the sky is the limit for Kershaw tonight. The price tag is high, but let me remind you of the volatility of paying for hitters as opposed to pitchers. We can reasonably predict the type of game Kershaw will throw tonight (scary thought for Cubs fans…yikes, I’m a Cubs fan) but it’s harder to gauge an accurate prediction on what might happen with even the best bats tonight. Put the guy in at least one of your tournament lineups.

Let Kershaw make the difference in…GPPs.

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