MLB DFS: Rapper’s Delight
It feels like a lot of time has passed since the last time I listed a bunch of baseball players accompanied by a bunch of horribly inaccurate pop culture comparisons, but I’m sure glad to be doing it again. I’ve led you down a windy road through golden television series, and mediocre Adam Sandler movies, but today I wanted to be a bit more time sensitive.
Recently the buzz around the internet surrounds the releasing of Straight Outta Compton– the film about the rise of NWA – and the millions of varieties of memes mimicking the movies cover poster. As a hat tip to the success of the recent film, and the rapper’s that made it possible, this week I’ve decided to match each MLB player with an appropriate rapper.
Disclaimer: I know nothing about rappers, or rap music.
Catcher – Buster Posey
Rapper – L.L. Cool J
What makes these two alike? I literally have no clue. Posey though, is calm, cool and collected at the plate, and will be looking to feast on left-hander Jeff Locke much like he has to other southpaws in his career (.234 ISO, .402 wOBA). The park shift isn’t much in his favor, but something is better than nothing. It would have been too easy to simply nod in the direction of the catchers in Coors Field, Posey will be an underowned, but productive asset.
First Baseman – Lucas Duda
Rapper – Notorious B.I.G.
Again, really no reason these two go together, aside from the fact that Lucas Duda is a big, lumbering dude. He’s cooled down some from the torrid stretch he had where he hit nothing but home runs, but he gets the big time park boost facing Jon Gray in Coors Field. While Duda has improved drastically this season to neutralize his splits a bit, he’s historically been much better against right-handed pitching, sporting a career .224 ISO and .363 wOBA. Jon Gray has been really good in a limited sample size, but it’s a nice spot in Coors Field.
Second Baseman – Brian Dozier
Rapper – Too $hort
I was told Dozier was similar to Too $hort because he’s short and he DGAF. After googling Too $hort, because those of my youth have never heard of him, I found his badassery was comparable to Dozier’s, so I left him here. Dozier gets a nice matchup with flyball oriented southpaw Wie-Yin Chen in a road game at Camden Yards. Chen has improved on his groundball percentage this season, but he’s still yielding about one and a half home runs per nine innings. Couple that with the fact that Dozier has a lifetime .227 ISO against left-handers, and you have your top second baseman.
Shortstop – Carlos Correa
Rapper – Jay Z
Smooth. It’s the only thing that I can use to compare these two. Carlos Correa is just wrapping up his first season in the big leagues, and he’s already a top five shortstop in the league, frequently finding himself amongst the best DFS targets at the position. On a day with a ton of pitching options, it’s even more difficult to find plays at positions with such a shallow viable player pool. Correa has mashed lefties in his short stint in the bigs and will have the opportunity to work against Brett Anderson at home tonight. Anderson has been serviceable this year, but there aren’t many other opportunities at shortstop tonight.
Third Baseman – Nolan Arenado
Rapper – Eminem
It’s been some time since I last rostered Nolan Arenado, as he’s lost some punch on the left side of the infield and might have caught “the sads” with the loss of Troy Tulowitzki. Nevertheless, he’s had a fantastic season and gets the fastball heavy Bartolo Colon in the sweet, sweet air in Denver. Colon pitches to contact – he won’t strike out many guys, and he doesn’t put anyone on via the walk, so you’re going to have to beat him straight up with the bat. He’s yielded a little over a home run per nine innings, but a lot of his innings take place at Citi Field. The Rockies will be a popular stack option tonight and it makes sense to grab some exposure at a premium position.
Outfield – Adam Jones
Rapper – 2pac or Tupac (whichever you prefer)
I like this one, because I actually own some Tupac songs, and I think Adam Jones is due for a “2pac” of home runs off Tommy Milone. A common theme of this piece has been picking on guys that feast on the opposing handedness and Jones fits in perfectly. In back to back seasons, Jones has posted a wOBA over .400 against southpaws while posting ISO’s north of .250. He’s routinely underowned, and underpriced, so take advantage.
Starting Pitcher – Chris Sale
Rapper – Ice Cube
In all honesty, Chris Sale could have been just about any rapper, but Ice Cube has that eternal “get outta my face” look, and Sale is very mean to hitters. He’s coming off an incredible performance against the Cubbies where he dazzled with just about anything he threw to the plate. He’s getting a nice park shift as he heads to Safeco Field, and he’ll be attacking a lineup with some solid left-handed bats that he quickly neutralizes. He’s got the best strikeout stuff in all of baseball (11.90 K/9) and on any given night has the potential to break the DFS scoring barrier with some absurd performance. It should be one hell of a pitcher’s duel between him and King Felix – I’m looking forward to it.