This week features old men, the animal kingdom, and my embarrassing failed dating history. If that’s not enough to hook you into reading this then you don’t love baseball enough, or don’t take nearly enough joy in the shame of youth. My brother once defined humor as bad things that happen to other people. If that’s the case I think most of what we enjoy about baseball can be boiled down to just that. Feel free to enjoy the humor pitching out on the mound today and laugh as they fail time and again before you realize they still make more money than any of us could hope to in a lifetime for being the butt of our jokes.
A quick overview of the slate shows there are a lot of broken men throwing out little league level fastballs today. I won’t even begin to list all the metrics here, as I’ll get to that as we go, but there’s an embarrassment of riches to go after with hitters today, and not a lot of pitchers you can rely on. There are some weather concerns for the late game in San Francisco unfortunately. That may put a damper on my Jake Lamb takes at the expense of Matt Cain. But don’t worry, Matt Cain will get his next time.
The real issue that has most people talking so far this season is how Coors Field appears to be playing more like Coors Light, am I right?
We have been paying up for Rockies and Padres and Dodgers and it just hasn’t been working out for the most part. There’s always an inflation in price that comes with players swinging bats in the thin air of Denver, but the results have left most of deflated every night. THAT’S BASEBALL! Eventually the ball will start flying out of that park again. It’s science. You can’t argue with science. Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson will come after you with a bat with a nail in it Walking Dead style.
When it comes to cash games, I’m usually on team #FadeCoors. I’d rather pay up for reliable pitching and value bats when it comes to setting a floor in MLB as much as that’s ever possible. I think you still likely have to have some Coors exposure in GPP’s every night to be competitive, but in cash games I’m rarely willing to pay those inflated prices at the expense of having to roll out $7000 pitchers. With that in mind, here’s the cheap bats of the day!
BEN’S BEST BET BARGAIN BASEBALL BRIGADE
I could just write in Austin Hedges (R) SDP or Tony Wolters (L) COL here like everything other schmuck, but that’s not what you came here for. It’s true they will both play for teams with high team totals in mystical Coors Field, but they are both mediocre hitters at their bottom of the order. If it wasn’t in Coors, they’d never be on your radar. When I’m building cash game lineups, I try not to overrate Park factors and focus more on splits and batting order. Forget Coors and its inflated prices that never lead to anything but bloated prices and deflated dreams.
Stephen Vogt (L) OAK vs J. Hammel (R) KC – $3300
In Split wOBA .333 ISO .173
Yan Gomes (R) CLE vs D. Holland (L) CHW – $3200
In Split wOBA .320 ISO .167
Brian McCann (L) HOU vs Y. Gallardo (R) SEA – $3300
In Split wOBA .336 ISO .185
Yasmani Grandal (L) LAD vs J. Lackey (R) CHC – $3400
In Split wOBA .358 ISO .259
You’ve got three candidates here with cheap prices whose metrics aren’t great, but that have the platoon advantage and the even greater advantage of facing a pitcher to FIP splits are among the top three most favourable of the day. Sometimes value is getting a great matchup with a mediocre player.
On the other hand, you get Grandal. A player with great metrics but with a much tougher matchup. Pick your poison.
Eric Thames (L) MIL vs M. Stroman (R) TOR – $3500
In Splits wOBA .332 ISO .190
In a much smaller sample size this season (16 at bats), Thames is an MVP candidate. He’s just recklessly mashing like a prison cook set loose with a hand masher for 200 lbs of peeled potatoes. YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON NO LUMPS! His career numbers are more thame, but he’s an option if you’re saving money at first.
Matt Holliday (R) NYY vs B. Snell (L) TBR – $3800
In Splits wOBA .268 ISO .353
There is something about uncomfortable about this column that belies an unreasonable interest in old men. Matt Holliday used to be dream. Now he’s old and more of a passing thought. That being said, against a young lefty with control issues, he’s a solid play.
Brandon Belt (L) SFG vs S. Miller (R) ARI – $3800
In Splits wOBA .376 ISO .206
Belt gets a top 5 FIP matchup tomorrow versus Shelby. If the Shelby you’re facing isn’t a Mustang, it lacks the horses to be intimidating. No one is scared of a Shelby. Frankly, Ford made a terrible mistake with that name.
Stephen Drew (L) WAS vs M. Leake (R) STL – $2800
In Splits wOBA .362 ISO .257
Second base is the story of damaged goods. Drew is old and broken. A shell of his former middling self. That being said, when he gets the platoon advantage, he’s like Toby Keith:
Not as good as he once was, but he’s as good once, as he ever was.
Cesar Hernandez (S) PHI vs Z. Wheeler (R) NYM – $3500
In Splits wOBA .342 ISO .121
Hernandez on the other hand is the hopeful beneficiary of a broken man. He’s batting leadoff, he can steal a base, and he gets Zach Wheeler on the mound. There was a time Wheeler was considered a great young pitcher with better than a strikeout per inning and a good ground ball rate. Those days are a whole cadaver’s ligament ago. He wears dead people now.
Mike Moustakas (L) KCR vs A. Triggs (R) OAK – $3400
In Splits wOBA .298 ISO .369
Third base, rather than being a geriatric personal ads section, lends itself to the animal kingdom. THERE’S A MOOSE ON THE LOOSE! Literally, a moose just ran down my street a couple days ago. It’s Canada. Seriously though, Mike Moustakas is likely to go on a rager today and tranquilizer guns are not as legal for use on people as they are on the wildlife in my front yard.
Jake Lamb (L) ARI vs M. Cain (R) SFG – $3700
In Splits wOBA .386 ISO .284
As an added bonus, Lamb gets to beat up another old and broken pitcher today if the rain stays away. They are both great for your cash games, and great non-stacking options for your GPP’s to create differentiation. Nothing looks greater in a tournament than a naked Lamb or Moose.
Jordy Mercer (R) PIT vs. A. Garrett (L) CIN – $3200
In Splits wOBA .354 ISO .165
Asdrubal Cabrera (S) NYM vs V. Velasquez (R) PHI – $3800
In Splits wOBA .347 ISO .203
Asdrubal Cabrera on the other hand is kind of exciting. He can hit for the power that few other value priced shortstops can. That he is cheaper than Jose Reyes is embarrassing. If you use an optimizer, don’t let it screw up your Mets stack with the wrong SS.
Matt Joyce (L) OAK vs. J. Hammel (R) KCR – $2700
In Splits wOBA .378 ISO .228
I’m so in the tank for Matt Joyce. I should really have his face tattooed on somewhere. I used to have a thing for a girl named Joyce in college. I put my heart on myself and she just smiled and kind of said, “Okay…” and that was the end of that. Forget that Joyce. I’m happily married with a way more amazing wife. YOU MISSED OUT JOYCE! Matt Joyce on the other hand is always there for me. He’s always SO cheap and his splits are always SO good. So long as he keeps hitting top of the order (2nd) against RHP he’ll be a staple of my cash game lineups.
Andrew Toles (L) LAD vs J. Lackey (R) CHC – $2800
In Splits wOBA .381 ISO .175
Ask not for whom the bell toles, for the bell toles for thee. – John Donne
Brandon Guyer (R) CLE vs D. Holland (L) CHW – $3500
In Splits wOBA .389 ISO .196
Derek Holland could be out throwing BP for a high school somewhere. Instead he’ll toss out hanging breaking balls to members of the Cleveland baseball team all day.
Nomar Mazara (L) TEX vs J. Chavez (R) LAA – $3500
In Splits wOBA .351 ISO .195
Did I miss a memo that EVERY failing pitcher was going to up on the same day? The list just goes on and on with Holland, Wheeler, Jimenez, Hammel, Chavez, Gallardo, Miller, and Cain. There will be some high scores today folks.
Blake Snell (L) TBR vs NYY – $7300
The Yankees lineup doesn’t scare anyone without Gary Sanchez. They are old, flabby, and punchless minus the aforementioned Matt Holliday. If he gets wild and walks everyone with the worst walk rate on the slate for a SP then, you get what you get. Otherwise, he could have a great day against a team with no threats.
BEN’S HOUSE OF PANCAKES
There’s not much more Canadian that maple syrup on a tall stack on pancakes, so here are your daily stacks ranked in order of deliciousness and desirability.
Blueberry Buttermilk with Maple Syrup
Detroit Tigers vs Kyle Gibson (R) MIN
(Castellanos, Cabrera, Upton, Collins – Martinez & Kinsler also viable)
Colorado Rockies vs Zach Lee (R) SDP
(Arenado, Story, Blackmon, Reynolds – LeMahieu & Gonzalez also viable)
Chocolate Chips with Whipped Cream
Cleveland vs Derek Holland (L) CHW
(Encarnacion, Perez, Guyer, Ramirez)
Boston Red Sox vs Ubaldo Jimenez (R) BAL
(Benintendi, Betts, Pedroia, Ramirez)
Plain Homemade with Butter Flavored Syrup
New York Mets vs Vincent Velasquez (R) PHI
(Bruce, Cespedes, Granderson, Conforto, Cabrera)
Houston Astros vs. Yovani Gallardo (R) SEA
(Altuve, Correa, Beltran, Springer)
Aunt Jemima with No-Name Sugar-Free Syrup
LA Dodgers vs John Lackey (R) CHC
(Seager, Turner, Grandal, Pederson, Toles)
Oakland Athletics vs Jason Hammel (R) KCR
(Joyce, Healy, Davis, Vogt)
Texas Rangers vs. Jesse Chavez (R) LAA
(Mazara, Napoli, Odor, Lucroy)
As mentioned before, there are a lot of bad pitchers to take advantage of today, and some great platoon splits to help the process along. I’m expecting pretty high scores even if Cespedes doesn’t hit another three homeruns tonight. Enjoy your baseball friends!