Tomorrow, April 3, will be the 22 year anniversary of the John Hughes film “Beethoven” being released in the United States. For anyone who doesn’t remember that particular piece of cinema, here is the trailer. Warning: it is so 90’s it hurts.
Jose Reyes to the disabled list, Melky Cabrera to leadoff
Another hamstring issue has sidelined the Toronto Blue Jays shortstop, though that has opened up the top of the lineup for Melky Cabrera. After placing Reyes on the 15-day DL, Melky was the man to get the leadoff spot. He managed to crack two singles and come around to score a run. Melky is owned in nearly 70% of CBS formats but his ownership rates in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues are both lower than 30%. Just because Melky isn’t elite in any one category doesn’t mean that chipping into each of the main five categories every now and then isn’t helpful.
Poor velocity, poor results from CC Sabathia
A 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio is where the good news ends for Sabathia’s start yesterday. He allowed a pair of home runs and a total of six runs were debited to him. I suppose nine swinging strikes isn’t bad either, but when facing the Houston Astros, swings-and-misses are awfully common. According to Brooksbaseball.net, CC’s fastball sat at 90.6 mph and never touched 92, peaking at 91.6. The continued slowing of his radar gun readings has gone from “concerning” to “alarming” as his ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA are all on a three-year rise. In my book, Sabathia went from “automatic starter” to “match up guy” midway through last season. Whether or not he stays that way or works himself back into form remains to be seen. On a random note, Sabathia’s player page number is 404 and his velocity is not found. If you laughed at that, congrats, you’re a nerd too.
A lineup swap in Philadelphia
For the first time in nearly six seasons, Ryan Howard started a game and did not hit fourth for the Philadelphia Phillies. Rather than his customary cleanup spot, Howard was penciled in at the fifth spot in favor of Marlon Byrd. Going forward, expect Byrd to bat fourth when the Phillies face a left-handed starter. Howard’s struggles against same-handed pitching are well documented, however this is the first time a lineup shuffle has occurred to try and address those struggles. When facing an opposite-handed starter one can expect Howard to return to his normal cleanup slot.
Outfielder: Andrew McCutchen — $4,400
McCutchen is amazing in just about any style of points league, but with his power and speed, he can really shine in DraftKings settings.
Other hitter: Shin-Soo Choo — $4,300
Choo hits considerably better against righties and the Rangers go up against a righty in Kyle Kendrick that has a career 4.80 K/9. I love Choo to have a big day today, as should most of the Rangers lineup.
Starter 1: Hiroki Kuroda — $8,300
It seems expensive for someone who doesn’t generate a ton of strikeouts, but facing the Astros lineup is when so-so strikeout pitchers really crank up the K’s. Last year the Astros could have created a wind farm from all of their swings and misses.
Starter 2: Mark Buehrle — $6,100
This is more of a budget pick than something I really love. Buehrle isn’t great at anything, nor is he awful at anything. Very “meh” from a fantasy perspective. I just couldn’t justify spending $9,900 or $9.800 on Tony Cingrani and Gio Gonzalez respectively. Go with the cheaper Buehrle and hope for the best.
Remaining Budget: $22,600 on five roster spots
You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.