- Kendrys Morales: Roving Outfielder
- The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
- Daily DFS
- SaberSim Observations
- Tomorrow’s Targets
- Factor Grid
1. Kendrys Morales: Roving Outfielder
Let’s begin the week (yesterday doesn’t count) by highlighting Royals batman Kendrys Morales. If you simply gaze at the surface stats, you’ll think “oh, he’s having a normal season.” Not so fast. While his .264/.327/.473 season slash is typical, it’s really been a tale of two seasons.
He began with two terrible months. Through May 30, he hit .187/.258/.310 with five home runs (.208 BABIP). Since homering on the last day of May, he’s hitting .387/.440/.736 with 10 home runs (.425 BABIP). To put the homer binge in perspective, the hot streak is about 75 plate appearances shorter than the cold streak.
Obviously, just from checking out the BABIP alone, we can expect somewhere between the April-May and June performances. Because the Royals were desperate for his offense, he stayed in the lineup during a couple recent interleague series. First baseman Eric Hosmer is the other notable bat in the Royals lineup which left Morales playing right field. He made his required five starts for Yahoo, CBS, and Ottoneu eligibility.
Presently, Morales has five home runs in the last five days. Obviously he won’t keep up the pace, but he can now help your lineup at multiple positions (depending on the league).
2. The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
TDG regular jfud81 won yesterday’s holiday freebie. Jerad Eickhoff, Rougned Odor, and Kris Bryant were his top performers. Today is a DraftKings day. We’ll do our usual $2 and 30 users for the evening contest.
3. Daily DFS
Early: The Cubs are hosting the Reds for one of those solitary Wrigley games. Sorry for ya.
Late: That puts everybody else in a late slate headlined by Madison Bumgarner versus the Sea Level Rockies. The other aces are Carlos Carrasco (Tigers) and David Price (Rangers). I’m not a fan of either matchup, although the DraftKings price on Price ($9.500) is tempting.
Sean Manaea looked sharper in his return from the disabled list last week. Manaea isn’t likely to throw more than six innings. The last time he faced the Twins, he tossed six innings with one run and eight strikeouts. I see no reason he can’t repeat the feat. He should receive run support opposite Tommy Milone.
Speaking of run support, if the Rays can’t hit Tim Lincecum, they should begin their rebuild immediately. Jake Odorizzi is the beneficiary of all those theoretical runs. As long as he can avoid The Big Fish, then he should do fine versus the L.A. Trout.
Mike Foltynewicz, a guy I still insist should be a middle reliever, has the much ballyhooed Phillies matchup. His return from the disabled list last week only lasted three innings.
Stack Targets: Zach Eflin, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Young, Milone, Zack Godley, Wei-Yin Chen, Christian Friedrich, Mike Leake, Steven Brault, Zach Davies, A.J. Griffin, Lincecum, Tyler Chatwood, R.A. Dickey, Dallas Keuchel
4. SaberSim Observations
The clock on the wall says three o’clock. Meanwhile, SaberSim says Bumgarner, Carrasco, Price, Carlos Rodon (Yankees), and Gio Gonzalez (Brewers) are the top projected pitchers today. Which do you believe?
Stacks of destiny include les Bleu Jays, Sox Rouges, Athletiques, Astronautiques, et Pirates. It turns out Pirates is the same word in english and french. Why french? You’ll have to ask the clock on the wall.
5. Tomorrow’s Targets
Pitchers to Start: I’ve been trying to solve the mystery of Marcus Stroman all season. At his best, Stroman lives off a tumbling sinker – not dissimilar to Dallas Keuchel. Having watched a handful of his starts, it seems as though he isn’t getting the most favorable calls he received in the past. His command also seems to have taken a half step backwards. Rather than manifesting in a higher walk rate, he’s making mistakes over the plate. The stuff remains tremendous, but he may need to ease off the sinker.
Stroman draws the Royals tomorrow. An image search of “Royals drawings” revealed this not-drawing of stone cold Raul.
Also consider: Jeremy Hellickson
Pitchers to Exploit: A contest for most replacement level pitcher would obviously be won by Justin Nicolino. It is the stated goal of every replacement level specialist to record every out via ball in play. With just 16 percent of plate appearances ending at the dish, Nicolino is the King of BIP. Tyler Wilson is the prince (18 percent non-BIP) while Mike Pelfrey is the jack of clubs (19 percent non-BIP). Nicolino draws the Mets.
For the curious, I’m pretty sure Jose Fernandez ends the most plate appearances without a BIP.
Hitters (power): Brandon Guyer recently returned to the Rays lineup, and he’s playing every day. Guyer has a piddling .204/.283/.354 line versus right-handed pitching, but I throw the splits out the window versus Weaver. Guyer should have run production opportunities while batting fifth.
Hitters (speed): Get Janky with it via Travis Jankowski. The Padres leadoff man should have a shot at multiple stolen bases versus Shelby and Friends. He has 12 steals in 183 plate appearances.
6. The Factor Grid
The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.
Perhaps you thought there were a lot of home runs this season. This is just the beginning. Check out the weather factors for today. They’ll stay this way through most of August.
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