Featuring picks and comments by Rob Dudek
Thursday is relatively quiet in MLB, with only eight scheduled games and more weather issues looming. You can make some money by staying on top of cancellations and/or last-minute lineup changes. There’s also a pitching change for the White Sox that could be a lucrative opportunity.
DS leagues that close at 1:05 Eastern include the Jays and Tigers, who combined for 14 runs yesterday after a long delay. It will be cold and wet (again) if they are able to complete the series. The Giants visit the Cubs, where last night’s game was rained out. Today’s forecast is slightly better in Chicago and if the game is played it could be high-scoring; lefty bats from both teams will especially dangerous against a pair of righties who did not impress in their first starts.
That leaves six games in leagues closing at 7:05, with the Yankees and Indians expecting to see quite a lot of rain. While it could be wet in Boston and Washington DC as well, those games are not as likely to be postponed.
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Best Bets (Pitchers)
It’s a quirk of the schedule that a lot of fourth and fifth starters are on the mound, with two notable exceptions.
Rob loves Felix Hernandez ($14,905) tonight. “That’s a low price for a premier arm — and the Rangers were just shut down by lefty Matt Moore and the Rays pen. The only issue for Felix is how deep they will let him go this early in the year.”
More expensive but well worth it, Zack Greinke ($17,067) “has excellent conditions for a high score: the Padres’ offense in an extreme pitchers park.” It’s worth trying what Dudek calls a “low variance play” of the two aces and a RP; Tom Wilhelmsen ($1,941) could follow King Felix for the save or Brandon League ($1,766) might finish for the Dodgers, though he did pitch last night.
In one of those games with two good pitchers at reasonable prices, it’s helpful if you can pick the winning team. A.J. Griffin “might be the best of the young Athletics pitchers and would be an easy choice if he weren’t facing a talented Angels lineup. Still, $10,873 makes him a bit undervalued, especially since it is slim pickings for SP tonight.” His mound opponent Jason Vargas ($10,622) scattered eight hits against the Rangers in Texas and allowed just one run, so either could earn the coveted W.
Best Bets (Hitters)
Bryce Harper ($10,392) hit another HR last night. Adam Jones ($9,389) has been locked in all season. Neither faces as scary mound opponent and both should stay hot. The caveat is weather — I’d be more confident about using them in 7:05 leagues after a last-minute check of the radar maps. To be successful in daily leagues in April, it helps to be an amateur meteorologist.
Coco Crisp ($8,188) has never been better. He’s hitting ropes from both sides of the plate and that’s an attractive price for a power-speed combination. He will eventually cool off — his aggressive baserunning and outfield play leads to injuries minor and major — but is a classic “hot hand” selection.