Playing Hardball: Early & Late MLB Action on Weekends

Featuring picks and comments by Rob Dudek
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Every Saturday, there are afternoon baseball games. Three have a 1:05 Eastern start today, four more begin between 4:05 and 4:15, and eight are slated for the evening. If you join leagues that close at 7:10, you’re missing out on some excellent players. The split starts mean twice as many chances to win in daily leagues; I enter multiple teams in both early and late events.

There was another rainout on Friday, with the Indians at Royals postponed. It was too bad if you used one or more KC righthanded bats against Scott Kazmir and didn’t have time to replace them, but that opportunity exists again today.

It’s always free to join DraftStreet and you can start in free leagues. Then make a deposit — use the code SHHOOP to get a 30% bonus — and choose your level of play, from $2 entry fees up to $420. Good luck!

Best Bets (Pitchers)

CC SabathiaThe safe play is C.C. Sabathia ($16,998) even though Toronto has some righty power. The big lefty is 13-4 with a 2.98 ERA lifetime against the Jays and has been especially tough the last four years. Jose Bautista is 1-for-19 against him with eight strikeouts and even the scorching-hot Edwin Encarnacion ($8,080) has never taken him deep.

Felix Hernandez ($17,093) is the most expensive and has the regal reputation. However, he left his last start after six innings with some back tightness, so there is some downside risk.

Matt Moore ($16,843) has done almost everything right so far (4-0, 1.04 ERA) and does have big-game potential. Rob cautions that the White Sox have a few dangerous RH bats and is looking elsewhere at this price.

If it’s value you seek, Derek Holland ($12,153) has been steady this season and can neutralize the Twins’ lefty power.

Live Longshots (Pitchers)

Who is Jonathan Pettibone? He’s the 6’6” righthander who made his major-league debut on Monday, keeping the Phillies tied into the sixth inning. That earned him another start, and the Mets managed just three hits last night off Kyle Kendrick. We aren’t predicting a complete game shutout, but at $7,980 you can use Pettibone, Holland and one of the aces without ruining your cap room for hitters.

Dudek calls Wily Peralta ($9,747) “…a classic speculative play. Relatively cheap, could be great, a favorable ballpark and the Dodgers are now without Mark Ellis.”

Barry Zito ($10,746) got lit up in his only other road start but has been excellent at home, with a zero ERA through 21 IP. Tonight in San Diego — a similar ballpark — he might shut down the Padres again.

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