Playing Hardball: It’s Sunday, Let’s Play Two

Featuring picks and comments by Rob Dudek
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Baseball leagues start early on the weekend. There are 16 MLB games, including a doubleheader in Kansas City, and nine of them are exclusive to contests that close at 1:05 Eastern. At press time, there are no later leagues being offered, but we expect 4:05 leagues to be added later.

Keep in mind that hitting stats from the second game of the CLE @ KCR twin bill will not count in the 1:05 leagues. That’s too bad, as the better pitchers square off in the matinee. If you do join leagues that focus on the seven later games, Royals bats and Indians right-handed swingers are worth considering.

Another thing to remember is that managers tend to juggle their lineups on Sunday, especially if it’s a day game after a night game. Backup catchers and other bench players might be starting, as regulars get the day off. Double-check your rosters as close as possible to game time and be prepared to make substitutions.

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)

In a speculative play, Rob considers Cole Hamels ($15,665) to have similar upside to the top-priced SP. “Other than Kershaw, the best candidate for a monster game and almost $3,000 less expensive.”

Alexi OgandoAlexi Ogando ($9,357) is a Dudek favorite. “It really amazes me that he doesn’t get more respect. Has the reputation of being a thrower but can change speeds effectively. His command is a bit spotty — it’s the only thing stopping him from ascending to elite level. Minnesota should be a good park for him and the price is fantastic.”

Not yet well-known, Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin ($11,278) has turned in four straight quality starts and we expect another. “The Rockies bats sometimes struggle on the road. Last night they scored only two runs despite accumulating a pile of walks.”

Live Longshots (Pitchers)

My colleague calls Kevin Correia ($7,055) the Twins’ new ace. “Rangers hitters will find it hard to succeed in that ballpark. At this low salary, Correia is almost a must-start for those employing a three-SP strategy.”

The Nationals have some power arms with big reputations, and Ross Detwiler ($8,435) isn’t one of them. The lefty sinkerball specialist might continue to frustrate the Reds, who have scored only four runs while dropping three straight in DC.

Tampa’s bats woke up in a big way yesterday, pounding out 19 hits and 10 runs off Gavin Floyd (who left early with an elbow injury) and three mopup men. The White Sox turn to Dylan Axelrod ($6,427) to stop the bleeding; the unheralded, undersized righty is coming off two quality starts for no-decisions and is half the price of most starters.

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