Playing Hardball: Stellar Pitching Matchups Highlight 12 MLB Games

Featuring picks and comments by Rob Dudek
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With “only” a dozen ballgames, it’s a relatively quiet schedule on Monday, all leagues closing at 7:05. Weather, a prime consideration this month, is forecast to be no worse than “partly cloudy with a 40% chance of rain” so we will assume no cancellations.

Call it a scheduling quirk, but there are a lot of outstanding pitchers taking the mound tonight. There are even a couple of bargain SP who will allow you to use three starters. The hitter-pitcher ratio is one important decision in the salary cap format; sometimes you can compete with less than $30,000 worth of arms. This evening it’s tempting to go well over that amount.

There are enough attractively-priced hitters to consider that we can justify a 38% expenditure on pitching and still put together a competitive batting order for $62,000. That’s the beauty of daily leagues. The rules are simple but the possible ways to win are too numerous to count.

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)

For as long as he’s available, we will consult Rob Dudek on his picks. Though he approaches the game from the vantage point of statistical analysis and I’m an old coach, we often identify the same players. Today, he’s nailed the pitching and you can imagine me nodding in agreement like an oversized bobblehead.

Adam Wainwright“Though expensive at $16,909, Adam Wainwright has in my view been one of the two best pitchers in baseball this year, Matt Moore being the other. Waino has found a rare groove and the Cincinnati bats have struggled for the last week. A great bet to have a monster game.”

Andy Pettitte ($14,293) is a tremendous competitor whose focus and veteran savvy are matched by few. Up against an inexperienced Houston squad, the lefty should outperform his salary.”

Matt Harvey ($17,391) is expensive but safe; his worst start featured seven strikeouts and 6.8 fantasy points. He gets the Marlins, who still aren’t great at hitting, though Giancarlo Stanton ($6,735) is suddenly red hot after a horrible start.

Live Longshots (Pitchers)

My colleague is going against Harvey with what he calls a cheap speculative play. “Jose Fernandez ($7,511) will get his strikeouts and the price is excellent. The Cuban rookie completes my SP triple play with Wainwright and Pettitte.”

Another bargain-priced arm belongs to Lucas Harrell ($8,018) who performed very well the last time we touted him. It won’t be easy to get a W against the Yankees but he’s good value for another quality start.

Two aces and a closer is a decent approach tonight and if you like the Cardinals, Edward Mujica ($1,650) has an above-average chance at a save. The great Mariano Rivera ($2,355) has three SV in the last four days, so it’s less certain that he will appear. At a rock-bottom $1,500, Bobby Parnell could finish up a Mets victory.

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