Playing Hardball: Anything Can Happen in a One-Day League

Featuring picks and comments by Rob Dudek
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The best thing about a wacky Monday in MLB is that it’s over. The craziest game was in Oakland, where Yoenis Cespedes tied it up in the bottom of the ninth for the second day in a row, then it took ten extra innings to decide. Brandon Moss won it with a homer in the 19th after 6 ½ hours of baseball.

The injury toll was so great, it distracted from Josh Hamilton’s 0-for-8 night. Peter Bourjos of the Angels is DL-bound with a hamstring strain, while Coco Crisp (hamstring) and Chris Young (quad) also left early, forcing Seth Smith to LF, which meant the A’s lost their DH. Strangest of all was Brett Anderson, the scheduled starter who was “scratched” with a tender ankle, tossing 5.1 IP of relief before tweaking the injury and limping off.

That’s what can happen in just one game, and the rest of the night wasn’t much better. We liked Andy Pettitte, who got rocked. We stacked the lineup with Royals against Ubaldo Jimenez, who pitched seven shutout innings. We also liked the Orioles bats against Joe Saunders, who spun a complete-game gem. The beauty of daily fantasy leagues is, our week isn’t ruined. Variables like injuries, weather and fluke performances (good or bad) are part of the landscape in a one-day contest and when they don’t go your way, they are easy to shrug off. Tonight is a brand new season, with every team in action (all at 7:05 EDT or later) and no threats of cancellation.

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)

Yu DarvishThere are two gigantic prices and Yu Darvish ($19,342) has the better chance at a big game. “The White Sox were rung up nine times in six innings by Matt Moore on Saturday,” reminds Rob. “Darvish could strike out 10+ for the third time in a row.”

There’s more risk with Justin Verlander ($18,669) because he left his last start after seven innings with a blister problem. He’s downplaying it but others are better value.

For example, Jon Lester ($13,875) has won four of five starts, boasts a 2.27 ERA and spun seven shutout, walk-free innings in Toronto three weeks ago. “The last-place Jays’ bats must be feeling the pressure and Lester is poised to take advantage of impatient hitters.”

Dudek is convinced that Roy Halladay ($14,981) is at least a safe play. “Doc’s velocity is nearly back to normal and he has harnessed his command. While not his dominant former self, he can be counted on to provide solid innings.”

Live Longshots (Pitchers)

Last time out, we gave you Brandon Maurer ($7,776) who earned 9.15 points by shutting down the Angels into the seventh. Confidence begets confidence and the price couldn’t be much more enticing.

Another key injury last night was to Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, headed to the DL with a hamstring strain. That makes the job of Jeremy Hefner ($6,644) somewhat easier, and his latest against the Dodgers wasn’t bad.

The $9,666 salary for Garrett Richards is tempting. “He has big-game stuff,” says Dudek, “but hasn’t learned to harness it. Call him a risk/reward play against the patient Athletics.”

We have been waiting for Jarrod Parker ($8,699) to come around after a sub-par April, and if the Angels are tired from last night’s marathon, this could be the night.

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