Yesterday was another solid day for Team BaseballProf as we finished 56th-of-432 in the $10,000 guaranteed contest with 60.00 points and won all of our double-ups. Our offense underperformed — recall I projected nearly 30 points from my Angels stack but instead endured just an 11 point effort — but our pitching was spot on. I wasn’t confident with any of the mid-priced starting pitchers so I went with Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, and a relief pitcher. Hamels and Darvish combined for 17 innings of shutout ball, totaling 38.25 points.
A commenter on yesterday’s post looked at our two aces and said, “You are going with a relief pitcher today?” I responded with, “Not necessarily…” Indeed, I did go with a reliever, but that wasn’t a requirement. There’s more than one way to build a winning roster, and yesterday it was possible to do so by loading up on pitching. Take a look at the contest champ.
Our lineup (left) compared to the contest champ (right) — Click to enlarge
Yesterday’s champ also selected Hamels and Darvish but also added Tyler Matzek. He went cheap with his offense and though it performed better than ours, his 33.50 points is hardly outstanding. Instead, he won with 51.00 points from his pitching staff.
I only point this out as a reminder. You don’t need to commit to one method of roster construction each day. Winning players will survey that day’s landscape and choose the appropriate approach to maximize their chances of winning.
On Thursday we have a reduced MLB slate that’s even further reduced by four early games and questionable weather in a few late games (TOR@BAL, CHC@PIT, CLE@BOS, MIL@NYM). For now, I’ll be avoiding pitchers in the TOR@BAL and CHC@PIT games, but with the limited number of games to choose from and the unpredictability of weather and released lineups, I project a lot of change to our Official Lineup between now and when contests lock.
Click here to start drafting your teams on DraftStreet!
Click here for our FAQ and disclaimer.
Thursday’s Official DraftStreet Lineup
Note: Lineup subject to change due to weather and released MLB lineups. Check back before contest lineups lock for our final lineup.
C: Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) @ J. Niese (NYM) — $7,001
C: Miguel Montero (ARI) @ S. Feldman (HOU) — $6,060
- 1B: Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) @ S. Feldman (HOU) — $8,688
- 2B: Jose Altuve (HOU) vs. W. Miley (ARI) — $7,350
- 3B: Matt Dominguez (HOU) vs. W. Miley (ARI) — $4,453
SS: Jean Segura (MIL) @ J. Niese (NYM) — $5,211
SS: Didi Gregorius (ARI) @ S. Feldman (HOU) — $4,115
OF: Carlos Gomez (MIL) @ J. Niese (NYM) — $8,454
OF: Dexter Fowler (HOU) vs. W. Miley (ARI) — $6,166
- OF: George Springer (HOU) vs. W. Miley (ARI) — $6,330
- OF: Hidden
- UT: Hidden
SP: Kyle Lohse (MIL) @ J. Niese (NYM) — $16,302
SP: Jon Lester (BOS) vs. J. Tomlin (CLE) — $18,189
- SP: Roenis Elias (SEA) vs. C. Whitley (NYY) — $12,471
- P: Hidden
There are almost no pitchers to choose from tonight, especially given the uncertain weather on the horizon, but I feel confident in Lose and Elias. Lohse is a touch overpriced, especially pitching on the road, but the Mets are bad. Daniel Murphy has a good bat, but what else is there? I mean c’mon, they have Ruben Tejada batting leadoff these days! Elias is a ground ball pitcher facing a struggling offense in a pitcher’s park at a good price.
Jon Niese is a risky pitcher to stack against because he’s been solid all season; he hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER in any start this season. Still, there isn’t much to choose from so I’ll include a bunch of Brewers in my lineup. The home park isn’t favorable, but Niese isn’t overpowering and the Brewers crush LHP. Lucroy has been on a roll, Segura is a solid value play who will only perform well if those behind him perform well, and Gomez is an elite player.
I also put a bunch of Astros in my lineup against the left-handed Wade Miley. Altuve has scored 8+ points in three of his last six games, Springer has seen his price fall after a small slump but has hit safely in his last five games with 4 R, 2 HR, and 7 RBI, and Dominguez is a value play.
Scott Feldman has allowed 39 hits in his last 22 innings, so I wanted to put a bunch of Diamondbacks in my lineup. Unfortunately, only Goldschmidt really impressed me enough to force his way in over anyone else at his position. I like my Astros and Brewers more than I like any of the Diamondbacks.
This Is Usually Our Best Values Section, But…
Today is a disaster. With a short schedule, plus weather, here’s a list of games from which you can safely choose players:
Because we have to create our roster from just eight teams (unless you’re feeling lucky), there’s no possible way I can build out a decent Best Values section. Instead, here are a few thoughts on the pathetic group of choices today.
Thought 1: If you don’t own at least four players from the ARI@HOU game, good luck cashing.
Thought 2: Max Scherzer, who’s been terrible recently, saw his velocity jump back up to 94+ mph (from 91-92 mph) in his last start with a higher GB% than he’s had in awhile. Even though his line wasn’t great last time out, his stuff is coming back.
Thought 3: The wind is blowing out in Chicago. If you’re looking to separate yourself from the pack, stacking White Sox might be a good idea.
Thought 4: Montero’s ownership percentage is going to be incredibly high. Like maybe 85%.
Thought 5: Don’t worry about spending all of your money. I’m leaving over $4,000 on the table. Seriously, I just can’t spend it all without risking starts because of the weather. I’ve never left more than $500 unspent before.
Thought 6: Maybe I’m being overly cautious with the weather, but I’d rather play it safe.
Thought 7: Because I’m playing it safe, I only have one GPP entry. Today is a day to back off, enter some double-ups, and put less of your bankroll at risk.
Though 8: Chris Sale‘s ownership percentage could be 70%.
Thought 9: I think a Red Sox stack will be popular, but I’m a Red Sox fan and even I don’t feel comfortable with that one. Tomlin might be a fly ball pitcher in Fenway Park, but he’s not walking people and has posted a league average number of strikeouts. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli are good plays, Xander Bogaerts has solid upside, and David Ross could be interesting if you don’t want to own Montero, but keep in mind that while left-handed batters have hit Tomlin fairly well, Fenway’s right field dimensions actually suppress left-handed home run power. Just sayin’.
Thought 10: Weather.com has great doppler radars. While it may say 60% chance of rain in Baltimore and 60% chance of rain in Boston, it looks likely to me that the CLE@BOS game will get in and the TOR@BAL game might not. Use the doppler radar.