Due to the fact that one of my suggested pitchers last week, C.J. Wilson, had his start rained out Wednesday, I thought a good way to open this week's article would be to discuss how to dodge the raindrops and ensure a full lineup. I'm sure that by now most daily fantasy players have the foresight to check weather reports before selecting players. I generally like to dig a bit deeper than the standard daily forecasts, however, in order to see what I am really looking at.
When we are trying to determine if a game is safe to target, interactive weather maps from weather.com can really give us an advantage. These maps allow us to look at radar for a given area simply by entering a zip code or location. The color-coded chart at the top of the page also comes in handy, as it lets us know how severely the area is about to be hit. Rather than just staring at computerized clouds and percentages, interactive weather maps give us a concrete look at the projected forecast for an area, which allows us to accurately see where the rain is expected to fall.
Here come the picks.
Matt Shoemaker ($6,800)
Simply put, I think Shoemaker and his 2.95 xFIP are for real. This may be something of a risky play considering it's tough to win against Yu Darvish, but the Rangers lineup has been decimated by injuries, which makes Shoemaker a nice value option, particularly since most of our best offensive plays Sunday are quite expensive.
The Dodgers will take on soft-tossing lefty Eric Stults on Sunday. I've been recommending Stults as a target quite often in these articles, but I'm not trying to pick on him. In fact, you could say I'm his biggest fan.
Send in the righties…
Yasiel Puig (OF) ($3800)
Hanley Ramirez (SS) ($9,400)
Scott Van Slyke (OF) ($8200)
Of course, I wouldn't hold it against anyone who decided to go with with Matt Kemp, but his $10,600 price tag may seem too rich considering his .564 OPS against lefties this season.
It's sometimes difficult to stack against a pitcher we haven't seen very often, but in the case of Tyler Matzek, a left-handed hurler who calls Coors Field home, I think we are on safe ground. After a brilliant start against the Braves in his major league debut June 11, he really struggled in his last outing against the Dodgers, allowing 10 hits in five innings while walking two and not striking out a batter. His minor league resume suggests that his struggles will continue, and a Brewers lineup full of lefty slayers won't make it easy on him.
Rickie Weeks (2B) ($3,000)
Carlos Gomez (OF) ($6400)
Aramis Ramirez (3B) ($9400)
As Long as Mike Bolsinger keeps giving up home runs to righties at an alarming rate, I'm going to keep suggesting you take a look at him. Unfortunately for us, Mike Morse won't play Sunday after being removed Saturday with back tightness.
Instead we can try…
Buster Posey (C) ($7,700)
Chris Tillman has really struggled this season, as his ERA sits at 4.82 in 84 innings pitched. He's at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, and I still need to recommend a first baseman.
Mark Teixeira (1B) (5,800)
The Week At A Glance
The Pirates are not a bad offense by any means, but they strike out a fair amount against right-handers. Alex Cobb looks to be all the way back from his stint on the disabled list after a rough couple of starts. Grab him at a relatively cheap price Monday before everyone remembers how good he is.
You could also try Matt Holliday against Jhoulys Chacin at Coors on Monday. Chacin has been giving up home runs to righties, and all of Holliday's homers have come from the right side. Of course, you really can't go wrong with lefties here, either.
Sonny Gray will take on the Mets at home Tuesday. Gray isn't exactly cheap but almost seems underpriced when you consider just how good he's been. He's upped his strikeouts over his last three starts as well, fanning 21 batters in 18.1 innings pitched over that span.
Erasmo Ramirez has not allowed a run in his last 15.2 innings pitched, but has walked 11 batters over the course of those three starts. I'm not convinced he's fixed. He will take on the Red Sox at home on Tuesday.
Joe Saunders faces a host of righties when he takes on the Tigers at home Thursday. I will continue piling up against him, especially in hitter-friendly parks.
Ditto for Vidal Nuno, who will take on the Red Sox at home Friday.
Max Scherzer has not been the same pitcher we saw in 2013 so far this year, but I will be betting on his strikeout prowess Saturday against the Astros, who have fanned 23.3 percent of the time against righties this season.