Is Stephen Strasburg Back?

It’s been an ugly season for Stephen Strasburg and perhaps even uglier for those of us with him on our fantasy teams. After all, the Nats are still in first place. The team where I have Strasburg is far from and I’m sure most of you are experiencing something similar. Alas, there may be some reasons for optimism within his two starts since returning from the DL.

The season got off on the wrong foot when the Mets of all teams battered him for six runs (three earned) in 5.3 innings on nine hits and three walks. Boston hit him even harder with five runs (all earned) on 10 hits. The success of his third start (against Philly) wasn’t enough to get him going and in fact it seems every time he has a good start, it’s followed by two clunkers. Eventually what we all suspected would happen, did: he hit the DL.

Gallardo’s Gone Gallant

With a quickly eroding strikeout rate that propped up his value in the first place, Yovani Gallardo had made a quick descent down the fantasy rankings heading into 2015. A torn meniscus in 2008 limited him to just 24 IP, but he returned with a breakout effort in 2009 which included a 26% strikeout rate in 185.7 IP. It might feel weird now, but his 3.73 ERA that year was solid better than average (110 ERA+). The strikeouts peaked that year, but lived in the 24-25% range for the next three seasons while his ERA generally stayed in the mid-to-upper 3.00s.

He’d become a workhorse. That’s generally the shorthand for a pitcher who logs plenty of innings and usually offers one standout fantasy category while also never really doing enough to be a superstar. From 2009-2012, Gallardo had a 3.68 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 25% K rate, and about 196 IP per year. From 2013 through last year, he was just a workhorse without the standout category. Innings were his only net value. He logged 373 innings of a 3.84 ERA in those two seasons.

NHL Entry Draft Day Observations and Oddities

Friday was draft day for some and daft day for others (I’m talking to you, Don Sweeney). Here are a few highlights (and oddities) for me:

  • Bruins’ general manager Don Sweeney — driven and decisive, or just compensating for something small? Wow. I actually thought there was something strategic going on with those trades and the resulting three consecutive picks. Nope.
  • Peter Chiarelli is everything that Craig MacTavish has never been. Stable. Clever. Strategic. Glory is returning to the Oil Patch sooner rather than later.

RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship – Week 12

It just keeps getting worse. I imagine my competition has more experience in DFS than I do, but 46th place out of 50? That’s just awful and embarrassing, but I guess some has to finish near the bottom, right?

Last week’s 7.50 point total was my fault, as I thought I had set my lineup, but apparently I did not. Oops. Prior to that though, I did set my lineup and netted a whopping 8.08 week.

Jordan Zimmermann didn’t do me any favors, and Albert Pujols picked that day to not hit a home run. These things happen though, but they obviously happen to me more than the folks at the top of the leaderboard. Unfortunately though, you have to hear from me this week.

DFS Disasters Are Disastrous

Apparently I missed the point of Survivor tourneys, and mistakenly thought that drafting the worst possible pitchers while trying to survive was the point. Gerrit Cole was 73.5% owned, which brought me little consolation when he tallied just 3.9 points. But that was better than my pairing option, the disastrous Roenis Elias, who took away 5.95 points, leading to a grand total of 74.95 points for my team. That was good for 4477/5000, pretty far from the 2,500 cut-line.

DFS Disasters For Wednesday

I still have some doubts, but I’ve decided against fading Gerrit Cole tonight for the Draft Kings survivor tournament. He’s going to be owned nearly universally – my guess is it will be over 75%, and the next best starters are Jaime Garcia and Jordan Zimmermann. He has a poor track record against the Reds, but one of those that hits him the best (in a whopping 11 at-bat sample) in Brandon Phillips has been scratched from the lineup. Todd Frazier scares me, as does an in-form Joey Votto. But this is also a different Cole than the Reds have faced most of the time, too. Moreover, this is basically a 50-50 tournament, so there’s less advantage in being different from the pack.

DFS Disaster Update

Tuesday was less disastrous than most – actually had a positive day. My four FanDuel lineups had two cashes – the Chris Archer and Carlos Correa-led 50/50 squad scored 56.75 points, and my Tout Wars contest led by Madison Bumgarner and Correa scored 47.33 to cash. That’s the good news. The bad news was that they were just a $5 50-50 and a $2 double-up. The $5 SXM contest scored 42.25 (good enough for a 50-50 or a double-up in most cases), but well off the cash threshold. My other 50-50 tanked for just 28.75 points, despite using Carlos Martinez (17 points) and Chase Headley (6.25 points). I sacrificed a lot elsewhere to get one lineup with Paul Goldschmidt in there, but the payoff obviously wasn’t there.

But the big news was that I advanced to Day 2 in DK’s Survivor Contest, scoring 165.25 points. I used MadBum, Martinez, Correa, Brett Gardner and super-cheap BvP hero Dustin Ackley to move on. It’s a single bullet entry, so the odds are still against me. Looking ahead at tonight’s pitching matchups, I have to decide whether to go against the crowd and not use Gerrit Cole against the Reds, knowing that he’s almost certainly going to be universally-owned in a two-pitcher format. I don’t know if I can afford that risk, given that I have a single entry. I’ll post a lineup later tonight.