We're heading into the homestretch of the RotoWire/FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship with only five weeks remaining until the championship week.
RotoWire users can get into the action as we've teamed up with FanDuel to run a $10, multi-entry contest exclusively for you every Friday from April 8 to July 15 for cash prizes and entries into the $5,000 championship that will be held on July 22. There are plenty of prizes and entries to be had, so make sure to create your lineups. You can view the rules and enter the contest by clicking here.
In terms of the Rotowire expert competition, it was a changing of the guard at the top off the overall standings. Josh Fathollahi (jashfath) jumped over James Anderson (realjranderson) for first place with James dropping to second as the standings have Fathollahi with 1,302.50 points to Anderson's 1,290.10. The standings in the top five are still tight with Ken Crites (kencrw) at fifth place, less than 67 points (1,235.80) behind Fathollahi with plenty of points remaining in the final five weeks.
For Week 10 Josh Hayes (fsinsiders) took the top spot with 154.30, just ahead of yours truly, Ed Kensik (chicagoed) with 147.30. While we both picked Clayton Kershaw and went cheap the rest of the lineup, Josh had better selections especially with the reinvigorated Padres' Wil Myers (38.2 points), who is finally reaching his potential, and White Sox' Brett Lawrie (24.9). I went with FanDuel's misprint of Dodgers' Kike Hernandez for $220. Hernandez started but came up with zero points. I would do it any day if it meant finishing in second place.
You can check out the full expert leader board here, buthere's the current top 10:
1. Josh Fathollahi (jashfath) 1,302.50
2. James Anderson (realjranderson) 1,290.10
3. Benny Ricciardi (brich11) 1,244.10
4. Aaron Quinn (aaronq) 1,240.90
5. Ken Crites (kencrw) 1,235.80
6. Joel Bartilotta (joelbartilotta) 1,224.90
7. Clay Link (linkdaddydollaz) 1,220.20
8. Jake Letarski (rotojakeski) 1,219.70
9. Ronny Mor (ronnymor2) 1,214.90
10. James Seltzer (schweppy23) 1,213.40
For this week it is not heavy loaded on the mound as last week where it was chockfull of heavy hurlers that make your mouth water, Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg.
This week the highest priced pitcher is Giants' Jeff Samardzija at $9,700. Last week Kershaw was $13,100 so there will definitely be some extra bucks for hitters.
While Samardzija is tempting at $9,700, there are cheaper options that might have a better chance of grabbing a W especially the likes of Mets' Matt Harvey and Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka who face the Braves and the Twins respectively. In addition both have potential to rack up the Ks.
P Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Price: $9,400
I'm not sure if this a Value or High Risk/High Reward pick. There are three other pitchers on the board, Samardzjia/Chris Archer/Cole Hamels, who have higher prices. This is a price matchup for Tanaka and the Yankees. Not only is the opponent the Twins, but Tanaka has had five days rest and it's on the road. Like his days in Japan, Tanaka has been found to flourish off five days rest. In addition he has pitched very well away from Yankees Stadium with a 1.36 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 39.2 innings. In addition the Twins are the fourth from the bottom in runs scored and their batters have the seventh most strike outs in the majors.
P Matt Harvey, New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Price: $8,700
Harvey has returned to his old self the last few starts. Even if it is not the old Harvey in this matchup, it is the Braves who are second to last in runs scored (Philadelphia Phillies are last). The Mets hurler has allowed only two earned runs in 20 innings over his last three starts. In addition he has struck out 17 batters in that span.
OF Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles
FanDuel Price: $2,900
Pillar has been scorching recently and the last couple of weeks. The Jays outfielder is slashing 333/.355/.567 with two home runs and three RBI in the last week. To take the cake Pillar has hit very well against Wright, although it is a small sample with three hits in seven at-bats.
SP Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies @ Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $8,200
Gray is starting to become the ace that the Rockies have been searching for from their farm system all these years. While he has a 4.40 ERA on the road, most of that came in a game at St. Louis where he gave up nine runs in 3.1 innings pitched on May 19. In the last month the Rockies hurler has gone 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and a 9.5K/9 innings.
1B Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: $3,600
To say that Davis has owned Sanchez would be considered an understatement. In only 10 at bats against Sanchez, Davis has smacked three home runs with four RBI and a .600 batting average to go along with a 1.600 slugging percentage and 2.292 OPS.
C Alex Avila, Chicago White Sox @ Cleveland Indians
FanDuel Price: $2,500
Before you put Avila in your lineup make sure he is in the White Sox lineup. Most managers like to juggle catchers during the weekend. If Avila is in the lineup he will look to continue his hitting against Indians' Trevor Bauer. While it is only 11 at-bats has a home run and also a line of .545/.615/.818
High Risk/High Reward
2B Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers @ Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $4,300
Kinsler continues to have a hot bat this season and will probably need to stay hot with the Tigers losing J.D. Martinez (elbow) for an extended period of time. The Tigers second baseman has especially been hot lately with three home runs and 10 RBI in the last week. While he has no home runs against Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, Kinsler is slashing 375/.444/.438 with a .866 OPS in his career against the Royals hurler. In addition it should be a hot night at Royals Stadium so the ball could be flying.
Player To Avoid
P Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco Giants @ Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Price: $9,700
Samardzija might return to his early season form and the Rays are definitely somebody to pick on, but the Shark has not had much of a bite recently. In addition he is the highest price on the board at $9,700 and there are plenty of other pitchers (Masahiro Tanaka, $9,400, Matt Harvey, $8,700, Joe Ross, $8,500, and Jon Gray, $8,200) that you can put your money towards and send some bucks for hits. In the last three starts Samardzija has failed to make it past the fifth inning.