Week 9 RWBC Recap
In the ninth week of our ongoing FanDuel event, we were treated to an unusual sight: Our winner, FanDuel user kentucky4477, entered two identical entries, which tied for first place thanks to yeoman's work by Carlos Martinez and a parade of homers from Buster Posey, Ryan Howard, Logan Forsythe and Brett Lawrie, plus stat-sheet-stuffing days by A.J. Pollock and Kole Calhoun.
How did my team do, you ask? Well, Jake Odorizzi left in the middle of a great start with an oblique injury that's since landed him on the DL, and my impressive-on-paper crew of hitters managed exactly no homers. If only I could have written this article last week, so I could trumpet my glorious $30 victory back in Week 8. Sure, I faded Troy Tulowitzki on the day that he broke out with two homers, but my team succeeded anyway!
Meanwhile, Ryan Rufe has supplanted Paul Sporer atop the experts leaderboard, though he leads by the narrowest of margins – 0.83 points. Ryan's 63.75 points were good for fourth overall in the ninth week of our challenge, as he also wisely rolled out Carlos Martinez while receiving competent performances from pretty much every one of his hitters, particularly Pollock, Derek Norris, Will Venable and Alex Rodriguez. And hey, guys, I'm not in last place anymore!
Updated RotoWire expert top-10 standings:
1. Ryan Rufe (rmrufe) — 380.41
2. Paul Sporer (pjs24) — 379.58
3. Tony Goldenstein (trookie83) — 351.91
4. Scott Jenstad (OaktownSJ) — 344.98
5. Brett Goldhammer (bretskyball) — 332.15
6. Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon) — 319.99
7. Chris Liss (cliss11) — 319.99
8. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) — 319.07
9. Kevin Payne (kevinccp) — 315.48
10. Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) — 313.24
FanDuel is so pitching-heavy that often, looking for value on the mound isn't the way to go. If there are legit aces pitching on a given day, it's often worth spending on one of them because unlike on other sites, your pitcher really has to carry the day. In short, that means I'm rolling out Clayton Kershaw this time around.
SP Drew Hutchison: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
FanDuel Price: $8,200
Hutchison — FanDuel calls him "Andrew," but we know better — isn't exactly a cheap pick as the 10th-most-expensive pitcher on the slate, but despite what's still an ugly season stat line, he's a higher-upside candidate than any of the more dollar-conscious options out there. Indeed, Hutch has sparkled recently over his last six starts — he's gone 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA and 36 strikeouts against just five walks. The Red Sox are no easy draw, but he did hold them to a single run over five innings back on May 9.
C Francisco Cervelli: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Price: $2,800
Recently, most any day has been a good Cervelli day, as he's been white-hot for about a month now. In his last 22 games, Cervelli is hitting .408 (for real!) with a homer, a steal, 12 RBI and 12 runs. But to make this a double whammy, he gets to face Kevin Correia on Friday; the veteran starter just signed with the Phillies earlier this week after posting a 5.44 ERA last year between the Dodgers and Twins. I'll be rolling out a number of Pittsburgh hitters against this particular ex-Pirate.
OFMark Trumbo: Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros
FanDuel Price: $2,900
Trumbo is just 4-for-28 with no homers so far since being dealt to Seattle, but I'm willing to gamble on that changing Friday night as he and the M's travel to Houston for a date with terrible starter Brett Oberholtzer and the Astros. Oberholtzer's had some success against Trumbo in a small sample, striking him out three times in six at-bats, but he also has given up 18 hits in 12 innings over his three starts thus far. The groundballing righty hasn't yet given up a home run in the majors this year, but he allowed three in just 12.2 innings during his time in the minor leagues. With this game happening in homer-friendly Houston, conditions are right for Trumbo to go long for the first time as a Mariner.
High Risk/High Reward
OF Mike Trout: Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Price: $5,000
If there ever was a time to pay the freight for Trout, this is it. He's been hot recently, slamming four homers in his last seven games, and on Friday, he sees a familiar face in Jesse Chavez, against whom Trout has homered twice in just 14 career at-bats. Oh, and lest we forget: he's Mike Trout. FanDuelers also get treated to a relatively friendly price on Trout, who's only the fourth-most-expensive outfielder this time around.
2B Jason Kipnis: Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Price: $4,500
Don't get me wrong, Kipnis is my boy — he's been one of the best hitters in the game this year, a fantasy dynamo. But like many lefthanded hitters, he's weaker against southpaws – Kipnis has an OPS north of 1.000 against righties, but is hitting just .253/.309/.414 against lefties. He gets an awful tough one on Friday in Detroit ace David Price, against whom Kipnis hasn't done much in a limited sample – three singles and three strikeouts in 12 at-bats. There'll be better days to blow No. 1 second baseman money on him; this time around, I'm more inclined to gamble on a cheaper option, like a $2,400 Robinson Cano.
You can praise or trash me on Twitter: @akfiorentino