NL Wild Card Game Prediction

Brandon Woodruff (Milwaukee Brewers) vs Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals)

Offense: Advantage Nationals

The Nationals will enter this game with their MVP candidate Anthony Rendon while the Brewers will still be without Christian Yelich. Depth is the difference in these lineups.  The Nationals bring power and speed in nearly every part of their lineup.  

Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Adam Eaton and the aforementioned Anthony Rendon all have the ability to make an impact on the game early.  The Nationals speed is going to be the key to jumping the on top early.  Yasmani Grandal’s defense came into question last season during the Dodgers playoff run, his ability to help manage the run game. Grandal’s offense has overshadowed his defensive struggles this season, throwing out 27% of would be base stealers is solid, but his -.04  defensive WAR is a cause for concern. 

The Brewers miss Yelich, but they have found solid replacements for a short period of time.  Trent Grisham, Ben Gamel and a hot Ryan Braun has helped the offense.  Braun’s questionable status for Tuesday’s contest could be a crushing blow to an already limping offense.  

Bullpen: Advantage Brewers

The Nationals bullpen troubles have been well documented during the last few seasons.  Finding some stability towards the latter end of the season, Sean Doolittle moving into a set-up role as Daniel Hudson cemented himself in the back end. The Nationals may have found their answer at the end they still are playing from behind in the bullpen.  

The Brewers have shown that they are deep with bullpen depth.  The emergence of Drew Pomeranz as a weapon against either side of the plate gives them a pitcher that can cover multiple innings.   I would look to see Josh Hader enter the game in as early as possible if the Brewers are able to grab a lead.   Milwaukee has played this game before and will not hesitate to make a move when necessary. 

Starter: Advantage Nationals

Keeping this simple. Max Scherzer, when healthy, is the best pitcher in baseball.  Brandon Woodruff All-Star first half but was hampered by injuries in the second half. Both pitchers have great strikeout stuff, it’s Scherzer who will be looked on to take control of the game.  The leash for Woodruff will be very small, if the Nationals jump out to an early lead the rug will be pulled out from under Woodruff.  

The debate between whether Scherzer or Strasburg should start the game could be pointless, reports are saying that Stephen Strasburg will be one of the first to make an appearance out of the bullpen. Scherzer hasn’t been perfect this season but he will give them hard innings, lasting until the 7thwhere Washington will utilize their new bullpen pieces and strategy.

My Prediction

The NL Wild Card game has ultimately favored the road team since its inception.  Only two home teams have found their way into the next round. While history favors the road team the Nationals have been terrific at home in 2019 with a 50-31 record. The Nationals also come in hot winning eight straight games at home to end the season. 

Brewers Manager Craig Counsell has become the poster boy for utilizing every advantage his bullpen brings. While Woodruff is the starter, it would not be surprising to see Milwaukee make an early change to play the matchups against the dynamic Washington offense.

The Brewers went on an unbelievable run just to get to where they are, but they face a team that is simply better.  Max Scherzer will dominate an offense that is missing way too many key pieces.  Anthony Rendon will cement himself as the league MVP. The Brewers had a nice run and they are a nice story, I’m not betting against Mad Max in this situation.  Give me the Nationals 6-2.  

MLB DFS Breakdown August 13 2019- Brewers crush reeling Perez

Pitcher Spotlight- Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals

Jack Flaherty is priced at just $9,000 versus the Kansas City Royals, making him the seventh highest price pitcher on the slate.  At such a low-price Flaherty is a bargain for all DFS players. Jack has been on another level since the All-Star break.  Flaherty has totaled over 18 fantasy points in seven straight starts, including his two most recent starts where he scored 35 and 36 versus the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.  

One of Flaherty’s biggest problems has been giving up power which the Royals as a team don’t bring a lot of those concerns.  As a team they only have an ISO of .160.  If Flaherty can avoid the power of Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier he should be ripe for another high scoring outing. 

Potential Stacks- Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels

The focus for my stack will be on the Milwaukee Brewers.  Martin Perez has become the Martin Perez of the last few seasons over the last three months his ERA has ballooned to a 6.67ERA during the second half of the season. Perez has given up a ton of power to righties the entire season, a .459 slugging percentage has led to a lot of short outings.  Perez combined with the struggles of the Minnesota bullpen should put the Brewers in nice spot for a four-man stack. I am going to build my lineup around Keston Huira, Ryan Braun and Mike Moustakas can all be affordable along with some plays from the Dodgers against the regression of Jordan Yamamoto.

Sneaky Stack- Philadelphia Phillies

Attacking the struggling Jose Quintana is a great option for underpriced power.  Rhys Hoskins is underpriced at just $4.1K, if you pair him along with Jean Segura and Scott Kingery at the top of the lineup you can stack some top-level pitching with the stack. 

Lineup Build-

P: Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Caridinals, $9,000

P: Joe Ross, Washington Nationals, $5,500

C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,000

1B: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,700

2B: Keston Huira, Milwaukee Brewers, $5,000

3B: Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,400

SS: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,000

OF: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers, $5,400

OF: Lane Thomas, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,300

OF: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,700

MLB DFS August 5 2019

Pitcher Spotlight- Charlie Morton at home is the way to go.

The top two pitchers for the slate are Lucas Giolito and Charlie Morton.  Giolito has the better matchup against the high strikeout rated Detroit Tigers.  Morton gets the nod for me facing the free-swinging Toronto Blue Jays at the Trop.  Morton has been great all season, he has excelled at home.  Over Morton’s last ten starts he has struck out at least ten in 8 of those games. The Blue Jays have legit power in their lineup, but they don’t walk much so the power can be limited as well as it can be negated by the potential K’s.  

Stack I’m looking at: Cleveland Indians

This is a gamble against Mike Minor.  The Indians have been one of the hottest teams in the league and Minor has been on a second half decline.  Minor has given up four runs or more in each of his last four starts.  The Indians will also be a low owned stacked with guys like Mike Montgomery, Merrill Kelly and Rick Porcello on the mound.  I am going to target the middle of the order with Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and of course the lefty masher Jordan Luplow. You can fit them in at an affordable cost.

Stackable Teams: Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays

JD Martinez is a must start against Mike Montgomery whom has been a gas can all season. JD’s stats versus lefties are elite on all levels.  If you can fit him in with Morton and some nice smaller stacks around him, you are looking at a cashable lineup.

Sneaky Stack: Milwaukee Brewers

Moustakas is too cheap on this slate. The Brewers have a nice potential night versus a high contact pitcher in the Pirates Agrazal.  He gives up a nice hard contact and ISO versus left-handed power bats.

P: Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays, $10,700

P: Eric Fedde, Washington Nationals, $5,600

C: James McCann, Chicago White Sox, $3,400

1B: Ryan O’Hearn, Kansas City Royals, $3,000

2B: Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,200

3B: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians, $4,800

SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, $5,400

OF: Jordan Luplow, Cleveland Indians, $4,400

OF: JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox, $5,100

OF: Sam Travis, Boston Red Sox, $3,400

MLB Draftkings Breakdown August 2

Pitching:  Give me Lance and I will figure out the rest.

This is not a slate where we are going to have tough decisions on which stud to play.  Lance Lynn is the highest priced pitcher due primarily to his recent dominance and the pure trash that is the Detroit lineup against righties.  Lynn is averaging 12K/9 during the 2019 season and the Detroit lineup is full of right-handed hitters.  The only lefties that are in the lineup for Detroit are guys like Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum, both don’t strike fear into an opposing pitcher.  The lone downside to Lynn would be playing in Texas were the ball will most likely be flying out at a pretty good rate.  With the Tigers high strikeout percentage, the potential of homeruns is negated by the fact that it’s likely Lynn will reach double digits. 

Sneaky Stack Option: Chicago White Sox

The obvious stacks today are the Astros against Kickuchi and ofcourse both the Giants and the Rockies in Coors.  The sneaky stack of the night is the Chicago White Sox versus the bipolar Jason Vargas. Vargas has had his moments of glory in both real life baseball and the fantasy side of baseball.  He will make his first start for the Phillies and from the outside it looks like a great matchup with the struggling Chicago White Sox. 

Vargas could be chalky in the matchup but I think that Chicago is a sneaky way to fit in the best pitchers and the highest upside one offs.  Chicago has good power with Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez and the always fun to watch and start Tim Anderson.  Vargas has a slight downgrade in ballpark when compared to New York, that along with a negative hard-hit percentage.  This is a gamble but isn’t all DFS a gamble?

One-offs to target: AJ Pollock, Robinson Cano, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Judge.

Robinson Cano- Price play with high upside against the struggling Trevor Williams.  They continue to bat Cano 4th

AJ Pollock- .450 wOBA and a .604 slugging percentage versus lefties.  

Aaron Judge- Judge is at his lowest price of the season, just $3,900 versus a lefty. Judge is struggling but a matchup with the Boston Red Sox which should light the fire for all the Yankees.

Josh Donaldson- The reverse splits for Donaldson are surprising.  His inability to hit lefties is surprising as his career versus lefties is actually very strong.  At just 4.3K his is worth the price.  

August 2 Draftkings Lineup

P: Lance Lynn, Texas Rangers, $11,700

P: Kevin Gausman, Atlanta Braves, $8,300

C: James McCann, Chicago White Sox, $3,500

1B: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox, $3,700

2B: Robinson Cano, New York Mets, $3,200

3B: Josh Donaldson, Atlanta Braves, $4,300

SS: Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox, $3,900

OF: Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox, $3,500

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $3,900

OF: AJ Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,500

Five Most Disappointing Players of 2019- MLB

Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics

It was only a season ago when Khris Davis finished 8thin the AL MVP voting.  Mashing 48 homers Davis became the power bat in an emerging lineup.  The cog in a machine of a soon to be great offense in Oakland.  The specious Coliseum was no match for his raw power. The Athletics were so inspired by his season that they signed him to a two-year extension worth over $33 million. When they did this, I openly tweeted that Oakland just got a steal.  A young player that has been averaging 40 homers for multiple years for a discount as well as not having to go through the trouble of dealing with the problem of free agency.

The Athletics have overcome a slow start despite Davis’s slash line of .224/.290/.390.  Davis has been a complete disaster with a wRC+ 50 points behind his career average. The Athletics have been lucky to have Ramon Laureano become an offensive force.

Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays were not coming into this year looking to contend. Aaron Sanchez was supposed to be a player they could look upon to bring back some valuable pieces to help the rebuild along with their already existing young core.  Sanchez came out of the gates looking like a guy that would be moved to a contender in no time, starting out the year with a 3-1 record with a 20.6% strikeout rate, 15.3% walk rate, 2.32 ERA, 5.45 SIERA, and 0.3 fWAR in 31 innings. Then the wheels fell off Sanchez. Sanchez currently leads the league with 14 losses while sporting a 5.09 xFIP.  

Sanchez went from potential trade chip to a potential DFA in less than two months.  

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

Thor was supposed to help the Mets compete for an NL East crown in 2019, but that’s not the season Noah Syndergaard of the Mets have gotten.  Not to say Syndergaard has been terrible but a 4.33 ERA was not what the Mets were looking for.  They wanted to see steps in the right direction similarly to Jacob DeGrom. That has not been the case for Syndergaard.  Statistics are similar but the biggest problem for him has been batting average against with runners in scoring position. His xFIP has went up by an entire run in the 2019 season.  

Syndergaard has now been forced to deal with the rumors that he is available in trade scenarios.  The distraction has been a problem for the team along with the lack of direction for the team.

Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies were everyone’s darling team last season.  Kyle Freeland was the leader of a pitching staff that stepped up to make them a legitimate contender.  Freeland entered the season looking to repeat his dominance, that is not how the season has gone.  Freeland, 26, has found himself in the midst of a major regression 2-6 with a 7.13 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 12 starts before being farmed out.

The minors haven’t seemed to help Freeland find what he was missing as the second half hasn’t changed much. With Freeland’s decline the Rockies have declined falling further out of contention as the summer goes on. Freeland’s most baffling number is the power he has given up.  Last year he posted an impressive .76 homeruns per nine.  That number has ballooned to a 2.09.  In a place like Colorado there is no wiggle room for mistakes and Freeland has been making a lot of them.  The Rockies are still within striking distance of a Wild Card Spot, they will need Freeland to step up and be some form of his 2018 self.

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals believed that they had the perfect combination at the top of their lineup with Matt Carpenter, coming off of a career season in 2018, followed by newly acquired 

Paul Goldschmidt.  The plan was to have them bat one and two in front of power bat Marcel Ozuna.  Carpenter has looked lost at the plate for the entire season, his total WRC+ has dropped from a 138 in 2018 to an 86 in 2019.  His on-base percentage is down 50 points compared to last season.  Carpenter’s struggles attributed to the slow start of the Cardinals offense. 

Injuries have played a role in Carpenter’s struggles, but an overall lack of confidence seems to be the most telling signs.  His swing and miss rate has gone up as well as his pitch recognition.  The Cardinals have found a way to play through his struggles and still compete but a return to form of their 2018 MVP candidate would be huge for the stretch run.  It is not looking likely though as Carpenter’s most recent numbers in the minors have not shown that he is major league ready.  The Cardinal need his production to be a legit contender. 

July 26 MLB Draftkings Lineup

P: Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks, $10,500

Probably the most obvious pick on the slate.  Most likely will be the highest owned pitcher.  Facing the Marlins in Miami, a pitcher friendly park.  Greinke has hit double digits in fantasy in each of his last 5 games.  The Marlins don’t hit righties well, plain and simple. 

P: Daniel Mengden, Oakland Athletics, $6,200

The middle tier of pitching is a toss-up, so I am going to go with the player with the highest potential upside.  The Rangers are the highest per game strikeout team in all of baseball, averaging over ten strikeouts per game.  In 55 career at-bats against Mengden the Texas lineup has a 25%K-Rate and just a .233 WOBA.

C: Martin Maldonado, Chicago Cubs, $2,800

You have to have a punt play every now and then.  Maldonado versus a lefty in a hitter friendly ballpark makes a lot of sense.

1B: Luke Voit, New York Yankees, $4,800

Yankees stack.  Keep it simple. Voit is five for seven in his career versus Andrew Cashner.  Unless he is out of the lineup, he is a must play.

2B: Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees, $4,900 

Yankees stack. This play is based solely on Torres’s ownership of Andrew Cashner. In his short career Gleyber is six of thirteen with two bombs.

3B: Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays, $2,700

One of my two low cost plays of the slate.  Wendle is coming off of his best game of the season since returning from injury. Wendle brings some speed and potential power from a lineup that may be a sneaky stack tonight. His cost is the main reason for this play.

SS: Jonathon Villar, Baltimore Orioles, $4,000

Jonathon Villar is building off of a huge 38-point night.  Villar gets a matchup with late notice starter Nick Tropeano. Villar brings both pop and speed to your potential lineup in a good spot versus a sub-par starter.

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $5,500

Yankees Stack. If you are trying to stack one team you need someone towards the top of the order. Judge at a steep price is my pick. Always a home run threat. 

OF: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox, $4,500

JD hits lefties.  I can list all of the stats, but I will only include the simple ones.  .412 ISO versus lefties.  He faces James Paxton; he is a lefty.  End of story.

OF: Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals, $4,200

Soler is a reverse split player.  Higher ISO, Average and Slug facing righties. Zac Plesac gives up power to righties.  I wouldn’t look to stack the Royals but a one off with power like Soler makes a lot of sense at a very affordable price.

Potential Stacks:

New York Yankees

Tampa Bay Rays

Keep an eye on:

Atlanta Braves

MLB DFS Lineup July 19 (Draftkings)

P: Jacob DeGrom, New York Mets, $10,600

The Giants have been hot up until their matchup against Thor last night.  The Giants team total is set at a pedestrian three runs tonight in San Francisco, a very pitcher friendly park.  DeGrom is not the highest priced pitcher on the slate, which means you will save some money.  San Francisco is still striking out at over 26% as a team even with their recent hot streak.  

P: Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds, $6,000

The Cardinals are hot, but they still feature a watered-down lineup with a lot of strikeouts.  Tyler Mahle is way better against righties than lefties and the Cardinals will feature only a few lefties that are not overly scary DFS players Dexter Fowler, Matt Wieters and Tommy Edman.  

C: Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees, $4,600

Kyle Freeland has given up five earned runs or more in six straight starts.  Sanchez’s price has come down due to recent struggles but a matchup with the homer happy Kyle Freeland is a great play.

1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds, $3,400

Adam Wainwright has troubles versus lefties.  With multiple options in the Cincinnati lineup. I have chosen Joey Votto who over 49 at-bats versus Wainwright has hit him to a tune of a .995OPS.  Votto has been a disappointment all season but at this cost against a pitcher getting killed by lefties he makes almost too much sense.

2B: Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays, $3,900

Stacking against Kyle Freeland and Jordan Zimmerman are a theme for today’s lineup.  Biggio has been put in the middle of the order for the Blue Jays since his call up.  All six of Biggio’s homers have come against righties. I am looking for him to go yard tonight. 

3B: Vlad Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays, $3,700

Power. Power. Power. Vlad brings ridiculous power to the table against Zimmerman.  End of story.

SS: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,900

Seager has not returned to his rookie year form after a litany of injuries has slowed him down. His struggles have forced a lower cost at a prime position on a big slate.  Seager will face rookie Zac Gallen who

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $5,300

Judge may be the chalkiest of chalk plays in a Yankee stack.  Freeland has a real issue with giving up bombs and Judge will happily oblige him. Look for a double dinger day.

OF: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Toronto Blue Jays, $4,900

Lourdes is the light to our firecracker Blue Jays stack.  Gurriel hits in bunches and an already juicy matchup with Jordan Zimmerman should be a great showcase of one of the hotter hitters in baseball over the last few weeks. He is the highest price Blue Jay for good reason, and he will show it tonight.

OF: Matt Beaty, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,600

Beaty is coming off one of his best games of the year posting 26 fantasy points against the Phillies including a homer and three runs scored.  Beaty has a low price tag and high upside against Zac Gallen.  Check the starting lineup before you finish your lineup.  If he is in it, he is a must start at just $3.6K.

Stackable Teams:

Blue Jays

Yankees

Brewers

Sneaky Stack:

Pirates

Angels

MLB DFS Lineup May 12

P: Blake Snell, Tamp Bay Rays

The Yankees injuries continue to derail what could be a dominate lineup.  The most recent injury being power hitting catcher Gary Sanchez.  The Yankees still feature some potential value in their lineup but with no Sanchez, no Torres and the still recent return of Migual Andujar this team is going to be weaker than usual.  Take advantage an put in a reemerging Blake Snell coming off a bounce back start of 30+ DK points against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

P: Martin Perez, Minnesota Twins

You have to monitor whether Perez will make the start as he recently welcomed a new baby into the world last night. If he does make the start you will be getting one of the hottest pitchers in baseball against a Tigers lineup that tends to underwhelm you from an offensive perspective.  Perez has developed a cutter that has mesmerized opposing hitters in his last two outings.  Perez is still very affordable as well.  If he puts up another 30 point he won’t be in his next outing.

C: Danny Jansen, Toronto Blue Jays

You have to have a catcher and Jansen has power upside and he’s cheap.

1B: CJ Cron, Minnesota Twins

Building off of a great double header the day before.  CJ Cron has a history of mashing against lefties.  While I don’t like to stacking against Daniel Norris, the power of Cron is worth a risk at his 3.9K.  Sporting a .526 ISO in against lefties on the season Cron has great potential upside.

2B: Aledmys Diaz, Houston Astros

With Altuve on the IL Aledmys Diaz will be looked on to take a more prominent role within the starting lineup. Diaz has excelled at Tropicana Field this season hitting .300 at home nearly 200 points higher than on the road.

3B: Vlad Guerrero Jr, Toronto Blue Jays

Vlad Jr. has not gotten off to the torrid start that most assumed was coming when he received his call up.  He is coming off of his first double digit DK point day and appears to be seeing the ball well with two walks and two hits.

SS: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Bogaerts has been on a tear of late.  The matchup against lefty Marco Gonzales gives him a chance to face a lefty which he has a .400 ISO against during the 2019 season.

OF: Tommy Pham, Tampa Bay Rays

I love to play Pham during day games. During his career he has excelled in day games and especially versus Masahiro Tanaka. Three hits in five career at bats with an exit velo of 101 in his career against the Yankees righty makes him a must play at just 4.3K.

OF: Dennis Smith Jr., Baltimore Orioles

Griffin Canning could be a popular play with the high strikeout rate of the Baltimore lineup.  Dennis Smith Jr. has the potential to jump on Canning early. Smith Jr. features a .524 slugging percentage against lefties in 2019.

OF: Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers

Castellanos has been hitting lefties his entire career and will continue to do so in the middle of the lineup.  Featuring an .854 OPS Castellanos will have a chance to put up some numbers against Perez in the three spot of the lineup.

MLB DFS May 7 2019

P: Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels ($8,500)

Canning flew up the prospect ranks for the Angels and now gets a great matchup against the right handed heavy Tigers.  Detroit has struck out at the 5th highest clip against right handed pitchers.  Canning should have his first real opportunity to show his worth in the DFS community.

P: Caleb Smith, Miami Marlins ($9,500)

Smith is a risky play versus the Chicago Cubs, but his production is hard to ignore.  In total opposing offenses are hitting just .168 against Smith this season.  Smith also has averaged 11.9K’s per 9.  The Chicago lineup has been flourishing of late but only Javier Baez has been consistent against left-handed pitching during 2019.  Smith will get strikeouts so even if runs are given up he has a chance to score points.

C: Jorge Alfaro, Miami Marlins ($3,600)

Alfaro has the power to bring some punch for your lineup.  Hitting in the number four spot in the order will against a left handed starter gives him the potential for a big fly tonight.  At his low cost and spot in the lineup he has the potential to have a big game.

1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds ($3,500)

Joey Votto is good.  He just hasn’t shown it of late.  He gets a great matchup with Mike Fiers, who over utilizes his fastball which plays right into the hands of Votto.  Votto still carries a .381 WOBA vs. right-handed pitching going back to 2018.

2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros ($4,300)

Altuve continues to have low cost due to struggles in the early season. He has however had a strong ISO and WOBA to start the season.  He has matched up well with Danny Duffy over his career to a tune of .474 BA in 21 career at bats. 

3B: David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels ($3,900)

The Angels could be a sneaky stack for tonight.  David Fletcher has had a quietly productive season. He will face off with Daniel Norris, whom is giving up a .367 WOBA to righties. 

SS: Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,600)

Chris Taylor is one of the hottest hitters on the planet right now, scoring double digits on Draftkings in four straight games. Taylor has also excelled versus left-handed hitters with a .556 slugging percentage. 

OF: Kiki Hernandez, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,100)

Kiki mashes lefties. That is all.

OF: Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies ($3,900)

Desmond is a dart throw at best against Madison Bumgarner.  With over 40 career at bats against him it’s safe to say that Desmond should have a good idea of what is coming. His .486 slugging percentage is worth a start at a low price.

OF: Andrew Benintendi, Boston Red Sox ($5,100)

Benintendi has had eight hits over his last four games.  He gets a matchup with David Hess whom can blow up at any moment.  If affordable a Red Sox Stack would not be out of the question.

Five Under Appreciated Careers Still Going (MLB)

CC Sabathia amassed his 3,000 career strikeout this week becoming just the 17th pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history to reach that mark.  Sabathia now pitching in his age 38 season is continuing to be relivant in today’s game despite being forced to change his style.  No longer is Sabathia throwing upper 90’s fastballs, instead he has adjusted his abilities to meet the needs of his body.  Sabathia quietly has made himself a hall of famer.  The best part of his career is that despite his age and personal issues CC is still a very effective major league player.  Watching him reach that milestone made me think about other players that seem like they have been in the league forever and have quietly amassed great careers, edging on the hall of fame.  I figured I’d do a top five list.  To make this list you had to have played at least nine seasons in the league and cannot have one an MVP.  Obviously you have to still be active in the MLB and playing at a high level. 

5. Alex Gordon- Kansas City Royals

The longtime Kansas City star has seemed revitalized at the plate in 2019.  The former #2 overall pick has always brought his glove to Kansas City amassing an arsenal of gold hardware with his six career Rawlings Gold Glove awards.  Gordon has shown glimpses of the five-tool player that the Royals thought they were drafting.  From 2011-2014 Gordon was a three time all-star, 3 time gold glover and finished as high as 12th in the MVP voting.  Recent struggles at the plate over the last few seasons have made people forget what kind of a player is in left field for the rebuilding Royals. 

At 35 years old Gordon has been reborn, through 28 games he currently has an OPS of .989, driving in 22 runs. Alex Gordon won’t be a hall of famer but he shouldn’t be gone on the first ballot.

4. Curtis Granderson- Miami Marlins

Curtis Granderson was highly touted prospect in the Detroit Tigers farm system in 2004 when he got the call up to the show two years later Granderson hit 19 homers for the Tigers. The year after that he finished 10th in the MVP voting leading the league with 23 triples along with his 23 homers.  The “Grandy Man” was a star in the motor city he then became a superstar when the Yankees picked him up in 2010. In his second season in  New York Granderson lead the league in RBI’s and runs scored finishing 4th in the MVP voting. 

The three time all-star has been a consistent source of power in the league for 16 years now most recently in 2017 he hit 26 homers and followed that up last season hitting 13 homers.  Granderson has hitting a shocking 336 bombs in his major league career.  Dude mashes!

3. Hunter Pence- Texas Rangers

Hunter Pence is still playing in the majors.  Seriously he is playing in Texas and playing very well.  The former 2007 rookie of the year has 13 RBI’s and a .844 OPS in 19 games played. Pence a three time all-star was a model of consistency over his career when healthy hitting over twenty homers in 7 of his 13 seasons. Known for his crazy antics and his clubhouse leadership, Pence will continue to play and eventually get to 2,000 hits before he calls it a career.  He has also added 227 homers and a career OPS of .800. 

Oh….he also has 3 World Series rings to go along with his great statistics.

2. Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers

Shin-Soo Choo has never been a guy that fans will call “the guy” on a roster.  Choo has been a world class hitter since first opportunity in 2008. In 94 games that season Choo finished with an OPS of .946.  Choo earned his way into the starting lineup consistently continuing to produce with two straight seasons of .880 OPS. Choo is still producing at the major league level in his age 36 season.  The Texas Rangers, a place where veterans go to prosper, have seen the good side of Shin-Soo as he earned his first and potentially only all-star appearance in the 2018 season.

Choo will not be remembered a one of the greats to ever play but he has fit in perfectly to the analytically driven concept that baseball has adapted to. With a career OBP of .379, 193 homers and over 1500 hits most will not remember him to be as good as he has been in his career.

1.Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves

Finally receiving the recognition he has deserved the former Orioles first round pick has had a career that has been completely overlooked by many in the baseball community. A three time gold glove winner Markakis doesn’t bring the flash of a power hitter or the speed of a base stealer. His best season coming in 2008 where he provided a 6.1 WAR to go along with his .897 OPS. Continuing his terrific performance Markakis has continued his stellar career with a .406 OBP while creating a veteran presence with the up and coming Braves.  Nick Markakis’s career numbers will stagger most casual fans.  With 2,273 career hits 3 gold gloves and over 2,00 career games Markakis has established himself as a potential future hall of famer.