Paul previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 23rd.
Today we have a full slate of games on the MLB schedule starting at 1:05 p.m.
As always, make sure to check your lineup before game time for any last-minute scratches and keep an eye on the weather forecast as there may be issues with the following games: Cleveland at New York (AL), KC at Boston, Atlanta at Chicago (NL).
Every Sunday we run a $1 contest much to the fanfare and excitement of our loyal readers. With just 50 spots, it fills in quickly, so hurry up and join us!! The payouts will be as follows: 1st place $13.50; 2nd place $11.25; 3rd place $9.00; 4th place $6.75; 5th place $4.50.
Last week we didn’t fill this contest, and my apologies to those that signed up. We’ve had a lot of fun lately and I’m surprised that we had a missed week. Our crack marketing team will be in full force today so please join in by clicking the magic hat and set your lineup. I’ll list my recommendations below as well as my full lineup on twitter @fantasyassembly. This is your chance to play with some of the Fantasy Assembly team and maybe win some ca$h.
So play, and have yourself a $unday FUNday!
I’m packing up the family early today and we’re going on a nature walk through one of the region’s finest conservation areas. We’re packing water, snacks, sunscreen and my handy blackberry to keep me abreast of the day’s MLB action (yes, Canadians still like BlackBerry). Truth be told, I’ll probably have my phone confiscated before entering the park and I’ll have to catch up later tonight. While it’s Sunday Funday here, it’s also Family Day at home. Baseball is only my second greatest love in life, so Family Day always takes precedence. The picks must go on though, and I’m on a bit of a roll lately and hoping to keep it up today. I’ve saved some money on starting pitchers again today, finding a lot of recent success this way. I hope you join in the fun and try to beat our crew today. Good luck!
1. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Washington Nationals ($8,900) Zimmermann goes up against the Brewers at home today as -155 favorites. He is 4-3 with a 2.44 ERA at home this year, allowing just a .234 BAA. He is 4-1 lifetime against Milwaukee with a 3.71 ERA striking out more than a batter an inning over 6 starts. The Brewers are the 4th worst offensive club over the past 30 days with just a .286 wOBA, hitting just .239 as a team with a 21.9% K rate. While Zimmermann has been inconsistent this year, 5 of his last 6 starts at home have been quality starts. He’s no slam dunk as a SP1, but I think there’s very good value here.
2. Taijuan Walker, SP, Seattle Mariners ($7,700) Walker goes up against the White Sox at home today where opposing batters have hit just .215 against him this year. The ERA may still be high for him at home, but his xFIP at Safeco is a tidy 3.32. Walker also has a 27.9% K rate at home with a stellar 22.5% K-BB rate. The White Sox are near the middle of the pack as far as hitting RHP, but they should be no match up for Walker who comes in with 5 straight QS. Vegas has the Mariners as -150 favorites and there is no better bargain arm out there today.
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves ($4,400) Freeman has picked up where he left off since returning from the DL with hits in his first 4 games back. He also hit a double last night driving in his first run since coming back. Today he faces RHP Jason Hammel, holding a .294/.358/.528 line against RHP with 13 of his 14 home runs coming against right-handers. In 7 at bats against Hammel lifetime, Freeman has 5 hits including two home runs. It’ a small sample size, but coupled with Hammel’s recent struggles (6.13 ERA over past 5 starts) and I like Freeman to continue roughing him up.
4. Alcides Escobar, SS, Kansas City Royals ($3,900) Escobar leads off for the Royals against LHP Eduardo Rodriguez today, hitting .286 with a .336 OBP against left-handers. Before last night, he was riding a 5-game hitting streak and even hit a home run on Friday night against another LHP (Henry Owens). Escobar faced Rodriguez once this year, going 1-2 with a double and a walk. It’s not terribly relevant but I expect the Royals to have more success against Rodriguez today than their first game against him. With Escobar leading off and at least squaring him up before, I’m hoping for a couple of runs to go with the hits today.
5. Curtis Granderson, OF, New York Mets ($5,100) and 6. Michael Conforto, OF, New York Mets ($4,500) I’m pairing these two together as these LHH Mets outfielders go up against RHP David Hale in Colorado today. Hale has given up a .301/.355/.588 line to left-handed hitters this year, with 7 HR allowed in just 103 at bats. He’s given up a .564 slugging at home, including 20 XBH in 152 at bats. In short, this should be a high-scoring game once again for the Mets in Colorado. Curtis Granderson has been crushing RHP all year long, hitting .285/.386/.527 with 21 home runs. He leads off and should have plenty of opportunities to display his power (6 HR this month) as well as his ability to score runs (14 R this month). To his left in the outfield stands rookie LHH Michael Conforto whom I also like today. Conforto hit a HR on Friday in Coors and has 3 HR against RHP this year in just 53 at bats. He’s heating up with hits in 4 of his last 5 games along with a pair of home runs and a double. I admit to a couple of gut calls today and Conforto is one of them, but a good LH power bat in Coors against a RHP who gives up a ton of power to LHH doesn’t need a lot of validation.
7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,200) While I can gloss over Conforto, I may need to explain this pick. Alvarez is slugging .554 since the All-Star break with 7 home runs, and he crushes right-handers with 18 of his 19 homers against them this year. Meanwhile opposing pitcher Ryan Vogelsong has given up 13 home runs to left-handed hitters this year, along with a .515 SLG. Before last night, Alvarez had hit 8 fly balls in August and 4 of them have found the seats. I’m hoping he can make it 5 today.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @fantasyassembly
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