Daily Fantasy Baseball must starts: Monday August 27th

Daily Fantasy Baseball Must StartsThere are plenty of solid options on a slower day in the MLB, but can you really justify not rostering Nelson Cruz these days?

Value plays:

Miguel Montero – The Diamondbacks catcher is quietly on pace for his best season of his career, and with a matchup against Bronson Arroyo, I like that trend to continue. He has 8 hits (4 for extra bases) in 15 career at bats (.533 batting average) against the Reds righty, leading Arizona in HR’s, hits, and RBI. He is slugging 1.200, a number that is impossible to ignore on a slow Monday in the majors. Montero averages a little more than 1 walk every 3 games, making this free swinging catcher a player with a high ceiling against the Reds.

Nelson Cruz – Nobody on planet Earth is hotter than Cruz, and not even the great David Price has a good chance to slow him down. Cruz owns a .500 batting average against the Rays ace with a .800 slugging percentage. The Rangers lineup should benefit from pitchers wanting to face Cruz with the bases empty, leading me to believe that the top of this order will come out swinging and provide Cruz with run producing opportunities. The past numbers are great and he simply cannot be retired these days; you’ve got to ride out this remarkable fantasy baseball streak as long as it lasts.

Carlos Beltran – Can I make it any more clear? The Cardinals offense is rounding into form, and Beltran should lead the charge tonight against A.J. Burnett. The St. Louis outfielder has a .333 batting average against the Pirates ace with more RBI (10) than hits (9). The Cardinals as a team are batting .322 against Burnett, and I trust this veteran team to piece together quality at bats tonight. Burnett has given up 28 hits and 14 earned runs over his last 3 games, providing Pirates fans with a glimpse of what Yankee fans saw last season. This is a HUGE series for the NL playoff picture, and for daily fantasy baseball games, I like the Cardinals (specifically Beltran) to steal the show today. Read more…

Fantasy Baseball: Week 19 waiver wire pickups

There are five weeks left in fantasy baseball’s regular season so let’s get right to this week’s waiver wire pickups.

Jarrod Dyson- OF-Royals: The team might no longer be relevant, but this speed merchant has been on fire and made himself so noticed that manager Ned Yost has decided to start him in center vs righties while veteran Jeff Francoeur will bat vs lefties. Dyson, who turns 28 this month, has spent the bulk of his career in the minors; he’s only played in 44 major league games prior to this year. In his last 5 games, he is batting .526 (10-19) with 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, and 5 stolen bases.Four of the five have been multi-hit games. Nobody owns him (2%) so if you need speed grab him off waivers quickly.

Chris Johnson-3B-Diamondbacks: Some player’s just need a change of scenery in order to find a groove, and such is the case with Johnson. Since coming over to Arizona from the lowly Astros on July 29th, he is batting .381 (8-21) with 3 homers and 10 RBI. He had 8 HRs in 92 games with the ‘Stros before the trade. Probably safe to assume that he won’t keep this pace up for the rest of the season but you could do worse than Johnson who’s career BA is just under .280. Ranked 18th among all position players in Yahoo! leagues last week, Johnson is available in 65% of leagues. Read more here…

MLB best bets of the day: July 26, 2012

NY Mets at Arizona 9:40 PM Harvey vs Miley

This game features two future aces in Matt Harvey and Wade Miley. Harvey, 23, makes his Major League debut today, and I’m not so sure he’s ready. Not because he doesn’t have the stuff, but rather because he’s facing the hottest hitting team in baseball. While the Diamondbacks did lose yesterday, they were on a five-game win streak, and have won seven of their last ten.

This one isn’t about the phenom Harvey, but rather the Diamondbacks bats, and Wade Miley. Miley has been an absolute stud at home; in the eight games he has started at Chase Field, Miley sports a 2.55 ERA and a 7-2 record. As far as the bats are concerned, well, there shouldn’t be any concern, while at home. Diamondbacks hitters are batting nearly 40 points higher at home and have hit 27, 17, and 24, more doubles, triples, and home runs respectively, at home…in just two games more than away! Harvey had a 3.68 ERA for the NY Mets AAA affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. After this one, Harvey will be lucky to get south of a 5.00 ERA for the remainder of the 2012 MLB season.

Pick: Diamondbacks -1 ½(+125)

Read more picks here…

MLB best bets of the day: July 22, 2012

Lance Lynn Cardinals

After a less than stellar day yesterday we hope to put that pain behind us and move on.  We have some decent pitchers going today, and some, well, terrible ones… Jeremy Guthrie will be making his Kansas City Royals debut; Jordan Lyles will be looking to improve upon his 6.81 road ERA; Lance Lynn is going for his 12th win; Philip Humber and the White Sox will be looking to regain the division lead.

Houston at Arizona 4:10 PM Lyles vs Collmenter

As mentioned, Jordan Lyles doesn’t perform well on the road and luckily for the Diamondbacks, they’ll be facing the righty and the putrid Astros offense at home today. Arizona hitters haven’t faced Lyles much, but when they have they’re hitting .524 with an OPS of 1.190 – Not a great sample size, but a little is better than nothing.

Look for Justin Upton, Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero to have some run-producing at bats today.

Picks: Diamondbacks -1 ½ (Even) and Over 9 (-120)

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis 2:15 PM Wood vs Lynn

Since giving up five earned runs or more in three consecutive starts in June Lance Lynn has been dominant. Lynn is sporting a 0.69 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in July and has recorded 17 strikeouts in just 13 IP. Furthermore, current Cubs are hitting just .227 against the 25-year-old red bird. Read more here…

MLB 6 pack: National League mid-season award winners

Rookie of the Half-season Award: P Wade Miley, Diamondbacks

Runner-Up: OF Bryce Harper, Nationals

Halfway through the 2012 baseball season, it may be a surprising choice that I’ve chosen the Diamondback lefty over the 19-year-old phenom Nationals’ outfielder. Despite a horrible outing this past Saturday against the Brewers (3.2 IP, 8 ER), Miley has still posted outstanding numbers in his rookie season, accumulating a team-best 9 wins (6th in N.L.), and a 2.87 ERA (16th). Miley’s outstanding play has helped the Diamondbacks get back into the playoff scene at the 2012 half-season.

Manager of the Half-season Award: Terry Collins, Mets

Collins (above) has nearly the rest of the N.L. East division looking up at his overachieving Mets in the standings

Runner-Up: Davey Johnson, Nationals

A tough call for N.L. Manager of the Half-season, both Terry Collins and Davey Johnson are “1-A” and “1-B”. Although the Nationals looked to be one year away from contending with the assumption that the Phillies, Marlins, and Braves would dominate the N.L. East, the Mets were projected to be NOWHERE near the top of the N.L. East standings in 2012. The Mets may not hit the long ball too often (66 home runs-12th in N.L.), but they score by playing small ball (376 runs-3rd in N.L.). Even though the Mets’ fielding is an issue (63 errors-2nd worst in N.L.), the pitching has been efficient (3.83 ERA-6th in N.L.), and guys are playing the right way at the right time. Overall, Collins has done significantly more with less (see R.A. Dickey) halfway through the 2012 season. Read more here…

Fantasy Baseball: Week 11 waiver wire pickups

Ryan Cook

Ryan Cook-RP-Athletics- Brian Fuentes who has been closing for Oakland this season has begun a massive implosion and, according to Manager Bob Melvin, the team will operate with a ‘closer by committee’ going forward. Fuentes has just blown his third save of the season and over his last four has un-closer-like numbers (5.24 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). If you have the room on your roster for a speculative sleeper, then pick up Ryan Cook; the next probable closer for the A’s. He has only given up 2 runs in his last 26 innings pitched and has a microscopic ERA of 0.69. His WHIP which stands at 0.85 ain’t so bad either. To us it’s not a matter of if Cook will get the closer nod, it’s when. He’s been going fast off of waivers but is still available in 75% of leagues.

Jason Kubel-OF-Diamondbacks- Injuries kept this former Twin out of the lineup for over 50 games last season but in the three years prior Kubel averaged 23 HR’s and 91 RBI’s. Over his last four games he is 9-for-18 with 2 HR’s and 12 RBI’s. Hard to believe that as of Sunday he has as many RBI’s as Andrew McClutchen, Nelson Cruz, Mark Teixiera, and Alber Pujols; all of which are owned in 98%+ in most leagues. Kubel is much more available as he is owned in just 45% of leagues. He is on pace to hit around 20 HR’s and knock in 108 runs. His .299 BA is a huge plus as well for those in standard 5×5 leagues. Makes for a nifty pickup in 12+ leagues. Read more here…