Happy IRS Day!
The Tax-man cometh for you!
Anyway, now that i’ve got my obligatory wrestling reference out of the way, let it be know that it is April 15. Hopefully, you haven’t felt like the MLB season has been taxing to your bankroll thus far. If so, just realize that it will come around for you, it always does.
With those words of wisdom, I am hopeful for the best BvP article of the week. Tuesday was a huge bust followed by some improvement on Wednesday, but now it’s Friday and I’m in love.
Not only with my budding family, but with the options tonight. We get a rematch of Kershaw/Bumgarner while Chris Sale and slew of other aces are on the card.
Other narratives to take note: Robinson Cano returning to New York to face his former team, Dallas Keuchel is up against one of the tougher lineups in the league in the RH-heavy Tigers, and Toronto travels to Boston in what will likely be the highest-projected game of the night with Baltimore-Texas a close second.
I’ve said before that I believe you can’t choose only BvP players in your lineups to have success, and I stick by that. With that said, I want to have a little fun with this tri-weekly write up. Starting tonight, I am going to make one BvP-heavy lineup with my favorite pitchers and enter it into a cash game and a GPP. We will keep track of wins and losses, ROI, etc. I believe I tried this last year, but quickly stopped because I didn’t have set boundaries and rules. So here are the rules.
- I will play my lineups in FanDuel first, but switch to DraftKings once FD ends services in Texas
- I will use any combination of my picks in my lineup along with some of our Expert Consensus plays and anyone else I like.
- My one lineup will go into a cash game and a GPP. I will post a screen shot of it below my picks with a narrative.
- I will recap my BvP lineups on Tuesdays.
Pretty simple, eh? Hopefully, I can show you that using BvP can make you profitable.
On to today’s selections! I have 8 picks tonight, more than I have had all season. I am making up for no pitching selections at all this week. Bats are still a low number. I don’t think I can recommend more than 5 or 6 bats a night, and sometimes that’s a stretch. Anyway, let’s burn this mothereffer to the ground!
Bryce Harper – OF – Nationals – vs. Jeremy Hellickson
BvP: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1 SB
Analysis: You know what isn’t fair? Bryce Harper versus Julio Teheran. After a bomb yesterday, that’s twice he’s homered off of the Braves “ace.” Now he gets to face Jeremy Hellickson, who has ben fairly dominant in his first two starts of the season. Hellickson was atrocious against lefties last season as showcased by his .380 wOBA. Right now, Hellickson’s wOBA against lefties is hovering slightly above 0 at .036, so you know that is going to change a lot. Good think Bryce is a lefty, right? Hellickson also is prone to the longball as Harper is prone to hitting the longball.
Jose Bautista – OF – Blue Jays – vs. Rick Porcello
BvP: 13-for-28, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 BB, 1 SB
Analysis: I feel like maybe we have been here before? Rick Porcello versus any power hitter is normally a good thought process. The Green Monster is a target for extra-base hits while sometimes an eater of home run balls. This game is tied for highest total on the board (and more to come below) and the Blue Jays’ offense needs no introduction. Joey Bats is off to a great start against righties with 5 extra-base hits, including 2 HRs, 7 RBIs and 10 walks. While Bautista is normally regarded as a lefty killer, he’s extremely productive against RH pitchers as well, including last season with his .395 wOBA, more than 30 points higher than against lefties.
Prince Fielder – 1B – Rangers – vs. Vance Worley
BvP: 4-for-9, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Analysis: I couldn’t rush any faster than I did to put Prince on today’s list. He’s been struggling out of the gate, but pitchers who toss hot garbage can cure any ailment at the plate. The weather won’t be as hot as we would like for a game in Arlington, but sometimes that doesn’t always matter because we have two things working in our favor: 1. A power lefty bat and 2. Vance Worley. At an O/U of 9 runs, it’s clear to see why as Worley is a sucker for allowing lefty success in bunches (.346 wOBA in 2015, .407 wOBA to start the season).
Mark Trumbo – 1B/OF – Orioles – vs. Martin Perez
BvP: 4-for-9, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB
Analysis: Trumbo had some success against lefty Cole Hamels going into last night’s game, and he added fuel to the fire by popping another bomb off of King Cole. Well tonight his matchup gets much easier. While i am a Martin Perez fan, this is a great matchup for Trumbo. The venue, the Vegas line and a lefty on the mound. Perez is a groundball pitcher, but that hasn’t stopped him from giving up some XBH, especially to righties. In his last three seasons, this is Trumbo’s wOBA versus LH pitching: .390 – .344 – .364 (13-14-15, respectively). I fully expect TrumBombs to continue his torrid start to the season.
Albert Pujols – 1B – Angels – vs. Tommy Milone
BvP: 9-for-22, 7 2B, 2 BB
Analysis: Pujols makes BvP for the second time this season. He is not off to greatest start, but he gets a pristine matchup against lefty soft-tosser Tommy Milone. Pujols gets a boost for playing in Target Field, where left field favors power-hitting RH batters. Milone can make things tough, even though I believe he is a mediocre pitcher. Strangely, Pujols has SEVEN doubles out of his 9 hits against Milone. Somehow, he doesn’t have an RBI to his name either. It’s a weird line and with all of the top-tier pitchers available, Pujols is awfully cheap on FD for a guy who can still supply power in the middle of the Angels’ lineup.
Clayton Kershaw – SP – Dodgers – vs. San Francisco Giants
BvP: 56-for-341, 8 2B, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 13 BB, 102 Ks, 5 SB
Analysis: Against the current roster of Giants, Kershaw has amazingly held this team to a .164 average in 341 at-bats. That is insane success against one team. To say Kershaw owns the Giants is an understatement. The Giants may not strike out as much as we would like Kershaw always has that high-upside for Ks no matter who he is facing. Enhancing Kershaw tonight are two things: 1. Coming off a recent start against San Fran, so his mistakes are fresh in his mind. 2. He is playing at home, where he dominated in 2015 with an 11-3 record and a 1.67 ERA.
Madison Bumgarner – SP – Giants – vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
BvP: 45-for-210, 13 2B, 7 HR, 15 RBI, 11 BB, 52 Ks
Analysis: It’s too bad pitchers can’t receive points for batting stats in DFS because Bumgarner would be the perfect play against Kershaw. Not only does Bumgarner take the Dodgers to the woodshed (not as much as Kershaw does to the Giants), but he could have Kershaw’s number at the plate. The Giants as a team have 3 homeruns combined against Kersh, Bumgarner has 2 (including one last week). That’s insane to me, but Bumgarner is one of the better hitter pitchers in the game. Anyway, Bumgarner will be one of the lower owned pitchers on tonight’s slate. Last week, Bumgarner was in the 5% range in large-field tournaments in the game he was in against Kershaw. I expect that again with a cheaper option in Zack Greinke in a beautiful matchup against the Padres. Bumgarner is my favorite GPP pitcher of the slate if you are looking to differentiate your lineups. Oh, one more thing, the Dodgers have yet to record a steal against Bumgarner, another facet of the game to think about.
Zack Greinke – SP – Diamondbacks – vs. San Diego Padres
BvP: 33-for-165, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 9 BB, 42 Ks, 4 SB
Analysis: In his Diamondbacks’ debut on Opening Day, Greinke was battling the flu and may have had some carry over in the start after that. Keep in mind both of those games were at Chase Field, a top-5 hitters park. Greinke’s regression from 2015 has already reared it’s head. But I expect the bleeding to stop today as Greinke is up against the Padres who are already winning the race for team futility in 2016. Young fireballer Vincent Velasquez lit up the Padres for 16 strikeouts in a complete-game win yesterday, so Greinke is in a prime spot. PETCO aids pitchers plus the inability to make contact by the Padres’ bats makes Greinke in a super-elite matchup.
Narrative: Assuming Caleb Joseph starts, this will be my lineup for tonight using BvP to make a lineup. Obviously, I really like the Orioles/Rangers game with half of my bats from that game. Stephen Drew and Kike Hernandez each have solid stat lines against their opposing pitchers. Robinson Cano is a narrative play, going back to New York and gets to attack the short porch in right. Then there’s Adonis Garcia. He’s strictly a punt against a lefty. Should anyone be ruled out, that obviously would change my lineup above.