We are about a week away from the non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball.

As of this articles publishing, we’ve had one blockbuster trade in the past week. That was the Yankees dealing closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, who bolster their bullpen mightily. If the Cubs weren’t already the National League favorites, they certainly are now with arm like that anchoring the 9th inning.

I love the trade deadline in baseball. Every year it seems there’s a huge deal that sends a superstar to a contender. Last year it was David Price and Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays and Cole Hamels to the Rangers. In 2010, it was my Texas Rangers dealing for Cliff Lee, which led to the team’s first World Series appearance.

Right now there are talks that the Rangers could be in the market for Chris Sale, which means the Rangers would have to sell the farm for a head case.

Did you hear about Sale being angry about the uniforms his team was wearing for his scheduled start over the weekend? He thought they were uncomfortable and didn’t want to wear them, so during BP, he cut up all the uniforms so the team couldn’t wear them.

Who does that? It’s a vindictive move that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but to me that is about all you need to know of where this guy’s head is at. The 5 prospects the White Sox are asking for Sale, to me, is like paying $100 for a meal at a fancy restaurant with small portions.

With such a steep price for Sale, I don’t foresee the Rangers, or anyone, coughing up the trade bait for his services. I will be interested to see who the Rangers pick up, they need a starter.

OK, enough baseball babble, time for picks! Before you check out my picks, please visit dailybaseballdata.com for more BvP data for today’s slate.

And now the survey says….

Nelson Cruz – OF – Mariners – vs. Francisco Liriano

BvP: 3-for-7, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Analysis: Liriano may appear to be rounding back into form after whiffing 13 Brewers in his last start, but he’s still walk prone and owns a 4.65 SIERA on the season. PNC Park gives Liriano a boost, but ballpark, smallpark. Nelly Cruz doesn’t care what kind of ballpark he’s in, he crushes lefties. Cruz has 10 hits in his last 7 games and he burned a lot of people last time out against J.A. Happ (a lefty). I expect low ownership from Cruz though he’s cash and GPP viable in my books.

Mike Napoli – 1B – Indians – vs. Gio Gonzalez

BvP: 3-for-12, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB

Analysis: Napoli is pick two of six, all of which are $4,000 or more on DraftKings. Napoli will certainly be underowned in tournaments and I am not sure I would use him for cash games. His price tag is high for an aging DH, who of course, still smashes lefties. Gio Gonzalez hasn’t been as a consistent pitcher as he has in the past, so I like this matchup a lot. Napoli is at home where he hits near .300 and Gonzalez is on the road where he is far worse with a 4.85 ERA. Gonzalez make get the Ks, but I think he gives up some runs to the Indians, who have been consistent for fantasy points for the past month or more.

Jose Altuve – 2B – Astros – vs. C.C. Sabathia

BvP: 2-for-3, 2 RBI, 1 SB

Analysis: Altuve destroys southpaws. Altuve destroys at home. Sabathia is old with a 4.70 SIERA. Mix those three together and you have the potential for a huge day from Altuve. I don’t like that he is the highest-priced 2B on DraftKings, but he is as safe as they come at the position that doesn’t always offer the best options.

Jay Bruce – OF – Reds – vs. Matt Cain

BvP: 8-for-16, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 1 SB

Analysis: I really like this play as a highly-underowned tournament play. Bruce has been on fire of late and now travels to San Francisco against a dwindling Matt Cain, who sports a 4.92 SIERA and an extreme fly-ball rate of 0.82 GB/FB rate. Bruce is playing a late game in a pitcher’s park, but he’s got the power to make ballpark factors irrelevant. Plus, Bruce is such a streaky hitter that I can’t pass up the iron while it’s hot.

Ryan Braun – OF – Brewers – vs. Patrick Corbin

BvP: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Analysis: Braun is another guy with a very small sample size against the starting pitcher. I actually think Corbin is a really sneaky play at pitcher considering the Brewers are so bad against lefties. Braun, however, is on a roll with 4 multi-hit games in his past 10 (with in hits in all of those 10 games). Braun is hitting above the .300 mark for the season and at Miller Park. Corbin is a ground-ball pitcher who is better on the road than at home, but Braun’s stick is slicing up pitchers like a hot knife through clarified butter.

Michael Bourn – OF – Diamondbacks – vs. Matt Garza

BvP: 10-for-21, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SB

Analysis: There aren’t a ton of BvP numbers that stand out tonight, but Bourn takes the cake for the BvP Darling (should I start that as a new category?). His price is certainly expensive for a guy who isn’t going to send one over the fence, but he’s still got some juice left in the tank, hitting .269 with 15 extra-base hits and 8 steals in 56 games played this season. Sure, he’s not the 40-50 steal Bourn we are used to, but he’s been able to knock around Matt Garza (also not a shade of himself, which wasn’t that great to begin with) in his career. I do wish Bourn’s price was cheaper on DK as I feel the price of $4,000 is more like what he should be priced at 7 years ago. Maybe you can find him much cheap elsewhere and sneak him into some tournament lineups.

Lastly, we have our BvP lineup and recap from last week’s action.

Date Contest Type Entry Fee Lineup Score Winnings Profit Total Profit
7/19/2016 GPP $1 123.9 $2.00 $1.00 $23.50
7/20/2016 GPP $1 68.15 $0.00 -$1.00
7/21/2016 GPP $1 122.65 $2.50 $1.50

We came out ahead for last week. Even with Carlos Martinez not pitching on the 19th (PPD), our lineup still managed to cash (just think if I had switched him out!). A $1.50 profit MAY buy you a pack of gum these days, but we are still well ahead for the season. Next is tonight’s tentative lineup.

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Lineup Analysis: I think pitching sucks tonight. Lots of high-priced guys that shouldn’t really be high-priced though they are by name. Chris Archer stands out as a guy that could and should really shine tonight. So I punted pitching in both spots. Koehler actually has really great numbers against the Phillies in his career and this season. I probably should’ve recommended him over Michael Bourn, but hey I will kick myself later for it! Tyler Skaggs was a promising lefty at one time and gets his first start post-Tommy John Surgery. He may not pitch deep, but the Royals are in give-up mode and you can use pitchers against them in DFS, especially lefties. Posey is a nice value at catcher against a young lefty. Donaldson burned everyone yesterday, so I am back on that wagon, and Machado is RIDICULOUSLY cheap on DK against wunderkind (sarcasm) Chad Bettis.

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