Bad Beat Baby (and other notes from 6/3/15)

Being a former semi-professional online poker player back in the good ol’ Party Poker days, I surely have had my fair share of bad beats, and I have given bad beats as well.  But I don’t think any of those bad beats I received will match up to the one I suffered on Wednesday on DraftKings.

In the $80K Guaranteed Moonshot tournament ($3 entry fee), I entered 6 lineups with all of them containing at least 1 player from the Coors Field game between the Dodgers and Rockies.  Games at Coors Field obviously have increased total offense due to thin air, so hitters playing games there are going to be good guys to target.  Three of my lineups were full 5-6 player stacks of either the Dodgers or Rockies offense, and in the other 3 lineups I had sprinkled in some of those players.

However, about 15 minutes before the first game was about to start, I got a notification of some inclement weather in Denver so there was a decent chance of the game getting postponed.  After some deliberation, I told myself and a couple friends that I would chance it and keep all my lineups as they were.  But then at the very last minute, I ended up switching just one of the 6 lineups where I substituted in Jason Kipnis and Mike Aviles for Martin Prado and Troy Tulowitzki.

As the evening progressed, I was in 1st place out of the 30,651 entrants around the 8:00 PM hour, but with Kipnis and Aviles not having done much, I knew that I was in for a sad night with Tulowitzki still on the slate as the Dodgers and Rockies game battled a couple of rain delays but the game would go on as scheduled.  Tulowitzki ended up having a monster game and it turns out that if I did not edit that one lineup at the very last minute, then I would have ended up getting 1st place and taken down the $5,000 prize.

What is the most disappointing about it all is that it wasn’t a bad beat suffered at the hands of another DFS player, it was a bad beat that I gave to myself.  If I had just trusted myself then I would have been that much richer.  But so it goes.  Lesson learned to trust my instincts, and I’ll take a tourney down one of these days.

Let’s see what happened in Wednesday’s slate.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K with the W.  Rodriguez was nearly as sharp in his second Major League start as he was in his debut last week.  He needs to remain in the Red Sox rotation and he needs to be scooped up in all fantasy leagues.  I personally tried to get him wherever I could, but was outbid in the auction waiver system everywhere!  His excellent control paired with his strikeout ability is going to make this rookie southpaw pitcher a very fine pitcher.  Check out “Eduardo Rodriguez Earning his Sox” for more information on him.

Gerardo Parra – 4 for 5, 2 RBI, 1 RBI.  Nice day for Parra at the plate and while he isn’t super great in any one category, he is a 10 HR/10 SB type of player and is going to be seeing everyday at-bats spending a lot of time near the top of the order for the Brewers for the foreseeable future.  He’s definitely a great role player for a Major League squad and should have a role on some fantasy teams out there.

Jimmy Nelson – 5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K with the L.  Nelson has some talent as a pitcher, but he is showing himself as very erratic from start to start.  Unless you can stomach it, he is fine to be left for the waiver wire in most leagues until he can show some maturation as a pitcher.  He is 2-6 with a 4.41 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 60 K/27 BB in 67.1 IP.

Taijuan Walker – 8 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K with the L.  Speaking of maturation, could Mariners youngster Taijuan Walker be figuring things out finally?  This is now his second nice start in a row as he has done a good job of limiting the free passes, which has been a big issue for him.  I still wouldn’t feel too comfortable starting him, but he will face the Indians next, a team that he dominated for 8 shutout innings last week, so it could be a fine roll of the dice with the way that he’s running.

Mark Teixeira – 1 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K.  Home run #16 for Teixeira.  Read “Tex Marks the Spot” for why I believe that Teixeira can keep on rolling.

Masahiro Tanaka – 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K with the W.  Tanaka returned form the DL and just got back to business as usual, but it’s hard to trust that arm of his to remain healthy for the remainder of the year.  It wouldn’t be unwise to use this start as a selling point in shopping him around, but it’s really just a personal preference because he is definitely money if healthy.

Starling Marte – 0 for 0, 1 R, 1 SB.  As I said on Tuesday, Marte is in the midst of a slump and should be receiving a day off here or there, and Wednesday was that day.  He came in as a pinch runner though and stole his 9th base and scored.  I expect him to begin to do some more mashing at the plate soon.

A.J. Pollock – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  Pollock just keeps on doing it.  He’s my boy.

Yasmany Tomas – 3 for 5, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 K.  He’s still sitting on just 1 HR, but he keeps spraying the ball all over the field for a .331 AVG.  With a .417 BABIP, we have to expect his AVG to correct itself to .300 or below soon, but I have talked about how his opposite field approach at the plate is very good and an encouraging sign.

Rubby De La Rosa – 5 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.  A very mixed bag for De La Rosa on Wednesday in a start where he got a lot of swinging strike whiffs but also gave up a lot of hits and runs.  He’s been a lot better than his 5.09 ERA indicates.  All you have to do is look at his good SIERA, xFIP, and K/BB ratio to see that he can most definitely get that ERA way down from where it is at.  However, he will have a tough assignment at Dodger Stadium in his next start, and he might be best left for the fantasy bench in that one since the Dodgers absolutely clobber right-handed pitching.

Freddie Freeman – 2 for 5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 K.  Big game for Freddie as he loves playing at Chase Field in Arizona.  Visiting the D-Backs, Freeman is hitting .406 with 6 HR and 20 RBI in 15 games.

Jose Bautista – 2 for 5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 K.  Bautista has been playing the field the whole series at Washington and he slammed his 8th HR of the season on Wednesday.  Looks like for now his shoulder is feeling good.  He should keep seeing his production rise.

Mark Buehrle – 9 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K with the W.  After his last start I said: “As a Major League pitcher, eating up inning and giving his team a chance to win, he has long been one of the most consistent and reliable lefties in the game.”  And this is why.

Trevor May – 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K with the W.  It’s time to start paying attention to May.  He’s always had K potential as a prospect in the Minors, but the control has never been there.  With a walk rate of 1.43 BB/9 this season, May is finally delivering in that area and his SIERA is nearly a full run below his 4.45 ERA.  He’s definitely worth a flier.

Mike Leake – 8 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K.  A marvelously pitched game by Leake as he entered the 9th inning with a 1-hitter, but he got into some trouble and was relieved by Aroldis Chapman who promptly blew the win for Leake.  After serving up 20 ER in 14 innings over his previous 3 starts, this was a bit unexpected from Leake, despite it being against a weak Phillies offense.  However, he is capable of these types of games as he had two starts earlier this season of 8 innings of shutout baseball.  It’s just hard to say which Leake will show up.  He’s not recommended for season long fantasy leagues.

Sonny Gray – 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K with the W.  Gray continues to deal as the Tigers continue to struggle versus right-handed pitching

Jose Abreu – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 K.  Perhaps Abreu is seeing the ball a little bit better now as this was his first K in 4 games, oh and let’s not forget about the big bomb that he hit.

Chris Sale – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 K with the W.  What a game from Sale and you know that I have to check out what his pitch usage in this game since it’s been something I’ve been documenting for the last month now.  Sale made 113 pitches and the breakdown is the following:  53 fastballs (47.3%), 32 sliders (28.3%), 27 changeups (23.9%).  This was the first time all season long that Sale threw more sliders than changeups!  A month ago in “Chris’ Slider Sale-ing Away,” I said how he needed to start throwing his slider more and his fastball less to have greater success.  You’re welcome, Chris!  #nailedit

Joey Gallo – 1 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 3 K.  I’ve noted how Gallo should struggle against lefties, and wouldn’t you know it, he struck out 3 times against Chris Sale.  But as soon as Sale departed the game, Gallo went yard off lefty Zach Duke.  It was announced that Josh Hamilton would hit the DL and miss 3-4 weeks with a hamstring injury, so even when Adrian Beltre returns, Gallo could have a spot playing left field.  Things are looking up for Gallo in terms of having more than just a brief stay.

Chris Carter – 2 for 3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 K.  First Utley finally gets over .200, and now Carter after I called him out on it the previous night.  He did it by crushing two solo taters.  Perhaps he is warming up.

Lance McCullers – 9 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K with the W.  Just a masterful outing for the 21-year old McCullers.  Very impressive was the pitch efficiency and no walks.  I’ve said that would be an issue for him, and it still should be in some starts going forward as this was just a nice matchup since the Orioles are not a patient hitting team at all.  However, he remains a very intriguing fantasy option and should be rostered in most formats.

Corey Kluber – 8 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K with the L.  The Royals just have Kluber’s number, but he still was able to muster up 9 K’s here.

Joc Pederson – 2 for 3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  That’s 5 straight games with a HR for Joc.  Wowee zowee.  Joc is an auto-start in DFS at Coors Field.

Mike Bolsinger – 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.  The Bullsh**ter Bolsinger is coming out in the last couple starts.  Albeit, this one was at Coors.  But he’s surely losing his luster.

Troy Tulowitzki – 2 for 3, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB.  Tulo is turning it on, but I hate him for this game.

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