For Friday night’s game at Citi Field between the Braves and the Mets, I went straight to a key source for some recommendations on who to start tonight. Gerald Laird, a 12-year veteran and catcher for the Braves, outlined two players you should have in your lineups tonight. Listening to Laird is a good idea, as he is a highly respected veteran and a very experienced authority on what makes his teammates tick.
First, Laird highly backed Andrelton Simmons as a starting choice. He noted that the Braves shortstop will be well-suited to face Jonathon Niese.”Niese throws a lot of pitches in the zone, and Simmy is an aggressive hitter. He should get a lot of fastballs he can work with.”
Then, Laird pointed out that Ryan Doumit is playing right field, and he expects him to make the most of the starting opportunity tonight. Justin Upton agreed with Laird’s assessments on Simmons and Doumit, who will likely be a good value on a lot of sites tonight. Right-hander hitters batted .294 against Niese last year, so using Upton, Simmons and Doumit makes a lot of sense.
“Those are my picks to click tonight<” Laird said of Simmons and Doumit.
Chris Young returns to the Mets from the DL tonight, but it may be best to avoid him for Daily Fantasy purposes. Young admitted he had heard Aaron Harang was throwing much better this year, but still had more to gather on him pregame when I spoke with him early this afternoon. Harang is looking like a different pitcher with the Braves, and struck out nine Mets last time he faced them. The Mets did steal two bases off Harang last time they faced him, but getting on base could be an issue for them tonight. David Wright has seen a lot of Harang in his career, but was 0-for-5 last time he faced him, so he should be avoided as well. The “new and improved” Harang could be a good play again tonight as he also gets run support from the hitters Laird recommended.
Who needs a Green Jacket when you can make some green? I may not be as savvy on Fantasy Golf as some of our other staffers, but I’m going to seek out some expert advice for the $20,000 Masters Fantasy Big Score on Draftstreet that begins on Thursday. You can bet I am going to be spending some time tonight checking out Pat Mayo’s Masters Preview here, and watch for a full rundown of Daniel Dobish’s prime picks for this big money Draftstreet tourney very early on Wednesday morning in his Daily Fantasy Bread blog.
Even if I do not play Fantasy Golf as consistently as the other sports, I know the right places to get my info and who to consult. And I simply have to let you, my readers know of this tremendous opportunity to stuff your pockets. You do not have to be a Fantasy Golf expert to win in this one. You just have to know where to go for the info. I’m banking on Mayo and Dobish.
The top prize is $3,000, and the Top 300 get paid. You get a chance at three grand for just 11 dollars. First time depositors at DraftStreet receive a 100% bonus up to $200. There are also other contests for the Masters on Thursday, so you can enjoy this great event with a real stake in it no matter the size of your PGA appetite. Enter the $20,000 Masters Fantasy Big Score by clicking here.
There’s some big contests on Draftstreet Friday, the featured one being the $100,000 Big Score. It’s a generous prize pool, with $20,000 being offered to the first place team and $12,000 to the Runner-Up, with payouts all the way up to 300th overall. If you want to get in the game, do it quickly, as it closes at 1:05 pm ET on April 4. You can enter right here.
Here’s my initial Draftstreet lineup for Friday’s deadlines. There are also $2 and $5 satellite league buy-ins.
C – Russell Martin ($4,081) has two home runs and a double in seven career at-bats against Shelby Miller.
1B – Adam Dunn homered Thursday and is a .371 lifetime hitter against Jeremy Guthrie with six walks, and I considered him, but do not want to lose points for strikeouts. So I decided to save money with my second starting pitcher and was able to get Miguel Cabrera (10,421) in there, much better.
2B – Neil Walker (5,364) is 5 for 9 with three doubles against Shelby Miller.
SS – Had room to fit in Troy Tulowitzki at 9,175 after popping in some initial value players.
3B – Juan Uribe (5,025) is 5 for 12 in his career against Ryan Vogelsong
OF – It’s a gamble, but Justin Upton (7,383) is 5 for 12 against Jordan Zimmermann. Alejandro De Aza (5,953) is a career .304 hitter against Jeremy Guthrie. Hunter Pence is 6 for 14 with three doubles against Hyun-Jin Ryu and he is at 7,370.
U – Carlos Gonzalez fit nicely at 9,663 and he is looking pretty good early on.
SP – The Twins hitters have limited overall experience against Danny Salazar (20,379). I think he may be the best daily start of the Friday schedule. Mike Leake (12,926) is a lock against a very limp Mets lineup. I like Steve Cishek (1,658) to seal another Miami victory against the Padres.
Many daily players will be banking on Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez tonight against the Mets, and while he might mow down a lot of the New Yorkers, he could actually end up in a pitching duel with Bartolo Colon. Most of the Washington hitters have not seen much of Colon in their careers, and it would not be a shock to see the veteran starter put forth a quality performance if the price is right for you. Tonight’s game could be a pitcher’s duel at Citi Field.
Adam LaRoche, a very experienced vet himself, is just 0 for 2 against Colon lifetime and admitted he does not know much about him at all, and needed to watch more film before he faced tonight. Ryan Zimmerman also said he does not know much about Colon at all. Denard Span and LaRoche are the only Nationals in the lineup tonight who have faced Colon before, and they are a combined 0 for 5 against him.
Gonzalez was loose and upbeat in the clubhouse prior to game time, and he should have little issues with a Mets lineup that features young hitters such as Wilmer Flores, Josh Satin and Juan Lagares. These two starting pitchers may battle each other for six to seven innings and there’s a solid chance that neither could end up with a victory tonight. This may be a game to avoid for Daily Fantasy purposes, don’t be so quick to run that Nationals stack out there tonight.
The 2014 Fantasy Baseball season is here, and I’m going to be providing you unique insider insights in this blog on a consistent basis. Our other fine writers will help you set your lineups every day, and I’m going to add distinctive tidbits that you can only find in this space to supplement and support their recommendations.
For the second consecutive season, I’ll be in the clubhouses and on the fields, with an eye on what you can watch for based on player interviews and pregame observations. I’ll be telling you what the hitters really think as they face certain pitchers, and who is looking good in batting practice and can translate it into the game. Some guys can take their good BP sessions into a game with them, while others may be just “five o’ clock hitters.”
My coverage begins this Wednesday as the Nationals visit the New York Mets. See you on the Daily Fantasy field.