Top DFS Plays for 07/29/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Hanley Ramirez vs. Aaron Harang – hitting .385 (10/26) – with a 2B, 5 HR, 7 RBI and 2 walks

Adrian Gonzalez vs. Aaron Harang – hitting .412 (7/17) with a 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI and 2 walks

Brian Dozier vs. James Shields – hitting .350 (7/20) with 3 2Bs, 2 HR, 7 RBI and a walk

Carlos Gonzalez vs. Edwin Jackson – .778 (7/9) with 2 2B, a 3B, 6 RBI and a walk
Cargo hasn’t been great on the road but I love this matchup today.

Adrian Beltre vs. Brandon McCarthy – hitting .389 (14/36) with 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI and a walk

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Adrian Gonzalez 

Top DFS Pitcher for today: 

Jeff Samardzija vs. Houston Astros – JUST DO IT!

Movie of the day: Expendables 2 – See a theme this week? I threw out 1 so of course I have to throw out number 2. Again, not great acting but damn fun movies to watch.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

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Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank Catchers

Did you know this guy is the best daily catcher vs. LHP?
Did you know Norris is the best daily catcher vs. LHP?

As the daily fantasy game continues to evolve and gain popularity, the research and advantages to using advanced statistics have made year-long gamers better as well. It is hard to ignore the impact that the daily game has had within the fantasy sports industry. With that in mind I wanted to follow up my second half rankings series with a look at how players are stack by applying splits to the equation. Oakland has been a lead on the value of splits and platoons and their catchers this year are a prime example. Instead of using just one catcher they use John Jaso, Derek Norris and even Stephen Vogt (a catcher by trade because of his bat) which has been a very useful group in fantasy baseball. For example, in a league with daily transactions here is the Oakland platoon versus the highest drafted catcher Buster Posey:

Buster Posey 2014 Stats: 38 R, 11 HR, 53 RBI, 0 SB .278/.339/.427

Oakland catchers 2014: 54 R, 13 HR, 59 RBI, 4 SB .302/.380/.479

To be fair to Posey, it is hard for an individual to beat a team but the stats I am using are to prove a point. The Oakland stats are only from when their players are at catcher and not DH so it does not skew the overall counting numbers. But as more and more teams see this it will involve more clubs exploiting platoons and more importantly splits. So if you are a daily “degenerate” as many of the daily fantasy players refer to themselves as, here is what their knowledge of splits using advanced statistics can teach us. First here is a glossary of the stats I will be using:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

Below I will list the top ten catchers for each split, versus left-handed and right-handed pitching. These lists are important when formulating what players to target on a daily basis moving forward. After listing each top ten in the five categories above, I will average out their finishes for the top ten list against each split.

Catchers versus Left-Handed Pitchers (minimum of 50 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Derek Norris .447
2. Carlos Ruiz .427
3. Chris Iannetta .420
4. Brian McCann .400
5. Jonathan Lucroy .399
6. Yan Gomes .397
7. Wilin Rosario .396
8. Devin Mesoraco .377
9. Buster Posey .369
10. Rene Rivera.363

ISO:
1. Wilin Rosario .338
2. Rene Rivera .304
3. David Ross .288
4. Chris Iannetta .253
5. Derek Norris .233
6. Brian McCann .213
7. Mike Zunino .208
8. Jonathan Lucroy .202
9. Devin Mesoraco .196
10. Yan Gomes .194

OPS:
1. Derek Norris 1.039
2. Chris Iannetta .968
3. Carlos Ruiz .964
4. Wilin Rosario .931
5. Jonathan Lucroy .928
6. Yan Gomes .924
7. Brian McCann .914
8. Devin Mesoraco .884
9. Rene Rivera .842
10. Buster Posey .840

AB/HR:
1. Wilin Rosario 11.8
2. David Ross 13
3. Rene Rivera 14
4. Chris Iannetta 16.6
5. Derek Norris 17.2
6. Robinson Chirinos 19
7. Brian McCann 22.3
8. Tyler Flowers 24
9. Mike Zunino 24
10. Yan Gomes 24.5

wRC+: (100 is league average)
1. Derek Norris 193
2. Carlos Ruiz 176
3. Chris Iannetta 176
4. Yan Gomes 158
5. Jonathan Lucroy 155
6. Brian McCann 154
7. Buster Posey 143
8. Wilin Rosario 139
9. Devin Mesoraco 138
10. Rene Rivera 137

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above:
1. Derek Norris – 86 AB, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 360/446/593
2. Chris Iannetta – 83 AB, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 313/402/566
3. Wilin Rosario – 71 AB, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 282/311/620
4. Carlos Ruiz – 48 AB, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 313/484/479
5. Brian McCann – 89 AB, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 326/375/539
6. Jonathan Lucroy – 94 AB, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 330/396/532
7. Rene Rivera – 56 AB, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 250/288/554
8. Yan Gomes – 98 AB, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 347/383/541
9. David Ross – 52 AB, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 231/317/519
10. Devin Mesoraco – 51 AB, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 294/393/490

The top three players in the rankings make great targets against left-handed starters in daily play. While their prices vary, each is solid across the board. I am shocked by how well Brian McCann is doing against lefties. Is there less of a shift or does he stay in longer? Definitely a shock but his numbers suggest it is not a fluke this year. Yan Gomes has been hot and will see his price rise but he is worth the gamble. In the lower price range, David Ross is a boom or bust proposition and I only suggest using him against a weak lefty, but Rene Rivera is an interesting and inexpensive option in San Diego. With another home run today off Mike Minor he is worth a look when in the lineup against southpaws.

Catchers versus Right Handed Pitchers (minimum 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Stephen Vogt .411
2. Devin Mesoraco .409
3. Russell Martin .393
4. Jonathan Lucroy .384
5. John Jaso .379
6. Carlos Santana .359
7. Evan Gattis .358
8. Miguel Montero .355
9. Salvador Perez .355
10. Derek Norris .346

ISO:
1. Devin Mesoraco .310
2. Carlos Santana .235
3. Evan Gattis .231
4. Yasmani Grandal .210
5. John Jaso .201
6. Mike Zunino .199
7. Jonathan Lucroy .192
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia .188
9. Yan Gomes .176
10. Robinson Chirinos .175

OPS:
1. Devin Mesoraco .948
2. Stephen Vogt .942
3. Jonathan Lucroy .879
4. Russell Martin .875
5. John Jaso .868
6. Evan Gattis .829
7. Miguel Montero .817
8. Salvador Perez .809
9. Carlos Santana .802
10. Jarrod Saltalamacchia .774

AB/HR:
1. Carlos Santana 15.8
2. Jarrod Saltalamacchia 22.6
3. Yan Gomes 24.6
4. Jonathan Lucroy 25.1
5. Miguel Montero 25.2
6. Robinson Chirinos 25.7
7. Salvador Perez 27.6
8. Jason Castro 27.8
9. John Jaso 28.6
10. Alex Avila 30

wRC+:
1. Stephen Vogt 168
2. Devin Mesoraco 162
3. Russell Martin 155
4. John Jaso 146
5. Jonathan Lucroy 144
6. Carlos Santana 132
7. Evan Gattis 129
8. Salvador Perez 126
9. Miguel Montero 123
10. Derek Norris 123

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above:
1. Devin Mesoraco
2. Jonathan Lucroy
3. Carlos Santana
4. Stephen Vogt
5. John Jaso
6. Russell Martin
7. Evan Gattis
8. Miguel Montero
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
10. Salvador Perez

Carlos is not number 1 against righties yet, but he is closing fast after a huge weekend in KC
Carlos is not #1 against right-handers yet, but he is closing in fast after a huge weekend in Kansas City

It is apparent that the Oakland theme is not a mistake. With Derek Norris placing first overall in regards to facing left-handed pitching and both Stephen Vogt and John Jaso in the top five versus righties, they are on to something here. It is imperative to see who the A’s are facing and to use one of their catchers in both DFS leagues and year-long ones. The values of Jaso and Vogt are on the rise as Coco Crisp is likely headed for another DL stint as they batted in the top two spots of the lineup today. Carlos Santana had a weekend for the ages but no longer has catcher eligibility on Fan Duel. He does maintain it on other sites, however. He is on a meteoric tear right now and his prices will be adjusted. I had him as a target last week in my second half preview and if you got him this week, great job. Jonathan Lucroy is a model of consistency but his being ranked higher against right-handed pitching than left-handed surprised me. Speaking of Lucroy, only he and Devin Mesoraco made both lists pointing to their values going forward. This is only a piece of the puzzle but if you play daily or have been interested, I hope these lists help you identify players to target in that landscape.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Statistical credits: BrooksBaseball.net, Fangraphs.com, Yahoo.com, MiLB.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/Ql5pGi (Norris), http://goo.gl/bygAKS (Santana)

Late-Round Sleeper Targets: 2014 Fantasy Football (PPR)

QB:

1. Ryan Tannehill: Since being drafted 8th overall by the Dolphins back in 2012, Tannehill has produced middle-to-upper tier QB2 numbers. Last year, he was the victim of being in an offense run by Mike Sherman which didn’t help Tannehill’s development. Further, Miami failed in properly utilizing deep-threat receiver Mike Wallace. This year though, he has a new offensive coordinator in Bill Lazor. Lazor was the quarterback coach for the Eagles a season ago and was a big part of  the Nick Foles breakout. His offensive approach will incorporate the unique skills of the play-makers he has, which will include Mike Wallace. Along with a reliable slot receiver in Brian Hartline and a running back who can catch passes out of the backfield in Lamar Miller, I could see drafting Tannehill as a QB2 who could turn in a low-end QB1 season. Tannehill has a lot of talent and will have the chance to put it all on display this year, and with a talented core around him, he has a pretty high ceiling in his third season.

2. Josh McCown: I’ve seen McCown drafted as one of the final quarterbacks in mock drafts, but he deserves more credit than that. McCown had a terrific 2013 filling in for the injured Jay Cutler, helping Alshon Jeffery break out as well. Now he is in a new system and away from quarterback whisperer Marc Trestman, but he has shown that he has the talent to be a starter in the NFL. I believe he will hold off Mike Glennon and retain the starting job entering the season. McCown will have a talented starting WR tandem in Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans along with passing-down back Charlie Sims. He will also have the chance to work with a plethora of TE in Tim Wright, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Myers. When he filled in for Cutler, he produced QB1 numbers and while I don’t expect a repeat of last year, he should be one of the top QB2 options this year who. He could sneak into low-end QB1 consideration if the development of Tampa’s youngsters goes according to plan.

3. Brian Hoyer: One of the biggest pre-season camp battles early on will be whether or not Hoyer can hold off rookie Johnny Manziel for the starting gig in Cleveland. After seeing reports from their TC so far and the Browns’ firm stance on Hoyer being the favorite, I’m inclined to believe them. Up until last year, Hoyer was a career 2nd string QB. When Hoyer got an oppurtinity a season ago, he ran with it, even though the Browns had no run game and very little elsewhere outside of stud Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron. Now I know Gordon is more than likely done for the year and you can’t replace his talent, but Hoyer may still have a chance to post solid numbers if he keeps progressing as he has been and builds connections with his other wideouts. Cameron will be a reliable target and Hawkins’ arrow is shooting up after how well he has been doing so far. Plus, he could have a speedy running back in West (who I think will win the starting job) who can catch passes out of the backfield. I’m also not ruling out the Browns adding a wide receiver via trade or free agency, so that could help as well. With a great offensive line protecting him as well, he could have plenty of time to make solid throws. Target him as low end QB2 right now but as with most of the players on this list, keep an eye out for him in camp and during the pre-season. Upside remains.

RB:

1. Chris Ivory:  We all know that there is a new sheriff in town. Chris Johnson is now a Jet. However, there is another Chris in town. A man they call Ivory is being all but forgotten about in fantasy drafts. Ivory looks to be in line to out-produce his rankings. Last year, he rushed for over 800 yards and had a respectable 4.6 YPC. Johnson is coming off meniscus surgery and the Jets will most likely be incorporating a “1A-1B” running back system in the early going. If Chris Johnson is garnering RB2 consideration, Ivory deserves to be getting RB3 consideration then. If Johnson goes down with an injury or struggles, Ivory will be given more carries and with his talent, could produce RB2 stats and see 15 touches a game. He is being drafted as a RB4 or 5 right now because of his inability to catch passes, but his rushing ability should help him maintain middle-tier RB3 stats if he is given 10 or more touches a game, which looks to be the case this season.

2. James White: New England’s running game a season ago was a roller coaster ride, to say the least. Stevan Ridley struggled early on and Shane Vereen looked to be their feature back but then went down with a serious wrist injury. Ridley was then forced back into a primary role and LeGarrette Blount got more carries as the season progressed. But with Blount now a Steeler, who fills his spot? That player is James White. Already praised by the Patriots’ running back coach, he could get a fair share of carries this year as their change-of-pace back and might only be a Vereen injury or Ridley fumble away from a more prominent role in the offense. He is a talented runner and the Patriots have a pretty good offensive line. White could be a steal in the territory in which he is being selected early on in drafts. His role is up in the air, but one could argue that he has a non-zero chance of leading New England’s backfield at some point this season and has RB4 upside.

3. Robert Turbin: With Marshawn Lynch holding out, everyone is talking about young speedster Christine Michael. People are forgetting about the veteran Turbin, who could get first crack at the starting job and get more looks as camp progresses. Michael is a high upside prospect in the making, but Seattle may be hesitant to give him a lot of carries early on, opening the door for Turbin to get a crack. I remember two years ago when it was rumored that Lynch was going to be suspended, everyone was on the Turbin bandwagon. He could end up being a lot more valuable than people think and the Seahawks still still have faith in him.

WR:

1. Jarrett Boykin: When James Jones and Randall Cobb went down last season, Boykin stepped in and did a pretty good job for the Packers considering also that Aaron Rodgers also went down in Week 9 with a broken collarbone. With James Jones in Oakland Boykin is firmly entrenched at WR3 for Green Bay. Boykin has a chance to expand his role substantially in this potent offense. Green Bay is famous for utilizing 3 receiver sets and that means Boykin will see a lot of snaps and targets as defenses plan their coverage around Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. Boykin is currently being selected in WR5 territory, but he could be a PPR weapon and merit flex consideration at some point this season. Draft him as a WR4 and considering the injury history of Jordy Nelson, Boykin could be much, much more.

2. Justin Hunter: I wrote in  my “Breakouts & Busts” piece that Kendall Wright could be a breakout player and I believe his teammate Justin Hunter is being overlooked as well. As a rookie catching passes from a backup quarterback Hunter had a solid first season in the league in 2013. He produced some big plays, had a 19.67 YPC and has a new coach who will focus on the passing game much more. Jake Locker is finally healthy and has a lot to prove, and although he is being painted as a bust, could prove a lot of people wrong. Locker’s wideouts will have a lot to say about whether or not this happens, however. He will be a deep threat receiver for Jake Locker while Kendall Wright serves as the medium yardage target. Hunter will have the opportunity to out-produce his current ADP and could flirt with 8 scores this season, he found pay dirt 4 times a season ago while only catching 18 passes.

3. Harry Douglas: Harry Douglas and Jarrett Boykin find themselves in similar scenarios. Douglas was a receiver stepped up last season while the Falcons dealt with injuries to both of their stud wideouts. He had a great year: 85 receptions for over 1,000 yards receiving. He had only 2 scores, but his PPR production was solid regardless. Roddy White and Julio Jones will return to their starting roles, but Atlanta will be running a lot more 3 receiver sets this year to help make up for losing Tony Gonzalez to retirement. Douglas is arguably the best #3 receiver in the league and he showed it last season. He will be on the field more this season and act as their slot receiver, which is a PPR gamer’s favorite position. It’s downright criminal where he’s being selected in early mocks, in the 60’s for wide receivers.

TE:

1. Dwayne Allen: Yes, I know Allen is coming off major hip surgery Allen was hurt in the Colts’ first game of the season and had surgery soon after. He is reportedly 100% healthy and ready to go entering camp, however. His return is huge, it adds another dimension to the Colt’s passing game. Now I know Pep Hamilton’s offense is run-heavy, but with a QB like Andrew Luck, there will be plenty of balls put in the air as well . Allen is a talented tight end who has good chemistry with Andrew Luck which will grant him the chance to expand upon his solid rookie campaign (45 catches, over 500 yds receiving and 3 scores). Now I know Coby Fleener is there, but Allen is the superior talent and the coaching staff seems to like Allen a bit more despite Hamilton and Luck’s history with Fleener at Stanford. With a full off-season to rest and heal up, Allen is sneaky tight end prospect who is being drafted as a middle-tier TE2, but could put up low-end TE1 numbers. Despite the depth at the position this season, Allen could morph into a TE1 by season’s end. Grab him as your backup but be ready to watch him put up bigger numbers.

2. Travis Kelce: Oh boy, another tight end coming off of surgery. At first glance, micro-fracture surgery is a tough and major procedure for an NFL player, but like Allen, Kelce does not have an extensive injury record. He had some personal issues in college, but those seem to be far behind him. Otherwise, he was great in college, especially during his senior year (45 catches, 722 receiving yards and 8 TD). Now in his “rookie” year, he will be the #1 TE on a team that is sorely lacking good receivers outside of Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. Kelce is a pass-catching TE who will be thrown to a lot. Right now, he’s not even being drafted in most leagues, but he could be a high end TE2 by the end of the year. Pick him up in the last few rounds and you could have a very good year at the TE position.

3. Colt Lylera: Lylera made more headlines last year for arguing over what his coach at Oregon said as well as his drug issues. He went undrafted in May but was picked up by Green Bay and couldn’t be in a better situation. I’ve talked several times about his talent and a lot of scouts have said Lylera has 1st or 2nd round talent at the position but had major off-the-field issues. The Packers have a wide open competition after they chose not to bring Finley back. They drafted Richard Rodgers but he and Brandon Bostick have failed to impress so far. Arguably, Lylera has the most talent of any of the Packer tight ends. He is in a great organization that will help keep his head on straight as well. He has a chance to grab the starting job and run with it and could be in line to be the best rookie tight end this season. Unless you have a TE3 spot or want to take a flier on him, I wouldn’t draft him just yet, but keep both eyes on Green Bay’s training camp and preseason reports for and scoop him up if he runs away with the job

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

Top DFS Plays for 07/28/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Giancarlo Stanton vs. Jordan Zimmerman – hitting .292 (7/24) with a 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI and 4 walks

Anthony Rizzo vs. Yohan Flande – No matchup history. Rizzo + Flande = must start

Dan Uggla vs. Vance Worley – hitting .455 (5/11) with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 3 walks

Yoenis Cespedes vs. Brad Peacock – hitting .333 (3/9) with 2 HR, 5 RBI and a walk

David Ortiz vs. R.A. Dickey – hitting .333 (5/15) with 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 walks

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Giancarlo Stanton

Top DFS pitcher for today:

Yu Darvish vs. New York Yankees – 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 3 career starts against the Bombers.

TV Show of the Day: Satifaction – One of my new favorite shows. USA produces some of the best shows on TV. Just started folks, go get hooked!

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Hercules Review

So I went to the movies and saw Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I had some high expectations because I thought the trailer was rather well done. So here is my review of the film.

Follow me over on Twitter @rickygangster

Top DFS Plays for 07/27/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Michael Brantley vs. Bruce Chen – hitting .524 (11/21) with 2 2B and 2 RBI

Mike Trout vs. Rick Porcello – hitting .333 (4/12) with a HR, 6 RBI and 2 walks

Adam LaRoche vs. Mat Latos – hitting .308 (4/13) with a HR, 3 RBI and 4 walks
2/4 with a 2B, a RBI and a walk in his last game at Citizens Bank Park.

Carlos Gonzalez vs. Edison Volquez – hitting .526 (10/19) with 3 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBI and 2 walks
Gonzo is hitting .340 with 4 homers and 22 RBI at home this season.

Hunter Pence vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu – hitting .444 (8/18) with 2 2B, 5 RBI and 2 free passes
Pence is hitting a cool.339 against left-handers this season.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Carlos Gonzalez

Top DFS pitcher for today:

Doug Fister vs. Cincinatti Reds – May 20th against the Reds: Fister went 7 innings allowing 6 hits, 2 runs and fanned 5

Movie of the Day: Expendables – These films aren’t going to have great acting and won’t be nominated for any awards but they are a fun kick-ass time and that’s why I love them.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Trade Scripts: Peavy to the Giants

Think Peavy is excited about going back to the NL? Absolutely
Think Peavy is excited about going back to the NL? Absolutely

In an effort to secure their pitching staff without taking on  salary for 2015, the San Francisco Giants acquired Jake Peavy from the Red Sox for minor league pitchers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree. While this is not an earth shattering trade on any fantasy scale, it could have a positive impact for Peavy owners moving forward. Much is being made of his career numbers against the Dodgers, but he will only face them once moving forward if the Giants stay on schedule with their starters. However, I will look at his upcoming opponents using his last 3 year stats (2011-2013) with a forecast on his outlook for the remainder of 2014.

As for the Red Sox, it is a sign that they may continue selling. The acquisition of Escobar and Hembree means they may have more moves on the horizon. Although Edwin Escobar has been a starting pitcher in the San Francisco minor leagues, the lack of development of his changeup has reduced him to a two-pitch pitcher, which usually translates to a bullpen arm. His profile suggests that he could be a left-handed specialist going forward and Peter Gammons has already reported the high amount of interest in Andrew Miller by teams as the deadline approaches. Hembree was great in his time with the Giants last September and the Red Sox can put him in the bullpen in low leverage situations immediately. While neither is a big time prospect, they could have two bullpen arms in the future for a two month rental.
Here are the fantasy angles for the players involved:

Jake Peavy 2014: 1 W, 124 IP, 100/46 K/BB, 4.72 ERA, 1.43 WHIP

These stats are not overwhelming to say the least. But Peavy has to get better moving back to not only the National League, but to a park that leans towards pitchers’ success. Also, put a competitor back into a pennant race and it seems like a good match. At first I was hesitant to endorse Peavy as a 12 team mixer add but the case can be made. There look to be three difficult matchups for Peavy ahead, though: at Milwaukee, at Colorado and at Arizona. However, there are also some promising ones: at Mets, two against San Diego and five other games at AT&T.

Here are his career statistics against the nine teams he can potentially face over his last twelve starts:

Dodgers: 14W, 167.1 IP, 155:41 K:BB, 2.21 ERA, 0.96 WHIP
Mets: 6W, 68.2 IP, 68:28 K:BB, 3.28 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Brewers: (2) 3W, 60.1 IP, 60:25 K:BB, 2.54 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
White Sox: 1W, 13 IP, 12:5 K:BB, 2.08 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
Cubs: 7W, 90.2 IP, 92:28 K:BB, 2.78 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Nationals: 4W, 74.1 IP, 79:18 K:BB, 3.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Rockies: 5W, 123 IP, 110:48 K:BB, 4.10 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
Diamondbacks: (2) 14W, 181 IP, 201:73 K:BB, 4.57 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
Padres: (2) No Stats

While Peavy has yet to face his old team, San Diego, those are games in which Peavy is capable of succeeding in. Avoiding his start in Colorado is recommended but many of his potential matchups are favorable. Also, Peavy has shown slight improvement in the second half over his career lowering his ERA from 3.69 pre-All Star break to 3.44 post-break and lowering his WHIP from 1.20 to 1.18. Couple those facts with a move to the lighter-hitting National League and Peavy is worth a gamble.

Red Sox Return:

Heath Hembree
2014 AAA Stats: 18 Saves, 39.1 IP, 46:13 K:BB, 3.89 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Hembree has been on keeper league radars as he was rumored to be the closer of the future for the Giants. His fastball (93 MPH) and slider (86 MPH) fit that profile. During his September promotion in 2013 he struck out 12 against only two walks over 7.2 IP. But this year in the minors his inability to get left-handed batters out had cost him a promotion even with all the volatility in the Giants bull-pen. To illustrate, here are his splits for 2014:

Against LH Hitters: 7.98 ERA, .349 BAA, 19:11 K:BB, 5 HR allowed
Against RH Hitters: 1.46 ERA, .202 BAA, 27:2 K:BB, 0 HR allowed

Although Hembree will not be a future closer with Boston, he can become a productive member of their bullpen. If the Red Sox continue to make trades, he could get a look in the majors at some point by year’s end. It is hard to dismiss any potential closer candidate, but until Hembree can get left-handed batters out, he will not be able to work in important late-game situations.

Edwin Escobar
2014 AAA Stats: 3 W, 111 IP, 96:37 K:BB, 5.11 ERA, 1.49 WHIP

Taking into account that he is pitching in a tough minor league environment, Escobar has disappointed in his AAA debut this year. He is only 22 years old but like Hembree above, he suffers from an extreme split differential:

Against LH Hitters: 2.25 ERA, .188 Batting Average Against, 42:7 K:BB, 0 HR allowed
Against RH Hitters:6.72 ERA, .334 Batting Average Against, 54:30 K:BB, 16 HR allowed

Escobar is young enough that the Red Sox will probably allow him to develop another year as a starter but if he cannot develop a third pitch, he profiles as a left-handed specialist in the months to come. His repertoire includes a 92 MPH fastball, a 76 MPH curve and an 82 MPH changeup. His ability to toss his changeup for strikes that will ultimately determine his role in the future.

While neither is a high ceiling prospect, it is hard to imagine the Red Sox could have gotten much more for Peavy as a rental piece. Each could be a solid major league bullpen arm someday, but neither is as good as their ranking or pedigree suggests.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Statistical credits: BrooksBaseball.net, Fangraphs.com, Yahoo.com, MiLB.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/hSzP0W

Top DFS Plays for 07/26/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Cleveland Indians SUPER STACK! vs. Jeremy Guthrie – Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Carlos Santana and Nick Swisher are all hitting over .370 against Guthrie. Also, the Royal’s hurler is 0-2 with a 8.71 ERA against the Indians in 2014.

Aaron Hill vs. Cliff Lee – hitting .346 (9/26) with 2 2B, 3 RBI and a walk
RHH are hitting .318 against Lee and Hill has been on a tear over the last week hitting .391 with a HR and 4 RBI.

Evan Longoria vs. John Lackey – hitting .351 (13/37) with 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI and 3 walks

Dee Gordon vs. Ryan Vogelsong – hitting .385 (10/26) with a 3B, a RBI and a walk

Anthony Rizzo vs. Shelby Miller – 0-2 – Rizzo is the hottest hitter on the planet and I am starting him everyday until he cools off.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Evan Longoria

Top DFS pitcher for today:

Chris Sale vs. Minnesota Twins – Anytime this man is on the mound, he is in my DFS lineup easily. 26 K and only 1 walk in the month of July. I love love love this guy.

Movie of the Day: Hercules – I saw this Thursday night in theaters and really enjoyed it. I think it’s the easy “must see” oat the box office this weekend.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 07/25/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Brett Gardner vs. Mark Buehrle – hitting .458 (11/24) with 2 2B, a 3B, a HR, 2 RBI and a walk

Jose Reyes vs. Hiroki Kuroda – hitting .478 (11/23) with 3 2B, 2 3B, a HR, 4 RBI and a walk

Desmond Jennings vs. Jon Lester – hitting .333 (9/27) with 2 2Bs, a 3B, a HR, 2 RBI and 2 walks

Carlos Gonzalez vs. Charlie Morton – hitting .417 (5/12) with a 2B, a HR, 4 RBI and 2 walks

Jose Altuve vs. Brad Hand – No previous matchup history
All the splits point to a solid game for Altuve, get him in all lineups today.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Neil Walker

Top DFS pitcher for today:

Dallas Keuchel vs. Miami Marlins – Keuchel has been awful but I’d love for him to bounce back today against the Marlins with a solid 7 innings, 6 hits, 2 Runs and 8 punchouts.

Movie of the Day: Catch Me If You Can – Probably in my top 20 movies of all-time. DiCaprio/Hanks are money in this movie.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!