NBA Season Outlook: The Los Angeles Lakers

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The Los Angeles Lakers might some of us eat our words this upcoming season. That is of course if they can stay clear of the injury plague. I hate to say Steve Nash might lifting a lot of bags this season after hurting his back lifting his own.

No, Kobe Braynt will not be on the court the entire game this season, or average 27 points a game this year either. I would expect an increase in assists and steals though. He will be on more limited minutes than previous years on the floor most likely. The new edition Jeremy Lin was a must need pick up for Los Angeles. He provides the skill that could give them someone who can run an offense while Kobe is taking a breather. The Lakers now have an eager point guard that is willing do whatever the Lakers need to do to win. Playing besides a “hall of fame” player in Kobe gives him quite a mentor on the court also. The addition of Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill still on the squad I think the Lakers should focus more on the defense, and getting the ball down low on offense. Transition defense will be a factor, and spacing on both ends will also be a key for Lakers to win. Relying on their big men to put up some numbers will be a must also.

Yes, we will see Kobe heroics and he will get his shots. In my opinion the Lakers have to create more shots for Kobe so he does not have to create his own. I think the newly appointed coach Byron Scott and Kobe realize that also. This will be an adjustment for Los Angeles and the fans also. Nick Young or “Swaggy P” will still have to prove he can make some “Swaggy” points before I am believer, personally speaking.

It is early to go over any stats that we will see from the Lakers. Well, maybe the one about the previous season, where they had the worst record in franchise history. I think they will show some critics they can play much better than that. When you have a player like Kobe Bryant I could say that about any team he played for.

The adjustments on defense and relying more on your big guys down low than previous seasons might take a little time, but having a coach on and off the court like Scott and Bryant could speed that up a bit. I think we all might be looking at a team that could make the playoffs. We all know anything is possible.

The Kansas City Royals: ” A Royal Flush”

 

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We can all see as baseball fans the Royals mean business. After sweeping the Angels with no fear in their eyes or doubt in their heads we are witnessing how the game is supposed to be played. Whether it is Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas the list just keep going on and on of big hits and great defense.Hosmer alone has two home runs and is batting.435 with 7 RBI’s. Mike Moustakas has also found his place this postseason. The “Moose” has four home runs while batting .318 and five RBI’s.The Royals have 12 infield hits this postseason. I call that hustle.With Lorenzo Cain showing us “no pain, no gain” in the field, I say good luck trying to find a gap in the outfield.The Royals showing us more than just power, especially if you have Billy Butler stealing bags will throw any opposing team off a bit. I know the opposing pitcher’s do not care for that much, trying to keep any timing kind goes out the window sometimes.

The Royals bullpen has been phenomenal to say the least. Kelvin Herrera,Wade Davis and “The Dagger” Greg Holland have allowed but three earned runs in 19IP this postseason. Coming to the plate against these guys can not give any team much confidence when they are on the rubber.The Royals on the other hand facing Hosmer and his piercing eyes at the plate could scare any opposing pitcher at this point. I see a star in the making and that is hard to debate at this point. It seems like any player on this team is a threat to the Orioles or any team they face.

I think most analysts see Baltimore making this a tighter series. I see a flustered team that is very frustrated. When Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz expected to up their game to get the Orioles team back on track, I do not see much as a “team.” I wish the Baltimore Orioles the best of luck because they need it. After the Royals taking both games in Baltimore looking to take Game 3 at home, I am not counting on the Orioles to pull off a 2004 ALCS comeback. So it should be fun to see the Royals in the World Series. You can call it a bold prediction I guess. Jarrod Dyson might agree.

Daily Fantasy Pitching Option- 7/8 Let’s give Vance another Chance

 

 

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Ok, my last pitching option for all you gamblers out there was Vance Worley. I want to apologize but I won’t, Vance was great the Pirates were not. We have a pitcher who brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning? Worely ended up going seven innings allowing three earned runs, one was a 2-run shot and another hit that drove in a run in the sixth. Vance allowed four hits with giving up only two walks, and struck out six. The Pirates went on to allow seven more runs to end up with the obvious loss. I can not blame Vance for that either. He looked pretty good, well he looked good enough to recommend him again and some might agree.

The Pirates starting pitcher is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.28 ERA along with a .094 holding batters to a .210 average at the plate. Worley is bringing a  18/5 K/BB ratio going into Tuesday to face the Cardinals in St. Louis. I can not give up on numbers like that, once again. The Pittsburgh Pirates starting five have all been electric lately, and I believe will be as the season carries on. Let’s just say the team ERA is nothing to complain about. Andrew McCutchen hitting .458 with four runs and six RBI’s tagging on a home run and a stolen base last week makes me want to give Vance another chance. There are some players starting to hit well for the Pirates and with run support should only make Worely better.

I know we question Worely breaking down, but I would not recommend a pitcher that has not at all this season. He looks great the Pirates still owe Vance a win, and they also owe you one too. I am going to throw some change at Worely myself.

Daily Fantasy Bargain Pitcher of the Day 7/3: Vance Worely

 

 

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I remember 2011, what a year for Vance Worley and what he did for the Phillies. Showing off his goods going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA along with a 1.23 WHIP in 131.2 IP. Worley humbled the opposing batters to a .237 BAA and had 119 strikeouts that year. It was very impressive. Then a slump of a season the following year, with high expectations. Worley has dealt with injuries, trades and now none of that really matters. You can argue he has only had three starts this season for Pittsburgh, but what has he done for you to doubt him? It is hard to predict a total melt down when the numbers and the way he has pitched has show me that to be a gut feeling. That is perfectly fine by me, we all get choices. I’m going with momentum and the way he looks personally. His numbers are not that bad either.

Worley has started three games for the Pirates this season going 2-0 posting a punishing 1.74 ERA a 0.97 WHIP to go with a 12/3 K/BB ratio in 20.2 IP. He is holding batters at the plate to a .224 BAA to start his 2014 campaign for the Pirates. Vance of course is just starting and has not proved everyone wrong, we have to give him a chance. Worely has allowed only four earned runs in those three starts combined. Coming of back-to-back wins against the Mets and the Chicago Cubs Vance will look to take down the  Diamonbacks on his home turf on Thursday. If you are weary and afraid to go after Worley I personally do not understand, especially when you have a man with a hot hand. I most defiantly think he is a worth a penny, I know he can pitch and he looks like he is worth a shot in my book. You might get one heck of a deal.

Fantasy Baseball “tips”: “Player on the Radar”- Marlon Byrd

 

 

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Ok, what has got into Mr. Byrd? I do not think the just the fantasy baseball addicts, and baseball lovers in general are the only ones thinking that either? Marlon Byrd has been bringing a symphony of destruction to opposing pitchers when he trots to the plate lately, and what a better time than “real” baseball trade time talk. He is most certainly a must add player for the time being, that is not a question. Last week alone Byrd went 10 for 25 batting .400 at the plate scoring five runs, knocking in four and attached wings to three balls to set flight out of the park.To add the consistency factor other than just one week of validity, Byrd in the last month has scored 18 runs adding 10 RBI’s while belting eight out of the park. Six of those eight home runs have come in the last two weeks I must add, for the “man on fire” spin. Personally, I could roll the dice and gamble with those numbers. He could also really do some damage if the reports of the Royals, and Red Sox being heavy on caging Byrd are accurate. Those are two teams in need of some help.

 

Marlon Byrd does make a case right now for a grab in all shallow head-to-head leagues. I noticed in Yahoo standard  leagues he is just 60% owned and is ranked 64th. Hmmm? What is the problem that people are not swallowing him whole off waivers? The thing is this “new” power we are seeing as of late is actually a player (let us put the “name” aside) knowing a trade is a strong possibility and mentally focused on the game because of it. Major League Baseball players like a nice place to work themselves. In the case of Marlon Byrd he is focused on taking a flight to a nice place to start a new job. Byrd went to 2 for 4 yesterday with another home run while drawing one walk against the Marlins in a losing effort. There is no reason to hold onto old names that are household but still continue to struggle badly this season. I can name more than a couple that got drafted in early rounds. I understand the “marathon” with fantasy baseball, but watching these players that have been a bit of surprise come and go will not help your season. There comes a point where for me where any player can be disposable. It is not a popularity contest, it is a game of stats and winning categories based off numbers in some leagues. If I was in your position and Byrd is available you might want to see if he can help on your roster, it is only Wednesday and if the Byrd starts declining at some point I can probably help with at a later date.

I would like to congratulate  Mr. Byrd on receiving this notable nod for his outstanding achievement he has shown to receive the “Player on the Radar” to add to his resume. Please go check him out, even if it is because you have nothing better to do.

Daily Fantasy Pitching Options: Tuesday-7/1 “The Forensic Picks”

 

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Another day and a another dollar to be made, god willing. If you do play daily fantasy sports (whether if it is online or in an actual sports book) we know there is no tomorrow when it comes to betting. For those who have read my advice on pitchers before I’m hoping you might want to consider taking a look at some more options of mine, there could be a few things you might like that I see also. Here are my picks for Tuesday the 1st of July, Shall we…

 

The Fastball: Josh Beckett (LAD)- I have to say I have stuck by my buddy Josh through all the nasty motivation thrown at him before the season. Beckett is proving once again how great he is when healthy, and how this dominate southpaw can be so disliked and keep winning with a smile after. Josh is one of a kind in my book. I have watched hundreds of outings from him and his approach has not changed much. Beckett is classic for conceding one earned in the first inning or getting in a jam at least. Sometimes I think he does it on purpose to get himself in a mental state of mind that makes other teams upset, just like he is pitching on the mound. He can be ruthless and that is when Beckett is unstoppable. He has not been the nicest face to put on the jumbo screen at games. Some might ask why? It is because Josh is winning, and that is how Beckett is and always has been.

The Los Angeles Dodgers starter has had five shutouts in his last 10 starts, and has been putting up stellar outings. Beckett is coming off dominating back-to-back shutouts heading into Tuesday. He has been unreal on the mound, and a top 15 pitcher at this point in my book. Not a bad pick for a later spot in any teams rotation. He is 5-4 with a 2.11 ERA a 1.00 WHIP and has a 88/28 K/BB ratio on the season. Beckett is holding opposing hitters to .199 BAA this year in 93.2 IP on the year. Those are “CY Young” award-winning numbers other than the wins and loss column. I will blame his supporting role because there is no one else to really hide from the truth of the situation. He is a must start without a second blink. With enough said Beckett and the Dodgers will be hosting the Indians in Los Angeles on Tuesday. We never dislike the bad performing athletes. Yankees fans might want to be unbiased on this one.

 

The Change-up: Mike Leake (CIN)- Mr. Leake has been huge for the Reds in winning a game sometimes this season. In Mike’s last two starts he has limited both the Giants and the Blue Jays to just one earned run in eight innings of work. Leake will be looking for his fourth straight win on Tuesday. Leake is one of those pitchers that does not “look” good, he just “is” good. He always has been. Leake this season has already thrown 108.1 innings in 16 starts. In Mike’s defense do not let the Reds give him a bad name, especially after seeing the numbers and noticing that he is only 6-6 on the season. It is kind of sad.

Leake is rocking a 3.41 ERA a 1.14 ERA along with 84 strikeouts and only 23 walks. He is actually on pace for more strikeouts than in his previous seasons, but what really impresses me is that he has on given up only 11 home runs so far. That is quite a bit of time on the mound for a disabling stat for opponents to face when Leake is on the rubber. I think the Cincinnati Reds will bring the goods on Tuesday when Leake will take the mound against the Padres. I do not see a poor pitching performance in this match, nor a poor offensive performance from the Reds either. That is the leak on Leake. There is nothing stopping me from starting him. The Reds offense actually seems to be showing up and in reality Leake should regulate for another victory for his squad and himself.

 

The Curveball- Jeff Locke (PIT)-  With the Pirates looking to turn up the heat in their division they have a pitcher on Tuesday that is more than capable of adding fuel to their fire. Locke has been great in his five games he has started for the Pirates this year. He is coming off his first win of the season in a game against the Rays where he pitched 7.1 innings allowing just three earned runs. Locke has unfortunately had three no decisions in his first five starts. In those starts he has not surrendered more than three earned runs in any game, and took a 0-1 loss against the Brewers allowing three hits in seven innings. So you see he is receiving the short end of the stick for how well he is pitching. Jeff was one of my choices on his last start and got the win for Pittsburgh and my heart, so I think it is safe to start him on Tuesday.

Locke has a 3.74 ERA a punishing 0.98 WHIP along with 23 strikeouts and allowing just four walks in 33.2 IP this year. Jeff is limiting opposing batters to a .236 BAA. Locke looks like the dominating left-handed pitcher he was last season, it is like clock work. He can pitch when he is not winning in a game, and pitch when his team is winning a game. Jeff is very mentally disciplined on “his” game when he takes the mound. Some Pirates runs on the board and Locke leading the way I suspect we could see back-to-back wins for the lefty. He is a start in my book of sports when he is set to touch the rubber on Tuesday facing the Diamondbacks at home.

 

All Comments Welcomed!

 

 

Daily Fantasy Pitching Options-6/28 “The Forensic Picks”

 

 

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Another day in baseball and more tough decisions. It is always good to research before any commitment to where your money is going to be spent. It becomes a little more difficult sometimes if you just pick a pitcher that has a familiar name on the back of fans replica jerseys. Or even maybe you are just going off the team and who they are playing. That is always a good idea and can help sometimes, but daily fantasy betting is a game of skill. It is a game of numbers, and that is where I come in. “Oh, great here we go will more deep pitching analytics.” Baseball is a game of math in itself, without digging a little further into your options might cost you in the end. All I am trying to do is give you what I see to be the best odds to get that pitching performance you seek. So let us take a look at some pitchers that could spark interest for Saturday. Shall we…

 

The Fastball:  John Lester (BOS)- I already know what you baseball fans are thinking, personally I could careless if he is facing “the phenom” Masahiro Tanaka on Saturday. That does not mean Lester is going to flop because of an opposing pitcher? I might pick them both considering it statistically it might be a low scoring game. To have a left-handed pitcher that has a dominating arsenal of pitches, especially one that can throw a cut fastball and hit 90 MPH on the gun turns my head. Lester is a veteran pitcher that has very high strikeout numbers, and always keeps his team within striking distance. In Lester’s last outing hitting the mound looking for his fifth win in his last six starts held the Oakland Athletics to two earned runs in 7.2 IP. Lester receiving a no decision in that game caused us to overlook the dominating performance. In his last five wins ( I will include the no decision also) in 34.2 IP he allowed just eight earned runs total while striking out 33 and walking just eight. On the season John has a punishing 3.14 ERA a 1.21 WHIP to go with an 109/27 K/BB ratio, giving him an 8-7 record.

 

Lester has been a beast on the rubber for the Boston Red Sox. I do not look for Lester to fall on Saturday when he takes the mound in New York against the Yankees. He is a veteran pitcher, and the World Series rings do not lie either. I look for a strong performance from Lester and the Red Sox against the ultimate rival Yankees. They are always good games for the most part, and the all time record against each other is a cool number to check out also.

 

The Change-up:  Yordano “Ace” Ventura (KC)- I really just love saying his name at this point. Yordano has been all he was hyped up to be, but he took a very tough loss his last start. The “Ace” pitched seven innings allowing two earned runs while striking out six and walking just two batters. A solo shot in the seventh was the dagger for Ventura and the no-show Royals in that game in which they lost 2-1. Ventura was looking for his fourth straight win going into that last game against the Marlins.

 

Yordano is 5-6 on the season for the Kansas City Royals with a 3.20 ERA a 1.25 WHIP tagging on 73 strikeouts and 25 walks. Ventura has started 14 games this year and through 84.1 has allowed but seven home runs. The Royals really do “Ace” no justice as a team. He has had very strong outings with very little results. His numbers he is holding down makes him a good pitching option to me. Other than the unfair win column he stands in with the Royals, Ventura will look to continue his successful pitching campaign in Kansas City when he is set to face the Angels on Saturday. You might be thinking about the bats the Angels possess but let us look again at how well he can keep a ball in the park.

 

The Curveball: Matt Garza (MIL)- Garza has actually pitched very well for the Brewers. Seeing that the most earned runs in his last 10 starts in one game has been four, and going 3-2 in those last 10 starts is making Garza an average looking pitcher if you are gazing at the win column. In his last start and loss against the Diamondbacks he yielded just three earned runs over 7.2 innings, striking out four and walking not one batter.The Brewers lost that game 0-3, so you see what I am talking about.

The Brewers starting pitcher is 4-5 on the season with a 4.01 ERA a 1.28 WHIP while striking out 77 and walking 34 batters. In 16 starts and 101 IP this year he has given up only a stellar eight home runs. The Brewers seem to have trouble when their pitchers pitch well for them for some reason? Garza is another pitcher that is not new to the art of pitching. Just another victim of circumstance in the past couple years. I like Matt as a decent option for Saturday. The numbers I see are in green, and green means go for me.

Garza and the Brewers with be hosting the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. I think the Brewers can and will give Garza the mental run cushion he needs to keep himself on a good pace for a decent start and a win.

 

All comments welcomed

 

 

 

Fantasy Baseball: Daily Pitching Options- 6/26

 

 

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Since I never write about pitchers in my daily fantasy baseball advice, I decided to take a look at some names that might draw some attention to help. After an intense look into some pitching that might be overlooked to make your day, and put a smile on your face with that feeling we all love, winning…Shall we.

 

 

The Fastball: Doug Fister (WAS)- This is an obvious pick for me considering I still feel he will be a top 15 pitcher when the season ends. Fister is coming off a brilliant performance in his last start. He pitched eight scoreless innings, striking out three and handing out just one walk. He limited the Atlanta Braves to just five hits (all of them singles) grabbing his sixth win on the season. Fister is literally a monster on the mound, being 6’8″ and weighing in at 210 lbs. gives this statement some validity. Mr. Fister has also shown not much run support does not throw him off his game. It is always nice to see consistency.

The Washington Nationals starter is now 6-2 on the season, posting a 2.65 ERA a 1.o4 WHIP with a 36/6 K/BB ratio. I will take that any day, and you might want too also. In 34 IP in just this last month Doug has four wins boasting a legit 2.12 a 0.97 ERA and adding on 19 strikeouts. Those numbers alone prove this guy is pretty much untouchable and still very underrated still. I think we will be talking about Fister a lot more as this year progresses. I can not make these numbers up so you might be drinking poison instead of picking it if you do not start him.

 

The Nationals will in Chicago facing off with the Cubs on Thursday. This is a very favorable matchup for Fister, not like who he faces really matters. He is a must start and worth the extra penny, because Fister does not work for pennies and neither should you.

 

The Change-up: Wily Peralta (MIL)-  This guy is getting no attention as a pretty valuable player for the Brewers. Peralta has now won four straight bringing his record on the season to 8-5. Coming off what was supposed to be a rocky start in Colorado, Peralta dominated through 7.2 IP allowing just three earned runs and issuing just two walks. He has been a silent but deadly weapon for Milwaukee so I think we should see what kind of pitcher we are really looking at.

 

Peralta is coming into Thursday’s start boasting a 3.o2 ERA a 1.23 WHIP while striking out 69 and issuing 23 walks this year. In 95.1 IP through 15 starts he has only allowed 11 home runs. That is always a plus when you do not have to bring an umbrella to a game. No fan wants to be bombed on with baseballs worrying about a hospital visit. This is one pitcher I can say that has been very consistent also. The four straight dominate wins can validate that I would hope. I think he is a great option and not worth fighting yourself on when he is going to blow it. He has not yet so I can not say he will.

 

The Milwaukee Brewers will be hosting Peralta’s last victims the Colorado Rockies on Thursday. Peralta is obviously feeling comfortable on the rubber, and the Brewers have shown they feel pretty good with him up there too. Look for a strong outing by Wily and the Brewers. Sometimes teams play better with certain pitchers on the mound, and the Brewers found one.

 

The Curveball: Rick Porcello (DET)- Porcello has numbers that are deceiving on the season. In his last 10 games Rick has gone 7-3 for the Tigers and 9-5 this year for the Tigers. So can I say” he is heating up?” We all know that Porcello is a very good pitcher despite the outcomes of some of his past starts. He does extremely well at keeping the ball in the park and allowing his defense to make a play on the ball. In 88.2 IP he has given up but nine home runs all year. In my mind that is a very good thing for a team to be victorious, and feel a level of comfort that he is able to keep them within striking distance when he is on the mound.

The Detroit Tigers starter holds a 3.76 ERA a 1.24 WHIP with a 56/21 K/BB ratio. Porcello is the type of pitcher that will walk a batter rather than challenge him. I  think for his style it is smart to not give a hitter a pitch in a count that is not in his favor. He likes to avoid the odds of potential damage. He is a smart pitcher, I always say there are pitchers that “look” good and some that “are” good. Especially in this era of baseball. Porcello looks like a solid bet, going 9-5 in 14 starts shows me he is putting in work.

The Detroit Tigers will be in Texas to take on the Rangers on Thursday. Porcello will be seeking revenge for the one not so good start against them the last time he faced them. Look for the Tigers to lead the way and Porcello to give them what they need to get that fifth straight notch on the belt.

 

Bad and Good Comments Welcomed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Forensic Lovers

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Fantasy Baseball: Daily Pitching Options- 6/24

 

 

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I could write half a page about this guy named Clayton Kershaw, but it really is no fun to write about the obvious. So let me suggest some more affordable pitching options. It is not  always about the name sometimes, it is about the numbers. Sometimes some pitchers surprise us.

 

The Fastball: Homer Bailey (CIN)- I have to say for a name like Homer he has been overlooked for a couple of years now from some reason? I am going to have to throw in that the Reds have a very hard time scoring runs sometimes. Bailey deserves that at the least. Homer Bailey has won five of his last six games. Homer lost in his last start giving up just three runs and ended up taking the loss 4-3 against Pittsburg. Those kind of numbers can make this an easier decision if you read them again.

 

Bailey this year holds a 4.68 ERA and an ugly 1.45 WHIP. Considering in his last six starts the most runs he has given up is four in just a single game makes this better to validate as an option. Homer has 81 strikeouts on the year to go with 29 walks. With the way Bailey has been performing for the Reds lately and the bats of Billy Hamilton and Todd Frazier heating up. I would consider giving him a spot in your starting rotations.

 

The Cincinnati Reds will be in Chicago facing off with the Cubs. With two unpredictable offenses I will take the lesser of the two evils and roll with Homer. The risk is he beats himself and he has been pretty consistent of not doing that lately.

 

The Change-up: Jeff Locke -(PIT) Mr. Locke had quite a start last week going six innings allowing just two runs (both on sac flys). He gave up just three hits while only walking one. This guy can pitch and it has surprised me to see how he was being not even a topic of conversation lately. So I figured why don’t I make him one.

 

Locke in three starts and 21.1 IP is 0-1 with a 3.78 ERA and an impressive .087 WHIP to add-on. He has limited opposing players at the plate to just a.221 BAA. Jeff has dished  out 21 strikeouts and issued only one walk on the season.. It makes this an easy decision for me an instant option. I can not argue the numbers? The Pirates are starting to swing the bats a bit more and I got Locke on lock when he takes the mound on Tuesday. I always love having a decent left-handed pitcher on the mound personally.

 

The Pirates will be in Tampa to face the struggling Rays when Locke takes to the rubber. I look for another solid start out of Jeff and the Pirates to give him a boost with some added run support. This is a good option not as much a risk in this case.

 

The Curveball: Erasmo Ramirez (SEA)- That is why I call it the “curveball.” Eramso is not only fun to say he has been fun to watch. As for the rest of the team they are not so fun to watch. Ramirez has not allowed a single run in his last four starts. That is always a very good sign for a pitcher to be successful, but Erasmo is just 1-4 on the season.It totally makes sense to me too.

 

Ramirez has a 4.62 WHIP and a not so hot 1.52 WHIP on the season, to go with 40 strikeouts and 24 walks. So let us concentrate back on his last four starts. I can not predict doomsday, but with what he has shown lately I do not think it will be Tuesday. Let us hope the Mariners can put the some cushion runs on the board for Ramirez. The Mariners owe this win not only to themselves but Erasmo and you fantasy team owners also. Once again sometimes you roll the dice, so roll your tongue also and start Erasmo. I am only seeing the positive on this. Let’s say the glass is half full.

 

The Seattle Mariners will host the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday when Ramirez is scheduled to start. The Red Sox bats are unpredictable and they always have been. A very good curveball option pick if you if you are pondering on one to finish your roster.