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Thursday 17th Aug 2017

We’re looking at a very small slate of just four games this evening. There are sloppy slates, there are ugly slates, and then there are slates like tonight. A lot of chalk and a lot of garbage, with little in between. The choice will be where you want to punt to save salary and where to conform to the chalk. This is being written Wednesday night, so make sure you check the weather and latest news and injury updates.

First Base

Paul Goldschmidt – Whenever Goldy faces a southpaw, just lock and load. Jeff Locke yielded 13 homers and a .305 batting average against right-handed hitters in 2016.

Albert Pujols – Posted a 1.259 OPS over the last five games heading into Wednesday night’s matchup against the Atlanta Braves. Pujols has a reverse L/R split thus far in 2017, but I think that’s just due to a small sample. Lefty rookie Adalberto Mejia has struggled with both sides of the plate.

Second Base

Devon Travis – Hop aboard the Devon Travis train while he’s hot. He’s launched four homers in the last nine games. Not much else of interest here at the keystone.

Brian Dozier – When I’ve watched JC Ramirez this year, he’s been very good at getting strike one early…almost too good, grooving one in the wheelhouse right out of the gate. I could see Dozier taking him deep in his first AB, but I don’t want to pay the freight here.

Third Base

Josh Donaldson – I will be fading Jake Lamb since he’s facing a lefty, leaving Donaldson as the only attractive play at the hot corner. He will be chalky.

Punt Plays – Luis Valbuena, Derek Dietrich.

Shortstop

Andrelton Simmons – The former Brave has been seeing the ball very well of late, riding a 12-game hitting streak as of Wednesday, batting .408 with two home runs over that stretch.

JR Riddle – 53% hard contact rate over the last week and facing Zack Greinke, so no one will be on him.

Catcher

Russell Martin and Sandy Leon.

Outfield

Mookie Betts and Jose Bautista will be chalky and for good reason. Marco Estrada will probably give up at least one home run to a Yankee, possibly two, but it’s roulette trying to guess who his mistake pitch will be thrown to, and Estrada will limit the damage, so I wouldn’t stack Yanks. A "one-off" is the most I’d do.

Yasmany Tomas – He’s been cold and I don’t usually like to grab my lineup from the freezer. That being said, Tomas crushed lefties last year, slashing .364/.690/1.112 against southpaws. His 2017 splits tell a different story, but one I’m not listening to given his solid BvP versus Jeff Locke.

Christian Yelich – It may seem like I’m picking on Zack Greinke. I’m really not. This is the ugliness that one is faced with on a four-game slate. Yelich does hit right-handed pitchers well.

Punt Plays Kole Calhoun, Byron Buxton, Eric Young Jr.

Pitchers

It’s really simple: Zack Greinke, Marco Estrada.

JC Ramirez – The only pivot off of chalk that doesn’t nauseate me.

The rest of the pitchers? A revolting dung heap. No, I don’t trust CC Sabathia in Toronto. I personally will be fading Greinke because of the salary. He’s not a bad play, but the salary takes too many quality bats out of my lineup and he's always susceptible to that random bad outing out of nowhere. Estrada and Ramirez will likely be the only two pitchers in my lineups on DraftKings.

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