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  • 26 Jan
    导出博客文章Saturdays slate is a bit unusual. Sixteen games are on the schedule, as the
    Pirates and Reds are suiting up for a doubleheader, with six early games and
    eight late. While there are three elite options at the top of the rankings,
    theyre all pitching in games with afternoon start times, which leaves the late
    slate fairly sparse. Thats just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes, though,
    so lets push forward and try to make some sense of it all.PitchingEliteThe
    Brewers have established themselves as a popular team to target starting
    pitchers against, and its easy to see why. Not only is Milwaukees lineup below
    average (91 wRC+), but the teams 25 percent strikeout clip is the worst in
    baseball. Needless to say, Jake Arrieta is in an incredibly appealing spot on
    Saturday. The right-handers production has tapered off in the second half, and
    the collapsing whiff rate is somewhat concerning (9.5 K/ in the first half, 6.9
    K/9 in the second half). Still, this matchup is too good to ignore. With an
    afternoon start time, the Cubs righty will be limited to early and all-day
    slates.Also in the early slate is Carlos Carrasco, who draws a home matchup
    against Detroit. Like Arrieta, Carrasco has been less effective since the
    All-Star break (4.17 ERA). In his past four outings, hes registered only one
    quality start. That said, the lone quality start included 7 1/3 innings of
    shutout ball with 11 Ks against Miami. Carrasco has elite stuff when hes on his
    game, but his recent struggles give me some hesitancy in cash games, especially
    considering the Tigers lineup is no pushover. I like him better in
    tournaments.David Price rounds out the elite tier with a home tilt against the
    Yankees -- and yes, this game has an early start time, too. The leftys 3.81 ERA
    is disappointing, but his 9.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are identical to 2015, when he
    held a 2.45 ERA. In fact, Prices recent numbers are a callback to last year, as
    hes 7-0 with 2.16 ERA and 0.82 WHIP over his past seven starts. Against a
    Yankees team thats not good against left-handed pitching (84 wRC+), Price should
    stay on a roll. The only downside is that the Yanks make plenty of contact,
    which keeps Prices strikeout ceiling in check.SolidFacing off against Carrasco
    on Saturday afternoon is Justin Verlander. The right-hander has been carving
    through lineups, posting a 2.29 ERA and 10.5 K/9 since the All-Star break. A
    matchup against the Indians, who handle right-handed pitching well and have
    produced one of baseballs best offenses since the break (108 wRC+), is far from
    ideal. It also doesnt help that two of Verlanders worst beatings this season
    were handed down by the Indians. Then again, that version of Verlander isnt the
    same version were seeing now. I prefer Verlander to Carrasco on Saturday despite
    the game score ratings.Is every quality option on Saturday pitching in the
    afternoon? Most, but not all. Thankfully, Yu Darvish, who draws a favorable home
    matchup against Oakland, is a late-slate option. While the As are a high-contact
    team, theyre also the worst team in the American League against right-handed
    pitching. Look for Darvish to be a very popular cash-game target for those
    playing the late slate on Saturday.Ill never use a Coors Field hurler in cash
    games, but Im open to the idea in tournaments. Jon Grays matchup against San
    Diego is exactly the type of spot where it might be worth rolling the dice.
    Theres no denying that Coors has given Gray trouble this year (4.82 ERA).
    However, its Grays 9.4 K/9 rate, combined with the Padres 25 percent whiff rate
    versus righties, that offers plenty of GPP intrigue. Granted, the game was in
    San Diego, but Grays highest strikeout performance (12 Ks) this season came
    against the Padres back in June.With a wRC+ of 75, the Braves are downright
    brutal against lefty pitching. Enter Gio Gonzalez, who finds himself in a highly
    intriguing spot. The Washington southpaw has been inconsistent this season, but
    hes pitched better in the second half and has allowed two or fewer runs in three
    of his past four turns. There are other cash options I like more, but Gonzalez
    is at least in the discussion.Slated to start the first game of Saturdays
    doubleheader against Cincinnati, Jameson Taillon owns a 3.00 ERA and 1.02 WHIP
    since the break. Only once in his past 11 starts has he allowed more than three
    earned runs. That gives him a safe floor against a Reds team that has been below
    average against right-handers this season.StreamersThe Rays have been hitting
    well since the break (105 wRC+), but they are still striking out at a 24 percent
    clip versus righties, which gives Chris Tillman some nice upside on Saturday. He
    hasnt whiffed double-digit batters in any game this year, but one of his nine-K
    performances came against Tampa earlier this year.Seth Lugo sports a 2.27 ERA in
    five starts since joining the Mets rotation, and hell look to keep on rolling
    with a home date against Minnesota. The Twins lineup has been hot lately, but
    theyre also striking out 25 percent of the time so far in September and will be
    without a DH. Lugo is available in nearly half of ESPN.com leagues.Squaring off
    against Lugo is Ervin Santana, who has been an underrated fantasy option over
    the past couple of months. Since the break, the righty holds a 2.82 ERA over
    70-plus innings. The Mets are in the thick of the playoff race, but their lineup
    has still been below average in the second half. Santana is ripe for the picking
    in 60 percent of leagues.A free agent in 81 percent of leagues, James Paxton
    travels to Houston to take on the Astros. The Astros can be a dangerous team
    against left-handed pitching, but they can also be a very exploitable team,
    thanks to their 24 percent strikeout rate. So if you dont mind a little risk
    with your upside, Paxton might be worth a look here.AvoidSome people are still
    drawn in by Francisco Lirianos high strikeout and ground ball profile, but he
    remains a no-go for me. While the whiffs and grounders are nice, the walks (5.0
    BB/9) and homers (1.6 HR/9) are not. Against an Angels team that rarely strikes
    out and is above average against southpaws, it should be an easy decision to
    steer clear here.HittingEdwin Jackson owns a 5.21 ERA as a starter this year. He
    also has a 7.59 ERA away from home. Now consider that he has to face the Rockies
    at Coors Field on Saturday. This one could get ugly in a hurry. Left-handed bats
    Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and David Dahl are definitely great plays
    here, and Im not shying away from DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado even though they
    hit from the right side.I highlighted Liriano above as a guy Im avoiding, so it
    only makes sense to target hitters against him. With the Angels on the schedule,
    right-handed swingers Yunel Escobar, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are all in
    play.Shelby Miller still hasnt figured things out. Since rejoining Arizonas
    rotation, hes allowed 12 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings, good for a 7.04 ERA.
    Maybe hell get back on track eventually, but we might as well stack hitters
    against him until that happens. Left-handed swingers Chase Utley, Corey Seager,
    Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Reddick and switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal are all enticing
    options.The lowest-ranked pitcher of the day is the Yankees Bryan Mitchell, who
    owns a 4.88 ERA over 48 big league innings. The righty had made only two starts
    this year, and while the first one went well, he didnt make it out of the third
    inning in the second outing. This is spot where the Red Sox, who have one of the
    most dangerous lineups in baseball, could put up a crooked number. All of
    Bostons big bats are in play here, though lefty David Ortiz is the top play of
    the bunch.Raul Alcantara has only two big league starts under his belt, but all
    he has to show for it is a 7.27 ERA and 4.2 K/9. The Rangers, who have put up a
    117 wRC+ so far in September, wont go easy on the righty in start No. 3. Lefty
    Rougned Odor and switch-hitter Carlos Beltran are the top plays, but Ian
    Desmond, Adrian Beltre and Jonathan Lucroy are also in the mix.Most likely to go
    yard: Albert PujolsEntering this season, Liriano had allowed 20 homers just once
    in his career, back in 2009. Hes on pace to threaten 30 dingers this year.
    Pujols is a good bet to help the lefty get closer to that number this
    weekend.Most likely to swipe a bag: Hernan PerezArrieta may be the top pitcher
    of the day, but hes also the easiest to run against, having allowed 21 stolen
    bases this season, fourth-most in the NL. Jonathan Villar would be the easy call
    here, but were going with Perez, who already has 30 swipes of his own.
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    Red
    . Philadelphia is 2-0 against the Senators this season and scored five
    goals in each victory. The Flyers recorded a 5-0 win in Ottawa on Nov. 12 and
    then earned a 5-2 home decision on Nov. 19. The Flyers have claimed three
    straight and four of the last five encounters with the Sens overall and Philly
    has won two in a row and three of its past four tests in Canadas capital city.
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    . The Olympic champion curler and TSN curling analyst immediately
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    Supported by three-run homers from Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos, the young
    right-hander went seven strong innings in the Washington Nationals 8-4 victory
    over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.
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    .C. at the helm of the top team in the Eastern Conference. His
    tenure as the GM in Vancouver was all too brief. Though he led the Canucks to
    what was then a franchise record-shattering campaign in just his second season,
    Nonis was gone and replaced one year later. CLEVELAND -- LeBron James didnt hold
    back in weighing in on J.R. Smiths contract impasse with the Cavaliers.James
    feels the Cavs owe the shooting guard, who helped them win an NBA title last
    season.Negotiations are always two-sides, but J.R. did his part, James said
    Friday following practice. He showed up every day. ... Became a two-way player,
    a model citizen in Cleveland and hes a fan favorite, obviously we all know that.
    All of the sudden now hes a season ticket holder at the Indians games.We just
    miss him. We miss having him around. Hes a big piece of our team and they just
    need to get it done, he said.Smith remains unsigned as his agents and the Cavs
    have been unable to finalize a contract. When the team opened training camp
    earlier this week, general manager David Griffin said the Cavs have made Smith
    an incredibly competitive and aggressive offer.The sides, however, remain apart
    on the length of a deal for Smith, who came to Cleveland in a trade with the New
    York Knicks midway through the 2014-15 season. He arrived with a reputation for
    being difficult, but Smith has fit in smoothly with the Cavs and was a key
    contributor in June when Cleveland overcame a 3-1 deficit in the finals to beat
    the Golden State Warriors.Smith made $5 million last season and could be seeking
    a deal for more than double that. With salaries around the league escalating at
    never-seen-before rates, Smith wants to cash in and hes using his value to the
    Cavs as leverage.While negotiations go on, Smith attended to Indians games last
    week.James has been friends with Smith for years and their relationship has
    grown tighter in Cleveland. They share the same aagent, Rich Paul, who also
    represents forward Tristan Thompson.dddddddddddd The Cavs were in a similar
    situation last year with Thompson, who missed training camp before getting a
    five-year, $82 million contract extension.James has been through this before and
    hes not happy about it.I hate coming into another season -- two years in a row
    -- with one of my big guns not here, James said. So, for a leader of a team and
    for me personally, I just hate to deal with this (crap) again. Its just too big
    of a piece to our team to have to deal with in another training camp. Hopefully
    things get resolved fast, because you know how big and important he is to our
    team.Beyond Smiths shooting -- hes one of the leagues best 3-point shooters --
    hes one of the teams top defensive players and his size and athleticism allow
    Cavs coach Tyronn Lue to match him up on guards and forwards.James, who has been
    through the free-agent process several times, remains hopeful Smith will sign
    soon, but hes bracing himself for any outcome.Its like youre buying a house, he
    said. You can go find a house, you do all the negotiations and all that, but you
    never got the house until its closed and you got the keys. Last minute someone
    can step in. Escrow could fall through or something. Then it aint your house no
    more. So, J.R. is a free agent. Hes not ours. Hes still my brother right now.
    And I feel like when I play 2K17 hes still on the Cavs, so hes on my roster
    there, but it wouldnt be good if he was not here. It wouldnt be good for any
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