P- Jon Gray (vs. San Diego Padres): $7,900. This is a pretty risky play on Monday, but many factors point towards Gray having a big game. Gray struggled in his first two starts this season, but they have been against two very tough teams, the Pirates and Dodgers, and they were played at Coors Field. Coors Field has not been kind to Gray in his 7 career starts at home. In those starts, he has thrown 29.1 innings, with a 9.20 ERA, 52 hits against, 9 walks, and 29 strikeouts. In 4 career starts on the road, he has thrown 20 innings, with a 2.70 ERA, 16 hits, 8 walks, and 25 strikeouts. Luckily, Gray will be on the road on Monday. Not only will he be on the road, but he is pitching at a pitcher’s park in San Diego against a mediocre offense. In his only career start versus the Padres, he threw 5 innings, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Gray’s impressive career strikeout rate (9.5 strikeouts per 9 innings), success on the road, and favorable matchup all point to a great performance on Monday.
P- Johnny Cueto (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $10,800. This start is going to be an emotional one for Cueto. He will be returning to Cincinnati for the first time since he was traded. He played 8 years in Cincinnati, so the fans will be behind him and I’m sure he wants to put on a show. Not only will his emotions play a factor, but he is facing one of the worst offenses in Major League Baseball. The Reds are ranked as the 28th overall offense, which is clearly a huge advantage for Cueto. In Cueto’s first 5 starts in 2016, he is 4-1, with a 2.65 ERA, 33 strikeouts, and only 5 walks. In his 98 career starts at Cincinnati’s home stadium, he has a 48-22 record, and a 2.91 ERA. All signs point to a huge day for Cueto on Monday. He is averaging 25 points per game on Draft Kings this season.
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I like the moves the White Sox have done in the offseason. The only problem is what the Royals and Tigers also have done this winter will make it tough for Chicago to keep up.
The Pale Hose finished a disappointing 76 – 86 in 2015 and almost 20 games behind Division winner KC for the AL Central.
Despite the poor results off those player acquisitions Rich Hahn acquired Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie so far in the hot stove this year, and also inked catchers Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro as key moves.
I love this aggression – and even believe that LaRoche and Cabrera will have bounce back seasons for the White Sox this season. Cabrera was pretty decent in the 2nd half, and LaRoche suffered the Adam Dunn NL to AL syndrome.
Having said this already, the Royals are sitting with a talented squad as reigning World Series Champs, and the Tigers added Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, and bushel full of relievers and Cameron Maybin.
There is no doubt in my mind that Detroit will be much better than their cellar dweller 2015 campaign.
The White Sox have a decent pitching staff in its entirety. Maybe not as talented as the Cleveland Indians, but the Tribe doesn’t have the sticks as Chicago either.
KC has the best bullpen in the Division, and will rely heavily on it again with their grinder offense backing it up.
Chicago is still spending at a decent clip – having a budget of near $123 MIL so far, but Detroit has crept up to near $200 MIL, and KC has paid for its title, by going near the $140 MIL team salary barrier. Read the rest of this entry