Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 6/21/13
Yesterday, Welington Castillo, Matt Holliday, and Yasiel Puig all homered, but it wasn’t enough for “hectorrondon” as Mike Minor was good for just eight points and no other batter scored more than 1.25.Today it’s back to the real aces in a late-game entry. Will that make a difference? It should.Just a few bits of housekeeping before we go any further:Sorry for the site being down yesterday, but we’ve sorted out some tech bugs and don’t anticipate any more issuesRemember to take our Week 12 Fantasy Survey if you haven’t yet — it takes just 30 secondsFoul Paul! has been posted for this week and it’s a doozyOur latest Profcast, Episode 3, is up and waiting for you — this week it’s starting pitchersYou can get our daily updates via email if you don’t yetAs always, it’s never too late to start playing FanDuel!Oh, and Like us on Facebook to stay in the loop!Season ResultsWagered: $680 | Profit: -$9.50 | ROI: 1.4% | Avg. Points: 33.05Contest SettingsSalary Cap: $35KBuy-in: $10Teams: 20-team 50/50 contest (pays top 10)Start Time: 7:05 pm ESTPlayer universe: Late gamesPitcher Scoring: W = 4 pts, IP = 1 pt, K = 1 pt, ER = -1 ptHitter Scoring: TB = 1 pt, R = 1 pt, RBI = 1 pt, SB = 2 pts, BB = 1 pt, HBP = 1 pt, Out = -0.25 ptClayton Kershaw ($9,200) — road vs. SD (Clayton Richard)Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball and he’s taking on a below average offense. The reasons to like this matchup need not be enumerated. I will, however, toss in a word of caution. San Diego has had some success in recent seasons against Kershaw. They haven’t smacked him around by any stretch of the imagination, but in 11.1 innings this season they’ve walked seven times against him as Kershaw has struggled his way to a 1.85 WHIP. Last year it was the same story as the Padres walked 10 times and worked Kershaw to a 1.45 WHIP in 21.1 innings. Plus, for his career, Kershaw’s road ERA is 3.21 versus 2.27 at home. He’s still elite, just not that elite. Don’t be shocked if he turns in a disappointing performance today. Even still, it will probably be very good.Michael Zunino ($2,300) — home vs. OAK (Bartolo Colon)Zunino is jut 4-for-20 (.200) in his very brief major league career, but that doesn’t worry me today against Colon. Yes, Colon has been great this season, but I don’t really worry about starting batters against him. Zunino has upside at a low price.Ryan Howard ($3,400) — home vs. NYM (Jeremy Hefner)Howard is 3-for-3 in his career against Hefner, but more importantly he’s been hitting well of late (well, last night’s golden sombrero aside). He has just one homer this month, but he’s slashing .327/.425/.534 and has just 18 strikeouts in 18 June games after K-ing 37 times in 25 games last month.Nick Franklin ($3,000) — home vs. OAK (Bartolo Colon)For the money, it’s hard to get better value than Franklin at second base right now. He’s hit safely in eight of his last nine and has enough power/speed to threaten for a homer/steal every day. He’s not great, but he does enough of everything to be dangerous. He’s a little like Ben Zobrist.Manny Machado ($3,400) — road vs. TOR (R.A. Dickey)Machado’s numbers against Dickey aren’t too bad — 2-for-7 (.286) with three strikeouts — but the Orioles’ phenom already has 103 hits on the year thanks to seven multi-hit games in his last eight. Heck, the guy is on pace for 70 doubles. Seventy! This kid has a very, very bright future. That doesn’t necessarily help with today, but at $3,400 he makes for a great buy in daily leagues.Alcides Escobar ($2,400) — home vs. CHW (Hector Santiago)Escobar has hit safely in nine of his last 10, raising his OPS from .582 to .616 in the process. For the most part they’ve been hollow, one-hit games so the value here is capped by his limited production, but I’ll take a point or two from a cheap shortstop.Jacoby Ellsbury ($4,400) — road vs. DET (Doug Fister)Ellsbury is slashing .328/.388/.443 so far in June and has had 10-plus steals in each of the season’s first three months. When healthy, he’s a stable contributor.Yasiel Puig ($3,700) — road vs. SD (Clayton Richard)Paul Beck has a great write-up about Puig in this week’s Foul Paul!, and while I generally agree with his assessment of the hype surrounding Puig right now, I disagree with him about Puig’s fantasy value. Right now, even accounting for regression, I view him as a better version of Yoenis Cespedes. I think he’s better than Matt Holliday, and I absolutely would view him as a top-20 player from here on out. Next year I would consider him in the first round. He’s not as patient as Bryce Harper, but he has a similar ceiling. Of course, my opinion could change if today marks the beginning of a prolonged slump marked by poor plate discipline, but for now I don’t know if there’s a better value than Puig in daily leagues. He’s an every day fixture in my lineup.Desmond Jennings ($3,200) — road vs. NYY (David Phelps)Jennings has always had a higher-than-I’d-like strikeout rate, but he’s reduced it of late. In his last 10 games he’s struck out just four times. In the 10 games prior, he K-ed 10 times. With his speed, he’s a threat to do something big every time he puts the ball in play, so if he’s doing that then I’ll gamble on him, especially when his price is this low.
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