Browsing Posts published in August, 2013

Last year, Adam and I embarked on our first Footballguys FFPC journey. Our season was filled with some ups-and-downs, but we finished atop our league in points scored. We lost our Week 12 semi-final match-up and finished in the Top 500 out of 3,000 teams. We’ll look to build on last year’s strong showing. We like to draft during Labor Day weekend, so we opted to draft yesterday afternoon.

For those unfamiliar with FFPC scoring, teams must start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 2 Flexes, 1 K, and 1 DEF. It’s dynamic point-per-reception scoring with tight ends receiving 1.5 points-per-reception. We drew the 11th pick out of 12. Without further ado, our draft results are recapped below:

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The bats carried CC Sabathia to a 8-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Ivan Nova (7-4, 3.14 ERA) will be looking for similar support. After a dismal 2012 campaign, Nova has reinvented himself and learned how to become more of a strikeout artist. Nova has struck out 22 percent of batters faced compared to just 14 percent in 2010. Nova has won three of his last five starts while allowing just one home run. Nova has had some success against the Orioles, tossing a complete game, 11 strikeout performance on July 5th. 

The Orioles will counter Nova with RHP Scott Feldman (11-9, 3.87 ERA). Since coming over from Chicago, Feldman is 4-3 with a 4.56 ERA. Feldman has failed to worked past the 6th inning in his last three starts. Feldman has not pitched well in Yankee Stadium. His 5.52 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in just 14.2 innings should give Buck Showalter pause.

Pick: The Yankees are installed a small -120 favorite, so we’re going to take them. The Yankees abused Miguel Gonzalez in the fifth inning, so I’m expecting that momentum to carry over to today.  Nova has pitched well recently, so give him the edge over Feldman. 

The New York Yankees (70-63) will look to get back to their winning ways as they take on the Baltimore Orioles (71-61). The Yankees will send their ace, CC Sabatha (11-11, 4.81 ERA), to the hill. It’s been a rough season for Sabathia. The big left hander is starting to lose some velocity and must figure out different ways to register outs. Over his last ten starts, Sabathia has allowed at least two earned runs. Sabathia’s control hasn’t been great either, walking 13 batters over his last three starts. Over the last few years, Sabathia has enjoyed a fair amount of success against the Orioles, but has struggled recently. Sabathia is 1-1 with a 3.80 ERA in three starts this year.

The Orioles will counter with RHP Miguel Gonzalez (8-6, 3.77 ERA). Gonzalez has worked out of the bullpen recently, but will be asked to spot start. Gonzalez has come up winless in three starts against the Yankees. However, Gonzalez has held the potent Yankee offense to just five earned runs over 19 innings. He’ll look to build on that success against a Yankee team that had trouble scoring runs in Toronto.

Pick: The over/under is set at 8.5, so we like the over. CC has struggled recently and the Yankee hit much better at home against right handed starters. 

The New York Mets (59-72) dropped a 6-2 decision last night to Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies (61-72). The Mets will look for the series split as they send RHP reliever Carlos Torres (2-2, 2.96 ERA) to the mound. Torres appeared earlier in the series, tossing 2/3 innings of shut-out ball. Given the injury to Matt Harvey, the Mets will ask for a few innings out of Torres. Torres has been very impressive at Citi Field, allowing just two earned runs in 22 2/3 innings. 

The Phillies will counter with a reliever of their own, RHP Ethan Martin. The Phillies have asked Martin to spot start during the year, but he hasn’t been very successful. Martin has only thrown 21 1/3 innings, but has allowed 15 earned runs and six home runs. Left-handed hitters have hit four home runs in just 46 at-bats.

Pick: The over-under is set eight, so we like the over. Martin has been terrible and Torres can’t be expected to last more than 3-4 innings. The Philly bats have spoken up, so expect them to score early and often against Torres. 

The New York Yankees used a pair of Alfonso Soriano home runs to even the series at 1-all against the Toronto Blue Jays. Soriano and the Yankees will look to continue that momentum against RHP Todd Redmond (1-2, 4.44 ERA). Redmond has failed to register a win over his last eight starts. Last week against the Houston Astros, Redmond was tagged for eight runs on eight hits in just 3 1/3 innings. Redmon has had some success in Toronto, posting a 2.16 ERA over 26 innings. Redmond is a fly-ball pitcher that may have some difficulty against the powerful Yankee lineup. 

Redmond will be opposed by RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-9, 2.79 ERA). Kuroda is one of the league leaders in ERA, but has struggled recently. Kuroda was tagged for seven earned runs in only six innings last week against the Tampa Bay Rays. Nova gave up 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings against the powerful Red Sox lineup earlier last week. Despite his recent struggles, Kuroda has been dynamite against the Blue Jays this year, posting a 2-0 record and allowing only 1 earned runs over 15 innings. 

Pick: The Yankees opened as a small (-115) favorite, so they’re today’s pick. Kuroda had success earlier in the year and the Yankee bats should be able to figure out Redmond.

Lefties Andy Pettitte (9-9, 4.26 ERA) and J.A. Happ (3-3, 5.10 ERA) will square off in the second game of a three-game set. The Toronto Blue Jays spoiled Derek Jeter return, besting the Yankees 5-2 last night. Jeter, who went 0-for-3 in Monday’s return, has had some success against Happ, posting a 4 for 8 line with 1 HR.

Pettitte looks to earn his third win against the Blue Jays this season after giving up one run and three hits over six innings last week at Yankee Stadium. Pettitte has had Toronto’s number, going 6-1 with a 3.04 ERA over his last eight starts. Pettitte is 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA over his last seven starts in Toronto. Pettitte has limited right handed sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie to combined 2-for-20 over the last two seasons. Pettitte must try to limit Rajai Davis, who is 9-for-17 with a HR.

J.A. Happ is making just his fifth start since returning from a skull fracture on May 7th. Happ allowed four runs and five walks over 5 1/3 innings last week at Yankee Stadium. Ichiro Suzuki (4-for-7) has had some success against Happ while Robinson Cano (3-for-14) has struggled.

Pick: The Yankees opened as a slight favorite (-115), so they’re the pick. Pettitte has pitched well recently and has success against Encarnacion and Lawrie.

The New York Mets (58-70) will welcome the Philadelphia Phillies (59-71) to Flushing on Monday for the first game of a four-game set. Rookie RHP Zack Wheeler (6-2, 3.49 ERA) will off against Cy Young Award winner, LHP Cliff Lee (10-6, 3.16 ERA). After posting a 5.06 ERA over his first three starts, Wheeler has settled in, posting a 5-1 record with a tidy 3.02 ERA in outings since July 1st. Wheeler struck out a career high 12 hitters in San Diego on August 15th and followed up that performance with a 6 2/3 inning performance against the Braves last week. 

Cliff Lee has gone winless over his last six starts, but has only received eight runs of support. Lee has a 4.62 ERA over his last six games. Lee had a career 5-1 record with a 2.09 ERA over his first five starts against the Mets before dropping a 5-0 decision earlier this season.

The Mets have been outsourced 24-5 during their recent five game losing streak. The Mets were swept by Detroit over the weekend, falling 11-3 in the Sunday’s finale. The Phillies have won 6 of 8 games including winning 2 of 3 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Pick: The Phillies opened as a -125 favorite and we’re going to continue fading the Mets. Cliff Lee takes extra pleasure in beating New York teams and I doubt today’s game will be any different. The Philly bats are hot right now, so expect the offensive momentum to carry over.  

Detroit will send Rick Porcello to the mound as the Tigers go for the three-game sweep against the Mets. Yesterday, Max Scherzer won the battle of the aces against Matt Harvey by throwing six innings of shutout ball. Scherzer rung up 11 strikeouts and only yielded two hits over six frames. Luckily for the Mets, Rick Porcello is not Max Scherzer. Porcello, a New Jersey native, boasts a 9-7 record with a 4.52 ERA. Over his last three starts, Porcello is 1-1, but has given up 24 hits and 11 earned runs. Oddly enough, Porcello’s road splits (5-4, 3.90 ERA) are much better than his home split at the spacious Commerica Park (4-3, 5.09 ERA). The Tigers hope Porcello can utilize the pitcher friendly Citi Field to his advantage.

The Mets will send righty, Dillon Gee (9-8, 3.60 ERA) to the mound in hope of stopping the sweep. Unlike Porcello, Gee has fared much better recently, winning four of his last five decisions including 7 2/3 innings, nine strikeout masterpiece against the Minnesota Twins. Gee has enjoyed the friendly confines of Citi Field. Gee is 4-3 with a 2.21 ERA.

Once again, the Tigers opened as a -140 money line favorite. The Tigers recorded 13 hits off of Matt Harvey, so Vegas expects them to keep hitting against Dillon Gee. Expect the Tiger bats to finish off the sweep at Citi Field.

New York baseball fans are in for a treat as two Cy Young hopefuls take in the mound in Flushing. Max Scherzer (18-1, 2.82 ERA) will face off against righty sensation, Matt Harvey (9-4, 2.25 ERA). Scherzer and Harvey faced off earlier this summer at the All-Star Game. Harvey is hopeful that his squad will defend its home field.

Scherzer has won five straight decisions, including an eight inning, five-hit performance last weekend against the Kansas City Royals. Scherzer is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.29 ERA in 12 road starts. More impressively, Scherzer posts a tidy 1.74 ERA on the road. The Mets, who have lost eight of their last 12 games, may have trouble scoring runs against the AL’s leading Cy Young candidate.

If Scherzer wants to pick up his 19th victory, he’ll need his offense to score runs off against Matt Harvey. Harvey, who has thrown 171 innings, has only won one of his last five starts. Harvey has uncharacteristically given up six earned runs over last twelve innings. The Mets plan to cap Harvey’s innings at 210-215 innings, so he may be starting to show some signs of fatigue. Still, Harvey is a gamer and has shown he can step-up in big spots.

Pick: Once again, we’re getting some decent value with the Tigers, so we’re taking their money line (-140). Matt Harvey should keep his team in the game, but Miguel Cabrera and co. should be able to scratch a few runs across, which should be more than enough for Mr. Scherzer.

Shortly after signing Daisuke Matsuzaka to their major league roster, the New York Mets (58-67) will ask him to stop the deadly Detroit Tigers (74-53) lineup. Matsuzaka will make his first major league start in almost a year against a star studded Tiger lineup. After losing both Jennry Meija and Jeremy Hefner, the Mets are hoping the 32-year-old will inject some life into the Met rotation. Matsuzaka spent the early part of this season on Cleveland’s Triple A roster, posting 5-8 record with a 3.92 ERA. 

Last year with Boston, Matsuzaka went 1-8 with a 8.28 ERA in just 11 starts. Despite helping the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2007, Matsuzaka is just 17-21 since 2009. Matsuzaka boasts a career 4-1 record in six starts against Detroit, but Detroit’s big hitters have had some success. Miguel Cabrera (4 for 9, 1 HR) and Prince Fielder (2-3, 2 doubles). Luckily for Matsuzaka, the Detroit offense has struggled recently, hitting just .228 with runners in scoring position over their last 14 games (6-8 record). 

Detroit will counter with righty, Doug Fister (10-6, 3.63 ERA). Fister has struggled recently, posting a 0-1 record and a 4.42 ERA over his last three starts. Fister has never faced the Mets and the Tigers are 0-4 on the road in Interleague play. 

Pick: We’re getting some value, so today’s pick is the Detroit Tigers money line (-165). The Tigers are coming off a frustrating home loss to the Minnesota Twins and the Mets have dropped six of their last ten games. The Tigers should find some early success against the erratic Daisuke.