Dave’s Free Plays, Wednesday 7/29/15

  • July 29, 2015

I’m taking a night off from the usual commentary, as most of the last few hours have been spent updating college football power ratings and there’s still plenty of work to do as far as that goes. Barring unforeseen circumstances, that portion of the blog will return tomorrow.

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I split my Tuesday plays, with a wrong side on the Tigers but a nice winner with the Marlins. For info on how to get all of plays across the board, shoot an email my way at cokin@cox.net.

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Jose Fernandez wasn’t at his best on Tuesday evening. But the fact he was still able to contain the Nationals for six innings, allowing only one run, simply speaks volumes about just how remarkable a pitcher Fernandez is. I’ll go right back to the same well in hopes of garnering another free play winner tonight.

NATIONALS (Fister) @ MARLINS (Koehler)

Take: MARLINS -110 (Don Best consensus line at publication time)

Welcome back, Dee Gordon. The speedy Miami catalyst returned from his stint on the disabled list and had an immediate impact as the Marlins captured the series opener against the Nationals.

Doug Fister will try and get Washington even in the set tonight, but things have not been going well for the veteran righty. Fister has had a rough time of it, with just three starts all season where he’s posted an xFIP of less than 4.00. Fister was never a big heat guy, but the lack of velocity this season has been a problem and that’s led to a big problem generating swings and misses. There are red flags galore for Fister. His ground ball rate is the lowest of his career. The line drive and hard hit percentages are the worst of his big league life. About the only positive for the glass half full crowd is that Fister threw it a little better in his last start, and the Nats are hoping that the worst is behind him.

Tom Koehler hasn’t been as good as his nifty ERA might indicate, but he’s been better than I think most expected. I actually thought Koehler might end up getting traded as he’s not a bad back of the rotation fit for a handful of contenders, and he doesn’t get paid much by major league standards. But I guess that makes him valuable to the Marlins as well, and as of now, he appears likely to stay put.

Miami gets a check mark on the pitching tonight. It’s by no means a slam dunk in any of the categories I focus on as far as pitcher comparison goes. But Koehler owns at least a minimal advantage over Fister right across the board.

The Nats have to be thrilled to have Rendon, Zimmerman and Werth all back on the field after missing extended time with injuries. This lineup should start to produce some offense moving forward, but for the time being, there could be a little rust for any or all of this talented trio.

The Marlins are still minus their big bat with Giancarlo Stanton still sidelined. But getting Dee Gordon back paid immediate dividends on Tuesday and Gordon looks like he’s ready to resume his everyday role at the leadoff spot for the Marlins.

I’m clearly hoping Miami gets to Fister for at least a few runs here. The bullpen advantage is with the road team, so it’s likely incumbent upon the home team to win the early portion of this game. I do think the price matters here, as I really don’t want to spot more than the current handful of pennies with Miami. But assuming it’s the regular starting lineup (sans Stanton, of course) I’ll opt for Miami to get enough work done against Fister to get them to the winner’s circle for a second straight night.

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FanDuel Value Play, Wednesday 7/29

Not a bad choice on Tuesday with the Arizona rookie Zack Godley, who was good enough to earn a win for his DFS backers at Seattle. Here’s a pitching choice for tonight who’s not bargain basement by any stretch, but who also has a good chance to produce some decent points.

JOSE QUINTANA, P, $8400

White Sox southpaw Jose Quintana has had a tough time garnering wins, but that hasn’t been his fault. The lefty has had a solid campaign, that has mostly been marred by terrible run support. I’m not really banking on Quintana getting all that much assistance tonight at Fenway, actually. He’s up against Rick Porcello, who has pitched well when Ryan Hanigan is his catcher.

The key here is Boston’s struggled against southpaws, and the fact that Quintana has been really good lately. His overall numbers are solid, but the 30-day digits are tremendous, with Quintana sporting a spectacular FIP/xFIP. Even though he’s not cheap at $8400, I see Quintana with an opportunity to have a strong game against the Red Sox and I’m going to feature him in my FanDuel lineup.