Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Candelario breaks out in Smokies' romp

Photo credit: Brian McLeod/MiLB.com
Jeimer Candelario needed less than a week last year to justify his midseason promotion to Double-A Tennessee. This season had been a different story -- until Tuesday.

The Cubs' No. 7 prospect, who hit safely in 17 of his first 19 starts with the Smokies in 2015, fell on hard times in his first 18 games this season. He'd struck out 16 times after fanning 21 times in 46 games following his promotion last July.

"You control what you control and strikeouts are going to happen," Candelario said. "You just have to get your pitch to hit and take your walks, like I'm doing now. I've got to keep working hard and be able to get the mistakes."

After languishing below the Mendoza line for much of April, Candelario broke out in Tennessee's 11-2 win at Mobile. The 22-year-old switch-hitter went 2-for-3 with his second homer of the year and six RBIs, more than doubling his season total and raising his OPS 98 points to .722.

Read the rest at MiLB.com

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Berrios dominates in Wings' win over Sox

Photo credit: Ben Sandstrom
You'd never know it from the results, but Rochester starter and Minnesota Twins No. 1 prospect Jose Berrios took a couple innings to settle in during the Red Wings' 5-0 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday.

"The first two innings, I felt a little too excited, I think," said Berrios. "After the third, though, I just threw my pitches. I was working with all three of my pitches down in the zone, and they weren't able to do much with that."

Berrios struck out three of the first five batters he faced and allowed just one baserunner through two innings -- a two-out walk to No. 3 hitter Blake Swihart in the first. Once he found his groove, however, Berrios retired the Red Sox in order over the next three innings and hadn't allowed a hit through five.

Read the rest at MiLB.com

Monday, March 21, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 21, 2016

Photo credit: Getty Images
If you read my Sunday plays and followed me for Twitter updates, you probably did quite well in both cash games and tournaments; I know I did. Humble-brag aside—hey, everybody gets lucky, right?—we’re back to nine games on Monday’s NBA slate, so let’s check out the Vegas lines to get started. 

Vegas lines and totals

Philadelphia @ Indiana (-15.5) – total of 208.5
Denver @ Cleveland (-11) – total of 214
San Antonio (-6) @ Charlotte – total of 199.5
Milwaukee @ Detroit (-7.5) – total of 205.5
Orlando @ Boston (-8.5) – total of 214
Washington @ Atlanta (-6.5) – total of 206
Sacramento @ Chicago (-7) – total of 217.5
Golden State (-11.5) @ Minnesota – total of 231.5
Memphis (-2) @ Phoenix – total of 204.5

The 76ers-Pacers total isn’t high enough for me to want to touch that blowout, but most of the other games are in play on a similar level. With every spread but two between six and 11.5 points, it’s difficult to differentiate them from each other besides the two outliers. Grizzlies-Suns should be a close game, but it won’t be that high-scoring, while Warriors-Wolves is likely going to get out of control. Other than that, Kings-Bulls is the top target followed by Magic-Celtics and Nuggets-Cavs on a lesser scale considering the increased blowout potential, although Cleveland has been playing down to opponents of late. Find my top plays of the day below.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 20, 2016

Photo credit: Getty Images
Sunday ends what has been probably the most balanced scheduling week in NBA history. Every night had between six and nine games, a remarkable feat that provides for plenty of DFS intrigue as well as no oversaturated slates. With six games in play Sunday, you’ll have just enough to build top-notch DFS teams without the level of randomness that a 10-game night brings. To start, let’s get Vegas’ thoughts.

Vegas lines and totals

Portland @ Dallas (PK) – total of 213
Orlando @ Toronto (-10) – total of 210
Boston (-11) @ Philadelphia – total of 215.5
L.A. Clippers (-8) @ New Orleans – total of 212.5
Utah @ Milwaukee (-1.5) – total of 193.5
Sacramento @ New York (PK) – total of 213.5

A couple of high-scoring pick ’ems lead the way Sunday, with both Blazers-Mavs and Kings-Knicks looking like close, high-scoring games. The top five totals are all within a few points of each other, but three of the games have the potential to get ugly, though none project as a complete blowouts where starters don’t play the entire fourth quarter. For the most part, Jazz-Bucks is certainly one to avoid with a total under 195.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 16, 2016

Photo credit: Getty Images
We’re back with nine NBA games Wednesday, including a few teams that have been stricken by injury at this late juncture in the season. Mining value from those situations is always key to DFS success, but so is understanding how a game is likely to be played. The Vegas lines always help with the latter scenarios. 

Vegas lines and totals

Orlando @ Charlotte (-9) – total of 210.5
Dallas @ Cleveland (-9.5) – total of 208.5
Chicago @ Washington (-5) – total of 212.5
Oklahoma City (-3.5) @ Boston – total of 219
Atlanta @ Detroit (-1) – total of 197.5
Minnesota (-3) @ Memphis – total of 206
L.A. Clippers @ Houston (-3) – total of 214
New Orleans @ Sacramento (-2.5) – total of 222.5
New York @ Golden State (-15.5) – total of 220.5

There are two especially nice lines Wednesday, with Thunder-Celtics and Pelicans-Kings playing near 220 total points with close spreads. The Warriors should blow the Knicks out of the water, but add Clippers-Rockets as an appealing DFS game on this nine-game slate as well. The Grizzlies’ situation will likely factor into many DFS lineups, but let’s take an early look at the top plays with what we do know.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 15, 2016

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Tuesday’s six-game slate lacks the excitement of Monday’s nine-gamer, and just two teams find themselves on the second end of a back-to-back set. Scores are unlikely to be quite as high Tuesday as they have been lately, as least before any injuries or rest that comes about during the day. Let’s see how Vegas projects what could be a rather tame night in DFS.

Vegas lines and totals

Boston @ Indiana (-2) – total of 207.5
Denver @ Orlando (-5) – total of 211
Philadelphia @ Brooklyn (-7) – total of 208.5
Toronto (-2) @ Milwaukee – total of 206.5
L.A. Clippers @ San Antonio (-9) – total of 200
Sacramento (-2.5) @ L.A. Lakers – total of 217.5

After a loaded Monday which saw a spread over 230, one over 220 and one over 215, Tuesday offers just one above 211; Kings-Lakers is a battle of teams who struggle defensively, which makes it a prime DFS target. Clippers-Spurs looks like a game to avoid, which the largest spread and the lowest total, while the rest of the games project within five points of each other in terms of spread and total. That means much of Tuesday’s action will be determined by injuries and streaks, which leads us right into the top plays.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 11, 2016

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DFS scores are getting juicy as the season winds down and teams continue to rest players with nagging injuries or for no reason at all. That may happen Friday as well, but there are already a few key absences that will play a big part on a 10-game slate. Let’s see which games Vegas has pegged as the top ones to target. 

Vegas lines and totals

Brooklyn (-3) @ Philadelphia – total of 211
Detroit @ Charlotte (-4.5) – total of 201.5
Houston @ Boston (-6) – total of 223
New Orleans @ Memphis (-1) – total of 204
Minnesota @ Oklahoma City (-12) – total of 225.5
Miami @ Chicago (-1) – total of 201
Washington @ Utah (-4.5) – total of 201
Orlando @ Sacramento (-1) – total of 220
New York @ L.A. Clippers (-10) – total of 202.5
Portland @ Golden State (-12.5) – total of 227

There are four monster lines Friday and only one other within 15 points of them. That’s going to lead to a serious focus on about half the slate tonight, but two of those games are projected as blowouts, while two should play pretty tight. Rockets-Celtics and Magic-Kings are easily the top two targets of the night, which will be reflected in the top plays below.

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