Cubs

FanDuel Friday: Are the cheaper pitching options better tonight?

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FanDuel Friday: Are the cheaper pitching options better tonight?

All year we've been yelling at you to not go cheap on pitching in your FanDuel lineup because of the importance of the starter in your lineup.

Well...this might be the week where it's okay to say no to the top flight guys.

The CSN Fantasy crew makes a case for a couple of cheaper starters who could help bring in bigger bats in your lineup in this week's FanDuel Friday.

As always, good luck tonight.

Tony Andracki

Iglesias has been one of the best pitchers in the game over the last month or so, and now the Cuban import gets to go up against a Milwaukee offense that strikes out a ton and doesn't have to contend with Great American [Sm]allpark, either. 
 
I can't believe Posey is only $3,000, so I scooped him up immediately. Cuddyer has a career .874 OPS vs. LHPs, Rendon has been on fire of late and Carpenter has been in a slump, but has still found a way to average over 4 FanDuel points per game over the last four. 
 
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It's hard to load up on Blue Jays hitters the way they're mashing taters lately, but I took advantage of Tulo and Bautista going up against former teammate Matt Boyd, a lefty with a 7.04 ERA in 30.2 innings this season. I went with Gose because I figure if he gets on base at all against Dickey's knuckleball, he can run all day on the slow, unpredictable pitch. Austin Jackson was the cheapest OF I could get that actually made sense to insert into my lineup, especially given that he's going up against lefty John Danks tonight.
 
John Paschall

The Pirates have won Liriano's last 10 starts. For whatever reason, they elevate their game for their southpaw so I'm hoping Liriano dominates a weak Rockies team at home.
 
The Moose is on the loose in KC and at his price tag he's a must have in your lineup tonight. Gutierrez has the pop in his bat that could cause problems for John Danks and the White Sox (See his homer off lefty Carlos Rodon last night?). 
 
Deshields and Betts are those scrappy hitters who find ways to get on base and swipe some bags. 
 
I splurged on Tulowitzki tonight not only because he's a stud, but also because he's got a matchup against Boyd that makes me salivate with excitement. Martin is another Blue Jay that got into my lineup tonight. 
 
Speaking of success against righties, Fielder is back in my lineup for just that reason. 

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

MESA, Ariz. — “That’s last year, don’t want to talk about that.”

In other words, Addison Russell is so over 2017.

The Cubs shortstop went through a lot last year. He dealt with injuries that affected his foot and shoulder. He had a well-documented off-the-field issue involving an accusation of domestic abuse, which sparked an investigation by Major League Baseball. And then came the trade speculation.

The hot stove season rarely leaves any player completely out of online trade discussion. But after Theo Epstein admitted there was a possibility the Cubs could trade away one or more young position players to bolster the starting rotation, well, Russell’s name came up.

And he saw it.

“There was a lot of trade talk,” Russell said Saturday. “My initial thoughts were, I hope it doesn’t happen, but wherever I go, I’m going to try to bring what I bring to the table here. It’s a good thing that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m happy being in a Cubs uniform, I want to be in a Cubs uniform, for sure. But there was some talk out there. If I got traded, then I got traded, but that’s not the case.”

No, it’s not, as the Cubs solved those pitching questions with free-agent spending, bringing in Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to replace the departed Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. It means Russell, along with oft-discussed names like Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Javy Baez, are all still Cubs.

While the outside world might have expected one of those guys to be moved in some sort of blockbuster trade for Chris Archer or some other All-Star arm, the Cubs’ young core remains intact, another reason why they’re as much a favorite to win the World Series as any team out there.

“I’m really not surprised. The core is still here. Who would want to break that up? It’s a beautiful thing,” Russell said. “Javy and I in the middle. Schwarber, sometimes playing catcher but mainly outfield. And then (Kris Bryant) over there in the hot corner, and of course (Anthony) Rizzo at first. You’ve got a Gold Glover in right field (Jason Heyward). It’s really hard to break that up.

“When you do break that down on paper, we’ve got a lineup that could stack up with the best.”

This winter has been about moving on for Russell, who said he’s spent months working to strengthen his foot and shoulder after they limited him to 110 games last season, the fewest he played in his first three big league campaigns.

And so for Russell, the formula for returning to his 2016 levels of offensive aptitude isn’t a difficult one: stay on the field.

“Especially with the injuries, I definitely wanted to showcase some more of my talent last year than I displayed,” Russell said. “So going into this year, it’s mainly just keeping a good mental — just staying level headed. And also staying healthy and producing and being out there on the field.

“Next step for me, really just staying out there on the field. I really want to see what I can do as far as helping the team if I can stay healthy for a full season. I think if I just stay out there on the field, I’m going to produce.”

While the decrease in being on the field meant lower numbers from a “counting” standpoint — the drop from 21 homers in 2016 to 12 last year, the drop from 95 RBIs to 43 can in part be attributed to the lower number of games — certain rate stats looked different, too. His on-base percentage dropped from .321 in 2016 to .304 last year.

Russell also struggled during the postseason, picking up just six hits in 36 plate appearances in series against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out 13 times in 10 postseason games.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. That World Series hangover was team-wide throughout the first half of the season. And even though the Cubs scored 824 runs during the regular season, the second most in the National League and the fourth most in baseball, plenty of guys had their offensive struggles: Schwarber, Heyward and Ben Zobrist, to name a few.

“You can’t take anything for granted. So whenever you win a World Series or you do something good, you just have to live in the moment,” Russell said. “It was a tough season last year because we were coming off winning the World Series and the World Series hangover and all that. This year, we had a couple months off, a couple extra weeks off, and I think a lot of guys took advantage of that. I know I did. And now that we’re here in spring training, we’re going to get back at it.”

Cubs Talk Podcast: Discussing 5-man unit and where Montgomery fits into Cubs' plans

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Discussing 5-man unit and where Montgomery fits into Cubs' plans

Jon Lester has arrived at Cubs camp, and he’s pleased with the new-look rotation full of potential aces. Kelly Crull and Vinnie Duber discuss the 5-man unit, and where Mike Montgomery fits into the Cubs’ plans.

Plus, Kelly and Vinnie talk Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber, along with the continuing free agent stalemate surrounding Jake Arrieta.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: