FanDuel Friday: Picking the right ace for your lineup


FanDuel Friday: Picking the right ace for your lineup

The weather has finally warmed up in Chicago after a long and dreary winter that seemed to never want to go away. And with the NBA regular season officially over, it's time to turn our attention to a new sport in daily fantasy leagues: baseball. 

Baseball is a different animal than some of the other sports on FanDuel, simply because it's a lot harder to score a lot of points. Avoiding a negative score for a player is, in some ways, a victory. Picking your pitcher is the most vital selection of your entire lineup because that's where a majority of your points will come from. 

Luckily for fantasy players this week, there are a handful of aces to chose from in tonight's slate of games (Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto to name a few). 

Check out our first set of lineups for the baseball season down below:

John "The Professor" Paschall

I almost went Scherzer here because he will simply dominate the Phillies tonight but I went a little cheaper with Kluber, who should also have a solid chance of getting a win against a weak Twins lineup. Ramos has been hot lately, getting a hit in six of his last seven games and his matchup with O'Sullivan certainly is enticing. Davis, Segura and Lagares have all been on fire lately at the plate and are good, cheap options to fill out your lineup. It also helps that those sluggers aren't facing ace caliber starters tonight.

Betts and Odor are guys who can stuff the stat sheet, whether it's with hits, runs or stolen bases, these guys have the potential to explode on any given night.

Sandoval is a bit of a risky pick since he's been very up-and-down so far with the Red Sox, but with Jimenez on the mound for the O's, Sandoval should hopefully get back into rhythm when he's forced to go back to hitting from his better (left) side. 

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Mark Strotman

It's been a rough start for the Brewers in 2015, but that hasn't applied to starter Jimmy Nelson. I look for Nelson to keep that going, while Lucroy has to break out of his early-season slump at some point. Jean Segura arguably has been the best fantasy Brewer not named Adam Lind, and his breakout campaign is off to a great start.

I'm definitely going with the big names in Prince Fielder and Dustin Pedroia, but for a combined $7,000 it's too big a steal. Fielder's batting .400 and quietly riding a four-game hit streak; it'd be great if he could pick up that elusive first homer.

I LOVE the outfielders I'm using tonight. Ellsbury is batting just .286 but has seven-game hit streak. I expect the home runs and RBIs to start pouring in soon. Heyward has slowed a bit and has a tough matchup against Johnny Cueto, but he's relatively cheap for an outfielder with pop. And Lorenzo Cain is just the man. He's like my Russell Westbrook of fantasy baseball. Find a way to get him in your lineup.


Willson Contreras, expert at going viral, tells hilarious profanity-laced story from 2019

Willson Contreras, expert at going viral, tells hilarious profanity-laced story from 2019

Willson Contreras and viral moments at Cubs Convention go hand-in-hand.

At the team’s annual fan festival in 2018, Contreras stole the show with a story from the 2017 season. During a mound visit against the Cardinals, the Cubs catcher gave profanity-laced advice to Jon Lester, the Cubs starter who rarely throws pickoffs due to a serious case of the yips.

"I went out there and I said, 'Hey motherf--ker, throw the f--king ball to first,'” Contreras recalled in January 2018.

Contreras stole the show again Saturday, telling a story about a moment against the Cardinals — this time from the 2019 season.

“So last year, we were facing the Cardinals and I started talking to [Marcell] Ozuna,” Contreras said. “He told me ‘Just call a fastball right down the middle.’ [And I said] ‘Yeah okay, I will.’ Then I called the fastball and he took it.

“I told him ‘What the f— are you talking about? Just hit the ball, just hit it.’

“He asked me ‘Just call it again.’ And I did it. He took it. Swing the [bat]. I called a third pitch and it was a strikeout. And then next time it was like just ‘Shut up,” or something."

Warning: graphic language

How Contreras will top this at 2021 Cubs Convention is uncertain, but considering he now has two viral moments on his resume, we can be sure the next one will be just as amazing.

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Cubs announce plans for extended protective netting at Wrigley Field for 2020


Cubs announce plans for extended protective netting at Wrigley Field for 2020

Baseball fans will be more protected than ever at Wrigley Field this season.

Saturday, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney announced the club is extending protective netting at Wrigley Field to the elbows of the ballpark. Essentially, it will stretch a bit past where the old on-field bullpens were and stop before the walls in the left and right field corners.

Kenney added the extensions will be ready by Opening Day.

Last month, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced all 30 ballparks will extend their netting for the 2020 season. Manfred didn’t specify which teams would do what, but he said netting at each stadium would extend “substantially beyond the end of the dugout.”

With pitchers throwing harder than ever and batter exit velocities are through the roof, fans have little time to react in the stands when a ball is launched their way. It’s nearly impossible to avoid getting hit, even for those paying attention.

The Cubs have experienced this firsthand. In a game against the Astros last season, an Albert Almora Jr. foul ball struck a 2-year-old at Minute Maid Park. That young girl has a permanent brain injury, her family’s attorney announced earlier this month, an injury that affects her body similar to how a stroke would.

Almora was visibly shaken after the incident and said Friday at Cubs Convention it weighed heavily on him for the first couple of days.

“After that I had no other choice but to move forward,” Almora said. “But I always have that in the back of my mind. Every update that does come up, I am on there and I am seeing all of this."

Almora said he’s tried reaching out to the family but is respecting their privacy. As a father of two himself, he said there’s no reason to even think of his sons getting hurt while attending a game.

“Obviously prayers go out to the family. It’s unfortunate, and like I said before, that should never happen on a baseball field."

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