Cubs

FanDuel Friday: Riding the (very) hot hand in Clay Buchholz

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FanDuel Friday: Riding the (very) hot hand in Clay Buchholz

With plenty of stellar pitching and a host of young talent blossoming before the trade deadline, there are plenty of options to consider during tonight's FanDuel Friday.

Let's dive right in to the picks so we can make you some dough. 

John "The Professor" Paschall

How can I say no to this guy?

He's been rock solid over his last seven starts, going 5-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 42 strikeouts. Pitching at home against the Yankees will surely provide any kind of extra motivation he may need to deliver another gem. His price also makes the rest of my lineup more fun to create.

I got a youth movement going on in the middle of my lineup with Travis, Sano and Correa. All three of those guys have already proved they belong. Sano will shake off a rough day yesterday against David Price and rebound against a struggling Verlander. Travis and other Blue Jays should return to their old powerful selves with Duffy on the mound in Kansas City.

Jones is still cheap enough that he's got to be in my lineup. He's too big of a star to leave off your lineup at that price tag. Ramirez has had much better power numbers against right-handers this year compared to lefties. Dyson always adds the element of stolen bases and with his new spot in the starting lineup, it's hard not to like his potential low cost-high reward.

Fielder has absolutely mashed right-handers this year (.393/.456/.565, 7 HR, 35 RBI) so his matchup against Kennedy in Texas has me salivating.

Mark Strotman

It took a lot for me to pass on Madison Bumgarner pitching tonight at home against the hapless Phillies. But that's how much I like Syndergaard. In his last two starts he's throwing 14 innings and allowed just two earned runs, including a six-inning, one-run performance while battling Clayton Kershaw at Chavez Ravine. That gives me hope he can continue to pitch at a high level in a difficult matchup against the Diamondbacks, who have clawed back to .500 in winning seven of their last 10 games. But that's also why I'm getting Syndergaard on the cheap end, and I really like the value here. It's the first time Arizona will have seen the talented rookie.

It's maybe not the greatest strategy, but I'm getting some solid veterans going through some struggles in Jonathan Lucroy and Robinson Cano who I think will break out sooner than later. Hopefully it's tonight.

Joc Pederson has gone nine games without a homer *gasp!* and the best remedy for a homerless streak is to face the Milwaukee Brewers, who have allowed the second most homers in the league (98). Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson has served up 13 of those, making Pederson an awesome play tonight.

Joey Votto has six hits and a homer in his last three games, and I like his matchup tonight in Miami. Mookie Betts and Brett Gardner round out my always-fast outfield, while I ride the hot Matt Carpenter (2-for-4, 2 RBIs last night) against the Pirates.

Clay Buchholz has been on fire lately, with four straight quality starts, lasting at least 7 innings in each of those, allowing just 3 ER in that span. He's going up against the Yankees' aging offense, but I'll take my chances with the way Clay's been pitching.

As for hitting, I'm kinda just hoping Lucroy will break out of his disappointing season for at least one good game and Fielder playing at home vs. Ian Kennedy and his 4.84 ERA was too good to pass up. Danny Salazar has been struggling lately, so I like Zobrist and Lawrie as nice value plays vs. Salazar tonight. Bogaerts isn't flashy, but he's put up positive FanDuel points for about two weeks straight now and at a $3,000 price tag. Yelich has been hot as well, with an OPS north of .900 the last month-plus.

I also really wanted newly-minted AL All-Star Brett Gardner in my lineup (yes, even against my pitcher) and at a $4,200 price tag, I only had $3,200 left, and Brantley was the guy I felt most confident in among those OFers in that price range.

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

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AP

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

The Cubs have been a different team the last six weeks, looking a lot more like the resilient bunch from 2016 than the sluggish 2017 squad that lacked energy. After some wacky circumstances Monday and a tough loss in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cubs came out and showed what they’re made of in the last two games of the series against the Dodgers, a team that knocked them out of postseason play last fall.

Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sum up the longest short homestand (or shortest long homestand?), updating the status of Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pitching staff and how the team is rounding into form as the season’s halfway mark approaches.

Check out the entire podcast here:

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Remember that one time Sammy Sosa threw out his back while sneezing? Well, Brandon Morrow may have topped that on the Cubs all-time list of wacky injuries.

The 33-year-old closer was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game after hurting his back while taking his pants off upon returning from the team's road trip to St. Louis. It's being labeled as "lower back tightness."

"It's frustrating any time you can't get out there, and especially when you can't go because of something stupid like taking your pants off," Morrow told reporters on Tuesday.

And that's put the Cubs pitching staff in a tough spot for the rest of the week, given Wednesday's series finale against the Dodgers is the third game in a little more than 24 hours for the Cubs.

"I don't want to downplay anything," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Obviously he had back spams, he had the same thing in spring training. We'll start treating it the same way we did in spring training; I think he was out about a week to 10 days. If things go as we hope, I think it'd be the kind of thing where he'd probably be able to be throwing before the 10 days is up.

"But we felt like it wasn't going to be something where he was ready this weekend and if he's not going to be ready all weekend, we can already backdate it three days so it made sense to put him on the DL."

Morrow is tied for fifth in the National League with 16 saves and owns a 1.59 ERA is 26 relief appearances this season. Justin Hancock, who served as the 26th man during Tuesday's doubleheader, stayed with the team as a result.