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.

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

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Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

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USA TODAY

Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

Mark Prior's big-league playing career unfortunately fizzled out due to recurring injury woes, but he's making a name for himself in the coaching realm.

With Dodgers current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt transitioning into a new role, Prior is expected to takeover the position starting next season.

Cubs fans know the story of Prior's playing career all too well. The Cubs drafted him second overall in the 2001, with Prior making his MLB debut just a season later. He went on to dominate in 2003, posting an 18-6 record, 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts, a season in which he made the All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

However, Prior's season ended on a sour note, as he was on the mound during the Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Prior exited the game with a 3-1 lead, but the Cubs surrendered seven more runs that inning, eventually falling to the Marlins 8-3 before losing Game 7 the next day. 

Prior struggled to stay healthy after 2003, eventually retiring in 2013 after multiple comeback attempts. While many blame his injury-riddled career on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Prior does not. 

While we can only wonder what could've been with Prior to the pitcher, it's good to see him still making an impact in baseball in some fashion.

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