PREGAME REPORT FROM CITI FIELD: NATIONALS MAY PRESS METS PHENOM
Stephen Christopher 12:00 am, April 19th, 2013
If you are planning to ride the Matt Harvey train again, you should get off at this stop. The Nationals are steely confident and ready to face the New York phenom, and they will not be intimidated by his efforts thus far. Talking to the Washington coaching staff, their plan is to be patient and make Harvey work. They have seen enough of him in spring training, they feel, to know what he is about even though Harvey appears to have taken steps forward from even where he was last year. Harvey is $10,100 on DraftKings and is just not worth the price tonight. If you want to spend in that range, Mat Latos is $200 more and faces Miami.
Stephen Strausberg is at 12,400 and appears quite relaxed entering this start. He strolled casually into the clubhouse this afternoon and was very easygoing with teammates and seems ready to roll against a Mets lineup that just may not be able to handle him. The one exception may be John Buck, who remains a terrific discount at 3,400. Buck has an attitude of trying to help carry this team and was looking very intense in his pregame prep and was driving the ball really well again in batting practice. Buck is 2 for 9 career wise against Strausberg with five strikeouts, but the 2013 Buck seems to be a much more productive Fantasy choice, at least early on.
Ryan Zimmerman (4,200) has homered once in two at-bats against Harvey, but he is out of the lineup as he appears to get a mental day off from his throwing issues. Ian Desmond is a superb value at 3,700. He has singled and walked against Harvey with just two career at-bats against him and is very confident at the plate right now. Bryce Harper (4,600) has struck out twice in three career at-bats against Harvey and was telling me in pregame how cruel the game of baseball can be sometimes when you go 0-for-4 after a good night. This could be one of those nights for him.
Overall, though, this strong Washington lineup enters this series very focused and excited about their overall prospects, and seems ready to take care of business against a simply lesser ballclub. Nationals players should make for good options throughout the weekend.
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