Closing Time: Will you toss the dice on Jhoulys Chacin?

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Do you trust <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/8534/" data-ylk="slk:Jhoulys Chacin">Jhoulys Chacin</a> on the road? (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Do you trust Jhoulys Chacin on the road? (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Although Jhoulys Chacin has played with five teams during his nine-year MLB career, we generally associate him as a member of the Rockies. Chacin toiled in Colorado for six years, somehow managing a 3.78 ERA despite the thin air and elevation. You wanted to cheer for the poor guy when he left Coors Field after the 2014 season.

Chacin landed with the Padres in 2017; the baseball gods have a sense of fairness, after all. Curiously, Chacin’s first year in San Diego has resulted in a 3.98 ERA — higher than his Mile High experience.The WHIP has been reasonable (1.27). He’s had ordinary control (3.6/9) and ordinary bat-missing ability (7.6 K/9).

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Do you have the nerve to stream Chacin on Saturday at San Francisco? That depends on what frame you focus on.

Chacin will be up against San Francisco’s paltry offense, which ranks 29th in scoring. Old retread Matt Cain is the opposing pitcher. You’d like to think the Friars will do something against Cain; then again, San Diego is dead last in scoring.

Chacin’s home/road splits are as jagged as it gets — he’s been a 1.79/0.98 daisy at home, and a 6.93/1.68 horror show on the road. Mind you, San Francisco’s park is famously pitcher-friendly. Chacin already has five starts in this series this year, checking in with a 2.83 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. He’s won two games at AT&T, though the overall numbers weren’t great (11 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 10 K).

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Mash it all together and I think Chacin is worth the risk, at least for fantasy teams that need to make something happen this weekend. He might not be good enough to pitch from a roto lead; that’s your call to make. There’s a lot of uncertainty on the pitcher board this weekend — consider everyone tentative and watch the news wire like a hawk — but I don’t see any reason to fear Chacin won’t pitch Saturday.

Although Chacin has been aggressively added in the last day or so, he’s still unclaimed in about two-thirds of Yahoo leagues.

• The stream pickings are slim in the Yahoo Friends & Family League, where a host of teams — even the non-contenders — are scrambling for the last-minute innings and counting stats, ratio risk be damned. The engagement is a feature and not a bug if you ask me; it shows the owners really care about their final finish, and/or they don’t want to get trampled in side bets. Whatever gets you through the night.

I didn’t have an obvious target for my final Sunday start, and I was nervous about making a pick too early, since we have a transaction cap — it literally was my final selection — and I didn’t want to waste it on someone who would later be scratched. I eventually decided to take a spin with Steven Brault, the interesting lefty for the Pirates. He’s been confirmed for the final start at Washington.

Brault has been mostly a reliever with the Bucs, and a pitch-to-contact reliever at that (19 K in 32.2 IP; 3.86 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). Those numbers might not sound like much, but trust me, the free-agent bone has been picked clean. There’s not much left, staring back at me.

Although Brault was old for the Triple-A level, at age 25, he did turn in 20 outstanding starts at Indianapolis: 1.94 ERA, 1.07 WHIP. Maybe he’ll do something nifty against a Washington team that might be thinking more about playoff preparation than anything else. Brault is owned in just two percent of Yahoo leagues. It’s long shot time.

• One of the challenges for the final Sunday of the fantasy baseball season is merely showing up. All 15 games are scheduled to start at roughly the same time, between 3:05 and 3:20 pm ET. You might want to set a reminder on your phone. The immediacy of an NFL Sunday has a way of eclipsing everything else on the sporting landscape.

This weekend could have some wonky lineups. Remember, every team has September roster expansion available, and the playoff races are largely a dud. The Rockies and Brewers are still fighting for a Wild Card, and that might not even come down to Sunday. The Red Sox need one more win to secure the AL East. Overall home field isn’t sewn up yet. Let’s be vigilant, attentive, and careful.

Heck, there are two afternoon games Friday, for crying out loud. Don’t be left staring hopelessly at any empty lineup spot when it can be avoided. Stay focused, follow your routine, play the games out, make reasonable decisions. That’s all you can do. Stick with the process, and we’ll be fine with the outcome.

Loyal Closing Time readers, this handshake’s for you. Manage Like a (Fake Sports) Champion Today.

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