After earning first team All-Big Ten honors twice, winning the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award and being named a 2013 national semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy — NCAA soccer’s Heisman — Wisconsin defender AJ Cochran was ready to move on to bigger things.Thursday the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer gave him that chance when the 20-year-old centerback was selected No. 16 overall in the MLS SuperDraft.Cochran, who would currently be in the middle of his junior year at UW, signed a Generation Adidas contract and participated in the MLS Combine last week, where he was projected by some analysts to go as high as No. 5. As a Generation Adidas signee, Cochran will not count against the Houston Dynamo’s salary cap and will have the opportunity to complete his college education later, paid for through his Generation Adidas contract.Known for his aerial prowess — a skill that gave Wisconsin a last-second win against then-reigning National Champions Indiana earlier this season — Cochran will be called upon to help anchor a team that made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Championship in 2013. Houston’s 2014 schedule is slated to kick off Mar. 8 at home against the New England Revolution.Cochran’s teammate, midfielder Tomislav Zadro also participated in the MLS Combine last week, and went undrafted through the first two rounds. The Superdraft will reconvene Tuesday for rounds three and four.
Last night’s lineup managed to cash for us in our tournament — thanks in part to a late pivot to the lightly owned David Peralta — and even modest winnings are still winnings, so we’re hoping to keep things going with Tuesday’s DraftKings lineup picks. The pitching options tonight aren’t the greatest, so you’ll have to take some chances with your choices there, but there are plenty of decent hitter sleepers to help round out a stars-and-scrubs strategy. Yesterday we went with two three-man stacks in our offense, but with more games (and the Nationals not facing a lefty), we’re using a slightly more varied approach. We still have two mini-stacks, but on packed main slates like tonight’s 13-gamer, it never feels like you have pieces of enough games. Watch ChangeUp, a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZNOur pitchers are from the top options, but slow and steady might win the race tonight, even in tournaments. You can make a strong case for Domingo German being close to a must-have, but he’ll likely have high ownership even at a $9,000 price tag, so fading him could really pay off if he struggles. As it stands, we feel good about one of our two pitchers, and that’s probably going to be the case for many.MORE: Tuesday’s SP rankings | DFS lineup BuilderDraftKings Lineup Picks: Tuesday, April 23Starting Pitcher: Trevor Williams, Pirates vs. Diamondbacks ($8,300). You’d like a higher K-rate than 6.3, but Williams has been consistently solid this year, registering a quality start in all four outings. The matchups have been mostly favorable (Reds twice, Nationals, Tigers), but the D-backs aren’t exactly a worrisome opponent. Arizona ranks 18th with a league-average 100 wRC+ against righties this year, and perhaps even more important, it strikes out at a 24.1-percent clip against righties, which is slightly above league average. Williams might get an extra K or two because of the matchup, and he’s always been a better pitcher in Pittsburgh (3.30 ERA) than on the road (4.05)Starting Pitcher: Trent Thornton, Blue Jays vs. Giants ($7,000). Chances are, you’re going to be taking some risk with your second pitcher on DK tonight, and Thornton fits that profile. He’s yet to go past the sixth inning this year, and his ground-ball rate of 29.4 percent leaves a lot to be desired. That said, there are plusses, starting with the matchup (San Francisco is 29th in wRC+ vs. righties) and Thornton’s K-rate (10.3). This is one of those boom-or-bust matchups that you’d probably only use in tournaments, but we’ll take our chances given the other options and Thornton’s price tag. Catcher: Mike Zunino, Rays vs. Royals ($3,300). Normally, we don’t like using someone like Zunino the day after he hit a homer, as it’s unlikely he does it again. But the big backstop tends to hit them in bunches, and fly-ball pitcher Homer Bailey tends to give them up at the same rate, so we’ll hope lightning can strike twice here. Ultimately, we’re just punting the position, so if you’re going to go the cheap route, you might as well go with someone who has legit multi-HR upside. First Base: Yonder Alonso, White Sox @ Orioles ($4,100). Camden Yards is a hitters paradise, and Andrew Cashner has been especially friendly to lefthanded hitters since 2016 (.269/.351/.456). Alonso has had a slow start to his first season with the White Sox, but this is a good spot for a big game.Second Base: Kolten Wong, Cardinals vs. Brewers ($4,300). Lefties has always hit better against Zach Davies, getting on base at a .369 clip against him since the beginning of last season. Wong has had a run or RBI in seven of his past nine games, and he always has the potential to hit a homer and/or steal a base in the same game. Third Base: Yoan Moncada, White Sox @ Orioles ($4,900). Moncada scored twice last night, but with only one hit and no RBIs, he was mostly left out of the fun of a 12-run explosion. That won’t be the case tonight against Andrew Cashner. We’re all about getting lefthanded sticks in the lineup against Cashner, and Moncada hits better from that side of the plate (.645 SLG this year vs. RHPs, .454 for his career).Shortstop: Orlando Arcia, Brewers @ Cardinals ($3,200). We didn’t have the money to pay up for Trevor Story or Tim Anderson, so we ultimately decided to punt the position and pay way down for Arcia. The 24-year-old shortstop has shown a little more pop this year than last season’s dreadful campaign, but ultimately he’s once again disappointing. Given his and the Brewers’ matchup against inexperienced pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon, we’re hoping he can get on base once or twice and be part of a run-scoring trip or two. Anything else is a bonus. Outfield: Christian Yelich, Brewers @ Cardinals ($5,800). Yelich has had two straight hitless games…so he’s due, right? Yes, we know about the home-road splits (.244/.295/.293 on the road this year), but we’re not getting carried away with a small sample. Last year Yelich hit .328/.399/.545 on the road, including .318/.483/.773 in six games at Busch Stadium. We’re not worried about him, especially against a righty making his 12th career major league appearance (fifth start).Outfield: Juan Soto, Nationals @ Rockies ($5,000). We want a piece of the Coors Field game, and we’re probably taking the most obvious one. While Soto is priced up, he’s only tied for the 10th highest-priced OF. Compare that to Anthony Rendon ($5,600), Nolan Arenado ($5,100), and Trevor Story ($5,200), who are not only more expensive but also the top-priced guys at their positions. Soto feels like a bargain considering he’s facing Jeff Hoffman, who’s making his first start of the season. Last night we did well with “value Coors guys”, but tonight we’re taking the obvious high-priced bait. Outfield: Enrique Hernandez, Dodgers @ Cubs ($4,100). We kind of like Ian Desmond ($3,500) as a value Coors guy against lefty Patrick Corbin, but the extra $600 didn’t really allow us to upgrade too much anywhere else, so we’ll happily take Hernandez against lefty Jose Quintana. Hernandez is once again crushing southpaws (.500/.636./938), which is in line with his career splits (.273/.363/.505 vs. LHPs). He’s a no-brainer in these spots, even if he does generally hit worse on the road.