Welcome to September, which means NFL is close! We have exactly one more week to really load up that NFL bankroll or qualify for satellites, so let’s get right down to business. We don’t have to worry about Coors Field on this Sunday slate (you do on DK), which should ease the overall stress of lineup building. Follow me on twitter @jac3600, and join us in chat at FTA!
Justin Verlander, HOU ($11,900)
Verlander is the top option on the slate and well worth his price tag if you want to get up there. He’s posted an incredible 34.5% K rate, 16% swinging strike rate, and 4.8% BB rate, and is taking on a Blue Jays squad that has struck out 24.6% of the time vs RHP. He’s on the road and getting a park downgrade, but he’s a -300 favorite with a 3.3 IRTA. Before his recent outing against TB where he only struck out four, Verlander had seven straight starts with double digit K’s.
Other options – Patrick Corbin, Michael Pineda
Charlie Morton, TB ($9000)
Morton is far too cheap on FD and is likely the route I’m taking in cash. He’s had a couple of pedestrian starts lately which may be driving his price tag down, and he’s pitching at home which is as good as it gets in the AL. Cleveland is not a perfect matchup with only a 21.6% K rate against RHP, but they lost Jose Ramirez and may also be without Jason Kipnis today. Morton has a 3.57 SIERA and 30% K rate this year, making him well worth any risks with the matchup.
Other options – Yu Darvish, Caleb Smith, Danny Duffy, Miles Mikolas, Tyler Mahle
Gary Sanchez, NYY ($4000)
The Yankees are a tricky proposition today as they hold an IRT of 5.9 runs an will have the platoon edge against Sean Manaea who is returning to the majors for the first time. The thing is, Manaea has been lighting up AAA with a 2.98 xFIP and 41% K rate, so there’s risk here to go all in on Yanks. That said, he’s allowed a career .192 ISO to RHB and Sanchez has a .361 wOBA and .290 ISO against LHP since last year. He hit two bombs yesterday and has all the upside in the world.
Other options – Anthony Rizzo, Yuli Gurriel , Trey Mancini
Ji-Man Choi, TB ($2600)
The days of Choi leading off seem to be over, but we’ve at least still been getting him in the top five. He has an adequate .185 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year and Adam Plutko really relies on flyballs (30.1% GB rate). Even hitting in TB, Choi has upside at a cheap price.
Other options – Matt Olson, Luke Voit, Jesus Aguilar, Joey Votto, Brandon Dixon
Catcher values – Robinson Chirinos, Yasmani Grandal, Travis d’Arnaud, Yan Gomes
Gleyber Torres, NYY ($4000)
It’s close between Gleyber and Jose Altuve, but the $300 price difference leans me towards the Yankee phenom. He’ll have the platoon edge against Sean Manaea and carries a career .363 wOBA and .241 ISO against LHP. He’s also been settling into the third and fourth spots in the order, which is great for his run production.
Other options – Jose Altuve
Whit Merrifield, KC ($3400)
We can’t forget the Royals, even though Aaron Brooks trolled us the last time out. The Orioles continue to throw out a pitching staff that ranks last in wOBA allowed, ISO allowed, and SIERA, and Merrifield has adequate power to go along with a 0.046 SB/PA. He’s just too cheap on FD, and fits well with any format.
Other options – Hanser Alberto, Luis Arraez, Eric Sogard, Brian Dozier
Matt Chapman, OAK ($3800)
Be a bit wary of going full bore on Oakland hitters since the Yankees bullpen looms, but Chapman has a great shot to do some damage against JA Happ who has allowed 2.33 HR/9 to RHB this season while posting a career worst 4.82 SIERA. Chapman is quietly having a sensational season, and his .237 ISO against LHP should play well in Yankee Stadium.
Other options – Anthony Rendon, DJ LeMahieu, Kris Bryant, Miguel Sano
Hunter Dozier, KC ($3300)
There’s very little in the way of cheap value at 3B, but Dozier is nice as a last piece if you really can’t get all the way up to at least Chapman. It’s always fine to attack Baltimore pitching, and Dozier has posted nice power numbers in the reverse split with a .202 ISO against RHP since last year.
Other options – Renato Nunez, Mike Moustakas, Matt Carpenter
Alex Bregman, HOU ($4100)
Bregman is my top overall hitter on the FD slate and is someone I will be prioritizing in cash. He’s getting a park upgrade in Toronto and carries a .377 wOBA and .246 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year. The Astros have an IRT of 5.7 runs against the Blue Jays whose pitching staff ranks 23rd in SIERA, and Bregman is cheaper than the other top options. Easy call.
Other options – Trea Turner, Marcus Semien, Jorge Polanco, Javier Baez
Nicky Lopez, KC ($2400)
Meh. Lopez fits more as part of a wraparound Royals stack unless he gets a random high spot in the batting order. He brings nothing individual to the table but everyone gets a bump facing the Orioles. Pay up for SS in cash today.
Other options – Jon Berti, Willy Adames
Aaron Judge, NYY ($4400)
This was a tough call between Judge and Springer (especially since Springer is a couple hundred cheaper). However, Judge homered again yesterday and has been absolutely sizzling lately with an eye-popping 54.5% HHR over his last 15. He’ll hold the platoon edge and he has a .273 ISO against LHP since last year. If you can fit him, do so.
Other options – Christian Yelich, George Springer, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Mark Canha, Austin Meadows, Juan Soto, Jorge Soler
Nick Castellanos, CHC ($3200)
Castellanos has done nothing but hit since joining the Cubs, and it makes no sense that his price is this low. He’s got a 40% HHR over his last 15 games and he carries a .362 wOBA and .226 ISO against LHP since last year. Gio Gonzalez has held his own with the HHR allowed, but he’s walked over 10% of batters and has a 5.01 SIERA. The Cubs are a sneaky stack today, especially since Josh Hader might be unavailable after pitching so much.
Other options – Khris Davis, Chad Pinder, Robbie Grossman, Trent Grisham, Alex Gordon, Anthony Santander, Josh Reddick, Marwin Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Brett Gardner, Matt TauchmanFantasy Baseball