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It’s the final week of the MLB season, and I hope you planned accordingly in your yearly leagues for all the two-start pitchers and such. We kick off the week with a 12-game slate ripe with both pitching and offense, so this could prove to be a fun one. I will be on a bus heading far away to southern Maine today, so unfortunately I won’t make chat, but the boys will take good care of you. I’m on twitter for our subs @jac3600 as well.
NOTE – As I’m writing this, Tyler Anderson has been scratched from his start and Jon Gray will replace him. This is huge as it makes the Phillies’ matchup considerably more difficult, and also takes away the right-handed bats as usable options at their prices.
Corey Kluber, CLE ($12,000)
It’s tough to pay all the way up for Kluber when there are perfectly good options for less money, but he really is the best play tonight. It’s cooler in Chicago, and the White Sox rank 21st in wRC+ against RHP with the second highest K rate against. Kluber has had a down year (by his standards) from a K perspective (25.9% as opposed to over 30% the previous two years), but he’s 19-7 with a 2.93/3.24/3.13 pitching slash and is a massive -260 road favorite. He’s worth the spend if you have the funds.
Other options – Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Luis Severino
Jack Flaherty, STL ($9000)
Flaherty is the ace that isn’t being treated as an ace. Since joining the rotation for good, all Flaherty has done is post a 3.07 ERA and a 30.1% K rate. Milwaukee is a decent offense but prone to strikeouts (eighth highest K% against RHP) and they’re getting a park downgrade going to St. Louis. If MVP front-runner Christian Yelich misses the game (he’s dealing with a knee injury), that would boost Flaherty’s projection tremendously. Even with the sea of frontline pitchers listed above, I view Flaherty as cash viable if it helps you get Coors/Red Sox/Astros bats.
Other options – James Paxton, Robbie Ray, Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Felix Pena, Nathan Eovaldi
Edwin Encarnacion, CLE ($3800)
Dylan Covey has been a thorn in my side all year. In 2017, he was one of the easiest pitchers to pick on in DFS, but the addition of a changeup has changed things. He’s still not a good pitcher due to almost no discrepancy between his K and BB rates, but Covey has also pitched weirdly well at home (.303 wOBA allowed). Furthermore, Covey is fresh off a start where he shut this Indians team down in Cleveland over six innings, so the ability is there. All that said, Covey has allowed a career 46% HHR to RHB, and Vegas isn’t buying him as the’ve pegged Cleveland for an IRT of 5.2 runs.
Other options – Anthony Rizzo, Matt Carpenter, Carlos Santana, Wilson Ramos
Mitch Moreland, BOS ($3000)
Boston’s IRT has come down from 5.7 runs to 5.1 since last night so I’m not sure what I’m potentially missing here, but I’m still fully on board with Red Sox bats. Dylan Bundy has allowed 38 homers this year which is five more than the next highest player in the majors, and he’s gotten toasted by LHB for a 5.45 xFIP, .397 wOBA, and a 35.7% HHR. Moreland has a .217 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year, and is too cheap for what looks to be a high-powered offense tonight.
Other options – Yonder Alonso, Yuli Gurriel, Ian Desmond, Jose Fernandez
Catcher values – Evan Gattis, Brian McCann, Rockies catcher
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($4500)
“Ridiculous Ramirez’ as I’ve dubbed him, headlines the 2B position on this slate with a juicy matchup against Dylan Covey and company. It’s going to be difficult to fit him into cash, but I should point out that he has a .416 wOBA, .998 OPS, and .316 ISO against RHP this season. He busted against Covey five days ago, but I have to imagine that’s an outlier, and the White Sox bullpen behind Covey ranks 28th in xFIP.
Other options – Jose Altuve, Rougned Odor, DJ LeMahieu, Brian Dozier
Cesar Hernandez, PHI ($3300)
Hernandez offers no individual skills that pop, but he’s cheap for a leadoff hitter in Coors that’s likely to get at least five PAs. The switch hitting Hernandez will maintain the platoon edge against a Rockies bullpen that ranks 23rd in FIP, and Hernandez has some speed as well.
Other options – Daniel Murphy, Ian Kinsler, Josh Harrison, Joe Panik
Alex Bregman, HOU ($4300)
It takes a lot for me to bump “Arenado in Coors” from the top spot, but the stars seem to have aligned for Bregman in this one. The young Astros star leads the team in wOBA against RHP and happens to be facing one (Marco Estrada) who has allowed a .231 ISO to RHB since the beginning of 2016. Furthermore, Bregman has murdered the changeup pitch this year, and that’s not only Estrada’s “out pitch” but also the one that has yielded 19 of his 27 homers allowed this year. Bregman is also $200 cheaper than Arenado and the Astros team total is 5.2 runs.
Other options – Nolan Arenado, Justin Turner, Anthony Rendon, Josh Donaldson, Asdrubal Cabrera
Rafael Devers, BOS ($2800)
I love Devers tonight, and I may use him in the UTIL spot even if I get up to Bregman as the third baseman. Devers has three homers over his last seven games which is accompanied by a 41% HHR, and he has a .202 ISO against RHP in his young career. I mentioned Dylan Bundy’s immense struggles with left-handed bats, and the Orioles bullpen now ranks last in both FIP and xFIP.
Other options – Evan Longoria, Yolmer Sanchez, David Freese
Francisco Lindor, CLE ($4600)
I don’t need to justify the Indians’ hitters much more, but Lindor is as MVP-like as his teammate Jose Ramirez. I’ll also point out that if Omar Narvaez (-2 wSB rating) is catching, Lindor’s ability to run after leading off on the road in greatly enhanced, and he can create massive upside with both his legs and his bat.
Other options – Manny Machado, Trevor Story, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner, Carlos Correa
Lourdes Gurriel, TOR ($3300)
It looks like you have to devote some funds to SS for cash (at least go as high as Correa at $3600). Gurriel is an interesting GPP pivot, however, as he’s sported a .175 ISO against LHP thus far and Dallas Keuchel has not QUITE been his strong self in 2018. Keuchel has allowed a 33.3% HHR to RHB this season while his K rate sits at a career low 17.4%. I’m not saying attack him, but Gurriel and his 28% HHR the last ten games could do in a pinch since he leads off now.
Other options – Brandon Crawford, Andrelton Simmons, Tim Beckham
Charlie Blackmon, COL ($4300)
I fully expected to find Blackmon priced at $5000 for this matchup, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that FD is a little off on him. Zack Eflin has been killed by lefties this year, allowing a .352 wOBA, 1.48 HR/9, and a 41% FB rate to them. Coors Field is only going to amplify these numbers, and Blackmon has a .399 wOBA and .262 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year. He’s the top spend in cash tonight.
Other options – Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Bryce Harper, Michael Brantley, Shin Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, George Springer, Starling Marte, David Dahl
Carlos Gonzalez, COL ($3300)
Sooooooo I know CarGo is nearing the end and his numbers are showing as much, but this is WAY too cheap for the cleanup hitter with the platoon edge in Coors Field. Gonzalez still has a usable .184 ISO this season which is boosted to a .212 mark at home, and the Rockies lead the slate with an IRT of six runs. Do not be afraid to double up with these two Rox lefties in cash.
Other options – Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera, Kole Calhoun, Matt Kemp, Kike Hernandez, Josh Reddick, Nomar Mazara, Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Jason Kipnis, Jordan Luplow Fantasy Baseball
Jamie Calandro (DFS alias jac3600) is the President of Operations and was an FSWA finalist in 2018 for basketball writer of the year. He has been playing fantasy MLB, NFL, and NBA since 2001. He has won various titles and is a 10-time NFBC and 14-time NFFC champion. He is a seasoned daily fantasy sports player, logging in 7 days a week on multiple sites and winning multiple large-field GPPs while being a prolific cash game grinder. Jamie is FantasyPros' 2016 MLB Daily Fantasy Accuracy Cup champion and earned a top five finish in 2017 as well. Look for him in chat on FTA, and follow him on twitter @jac3600.