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I hope everyone found some success if you played the one-game slates for NFL yesterday. I cashed in on Julio Jones in the “MVP” spot which helped get the bankroll up a little more in preparation for this Sunday’s mayhem. Today we turn our attention back to baseball, and a 14-game slate that is absolutely ripe with pitching. Ownership levels might be spread all over the place, so picking the “right one” will be extra critical. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to share in chat, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Blake Snell, TB ($10,700)
There was some worry that Tampa was going to severely control Snell’s pitch count after he returned from the DL, but it looks like he’s got a long leash as he’s a legitimate Cy Young contender now. His 2.02 ERA isn’t completely real, but there’s nothing wrong with a 3.11 FIP and Snell’s K rate since coming off the DL is 41%. He’s a -245 favorite with a 2.7 IRTA, and the Orioles rank 29th in wRC+ against LHP. He’s my cash choice in a deep pool of top starters.
Other options – Aaron Nola, Carlos Carrasco, Patrick Corbin, Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole
Felix Pena, LAA ($6800)
With Coors hitters not a necessity today (Kershaw vs. Gray quells a lot of upside), I’m more likely to spend on top pitching, even in GPPs. However, Pena holds some intrigue in tournaments against a White Sox team that has the highest K rate against RHP, and that mark is rising. Pena gets a park downgrade, but he’s posted three quality starts in his last four games, while racking up 27 strikeouts.
Other options – Kevin Gausman, Steven Matz, Chris Archer, Dylan Bundy, Austin Gomber, Joe Ross
Edwin Encarnacion, CLE ($4000)
The Indians are arguably the top offense if you think Coors will be less fruitful than usual. Marco Estrada has been absolutely brutalized by righties in his career, and it’s gotten worse lately as he’s allowed a .382 wOBA and .237 ISO to RHB since the beginning of last year. In that same span, Edwin has posted a .369 wOBA and .264 ISO against same-handed pitching. He’s a worthy spend in all formats.
Other options – Anthony Rizzo, Max Muncy, Paul Goldschmidt, Jesus Aguilar, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal
Matt Olson, OAK ($3300)
If Olson was playing the Rangers in Texas tonight, he’d be a lock at this price. His home park is a bit of a deterrent, but it hasn’t stopped the hard-hitting A’s from having an IRT of five runs this evening. Yovani Gallardo is one of the worst pitchers on the slate, and Olson has a .333 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last season. He also has a 39% HHR over his last 15 games.
Other options – Ryan Zimmerman, Brandon Belt, Ji-Man Choi, Joe Mauer, Jefry Marte
Catcher values – Evan Gattis, Yadier Molina, Salvador Perez, Wilson Ramos
Daniel Murphy, CHC ($4200)
Murphy gets a “revenge game” tonight against the Nationals, and Joe Ross is making his season debut after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. The price tag on Murphy is a bit expensive for cash, but Ross allowed 1.66 HR/9 to LHB in the year prior to his surgery, and he also struck out lefties far less than righties (whom he dominated). Murphy has a .245 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year.
Other options – Jose Altuve, Rougned Odor, Whit Merrifield, D.J. LeMahieu
Logan Forsythe, MIN ($2300)
Forsythe’s value tonight is completely lineup dependent. He’s hit all over the place lately, seeing time in the first, second, fifth, sixth, and seventh spots all in the last 10 games. If he garners a good spot, he’s a great value against Heath Fillmyer who has allowed a .377 wOBA and .225 ISO to same-handed hitters so far in the major leagues.
Other options – Yoan Moncada, Cesar Hernandez, Yairo Munoz
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($4900)
Arenado against a lefty in Coors Field usually locks up this top spot, but not when that lefty is Clayton Kershaw. I still adore Arenado in GPPs (and Kershaw too), but Jose Ramirez is the top dog on this slate. Ramirez is one SB away from a 30/30 season, and he’s punished RHP since the beginning of last year. There haven’t been many results yet in the month of September, but all indications are he’s going through some serious bad luck, as his HHR sits at 58% for the month. Play him with confidence.
Other options – Alex Bregman, Nolan Arenado, Justin Turner, Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Matt Chapman, Kris Bryant
Miguel Sano, MIN ($3000)
Sano’s biggest problem is strikeouts, and the matchup with Heath Fillmyer (14.6% K rate) should help mitigate that risk. I mentioned Fillmyer’s struggles with same-handed hitting, and he’s backed by a bullpen that ranks dead last in xFIP. Sano is fine as long as he’s in the lineup (he’s been battling injuries).
Other options – Jeimer Candelario, Yolmer Sanchez, Matt Duffy, Taylor Ward
Trea Turner, WAS ($3700)
Technically the top play is Lindor, but the $1000 of salary relief you get with Trea Turner closes the gap enough that he’s the one I want more exposure to tonight. Turner is facing a good pitcher in Jon Lester, but Lester has allowed tons of hard contact to RHB this year and (most importantly) he’s been the easiest pitcher to steal on in the majors since 2014. If Turner gets on base more than once, this is one time we could those 3-4 SB games he sometimes gives us.
Other options – Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado, Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa
Jonathan Schoop/Hernan Perez, MIL ($2900/$2500)
Depending on lineup spot, one of these two righties could unlock a lot of value at the SS position. Derek Holland is getting a terrible park downgrade going from San Francisco to Milwaukee, and the Brewers are ranked fourth in wRC+ against LHP. Holland has allowed 1.53 HR/9 to RHB since the beginning of 2016, and both Schoop and Perez have solid platoon numbers.
Other options – Jorge Polanco, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Crawford
Mike Trout, LAA ($5000)
Trout is the class hitter on this slate. He’s getting a park boost going to Chicago, and the regression train is fully on the tracks for Carlos Rodon. Rodon’s 2.89 ERA is all smoke and mirrors as his xFIP sits at a robust 5.09 mark, and his 44.6% FB rate allowed this year will eventually turn into homers. Trout can make GPP-winning noise with both his bat and his legs, and he’s worth every penny in cash as well.
Other options – Michael Brantley, George Springer, Giancarlo Stanton, Khris Davis, Lorenzo Cain, Cody Bellinger, Starling Marte, Jose Martinez, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Nick Castellanos
Joc Pederson, LAD ($3400)
As I’ve said, the Coors Field game is tricky this evening, since attacking pitchers like Kershaw and Jon Gray may not be the most prudent. Joc Pederson, however, is a lock in my eyes. He is not remotely priced for the park upgrade he’s getting going to Colorado, and he’s posted a .356 wOBA and .249 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year while drastically cutting down his K rate. Gray is a good pitcher, but he still struggles in the platoon split, allowing almost a 40% HHR to LHB since the beginning of last year. Joc is the first hitter I’m entering into cash.
Other options – Mallex Smith, Kevin Kiermaier, Ryan Braun, Corey Dickerson, Nicky Delmonico, Daniel Palka, David Peralta, AJ Pollock, Mikei Mahtook, Jacoby Jones, Tyler O’Nell, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman 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.