Joey Ricotta | September 23rd, 2019
With the MLB season winding down, we won’t have many more opportunities to take advantage and make some money playing DFS. We need to capitalize on the remaining opportunities. That brings us to tonight’s small slate of five games, starting at 7:05 ET. On the docket, we have some weather concerns to monitor throughout the day, as well as a very thin group of quality pitchers to choose from. To save you time and research, I went ahead and put some work in for you. The daily grind keeps rolling and we aren’t slowing down for anything or anyone. It’s time to get right back to it. Here are some of my favorite DFS plays for tonight’s games.
Disclaimer: Blake Snell will not be mentioned past this point, because I think the Rays are still easing him in and he won’t throw too many pitches.
Patrick Corbin ($11,800 DK, $10,500 FD)
Corbin is the top dollar option on the slate tonight and that’s not saying much because as I mentioned earlier, the pitching is very thin. This is the highest price we’ve seen Corbin in quite some time. His 28.4% K rate gives him slate-breaking potential, but his tendency to beat around the bush (or the plate in this case), puts a cap on what we can realistically expect. If he’s walking guys, the pitch count increases and out comes Corbin after six innings of work.
Now, if he strikes out 11 batters through six innings of work as he did in his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals, we’ll be sitting very pretty. Because I’m projecting his floor to be in the same neighborhood as the pitchers we’ll discuss in a second, I’m not sure I’ll be using him in cash games, but you definitely can’t ignore him entirely. Put him in at least one GPP lineup. If you feel more comfortable paying for the guy with the most strikeout potential, you can make it work and pair him up with one of the next two in cash games.
Adam Wainwright ($8,100 DK, $9,200 FD)
Wainwright isn’t the same dominant pitcher of years past, but he’s been serviceable lately. Wainwright is 13-9 with a 3.83 ERA for the season. In the month of September, he’s been very good. In four starts, he’s tossed 27 innings and allowed only one earned run (0.33 ERA). The strikeout numbers haven’t been all that high and the Arizona Diamondbacks don’t strikeout a ton, but Wainwright’s groundball rate has been solid (49.8%). Collectively, the Dbacks hit the ball on the ground at the ninth-highest rate in the Bigs (44%). Unfortunately, for Dbacks fans and baseball fans alike, Ketel Marte is out for the rest of the season, further downgrading the Dbacks lineup. He won’t get you a ton of strikeouts, but with the lack of quality pitching on tonight’s slate, Wainwright should be a solid option.
Steven Matz ($7,600 DK, $8,900 FD)
A lot of things line up for Matz tonight. First of all, he’s facing the Miami Marlins. At this point in the season, I don’t have to tell you that’s a good matchup for an opposing pitcher. Normally, we would like the matchup to be in Miami for the pitchers’ park upgrade, but Matz has been way better at home than on the road this season, with a 1.94 home ERA compared to a 6.62 road ERA. The Marlins are filled with right-handed batters. Surprisingly, Matz being a lefty, has been better against righties with a.256/.319 (batting average/wOBA) compared to .277/.340 versus lefties. Monitor the weather situation, otherwise, Matz is in play.
2B Cavan Biggio ($5,000 DK, $3,800 FD)
Craig Biggio‘s son, Cavan, hit for the cycle last Tuesday night at Camden Yards. Although he wound up completing the cycle against Baltimore relief pitchers, Biggio’s first hit of the game came against Chandler Shepherd in the third inning. The hit was a home run. Shepherd will toe the rubber again tonight. Biggio has been raking in the month of September, hitting .328 with three homers, 11 RBIs, and four stolen bases. His potential to hit a jack and steal a bag tonight is strong.
3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,000 DK, $3,200 FD)
The price is right for Vladdy Jr. He walks into the game tonight with a six-game hitting streak and multi-hits in four of those six games. During this recent stretch of games, he hasn’t hit a homer. Wouldn’t tonight be a good time for one? Despite many people wanting to play him against left-handed pitchers, Vladdy has been better against righties this season with a .299 average, compared to .219 versus lefties. I love Vladdy in cash games and Toronto stacks tonight.
OF Austin Meadows ($5,500 DK, $4,400 FD)
Meadows is the highest priced hitter on the entire slate, but for good reason. He’s smashing the ball like he was earlier in the year to finish out a very strong overall campaign. In 19 September games, Meadows is hitting .389 with 8 HRs and 19 RBIs. Lefties have beat up the Boston Red Sox projected starter Jhoulys Chacin this season with an extremely high 51% hard contact rate against him. 23 of Meadows 32 homers have come against righties, and he has a .393 wOBA against them compared to a .344 wOBA versus lefties. Mike Shawaryn will likely follow Chacin, and he has allowed three homers in only eight innings pitched to left-handed batters this season. If you can afford it, fire up Meadows.
Home Run Call: Juan Soto
Value Plays: Joey Wendle, Yadier Molina, Lewis Brinson, Austin Dean
This didn’t work last Wednesday when Davis squared off against Buchholz and finished the game 0-4 with 3 Ks. But that sums up Davis’ historic volatility. Davis is 9-29 (.310) with two HRs and four RBIs lifetime against Buchholz. In a large field tournament with ownership likely overlapping a lot, Davis is a solid dart throw. DO NOT use him in cash games. If you do and have any hair on your head, you won’t by the end of the night.
BAL @ TOR
I’ll be game stacking as well as making separate lineups with pieces from each side of this game. On one end, the Orioles just faced Buchholz and cracked him pretty good for ten hits, seven earned runs, and two homers in only 3.2 innings. On the other, Chandler Shepherd has yet to pitch in a pitcher’s park and only thrown 11 innings total, but he’s allowed a lot of hard hits (44.1%). His 4.91 MLB ERA and 6.18 Triple-A ERA combined between the Red Sox and Orioles organizations are less than ideal.
Tampa Bay Rays vs Jhoulys Chacin/Mike Shawaryn
Sitting tied with the Cleveland Indians for the second AL Wild Card spot, these last six games are crucial for the Rays. Chacin has a deplorable 42.1% hard-hit rate. Shawaryn, the probable long reliever, has been nothing special with an 8.24 ERA in 19.2 innings of work this season.
Washington Nationals vs Zach Eflin
Because there are so few games tonight, there won’t be that many teams that are low-owned relative to other nights. While I expect the Nats to garner some ownership, they might be tad under-owned due to recency bias. Eflin is fresh off a start against Atlanta where he went seven strong innings allowed zero earned runs and picked up the victory. The Nationals are also fighting for home-field advantage in the one-game Wild Card playoff game, as well as clinching a Wild Card birth. I like hungry teams with talent at this time of year. Stack whoever in tournaments, but the lefties are the one-offs to use (Soto, Adam Eaton), along with Anthony Rendon.
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