It’s the last day of September, which means we have only a few more days of regular-season MLB. Today brings a full 15-game main slate at 7:05pm ET. Let’s jump in.
First, let’s take a moment to notice which teams have already clinched their division or a playoff spot. Those teams are the Rangers, Dodgers, Nationals, Indians, Red Sox, and Cubs. We can still use players from these teams, but be aware that their lineups may be in flux more than usual.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner faces a Dodgers team currently implied by Vegas for 2.9 runs. He’s been very up and down lately:
Just last game he struggled in a pitcher’s park against the lowly Padres, allowing five earned runs in six innings. His advanced stats aren’t what we usually expect from Bumgarner: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 224 feet, a fly-ball rate of 46 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 37 percent. However, he is at home today (Park Factor of 100) and boasts the slate’s third-highest K Prediction at 7.6. Vegas suggests he’s safe for cash games, but given his recent performance and the fact that he’s barely a favorite (-120), it is important to note that there is some risk here.
Bum’s only a mild favorite because he’s going against Dodgers southpaw Rich Hill. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced that Hill, Kershaw, and Maeda will start Games 1-3 of the NLDS. Be aware that the Dodgers have one eye on that already. Hill faces a Giants team currently implied for 3.2 runs and his advanced stats have been OK lately: He’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 201 feet and an exit velocity of 90 miles per hour in his last two starts. He has the fifth-highest K Prediction (6.9) and his $9,400 FD salary brings a 95 percent Bargain Rating. The issue with rostering him is the innings risk, which places him in GPP-only territory.
Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez faces a Pirates team currently implied for 3.2 runs. He’s been pretty solid lately, scoring at least 30 FD points and pitching at least six innings in each of his last eight starts. His recent advanced stats are very weird: He’s been inducing a ton of ground balls (68 percent), but batters have been absolutely smoking them, as shown by his 94 MPH exit velocity and 50 percent hard-hit rate allowed. Those are concerning marks, even with his nice 80 Park Factor, solid 6.7 K Prediction, and good Vegas data — he’s a -189 favorite. He’s probably fine for both cash and GPPs, but there’s definitely risk here.
Rangers righty Yu Darvish is the most expensive pitcher on both sites at $12,700 on DK and $10,900 on FD. He’s struggled a bit lately, but he threw a gem last game, striking out nine batters in seven innings while allowing only two hits and no runs — a 60-point FD outing.
Unfortunately, his advanced stats still haven’t come down from his performance two games ago: He’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 228 feet, an exit velocity of 92 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 41 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 35 percent. Still, that last game was encouraging and he does have immense upside, as indicated by his slate-high 9.0 K Prediction — a mark 1.3 Ks higher than that of any other pitcher. He faces a Rays team currently implied for 3.7 runs.
Mets young righty Robert Gsellman has been putting up some clutch performances lately:
The 23-year-old rookie struck out eight batters and allowed only three hits and no runs in seven innings pitched last game — a 57-point FD outing and an important one for the Mets’ playoff hopes. Today he faces the same opponent, the Phillies, who are currently implied for 3.5 runs. Gsellman remains cheap at $6,600 on DK and $6,900 on FD, and he boasts a top-eight K Prediction at 6.5. Given current form, price, and matchup — the Phillies’ projected lineup owns the second-worst team Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) in the slate at .284 — Gsellman is an excellent play today.
Mariners righty Taijuan Walker was very bad but then was very good. #Analysis:
His recent advanced stats don’t include that gem three games ago, but they’re still excellent: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 178 feet, an exit velocity of 89 MPH, and a hard-hit rate of 25 percent, and he’s induced ground balls at a 62 percent clip. He is a large -191 favorite and has a nice matchup going up against Oakland, who is currently implied to score 3.4 runs. His 5.7 K Prediction is average for this slate, but given his price — he’s $7,500 on FD and has a 91 percent Bargain Rating there — he’s a solid option tonight.
The last pitcher I’ll mention is White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon, who has been very good lately, especially in his last start:
In that game, he struck out 11 batters and allowed only two hits and no runs in eight innings pitched — a 69-point FD gem. As you’d expect, his recent advanced stats are excellent: In his last two outings, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 197 feet, an exit velocity of 88 MPH, a line-drive rate of nine percent, and a hard-hit rate of 29 percent, and he’s induced ground balls at a 54 percent clip. He’s facing a Twins team today currently implied for 3.8 runs. They have a high .288 SO/AB rate, which means that Rodon boasts the second-highest K Prediction of the slate at 7.7. He’s a great value on FD, where he’s $8,400 and has a 98 percent Bargain Rating.
Nothing like finishing up an MLB DFS season with Coors Field slates. As expected, the Rockies (per the CSURAM88 Model) own the highest-rated five-man DK stack:
They are implied for 6.8 runs — 1.1 more than any other team.
Excluding the Rockies, the highest-rated four-man FD stack belongs to an Arizona 1-2-3-5 stack:
They currently have the second-highest implied total on the slate at 5.7 runs.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez struck out four times last night and has hit value on FD in only two of his last eight games. Even still, his advanced stats are solid: In his last 13, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 228 feet, an exit velocity of 92 MPH, and a hard-hit rate of 45 percent. His long-term marks are great, too: He has a .480 wOBA, .385 Isolated Power (ISO), and .748 slugging percentage this year versus fellow righties. He faces Baltimore’s Yovani Gallardo, who owns the third-worst WHIP in the slate at 1.651. The Yankees are currently implied for 4.8 runs.
Brewers third baseman Jonathan Villar actually has slightly negative splits versus righties, but they’re still solid. He has a .344 wOBA, .151 ISO, and .428 slugging percentage over the last year. He’s been really hot over his last three games, hitting three home runs and averaging 33.5 FD points per game. His advanced stats match: He’s averaged an exit velocity of 93 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 40 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 40 percent. He’s always a threat to steal a base: He has the second-highest SB/G mark in the league at .387. He’s projected to bat leadoff for a Brewers team currently implied for 5.3 runs and playing at Coors — the Superdome of MLB DFS. [Editor’s Note: Outstanding.]
Adam Eaton is only $3,300 on FD and is projected to bat leadoff for a White Sox team currently implied for 4.8 runs. He’s also been hot lately, averaging 14.92 points in his last five starts. His recent advanced stats are solid: He’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 229 feet, an exit velocity of 91 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 42 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 42 percent in his last nine games. He has slightly positive splits versus righties: He has a .345 wOBA, .164 ISO, and .444 slugging percentage against them in the last year. This is really about pricing though: His FD salary is too cheap for his batting spot and implied run total.
I’ll end with David Ortiz because 1) I want to and 2) I only have a few more days to mention him. He’s projected to bat in his usual third spot for a Boston team currently implied for 5.0 runs. He faces a righty and you know what that means: He has a .443 wOBA, .357 ISO, and .680 slugging percentage in the last year against them. So ridiculous. As are his recent advanced stats: In his last 12 games, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 273 feet, an exit velocity of 96 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 53 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 48 percent. OK, it’s getting a little dusty in here so that’s probably my cue to leave . . .
Good luck today!