It’s officially October, which means that this weekend is the last one of the year for regular season MLB DFS. I’ve enjoyed writing these breakdowns every day and appreciate the three of you who read them. Today is a split slate: Seven games at 1:05pm ET and eight in the 7:05pm ET main slate. Let’s jump in.
Clayton Kershaw is back. He’s looked fantastic coming back from injury. He threw a (typical) gem last outing, striking out six batters and allowing only three hits and no runs in seven innings pitched — the farthest he’s gone since mid-June. Today he faces a Giants team currently implied by Vegas to score 2.9 runs. His recent form and advanced stats align: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 203 feet, an exit velocity of 86 miles per hour, and a hard-hit rate of 25 percent. He’s in San Francisco (Park Factor of 100) and has the slate’s highest K Prediction at 8.6. He’s expensive — he’s $13,800 on DK and $10,700 on FD — but likely worth it. He’s an essentially flawless pitcher when right.
Cubs lefty Jon Lester faces a Reds team currently implied for 3.5 runs. He’s been incredible lately:
And his advanced stats match: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 186 feet, an exit velocity of 88 MPH, and a hard-hit rate of 11 percent. He’s not a big K guy generally (8.875 SO/9 over the last year), but he has a solid mark of 6.6 — the fifth-best mark today. He has a weird pricing dynamic: He’s the most expensive pitcher on FD at $10,800 but a whole $2,700 cheaper than Kershaw on DK. That will definitely affect ownership: He’ll be much higher-owned on the latter site. Still, he’s a fantastic play on both sites in all contest formats.
Nationals righty Tanner Roark had a rough outing last game against the Diamondbacks, allowing two home runs and five earned runs in just four innings pitched. As expected, several of his recent advanced stats are poor: He’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 231 feet and an exit velocity of 92 MPH in his last two starts. Today is a better matchup, however: He’s facing a Marlins team that is implied for 3.5 runs and whose projected lineup owns the fourth-lowest team Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) in the slate at .288. His K Prediction of 5.1 is on the low end, but he’s a solid -165 favorite and has a reasonable price tag at $8,300 on FD.
Mets righty Bartolo Colon got absolutely crushed in his last game:
In that outing, he allowed eight hits and seven earned runs in just 2.1 innings — a negative 14-point FD outing. Ouch. Predictably, his recent advanced stats are also awful: In his last three starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 214 feet, an exit velocity of 93 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 41 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 45 percent. The good news is that today’s matchup is a nice one: He’s facing a Phillies team that is currently implied for 3.8 runs and whose projected lineup owns the second-lowest team wOBA at .250 and the highest SO/AB rate at .338. As a result, Colon boasts the second-highest K Prediction at 7.9. Recent form suggests that you should stay away from Colon, but this matchup at just $7,200 on FD is a little too enticing to fade.
Mariners righty Hisashi Iwakuma faces an Oakland team currently implied for 3.6 runs. He’s been OK lately: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 206 feet, an exit velocity of 90 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 20 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 36 percent. He’s in a nice park at home (73 Park Factor), but he doesn’t have a ton of upside, as shown by his low 4.6 K Prediction. This is a solid matchup, but it’s hard to get really excited about Iwakuma: There are several guys above and below him in price point — he’s $8,200 on DK and $8,000 on FD — who boast more safety and higher upside. He’s a fine play.
Arizona righty Archie Bradley has been all over the place lately:
However, his recent advanced stats show some positive indicators: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball exit velocity of 90 MPH and a hard-hit rate of 30 percent. Vegas doesn’t love his matchup today, as the Padres are currently implied for 4.5 runs. However, Bradley does boast a 7.8 K Prediction, the third-best mark today. Further, he has umpire Paul Nauert behind home plate, whose FD pitchers have historically had a +1.7 Plus/Minus. For those reasons, Bradley is a solid contrarian tournament option with high upside.
On FanDuel, the highest-rated four-man stack (per the CSURAM88 Model) is a 1-2-4-5 stack of the Rockies . . . who are at a home . . . yawn.
They face the Brewers and boast the slate’s highest implied run total at 6.8. We’ll all miss you, Coors.
On DraftKings, the highest-rated five-man stack is a 1-2-3-4-6 stack of the Diamondbacks.
Make sure to monitor their lineup (via our Lineups page), as Yasmany Tomas has been scratched from two straight games due to an upper back injury.
Carlos Santana is currently projected to bat leadoff for an Indians team implied for 4.8 runs. He’s on the good side of his splits today versus a righty: He has a .376 wOBA, .277 Isolated Power (ISO), and .523 slugging percentage in the last year against them. He’s been absolutely crushing the ball lately: In his last 12 games, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 240 feet, an exit velocity of 94 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 41 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 39 percent. That’s bad news for KC’s Edinson Volquez, who has a poor 1.584 WHIP in the last year.
It’s safe to say Miguel Cabrera is ending the season with a hot bat:
In his last three games, he’s averaged a ridiculous 41.2 FD points. As you’d expect, his advanced stats are good: In his last 12 games, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 251 feet, an exit velocity of 97 MPH, and a hard-hit rate of 55 percent. He’s currently projected to bat in his usual third spot for a Tigers team implied for 5.1 runs. If you have the courage to fade him, power to you.
Ryan Braun is interesting for tournaments today for a couple reasons: He’s been poor lately (0-4 last night), he’s expensive ($5,500 on DK), and he’s on the wrong side of his splits against a righty. However, those splits are still good: He has a .368 wOBA, .230 ISO, and .525 slugging percentage in the last year. And even though he hasn’t gotten the results, his advanced stats suggest they’re coming: In the last eight games, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 228 feet, an exit velocity of 93 MPH, and a hard-hit rate of 46 percent. Oh yeah, and he’s playing at Coors Field today. If people fade him because of his recent struggles and high price tag, he could be a nice leverage play in tournaments.
Outfielder George Springer is currently projected to bat leadoff for an Astros team implied for 4.4 runs. He’s on the correct side of his splits today against a lefty: He has a .409 wOBA, .295 ISO, and .578 slugging percentage. Further, his recent advanced stats are really good: In his last 13 games, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 236 feet, an exit velocity of 93 MPH, and a hard-hit rate of 45 percent. The Astros will likely be underowned given the high implied totals on the board today, but Springer against a lefty is always a good idea.
For the last time this year, good luck!