The last Friday of the regular season offers up a nine game main slate on FanDuel starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
There are three pitchers priced above $9,500 on this slate:
- Yu Darvish (R), $11,200, CHC @ CWS
- Carlos Carrasco (R), $10,800, PIT @ CLE
- Clayton Kershaw (L), $9,700, LAA @ LOS
With only games left in the season (for the large majority of teams), it becomes integral to incorporate the motivations of each team into DFS strategy.
The good news for Yu Darvish-backers is that the Chicago Cubs struggled in their latest series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, so they have yet to lock up the NL Central.
Darvish has put together a terrific bounce-back season, tallying nine quality starts in 11 outings. He has averaged a strikeout per inning in all but one start.
He has one start against the White Sox this season, allowing one earned run and notching 10 strikeouts in seven innings. Darvish has some strike-out potential tonight as The White Sox average the 26th most strikeouts per game.
The White Sox also have plenty to play for on Friday night as they can still win their division.
Last Friday, I lobbied hard to play Carlos Carrasco and he responded with 64 FanDuel points. That game started a stretch of five straight wins for the Cleveland Indians – which has put them in a similar boat to the White Sox. They have the looks of a team getting hot at the right time.
Carrasco, who has notched a quality start in eight of 11 outings this season, is the top pitcher on the Bales Model for tonight.
The Pirates had fun the last few days playing spoiler to the Cubs, but that was against a division rival – I think they might fold easier here. They have an implied run total of just 3.1.
Carrasco comes in a little cheaper tonight than Darvish, so I’d go with the Indians’ ace.
Projecting Clayton Kershaw tonight is pretty difficult because the Los Angeles Dodgers have nothing to play for since they wrapped up the No. 1 seed. That should limit Kershaw’s workload.
To add in a wrinkle, Kershaw only needed 86 pitches to finish seven innings his last time out and was dominant. So, Kershaw does not need to throw a ton of pitches to post a big night in DFS.
The Los Angeles Angels have a sliver of hope (and I mean a sliver) of catching the Houston Astros for the playoffs. They have an implied run total of 3.6 tonight and Kershaw hits for seven ProTrends.
There’s just no way you can trust Kershaw in cash games, if you think he can have his ace stuff over 80-90 pitches then you can throw him in a GPP.
For a real cheap option at $6,800, I like Jose Urquidy again. The big issue with Urquidy is that he has not been a great strike-out pitcher, but he also just does not give up many runs.
The best news is that Urquidy had his best start of the season two weeks ago (September 15th) against these very Texas Rangers, striking out seven and allowing one run in seven innings.
The Rangers are checked out – i.e. Lance Lynn did not want to be pitching last night – and are 24th in the league in strikeouts per game. They have an implied run total of 3.9 and Urquidy hits for five ProTrends.
On top of all that, the Astros are still motivated to win this game to lock up their playoff spot. This price is still too low for Urquidy.
J.A. Happ has been in good form as of late. His last three starts were worth 61, 27, and 47 FanDuel points, respectively, and he has averaged eight strikeouts per start in that stretch.
Due to their inability to beat the Toronto Blue Jays this week, the Yankees still need to play to lock up the 5th seed in the American League. I think this could be another strong start from Happ.
The Yankees are facing the Miami Marlins, the surprise team of 2020.
The Marlins are in the heat of the National League playoff race, so there is no real edge there. They are in the bottom-half of the league in strikeouts at 20th.
A lot of these Marlins have never faced Happ either, which I like. As a team, they have a combined 15 at-bats against Happ lifetime.
The Marlins have an implied run total of 4.0 and Happ hits for five ProTrends.
The Bales Model highest-projected stack belongs to the Astros:
- 2. Jose Altuve (R)
- 4. Alex Bregman (R)
- 3. Michael Brantley (L)
- 1. George Springer (R)
This group is projected for 50 FanDuel points on a salary of $13,900. This is a pretty cheap stack for a team with an implied run total of 5.2. Kyle Cody, Rangers’ starter, is not much to write home about, and the Astros just put a throttling to the Rangers last night with 12 runs. Cody is the lowest ranked starter on the Bales Model.
The second-highest projected stack is the Atlanta Braves:
- 4. Travis d’Arnaud (R)
- 3. Marcell Ozuna (R)
- 1. Ronald Acuna Jr. (R)
- 2. Freddie Freeman (L)
This is a game I have not touched on yet. This group of four is projected for 49.8 FanDuel points on $16,700 per the Bales Model. This stack is much more expensive with the likes of Acuna and Freeman in it than the Astros. The Braves still need to lock in the 2-seed in the National League. Chris Mazza, the Boston Red Sox starter, is the third-lowest ranked starter on the Bales Model.
I have a sneaky feeling that a lot of the Detroit Tigers/Kansas City Royals games this weekend will be high-scoring, with both teams out of playoff contention. These two combined for 15 runs last night. Adalberto Mondesi is a 98% Bargain on the Bales Model tonight and always has the capability of swiping a bag or two. Mondesi is 4-for-11 lifetime off of Spencer Turnbull, with a double. He is only coming in at a price of $2,900.
Ian Happ really prefers RHP, with much stronger wOBA and ISO against righties as opposed to lefties. He generally leads off for the Cubbies and Dylan Cease has started to show some cracks in his armor the past few times out. Happ is questionable with a tweaked ankle, but if he plays I like the matchup for him.