There was little reason to fade Shane Bieber on last night’s slate and he proved why.
It wasn’t his highest score of the year, but Bieber hurled 7.2 frames of three-run ball while racking up 10 strikeouts in the process. He earned the win after the Tribe pounded Tigers pitchers for 10 runs in that one.
Our Cardinals stack was a major disappointment, however. Steven Brault pitched the game of his life as he hurled a complete game in that one, allowing just two hits and one earned run while striking out eight.
Our bats largely continued to disappoint, although Houston’s Kyle Tucker stayed hot with a home2r off of Jordan Lyles. Michael Brantley managed just a single, however, and our one-offs in Elite White and Josh Naylor combined for just two singles, a run scored and an RBI.
Not a good night at all as we’ve been in a rut for the last few lineups, but there’s room for improvement on tonight’s 12-game main slate!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – September 18, 2020
P – Tyler Glasnow (TB) – $10,100 vs. BAL
Zac Plesac makes complete sense going up against a Tigers offense that strikes out more than anyone else versus right-handed pitching while struggling against righties in general, but I’m going to pay down a little bit – relative to Plesac – for Tyler Glasnow as he takes on the Orioles tonight.
The Orioles have surprised on offense as they’re slightly above league average versus right-handed pitching and their strikeout rate versus righties is a reasonable 22.9% against them, but this just has more to do with Glasnow and his ability to rack up strikeouts in a hurry.
The powerful right-hander enters this one sporting a monster 14.18 K/9 on the season while he’s worked to a 4.47 ERA, but also a 3.52 FIP and elite 2.87 xFIP. Among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched this season, Glasnow’s strikeout rate is the best in the business while that 2.87 xFIP sits seventh behind the likes of Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom and Yu Darvish.
Add in the 3.18 SIERa and it appears that Glasnow has indeed been one of the game’s best pitchers this season while his ERA should be in for some significant positive regression moving forward.
With the Orioles projected for just 3.5 runs in this one, I believe Glasnow is an elite option on this slate
C/1B – Carlos Santana (CLE) – $3,000 vs. DET
The Indians just simply have their way with Tigers pitching far more often than not as they touched up Casey Mize and the Tigers’ bullpen for 10 runs in last night’s win. Tonight, the matchup with Michael Fulmer is even better.
Fulmer enter this one sporting a massive 9.27 ERA/7.27 FIP in his eight starts and 22.1 innings this season. He’s on a strict three-inning limit, so we are going to see a big chunk of a Tigers bullpen that ranks 26th with a 5.34 ERA on the season. Additionally, Fulmer’s results are warranted to this point as he ranks in the bottom sixth percentile or worse in exit velocity, hard hit rate, xwOBA, xERA, xBA and xSLG. Just not very good at all.
Enter Santana who has fared better against left-handed pitching this season, but his career splits are much more narrow and he’s walking at a monster 23.3% clip against righties this season. He’s also 5 for 15 (.333) with two doubles in his career against Fulmer.
I expect him to hit righties better down the stretch here, but his spot as Cleveland’s cleanup hitter means he should be part of this four-man stack tonight.
2B – Brandon Lowe (TB) – $3,800 vs. BAL
The Rays should be able to back Glasnow with some quality run support tonight as they’re pegged to score 5.1 runs in this one against right-hander Alex Cobb.
Cobb enters this one sporting a 5.03 ERA/5.43 FIP on the season while he’s been bitten by the long ball in a big way in the form of a 1.83 HR/9 on the season. Add in a 4.63 SIERA and Cobb has been very hittable this season.
While the bat has cooled somewhat, Lowe was in the running for AL MVP at one point this season. He’s posted a .311 ISO, .388 wOBA and 151 wRC+ on the season while he’s a power and stolen base threat in the form of 13 homers and three steals in his 47 games.
Interestingly, Lowe’s numbers this season are superior versus left-handed pitching, but the lefty-swinging second baseman also owns a .280 ISO, .861 OPS, .360 wOBA and 131 wRC+ on the season against righties and has turned in a .254 ISO, .866 OPS, .363 wOBA and a 132 wRC+ versus righties for his career, but the fact he’s also fared quite well against lefties is a positive if the Orioles look to attack him with a left-handed reliever in this one.
Cobb has allowed just one steal in 39.1 innings this season, but he’s been severely susceptible to stolen bases throughout his career, so give Lowe some stole base upside to go along with that power that he’s delivered all season long.
3B – Jose Ramirez (CLE) – $3,800 vs. DET
Next man up in our three-man Indians stack is Ramirez who feasts on Tigers pitching and has fared quite well against Fulmer in their history against one another.
He slumped for a while this season, but he’s been one of the best power/speed combinations in the game this season. Ramirez has homered 13 times to go along with 10 steals as part of his .270 ISO, .385 wOBA and 140 wRC+ across 48 games. Last night, all he did against the Tigers was homer twice to go along with a double, four RBI and three runs scored.
Now, the numbers for the season are far better against lefties. That said, the Tigers have used left-hander Daniel Norris as a piggyback for Fulmer for many of his starts, and while it’s not confirmed that will be the case tonight, it very well could be. Nonetheless, he’s still posted a .203 ISO, .802 OPS, .346 wOBA and 114 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching.
Ramirez has also swiped seven of his 10 bases on the season off of right-handers and has gone 4 for 16 with two homers and four walks in his career off Fulmer, good for a .438 ISO and 1.087 OPS in this matchup. I’ll take it.
SS – Francisco Lindor (CLE) – $3,700 vs. DET
Lindor has absolutely terrorized Fulmer in his career and Tigers pitching in general as he too brings plenty of power and stolen base potential into this matchup.
For the season, the power has come almost exclusively against right-handed pitching. Lindor has posted a poor .080 ISO off of lefties, but has notched a .207 ISO on the season against righties while he’s swiped three of his four bases off of right-handers this season.
We should acknowledge that Fulmer has yet to allow a steal in 22.1 innings this season and has allowed just nine in his 478.1 big-league frames, but nonetheless the stolen base potential is still present.
We’ll look for the power here, however, as Lindor has gone 9 for 22 (.409) with three homers and three doubles to go along with a stolen base off Fulmer. That’s good for a cool .545 ISO and 1.395 OPS off the division rival.
Add in an .875 OPS in his career off of Tigers pitching and an .816 OPS at Comerica Park in Detroit and it appears Lindor is in an elite matchup at the top of the Indians’ order tonight.
OF – Franmil Reyes (CLE) – $2,900 vs. DET
Reyes has raked Fulmer in his brief history against him, but there’s just a ton of thump in the big man’s bat.
After clobbering 37 home runs last season, Reyes has hit eight homers this season, although his .183 ISO for the year is far off his big .263 mark from a season ago.
That said, he’s posted some big-time reverse splits on the season. Reyes has struggled against lefties – at least in the power department – but has mashed righties for a .220 ISO, .852 OPS, .361 wOBA and 124 wRC+ on the season and hit righties well last season in the form of a huge .271 ISO, .802 OPS, .329 wOBA and 102 wRC+ a season ago.
He’s fairly new to the Indians/Tigers rivalry after a mid-season trade to Cleveland from San Diego last season, but in 49 plate appearance against Detroit for his career, Reyes has posted an eye-popping 1.332 OPS while homering six times in 38 at-bats against them.
Furthermore, two of those six home runs off the Tigers have come against Fulmer as he’s 2 for 3 with two homers and a walk against him to this point.
Clearly this guy is locked in against this Tigers staff and it would be a surprise to me if he doesn’t hit for some power in this one tonight.
OF – Shogo Akiyama (CIN) – $2,300 vs. CWS
After getting Glasnow and the Indians/Rays stacks into this lineup, I had some open outfield spots but not with a ton of funds to work with. That said, I believe I’ve found a couple one-off bats that can bring some value to this lineup tonight.
Akiyama doesn’t hit for much power as he’s yet to homer this season and has posted just a .052 ISO on the year. That said, he’s also stolen six bases in his rookie season and also owns a big .370 OBP on the season against right-handed pitching – an important factor given his spot as the team’s leadoff hitter for this one against rookie White Sox right-hander Jonathan Stiever.
The Reds are projected to score 4.7 runs in this one – and while not a huge number – it’s not a bad idea to grab the team’s leadoff hitter, a player with big on-base skills against righties with speed to burn as well.
OF – Tyrone Taylor (MIL) – $2,400 vs. KC
The Brewers take on left-hander Danny Duffy in this one tonight, and while the Brewers as a team have fared far better against left-handed pitcher than they have righties and could be worth a stack, Taylor himself has shown an ability to rake left-handers after doing so at the Triple-A level last season.
This season, Taylor has appeared in just 13 games and has made 25 triple to the plate, but also has a homer while hitting .318 with a .432 wOBA and 172 wRC+ in that time. Against left-handed pitching, Taylor has gone 3 for 8 with two doubles, good for a .250 ISO, 1.125 OPS, .475 wOBA and 200 wRC+ in that tiny sample.
That said, the hot start against lefties this season comes on the heels of posting an impressive .924 OPS against lefties at Triple-A last season while he hit six homers with seven doubles in an even 100 at-bats against southpaws last season in the minors.
Add it up and it would appear he has the potential to bring some value to this lineup against the veteran southpaw Duffy tonight.
UTIL – Nate Lowe (TB) – $2,900 vs. BAL
Another Lowe from the Rays – although pronounced differently from Brandon – has raked right-handed pitching this season and this Lower enters tonight’s contest red-hot at the plate.
1Lowe has shown an ability to hit right-handed pitching in the past, but enters this one sporting a massive .440 ISO, 1.193 OPS, .469 wOBA and 206 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching in a 30 plate-appearance sample size. he actually posted reverse-splits last season in the bigs, but hit right-handers for a .965 OPS in the minors last season, a number well above his still-impressive .860 mark against lefties.
All five of his extra-base hits this season – three homers and two doubles – have come against right-handed pitching, as has his lone steal on the season. He’s hit all three of those homers over his last seven games while notching a double in that time as well. He’s hit safely in five of his last seven and has three multi-hit games in that time while his lone steal has also come over his last four contests.
I wouldn’t expect a steal in this one as he’s posted very few in his minor-league career, but the power here is fantastic and I like the mini-stack with the other Lowe against the O’s in this one tonight.