It feels weird to say this, but welcome to the last full week of regular season MLB DFS!
There are still some division races to be settled, both in the National League. For now, we will focus on getting our week started on the right not on tonight’s 12-game Monday night main slate.
P – Corey Kluber (CLE) – $10,900 vs. CWS
Kluber’s strikeout upside is lowered this season as evidenced by his 25.9% strikeout rate in 2018 compared to his 34.1% mark from the 2017 season. However, he absolutely carved up the White Sox in his most recent start with eight innings of three-run ball to go along with 11 strikeouts. Kluber has also racked up 19 wins on the season and with the Indians heavily favored -250 tonight at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, I like the chances at number 20 this evening. We have targeted the White Sox quite often this season as they own the league’s second-highest strikeout rate against righties at 25.4% while their overall 26.8% strikeout clip since the All-Star break is the highest mark in baseball. Not much of a decision to be made here.
P – Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) – $7,300 vs. BAL
A string of tough starts had Eovaldi removed from the Red Sox rotation and sent to the bullpen, but in his return to the rotation, Eovaldi showed his earlier-in-the-season form as he hurled six shutouts innings with five strikeouts in a tough matchup at Yankee Stadium last week. Eovaldi certainly gets a softer matchup tonight against the visiting Orioles, and with the Red Sox heavily favored at -225 tonight, the win upside is substantial. He enters play with a 3.98 ERA on the season, albeit with a mediocre 20.3% strikeout rate. Still, I like his run-prevention upside while the Orioles have the league’s ninth-highest strikeout rate against righties at 23.4% this season. I think there’s plenty of value to be extracted from the flame-throwing right-hander tonight.
C – Mike Zunino (SEA) – $3,200 vs. OAK
We are rolling out one high-cost stack tonight which means our other stack needs to be relatively cost-efficient, and I think the Mariners have some solid upside against Daniel Mengden and the A’s tonight. You can consider this somewhat of a GPP play as the A’s have a good bullpen and Mengden won’t pitch more than four or five innings, but the last time he faced Seattle he allowed three earned runs in just two innings of work. Enter Zunino who brings plenty of raw power to the dish with a .225 ISO against right-handed pitching on the season. He’s also 3 for 7 with a homer and a double over his last two games, and I’ll take that recency at this price tonight hands down.
1B – Jose Miguel Fernandez (LAA) – $3,100 vs. TEX
Keep an eye on the lineups prior to lock, however should Fernandez return from a bone bruise on his hand tonight, he has excellent upside, especially since he is projected to hit second in the batting order tonight. He’s clubbed both of his big league homers against right-handed pitching this season while six of his seven doubles on the year have also come against righties. He’s only received 104 at-bats in the big leagues, but he clobbered right-handed pitching for a rather large .985 OPS at Triple-A while producing an overall powerful .202 ISO at the minors’ highest level. I love his value upside against Rangers right-hander Adrian Sampson tonight.
2B – Dee Gordon (SEA) – $3,700 vs. OAK
Gordon is in this lineup for one reason and one reason only, and that is to steal a couple bases. Of course, we will take any extra-base power we can get and hope that he can produce a run or an RBI, but Gordon has 30 stolen bases on the season, albeit none in the month of September. He did homer in Saturday’s game at Texas and is 3 for 7 with a homer, a triple, two runs and two RBI over his last two games. Mengden doesn’t allow a ton of steals, but Gordon has the ability to steal on whoever is on the mound and I am looking to take advantage of that trait tonight.
3B – Kyle Seager (SEA) – $3,800 vs. OAK
All told, it’s been a fairly poor season from Seager, however he has hit right-handers for solid power this season. For the year, he’s hit righties for a real nice .197 ISO while he’s picked up his production this month with a .194 ISO and .754 OPS in September with that OPS mark being the highest it’s been in any single month this season. He’s still launched 22 home runs and 35 doubles, so the power has certainly been there, and that’s what we’re here for against the right-hander Mengden tonight in Seattle.
SS – Jean Segura (SEA) – $3,900 vs. OAK
While the other three members of this stack are set to hit near the bottom of the order, Segura forms a wrap-around stack as he is projected to hit in the two-hole again tonight against the A’s. He brings real solid cross-category upside into this stack as he’s hit nine homers and 29 doubles to go along with 20 steals on the season. His lefty-righty splits are fairly even, so I’m not worried about bullpen matchups here. If he gets RBI chances tonight, it will be with members of this stack on base, so a big night from Segura could mean a big night for this stack tonight.
OF – Kole Calhoun (LAA) – $3,400 vs. TEX
Calhoun has quieted down from his white-hot tear in the middle of the summer, but as the leadoff man at a very cheap price against a pitcher with a 6.61 FIP on the season, I think we can extract some value out of the veteran outfielder tonight. Calhoun still owns a powerful .192 ISO on the season against right-handed pitching while he also provides a hint of stolen base upside with six steals on the season. He broke out of a prolonged slump with a hit in yesterday’s game, so perhaps he can catch a little bit of fire in a fantastic matchup to lead off this stack tonight.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $5,800 vs. TEX
Trout isn’t going to be left out of any Angels stack tonight, especially since we are stacking 1-4 in their projected lineup. His numbers speak for themselves as he’s actually hit right-handed pitching for more power this season than lefties with a massive .341 ISO and 1.125 OPS against righties compared to a .255 ISO and 1.005 OPS against lefties. He has also swiped 24 bases on the season and has a .393 ISO and 1.227 OPS for the month of September, so he’s a lock for me tonight.
OF – Shohei Ohtani (LAA) – $4,800 vs. TEX
Ohtani has simply destroyed right-handed pitching in his first big league season, so there’s no hesitation to include him in this stack tonight. He brings a massive .333 ISO and 1.033 OPS into action against righties this season, which is good news considering he will be the anchor for this stack out of the projected cleanup spot tonight. Interestingly, he owns an almost identical .333 ISO and 1.024 OPS so far in the month of September. He too brings some stolen base upside into action with nine steals on the season, but let’s look for some of that big-time power he’s flashed against right-handers tonight.