After yesterday’s postponement we have a two-game slate beginning today at 4 pm EST with the Cubs trying to put away the Nationals followed by a Game 5 showdown between the Indians and Yankees from Cleveland. Let’s go ahead and see who makes the most sense for this two-game slate!
P – Corey Kluber (CLE) – $11,800
Despite his rocky outing in Game 2 Kluber enters this slate as the top arm. Even in his 2.2 innings in Game 2 he managed to rack up four strikeouts and held down a 34.1% overall strikeout clip on the season and an increased 36.5% mark at home. Current Yankees’ hitters have a strikeout rate just under 30% as a group against Kluber so let’s not overthink this and go with the top arm on today’s slate.
P – Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – $10,000
Up until just a couple hours ago it was Tanner Roark making today’s start against the Cubs but it will be Stephen Strasburg going now with the Nationals’ season on the line. Strasburg carved up the Cubs for ten strikeouts across seven scoreless innings and also has an ERA just north of 2.00 against them in his career. The Cubs are another team that can certainly be strikeout prone at times so again let’s take the straight-forward route and roster the top two strikeout pitchers on the slate.
C – Matt Wieters (WAS) – $2,900 vs. CHC
In all honesty catcher is not a great position today so I decided to get some cost savings and go with Wieters. Arrieta yielded much more power to lefties this season which is where the switch-hitting Wieters will hit from today. Wieters did post 25 extra-base hits against righties this season and Arrieta yielded a .354 wOBA to lefties so let’s go with the veteran catcher in this spot.
1B – Carlos Santana (CLE) – $4,000 vs. NYY
Even if the powerful Edwin Encarnacion does return for tonight’s do-or-die contest, I am still on the Santana train. He hit lefties for just a .168 wOBA and .777 OPS this season, but has mashed C. C. Sabathia as well. In his career against Sabathia, Santana is 11 for 21 with a homer, double and six RBIs. He will be swinging with plenty of confidence tonight in this matchup.
2B – Jose Ramirez (CLE) – $4,000 vs. NYY
Ramirez actually comes to us at a very reasonable price considering his production against lefties and righties this season. Against lefties he posted a .254 ISO, .953 OPS and a .395 wOBA, and when he faces a righty out of the Yankees’ bullpen the numbers are extremely similar but with a higher .272 ISO against them. He is an excellent play at this price today.
3B – Yandy Diaz (CLE) – $2,700 vs. NYY
The Indians haven’t released their lineup yet but with Giovanny Urshela taking a line drive off his leg in Game 4 it could very well but Yandy Diaz taking his place tonight. Diaz actually posted a decent .337 wOBA against lefties this season and his 18.8% walk rate against them was higher than his 17.4% strikeout rate so let’s grab the value where it’s due here with Diaz.
SS – Trea Turner (WAS) – $4,500 vs. CHC
Turner is 0 for 12 to begin the postseason, but he sports massive stolen base upside against Arrieta. Arrieta allowed 19 steals this season, but four of those came against Turner in the same game back on June 27th. The Nationals could run wild against Arrieta again today so let’s get Turner and his massive stolen base upside into this lineup without hesitation.
OF – Michael Taylor (WAS) – $3,400 vs. CHC
Taylor also brings plenty of stolen base upside with him into this matchup tonight against Arrieta. He is 2 for 4 against the right-hander in his career but has stolen three bases against him. Despite hitting 8th today Taylor brings some big value to the table with his legs.
OF – Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) – $3,200 vs. CLE
This lineup will be completed with some one-off plays going against our pitchers. Arrieta isn’t the only pitcher on the slate that yields stolen bases as Kluber surrendered 15 himself on the season. Ellsbury swiped 22 bases this season, which was his highest total since the 2014 season and could do some damage with his legs should he reach base tonight.
OF – Jason Heyward (CHC) – $3,300 vs. WAS
There is a heavy wind blowing in at Wrigley Field today, but Heyward has been so good against Strasburg in his career that I had to jump at his value. Heyward is a career 15 for 40 (.375) with a homer, four doubles and a .427 wOBA in his career against the right-hander. He could be a lower owned play with under-the-radar upside tonight.