Just like that, we are down to the final week of the MLB regular season. Unless you’re a Tigers, Orioles or Marlins fan, odds are that the season once again flew by despite 162 games on the schedule. It’s been fun handling these FanDuel MLB DFS Picks throughout the season and while I will certainly continue to do so once the postseason rolls around next Tuesday, I still want to make sure we conclude the regular season the way it began: with plenty of profits.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s small five-game main slate and see if we can get our week started on the right note!
P – Steven Matz (NYM) – $8,900 vs. MIA
Patrick Corbin of the Nationals is an awfully appealing top option on this slate as he’s been flat-out dominant at home this season and his Nats are heavily favored to win their game against the Phillies tonight, however those two things can also be said about fellow southpaw Steven Matz as he takes on the Miami Marlins tonight at Citi Field in Queens. Matz has been simply brilliant at home this season where he owns a stout 1.94 ERA and while his 3.19 FIP and 3.67 xFIP would seemingly suggest some regression, it has not happened yet this deep into the season, so I’m not concerned much at all there. Furthermore, his K-rate jumps from just 7.77 K/9 on the road all the way to 9.39 K/9 at home and his home run rate falls from a whopping 2.42 HR/9 on the road to just 0.69 HR/9 at home. In 13 starts at home this season, Matz has allowed more than two earned runs on just one occasion and zero times over his last seven starts at home. He’s in a real nice matchup tonight as he takes on a Marlins team that ranks 29th with a .289 wOBA on the season against left-handed pitching and 30th with a .136 ISO against lefties as well. With the work at home that includes a heavily increased dosage of strikeouts against one of the very worst offenses in baseball, Matz offers plenty of value upside at this price.
C/1B – Pete Alonso (NYM) – $4,200 vs. MIA
I believe Matz will get enough run support to earn a victory in this one tonight as the Mets’ offense takes on left-handed Caleb Smith. I targeted Smith in his last start at Arizona has he’s struggled on the road this season and struggled mightily of late, and while my players didn’t hit, the D-backs scored four runs in five innings against him. Now Smith will face a Mets lineup that, like Arizona, enjoys plenty of success against left-handed pitching as they rank eighth with a .337 wOBA against them. Alonso clearly has plenty to do with that as he’s been unbelievable against left-handers this season – especially at home. The NL Rookie of the Year lock enters this one sporting a .350 ISO, .952 OPS, .385 wOBA and 143 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching – numbers that are actually quite similar to his figures against lefties. That said, his best split comes at home against lefties where he owns a massive .429 ISO, 1.064 OPS, .420 wOBA and 166 wRC+ against them this season. Alonso is once again enjoying a big month as he’s posted a .351 ISO, .980 OPS, .393 wOBA and 149 wRC+ for the month of September to this point. He’s homered three times over his last five games and has a double in that span as well. I think I’ll take this success considering Smith has posted a 6.18 FIP and 2.68 HR/9 against righties on the road this season.
2B – Cavan Biggio (TOR) – $3,800 vs. BAL
While I am loving the Mets’ offense in their matchup against Smith, I am using their pitcher as well so I am limited to a three-man Mets stack in this lineup tonight and therefore my main offensive stack will come from Toronto where the Blue Jays take on the worst pitching staff in baseball in the form of the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore will hand the ball to Chandler Shepherd to kick this one off and I expect him to go roughly 3-4 innings like he has done in each of his three big league appearances this season. In those appears, he’s posted a 4.91 ERA, 5.04 FIP and 5.21 xFIP with a 1.64 HR/9. He posted a 10.01 ERA, 8.55 FIP and 6.12 xFIP in 29.2 innings with the Red Sox organization before moving to Baltimore where he worked to a 4.60 ERA, 4.04 FIP and 4.52 xFIP in 72.1 Triple-A frames. Needless to say, we have a targetable pitcher on our hands as well as a bullpen that owns a league-worse (tied with the Nationals) 5.89 ERA while their 1.77 bullpen HR/9 is the worst in baseball. Enter Biggio who brings some nice power and stolen base potential to the table with 15 homers and 13 steals this season in 94 games. He owns a 2.33 ISO, .836 OPS, .355 wOBA and 122 wRC+ against righties on the season, numbers that improve versus righties at home. He also owns a .279 ISO, 1.029 OPS, .426 wOBA and 170 wRC+ in September, so I am all over him in this matchup tonight.
3B – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) – $3,200 vs. BAL
It’s interesting as the elite-level play of Bo Bichette and Biggio to this point have put Guerrero – the top prospect in baseball prior to the season – in somewhat of a shadow behind them. That’s not to say that Guerrero hasn’t been producing and his second half has been much better than his first half from an all-round offensive production standpoint with a 122 wRC+ since the All-Star break after posting a 97 mark prior to the break. The good news with Guerrero – at least against Shepherd – is that he owns reverse-splits this season and has hit right-handers better than he has lefties. Guerrero has posted a .182 ISO, .844 OPS, .356 wOBA and 123 wRC+ versus righties this season compared to just a .133 ISO, .652 OPS, .285 wOBA and 75 wRC+ against lefties. Interestingly, he owns monster numbers on the road against righties and some subpar ones at home against them despite Rogers Centre in Toronto sporting some hitter-friendly confines. Nonetheless, he’s posted a two-hit game in four of his last five and has two doubles over his last three. He also owns a six-game hitting streak entering this one tonight. There’s a ton of power to be had here, so let’s look for him to drive in some runs hitting behind Biggio and our shortstop tonight.
SS – Bo Bichette (TOR) – $3,900 vs. BAL
Keep an eye on Bichette’s status and the Blue Jays’ confirmed lineup tonight as he hasn’t played since entering concussion protocol thanks to taking a pitch off the bill of his helmet last Thursday. He’s listed as questionable for this one tonight, and for argument’s sake I will include him in this stack as he should certainly be in here tonight because we can indeed afford his high-priced services. Furthermore, in case he doesn’t play, the utility player in this lineup is a shortstop so simply plug him in this spot and find a different utility man to fill out your lineup. Bichette has been the best of the Jays’ ‘Big 3’ rookie bats as he owns a big-time .260 ISO, .929 OPS and 142 wRC+ through the first 46 games of his big league career. For what it’s worth, he only had a 103 wRC+ at Triple-A this season. Still, he hasn’t stopped hitting at this level yet and we need to include him in this lineup as a result – especially as the leadoff man, if he plays. The results have been better against lefties, but I’m not about to argue with his .245 ISO, .868 OPS, .360 wOBA and 126 wRC+ against righties. Should he enter the lineup tonight there’s a ton of cross-category upside with the young shortstop.
OF – Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR) – $3,000 vs. BAL
Completing our four-man Blue Jays stack is Gurriel Jr. who also sports some superior numbers versus left-handed pitching but has hit right-handers for power as well. In fact, he hit a homer off of a right-hander when we rostered him last week and I’ll look for more of the same tonight against this Orioles pitching staff that can’t help but surrender the long ball. Gurriel Jr. will enter this one sporting a .211 ISO, .801 OPS, .335 wOBA and 108 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, the numbers improve to a .231 ISO, .884 OPS, .367 wOBA and 131 wRC+ against righties at home. Keep in mind that Gurriel Jr. also sports some stolen base upside as he’s swiped six bases on the season and five bases against a right-handed pitcher. Like Bichette, I am digging the cross-category upside that we get with Gurriel Jr. This becomes even more so when we see him penciled in to hit out of the three-hole again tonight, behind Bichette and Biggio but also in front of Guerrero. There should be both RBI and run-scoring opportunities on top of the power/speed combination that he brings to the table tonight.
OF – J.D. Davis (NYM) – $2,600 vs. MIA
Let’s get back to some Mets exposure as Davis brings a wealth of value upside to the table at this price considering his work against lefties, and more specifically, his work at home against lefties. Entering this one tonight, Davis has touched lefties up for a .211 ISO, .893 OPS, .371 wOBA and 134 wRC+. It’s actually good news that his figures against righties at quite similar as he becomes rather matchup-proof for when the Marlins’ 27th-ranked bullpen enters this game, which has been early of late when Smith is the starting pitcher. Home has been where Davis has been doing the vast majority of his damage this season. He owns a .301 ISO, 1.063 OPS, .434 wOBA and 181 wRC+ at home this season. Go ahead and compare that to his weak .127 ISO, .710 OPS, .305 wOBA and 86 wRC+ on the road. In other words, his bat has been 14% below league average on the road, but a whopping 81% above league average at home. His work at home has indeed been superior against lefties where he’s posted a .328 ISO, 1.132 OPS, .460 wOBA and 193 wRC+ against them. Add in his .191 ISO, .912 OPS, .384 wOBA and 143 wRC+ in September and his home run in yesterday’s game and I think I’ll take the power potential and run here.
OF – Austin Hays (BAL) – $2,700 vs. TOR
After selecting Matz as my pitcher as well as a four-man Blue Jays and three-man Mets stacks, I had $2,900 with an outfield spot to fill. Of that group, I’ll take young Orioles outfielder Austin Hays as he takes on Blue Jays veteran Clay Buchholz. Buchholz has struggled to a 6.48 ERA, 5.12 FIP and 5.21 xFIP on the season while allowing 1.62 HR/9 as well. Buchholz also surrendered a whopping seven runs to these Orioles in just 3.2 innings his last time out, so I think we have some upside here with Hays who has been impressive in his big league time this season. Through 15 games and 47 plate appearances in the bigs this season, Hays owns a .302/.362/.535 slash line to go along with a .233 ISO, .374 wOBA and 133 wRC+. It’s a small sample, but he’s destroyed right-handers to this point in his brief big league time this season with a .458 average, .417 ISO, 1.375 OPS, .556 wOBA and 256 wRC+. Both of his homers and all four of his doubles have come against right-handed pitching to this point. Furthermore, two of his four doubles came against Buchholz last week as he’s 2 for 2 with two doubles and a run scored against the veteran. I think there’s plenty of value to be unlocked in this matchup.
UTIL – Amed Rosario (NYM) – $2,500 vs. MIA
Completing our lineup and our three-man Mets stack tonight Rosario who is once again projected to hit in the leadoff spot thanks to his big-time production against left-handed pitching here in 2019. Rosario enters this one sporting a .301 average, .206 ISO, .863 OPS, .361 wOBA and a 128 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season. Unlike Alonso and Davis, Rosario’s numbers have actually fallen at home and he’s posted some massive production against lefties on the road. That said, he’s been productive of late as he’s hit in five of his last six games with two doubles, two homers, five RBI and a stolen base in that time with the steal coming just yesterday. There’s little doubt that Rosario’s bat has perked up to the point where the Mets can use him as their everyday shortstop moving forward. He brings pop (14 homers, 29 doubles, seven triples) to the table and the stolen base potential is there with 18 steals on the season – albeit with just three of those coming against a lefty. He’ll likely need to work on his consistency in this area, however, as he’s also been caught eight times. Nonetheless, Smith is struggling and the Mets clobber lefties. I want their productive leadoff man in this stack at a very cheap cost.