Last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks were good enough to cash in the smaller contests but were right at the cash line as too many of our bats didn’t show up again.
Once again, we received an excellent pitching performance and were rewarded for paying up for upside on the mound. Zack Wheeler was excellent against the Marlins, throwing eight innings of three-run ball to go along with 10 strikeouts. Unfortunately, Wheeler couldn’t get enough run support and took a tough-luck loss despite the strong effort.
Our four-man A’s stack didn’t a ton of damage, but Matt Chapman did. Chapman homered, knocked in two runs, scored two runs, singled and walked for a big night. That said, Seth brown give us just one single, Sean Murphy just one walk and Jurickson Profar a pair of walks. Would have been nice to see someone other than Chapman give us some value in that stack.
Our three-man Mets stack also saw just one player produce as Brandon Nimmo doubled, knocke in a run, walked and stole a base as well. That said, J.D. Davis posted a goose egg and Michael Conforto gave us just one walk.
Finally, our one-off shortstop, Tim Anderson, singled and scored a run.
We haven’t received much production from our bats despite some brilliant pitching this week, something I’ll look to fix as we enter the final weekend of the MLB regular season with a big 14-game Friday night slate!
P – Walker Buehler (LAD) – $10,200 vs. SF
Once again I will roll with the top pitcher on the slate and pay up to do so as Walker Buehler takes on the San Francisco Giants in the extreme pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Francisco. Of course, the matchup is a good one. The Giants enter play ranked 28th with .296 wOBA versus right-handed pitching on the season while their 23.3% K-rate against them ranks 19th. Furthermore, the Giants rank 30th in baseball with a .281 wOBA at home where their K-rate creeps up to 23.7%. As a result, it appears Buehler has plenty of upside to work with as he puts the finishing touches on what has been a brilliant season for the righty – his first full season in the big leagues. Entering this one tonight, Buehler sports a 3.25 ERA, 3.03 FIP and 3.36 xFIP on the season to go along with a big-time 10.51 K/9 rate and a tiny 1.67 BB/9 clip. Certainly those are some impressive numbers for a 25-year-old. Sure, Wheeler hasn’t been quite as dominant on the road where he owns a 3.66 ERA and a decreased K-rate, but as far as safe matchups go on this slate, Buehler’s reigns supreme. I’m not hesitating to roster him with the Dodgers favored to win this one at -185 on the moneyline.
C/1B – Mitch Moreland (BOS) – $2,900 vs. BAL
There’s a pair of main stacks I’ll be using in this lineup tonight and the Red Sox will indeed be one of them as they take on right-hander Asher Wojciechowski and the brutal Orioles bullpen tonight at Fenway Park. It hasn’t been a great season for the Red Sox who will miss out on the playoffs, however Moreland simply continues to do his thing against right-handed pitching. Perhaps less has been more for Moreland as he only starts against righties, which makes sense considering he has mashed them for a .293 ISO, .895 OPS, .358 wOBA and 126 wRC+ on the season. Fenway Park can be tough on left-handed home runs hitters with a big space in right center field, but that hasn’t fazed Moreland who owns a very similar .292 ISO, .888 OPS, .362 wOBA and 122 wRC+ against righties at Fenway this season. It’s also been a huge month of September for the veteran slugger. Moreland has put together a big-time .284 ISO, .910 OPS, .376 wOBA and 131 wRC+ for the month to this point. He carries a five-game hitting streak into this one with four homers, two doubles, seven runs and seven RBI over that stretch. He leads off what should be a valuable three-man Red Sox stack at cost-efficient prices.
2B – Brock Holt (BOS) – $2,600 vs. BAL
No, Brock Holt isn’t your typical DFS roster player as he’s hit just three home runs on the season, but given his work against righties and his sneaky-effective bat against them at home, I feel we can use him here at a cheap cost as part of our Red Sox exposure. I mean, Holt’s bat has been above league average this season with a 107 wRC+ while he’s hitting over .300 with an excellent .377 OBP, so there’s tools to work with here. The guy is also hitting .321 with an .845 OPS, .362 wOBA and 122 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, he’s posted am .889 OPS, .374 wOBA and 131 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers at Fenway Park this season. His bat hasn’t been terribly productive in the month of September to this point, but he does have a pair of doubles over his last four games. If you remember, Wojciechowski threw a one-hit gem against the Red Sox at Fenway earlier in the season, but I like that Holt is 1 for 1 with a home run and two walks in his history against him. After all, Wojciechowski owns a 5.31 ERA, 5.55 FIP and 5.76 xFIP on the season with a 2.00 HR/9, so he’s certainly a targetable pitcher which is why the Red Sox are projected to score more than six runs in this one.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $3,600 vs. SEA
With the A’s being one of the very few teams with something to play for tonight, I once again want to grab their bats as they take on left-hander Justus Sheffield and a bad Mariners bullpen. Sheffield hasn’t been terrible in his brief big league time this season – at least that’s what the peripherals say – as he owns a 4.29 FIP and 4.21 xFIP, but also a 5.81 ERA in six starts and seven appearances. The good news for tonight is that Sheffield has been touched up to the tune of a 6.65 ERA across 21.2 innings at home this season where this one will be tonight at Safeco Field in Seattle. I used Chapman against a right-handed in last night’s contest as his splits are leaning reverse again this season, but he’s also done some damage against lefties. In fact, the power has been superior against lefties as he owns a .291 ISO against them versus a .251 mark against righties. He also owns an .843 OPS, .350 wOBA and 122 wRC+ against left-handed pitching as well. After a little bit of a sluggish month, Chapman has now homered in back-to-back games and has three runs and four RBI in that span. He is an integral part of any A’s stack and I’m not about to leave him out of this one.
SS – Marcus Semien (OAK) – $4,100 vs. SEA
Semein has been delivered some massive cross-category upside in what has been a breakout season for the 29-year-old shortstop. Semien’s power and speed combination has been there as he’s slugged 32 home runs on the season to go along with 10 steals. Of course, hitting out of the leadoff spot for this potent A’s lineup has produced a ton of runs scored, 122 on the season to be exact. Semien has smacked both lefties and righties this season, which is a good thing, but the overall numbers against lefties are slightly better. He’s hitting .309 with a .217 ISO, .908 OPS, .380 wOBA and 142 wRC+ against lefties this season – all of which are superior to his numbers versus righties save for the ISO as he owns a .242 ISO against righties. One thing I should note, however, is that all 10 of his stolen bases have come against a righty and he’s 0 for 3 in stolen base attempts versus lefties, so we can quiet down the stolen base upside here. There’s still a ton of cross-category upside to be had out of that leadoff spot for a team that ranks sixth with a .339 wOBA against left-handed pitching this season.
OF – Mark Canha (OAK) – $3,300 vs. SEA
Next man up is Canha who is also enjoying a breakout season at the ripe old age of 30. Interestingly, Canha’s splits are of the reverse variety, but he’s likely to see plenty of right-handed pitching out of the Mariners’ bullpen that ranks 22nd with a 4.82 ERA on the season. Nonetheless, Canha’s done some work against lefties as well. He enters this one sporting a .240 ISO, .822 OPS, .351 wOBA and 123 wRC+ against lefties, so there’s not a whole lot to complain about here. The power actually falls to just a .174 ISO against lefties on the road, but his .350 wOBA and 123 wRC+ against them on the are almost identical to his overall figures off of southpaws, so again, I’m not worried. Canha put together a mammoth month of August and took home a Player of the Week honors in the process, but he’s also been productive in September as well when he owns a .878 OPS, /387 wOBA and a 147 wRC+. He saw his six-game hit streak halted in his last outing on Wednesday, however he went 9 for 21 (.429) with three doubles, two homers, five runs and four RBI over his previous five games. He fits nicely into this stack given his season-long track record of production.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $3,000 vs. SEA
Completing our four-man A’s stack is Davis who is having a down season but has been good lately and has mashed lefties all year long. After pacing the league with 48 home runs last season and hitting at least 42 in three straight seasons entering this one, Davis has hit just 23 home runs this season and his .169 ISO is a far cry from the .302 mark he posted last season – especially strange in a season where home runs have skyrocketed across the league. That said, his work against southpaws has been phenomenal. He enters this one sporting a .260 ISO, .916 OPS, .381 wOBA and 143 wRC+ against left-handed pitching on the season. Compare that to his .136 ISO, .592 OPS, .253 wOBA and 57 wRC+ against righties and you can see where the drop in production truly lies. Furthermore, Davis has done his best work – by far – on the road against lefties which is the situation he finds himself in tonight. Davis has posted a big-time .296 ISO, 1.119 OPS, .462 wOBA and 198 wRC+ against southpaws on the road. Monster numbers. He’s missed a couple games with an illness, but Davis is 3 for 8 with a double and a homer over his last two games, so let’s look for him to get back into the lineup and do more damage against left-handed pitching tonight.
OF – Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS) – $2,700 vs. BAL
Completing our three-man Red Sox stack is Bradley Jr. who is sneakily having a nice season at the plate. He’s been buried in the nine-hole for the Red Sox for most of the season, but Bradley Jr. has actually clubbed 21 home runs and owns a .199 ISO on the season. His power has been there and he’s also provided some steals as well with eight of those on the season, although that’s a far cry from the 17 he swiped last year. The bat has been much better against right-handed pitching as Bradley Jr. has posted a .234 ISO, .788 OPS, .330 wOBA and 101 wRC+ against righties on the season. He’s also posted a .234 ISO, .835 OPS, .347 wOBA and 112 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching at Fenway Park. He’s also enjoying a productive month at the plate as he’s posted a .254 ISO, .836 OPS, .349 wOBA and a 113 wRC+ for the month of September to this point. He homered in last night’s series finale against the Texas Rangers and he’s also doubled three times over his last five games. Unfortunately, he’s also been caught stealing twice in that time, but I’m glad he’s running. Let’s look for his power/speed combination to show through in a favorable matchup tonight.
UTIL – Carson Kelly (ARI) – $2,600 vs. SD
Completing our lineup is a one-off player in Carson Kelly who lines up against left-handed Eric Lauer and the San Diego Padres. The D-backs are actually in a real nice spot tonight as Lauer enters this one sporting a 6.27 ERA on the road outside of the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park in San Diego. Add in the fact at Arizona ranks fourth with a .350 wOBA against left-handed pitching this season and a D-backs stack is a viable option tonight. Enter Kelly who loves himself some left-handed pitching in his first full season in the big leagues. Kelly has posted some eye-popping numbers against lefties including a .353 average, .306 ISO, 1.120 OPS, .449 wOBA and a huge 180 wRC+. His bat has been 80% above league average versus lefties this season. He’s struggled for most of September, but the bat has shown signs of life of late as he’s notched a hit in three of his last four games with three runs and three RBI in that span as well. Hot or not, this a wonderful matchup for a lefty-masher facing a pitcher who has been mashed himself on the road this season. Sign me up all day long for this value upside.