DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his September 20 Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks. Check out where his mind is at today when it comes to roster construction at FantasyDraft – where they put players first – Daily fantasy baseball on a level playing field. Check them out tonight. Now, on to the the picks for tonight’s action.
Where to focus?
Baseball is winding down but Coors Field will seemingly never go away. Tonight, the Cardinals and the Rockies will square off as Jorge de la Rosa and Adam Wainwright take the ball. While the Cardinals have been worse against left-handers this season, de la Rosa’s struggles put them atop the teams to focus on tonight. He’s pitched to a 4.81 xFIP while allowing 1.46 HR/9 and walking over four hitters per nine innings as well. The Cardinal prices are a lot less friendly then they were last night, but you can easily fit a bunch of Cardinals right-handers to grab the platoon advantage against de la Rosa (.346 wOBA, 1.32 HR/9 to right-handers since 2015). Their lineup spots weren’t great last night, but Yadier Molina ($7,200), Jhonny Peralta ($7,600), Jedd Gyorko ($7,600) and Randal Grichuck ($8,000) all provide the platoon edge and cheap exposure to Coors Field.
I’m not ruling out the Rockies, but their matchup with Adam Wainwright is considerably less enticing. Wainwright hasn’t been good this season (4.05 xFIP, career high hard contact allowed) but the price tags of Charlie Blackmon ($10,800), Carlos Gonzalez ($10,200) and company are much less valuable.
Outside of Coors Field, the Rangers hold the highest implied run total of the day. They’ll draw a matchup with young right-hander Daniel Wright who has been pounded in each of his first four starts this season (5.63 xFIP). Wright doesn’t strike anyone out and has allowed 43.8% hard contact in his time on the mound this season. The value that we couldn’t find in Coors Field can be found in Texas though as the Rangers top six all have accessible price tags. Carlos Beltran ($8,700) and Ian Desmond ($8,400) are my favorites for cash games, but Rougned Odor ($9,300) should not be overlooked. Since 2014, little Rougned has posted a .216 ISO against right-handed pitching and oh yeah, he packs a hard punch. Ask Jose Bautista.
The Pirates as a whole aren’t entirely attractive tonight, but they do offer a few solid cash game values that will allow you to roster even more of Coors Field. Josh Bell ($5,700) has found himself safely entrenched in the two spot against right-handed pitching and Adam Frazier ($6,800) has found himself leading off against right-handers a few different times on recent occasions. The Pirates are getting a significant positive park shift on their move to Miller Park and their matchup with Matt Garza shouldn’t be feared. Garza has pitched to a 4.49 xFIP this season while allowing a 16.5% difference between hard and soft contact. Pirate outfielders Andrew McCutchen ($9,200) and Gregory Polanco ($9,900) warrant tournament consideration, but passing on Bell would be a crime.
On the Bump…
Not only will fitting Josh Bell allow you to grab more Coors Field exposure, it will help you pay up for any of the top starting pitching options today. Jose Fernandez ($24,300) headlines the slate, but the matchup with the Nationals and the price tag don’t make him a must play. The Nationals have been below average against right-handed pitching (19th in wRC+) but they don’t strike out a lot, dipping the projection on Fernandez’ absurd strikeout rate. While he’s still a notable home favorite and the Nats hold an opposing implied run total of just 3.1 runs, you don’t have to go out of your way to force him in tonight.
After Fernandez, Jon Lester ($23,700) seems like the next best option to start your cash games with. Lester draws a matchup with a watered down Reds lineup that has posted the 27th best wRC+ against left-handers this year and a 23.1% strikeout rate (8th highest). Lester has been phenomenal since the all-star break and while he doesn’t possess the strikeout upside of Fernandez, his run prevention skills and an 8.76 K/9 are more than acceptable. If you’re forcing yourself to pay up for a top starting pitcher, I’d side with the strikeouts and Fernandez but Lester doesn’t lag far behind.
Rich Hill ($21,900) has been another phenomenal left-hander this season, but his matchup with the San Francisco Giants isn’t one to boast of in terms of upside. The Giants as a team have posted just the 19th best wRC+ against left-handers this season, but they rank second to last in terms of strikeout percentage. Hill has posted a 3.42 xFIP this year and aside from a rough start in Arizona last time out he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May. Again, I’d rank him under Lester and Fernandez, but he fits the mold of the leading starting pitcher tonight.
At the cheaper price tags, Michael Pineda ($16,500) and Joe Musgrove ($12,900) have peaked my interest. Pineda has been one of my favorites all season long, but his inability to limit hard contact makes him difficult to trust. Still though, he’ll draw a matchup with a heavy strikeout team in the Tampa Bay Rays and the park shift from Yankee Stadium to Tropicana Field can’t be overlooked. The Rays hold an implied run total of 3.9 runs, indicating that run prevention isn’t the standard with Pineda but his 26.7% strikeout rate certainly plays against a Rays team that strikes out 24% of the time against right-handers.
Musgrove doesn’t possess as much flair as Pineda, but his matchup might be a bit safer. Unlike the Rays, the A’s hardly strikeout (18.8% against right-handers) but they hold just the 22nd best wRC+ in the league against right-handers and 23rd best in the last 30 days. Musgrove has struggled a bit with the home run (1.63 HR/9) but he holds a huge positive park shift in his favor moving from Minute Maid Park to the Coliseum in Oakland. His 8.52 K/9 is enough to peak your interest at just $12,900, especially considering he’s a slight road favorite tonight. Pairing Pineda or Musgrove with one of the top starting pitchers is my preferred cash game build tonight.