DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his September 6 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?
If I told you Coors Field was on the slate, you’d cringe, or maybe sigh. It makes the first few glances of baseball research boring, but noteworthy. All season long I’ve been recommending players in the thin air and you’ve been trying to find a way to circumvent the absurd salaries that increase with the altitude. Tonight though, those salaries are a bit more manageable. Thanks to a pair of above-average arms, the hitters at Coors Field are relatively accessible and should still be heavily targeted. Both teams hold implied run totals well over fun runs and have their fair share of prime matchups. For the Giants, the focus should be on Buster Posey ($9,300) and Hunter Pence ($8,400). Tyler Anderson has been a nice surprise for the Rockies, but the skills that Posey and Pence have built against left-handed pitchers in their career coupled with the accessible price tags makes them two highly sought after hitters tonight. Though these two lead the way, any chance to get exposure to the road team at Coors is welcomed.
The Rockies possess a bit more enticing matchup, but their salaries aren’t quite as valuable as those in the opposing dugout. Carlos Gonzalez ($9,000) grades as the most valuable Rockies hitter but if Ramiel Tapia ($6,000) finds himself at the top of the order, he’d surely take the cake. As is always the case though, any offensive players you can find in good lineup spots are typically worthy of consideration at Coors.
Away from Coors I’m turning my attention to the Chicago Cubs and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cubs look to take advantage of a notable positive park shift to Miller Park and a matchup with Wily Peralta. Peralta is like a lite version of Mike Pelfrey, always worthy of a stack against. He’s pitched to a 5.13 FIP this season while allowing 1.50 HR/9 and a whopping 35.6% hard contact against. An initial glance at the Cubs lineup might not excite you much, though. You’ll have to pay all the way up if you want exposure to the NL MVP candidates, Kris Bryant ($10,800) or Anthony Rizzo ($10,400) and even leadoff man Dexter Fowler broke the $10,000 threshold. Nevertheless, the Cubs do provide some valuable alternatives. Joe Maddon is not shy about providing off days, especially given the nature of the Cubs lead in the division. On any given day, Javier Baez ($7,500), Tommy La Stella ($7,200), Jason Heyward ($7,200) or Willson Contreras ($8,000) could be primed for an ideal lineup spot in the National League’s best offensive lineup. I promise you won’t have to look to hard to find value.
Last but not least, the Blue Jays draw a road matchup with young right-hander, Luis Cessa. In his three career starts, Cessa hasn’t been anything to shy away from. He’s struck out less than six hitters per nine this season while allowing 2.21 HR/9 and pitching to a 4.68 xFIP and 5.99 FIP. While the Blue Jays don’t boast an absurd implied run total tonight, the ballpark and their price tags make them a bit more valuable in my mind. Josh Donaldson ($10,800) shares the top hitter price tag, but Edwin Encarnacion ($8,800) and Jose Bautista ($9,300) are relatively easy fits.
On the Bump…
Corey Kluber ($24,400) enjoys a large separation between himself and the rest of the field not only in terms of ability, but in price tag. Kluber outperformed a bit in August, posting a 3.48 xFIP but just a 2.43 ERA in six starts. In that time he enjoyed a bit of a positive regression in his strikeout rate and his matchup with the Astros should only aid his strikeout projection. While they’ve built the 11th best wRC+ in the league against right-handers, the Astros have also carved out the third highest strikeout percentage (23.9%). Given that the Astros have the lowest implied run total on the slate and that Kluber is a (-163) sizable home favorite, he’s worthy of consideration in all formats and should be looked at as a priority in cash games. Unlike yesterday’s slate of games there is enough offensive value to allow you to safely reach up without crippling your offensive salary allocation.
Aside from Kluber there are three other starting pitchers who merit strong consideration in both formats tonight. First, Aaron Sanchez ($18,600) draws a matchup with the New York Yankees. While the Yankees aren’t incredibly strikeout prone and play in a great park for offense, they possess a bottom third offense against right-handed starters in terms of wRC+. Furthermore, Sanchez’ incredible ability to put the ball on the ground allows him a bit more leniency in terms of run prevention and mitigates the risk of pitching in such a great offensive park. He’s not the most valuable starting pitcher on the slate, but he carries a bit more upside than the next two picks.
Gio Gonzalez ($18,000) is more risky than Sanchez, but his matchup with the Atlanta Braves alleviates some of the risk. The Braves have built the second worst wRC+ in the league against southpaws and strike out 1.4% more against left-handers than righties. The Braves hold the second lowest implied run total on the slate and the Nationals are sizable (-216) favorites at home with Gio on the mound. He has improved on his command this season, but his inability to work deep in games still removes some of the upside attached to a decent strikeout rate (8.51 K/9). I wish the price was a bit more valuable, but he’s an option nonetheless.
Last but not least, Jason Hammel ($14,800) draws a matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have been a recent goldmine for opposing right-handed pitchers and the wheel should keep turning tonight. They hold the fifth worst wRC+ in the league against right-handers and they also boast the highest strikeout rate in the league. Hammel has seen a sharp decline in his strikeout rate and overall performance this season, but the price and matchup put him firmly in play. Pairing him with Kluber allows you plenty of flexibility on the offensive side of things and presents a solid floor given their win probabilities and strikeout projections tonight.