DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his September 8 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?
There isn’t much to choose from tonight, but you should first and foremost direct your attention to the Washington Nationals bats. The Nats draw a matchup with young right-hander Alec Asher who was pummeled in seven big league starts last season. He pitched well in his time in the minor leagues this season, but an underwhelming strikeout rate coupled with last year’s big league totals should have us jumping out of our shoes about the Nationals. Of course though, in order to get exposure to Trea Turner ($10,800), Bryce Harper ($10,800) and Daniel Murphy ($10,800) you’ll need to pay up and find value in other areas. Some of that value you can find in the lower spots of the Nationals batting order. Wilson Ramos ($7,800), Anthony Rendon ($8,000) and Ryan Zimmerman ($6,000) are three ways to get exposure to an offense with the highest implied run total at a much lower cost tonight.
Aside from the Nationals, I’m focused on the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals for more offensive value. The Pirates don’t have the luxury of a great offensive park, but their matchup with right-hander Dan Straily is exploitable. Straily has outperformed his xFIP (4.99) this season, but he’s still flyball prone, allows a lot of hard contact (32.5%) and can struggle with his command (3.44BB/9). Secondly, the Pirates have manageable prices. Starling Marte (who didn’t play last night) is the only player priced above $10,000 while Josh Harrison ($7,200), Andrew McCutchen ($7,600) and Gregory Polanco ($9,000) can be easily fit around the top of the order. The Bucs hold the second highest implied run total on the slate and provide an alternative value source to allow you to roster the best of the Nationals.
The Cardinals draw the least enticing matchup of these teams, but their prowess against right-handed pitching can’t go overlooked. The Cardinals have boasted the third best wRC+ in the league this season against right-handers and despite the success Junior Guerra has had this season, they present another set of valuable prices. Brandon Moss ($7,800) has posted a .328 ISO against right-handed pitchers this season and fellow left-hander Matt Carpenter ($8,400) boasts great skills against right-handed pitchers as well. Carpenter and Moss are the best two options in this game, but don’t forget about outfielder Stephen Piscotty ($7,200).
On the Bump..
Where to look? There are twelve options to choose from, but only three or four that you can even dare consider without making yourself sick. To start, I’m looking at AJ Cole against the Philadelphia Phillies. Cole hasn’t been great in his three starts this season, but he’s displayed an above average strikeout rate (8.20K/9) and has limited hard contact (albeit a small sample size). Using Cole isn’t so much about his own abilities though, as it is the ineptitude of the Phillies lineup. The Phillies hold the second worst wRC+ in the league against right-handed starters and also hold the seventh highest strikeout rate. Cole is only $16,000, an easy fit to any lineup and he should be a staple in cash games.
To pair with Cole in cash games, I’m going to be using Jaime Garcia. Garcia ($18,300) isn’t anything special, but his run prevention ability plus a matchup with the Brewers is enough to make him the top option tonight. The Brewers have been middle of the pack in terms of wRC+ against southpaws, but they’ve posted the third highest strikeout rate in the league against lefties. While Garcia isn’t a strikeout king, he’s posted a 7.68 K/9 this season and his ability roll ground balls (57.5%) gets him out of trouble more often than other arms. The Brewers will be taking on a big negative park shift and their implied run total is just above three runs. Just roll with Jaime.
Aside from Cole and Jaime, there aren’t many other pitchers to choose from, especially for cash games. Jeff Hoffman ($10,400) draws a matchup with the strikeout prone Padres in Petco Park, but he’s been less than stellar in his brief time in the big leagues. Of course you’re inheriting a ton of risk by using him, but at his price tag you’ll be able to pay up for any of the hitters you could possibly want tonight.
Taijuan Walker ($14,400) holds one of the best skill sets on the slate, but his matchup with the Texas Rangers isn’t one to jump up and down about. The Rangers will be taking a big negative park shift but they’ve built the 13th best wRC+ against right-handers this season. Believe it or not, the Rangers hold one of the lower implied run totals on this slate and the Mariners are a slight home favorite. No one is saying that Walker is safe, but he’s an option to differentiate with in tournaments.