Welcome back baseball fans. The season is starting to wind down with the intensity level hitting 10 for those teams in the playoff race. These teams are going to be the best targets down the stretch, for the most part, as they have a ton to play for and will want to keep their starters(pitching and offense) in the game as long as possible. Teams out of the race will be doing a lot of auditioning of their young players and preparing for next season. With that said, let’s jump in and take a look at a few top pitchers and teams to stack.
Masahiro Tanaka(DK - $11,600 FD - $10,200)
While Max Scherzer is clearly the top pitcher on the slate from a talent perspective, he gets a tough matchup on the road in Atlanta and his price makes it hard to fit bats. For this reason, and others, I will be turning to Tanaka as my top pitcher tonight. Outside of the PTS/$ value he provides with the discount, he also gets a much better matchup against a Jays team who are running out a semi minor-league lineup down the stretch and have struggled lately with a .298 wOBA, 87 wRC+, and 25% K rate over the last 14 days. For Tanaka, he has been dealing in the second half holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in seven of his nine starts for a 2.30 ERA, 2.90 xFIP, and 26.5% K rate. The Yankees are huge -280 favorites with everything on the line making Tanaka a great play in all formats.
Cole Hamels(DK - $9,200 FD - $9,500)
If you are looking to save even more salary, especially on FanDuel where you need just one pitcher, consider Cole Hamels. Since coming over to the Cubs in a trade at the start of June, he has been a huge addition to a team fighting to hold on to the National League Central Division. In eight starts(50.2 innings), he has only allowed eight earned runs for a 1.42 ERA while averaging over six innings per start. There is some risk here as the Reds rank Top 5 in wOBA against left-handed pitching for the season but have nothing to play for and Vegas agrees as the Cubs are -220 favorites. He is a great play in all formats tonight.
Also Consider: Tyler Anderson(COL)
Texas Rangers vs. Robbie Erlin(SD)
There are a few tam ahead of them in implied runs tonight(NYY, CLE, CHC) and that should only help the ownership and the upside is most definitely there tonight. They will face Robbie Erlin who jumped into the rotation at the start of August and while he started out with some success, he has really struggled lately allowing 18 earned runs over his last four starts with a home run in each and a combined 48.5% hard contact rate. The Rangers do roll out a lot of left-handed bats but keep in mind Joey Gallo leads the team with a .358 wOBA, 121 wRC+, and .336 ISO against lefties. Overall, the Rangers have four regulars(Gallo, Mazara, Profar, Chirinos) with a 190+ ISO in the split. They are very affordable on a slate with some top pitching, should be lower owned, and have a ton of upside. Lock and load.
Top Bats to Target: Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara, Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo
Chicago White Sox vs. Luis Ortiz & the Orioles Bullpen
If you are looking for even more value tonight to get those top pitchers in your lineups, consider the White Sox. They will face Luis Oritz who was a September callup for the Orioles and struggled in his first start going just 2/3 of an inning allowing three hits and three earned runs while walking two and striking out none. While his second start will likely go a little longer, I don’t expect him to go past three of four innings and plays into the Orioles hands as they have the fourth-worst bullpen ERA(4.86) and worst xFIP(4.69) in the league.
Top Bats to Target: Yoan Moncada, Yolmer Sanchez, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia
Value Options: Jose Rondon, Nicky Delmonico