The final weekend of regular season baseball is here. Let’s dig in and take a look at some of the top pitching and stacking options.
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
After an odd night where we had just four games, we are back on Friday with 15 games. There is one game that starts at 6:40 ET between the Padres and Reds but the main slate features 14 games and that is where we will turn our attention for this article. If you are not a member yet, be sure to get over to RotoPros.com to get your free two-week trial that gives you access to our Slack Chat where we give out one on one coaching and industry compliant skeleton lineups to help you improve your DFS game. Let's now jump in and take a look at some of the top pitchers and teams to stack tonight.
Blake Snell(DK - $12,400 FD - $10,700)
Leading things off tonight is Blake Snell who does have some stiff competition but is most definitely in the conversation for American League CY Young. He missed about two weeks with a trip to the DL in mid-July but since returning, has been better than ever holding opponents to just four earned runs over his last six starts(32.2 IP) lowering his ERA to 2.02 for the season. He has also provided a ton of upside as well with a 29.9% K rate and 14.4% swinging strike rate. Snell and the Rays also get an elite matchup tonight against an Orioles team that ranks 27th in overall runs scored this season and 28th in hitting against left-handed pitching with a .287 wOBA, 77 wRC, and .136 ISO. As the most expensive option on DraftKings, there is a case to be made for other pitchers in cash games but on FanDuel, Snell is third in pricing and is the top pitcher in all formats.
Aaron Nola(DK - $11,800 FD - $11,300)
While he gave up a season-high four earned runs in his last start vs. the Cubs, Nola still scored 22.63 DK/38 FD points thanks to 11 strikeouts. For the season, he has the fifth-lowest ERA(2.23) among qualified starting pitchers and backs it up with a 3.21 xFIP. Not only does he also have upside with a 26.5% K rate and a 12.2% swinging strike rate, but he also generates 50% ground balls which can be a lethal combination. The Mets have been worse against left-handed pitching but still haven't been great against righties with a .311 wOBA and 99 wRC+ and have struggled over the last 14 days scoring just 43 runs(ranked 25th overall). The Phillies are -155 road favorites and Nola is a great play in all formats tonight.
Chris Archer(DK - $7,300 FD - $7,400)
It seems crazy to see a pitcher with Archer's talent drop into the mid $7K range but I guess it makes sense as he has struggled in 2018 with a career-worst(full seasons) 4.56 ERA. The good news is that he has pitched better than that ERA as he sits with a 3.67 xFIP and a BABIP(.341) that is 40 points higher than his career average. He was traded to the Pirates in August and has been up and down giving up 4+ earned runs in two starts but two or fewer in three of his starts. Archer still has some upside with his electric 95 mph fastball and is striking out over a batter inning with a 13% swinging strike rate. At his price, he makes an excellent SP2 option on DraftKings in all formats and a value GPP option on FanDuel.
Cleveland Indians vs. Marco Estrada(TOR)
There are four teams sitting with an implied run line of five or more and right at the top of my list is the Cleveland Indians. They will face the Blue Jays tonight who will start the struggling Marco Estrada who took another step back in 2018 as his K rate dropped to 16.8% and ERA climbed up to 5.43 with a slightly worse 5.69 xFIP. He has been even worse more recently allowing 23 earned runs over his last 23.2 innings(5 starts) while walking just under five per nine and allowing nine home runs(19.1% HR/FB rate). The Indians third in overall runs scored on the season and Top 5 in almost every metric against right-handed pitching. For cash games, I like taking one or two of them as a core and a full stack is also in play but will require some value pitching as the price on them is very high.
Top Bats to Target: Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley
Value Bats to Target: Jason Kipnis, Melky Cabrera, Greg Allen, Yandy Diaz
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Dylan Bundy(BAL)
If you are rolling heavy with top tier pitching this week you are going to need some value to make it work. Enter the Rays who are affordable on both sites and get a tremendous matchup against Dylan Bundy. He has allowed three or more earned runs in nine of his last 10 starts and five or more in five of those. He has also had a big issue with power as he has given up at least one home run in 10 straight(17 total) and sits with a 17.5% HR/FB rate and 35.6% hard contact rate against on the season. Get soem exposure to the Rays tonight.
Top Bats to Target: Mallex Smith, Tommy Pham, Ji-Man Choi, C.J. Cron
Welcome back to another busy Friday in daily fantasy baseball as we have a full 15-game slate tonight. The slate, as a whole, is a little lacking in elite pitching but there are still some nice options in good spots. What a lack of elite pitching does create is a ton of opportunities for the bats. Let's jump in and take a look at the pitching options and some of the top teams to target tonight. Also, don't forget to grab a copy of my DFS MLB Cheatsheet that highlights all my top pitchers and stacks including advanced stats and then join Josh and I for the pre-lock show at 5:30 pm ET. Let's get started.
Luis Severino(DK - $11,300 FD - $10,600)
The Tigers got to J.A. Happ last night but that won't stop me from using Luis Severino as my top pitcher tonight. First of all, the Tigers have been WAY better against left-handed pitching for the season and rank dead last against righties with a .288 wOBA and 78 wRC+. More good news as they also rank dead last in run scoring in the second half of the season. For Severino, the econ half didn't start out as planned giving up 23 earned runs in five starts but he has rebounded nicely giving up just two in each of his last two starts with eight strikeouts in each. For the season, he sits with an impressive 3.27 ERA and even better 3.16 xFIP and he has also flashed a ton of upside with a 10.31 K/9 and 12.2% swinging strike rate. All things considered, he is a terrific play in all formats tonight.
Zack Wheeler(DK - $10,600 FD - $10,000)
Severino stands out as the top option on FanDuel tonight but on DraftKings there is a case to be made for Zack Wheeler at a $700 discount. He has been good all season and even better in the second half holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in seven straight starts(6 ER total) for a 1.17 ERA. The Mets offense has finally provided some run support for the pitching staff as well so he has also picked up the win in six of those seven starts. Wheeler also gets an elite matchup tonight vs. the Giants who have been historically bad over the last 14 days with a .239 wOBA, 48 wRC+, and .090 ISO. Get Wheeler into your lineups in all formats tonight.
Framber Valdez(DK - $6,900 FD - $6,200)
Valdez was called up after making just two appearances at Triple-A and quickly made an impact for the Astros. He came in for Brad Peacock 10 days ago against the Mariners and ended up going 4.1 innings allowing just two hits with four strikeouts and just one walk. What stood out the most was his curveball that drops off the table. With that performance, he was granted another start five days later against the Angels and once again impressed going five innings and holding them to just two hits as well picking up his second big league win in as many appearances. Tonight he will get a second straight start against the Angels and while he isn't likely to have a long leash, he comes at a very low price making him an excellent SP2 option on DraftKings or very deep punt play on FanDuel allowing you to load up on all the bats.
Texas Rangers vs. Stephen Gonsalves(MIN)
The Rangers are currently #1 in implied runs tonight and they are tremendous targets from a PTS/$ perspective as they are not that expensive on either site. What stands out the most is the matchup vs. rookie Stephen Gonsalves who has had a rough go of it through his first two major league starts. Control has been his biggest issue so far as he has walked six through 6.1 innings and in turn, has given up four earned runs in each start. He doesn't blow anything by hitters with a 90 mph fastball so if he continues to walk batters, he will continue to give up runs. The Rangers rank middle of the pack against lefties and while we normally target right-handed bats against lefties, I think we can target a couple lefties to get lower ownership. While Joey Gallo strikes out at 41% rate against lefties, he leads the team with a .357 woBA, 122 wRC+, and whopping .333 ISO in that split so don't count him out if back in the lineup.
Top Hitters to Stack - Rougned Odor, Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo, Elvis Andrus
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Homer Bailey(CIN)
The park is definitely not one I target hitters in often but the matchup is too good to pass up tonight. Homer Bailey will start for the Reds tonight and is always a top target when on the mound. He has given up three or more earned runs in 14 of his 18 starts this season and has given up five or more earned runs in six of those starts. He has also lived up to his name by giving up 21 home runs in those 18 starts(18.1% HR/FB) and 42% hard contact overall. The Cards are a little more expensive but with a nice collection of value pitchers it shouldn't be hard to fit them in your GPP lineups tonight.
Top Hitters to Stack - Matt Carpenter, Jose Martinez, Tyler O'Neill, Matt Adams
Welcome back baseball fans. We have a busy Friday on tap with a big 14-game main slate loaded with pitching options after night where they were few and far between. Let's jump in and take a look at a few of the top pitching options and some of the top teams to stack. Also, be sure to tune in at 5:30 ET to the RotoPros YouTube channel as myself and Josh will be doing a pre-lock show live discussing ever more top plays. You can also grab a copy of my DFS MLB Cheatsheet where I highlight all my top pitchers and favorite stacks. Let's get started.