Jim previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for September 10th.
Today we have 8 games on the MLB schedule starting at 3:40 pm with Texas at Seattle and Colorado at San Diego. As always, check your lineup prior to game time for any last-minute scratches and be sure to check the weather report before game time for any potential delays and or cancellations.
Half of today’s games have a chance of Thunderstorm: Colorado/San Diego, Toronto/New York, Chicago/Philadelphia, New York/Atlanta. Keep an eye on the East coast games, I’ll try to keep you updated on Twitter. Good luck!
Last week my team put up 144.5 points on DK. On a normal week that would be good enough for money, but due to some really bad pitching all around a number of bats scored big and put me on the wrong side of my 50/50. It just goes to show you that you can do everything right and still not win. Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk; let’s dive right into today picks.
Normally on a short day you get slim pickins’ for pitchers, but that is not the case today. While I am recommending some of my favorites, you can make a case for about two-thirds of today’s starters. John Lamb and Alfredo Simon are the two worst pitchers on the board today so I’m sensing a number of Cardinals and Indians being recommended. Here we go:
Studs: Jake Arrieta @Philadelphia ($13,700), Derek Holland @Seattle ($10,200)
In case you are not an Arrieta owner or have not been paying attention, he owns a 2.03 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP with a .194 BAA and just over a strikeout an inning. Over his last 7 starts 50.1 innings, Arrieta has allowed just 2 earned runs – both in the same games. That’s 6 out of 7 games with zero earned runs, 7 wins, 50 K’s and zero home runs. The 2015 Phillies are not a team to fear even with a favorable ballpark. They are an average slap-hitting team (28th in HR) that can but shut down easily by a pitcher like Arrieta. While I sometimes shy away from the highest priced pitcher, this is one of those times I’ll make an exception.
This may be a Homer pick, but I’m a Holland fan. He 3-hit the Orioles and Angels in his last two games going 17 innings with 16 strikeouts. Over his career he has pitched 32.1 innings at SAFECO and his numbers there are: 1.39 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .202 BAA – oh, and almost a strikeout an innings. The Mariners are the second worst team for strikeouts against lefties. They are, however, one of the top teams when it comes to batting average, home runs and runs scored against lefties. So why risk going with Holland? Nelson Cruz (.354) and Franklin Gutierrez (.349) are both on the shelf and Austin Jackson (.294) is now with the Cubs. That’s 3 lefty killers out of the lineup leaving Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Mark Trumbo and cutting the odds in half. As long as Cruz and Gutierrez and out, I’m all in.
Bang for Your Buck: Jaime Garcia @Cincinnati ($9,900), Jorge De La Rosa @San Diego ($8,700)
Garcia should be listed as a stud, but since he’s under $10,000 you’ll definitely get bang for your buck. His numbers have declined post all-star with a 2.08 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, but I’m willing to overlook that. The Reds are in the bottom third of the league for BA and runs scored. Both numbers tick up some at home but are negated by the lower numbers against lefties. The one thing the Reds are good at is home runs, both at home and against lefties. Good thing Garcia has only surrendered 4 homers in over 100 innings. Should be another low scoring game for Garcia who should rack up at least a half-dozen K’s and 20 or more points today.
De La Rosa is a road pitcher (3.22 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) and is carrying his hot August (2.87 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) into September. His numbers vs San Diego are skewed due to a 2 inning 7 run game on April 20th; he held his own in the other 2 and is pitching much better now. Against lefties, the Padres are 23rd in runs scored and 25th in BA, OBP and home runs, and their numbers are slightly lower overall at home. They picked things up some in August, but on a whole they are not a team to fear. De La Rosa could score as many points as some of the big names on DraftKings today.
Hail Mary: Bartolo Colon @Atlanta ($7,900), Adam Morgan vs Chicago ($4,500).
Colon has been a stud over the past 30 days (2.02 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 29 Ks) and would be even studlier if not for that mishap in Colorado. He’s faced Atlanta three times this year going at least 6 innings and allowed 3 or few runs in each game – no surprise as Atlanta is dead last in home runs and runs scored. Since July 23rd Colon has gotten decent K numbers in every other game; he got 2 his last time out so you may get lucky today.
While the Cubs were one of the best hitting teams in August, they are 23rd in home runs, 27th in BA and 24th in K’s against lefties. Adam Morgan is a below average streaming option in fantasy, but looking at his game log I noticed a non statistical anomaly. In every other start he has allowed 2 or fewer runs, gone at least 6 innings and kept his hits total at or below his innings pitched. He gave up 6 runs in Boston his last time out so we could be looking at a good game vs the strikeout prone Cubs. That’s not much to go on, but you’ve got a 50/50 shot at 15+ points at a fraction of the cost here.
Studs: Brian McCann vs Toronto ($3,900)
McCann has a .280/.370/.581 slash line at home and is 10 for 23 with 3 home runs versus David Price. He’s also one of the top producing catchers over the past 2 weeks with 3 home runs, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored.
Bang for your buck: Derek Norris vs Colorado ($2,900)
Norris has a career .287 BA and .470 slugging vs lefties. He has 18 homers against lefties in just under 500 at bats compared to 21 against righties in just over 800. While he has more power vs righties this year, his average vs lefties is 44 points higher and he (surprisingly) has more power in San Diego.
Hail Mary: John Ryan Murphy vs Toronto ($2,200)
Should McCann take a seat I like Murphy as his replacement. He’s 3-9 with 2 home runs in the past week, has a .294 average at home and is batting .290 against lefties.
Studs: Joey Votto vs St Louis ($5,500), Edwin Encarnacion @New York ($4,800)
While I love Garcia today, I can’t ignore the fact that Garcia struggles vs lefty bats. Votto is batting .307 vs lefties and .290 vs Garcia. He is also on a hot streak batting .372 with 3 home runs, 8 RBIs and 10 runs scored over the past two weeks.
Encarnacion is also on a hot streak batting .292 with 5 home runs and 20 RBIs over the past two weeks. He’s also hitting .350 with a double and 2 home runs at Yankees Stadium this year. Plus 26 of his 30 homers have come against righties. This is Luis Severino’s second time facing the Blue Jays so there will be no surprises today.
Bang for your buck: Mark Trumbo vs Texas ($3,600), Brandon Moss @Cincinnati ($3,400),
Trumbo has a season slugging of .520 vs lefties; that’s not far off his career mark of .509. Half of his homers are against lefties (this year and for his career) in half the at bats. He’s got a tough matchup, but one wrong pitch is all it takes.
Moss has been horrible this season, but over the past two weeks he is hitting .304 with 4 home runs and 7 RBIs. John Lamb has been getting strikeouts, but has also allowed his fair share of hits plus a home run in 4 of his first 5 starts. Bad pitcher plus bad hot hitter – something has got to give and I always side with the guy on a hot streak.
Hail Mary: Nick Swisher vs New York ($2,700)
His batting average has picked up with the move to Atlanta, and Swisher has some history against Bartolo Colon batting .500 (6-12) with 2 doubles and 2 home runs. Swisher also qualifies for OF which is where I would use him.
Ian Kinsler @Cleveland ($3,900)
Kinsler is batting .301 vs righties, .311 on the road, .346 at Progressive Field this year and .359 post All-Star break. He is also batting .316 vs today’s starter Danny Salazar. Over his last 3 starts (15.1 innings), Salazar has given up 22 hits, 12 earned runs and 4 home runs.
Bang for your buck: Daniel Murphy @St Louis ($3,500), Odubel Herrera vs Chicago ($3,300)
Murphy is batting .292 against righties with 9 of his 10 home runs. He’s also hitting better on the road (.306) and is 3-7 vs Shelby Miller. His one draw back is the career .218 career average at Turner Field.
Jake Arrieta is on Fire, but so is Herrera batting .356 in the second half. If there is anyone on this Phillies team that can get a few hits and score a run on Arrieta today, it’s Herrera. Herrera also qualifies for the OF if you need a cheaper option there.
Hail Mary: Hector Olivera ($2,000)
The Cuban import has a 3 game hitting streak with multiple hits in 2 of them and his first home run on Monday. Granted it’s a small sample size, but so is his time in the majors. The Braves are batting him second so there is a chance (a slim one considering it’s Atlanta) that Olivera might score a run if his hit streak continues. Bartolo Colon is hot, but he’s no Clayton Kershaw.
Studs: Kyle Seager vs Texas ($4,400), Miguel Cabrera @Cleveland ($4,400)
While Seager is only 7 for 27 (.259) vs Derek Holland, he is batting .304 with 10 home runs vs lefties this season. He is also batting .429 with 4 double, 5 home runs, 14 RBIs and 10 runs scored over the past 2 weeks.
Everyone knows the basics of Miguel Cabrera, so here’s a few miscellaneous tidbits. He’s hitting .348 (8 for 23) vs Danny Salazar with 2 home runs and hitting .682 at Progressive Field (15 for 22) this season. One other thing to keep in mind over the next 4 days is his career numbers over 71 games at Progressive: .360/.426/.657 slash line with 17 doubles, 23 home runs and 73 RBIs.
Bank for your buck: Chase Headley vs Toronto ($3,300)
Once you get past Todd Frazier at $4,100, things get ugly real fast. Bad players, bad match-ups and second basemen masquerading as corner infielders. Headley is an interesting choice though despite my personal disdain for him. Not only is he a better hitter against lefties this year, but he’s 7 for 14 (.500) against today’s starter David Price.
While Headley is a good match on paper, I would not spend less than $4,100 on a third baseman today.
Hail Mary: Lonnie Chisenhall vs Detroit ($3,000)
Detroit starter Alfredo Simon struggles vs left-handed bats (.287) and has given up 12 of his 19 homers to lefties. All Chisenhall has done in the second half is hit (.344); while his bat has cooled lately, this is the kind of match-up that could ignite things.
Studs: Francisco Lindor vs Detroit ($4,000)
The defensive whiz turned juggernaut in the second half hitting .347 with 14 doubles, 5 home runs, 6 steals, 24 RBIs and 29 runs scored. Alfredo Simon 2-hit the Indians on Saturday; even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally. Lightning won’t strike twice for Simon and I expect Lindor and company to put on a hitting display.
Bank for your buck: Jung Ho Kang vs Milwaukee ($3,600)
Kang has come alive in the second half hitting .314 and slugging .568 with 10 home runs. His turn ons include hitting righties (.299), hitting at home (.313) and long walks on the beach.
Hail Mary: Starlin Castro @Philadelphia ($3,100)
As much as I like Kang, I’d settle for Castro if I needed to save a few bucks. Losing his job at short has lit a fire under his ass; he hit .296 in August and is hitting .462 so far in September. While he isn’t hitting lefties with any power, his batting average against them (and on the road) is above average.
Studs: Ryan Braun @Pittsburgh ($4,600), Michael Brantley vs Detroit ($4,900), Starling Marte vs Milwaukee ($4,200)
Bruan is 7-20 vs A.J. Burnett. More importantly though is the fact he hit .326 in August, is hitting .424 in September and.319 on the road. Of his 25 homers, 17 have come on the road and 19 have come against righties. Oh, and don’t forget Pittsburgh has allowed the most stolen bases this year and has the 3rd worst SB percentage.
After an uninspired first half, Brantley has been a different man post all-star batting .368 with 18 doubles, 8 home runs, 31 RBIs and 5 steals. He’s also 11-20 vs Simon who struggles against left-handed bats.
Marte hits RHP better than LHP and gets Wily Peralta today, hitting .314 this month with a home run.
Bang for your buck: Gregory Polanco vs Milwaukee ($3,700), Austin Jackson @Philly ($,3,800)
Polanco is batting .275/.341/.405 against RHP and batting .298 in the second half. Lefties have a .372 wOBA against Peralta.
I mentioned earlier that Jackson hits lefties well, and today’s starter Adam Morgan struggles against right-handed bats with a .281 BAA along with 12 of his 14 home runs allowed. Good park + questionable starter = success.
Hail Mary: Corey Dickerson vs San Diego ($2,800), Tyler Collins vs Cleveland ($2,400), Abraham Almonte vs Detroit ($2,400)
If Dickerson is in the lineup – He played yesterday and scored a run on a walk. He’s 4-11 with a HR vs Ross. Dickerson was considered a stud coming into the season; something people have forgotten about with the injuries. He can go off at any time.
Collins is batting .370 in September and is 2-5 against Salazar this year with a home run. Amonte is a switch hitter who prefers righties and hitting at home, and is a cheap bat to consider going against a weak right-handed pitcher.
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