Jim previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for September 28th.
Today we have 10 games on the MLB schedule starting at 3:05 pm. 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.
There is a chance of rain for the BlueJays/Orioles, Cardinals/Pirates and the Twins/Indians games. Just like yesterday, I don’t foresee these games being cancelled, but delays could upend the starters if delayed mid-way so check the weather for these games prior to game time and have an alternative pitching strategy in mind…just in case.
No stories or colorful anecdotes today; apologies to the 3 people who don’t jump right to the picks and actually read what we write here. Today we’ll just jump into the game action so here we go.
Studs: Zack Greinke @San Francisco ($12,100), Corey Kluber vs Minnesota ($11,300)
August was the only month Greinke put up an ERA over two (2.45) and his WHIP has been under 1.0 every month. His career numbers at AT&T are better than his season totals and he has owned the Giants for his career (58.2 innings – 2.15 ERA – 1.02 WHIP – .224 BAA).
Kluber is a bit of a high-priced risk given his performance this month, but he’s a much better pitcher at home and was solid in his 4 starts vs the Twins this season (29.2 innings – 2.43ERA/0.57WHIP – .122 BAA – 31 K’s). The Twins are in the bottom half of the league this month in runs scored, home runs and OBP, and they’re 23rd in BA.
Bang For Your Buck: James Happ vs St Louis ($7,600), Jake Peavy vs Los Angeles ($7,500)
The Cardinals are dead last in BA, 23rd in OBP and middle of the road for home runs and runs scored vs lefties. Since his start on August 4th, Happ has allowed more than 2 earned runs in a game just once in 8 starts (3 runs @Colorado). He also has 8 or more K’s in each of his last 4 starts
The Dodgers are in the bottom third of the league in September for BA, runs scored and home runs. Over the past 30 days (30.1 innings) Peavy has a 2.97 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. Also his home ERA is a full point below his road ERA. You may only get a handful of K’s, but he will give you at least 6 innings, limit runs and give his team a shot at a win (provided Greinke only goes 6 – a possibility given his calf strain recently). Current Dodgers hitting .214 against Peavy.
Hail Mary: Marco Estrada @Baltimore ($6,800), Brandon Finnegan @Washington ($4,000)
The Orioles are batting .228 in September (29th) and are 23rd in runs scored. They are 5th this month in home runs so there is a thread of a long ball here. Estrada has a 2.84 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over the past 30 days (31.2 innings) and has been solid vs Baltimore this season (5 games/3 starts – 19 innings – 3.32ERA/1.05WHIP – .152 BAA). He’s also been going 6 or more innings (more often than not) recently, and you’ve got a good shot at a win here given Toronto offense and Tillman on the mound for the O’s.
The Nats are in meltdown mode, are in the top 10 for K’s in September and are only average vs lefties. Finnigan may give up 2-3 runs here, but he should go 6 innings, get 6 or more K’s and potentially hold Washington in check. It’s a long shot for tournament plays, but I might find a safer option for 50/50 games.
Studs: Buster Posey vs Los Angeles ($3,800)
Posey is batting .348 (8-23) vs Greinke and is hitting over .300 since the calendar turned May.
Bang for your buck: Josh Phegley @Los Angeles ($3,000)
3-5 w/a home runs vs starter Hector Santiago. He’s also batting .278 vs lefties, .273 at Angels Stadium and .273 over the past 14 days.
Hail Mary: Alex avila @Texas ($2,600)
Batting .286 over the past 14 days, is 6-17 (.353) with 2 home runs vs Colby Lewis and is a .340 hitter in Texas.
Studs: Miguel Cabrera @Texas ($4,800)
Cabrera is homerless over the past 2 weeks so he’s due. He has a career .391 average in Texas with 15 doubles and 6 home runs over 31 games. He’s also batting .348 vs starter Colby Lewis.
Bang for your buck: Albert Pujols vs Oakland ($3,900)
He’s been in a slump lately, but he can launch a homer at any time and Felix Doubront has been pitched worse than Pujols has slumped allowing 7 homers in his last 4 starts. For the price and matchup, it’s worth the gamble.
Hail Mary: Victor Martinez @Texas ($3,400)
Not really a Hail Mary, but it shows you the depth of first base today. Martinez is batting .326 over the past 2 weeks, .327 in Texas for his career and .450 (9-20) against Colby Lewis.
Jose Altuve @Seattle ($4,400), Jason Kipnis vs Minnesota ($4,300)
Like I said yesterday, Altuve is hitting a ridiculous .376 vs lefties and is 3-10 vs Elias. His road numbers and numbers at SAFECO raise some flags, but I like the matchup and price.
I’ll go with 2 studs today as Kipnis is 5-16 (.313 vs starter Phil Hughes) and is batting .300 with a couple homers and doubles in the past two weeks. He’s also a .349 hitter in Cleveland.
Bang for your buck: Anthony Rendon vs Cincinnati ($3,900)
Rendon is hitting well this month and against lefties this season (.328) and for his career (.309). One of the few bright spots for Washington other than Harper.
Hail Mary: Neil Walker vs St Louis ($3,100)
Against Lance Lynn, Walker is batting .368 with 3 doubles, 2 triples and 3 home runs in 38 at bats. He’s also batting .326 with 2 homers, 2 doubles and 10 RBIs over the past 2 weeks so not just a hot BvP play here.
Studs: Josh Donaldson @Baltimore ($5,400)
Donaldson is like Ivan Drago from Rocky III: Whatever he hits….he destroys. He’s batting .350 against Tillman, and Tillman has been the worst pitcher over the past 30 days out of all of today’s starters.
Bank for your buck: Adrian Beltre vs Detroit ($4,100)
Verlander may be in the midst of a comeback, but Beltre has a well hit average against him and is hitting over .300 since the all-star break. Plus this game is in Texas, and Beltre loves hitting at home
Hail Mary: Pedro Alvarez vs St Louis ($2,800)
4 home runs in the past 2 weeks, he’s a much better road hitter this season and has a career line of .273/.348/.522 with 10 home runs over 43 games at Busch Stadium.
Studs: Carlos Correa @Seattle ($4,700)
List like with Altuve the venue plays against him, but Correa has mashed lefties so far this season (9 home runs & .600 slugging over 115 at bats).
Bank for your buck: Jhonny Peralta @Pittsburgh ($3,400)
Peralta isn’t much for batting average against lefties, but he is hitting .333 at PNC this season and .281 for his career with 4 double and 6 homers over 32 games. Plus his power is more focused on lefties which could mean trouble for starter James Happ.
Hail Mary: Jimmy Rollins @San Francisco ($3,000)
Rollins is swinging a hot bat over the past two weeks (.368) and is 5-16 with a triple, homer and 3 BB vs Jake Peavy. Cheap, but reliable.
I’m running a little short on time, so here is the cliff notes version for some of today’s recommended OF starters (in no particular order.
- Jake Marisnick @Seattle ($2,600) 3-8 with 2 home runs vs starter Roenis Elias.
- Chris Young vs Boston ($2,700) is facing a lefty at home – automatic start for me.
- Matt Holliday @Pittsburgh ($3,400) is a .300 at PNC as well as against lefties from 2012 to 2014.
- Jose Bautista @Baltimore ($5,200) – facing Chris Tillman, do you need more incentive than that?
- Mookie Betts @New York ($4,800) has limited success in NY, but is 2-6 with a double & homer vs Ivan Nova & is hitting .376 in September.
- Starling Marte vs St Louis ($4,200) batting .326 in September, .343 at Busch this season and .381 vs Lance Lynn.
Check back later as Neil, Paul or myself may add a few more OF options to the comments section.
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