Jim previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for October 6th
There are just 2 games on the docket today, but they are important ones. The winner of today’s wild card contests advances to the next round of the playoffs so there is a lot on the line, which is why the best pitchers for each team will be on the mound. Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros travel to New York to take on Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees. Meanwhile Phenom Jake Arrieta and the Cubs visit Pittsburgh to battle it out with Gerrit Cole and the Pirates. Both games have an 8:08 starting time and neither is in any danger of being rained out (thankfully).
I know I said I was done with DFS for the season, but baseball is in my blood and there are still games to be played. Like I stated in the intro, there are only two games today, and the top pitchers will be on the mound for each team. Because there are only two games, there will be a lot (A Lot) of duplicate lineups out there. In order to be different, players will have to dig deep into every series matchup, home/away splits, L/R matchups, BvP matchups, etc..,
Even if you do this; even if you study every potential aspect of a matchup; things have a chance to go completely sideways. This is the playoffs where anything can happen. Eric Hosmer exemplifies what I mean by this. He had a forgettable season in 2014, but in the playoffs he put up a .351/.439/.544 line with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 12 RBIs and 8 runs scored over 15 games. Mike Moustakas was another player (to a lesser extent) to breakout with 5 home runs over 15 games after just hitting 15 over the entire season. It’s a strange game. While I’ll do my best to break down the players & matchups, take it all with a grain of salt; it may end up meaning nothing at the end of the day.
Jake Arrieta ($14,200)
- 1.60 ERA/0.87 WHIP/.186 BAA on the road with 129 K’s over 124 innings
- 0.75 ERA/0.64 WHIP/.151 BAA vs Pittsburgh in 5 starts (36 innings) w/33 K’s
- 0.82 ERA/0.73 WHIP/.162 BAA this year – 2.25 ERA/0.88 WHIP for career at PNC
- 0.75 ERA/0.73 WHIP/.148 BAA in the second half
- Zero home runs allowed and just 5 BB surrendered to Pirates this season
- Has not pitched less than 6 innings since June 16th
- The Pirates had the 3rd highest strikeout total in September/7th highest for the season
It’s safe to say the most expensive option is the one to buy, at least on paper.
Gerrit Cole ($10,600)
- 2.83 ERA/1.08 WHIP/.243 BAA at home with 91 K’s over 98.2 innings
- 2.13 ERA/0.95 WHIP/.225 BAA vs Cubs in 4 starts (25.1 innings) w/32 K’s
- 2.88 ERA/1.10 WHIP/.255 BAA career vs Cubs in 9 starts (56 innings) w/69 K’s
- Zero home runs allowed and just 4 BB surrendered to Cubs this season
- The Cubs have the highest strikeout total for September (271) and the season (1,516)
Cole may give up a run (or two), but he’ll make up for it in K’s and innings pitched.
Dallas Keuchel ($11,400)
- He struggles on the road (3.77 ERA/1.18 WHIP/.253 BAA)
- ERA of 3.71 in July and 3.78 in August, but K’s never fell off
- 0.00 ERA/0.63 WHIP/.161 BAA in 2 starts (16 innings) vs Yankees w/21 K’s this year
- He 3-hit the Yankees over 7 innings with 9 K’s at Yankees stadium
- Yankees were 28th in BA & 26th in OBP for September
- Yankees are 5th for Home runs against lefties, 4th for the season & 4th for home games
- 13 of Kuechel’s 17 homers have come on the road
Keuchel had success against the Yankees in 2 games and has had a good year. His ERA slipped in the second half and he gave up a few more homers, but the K’s increased. The Yankees are middle of the road for K’s but struggle with them against lefties which plays towards Keuchel, but they are also masters of homers which plays against him. Signs point to a decent play for Keuchel, but it comes with some risk.
Masahiro Tanaka ($9,000)
- He struggles with runs and homers at home (3.71 ERA, 17 of 25 home runs)
- Has went 6 or more innings in each game over the last 3 months (sans 1)
- Surrendered 6 runs (3 home runs) over 5 innings in only appearance vs Houston
- Houston is second worst team for K’s, but 6th best in the month of September
- Houston was 4th in BA and 1st in home runs for September
- Houston is 3rd in home runs and 6th in runs scored on the road
While Tanaka is the staff ace, there are a number of factors playing against him. He may get some K’s and should go 6 innings, but the run and HR potential could derail his point total today. He’s the cheapest arm, but he also comes with the most risk.
Power Play – Miguel Montero ($3,000)
Batting .308 in September (.258 over final two weeks) and hit .350 at PNC this season. 10 doubles & 12 home runs vs righties this season. 3 for 5 vs Cole.
Next Best Options – Francisco Cervelli ($3,000), Brian McCann ($3,500)
- Good home average (.290), can hit righties (.291), and hit .292 over final 2 weeks. Cervelli is 2 for 12 with 4 K’s against Arrieta
- Hit .177 in September with 3 home runs – .135 over final 2 weeks with zero homers. McCann’s power is geared towards home, but only has 6 homers vs lefties. Odds aren’t goo here.
Power Play – Anthony Rizzo ($4,500)
Hitting .421 at PNC with 4 doubles and 2 homers over 10 games. 20 of 31 homers on the road and 25 of 31 of righties. He’s 6-16 off Cole – 4-10 this season.
Next Best Option – Chris Carter ($3,300), Greg Bird ($4,100)
- Carter hit .344 with 6 home runs in September and is 2 for 2 with a double and home run off Tanaka.
- Bird doesn’t have a well hit average vs lefties or at home, but he did have 8 home runs and 19 RBIs in August.
Power Play – Jose Altuve ($5,000)
You’ve heard all year about Altuve so no need to rehash his resume. He’s 1-3 with a home run vs Tanaka and is always a threat to steal, even against the Yankees who are near the top for holding runners on (7th for SB – 8th for SB%).
Next Best Option – Neil Walker ($3,500), Javier Baez ($2,100)
- Walker came alive in September batting .295 with 5 doubles, 3 homers and 16 RBIs. 3 for 13 against Arrieta.
- Baez is a dart throw play, but he hit well in September and has power and speed potential. Could be a sneaky play if you need to save a buck, which you might have to do if you roster my top 2 pitchers. He was 1-6 w/a homer off Cole in 2014.
Power Play – Kris Bryant ($4,300)
.336 September average with 5 home runs. Good power and average against righties, .375 average at PNC (15-40), and is 3-9 w/4 runs scored vs Cole.
Next Best Option – Alex Rodriguez ($4,200)
A-Rod has power and an average geared towards lefties and home. His numbers dipped over the final 2 months, but the power returned in September. He’s 1-7 vs Keuchel with 4 K’s so you’re hoping for a HR here.
Power Play – Carlos Correa ($4,700)
Correa hit .281 with 14 doubles, 1 triple and 13 homers vs righties. His average dips on the road (.243) and in September (.269), but the power is constant. He’s 4-12 with a triple and homer in October and 2-3 w/a homer vs Tanaka.
Next Best Option – Starlin Castro ($2,900), Marwin Gonzalez ($2,500)
- Hit .426 in September with 5 doubles and 5 home runs. Power and average better on the road (.351 at PNC w/2 doubles and 1 HR in 9 games). He’s 6-17 against Cole.
- Marwin Gonzalez is a cheap play for SS or 3B. He hit .316 with 2 homers and only 1 K over the final 2 weeks and is a much better road hitter (.293). No record vs Tanaka, but he’s hitting .286 w/a home run in 14 at bats at Yankees Stadium.
Power Play – Andrew McCutchen ($4,400), George Springer ($4,400), Carlos Beltran ($3,900
- McCutchen slumped over the final 2 weeks, but finishes with a .327 home average with 20 doubles and 13 homers and he has 29 doubles and 18 homers against righties. He’s 4-12 against Arrieta this season, 8-23 lifetime.
- Springer has a .319 road average and hit .370 with 4 doubles, 1 triple and 2 homers over the final 2 weeks. The only thing that could make this matchup better is if he were facing a lefty. He’s 1-1 with 2 BB against Tanaka.
- Beltran doesn’t have the best average against lefties or at home, and he was only average in September. He did, however, have decent power against all three, and is 3-6 with a double vs Keuchel.
Next Best Option – Chris Young ($2,600), Jacoby Ellsbury ($3,700), Carlos Gomes ($3,900)
- DK hasn’t figured out to raise Young’s price vs lefties yet; he hits .327 versus them, had a strong September (.294) and is 2-7 vs Keuchel.
- Ellsbury doesn’t have any real discernible splits, he just either hits or he doesn’t. It’s been over a month since he hit a home run (so he’s due), but he does steal bases and is 1-3 against Keuchel. Maybe some Yankees magic today?
- Gomes is always a threat when in the lineup and has stated he’s good to go. He has a double and homer in 12 at bats at Yankees Stadium.
Dart Throw – Starling Marte ($3,900), Jorge Soler ($3,300), Chris Coghlan ($3,000)
- He finished Strong batting .357 over the final 2 weeks with 3 doubles, 2 homers, 3 steals and 10 RBIs. Marte is built to hit against righties and at home. Unfortunately he’s 2-15 with 4 K’s against Arrieta this season. Hot hitter vs hot pitcher – who wants it more and is it worth the money to find out?
- Soler limped to the finish line, but while his bat may be cold and at bats limited, he might be worth a dart throw. He’s 2-7 vs Cole and has a .348 average at PNC (8-23) with 2 doubles, a steal and a 2-1 K/BB ratio.
- Coghlan is a hit or miss player. He’s 0-8 vs Cole this year, but he was 2-5 w/a walk vs him last season. He’s cheap, and you’ll need a few cheap options today.
Good luck today.
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