Jim previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for September 3rd.
Today we have 6 games on the MLB schedule starting at 1:10 pm with Chicago at Minnesota. 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. Good luck!
A Strange Game. The only winning move is not to play.
How about a nice game of chess? — Joshua
I often think of this quote on short days like this. There are only 6 games on the schedule today; one early, two each in the seven and eight o’clock range and one late. There are a few all day contests, but a majority of them cover the 5 evening games along with 2 turbo’s. I’ve made myself perfectly clear all season that I despise early contests so don’t expect to find any players from the White Sox or Twins below. I do like Kyle Gibson at home though and think SS Eduardo Escobar is a nice value play. Miguel Sano and Jose Abreu are the obvious big names to target and Joe Mauer could make a sneaky play since Jeff Samardzija struggles against lefties, but that’s about it for me. Now that you’ve gotten the cliff notes version of the one early game, let’s move on to the five evening contests.
Studs: Jordan Zimmermann vs Atlanta ($10,400), Francisco Liriano @Milwaukee ($11,300), Taylor Jungmann vs Pittsburgh ($10,200)
All of Zimm’s numbers are better at home, and his numbers this year against Atlanta are even better. In 4 starts covering 28.2 innings, Zimm is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP. Over 14 career starts against the Braves he holds a 2.59 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. The Braves were one of the worst teams in August for runs scored and home runs. Other than Freddie Freeman, nobody in Atlanta can be considered a serious offensive threat. Start Zimm with confidence.
On the road, Liriano has a 2.33 ERA, a 1,13 WHIP and a .206 BAA. In his one start against the Brewers this year he went 8 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits over 8 innings with 6 K’s – the results were somewhat similar in 2 starts against them last year. Milwaukee is dead last in batting average, OBP and runs scored against lefties and their overall team numbers were not impressive in August. The slight improvements they show at home are somewhat negated by Liriano’s road success.
Jungmann was pulled early in 2 of his last 4 starts for ineffectiveness, but the other 2 games he went at least 6 innings with zero runs and only 3 hits allowed in each game. The Pirates were basically middle of the road offensively in August so this one could go either way. Junmann’s not a bad play today, just a risky one for the price. He’ll score you points today, but they may not equal his price tag.
Bang for Your Buck: Edinson Volquez @Kansas City ($9,100), Mat Latos @San Diego ($7,200)
Volquez has a home ERA under 3.0 and his hits are well below his innings pitched; a good thing since he walks too many batters and doesn’t get the K’s at home. He faced Detroit twice this year; the first game he allowed 2 runs over 6 innings with 4 K’s but the other was 5 runs over 7 innings with 5 K’s. Detroit struggled in August offensively and finished in the bottom third for most offensive categories which favors Volquez slightly. Volquez holds the same risk as Jungmann above but is $1,100 cheaper.
I covered Latos earlier this week in our Field of Streams article which you can read here, but to quickly recap things:
- In games he has gone 6 or more innings he has allowed more than 3 earned runs once.
- He has been hittable and or scored upon heavily in games he doesn’t go 6.
- The strikeouts are there, but only half the time.
- He has logged over 200 innings at PETCO and has a career ERA under 3.0 there.
- The Padres production seems to fall off at home which favors Latos.
You could end up with negative points here, but you could just as easily end up with 16+. How bad do you want to save a buck?
Hail Mary: NONE! – Don’t be cheap on pitchers today; you’ve been warned.
- Collin Rea has made it past the 5th inning just once and isn’t getting the strikeouts.
- Vogelsong pitched 6 shutout innings in Colorado earlier in the year but holds a career 6.63 ERA in Coors
- Rusin is somewhat better at home but his last game in Coors against the Mets shows how bad things can get.
- Boyd may get you 6 innings, but the runs he gives up along with the lack of K’s negate that.
- Wisler is similar to Boyd except he probably won’t even give you 6 innings
Studs: Buster Posey @Colorado ($5,000), Nick Hundley vs San Francisco ($3,800)
At Coors Field, Posey is batting .300 this season and has a career average of .397 along with 8 home runs, 11 doubles and 33 RBIs over 42 games. Posey is also batting .440 over the past week.
Hundley is batting .300 against righties and has all but 1 home run against them. He’s also batting .357 at home and .333 with a home run over the past 7 days. Opposing pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is tougher against right handed bats but can still be gotten to.
Bang for your buck: Wilson Ramos vs Atlanta ($3,300)
Ramos is hitting .350 over the past two weeks with 3 home runs. Historically he is a better hitter at home (.282) and 49 of his 58 career home runs have come against righties. Ride the hit hand is my motto.
Hail Mary: A.J. Ellis @San Diego ($2,900)
The downside is he hits much better against lefties, but the upside is he’s hitting .385 over the past week. The pickings get slim after Ramos so if you go for a bargain, you’re basically looking for someone to get a hit.
Studs: Brandon Belt @Colorado ($5,200)
Never thought I would see Belts name up with Miguel Cabrera on DraftKings. Belt is batting .429 at Coors this year (9 for 21) with 4 doubles, a home runs and 6 RBIs. His career numbers at Coors consist of a .337 average, 9 doubles, 6 home runs and 19 RBIs over 28 games. Oh, and he’s batting .414 over the past week.
Bang for your buck: Ben Paulsen vs San Francisco ($3,500)
Paulsen is batting .289 at home, .287 against righties and .368 over the past 7 days. All of his power comes against righties, and his opponent today (Ryan Vogelsong) struggles against lefty bats – surrendering 13 home runs to them this season. Paulsen hasn’t hit one since August 24th so he’s due.
Hail Mary: Clint Robinson vs Atlanta ($2,400)
If Bryce Harper sits today we could see Robinson in the OF. Robinson has struggled to hit at home but opposing pitcher Matt Wisler struggles on the road so they should cancel each other out. Robinson has some power against righties so a home run isn’t out of the question.
Studs: Ian Kinsler @Kansas City ($4,600)
Kinsler is hitting .370 with 12 doubles, 4 triples, 7 homers, 25 RBIs and 34 runs scored since the all-star break. Considering he’s hitting over .300 at home and against righties, that 5 for 13 against Edinson Volquez is a moot point.
Bang for your buck: Justin Turner ($3,500) @San Diego
Turner is batting .317 against righties and .364 at PETCO this year. Padres pitcher Colin Rea has a .353 BAA vs righties through 4 games. This might be just what the struggling hitter needs to turn the corner.
Hail Mary: Cory Spangenberg vs Los Angeles ($2,400)
Mat Latos does struggle against lefties and Spangenberg is hitting .317 in the second half (.368 over the past 7 days with 4 doubles). He may only get a few hits, but if one of them is a double and he scores – that will pay the bills at this price. He also qualifies for 3B if you’re desperate.
Studs: Nolan Arenado vs San Francisco ($5,700)
Arenado isn’t a lefty bat, but he does have 29 home runs against righties and is 4-10 with 2 home runs vs Vogelsong already. I’ve got several Rockies outfielders listed below so if you want to stack this game, you’re gonna have to get creative elsewhere.
Bank for your buck: Ryan Zimmerman vs Atlanta ($4,200)
This is what fantasy owners have been waiting for, the Zimmerman hot streak. He has 3 doubles, 6 home runs and 11 RBIs over the past 4 days. I can see him homering a 5th day in a row with a weak righty on the mound. Zimm also qualifies for 1B should you like another 3B option.
Hail Mary: Chesler Cuthbert vs Detroit ($2,000)
The odds are Mike Moustakas will sit again today so Cuthbert could see some action. He went 2 for 3 last night with a home run, and opposing pitcher Matt Boyd is worse than anyone the Tigers had on the mound yesterday. Yea, it’s a reach, but the littlest names make the biggest noise sometimes.
Studs: NONE! Don’t overspend on a shortstop today.
I can’t see paying for one of the top options considering the money you will need for pitching and some of the bigger bats at other positions. This means no Jose Reyes (despite the matchup), Kang (intriguing option), Crawford (DTD) or either of the Escobars.
Bank for your buck: Jean Segura vs Pittsburgh ($3,400)
Segura has cooled off in the second half, but he is batting .350 over the past week, .302 vs lefties and .333 (5 for 15 w/3 steals) against Liriano.
Hail Mary: None!
Once you take out the top options, there isn’t much left. I you’re looking for a cheap player for short, just plug and play the lowest priced active option once lineups are posted. I personally hope the Nationals let Trea Turner ($2,400) play, but that’s doubtful.
Studs: Charlie Blackmon vs San Francisco ($4,800), Carlos Gonzalez vs San Francisco ($4,300), Bryce Harper vs Atlanta ($5,600)
Ryan Vogelsong struggles against left-handed bats. Blackmon has a .305 average against righties and a .333 at home. 12 of his 15 homers have come against righties along with 26 of his 36 steals. Cargo has a .294 average against righties and a .289 average at home. 28 of his 31 home runs have come against righties. I would recommend both if possible, but if I had to choose one I’d go with Blackmon since he has the hotter bat lately.
Harper left Wednesday’s game early, but if he is in the lineup you might want to get him into yours. He’s batting .339 against righties with 26 of his 31 home runs against them. He’s also a .342 hitter at home and is batting .386 over the past two weeks. Opposing pitcher Matt Wisler has a .338 BAA vs left-handed hitters. Lorenzo Cain ($5,200) vs Detroit is my high-priced fallback option. Cain is crushing lefties and Matt Boyd of Detroit has been horrible.
Bang for your buck: Jayson Werth vs Atlanta ($3,600), Justin Upton vs Los Angeles ($4,100), Andre Ethier @San Diego ($3,300)
Werth is batting .321 over the past 7 days with 2 homers, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs and 7 runs scored. Matt Wisler has a road ERA of 6.53 and 10 of his 12 homers allowed have been on the road.
Upton is batting .500 vs Latos (10 for 20) with 2 doubles and 2 homers. Upton is also batting .300 at home and 21 of his 24 home runs have come against righties.
Ethier is batting .305 against righties with all 13 of his home runs. While he is only hitting .264 on the road he is hitting .450 at PETCO (9 for 20 with a double, triple and 2 homers).
Hail Mary: Jonny Gomes vs Detroit ($2,400), Domingo Santana vs Pittsburgh ($2,800)
Gomes was born to hit lefties, his career average against them is 50 points higher than against righties.
Against lefties in the minors, Santana hit .343 in 2014, .294 in 2013 and .288 in 2012. No surprise his ML career leans towards lefties as well.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @TheJimFinch
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