Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for September 7th.
Today we have 15 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 1:05 p.m. As always, make sure to check your lineup prior to game time for any last-minute scratches, and be sure to check the weather forecast for any potential cancellations.
Not to sound like a Jerry Seinfeld wannabe, but, what’s the deal with Labor Day? If we all get the day off, shouldn’t it be called “No Labor Day”? In any event, I am not complaining as I get to have a late summer barbecue, hang out with my kids, and, of course, watch some baseball.
To those who foolishly tried to challenge me in the Fantasy Assembly contest yesterday, I apologize for beating you all. But, if it’s any consolation, I will repay you by providing you with some winning picks today. Here goes nothing:
Studs: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals ($12,400), Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals ($10,100)
- I am shying away from Greinke today as a few of the Angels have hit him well (Trout, Calhoun, Aybar among others). Instead, I am opting for Scherzer as my high-priced pitcher. He has held the Mets to a .205/.274/.280 line while striking out 31.5% of their hitters. On the year he has a 0.61 ERA versus New York while striking out 18 batters in 14.1 innings.
- Ventura has been awesome in the 2nd half with a 3.29 FIP and 9.82 K/9. The Twins have been the 2nd most whiff prone team in the American League in the 2nd half. Could shape up to be a nice night for Yordano.
Bang for Your Buck: Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres ($8,900), Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians ($7,500)
- Kennedy has quietly been one of the top pitchers in the 2nd half with a 2.35 ERA since the all-star break. His K rate has also improved to 10.36/9 in the 2nd half. He gets to face the Rockies who have the 3rd worst OPS in the majors on the road. Might be my favorite pitcher play of the day.
- Bauer is terribly inconsistent, but when he is on, he could score you 30+ DraftKings points. Today he is facing the White Sox whose lineup he has held to a .223/.290/.324 line with a 33% K rate. Proceed with caution, but could be worth a gamble.
Hail Mary: Mike Leake, San Francisco Giants ($6,500), Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox ($6,300)
- Leake has held the Diamondbacks to a .222/.252/.312 line. Also has a tidy 2.08 2nd half ERA with a .228 2nd half wOBA against. Tremendous value at this price.
- Am I really recommending Porcello against the Jays? I certainly wouldn’t do this in a 50/50 game, but, in a tournament, I like this play. In his only start against the Jays at Fenway, Porcello held the Jays to 2 hits and 1 ER over 7 innings with 6 strikeouts. (Don’t ask me about his start at Rogers Centre). He has also been dominant in his last 2 starts, throwing 15 innings, allowing only 10 hits, 1 ER and striking out 18.
Studs: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants ($4,300)
Posey loves hitting at Chase Field with a .342/.411/.534 career line in the Arizona ballpark. Patrick Corbin has allowed a .282/.328/.503 line to righties. I could see a good night from Posey.
Bang for your buck: JP Arencibia, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,400)
Randy Wolf has been dreadful against righties his last 3 seasons (.369 wOBA this year, .404 last year and .386 in his last full year in 2012). Arencibia hasn’t played much this year, but last season, he didn’t hit righties a lick but managed an impressive .360 wOBA against lefties. And he has been on fire in his cup of coffee in the majors thus far.
Hail Mary: Hector Sanchez, San Francisco Giants ($2,000)
He is a back-up and, even if the Giants wanted to play him, he is healing from a sprained ankle and may not be ready. But if he does play, he is 7/13 with 2 extra-base hits in his career versus Corbin.
Studs: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds ($5,200)
Jeff Locke has a 6.00 ERA on the road, and has weird reverse splits against lefties with a .300/.372/.445 line allowed to same handed hitting. Votto hits lefties and righties alike as evidenced by his .428 wOBA and 172 wRC+ against southpaws. And he is destroying baseballs in the 2nd half, with a ridiculous .538 wOBA and 247 wRC+.
Bang for your buck: Brandon Moss, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,500)
Dan Haren has been woefully bad against left-handed hitting this year with a .544 slugging percentage allowed and .370 wOBA against. Moss has hit 15 homers against righties, and could make it 16 or 17 after today.
Hail Mary: Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers ($3,000)
Victor isn’t the hitter he once was, but he still hits lefties well with a .353/.404/.471 line. Drew Smyly is a nice pitcher but has allowed a .329 wOBA and .475 SLG% to righties.
Studs: Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays ($4,400)
DraftKings has finally started to price Forsythe correctly, now that we are into September. No matter, as he is among the best players in the majors against lefties and faces the very hittable Randy Wolf today. Forsythe has a .311/.386/.636 line versus southpaws with a .426 wOBA and 180 wRC+. I like a Rays righty stack today and Forsythe should be front and center.
Bang for your buck: Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,500)
I like a Rays righty stack, but also a Cardinals lefty stack against Haren, who, as I described above has really struggled with lefty hitters this year. Wong has a .345 wOBA and 119 wRC+ versus righties.
Hail Mary: Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals ($3,000)
Espinosa usually plays against lefties, and loves to hit against Jon Niese. In his career, Espinosa is 9/21 with a homer against Niese.
Studs: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros ($4,600)
Felix Doubront struggles against righties, allowing a .299/.360/.421 line. Correa should have a field day with a .410 wOBA and 165 wRC+ versus lefties. I also like Jose Altuve from the Astros line-up if you didn’t like any of my 2B above.
Bang for your buck: Kelby Tomlinson, San Francisco Giants ($2,900)
Tomlinson has hit lefties well with a .372 wOBA and 144 wRC+ and faces Patrick Corbin today, whose struggles I have outlined above.
Hail Mary: Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,700)
Another fine member of a Rays’ stack. Beckham has had surprising pop against lefties with a .518 slugging percentage. He has also found his power stroke in the 2nd half with a .524 slugging percentage since the break.
Studs: Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals ($4,300)
.378 wOBA and 142 wRC+ versus lefties. .372 wOBA and 138 wRC+ in the 2nd half. I also like Longoria at this price.
Bank for your buck: Yangervis Solarte, San Diego Padres ($3,400)
Don’t shy away from targeting Kyle Kendrick, just because he is away from Coors. While his numbers are worse at home, Kendrick has still allowed an abysmal .292/.342/.518 slash on the road. Solarte has been hot as a pistol with a .361 wOBA and 133 wRC+ in the 2nd half and should be hitting at the top of the Padres lineup.
Hail Mary: Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres ($2,900)
I wish DraftKings would make Gyorko eligible at short, since he has been playing a lot of the position. Either way, he is an interesting play as he has gotten hot recently with a .545 September slugging percentage and .325 wOBA and 109 wRC+ since the All-Star break.
Studs: Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals ($5,200), Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres ($4,500), George Springer, Houston Astros ($4,400)
- Cain kills lefties with a .348/.402/.591 slash line. He faces Tommy Milone who allows a .467 slugging percentage to right-handed bats.
- Kemp is another guy who can smash Kendrick. His batting average has increased in every month so far this year and he has been especially hot in the 2nd half with a .386 wOBA and 150 wRC+.
- Springer is another lefty killer with a .405 wOBA and 161 wRC+.
Bang for your buck: Justin Upton, San Diego Padres ($4,300), Marlon Byrd, San Francisco Giants ($3,800), Jason Heyward, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,900)
- Upton is 11/29 in his career against Kendrick with 3 BB as well as 6 extra-base hits including 3 homers.
- Old man Byrd can still hit the lefties with a .505 slugging percentage and .354 wOBA.
- Heyward is another key member of my lefty Cardinals stack, holding a .345 wOBA and 119 wRC+ against righties and a .361 wOBA and 131 wRC+ in the 2nd half.
Hail Mary: Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,500), Derek Dietrich, Miami Marlins ($3,100), Chris Young, New York Yankees ($2,700)
- Another pitcher toeing the rubber today who struggles against lefty bats is Atlanta’s Williams Perez who allows a .310/.397/.506 line to southpaws. Herrera has a .336 wOBA and 112 wRC+ against righties and a .380 wOBA and 141 wRC+ in the 2nd half. Phillies lefties are another nice cheap stack for tournament play (Ryan Howard, Cody Asche, Darnell Sweeney, etc.)
- Dietrich faces the Brewers’ Kyle Davies who struggled mightily in his first start. Dietrich has a .391 wOBA and 149 wRC+ against righties.
- Chris Young is one of my favorite platoon plays against lefties. He holds a .415 wOBA and 168 wRC+ against southpaws. Wei-Yin Chen has surprisingly allowed a .498 slugging percentage and 23 homers to righties this year.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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