Friday brings us the usual 14-game MLB main slate, with plenty of interesting spots to target. As the regular season winds down, you’ll notice I’m just focusing on teams that still have something to play for. Thanks for following along for another season of top stacks! Here are the offenses that catch my eye.
It’s important to note that you should always keep an eye on the news and lineup notes from @DKLive in order to best prepare for each slate. In addition, feel free to get at me on Twitter with any questions — @julianedlow.
1. MILWAUKEE BREWERS
I have a bone to pick with the Brewers in general. They clinched a wild card spot on Wednesday, but after partying the night away, rested all of their big bats for a Thursday afternoon game … while still in the middle of a race to win the NL Central! Lucky for them they won the game, and will not be back to business as usual, with the Cardinals in their gasp.
The Brew Crew will finish up the season at Coors Field, with a matchup against Antonio Senzatela ($5,400). Senzatela’s been terrible regardless of where he’s pitching this season, with a 6.90 ERA in 24 starts. He had an ERA above 16.00 in July and August, before becoming serviceable again in September. Colorado has the third-worst bullpen in baseball, which leaves Milwaukee in position for an offensive outburst if it truly has aspirations with avoiding the wild card game. The Brewers’ run projection is up at 7.6 for this game.
Players to ConsiderRyan Braun ($5,800)
Keston Hiura ($5,600)
Trent Grisham ($5,500)
Eric Thames ($5,400) Q
Yasmani Grandal ($5,100)
Mike Moustakas ($5,000)
2. TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays are trying to fend off the Indians for the final AL wild card spot, and are doing a good job — Cleveland’s also doing a bad job, which helps. They’ll be facing T.J. Zeuch ($5,900) and a Blue Jays squad with nothing to play for in Toronto in this final series.
Zeuch has been fair in four outings in the big leagues, with a 4.58 ERA, and the Jays’ bullpen ranks dead in the middle in the majors this season. Tampa will face mediocre pitching but has been more than a half-run per game better on the road this season. The Rays need this one for their postseason hopes and have a 5.8-run projection.
Players to ConsiderAustin Meadows ($5,200)
Tommy Pham ($4,300)
Avisail Garcia ($4,300)
Brandon Lowe ($4,500)
Joey Wendle ($3,300)
3. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Alec Mills ($6,900) will take the mound for the Cubs, who are playing for nothing at this point. We saw that yesterday when Chicago decided to rest the typical top-five bats in its lineup. I’d assume we see them back in the lineup in this game, which means the Cardinals will have to work a little offensively to get the win, which they need to hold off the Brewers.
While the Cubs have a top-10 bullpen, we’ll see how much of it they actually choose to deploy. All the motivation is on the St. Louis side in this one and has them sitting at a 5.2-run projection. Considering just how cheap these bats are, that’s a ton of value.
Players to ConsiderTommy Edman ($4,400)
Marcell Ozuna ($3,900)
Paul Goldschmidt ($3,800)
Paul DeJong ($3,600)
Kolten Wong ($3,500) Q
Dexter Fowler ($3,200)
4. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
The A’s have an extra game cushion over the Rays in the AL, but still need to hold off both Tampa and Cleveland with a solid weekend. They’ll face Justus Scheffield ($8,700) and the Mariners in Seattle in this one, projected for 5.4 runs.
Oakland’s bats have come down in salary for this series, and also have some question marks among key bats in the lineup — so keep an eye out for the lineup release. Regardless of who’s in, this lineup is stacked with RHBs that should give Sheffield a tough time. The LHP has a 5.81 ERA on the season and has given up 10 runs in his last two starts (8 2/3 innings). Oakland’s road offense has been elite, averaging 5.61 runs per game, while the Mariners’ pen ranks just 22nd.
Players to ConsiderMarcus Semien ($4,800)
Ramon Laureano ($4,500)
Matt Olson ($4,400)
Mark Canha ($4,400) Q
Matt Chapman ($4,100)
Khris Davis ($3,500) Q
5. NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankees will need the 104-win Astros to have a poor weekend if they’re going to win the top overall seed in the AL, but in terms of controlling what they can, they’ll want to focus on winning out this weekend. Texas is a great ballpark to score runs in, and Joe Palumbo ($5,400) is the perfect pitcher to score runs against.
Palumbo has given up 14 runs in 9 2/3 innings pitched in Texas so far this season, and is backed by the 20th-ranked bullpen in the majors (which has also been even worse in September). The Yankees have a huge 7.0-run projection on this slate.
Players to Consider
Edwin Encarnacion ($5,500) P
DJ LeMahieu ($5,400)
Aaron Judge ($5,300)
Gary Sanchez ($5,200) P
Gleyber Torres ($4,900)
Giancarlo Stanton ($4,500)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.