The final weekend of the MLB season gets started this Friday with a full 14-game fantasy baseball slate. Most of the playoff spots are set with the AL Wild Card race not clinched but looking very good for the A’s and Rays. The Indians are on the outside looking in unless they sweep the Nationals this weekend and get some help from either the Blue Jays against the Rays or the Mariners against the Athletics.
Even with the playoffs pretty much lined up, there are still plenty of interesting storylines, milestones and auditions to track this weekend along with the final few massive MLB fantasy contests for six months. As you build your Friday night lineup, take a look at these value plays if you need some salary cap relief that still come with nice upside.
SP TYLER GLASNOW, TB at TOR, $6,900
I loved Glasnow as a breakout candidate at the start of the season, and he has been delivered on that potential whenever he has been healthy. Unfortunately, he missed almost four months of the season with a forearm strain but has gone 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings when he’s been able to take the mound. He has made three starts since returning and looked sharp in each one despite working on a regulated pitch count. In his most recent start, he threw three shutout innings against the Red Sox while striking out seven and collecting 19.6 DKFP even without the win.
The Rays likely will continue to ease Glasnow back into action, but he has shown he can produce enough fantasy points to be worth a look at this salary even if he can’t go extremely deep into the contest. He has 17 strikeouts in eight innings since returning and gets a good matchup against Toronto as the Rays try to lock down at least a tie for the final Wild Card spot with a win Friday. If the Indians lose, too, the Rays can lock in a trip to the playoffs with a win behind Glasnow.
SP NATHAN EOVALDI, BOS vs. BAL, $4,100
Last season’s World Series hero has had a disappointing season after signing a big contract last offseason. He has been limited to just 22 games by injury and struggled to a 6.03 ERA. The Red Sox tried him in the bullpen for a while but moved him back to the rotation, where they’ll need him to contribute next year. He has started rounding into form as the season comes to a close and is coming off his strongest start since April. He worked six innings in Tampa Bay last Sunday and had 17.5 DKFP, allowing three runs in six innings. He struck out exactly six for the third start in a row and has 67 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings.
Eovaldi’s injury history makes him a scary option in season-long fantasy, but in daily contests, his strikeout upside makes him an intriguing option. He gets a good matchup at home against the Orioles and should be able to work deep into the game if he’s effective since he threw 100 pitches in his most recent outing. In this great matchup against Baltimore, he has massive upside for a player priced barely over $4K.
2B ADAM FRAZIER, PIT vs. CIN, $3,600
The Pirates close out their season at home against the Reds, starting with Friday night’s contest against Anthony DeSclafani ($9,900). It has been a rough second half for the Pirates, but Frazier has been one of the few bright spots. The left-handed-hitting 2B will be arbitration-eligible after this season and is showing why the Pirates should keep him around with a strong finish to the season.
In his past 27 games, Frazier is 34-for-96 (.354) with six doubles, two triples, three home runs, 15 RBI and a .944 OPS. He has averaged 9.3 DKFP per start over that span and has been hitting in one of the top three spots in the order over the past few weeks. Frazier is hitting .310 at home this season and has gone 2-for-10 with a double and a home run against DeSclafani in their previous meetings.
3B MATT CARPENTER, STL vs. CHC, $3,400
It has been a down year for Carpenter, who is hitting just .225 with 13 home runs this year after hitting .257 with 36 long balls last season. He even lost his regular starting job for a little while and has continued to play sparingly against left-handed pitchers. He has been working his way back into the lineup lately, though, and has started six of St. Louis’s previous eight games.
In his past 18 games, Carpenter has gone 13-for-42 (.310) with five doubles, a home run and six RBI. He gets a boost since the Cubs shook up their rotation after they were eliminated and will start Alec Mills ($6,900) instead of lefty Cole Hamels. Carpenter isn’t the player he was last season, when he was a legitimate MVP candidate, but he does bring a high ceiling against the Cubs as St. Louis tries to hold on to the NL Central lead and avoid the Wild Card game.
OF MATT JOYCE, ATL at NYM, $3,300
Last offseason Joyce signed with the Indians, was released in Spring Training and spent four days with the Giants before being traded to the Braves just before Opening Day. The veteran OF has played 126 games for Atlanta this season and hit a solid .298 with seven home runs and a .873 OPS.
He has gone 14-for-43 (.326) in September with a pair of home runs and has made the most of his starts when given the opportunity. He likely will be in the lineup as the Braves open their series in New York against the Mets and Marcus Stroman ($10,300). Joyce has gone 4-for-8 against Stroman in his career with a double and a home run. Joyce’s good approach at the plate makes him a low-risk option if he’s in the starting lineup Friday night for the Braves.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.