With only five days left in the MLB regular season, we not only have reached our final Wednesday slate of the year, but the final start for so many great pitching options. Well, the final non-playoff start in some cases. Jacob deGrom ($12,000) will attempt to keep the Mets’ faint hopes alive with his outing against the Marlins; Shane Bieber ($11,800), Charlie Morton ($11,000) and Frankie Montas ($10,100) are all in the hunt for an American League Wild Card spot; while Zack Greinke ($10,400) and the Astros are just counting the days until the real games begin. With so many star-studded options at SP this evening, we should have ourselves an interesting night of DFS baseball.
Let’s get into it.
StudJacob deGrom, NYM vs. MIA, $12,000 – I’ve been pretty consistent the past month in my usage of both deGrom and Gerrit Cole. Essentially, until either of the duo burns me, I’m going to keep coming back no matter the price. Sure, deGrom doesn’t quite carry the same mind-bending strikeout upside as Cole, so his salary reaching $12K for just the third time this season is a little concerning; but any fears are quelled instantly when looking at the right-hander’s recent numbers. In deGrom’s past 14 outings, the veteran has maintained a pristine 1.63 ERA to go along with a 2.26 FIP. He also has struck out 33.4% of batters — all while holding opponents to a more-than-modest .262 slugging percentage. In short, he’s been the best pitcher in the National League. Considering Miami possesses a league-low .288 wOBA for the season, I see no reason to not trust deGrom once again. Other Options: Shane Bieber ($11,800), Frankie Montas ($10,100)
ValueTim Melville, COL at SF, $5,600 – We’re dealing with incredibly small sample sizes, but, of Melville’s six starts this season, the two he’s made on the road have been his most successful. That might seem obvious considering Melville’s forced to make his home outings at Coors Field; yet, even when you know what you’re looking for, the numbers are staggering. The 29-year-old’s surrendered a .488 wOBA in Colorado in 2019 compared to just a .231 wOBA when pitching elsewhere. With “elsewhere” tonight meaning San Francisco, Melville couldn’t possibly be in a better spot. Since the beginning of September, the Giants own league-worst marks in OBP (.274), wOBA (.255) and wRC+ (57). They also have struck out in a whopping 26.4% of their plate appearances. Melville should be popular this evening, but I wager he’ll be worth the ownership.
Other Option: Rick Porcello ($7,200)
StudKurt Suzuki, WAS vs. PHI, $4,600 – Suzuki was supposed to be healthy enough to catch a game during yesterday’s doubleheader, but that didn’t end up being the case. However, it’s possible the team just decided to save him for an ideal matchup this evening against Drew Smyly ($6,600). Suzuki has absolutely crushed left-handed pitching throughout the past few seasons, and 2019 has been no different. In 71 plate appearances within the split, Suzuki is slashing .348/.380/.591 with a .401 wOBA. With the added benefit of Washington owning one of the slate’s highest projected run totals, if active, Suzuki’s a solid play. Other Option: Robinson Chirinos ($4,000)
ValueJosh Phegley, OAK at LAA, $3,300 – The Athletics possess the league’s fourth-highest wRC+ against LHPs in 2019 at 115, and Phegley is a large part of that success. The backstop has managed 99 plate appearances within the split so far this season and, in those opportunities, he’s posted a .253 ISO and an impressive 130 wRC+. With Andrew Heaney ($9,400) having surrendered 2.45 home runs per nine during his home starts this year, Phegley is quite viable at a digestible price.
Other Option: Reese McGuire ($3,800)
StudTrey Mancini, BAL at TOR, $4,800 – While much of Mancini’s recent hot streak can be attributed to the Orioles only having faced Toronto, Detroit or Seattle the past two weeks; nothing about that scheduling quirk is changing this evening. Simply put, Mancini’s averaged 19.2 DKFP the past five contests he’s been opposed by the Blue Jays, and Jacob Waguespack ($6,200) is struggling as of late. In fact, the rookie’s allowed the 98 batters he’d faced across his past five outings to compile a .418 wOBA. Toss in an overworked bullpen, and Baltimore’s offense should have no trouble racking up runs for a third straight night. Other Option: Howie Kendrick ($5,300)
ValueJoc Pederson, LAD at SD, $3,900 – This is a play with next to no floor, as Dinelson Lamet ($10,000) has been fantastic the past two months, but Pederson went deep last night and now I have to get some exposure. Yes, streaky power is not a trait that’s tied only to Pederson’s career, but it’s undeniable the man hits home runs in bunches. This season, Pederson’s hit long balls on consecutive days seven different times, and that’s not even counting three separate occasions where the 27-year-old just hit two homers in the same game. He’ll be leading off versus an RHP and always possesses a high ceiling. That’s enough for me below $4K.
Other Option: Justin Smoak ($3,700)
StudOzzie Albies, ATL at KC, $4,900 – I’m just not quite sure how you can avoid Albies on this evening’s slate. Going back to the beginning of June, the switch-hitter is slashing an eye-popping .427/.453/.787 in his 95 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, a stretch that also includes a .503 wOBA and a 214 wRC+. It’s not like the advanced numbers don’t back up Albies’ impressive results, either. Among National League players with at least 75 PAs versus southpaws in that span, only Paul Goldschmidt has a higher expected wOBA than Albies’ mark of .454. Be prepared, Mike Montgomery ($4,400). Other Options: Jonathan Villar ($4,800), Jeff McNeil ($4,700)
ValueRobinson Cano, NYM vs. MIA, $3,700 – Cano probably shouldn’t be this inexpensive. Not only has the veteran been at his best when facing right-handed pitchers and hitting at Citi Field in 2019, but he quietly has been putting up phenomenal numbers in September. In 64 plate appearances in the month, Cano is slashing .309/.391/.545 with a .389 wOBA. On top of that, he’s hit cleanup for the Mets in each of his past seven starts. With Robert Dugger ($7,700) surrendering a .374 wOBA to LHBs, Cano has the chance to bring back a bit of value this evening.
Other Option: Chad Pinder ($3,200)
StudAlex Bregman, HOU at SEA, $5,200 – It’s difficult to suggest someone is a value when their price point is more than $5K, but there’s a case to be made Bregman should have the highest positional salary on the slate. He doesn’t, therefore there’s some intrigue here. In his past 71 plate appearances versus southpaw pitching, Bregman owns a .433 average to go along with a .450 ISO and a 262 wRC+. Take a moment to truly comprehend those numbers. If that wasn’t enough, Yusei Kikuchi ($5,200) will be tonight’s opposition — a man who has allowed more home runs per nine than any pitcher with 110-plus innings thrown in 2019. That doesn’t bode well for the rookie. Other Options: Anthony Rendon ($5,400), Josh Donaldson ($4,400)
ValueJon Berti, MIA at NYM, $4,100 – Berti might have some issue getting on base as easily as he did last night against Noah Syndergaard; however, if he’s able, another four-steal performance is not out of the question. Though no pitcher comes close to the 42 stolen bases Syndergaard’s surrendered while on the mound this season, deGrom does sit second on the list with 24. Considering Berti’s .389 OBP in September, I’d like to think the 29-year-old at least gets one chance to shine on the base paths this evening.
Other Option: Hunter Dozier ($3,800)
StudMarcus Semien, OAK at LAA, $4,900 – I think we’re all aware Semien’s been good since the All-Star break, but I’m not sure enough has been made about just how good that’s been. Of the 151 hitters with the plate appearances to qualify, only seven men have a higher wRC+ in the season’s second half than Semien’s mark of 168. That’s what will happen when you slash .311/.399/.633 across the span of three months. With the newly minted star always having been better against left-handed pitching, tonight seems like a great spot to utilize the shortstop. Other Option: Carlos Correa ($4,800)
ValueDavid Fletcher, LAA vs. OAK, $3,800 – Obviously there’s a limit to how valuable a player with Fletcher’s underwhelming power can be, but there’s also something to be said for finding an elevated floor below $4K. Not only will Fletcher be leading off for the Angels this evening, but the 25-year-old switch-hitter is batting .341 with a .393 OBP so far in September. Fletcher also has registered seven multi-hit performances in his past 13 games.
Other Option: Willy Adames ($3,800)
StudJ.D. Martinez, BOS at TEX, $5,000 – At well over six runs, the Red Sox own the slate’s highest projected team total this evening. I’m going to guess that Martinez’s success against left-handed pitching is a big part of that equation. Going back to the beginning of June, among the 192 players that have registered at least 75 plate appearances versus LHPs, Martinez is the lone man with an expected wOBA above .500 within the split. He simply has been a monster, and I don’t think Kolby Allard ($7,400) and his 5.05 xFIP stand much of a chance at stopping him. Other Options: George Springer ($5,700), Kyle Schwarber ($4,800)
ValueBilly McKinney, TOR vs. BAL, $3,600 – I’d only recommend using McKinney if he leads off tonight’s contest against Gabriel Ynoa ($4,000); but, with Bo Bichette still in concussion protocol, there’s a good chance that’s the case. The reasoning here is simple, you’re not so much using McKinney as you are exploiting a low-priced bat in a high-leverage spot with Ynoa on the mound. The right-hander has been atrocious as a starter in 2019, allowing 2.69 home runs per nine and pitching to a robust 7.07 FIP. So, keep that in mind if Breyvic Valera ($3,300) or Anthony Alford ($3,200) end up hitting atop the Jays’ order instead.
Other Options: Brandon Nimmo ($4,100), Jose Osuna ($3,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.