As another season of Major League Baseball comes to a close this weekend, Friday brings us one more chance to get involved in a massive slate with 13 games on tap under the lights. There are three games that start before rosters lock, but there are still lots of great options to consider with 26 teams in the player pool.
Most of the matchups this final weekend of the season feature familiar foes since 10 of the 13 games are divisional matchups. The extra familiarity provides even more data to digest as you fill out your lineup card. Based on form, matchup and opportunity, here are my top studs and values at each position and price point.
StudGerrit Cole, HOU at BAL, $12,800 — Last night, Cole’s start was washed out against the Orioles, but at least a decision was made early enough that Cole didn’t warm up for a game that didn’t happen and fantasy players should have had time to pivot to other matchups. Cole’s form and matchup are outstanding, and he’s the top option on the board for the second night in a row. In his most recent start against the Angels, he struck out a dozen and had 34.2 DKFP.
Cole has at least eight strikeouts and 21 DKFP in each of his past five starts and is 15-5 with a 2.92 ERA on the season. Cole has taken his game to a new level in his first season in Houston, and he’ll wrap up his regular season with a great matchup against the Orioles, who rank last in the AL in runs scored this season and second-to-last in runs scored this month. Cole should be set up for an impressive tune-up before the Astros start their playoff run next week.
Other Options — Mike Clevinger ($10,400), Mike Foltynewicz ($9,000)
ValueMike Fiers, OAK at LAA, $8,300 — Fiers has been a solid mid-season addition for the playoff-bound Athletics. Since joining Oakland, he has gone 5-1 in nine starts with a 2.90 ERA and .211 batting average against. He has averaged 18.6 FPPG and struck out 49 in 49 2/3 innings in those nine outings. He hasn’t faced the Angels as a member of the A’s, but he held them to one run in 5 2/3 innings earlier this season when he was still a member of the Tigers. Fiers should be set up for another solid outing against the injury-depleted Angels’ lineup.
Other Options — José Ureña ($7,700), Thomas Pannone ($6,700)
StudMike Zunino, SEA vs. TEX, $3,600 — Zunino is hitting just .203 this season, but he is finishing on a nice run as he continues to live up to his reputation as a streaky contributor. He is 7-for-17 in his past five games with four doubles, a homer and 10.4 DKFP. Zunino has three career home runs against Rangers SP Martín Pérez ($4,700) while going 6-for-14 (.429).
Other Options —
Matt Wieters ($3,800) , Willians Astudillo ($3,600)
ValueAramís García, SF vs LAD, $3,100 — The Giants will try to play spoilers this weekend against their division-rival Dodgers, who still are battling for the NL West or a wild-card spot. García has been one of the few bright spots lately in the San Francisco offense, and the 25-year-old should continue to get playing time at 1B with Brandon Belt (knee) shut down for the season. García is hitting .302 in his 16 games in the majors with a double, four home runs, nine RBI and an .862 OPS. He played most of his season with the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Double-A, but he is trying to hit his way into a spot in the majors for next season.
Other Options — Nick Hundley ($3,300), James McCann ($2,800)
StudFreddie Freeman, ATL at PHI, $5,100 — Freeman has hit .300 in September and will look to cap off his regular season with a big weekend in Philadelphia. He gets a great matchup against Jerad Eickhoff ($5,700) to get the series started. Freeman is 9-for-23 (.391) against Eickhoff in the past with two doubles and three homers. The Braves 1B was out of the lineup Thursday, but he is expected to return Friday after getting some extra rest as the Braves gear up for their return to the postseason.
Other Options — Jesús Aguilar ($4,900), Ian Desmond ($4,300)
ValueSteve Pearce, BOS vs. NYY, $3,900 — Pearce and the Red Sox host the Yankees in what could be a preview of a possible ALDS matchup. Earlier this season at Fenway, Pearce had a monster series against the Yankees, and he’ll look to post similar results this weekend. He has hit lefties well all year, going 30-for-98 (.306) with nine doubles, a triple, four homers and a .946 OPS against southpaws. He also has had success against Yankees’ starter J.A. Happ ($10,200), going 10-for-29 (.345) with two doubles and five home runs.
Other Options — Yonder Alonso ($4,100),
Ronald Guzmán ($3,400)
StudWhit Merrifield, KC vs. CLE, $4,200 — Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 17 games by going 2-for-5 on Thursday, and he is hitting .319 with six doubles, two triples, a home run and 12.5 FPPG during that timespan. Merrifield has boosted has fantasy value even more by swiping 11 bases in his last 16 games, giving him an AL-best 42 stolen bases on the season. He trails Trea Turner ($5,300) by just one for the Major League lead, so expect the Royals to keep turning him loose when he’s on the bases. Merrifield always seems to find a way to put up solid fantasy production, whether with power, speed or both.
Other Options — Robinson Canó ($4,700), DJ LeMahieu ($4,400)
ValueKiké Hernández, LAD at SF, $4,000 — The Dodgers usually get Hernández in the lineup against lefties, and he should definitely get the nod tonight against Madison Bumgarner ($8,800). Hernández is 16-for-36 (.444) with five doubles and four home runs in his career against MadBum. He has gone 10-for-27 (.370) with a double and a home run in limited opportunities over the past 15 days.
Other Options — Eduardo Núñez ($3,600), Abiatal Avelino ($2,800)
StudAnthony Rendon, WAS at COL, $5,900 — His salary definitely gets the typical bump from playing at Coors Field, but Rendon could still be worth investing in based on his current form. So far this month, he is 34-for-93 (.366) with 11 doubles, six homers, 25 RBI and 13 walks giving him a 1.132 September OPS. Rendon has swatted five homers in his past 10 games and averaged 16.3 FPPG.
Other Options — Alex Bregman ($5,000), Justin Turner ($4,600)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Díaz is not in the starting lineup for tonight’s game.
Other Options — Yolmer Sánchez ($3,900), Ehire Adrianza ($3,500)
StudTrevor Story, COL vs. WAS, $5,100 — Story homered for the second straight game on Wednesday, powering the Rockies to a four-game sweep of the Phillies and keeping them one game ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West. He now has 35 homers this season, 25 of which have come at Coors Field. The 25-year-old slugger has a 1.041 home OPS and a 1.098 September OPS. He has had an impressive season overall with a .291 average, 35 homers, 105 RBI and a .908 OPS. You can get plenty of power and upside by getting Story in your lineup since his elbow injury sustained last week is clearly not impacting his swing.
Other Options — Francisco Lindor ($5,200), Xander Bogaerts ($4,600)
ValueKetel Marte, ARI at SD, $4,100 — Marte didn’t quite have the breakout season the Diamondbacks were hoping for when they inked him to an extension before spring training, but he has been a solid fantasy play when facing lefties. He is hitting .317 with 15 doubles, four triples, eight homers and a .959 OPS against southpaws this season. He homered off of Padres starter Robbie Erlin ($5,400) in one of his two career at-bats against the lefty, and he’s a solid option based on his matchup.
Other Options — Freddy Galvis ($3,800),
Adeiny Hechavarria ($3,100)
StudTommy Pham, TB vs. TOR, $5,300 — The Rays have exceeded expectations this season but will fall short of the postseason. They did make a nice pickup getting Pham at the trade deadline, and he has blossomed during his time in Tampa Bay. He is 31-for-85 with five doubles, five triples, five homer runs and a 1.189 OPS this month and has averaged 12.4 FPPG over those 23 games. He has been effective all year against lefties, so Pham should be set up for success against Thomas Pannone ($6,700), who he homered against in their meeting last week.
Other Options —
George Springer ($4,700) , Victor Robles ($4,600)
ValueFranmil Reyes, SD vs ARI, $3,500 — It only seems right to finish my final targets of the season with my man, La Mole! Reyes has been a recurring star in my targets since being recalled in mid-August, and he has become a key part of the heart of the Padres’ lineup. Reyes is hitting .338 (27-for-80) with two doubles, three homers, 13 RBI and an .866 OPS in September. Reyes should be set up for success against Patrick Corbin ($10,800) since he is 27-for-79 (.342) with two doubles, six homers and a 1.004 OPS against southpaws this season. The 23-year-old slugger has earned consideration for your lineup and for the Padres’ starting roster next season. Enjoy the last weekend of this season, and thanks for following along with my studs and values throughout the regular season!
Other Options — Nick Martini ($3,700), Hunter Pence ($3,300)
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.