We get back to a full slate of baseball tonight! With plenty of contests here on DraftKings, you can get your dose of baseball as the season begins to wind down. Let’s jump right into things and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Cole Hamels vs. Detroit Tigers (-208) – Hamels looks to continue a good stretch of pitching tonight against the Detroit Tigers. Over his last six starts, Hamels has posted a 2.57 ERA to go with a 1.10 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 42 innings. Tonight, Hamels faces a Tigers team that hits left handed pitching extremely well. Coming into this matchup, the Tigers own a .348 wOBA against left handed pitching with an ISO of .174, those stats ranks 2nd and 4th respectively. In terms of strikeouts, they own a 21.5 K%, which ranks 13th in the league. With that being said, this could end up being a tough spot for Hamels. Even with his nice run over his last six games, it hasn’t necessarily came across in terms of fantasy. Over his last three starts, Hamels has scored 11.8, 37.6 and 17.3. Two out of those three starts gave disappointing results, as Hamels price tag of $10,000 certainly warrants a higher score. He also faces Daniel Norris, who finally looks like he’s come back down to earth and is actually pitching quite well lately. While Hamels isn’t that expensive tonight, I think it’s a tough enough matchup to stay off of him unless you’re playing in a GPP.
Michael Pineda vs. Boston Red Sox (-189) – I get it, the baseball season is an extremely long stretch of time and after awhile, it’s easy to lose focus. Maybe this is happening with Vegas lately, as I continue to disagree on almost all of their picks. At least with this one, I’m on the fence with. For one, Pineda has pitched much better lately. Over his last two starts, Pineda has scored 21 and 22.7 points against the Mets and the White Sox. Overall, Pineda is sitting with a 3.99 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.7. He gets a Red Sox team that is slipping a bit in wOBA, but even still, rank 5th in wOBA in the second half of the season at .333. The Red Sox are also a fairly tough team to strikeout, as their 19.8 K% ranks 21st in the majors during that same time span. One thing is for sure, Pineda certainly has a nice price going into tonight at $8,800, which does make him an intriguing option. The only concern here is his innings pitched right now, as he’s being pulled early in his starts. In those last two starts, Pineda has gone only five and six innings and hasn’t thrown more than 100 pitches in seven straight starts. So make sure to keep that in mind if you’re taking a flier on Pineda tonight.
*Bartolo Colon vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-167) -*Colon against the Phillies for just $7,000 sounds like quite a nice matchup. Coming into tonight’s start with a 4.15 ERA to go with a 1.24 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.3, Colon is going to get a lot of looks from people looking to get him on their roster. Colon hasn’t exactly been dominating anyone lately, as he has a combined 12.7 points in his last two starts. It also doesn’t help that he has seven strikeouts in his last FOUR starts. That is certainly concerning. Regardless, Colon faces a Phillies team that owns a .308 wOBA in the second half of the season with a K% of 23.2%, which is ranked second in the league. For those stats alone, and the fact that Colon is only going to cost you $7,000, is worth taking into consideration. Now, make sure your expectations in check, as he hasn’t exactly been lighting the baseball world on fire lately either. However, he has an extremely favorable matchup tonight and will certainly give you some wiggle room in the salary department. With Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw also taking the mound tonight, a pitcher costing us $7K to pair with one of them does sounds quite nice. It leaves you with an average salary per player at $3,512 with Kershaw and $3,825 with Bumgarner. Both very workable.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies 9 Over/Under – One of my own rules that I always live by, is that I never take a pitcher in a game that has the highest projected run total of the night. It usually doesn’t end well. Now, with that being said, I do have an exception to the rule, and that’s the David Buchanan rule. Buchanan is getting the start for the Phillies, so I know that the majority of these runs, will come from the Mets. I’m not saying Colon can’t have a bad start, but if I was to guess, the runs will come off of Buchanan. He owns two of the worst splits on the slate tonight, with a wOBA of .412 against righties and .444 against lefties. His 7.96 ERA is by far the worst on the night and the Mets batters should have a field day in this one. With Buchanan going against a team with the second highest wOBA in the second half of the season, I can’t imagine this goes very smoothly for the young Phillies pitcher. Sure, Colon might not have a great game either, but taking a few Mets batters will certainly be in your best interest tonight.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Marcus Stroman vs. Baltimore Orioles- Stroman comes into the night with the lowest wOBA against lefties, which is quite surprising, seeing how we have Kershaw and Bumgarner also pitching tonight. On the season, Stroman owns a .239 wOBA against lefties.
Madison Bumgarner vs. LA Dodgers- Bumgarner and Kershaw face off once again in what will be another classic battle between these two aces. Bumgarner comes into this start with a solid .248 wOBA against left handed batters.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Clayton Kershaw vs. San Francisco Giants- Kershaw has basically been lights out when it comes to facing right handed batters this season. For the year, Kershaw owns a .235 wOBA against those righties.
Tyson Ross vs. Milwaukee Brewers- After struggling to begin the season, Ross is going to end up with some nice numbers to end another solid year for the young Padres pitcher. Ross comes into tonight with a .256 wOBA against righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Wisler vs. Washington Nationals- Wisler has been brutal against lefties this season, it’s so bad that he’s even worse than David Buchanan, which is quite the feat to accomplish. Wisler comes into tonight with a .449 wOBA against lefties.
David Buchanan vs. New York Mets- I realize the Phillies keep running him out to the mound because it’s the end of the season and they want to work with the kid, but it’s just torture at this point. Buchanan owns a .444 wOBA against left handed batters.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
David Buchanan vs. New York Mets- Once again, here he is to showcase to everyone how much of an awful season he’s having. Buchanan owns the worst wOBA against righties on the night, checking in at .412.
Matt Moore vs. Miami Marlins- I really don’t like these interleague games as one of the final games of the season. Just doesn’t feel right. At least for Moore, he can try and lower his numbers against a weak Miami offense. Moore owns a .382 wOBA against righties.
Kevin Pillar OF ($4000) – But really, Pillar continues to crush the ball right now and it’s coming at a perfect time with the playoffs in the not so distant future. Pillar is 13-22 with two home runs, six RBIs, four runs scored and five stolen bases. It’s truly doing it all for the Blue Jays right now.
Justin Bour 1B ($3600) – One of my favorite players to roster because he’s such a cheap source of power. He has a good matchup against Matt Moore tonight, which should hopefully make this low price tag a worthy spot on your roster. Bour is 8-24 with five home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs scored.
Kevin Kiermaier OF ($3100) – The Rays center fielder has been extremely up and down with his consistency this season, but when he’s hot, he’s certainly hot. Kiermaier is 7-14 with two home runs, three RBIs, six runs scored and two stolen bases.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Rick Porcello- Ellsbury has hit Porcello extremely well in the times they’ve faced each other. So much, that it’s almost too good to pass up. Ellsbury is 11-21 against Porcello with five extra base hits, four of them being home runs, and a 1.688 OPS.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Cole Hamels- One thing is for sure when it comes to facing Miguel Cabrera, it’s going to take a lot to fool this guy. Hamels certainly hasn’t done that when facing him. Cabrera is 8-11 against Hamels with three extra base hits and a 1.891 OPS.
Yan Gomes vs. Kyle Gibson- Gomes has seen Gibson quite well in the short amount of time these two have faced each other. Gomes is 6-11 against Gibson with three extra base hits, two of them being home runs and a 1.765 OPS.
I’m not even joking when I say we have SIX games tonight that could see rain. Uhhhh….here you go!
Mets at Phillies
Cardinals at Pirates
Red Sox at Yankees
Twins at Indians
Nationals at Braves
Cubs at Reds
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Tyson Ross ($10,300) – I think it’s quite obvious that everyone is going to be on either Kershaw or Bumgarner tonight, so I figure I give you pick on who’d I’d go with if you don’t want to pay the high price tag for either of those guys. Next in line so happens to be Tyson Ross, who comes into tonight’s start at $10,300. Ross gets a nice matchup against the Brewers, who .312 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 22nd in the league. They’re striking out a ton during that same time span with a 22.1 K%, which ranks 6th in the league. Ross has been on fire lately, tossing five straight quality starts with a K:BB ratio of 36:8 during that time. With such a nice matchup tonight, it’s easy to consider Ross if you’re looking to save a bit of money from our top two. Even rostering Ross with Bumgarner doesn’t make your lineup impossible to build either, which really makes this pick an enticing one.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Joey Votto ($5000) – Votto gets a really nice matchup against Dan Haren tonight, who just so happens to struggle against left handed batters. On the season, Haren has allowed a .379 wOBA to left handed batters. Votto comes along and let’s us all know that he’s been crushing right handed pitching this season, with a .431 wOBA against them and an ISO of .243, which is higher of his two splits. Haren is also no stranger to letting up home runs this season, as he’s given up 31 in 2015. Of those 31 home runs, 20 have come against left handed batters. Are you starting to notice a trend here? Votto is certainly one of my must plays for tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
J.T. Realmuto($3000) – I’m really stretching the limits of going to find a diamond in the rough tonight, but I think we may have found one on the Marlins tonight. Realmuto hits left handed pitching quite well, and tonight he gets Matt Moore, who we know has had his struggles since coming back from Tommy John surgery. On the season, Realmuto own a .337 wOBA against left handed pitchers with an ISO of .200. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s been hitting really well in the month of September. At 3,000, you can’t go wrong here.