This is the final Saturday of the regular season and it should be a fun one. We have potential weather concerns (Boston), games in Coors Field, Texas and Chase Field. Let’s get to it!
Thank you to all who have followed my MLB articles this season, I hope to see you at the end of October when the NBA tips off!
Hisashi Iwakuma – SEA vs OAK – $8,200 – It is that kind of a night when Hisashi Iwakuma is the top pitching recommendation. This will be the fifth start against Oakland this season for the Mariners hurler and he is 4-0 with 26 innings pitched, 31 base runners allowed, nine earned runs and just two home runs. Somewhat concerning is the lack of strikeouts as he is getting about one every other inning, but that is the Iwakuma way. Current Athletics have cobbled together a .228/.247/.358 slash line with just 12 extra base hits in 162 at bats. Though there is not a lot of upside here, there should be safety.
Tyler Skaggs – LAA vs HOU – $9,600 – Houston is out of the playoffs and they are just playing out the string. This matchup is all about strikeouts with the young lefty Skaggs putting up 50 in his 48 innings pitched this season and the Astros having the fifth highest strikeout rate against southpaws this season at 23.6%. Skaggs had a strained forearm, but all indications are that he is going to be a full go tonight.
Jharel Cotton – OAK at SEA – $6,600 – With the Mariners keeping hope alive that they can sneak into the final Wild Card berth, this is not going to be an easy matchup for Cotton. The youngster has been excellent this season with four starts lasting a total 25 innings, allowing no more than one earned run in any of them and allowing just 17 baserunners which have been offset by his 16 strikeouts. If he can flirt with the twenty fantasy point plateau as he has in three of his four starts, he will be a steal on tonight’s limited pitching menu.
James Shields – CWS vs MIN – $6,900 – I recommend Shields as a tournament only play. Okay, now that we are on the same page, just look at Shields game log. In two of his last three he has posted 21+ DraftKings points. Of course in four of ten he has gone negative. That is the kind of volatility we can embrace in tournaments and the same thing that will keep other gamers looking elsewhere.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – ARZ vs SDP – $5,500 This is a dream matchup for Goldy who gets LHP Clayton Richard in the thin desert air of Chase Field. This season in 159 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, Goldschmidt has tallied a .452 wOBA and a 1.080 OPS highlighting both his power and discipline that make him a fine play in all formats. We can also consider Welington Castillo (CATCH) – $4,300 at a favorable price point on Saturday and this season he has been stellar against southpaws as well with a .367 wOBA and a .240 ISO.
Miguel Cabrera (1B) – DET at ATL – $5,500 – Miggy is making a late run at 40 homers and he poked two over the fence last night against RHP Matt Wisler, who is generally stingy against same-handed hitters. On tap Saturday is a matchup with RHP Aaron Blair and we will want to take a long look at the former Triple Crown winner.
Jose Altuve (2B) – HOU at LAA – $5,200 – Altuve is always in play against southpaws, but dang, he has really picked up his pace this season against right-handed pitching with a .396 wOBA and a .200 ISO. Not too shabby for the diminutive second baseman who is in a prime matchup tonight against RHP Jhoulys Chacin.
Brad Miller (SS) – TBR at TEX – $4,500 – Miller has had a fine season against right-handed pitching with a .345 wOBA and a .270 ISO along with 27 home runs, 24 doubles and five triples in 432 at bats. This is a nice park shift in Texas and a great matchup with RHP Colby Lewis.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – SEA vs OAK – $4,700 – Cruz has put together another great season with his third straight 40 home run campaign. He has a favorable matchup against young RHP Jharrel Cotton who will be facing the Mariners for the first time in his career. While I have recommended Cotton as one of our potential pitching options this week, that is more a factor of price and limited options, while Cruz is a proven power hitter.
Melky Cabrera (OF) – CHW vs MIN – $4,500 – I think most gamers pass over Cabrera who is sneaky good against lefties and he should be in the heart-of-the-order for the ChiSox against LHP Hector Santiago. With six extra base hits in his last nine games, he is an excellent differentiation play.
J.D. Martinez (OF) – DET at ATL – $4,900 – Martinez has 44 extra base hits this season against same-handed pitching and RHP Aaron Blair has troubles with fellow righties allowing a .347 wOBA and a 1.67 HR/9 rate in his last 145 matchups.
Ryon Healy (3B) – OAK at SEA – $3,400 – Healy is a sneaky source of production as I think most gamers continue to overlook the Athletics. While RHP Hisashi Iwakuma does not usually get lit up, he doesn’t shut down teams either. Healy should be a lock to be in the lineup on Saturday night and he is an excellent discount dandy.
Jose Abreu (1B) – CHI vs MIN – $3,300 – While he is ice cold, we get Abreu at a low price and he has a fine matchup against LHP Hector Santiago. Despite his recent slump, Jose has a .293 average, 25 home runs and 98 RBI this season. Enjoy!
Mike Zunino (CATCH) – SEA vs OAK – $3,000 – Zunino has 15 extra base hits in 118 at bats this season against right-handed pitching and he is a terrific punt option if he makes the Mariners lineup.
Ryan Schimpf (2B/3B) – SDP at ARZ – $3,900 – Schimpf is a nice counter-move with the park bump in Arizona against the Coors Field crowd with his multi-position eligibility and .320 ISO this season.
Adam Rosales (2B/3B) – SDP at ARZ – $3,400 – Staying in the same game, we can look to Rosales as another discounted power bat against RHP Archie Bradley. This season he has a .280 ISO in 132 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) 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.