The entire East Coast has an 80% chance of rain Friday night, and with games in Philly, Atlanta, Baltimore and New York, you have to let that factor into your decision-making. As for what else goes into your decision-making, I am here to give you some ideas. Good luck.
Jake Arrieta @ MIL ($13,700) – It is a hard night to pass up on ALL the top pitching options, because the cheaper guys get ugly in a hurry. Arrieta has been over 28 fantasy points in eight of his last ten starts (and the other two were over 20). With him, you are paying more for consistency right now than upside. Always remember, at prices this high for a pitcher, “upside” would have to mean 40+ points. Otherwise, you paid for every point you got, and the only “value” was the peace of mind that came with it.
Dallas Keuchel @ ARI ($11,300) – He faced Arizona one time this season, we six innings, gave up two runs, and earned the win. But the best part of that outing was definitely the eight K’s. The Diamondbacks were decent against lefties this season, but no one in their lineup has ever had any real success against Keuchel.
Hishashi Iwakuma vs. OAK ($9,900) – He had only one strikeout last time out, but that was the clear outlier coming off a two-game stretch that saw him total 19. He has been at fifteen points or more in five of his last six and eight of ten appearances, a stretch that has included five games over 20 and three over 30. The upside is there, depending on what Oakland’s offense looks like in this one.
Alex Wood vs. SD ($7,000) – He he about as up or down as it gets, with three games over 20 and two negative games in his last five. Facing a Padres lineup with a K over 21, there is a good chance he ends up on the high end of his range of outcomes, and if that happens, he’s a steal at this price.
Buster Posey vs. Kendricks ($4,200) – Deciding whether to spend big on a catcher is never an easy decision in DFS. But the people who scooped up Posey for their year-long leagues are likely polishing up their trophy right now, because the guy has been great. He’s been slipping off lately a bit, but he seems like the type who will keep driving until the bitter end of the season, which could be extremely helpful for DFS planning purposes. So could the fact that he is 8-for-15 against Kendricks in the past.
Francisco Cervelli vs. Sampson ($3,500) – Cervelli is hitting over .300 for the past ten days, closing out the season strong. But he has been right around that .300 mark since the get-go this season, and just hasn’t had the power numbers to become a fantasy regular. But at this price, at this position, consistently getting SOMETHING has value, especially in smaller DFS games.
Blake Swihart @ Tomlin ($3,400) – Tomlin has done nothing recently that would suggest he’s getting out of this one without giving up at least a few runs. And Swihart has homered three times in the past week to bring the season to a close (and to bring Sox fans back sniffing around this team again next spring).
Yan Gomes vs. Owens ($3,100) – $3,100 is just really, really cheap. It’s hard to predict what guys at this price range are going to do on any given night – their production seems almost random. But they don’t need to do much to be worth the price.
Eric Hosmer @ Santana ($4,500) – With two home runs in the last three days and three in the past week (now up to 18 on the season), Hosmer is one guy who is psyched his team is going to the playoffs. With this kind of power surge going on, the rest of the Royals just hope he can keep it up and help them advance. And if you need further convincing, he also has a career .364 average against Santana in 13 plate appearances, and has hit two home runs off him in the past.
David Ortiz @ Tomlin ($4,500) – How old is this guy again? 36 home runs and 105 RBI? He is still hitting like one of the best cleanup guys in the majors, which, I guess, makes him one of the best cleanup guys in the majors.
Chris Carter @ De La Rosa ($3,700) – As Houston fights to stay alive, Carter is the one player who seems to have been trying to put the team on his back for the past few weeks. Over his last ten games, he is hitting .467 and slugging 1.267 (six home runs!). De La Rosa is not the kind of pitcher who just shuts down that kind of hot streak, so I would almost expect another double-digit performance from Carter in this one.
Mitch Moreland vs. Weaver ($3,600) – Moreland has been consistently hitting around .280 all year long, no matter which period you’re looking at, and he hasn’t slowed down any as the season has been winding down. He is another one who also has a long and successful history against his opponent with two home runs and a .324 batting average in 32 at-bats when facing Weaver.
Robinson Cano vs. Brooks ($4,500) – Let’s put it this way: there are nine guys on the Mariners who have faced Brooks in the past, and none more than twice. Of those nine, seven have at least one hit against him (again, no one with more than two at-bats). An entire team that hits either .500 or 1.000 against him? I’ll take their best hitter, please.
Dustin Pedroia @ Tomlin ($4,300) – If I know one thing about Pedroia, it is that he is not the type of player to give up on a game just because the season is almost over. And if I know two things about it, it’s that he’s pretty short for a professional athlete. But third is that he can seriously rake when he’s going well (hitting .307 over the past week and a half).
Johhny Giavotella @ Perez ($3,200) – With all the Rangers who have had success against Weaver in the past, the Angles might wish they had someone else to run out there tonight. But with Perez on the mound, it might not matter. He has 13 starts this year and has given up at least three runs in eight of them. He isn’t the kind of talent that can shut down a lineup like the Angels, and Giavotella is the kind of guy who sees his value at it’s peak when his teammates are playing well around him. He is also playing well recently, which should give you some confidence to run him out there, having at least five fantasy points in six straight games (including three in double digits).
Ben Paulsen @ Heston ($2,800) – He has faced Heston five times: single, single, single, home run, fly ball out. Oh, and he costs $2,800.
Adrien Beltre vs. Weaver ($4,400) – For some reason this feels like a high scoring game, an emotional roller-coaster for Angels fans, if you will. And Beltre could certainly factor into a game like that with the way he has been hitting lately (.370 for the last week, .327 for all of September, .314 since the break).
Matt Duffy vs. Kendrick ($4,300) – Duffy has a couple of home runs in the past week or so, and that is keeping his scoring average up (because his batting average has dropped). If he could make consistent contact AND hit for more power, he’ll have reached the sweet spot – and tonight could be that night. Against Kendrick, he has only 7 at-bats, but he has had hits in four of them, for a batting average over .500. But more impressively, those four hits have been a single, a double, a triple and a home run.
D.J. LeMahieu @ Heston ($3,800) – He hasn’t been hitting well lately, but he has done enough hitting this season for you to know he has it in him. He is also a smooth 6-for-12 against Heston lifetime, so while the upside might not be what you could have seen in him a month ago, he makes for a good choice in a cash game.
David Freese @ Perez ($3,600) – He has had six at-bats against Perez, had hits in three of them, and two of those went for extra bases. In the past ten days, his average is 25 points higher than usual, and he has three home runs. You couldn’t really ask for more reasons to start an inexpensive option.
Carlos Correa @ De la Rosa ($5,000) – He homered in the only other game he played against De La Rosa, and he is exactly the kind of player Houston needs to come up big right now. His play in the middle of the year sparked this team to the run they’ve had, and if he could cap it off with a couple of monster efforts down the stretch, he could become the stuff of legends in Houston, no matter how the postseason turns out.
Xander Bogaerts @ Tomlin ($4,400) – “The best batting average among major league short stops by 36 points” – it certainly took long enough for the price to come around. I know the upside isn’t there like it is for a Correa but consistency counts. He has been a staple in winning 50/50 lineups for months now.
Elvis Andrus vs. Weaver ($3,500) – Andrus is priced the way he is because he normally hits around .250 and lately he’s been even worse. But, historically, he’s a .300 hitter against Weaver (.308 to be exact) in more than 80 at-bats, which is built-in value. He even has five doubles and two home runs in the matchup, impressive for a guy who really doesn’t give you power for upside on most nights.
Marwin Gonzalez @ De La Rosa ($2,900) – No matter what, you’re not getting a lot of upside from a guy with 12 home runs and four steals. But you could be getting much better likelihood of SOME production in tonight’s matchup, considering he has a hit in four of the five at-bats he has had against De La Rosa. I am no mathematician, but that seems like a pretty good average. Yes, they were all singles, but for this price, a pair of singles would make me pretty happy – never mind three or four of them.
Mike Trout @ Perez ($5,500) – As great as Trout is all the time, he is somehow even just a little bit better against lefties. He is on a tear lately, trying to carry the Angels into the postseason, and they are going to need every win, every hit they can muster.
Charlie Blackmon @ Heston ($4,700) – Blackmon has had two home runs (on top of four other hits) in just twelve tries against Heston. Considering the double-digit upside you need to locate all over your roster to have a chance in a big GPP, Blackmon is the kind of pricey option that doesn’t toally handcuff you at other positions.
Adam Eaton vs. Simon ($4,400) – Eaton is hitting .345 over his last ten games, with two doubles and a home run in 37 at-bats. In only nine career at-bats against Simon, he has been even better, going 5-for-9 (.556) with a double, a triple, and a home run.
Shin-Soo Choo vs. Weaver ($4,200) – In 42 plate appearances against Weaver, Chin has a .455 OBP, which will only serve to increase his upside if the Rangers have a big inning or two. And of his fifteen hits against Weaver, six were doubles, so he could manage to pile up RBI and runs of his own on his way to a big game.
Eddie Rosario vs. Young ($4,000) – With a pair of home runs in the past week, the young outfielder is closing strong, trying not only to rejuvenate the Twins defense and lineup, but actually help them make that final push into the playoffs. Even if they fall short, this is the kind of player you just know Twins fans are in love with. And soon enough, more fantasy owners will be too.
Colby Rasmus @ De La Rosa ($3,400) – The Astros might need some power tonight to make sure they build a lead they can’t lose, and Rasmus is as good a bet as any to provide it. The .232 average means you are only choosing when you’re looking to ride him to the big bucks – you can find a better options if you’re looking for a sure-fire candidate for 8 points.