Funny. I was doing my little rant deal-io yesterday on how the Cardinals won the division in yesterday’s write-up, but it looks like I mistakenly assumed the Cards wrapped things up. No, they just secured a wild card slot… at least for now. Red Bird fans be happy, but keep in mind there’s no way my Dodgers lose to them this season in the playoffs!

 

Stud Pitchers

Andrew Cashner, Padres ($9,000) – Cashner has been spot-on over his last two outings putting up  29 and 41.5 points. Beating this point into the ground yet again, Cashner strikes out hitters and is limiting his free passes of late. He doesn’t pitch as well on the road as he does at Petco Park, but that’s okay – I’ve got faith in Cashner’s skill set.

Max Scherzer, Tigers ($12,600) – I hate the salary. I really do. Still, if you’re looking for the “safest” pitching play on Thursday this is it. Just be prepared to adjust everywhere else to get Scherzer on roster. He does pitch much better at home than on the road (.90 less) and Scherzer’s 243 strikeouts count quite a bit in my book.

 

Value Pitchers

Allen Webster, Red Sox ($5,500) – Webster is risky considering his inexperience, plus, he’s walking too many hitters since his call-up. But if you can temper your expectations to 10-12 FPPG and pair him with a stud like Scherzer then go for it. Webster has pitched better of late, giving DFS owners roughly 12 points a game over his last three starts.

Yusmeiro Petit, Giants ($7,200) – A simple tip that sometimes I like to run with: it’s okay to roster two pitchers pitching in the same game against each other. Some DFS owners wouldn’t think of such of thing, since they would automatically lose out on one potential win from their pitching slots. I have no problem taking that win away assuming both pitchers are going well and points can be made up in other areas… like strikeouts or innings pitched. Petit is a decent risk to put up 20-25 points even if he doesn’t get the W and he’s facing a Padres club that isn’t known for their bats this season.

 

Stud Hitters

Brian McCann, C, Yankees ($3,900) – McCann’s been on a power run of late with three home runs over his last three games (not including Wednesday). There aren’t many options at catcher I like for the “stud” area, so McCann fits the bill best for me with his power potential.

Victor Martinez, 1B, Tigers ($4,700) – Martinez is a .362 lifetime hitter against the Twins in 138 at-bats, plus, he has 24 RBI and 18 extra-base hits against Minnesota. V-Mart has slowed a bit power-wise, but digging his ability as a contact hitter right now and the previously mentioned career facing the Twins.

Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Rays ($4,400) – Zobrist is a pretty good value at this price. He’s got limited exposure to rookie Allen Webster, but getting his solid bat in your lineup against Webster is a smart play with the Boston pitcher’s inexperience. Zobrist has 12 hits over his last 10 games, and while that’s not spectacular it’s consistent production at a decent price.

Miguel Cabrera, 3B/1B, Tigers ($5,500) – Check out Cabrera’s career stats against the Twins:  .342/.622/1.050, 13 home runs, 15 doubles, 27 walks and 40 RBI in 193 at-bats. I guess you can say you get what you pay for with Cabrera. Building around Miggy on Thursday isn’t a bad idea, especially with some decent value-pitching out there.

Jake Smolinski, SS, Rangers ($4,100) – Smolinski is making the most of his late-season opportunity. He had three more hits on Wednesday, although none of them for extra-bases. Still, I’ll take the positive production from him along with the $4,100 tag. Over his last ten games played, Smolinski has average 9.1 FPPG. I know it’s not boom numbers, but things are limited at shortstop for Thursday night.

Steve Pearce, OF/1B, Orioles ($4,900) – With five hits in his last 11 at-bats, Pearce is making us DFS guys smile. Well, he’s making me smile anyway. You have to love stories like his where he struggled over most of his career only to finally realize his potential. The Orioles are pretty good at bringing players to their full potential (i.e., Chris Davis, Nate McLouth, etc.). Pearce is expected to return to the lineup on Thursday.

Starling Marte, OF, Pirates ($4,600) – Quietly, Marte has put together a nine-game hitting streak and has bumped his batting average up to .290 on the season. And, still playing in Wednesday’s game as I write this, Marte has been stealing bases and hitting for a bit of power over his last 10 games played.

 

Value Hitters

Gregor Blanco, OF, Giants ($3,000) – Blanco had a nice outburst game on Monday, but don’t expect that sort of production (23 points). At $3,000 I’d be fine if he gave me 7-9 points, although realistically you just want a positive game from him. If you get lucky with another 23-point explosion? Then great.

Ryan Rua, 1B/OF, Rangers ($3,900) – Rua is 13-for-32 over his last nine games of play and he’s doing just a bit of everything for the Rangers as he’s getting everyday at-bats. The price isn’t a wonderful value, but solid enough to where I’d slot him in in the right lineup circumstance.

Chase Headley, 3B, Yankees ($3,600) – Headley could never get himself comfortable at the plate this season, either with the Padres or Yankees. It’s nice to see him going out the season with a bit of  a bang. Headley has now had three productive games in a row, including a home run and three runs scored on three hits Wednesday night. The Yankees third baseman has also been getting a decent amount of base on balls which plays into him scoring at least one run in seven of the last eight games he’s played.

Good luck and I’ll see you tomorrow for my last write-up of the season!