The MLB playoff race is really starting to heat up now, with teams still in the mix that I thought would’ve slid out of the upper spots. It seems the Kansas City Royals are for real, considering they’re doing as well as they are without first baseman Eric Hosmer. Don’t forget about the Royals when filling out your lineup.
Jon Lester, Athletics ($12, 000) – Over Lester’s last 10 games started, he’s averaged 23.9 FPPG while keeping hitters at bay with a career best 2.54 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. And, let’s not forget about those all-important strikeouts that Lester so generously gives. If you’re looking for a legitimate point-producing pitcher regardless of salary then Lester is your man.
Jacob deGrom, Mets ($10,000) – The Mets young pitcher has been absolutely dominant at home this season since being called up to take a rotation spot. With deGrom taking on the Rockies at home and tossing up a 1.68 ERA to this point, I’m getting him into my lineup.
Tom Koehler, Marlins ($7,000) – Koehler isn’t going to give you a 20-point game normally, but he is a safe option for 15 points considering what he’s put up of late and his ability to strikeout hitters. I like Koehler against a struggling Brewers club.
Jason Vargas, Royals ($7,100) – Speaking of the Royals, Vargas has a solid 5-3 road record this season while keeping hitters off balance with a 2.12 ERA. There aren’t many pitchers that can get close to a 2.00 ERA on the road, while staying competitive enough to put your club in a winning situation.
Dioner Navarro, C, Blue Jays ($4,100) – I don’t know about you, but when a catcher has 16 hits over the last couple of weeks of play you take notice. Navarro is averaging almost nine FPPG, while he’s raised his batting average by 10 points during the same period.
Chris Carter, 1B, Astros ($4,800) – Normally the only reason to roster Carter is for his massive power potential, but he’s been hitting very well of late aside from the power. Carter has 12 RBI in 74 career at-bats against the Mariners.
Luis Valbuena, 2B, Cubs ($4,500) – Sometimes when I’m filling out my DFS lineup I’m looking to just get positive production out of my middle infield spots. Meaning: I don’t want to spend big bucks and I’ll take a handful of points with everything else being gravy. However, Valbuena is worth spending a few extra bucks on considering his run as a hitter over his last bunch of games.
Josh Harrison, 3B, Pirates ($4,600) – Assuming Harrison is ready to get back into action after aggravating his ankle, he’s a fantastic play on Tuesday. Since August 26, Harrison has raised his batting average by 13 points from .302 to .315
Mookie Betts, SS, Red Sox ($4,200) – I just wrote about Betts on Monday, so not much else I can say except that I want to keep slotting him in until he slows down.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates ($5,200) – McCutchen is only hitting .257 against the Phillies over his career, but he does have a few homers and some good RBI production against them. Including Monday’s game, McCutchen has nine hits over his last three games. Yeah, you read correct. Nine hits!
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins ($5,500) – If you’re going to lock in a stallion for your lineup today, Stanton is the perfect choice as he continues to hit and drive in runs for the Marlins in the month of September. He came off a few goose-egg performances of late, but he’s back in the saddle again with a homer in Monday’s game.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Orioles ($5,100) – Cruz is an obvious suggestion, but so what? I know were not looking at another 51-point day from him like Sunday, but he’s just too insane with the bat right now to sit if I want to build my strategy around superstar hitters.
Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals ($3,500) – Adams is coming off some dreadful 0-for-4 games of late which has brought his salary to it’s current point, but he hasn’t exactly been at peak health either fighting nagging injuries. Normally a solid hitter, I see Adams continuing his power surge against Reds pitching where he has five homers and 12 RBI in only 73 career at-bats.
Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers ($3,700) – Although we could’ve locked up Martin for less a day ago, I still see his $3,700 salary as a nice value return. Martin is 8 for his last 14 at-bats with three stolen bases. He’s a good compliment to an Andrew McCutchen-type in filling out your outfield.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins ($3,600) – Mentioning this before I’m sure, I love grabbing players during mini-hit streaks even when I find evidence that the player may not be the best play. For instance, Ozuna hasn’t hit the Brewers very well during his short career. Still, that can be forgiven considering the small 36 at-bat sample size and that Ozuna is 8-for-17 with one homer, four runs scored and six RBI over his last four games played.
David Freese, 3B, Angels ($3,300) – Freese is a great value find for today. He’s 8 for his last 18, while scoring double-digit FPPG in four out of his last five games played.
Keep in mind that it’s not always the big names you want to look for in a lineup. It’s all about the stats! Good luck, and you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy!