DraftKings MLB Lineup Advice: Friday (9/29)
With only three days of regular season games left, teams that have qualified for the playoffs could opt to give some regulars days off. It’s also likely guys like Stephen Strasburg and Zack Greinke exit their starts at under 100 pitches since their respective clubs have no reason to overexert them. The picks below take these things into consideration. The Rockies are one of the teams who still have something to play for — the second Wild Card berth — and are at home tonight, and their two biggest studs make the cut.
Kyle Gibson (MIN): $8,700 vs. Tigers
Gibson’s last start was against the Tigers, and he stymied them in a quality start spanning seven innings in which he allowed three earned runs on five hits, two walks, and six strikeouts in Detroit. This time, he gets them in his backyard. The Tigers have blown up their roster during the year trading away big bopper J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton among others, namely Alex Avila, and yet even with their contributions they rank just 23rd in wRC+ (85) on the road while striking out at an exploitable 23.1% clip, according to FanGraphs. Gibson’s been on a nice run since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester. He’s pitched six or more innings in seven straight starts, and he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of those turns. He’s also been on a strikeout binge — at least by his standards — with five or more strikeouts in six of those seven starts. During that 7-start stretch, he has tallied a 2.56 ERA (3.55 FIP, 3.42 xFIP, and 3.81 SIERA), 1.07 WHIP, 5.7% BB%, 22.7% K%, and 11.6% SwStr%. The righty has wisely leaned heavily on his slider (20.1% usage, per FanGraphs) during that run, and that pitch has a 20.5% SwStr% for the year, so the strikeouts look legit. I’m in favor of ponying up for a bat-heavy lineup, and Gibson as an SP1 won’t prohibit you from doing that.
Charlie Morton (HOU): $7,900 @ Red Sox
Morton’s my preferred SP1 with the forthcoming bargain arm serving as my favorite SP2. Brad Peacock only threw 79 pitches last night in his start, and Morton tossed 81 in his last start, so there’s some risk he’s limited to 75-85 pitches tonight. Having said that, the Astros might be auditioning for playoff rotation spots behind Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel, so Morton could be allowed to throw a full complement of pitches. Morton’s having a career year with a 3.63 ERA (3.53 FIP, 3.61 xFIP, and 3.56 SIERA as well as a 3.49 DRA, according to Baseball Prospectus), 1.21 WHIP, 8.4% BB%, 26.6% K%, 51.4% GB%, and 11.0% SwStr%. His .351 wOBA allowed to right-handed hitters for the year might be a little alarming with many of Boston’s key hitters batting right-handed, but his full-season total is hurt by a .439 wOBA and 46.2% Hard% allowed back in April. Since May, Morton’s held righties to a .327 wOBA and 20.6% Hard%. His work against righties since May is tolerable, and he’s been tough as nails on lefties holding them to a .247 wOBA. I expect Morton to continue a second-half roll that’s seen him rip off a 3.48 ERA (3.05 FIP, 3.50 xFIP, and 3.53 SIERA), 1.11 WHIP, 7.7% BB%, 28.1% K%, 52.0% GB%, and 11.9% SwStr% in 13 starts spanning 77.2 innings pitched.
Luiz Gohara (ATL): $6,500 @ Marlins
The Marlins are a favorable matchup for the rookie southpaw. Miami ranks tied for 19th in wRC+ (92) against lefties this year. The 21-year-old hurler dominated at High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A and his 4.63 ERA in four starts totaling 23.1 innings belies his underlying numbers. He has a 2.90 FIP, 4.00 xFIP, and 3.80 SIERA with a 1.37 WHIP, 6.2% BB%, 25.8% K%, and 13.5% SwStr%. He’s underpriced for his skills, and I suspect opposing starter Dan Straily ($7,100) will be higher owned. Gohara doesn’t have to do much to hit value and should be low-ish owned, making him an attractive SP2 target.
Wilson Ramos (TB): $3,500 vs. Orioles
Ramos is my favorite piece of right-handed exposure to Wade Miley. In fact, he’s my only piece of right-handed exposure to Miley’s .384 OBP, .489 SLG, .373 wOBA, and 23 homers allowed to 591 right-handed batters this year. Ramos has a .344 OBP, .158 ISO, and 114 wRC+ against lefties this year after smacking them around for a .377 OBP, .301 ISO, and 159 wRC+ against them last year.
Rhys Hoskins (PHI): $4,300 vs. Mets
Rhys Hoskins has made playing in The Show look easy after pummeling minor-league pitching. In 141 plate appearances against righties in the Majors, he has a .404 OBP, .364 ISO, 172 wRC+, 12 homers, and a 46.6% Hard%. Matt Harvey has been a punching bag this year, and he’s no match for Hoskins.
Nolan Arenado (COL): $5,600 vs. Dodgers
Arenado draws a lefty at home, and that means he’s a chalky play. He’s a deserving chalky play, though. Since 2015, the stud third baseman has pummeled lefties in Coors to the tune of a .426 OBP, .341 ISO, and 158 wRC+. The game is nearly a pick ’em and has an over/under total of 12 runs, according to Pinnacle.
Charlie Blackmon (COL): $5,600 vs. Dodgers
Blackmon’s another must-get piece of the game in Colorado. Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu has coughed up a .381 OBP, .563 SLG, and .397 wOBA to left-handed batters this year. Blackmon’s plenty capable of exploiting Ryu’s susceptibility in same-handed matchups. Since 2015, the outfielder has a .423 OBP, .213 ISO, and 136 wRC+ against southpaws at Coors Field.
Nomar Mazara (TEX): $4,600 vs. Athletics
Mazara was a bat-first prospect, and he has just a 93 wRC+ through two seasons in The Show. He has, however, kicked his production up against righties at home this year. Under those conditions, he has a .386 OBP, .227 ISO, 141 wRC+, 27.4% LD%, 37.2% FB%, and 42.1% Hard%. He’ll call a run-production lineup spot home in a game the Ranges are -120 favorites with an over/under total of 10.5 runs.