MLB DraftKings Value Plays: Tuesday (9/25)
The last week of the 2018 MLB regular season. What a sad week. Not as sad as a player retiring at halftime (looking at you, Vontae Davis) or whatever ridiculous penalty that Clay Matthews got called for this past Sunday.
These two things so simply illustrate why baseball is better, and why you’re still here reading. For that, reader, you get a video of Jose Ramirez smoking a stogie:
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 15, 2018
Hopefully that’s you after tonight’s DFS slate, which features a lot of games (14), but not a whole lot of pitching. Coors is also in play, making it imperative that you find value pitchers. What makes matters worse is that pitching values seem inflated tonight, so I’ll help you pick (hopefully) wisely. As a general rule, there are plenty of gas cans pitching tonight (e.g., Stephen Turnbull of the Tigers, Yovani Gallardo, Brett Anderson, whatever the Twins throw out there, etc.), so it’s hard to go wrong with players facing those guys.
Josh James (HOU): $8,100 @ TOR
n his string of appearances, James has recorded a 2.81 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 24 Ks in 16 innings. The Astros will not be featuring a “skeleton” lineup, as their magic number is three as of this writing, so there is no need to worry about the ‘Stros benching their best players. While the Blue Jays hit plenty of homers, they are in the bottom half of the league in runs scored. James has shown a propensity to limit the gopher ball throughout his minor league career, and has displayed a great strikeout rate all year. The Astros will be hungry to clinch, and you can potentially clinch some money with James tonight.
Touki Toussaint (ATL): $7,500 @ NYM
Toussaint has been a nice surprise for Atlanta over the past six weeks, compiling a 4.30 ERA and a K/ inning. His most recent outing was a dandy, going 5 2/3 innings while striking out eight, which was a career high. He is facing Noah Syndergaard, but Citi Field is a pitcher’s park. While the Mets have turned the bats on lately, they are still in the bottom half of the league in homers, runs, and K percentage. A line of six innings, three runs, and six-eight strikeouts is in the realm of possibility, which are solid numbers for an SP2. If the Braves field a lineup of B-listers, pivot to one of the guys below.
Robbie Erlin (SD): $5,400 @ SF – this is more about how putrid the Giants’ bats are; easily the worst lineup in baseball right now
David Price (BOS): $9,500 vs. BAL – worth the price, given how futile the Orioles often look
Jonathan Lucroy (OAK): $2,800 @ SEA
I feel like I’ve written this story before, but Lucroy absolutely dominates Mike Leake. He is 20-for-49 against him, translating to a .408/.442/.592 triple-slash line. In fact, he has the best numbers against a starting pitcher among all batters on Tuesday. With the A’s still hunting to host the wild card, he figures to start. With a deep lineup, he should see a couple RBI opportunities. At this price, he’s hard to pass up.
Willians Astudillo (MIN): $3,600 vs. DET – hitting .365 with three homers and 12 RBI over the past month
Luke Voit (NYY): $4,100 @ TB
Since I gave you a value play sub $3K, I’m allowed one $4K+ value play, right? The Rays have not announced their starter yet, but 1) it’s likely to be an “opener” and 2) it’s not Blake Snell, so you should be in the clear. Voit has four homers and eight RBI in the past week – you don’t need much more reason to start him than that.
Corey Spangenberg (SD): $3,400 @ SF
Spangenberg hits righties much better than lefties, and probable starter Chris Stratton is a righty. Stratton threw a complete game shutout against the Rockies last week, but proceeded to give up five runs over three innings against the Padres. If you’re following closely, you’ll notice that Stratton is facing these same Padres again. It might be smart to load up on Padres tonight, given that he was just blasted by them in his last start. As for Spangenberg, he is 5-for-10 against Stratton with two doubles. He also qualifies at third.
David Murphy (CHC): $4,100 vs. PIT – hitting .421 with two bombs over the past week
Kyle Seager (SEA): $3,700 @ OAK
In case you haven’t noticed, Brett Anderson isn’t a great pitcher, even if he has everyone fooled over in Oakland. He has not escaped the fourth inning in two of his past three starts, and has just 39 Ks in 75 innings. Seager has hit Anderson well in the past, and offers plenty of upside at this price. A lot of the third baseman in the top tier (Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman, Matt Carpenter) are in slumps or don’t play every day (Max Muncy), so it makes sense to get third base on the cheap.
Andrelton Simmons (LAA): $4,000 vs. TEX
Simmons has a few things going for him tonight. One of those being that he had an MRI on his knee come back clean and expects to play Tuesday, but given that he was just injured, he should be under-owned. The other thing going for him is that he mashes baseballs against probable starter Yovani Gallardo. Simmons is 9-for-14 with a home run off of Gallardo. Given that Gallardo’s ERA is above 6 this year, it makes sense to stack against him. That stack should start or end with Simmons.
Marcus Semien (OAK): $3,700 @ SEA – hits Leake well and will likely be sandwiched between bopper, Matt Olson and Lucroy – see above
Brandon Crawford (SF): $3,500 vs. SD – hits Erlin well, batting .300 with two homers over the past week
Ehire Adrianza (MIN): $3,600 vs. DET – you probably won’t see this name ever again, but he is hitting .302 over the past two weeks, and is facing Turnbull. Could be an amazing GPP play – he also posted three hits against Turnbull in his last start
Robbie Grossman (MIN): $3,900 vs. DET
No track record. Just knowing that Stephen Turnbull is pitching should be enough to rack up some runs. In his last start, he gave up six runs in just four innings against these Twins, and now he has to face them again. Grossman recorded three hits against him, and there’s a chance that a Grossman-Adrianza-Tyler Austin stack could win you some money on Tuesday.
Stephen Piscotty (OAK): $4,100 @ SEA
So hot – nine homers, 26 RBI, .323 average. Can you imagine if the Cardinals had Tommy Pham and Piscotty still? Put them both in your lineup tonight, and that’s how you imagine. He’s also 6-for-17 lifetime against Leake, which should play well with a Semien/ Lucroy stack.
Mallex Smith (TB): $4,100 vs. NYY
Smith is obviously a speed demon, and he has been hitting well this year (.299 average). Be careful though, as the Rays just got eliminated and may rest their starters. If you don’t like Smith here, teammates Brandon Lowe ($4,000) or Austin Meadows ($3,900) are also in a similar price range and playing well.
Greg Allen (CLE): $3,800 or Jason Kipnis (CLE): $4,000 @ CWS – both players are hitting well lately, and Shields is likely to give up some runs
Marcell Ozuna (STL): $4,000 vs. MIL – mashes lefties (.298 this year) and hitting .289 with seven jacks over the past month
Matt Holliday (COL): $4,000 vs. PHI – if he starts over Gerardo Parra and David Dahl, pencil him (and Coors) in
It’s been a pleasure writing for you this year – look for more content this offseason.