Happy Friday! It’s officially time to wake Billie Joe from Green Day up and get set for the final few days of baseball. Today features our usual full slate with 14 games in total. Additionally, we’ve got a couple of aces in good spots and only a few teams with huge IRT. This is the point in the season where we could see all kinds of unexpected lineups, so looking for your edge closer to lock time will be critical. Good luck!
Implied Run Totals (IRT)
The first step, identify the chalk. The Blue Jays have a massive IRT due to the matchup and hitter-friendly park. With an IRT over a run more than the next biggest, this has implications of a roster% crunch like Coors. This feels like a significant pivot point to the slate; either play with the field and get different elsewhere or try to find the lower rostered secondary stack that projects well.
I am looking at teams like Boston (5.6 IRT) and Atlanta (5 IRT) by secondary stacks that project well. Depending on how the lineups look this afternoon, those could be great spots to stack around.
Even with so many talented arms on the slate, it’s a bit challenging to lock down the few you want. For these reasons, I am trying to keep the list as tight as possible. Keep an eye on the lineups as they get posted; we could see some unique playing time for unknown players.
This is your SP1 range that I would feel most comfortable using in cash or double-up lineups. Are they pricey? Sure, but not so much that it will become challenging to build the rest of a roster. Also, when you consider the matchups, there is much less risk paying up for these two than the other names around them at similar salaries.
As we ride into the playoffs, the only question between these two is pitch count. The stuff and strikeouts have been there; it’ll just depend on how deep these playoff teams will allow them to work. I am expecting 80 pitches from both starting pitchers, which could estimate to be five or six very quality innings of work. The Brewers have been rolling out secondary lineups since clinching, which could be a bonus for Kershaw.
This tier features three SPs with charming spots on the slate. First, the salaries are under-priced for a 14-game slate, in my opinion. While I am not sold on Ranger’s overall skill set, you can’t look past today’s production and matchup. Of the three SPs in the yellow tier, he would be my riskiest play and one I might stack against since he could grab a bit of roster%.
Ynoa is going to be popular today because of the massive strikeout potential. If you make him your SP2, you’ll need to get a little different with the stacks. Maybe use a combo like Kershaw/Ynoa and a Marlins stack to negatively correlate against the Suárez lineups.
E-Rod rarely gets the DFS love he should get. That is what makes him the excellent leverage play for this type of slate. Washington is not a very good offense, even with Juan Soto in the heart of it. However, the casual baseball fan loves to smash a stud like him in their lineups. Use E-Rod as your SP2 with a chalkier stack, as I don’t believe he gets much roster%.
This is my wildcard tier for GPPs. This is the leverage play that will allow you to pass the field that is seeing their expensive Joe Musgrove or Sean Manaea struggle. Both options draw favorable matchups with plenty of room to put up a terrific point total. Paying down here should enable you to get extra heavy with the bats.
If I am choosing between the two, I lean slightly in favor of Hudson. The Cubs will be without slugger Patrick Wisdom and lack quite a bit of power. Texas and Chicago swing-and-miss a ton, so there is an excellent shot at seeing either of these SPs put up a decent point total.
Toronto Blue Jays (vs. Tommy Eshelman)
- As I touched in the Implied Run Total section, Toronto will be mega-chalk today. They’re sporting a ridiculous 6.7 IRT total, but up and down, the lineup is loaded with HR potential. Their salaries are super expensive, and that is where the problems come into play. You’ll have to get creative with your starting pitchers and likely play in the Yellow and Red tiers. Core stack targets: Bo Bichette, George Springer, Marcus Semien, and some guy named Vlad.
St Louis Cardinals (vs. Adbert Alzolay)
- The Cardinals had a September to remember with all those Ws. As shown in the chart above, they’ve been crushing pitching. Rarely do I like to go with the hot-hand approach, but these guys have been ridiculous. Additionally, the salaries are all so cheap still. There should be no reason you can’t grab a five-person stack and still have room to play in the green and yellow tier for pitching. Lastly, Alzoly won’t go deep into this game, and the Cubs bullpen is a bottom-feeder. Core stack targets: Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Nolan Arenado, and Paul DeJong.
Miami Marlins (vs. Ranger Suárez)
- The Marlins are not a good offense. There I said it. However, this is a 14-game slate and whichever team puts up a double-digit score typically ends up paying off the best. For a moment, think back to before the season or even the All-Star break; did you know who Ranger Suárez was? Now, he is a popular SP down the stretch, but his stuff isn’t extraordinary. I am not here to say spend massive bucks on a five-person Marlins stack but give them a line with some chalky SPs. If it hits, you’ve got a sweet end-of-season payday. Core stack targets: Miguel Rojas, Jazz Chisholm, Bryan De La Cruz, and Lewis Brinson.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the value hitters are players under $3500 on DK and under $3300 on FD—just a step below my cash players. Use these players to smash into your lineup when you need to save some salary.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)