Happy last day of the regular season! In addition to it being the last day of the regular season, today marks two personal milestones for me. The first is it’s my twins’ seventh birthday! Happy birthday, boys! The second is that this will be my final article. I’m hanging up the old writing pants and going back to just being a fantasy fanatic. Thank you to everyone who ever took a moment to read and thank you to the PitcherList staff for a fantastic three years. Now that I’ve dried my tears, let’s talk about today’s slate.
Today the baseball gods wanted me to go out with a bang, so we get a monster 15-game slate on both DraftKings and FanDuel with a start time of 3:05. This is a monster of a slate and it’s filled with teams that have literally nothing to play for, so I’m going super light on this slate. This is definitely a slate to keep an eye on the lineups that come out. I could see most teams resting their studs. On top of there being just a handful of teams that have something to play for, we also have precipitation forecasted in several spots. Keep an eye on the Pirates/Reds, Rays/Yankees, Tigers/White Sox, Cubs/Cardinals, and Mets/Braves games as all have rain forecasted. The only team from that group that has something to play for is the Yankees. I’m going to keep my analysis focused on the teams that have something to play for. There will be value that opens up once lineups are released, but I wanted to focus on the teams that we know are going hard in the paint – Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Mariners, Giants, and Dodgers. Let’s take a look at the implied run totals for each game, and then we’ll dive into the slate!
It’s pretty tough to take anything from the implied totals so far. As of this writing (5:30 am), there are a ton of games with no lines, including those teams that we want to focus on – Blue Jays, Red Sox, Mariners, and Dodgers. I’d imagine the Red Sox and Blue Jays team totals will be well north of 5.0. The Dodgers will just depend on who’s starting for the Brewers. ESPN shows Brett Anderson as the projected starter for the Brewers. If that’s the case, we can assume the Dodgers total will be north of 5.0 as well. ESPN has the Mariners slated to face Reid Detmers, whose 7.11 ERA has not impressed. The Mariners will likely be above 5.0 as well. Let’s take a look at some of our pitching options.
I’m going to just focus on those five teams that have something to play for still. That being said, I recommend checking out the lineups as they roll out to see if you can find a sneaky SP facing a lineup with no studs in it.
Am I leaning towards playing Tyler Anderson against an Angels team that has struggled mightily? Maybe. Here’s the thing, I’m going to want to get the big bats of the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Dodgers into my lineup. I’ll be able to find value once lineups are announced and there’s a min-priced leadoff man I can plug right in. Other than Shohei Ohtani, this Angels lineup is one of the least impressive things I’ve seen all season.
On the top end, I like Walker Buehler and Chris Sale. My lean is to Buehler, who’s gone at least 6.0 innings in three of his last four starts. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have been cautious with Sale, holding him under 6.0 innings in every start except one. That just gives Buehler a higher upside at a similar cost.
Let’s take a look at our hitting numbers for the six teams still vying for contention:
The Blue Jays’ numbers are a bit disturbing, but the sample size for both L14 and L7 is just 53 and 16 plate appearances, respectively. That’s the lowest among all MLB teams in those time frames. I’m still willing to play the big bats and Lourdes Gurriel looks particularly tasty at his price facing a lefty.
Looking at the Mariners, who have been hot against lefties, I really like Mitch Haniger, Ty France, and Luis Torrens. I don’t usually seek out lefty/lefty matchups, but both J.P. Crawford and Kyle Seager have batted over .300 over the last month against lefties. I’d expect the Mariners to be pretty low-rostered compared to the big AL East/NL West teams.
The Dodgers have been scorching hot. Unfortunately for us, their pricing reflects that as the top six projected hitters are all priced above $5,000. It’ll be very difficult to stack the Dodgers, but I’ll be trying to fit in a couple of pieces. If you want to get different, look to Corey Seager, who has the lefty/lefty matchup, but is batting .500 against lefties over the last two weeks.
Like the Dodgers, the Yankees are pretty tough to get to as a team because of their pricing. Giancarlo Stanton has mashed four homers against righties over the last two weeks, while Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela have come alive. If DJ LeMahieu is unable to go in this game, keep an eye on the lineup to see who shoots up in the batting order.
Here are some of the best value hitters on today’s slate. Keep in mind, this is being written well before lock. Make sure you check lineups once they’re posted to find the additional value that opens up.
Keep in mind, these are my favorite values while I’m looking at projected lineups on Saturday night. For the best values, check out the confirmed lineups!
Good luck today!
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