The early release version of this article will focus on the 7 “Very Early”+”Early” games; a later update will include details for the Main slate games.
DraftKings – Early slate (7 games) – starts 2:05 PM EDT; Afternoon slate (3 games) – starts 4:05 PM EDT; Turbo slate (3 games) – starts 6:05 PM EDT; Main slate (5 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT.
FanDuel – Very Early Only slate (3 games) – starts 2:05 PM EDT; Early Only slate (4 games) – starts 3:07 PM EDT; Evening slate (3 games) – starts 6:05 PM EDT; Main slate (5 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT.
Lots of spots with potential rain, although none serious enough to lead to PPDs; delays could affect pitchers though.
2 PM-4 PM Games:
Rain possible for MIL@NYY & BAL@BOS – possible delays? Lesser chances for LAD@WAS & NYM@MIN.
Warm with light winds out to left for LAD@WAS & MIL@NYY.
Warm with light winds out towards the monster for BAL@BOS (good for XBH).
(If roof open) Light wind out to left for KC@TOR – favors XBH but not as likely for HRs on that side of the outfield.
Moderate wind blowing in for ARI@CHC (pitcher friendly).
6 PM Games:
Rain possible for MIA@PHI – late start?
Winds out to right for STL@CIN – top pick for HRs for the day.
Warm with winds out to left-center for MIA@PHI – also great for HRs.
Rain possible for PIT@ATL – delay?
Hot with winds out to right-center for CLE@LAA.
Moderate winds out to center for COL@SF, but Oracle Park limits HRs, especially at night.
Pitching (Very Early/Early)
With the wind blowing in at Wrigley Field, Justin Steele vs Merrill Kelly is a battle of two 30% CSW rate pitchers with two underperforming teams in a safe pitching environment. Justin Steele has been virtually flawless in his past two starts, with no earned runs and a total of 20 Ks. Play the man.
Merrill Kelly has a bit of a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde thing going on – either he allows two or less runs with 10+ Ks, or 3+ ERs and hardly any Ks. After Gallen pitched a 9K shutout yesterday, it’s probably a safe bet that Good Kelly shows up for this one, even if he’s a slightly riskier play than Steele.
Michael King over his last 3 appearances (2 starts, 1 bulk relief) has only given up a total of 1 ER while averaging 4 Ks. Those numbers should be good enough for a cash SP2. The only risk is a rain delay could cut his start short.
BOS is striking out at a silly rate right now – 60 Ks for the team over the last 4 games. Jack Flaherty is giving up a few ERs per start, but his K rate is trending up vs Ls and remains strong vs Rs. Fenway is still a tough place to pitch – and possible rain in the area doesn’t help – but if the Red Sox bats are just going to swing away at anything that comes across the plate…might as well give him a shot at his discounted price.
Aaron Civale & Kevin Gausman may see ownership given their opponents and their price point, but Steele & Kelly might be better options in the same price range. Civale inevitably gives up a few runs per start, and SEA wants a win just as bad as TB as they continue to fight to keep pace with HOU in the AL West. Gausman has had some issues with walks over his last few starts while also allowing an average of over 3 ERs in the past month. KC’s main power bats are all Rs and his weakness lately has been hard contact to Rs, so this could be a trap game for him.
Batting (Very Early/Early)
Jake Irvin has one of the highest barrel rates to Ls of the day, and he’s getting the Dodgers at the worst time as they’ve scored 18 runs over the last 2 days. The Nats have lost 9 of their last 11 games, but they’ve been competitive in the last 6, with 3 or more runs scored in each game. Bobby Miller has developed into a steady ground ball pitcher but his K rate is still average, and the Nats are a below average team in striking out. He likely gets the win here with plenty of run support behind him – but not without giving up 2-3 runs in the process.
Wade Miley has surrendered an average of 3 ERs and 1-2 HRs/start over the past month – just what the Yankees need to rebound from their recent back-to-back losses.
Stack/GPP plays: Anthony Volpe (NYY)
…and the winner of the award for the worst PLV rating of the slate is…David Peterson! His walk rate and flyball rate are both up and the Twins are 5-2 in September. Unfortunately for Kenta Maeda, his K rate has dropped like a rock vs Ls and he’s given up at least 3 ERs in his last 4 starts.
The Orioles are a red hot team right now, riding a 6-game win streak. The Red Sox are flailing at the plate. Fenway tends to be generous with hits all around though, so if the Red Sox can be a little patient, this could be a high scoring game on both sides.
Zack Greinke isn’t pitching as deep into games as he used to (he’s pitching behind an opener today) but he’s not missing many bats and the Royals generally aren’t very good on the road. Kevin Gausman hasn’t been in top form over the past month, but this could be the matchup that gets him back on track.
Seattle is on a brutal three-series road stretch, but they’re fighting for control of the AL West. Aaron Civale is just the type of pitcher that will inevitably find a way to give up 2-3 runs.
Base plays: Cal Raleigh (SEA)