This is my final DFS article of the year, I want to thank you all for following along this season and I hope that it was helpful. With that, the penultimate day of the 2021 regular season is upon us and we’ve got nine games to look at. Let’s end the year with a bang.
Top Tier Pitching
|Lucas Giolito||vs DET||$10,300/ $9,900||-261||173.2||20.9%||30%||15.4%||1.12||3.58||3.21|
|Julio Urías||vs MIL||$10,100/ $8,900||-131||179.1||21%||29.8%||11.3%||1.04||3.01||3.16|
|Corbin Burnes||at LAD||$10,800/ $10,600||121||165||33.9%||33.9%||16.8%||0.93||2.29||2.01|
|Zac Gallen||vs COL||$9,500/ $8,400||-134||115.1||17.3%||27.2%||9.2%||1.29||4.37||3.80|
|Triston McKenzie||at TEX||$9,200/ $8,200||-150||116||16.8%||27.6%||12.6%||1.16||4.81||4.35|
Lance Lynn threw just 81 pitches last night through five innings so that could give us an indication on what to expect from Lucas Giolito tonight. The White Sox are massive home favorites tonight as they as they host the Tigers but I don’t think we can expect much past five innings which doesn’t make him much of a play at his current salary.
Corbin Burnes leads all qualified starters in FIP at 1.55. Second is Zack Wheeler at 2.58. Pick your favorite ERA indicator whatever it may be and Mr. Burnes wins. Per Adam McCalvy of mlb.com, Burnes’ 1.55 FIP trails only Pedro Martinez and his exalted 1999 season in which he recorded a 1.45 FIP over the past 101 years, the so-called live ball era. Does good pitching beat good hitting? We’ll find out tonight as he takes on the Dodgers in what will be the final start of his season as he eyes the National League Cy Young.
Julio Urías is the favorite on the other side of that game. He has been a little underwhelming of late and has been held to under 80 pitches in two of his last three starts so I’m a little tempted in saying he’s over priced right now, at least on DraftKings. Its worth noting that he was great in his previous start against the Brewers, way back on May 2nd, seven innings, 10 K’s, and a 40% CSW. But, seeing that Clayton Kerhsaw got seriously hurt last night, and that Urías is way past his previous high in innings, I’d guess that the Dodgers have him on a tight leash tonight. The Giants, if they win their game at 4:05 EST will have officially wrapped the NL West, so there wouldn’t be added incentive for the Dodgers tonight. They could scratch him altogether to save him for the post season if that’s the case.
How many times have we seen the D-Backs favored this year? Zac Gallen hosts the Road Rockies tonight and is coming off an excellent start against the Dodgers his last time out, six innings allowing just a single earned run along with eight K’s (32.3% CSW).
He’s been the definition of a roller coaster this season but I’m siding with Triston McKenzie tonight as a strong option. We’ve seen his upside at times and he’s a strong road favorite (-150) against a listless Texas team that has produced the worst team wOBA in baseball at .291.
|Carlos Carrasco||at ATL||$7,700/ $7,000||110||48.2||13.6%||26.1%||11.9%||1.40||5.73||4.26|
|Jake Odorizzi||vs OAK||$7,300/ $7,400||-153||100||13%||23.8%||9.5%||1.23||4.14||4.60|
|Kris Bubic||vs MIN||$8,100/ $8,000||-115||136.1||9.5%||27%||9.7%||1.40||4.52||5.19|
|Chris Flexen||vs LAA||$8,900/ $9,100||-178||174.1||11.8%||23.8%||8.7%||1.25||3.67||4.29|
I’m a little sad that we don’t have better options to look at today. The value range of pitchers is stale. Yes, I’m describing it like bread food that has sat on the shelf just a few weeks, or maybe in this case months, too long. You know, like grandma’s Christmas fruit cake that you were blissfully unaware of and now resembles petrified wood. And, hey, speaking of baked goods, if I’m taking a chance here I would go with Cookie Carrasco and hope that he can be the guy he was with Cleveland a couple of years ago, although that seems like wishful thinking at this point. Tylor Megill was decent last night but no Freddie Freeman and Jorge Soler definitely helped out, with those two most likely back in tonight, Atlanta will be a tough lineup to go through, they’re ranked ninth in team wOBA this year at .323.
Chris Flexen seems overpriced based on the lack of strikeouts, its hard to get excited about a 17.2% K rate even against the Angels at home. I suppose you can roster Jon Lester if you want to roll with the Cubs match up, but just make sure to not look at his numbers this year and instead pretend its 2010. Although, it’s probably better to take a chance on a Cubs bat or two, they’re cheap at least. Also, there could be rain in the forecast tonight in St. Louis so keep an eye out there. Kris Bubic has a K rate of 20.6%, basically league-average and it comes with an 11.2% walk rate. Not great. Have you fallen asleep yet? How could you?! Wake up!! We still have Jake Odorizzi to talk about. He just faced the A’s and scored 7.4 DK points. The ever scintillating Odorizzi has been held to under 90 pitches in each of his last five starts. What’s worse than stale?
Bats and Stacks
- CWS (5.7) vs DET Matt Manning (RHP) 6.7 K-BB%, .358 xwOBA, 1.57 WHIP, 5.73 xERA: I’m excited for Peyton and Eli’s long lost younger brother to join them in the booth for Monday Night Football in a few weeks. But for now we’ll have to settle for stacking against him one last time. He has struggled really all year long and although I think he figures it out at some point he has shown, so far at least, next to no bat-missing ability with a K rate of 13.6%. He hasn’t shown much of a split in terms of righties or lefties. The White Sox, meanwhile, have been one of the top offenses in baseball with a team wOBA of .329, fifth best on the year. On DraftKings, affordable bats here include Eloy Jiménez (.324 xwOBA) and Yoán Moncada (.350 xwOBA) at $4,400 and $4,100 respectively. Some potential values in tournaments that have shown some power upside are Gavin Sheets (.335 xwOBA) and Andrew Vaughn (.332 xwOBA).
- STL (5.2) vs. CHC Adrian Sampson (RHP) 11.8 K-BB%, .339 xwOBA, 1.05 WHIP, 5.05 xERA: Sampson has done a pretty good job at limiting free passes but he’s been otherwise underwhelming and its supported by some pedestrian numbers in the KBO last year too. Tyler O’Neill (.385 xwOBA) has seen his price shoot up all the way to $5,700 on DraftKings making him a tough bat to get to although this lines up really well for him given Sampson’s strikeout inability. Paul Goldschmidt (.393 xwOBA) on the other hand, is a lot easier to get to at $4,600. Harrison Bader (.290 xwOBA) is a potential punt on DraftKings at $2,900. Dylan Carlson (.318 xwOBA) hasn’t shown a ton of power this year but has at least shown some decent OBP ability.
- KC (4.9) vs. MIN Griffin Jax (RHP) 10.2 K-BB%, .365 xwOBA, 1.40 WHIP, 5.99 xERA: Jax has coughed up a barrel rate of 13.3% this year along with a K rate of 18.1%. Lead off man Whit Merrifield’s (.300 xwOBA) power really has taken a nosedive this year so he seems best as a part of a stack rather than a stand alone play. Salvador Perez (.374 xwOBA), on the other hand, has shown just a little bit of power. Can he get to 50 home runs? He needs just two more and this is as good of a spot as any against a struggling young pitcher. Hunter Dozier (.297 xwOBA) is a potential punt play with power upside.
- HOU (5.3) vs OAK Paul Blackburn (RHP) 9.3 K-BB%, .341 xwOBA, 1.49 WHIP, 5.12 xERA: The Astros are one of the top offenses on the board tonight against a back of the rotation type starter in Blackburn. Yordan Alvarez (.383 xwOBA), Kyle Tucker (.393 xwOBA), Carlos Correa (.369 xwOBA), Alex Bregman (.334 xwOBA), and José Altuve (.329 xwOBA) round out the high-priced options with Michael Brantley (.360 xwOBA) as an excellent value on DraftKings at just $3,600.
- MIN (4.7) at KC Kris Bubic (LHP): 9.5 K-BB%, .344 xwOBA, 1.40 WHIP, 5.22 xERA: Much like last night, I think we can expect runs on both sides of this game. Bubic has been more vulnerable to righties this year allowing a .348 xwOBA to them putting Josh Donaldson (.381 xwOBA), Byron Buxton (.393 xwOBA), Mitch Garver (.387 xwOBA), and Jorge Polanco (.346 xwOBA) on the radar.
- CLE (4.7) at TEX Jordan Lyles (RHP) 11.1 K-BB%, .350 xwOBA, 1.43 WHIP, 5.43 xERA: Lyles has allowed a .365 xwOBA to LHB presenting a favorable match up for the likes of José Ramírez (.372 xwOBA) with Bradley Zimmer (.314 xwOBA) and Bobby Bradley (.335 xwOBA) has potential value plays.
|Bradley Zimmer||1B||at TEX (Lyles)||$2,500||$2,500|
|Bobby Bradley||OF||at TEX (Lyles)||$3,400||$2,400|
|Harold Ramirez||1B||vs TEX (Lyles)||$2,400||$2,500|
|Andrew Vaughn||OF||vs CWS (Manning)||$3,400||$2,300|
|Gavin Sheets||1B/OF||vs CWS (Manning)||$3,600||$2,900|
|Brent Rooker||OF||vs KC (Bubic)||$2,300||$2,200|
|Hunter Dozier||1B/OF||vs MIN (Jax)||$2,600||$2,500|
|Kyle Isbel||OF||vs MIN (Jax)||$2,000||$2,200|
|Michael Conforto||OF||at ATL (Chavez)||$3,500||$2,600|
|Willson Contreras||C||at STL (Lester)||$3,600||$3,200|
|Frank Schwindel||1B||at STL (Lester)||$3,100||$3,700|
|Dylan Carlson||OF||vs CHC (Sampson)||$3,400||$3,300|
|Harrison Bader||OF||vs CHC (Sampson)||$2,900||$3,200|
|Kole Calhoun||OF||vs COL (Senzatela)||$2,500||$2,300|
|David Peralta||OF||vs COL (Senzatela)||$3,400||$2,300|
|Pavin Smith||1B/OF||vs COL (Senzatela)||$3,100||$2,100|
|Carson Kelly||C||vs COL (Senzatela)||$3,700||$2,400|
|Jarred Kelenic||OF||vs LAA (Diaz)||$3,400||$3,200|