The last day of September has arrived and we’ve got nine games to look at tonight. The Red Sox should once again be popular as they finish up their series in Camden Yards with the Orioles. For pitching, Robbie Ray leads the way in what is a critical game with the AL Wild Card at stake.
Top Tier Pitching
|Robbie Ray||vs NYY||$10,000/ $10,800||-132||188||25.9%||29.7%||15.6%||1.04||2.68||3.41|
|Lance McCullers||vs TB||$9,600/ $9,700||-142||156.1||16%||31.4%||11.6%||1.24||3.17||3.46|
|Joe Ryan||vs DET||$9,300/ $8,800||-186||22||28.2%||30%||12.5%||0.59||2.46||2.22|
Shane Bieber is making just his second appearance since mid-June due to a shoulder strain. He threw just 34 pitches in his first start back so we’ll ignore him tonight. It’s a difficult night for pitching in that the two top options of Robbie Ray and Lance McCullers get tough matchups in the Yankees and Rays, respectively. For Ray, he’ll look to give the Blue Jays a push forward in the AL Wild Card race, one which is razor-tight right now. Against lefties this season, the Yankees’ team wOBA of .330 ranks seventh, and their team OBP of .339 is tied for third with the White Sox. While Ray has the highest K rate on the board at 32.5% (excluding Bieber and Joe Ryan’s 22 IP), this is a legitimately tough spot for him.
McCullers will be at home against the Rays, who have been a tough offense this year against RHP, with a team wOBA of .325, ninth-best on the year. And they’ve, of course, gotten even tougher in the final months with the addition of Nelson Cruz via trade and Wander Franco (MLB debut 6/22) who last night made baseball history, tying Frank Robinson with the longest on-base streak ever for a player age 20 or younger.
For better or worse, the pitcher I like the most here is Joe Ryan. He’s also the biggest favorite of the three (-186) as the Twins host the Tigers tonight. We don’t have a great sample size with Ryan yet, as he’s only made four starts, but as we saw in his last start, racking up 11 strikeouts (33.7% CSW) against the Cubs, he has upside and he gets another plus match up with the Tigers, who have a 25.7% K rate, trailing only the — you guessed it — Chicago Cubs. Prior to being traded, Ryan was very impressive with Triple-A Durham, registering a whopping 30.2 K-BB% across 57 IP. So his early success isn’t entirely out of nowhere.
|Rich Hill||vs MIA||$7,000/ $7,400||-187||153.2||14.4%||30.5%||9.8%||1.19||3.87||4.37|
|Ian Anderson||vs PHI||$8,400/ $8,800||-146||122.1||14.1%||27.4%||12%||1.24||3.60||4.37|
|Nick Pivetta||at BAL||$7,000/ $6,800||-211||149.1||16.1%||26.9%||10.4%||1.31||4.52||3.91|
|Tony Gonsolin||vs SD||$8,800/$7,100||-211||51||12.8%||28.3%||12.7%||1.35||3.00||3.64|
Rich Hill and the Mets are strong home favorites (-187) against the Marlins tonight. Against lefties this year, they’ve managed just a .284 team wOBA, tied for worst with Texas, along with a 27.6% K rate, by far the highest in the league. He was up to 97 pitches his last time out and, hey, this could be the last start of his career, so why not empty the tank one last time?
Ian Anderson and the Braves can wrap up the NL East with a win tonight against the Phillies and Kyle Gibson. Anderson looked strong in his last start, throwing 97 pitches across seven strong innings and allowing one earned run with eight K’s (33% CSW) against the Diamondbacks.
Tony Gonsolin has made 12 starts for the Dodgers this year and has gone past the fifth inning just once. That was against the Rockies, back on July 24th. In his latest start against the Diamondbacks, he was impressive, going five innings with seven strikeouts (39.7% CSW). However, he threw just 68 pitches, so his workload is the drawback. If he can push to 80 or so he could be a decent option, although at that range I would much rather roll with Anderson, who is $400 less on DraftKings.
Corey Kluber is also in this price range, but I think he’s a pretty easy fade going against a lineup like the Blue Jays. Given the playoff ramifications, the Yankees and Aaron Boone figure to play this game very tightly and will not hesitate go to their bullpen early.
Bats and Stacks
- BOS (6.1) at BAL Alex Wells (LHP) 5.7 K-BB%, .389 xwOBA, 1.75 WHIP, 6.98 xERA: Groundhog Day. Also known as the Red Sox at Camden Yards going against another suspect Oriole southpaw. This time it’s the rookie Wells, who has ceded a .402 xwOBA to RHB across his 36.2 IP this season along with a 10% K rate. The hard-hitting rookie Bobby Dalbec (.340 xwOBA this year) should once again carry some popularity at $3,600 on DraftKings. Hunter Renfroe (.353 xwOBA), Enrique Hernández (.342 xwOBA), Rafael Devers (.384 xwOBA), Xander Bogaerts (.354 xwOBA), and J.D. Martinez (.369 xwOBA) should be featured in a large % of rosters so plan accordingly in tournaments.
- LAD (5.6) vs. SD Vince Velasquez (RHP) 11.6 K-BB%, .343 xwOBA, 1.48 WHIP, 5.18 xERA: The Padres continue to play out the string as they send Velasquez to the mound tonight. Do you remember when he struck out 16 in a start against the Padres? No, neither do I. Target Dodgers bats with aplomb as they have the second-highest team total on the board. Velasquez has shown fairly even splits this year (89.2 IP) ceding a .348 xwOBA to LHB and .339 xwOBA to RHB.
- MIN (4.9) vs. DET Tarik Skubal (LHP) 19.0 K-BB%, .347 xwOBA, 1.24 WHIP, 5.32 xERA: The Tigers continue to manage Skubal’s innings as the season draws to a close so we should him for about 40-50 pitches before giving way to a suspect Tigers pen. Skubal has flashed his potential this season but he’s also shown some suspect command in the zone, allowing a 13.2% barrel rate. Possible targets include the righties Byron Buxton (.380 xwOBA), Josh Donaldson (.379 xwOBA), Jorge Polanco (.345 xwOBA), and Mitch Garver (.387 xwOBA).
- BAL (4.0) vs BOS Nick Pivetta (RHP) 16.1 K-BB%, .302 xwOBA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.91 xERA: The Orioles are there if you want to play the contrarian card for this game at Camden Yards. There are some potential options to mix and match if you want to get creative on a tournament lineup, as Pivetta has certainly had his fair share of ups and downs this year. Cedric Mullins (.348 xwOBA) and Trey Mancini (.341 xwOBA), who is just $3,200 on DraftKings, stand out the most.
- TB (4.3) at HOU Lance McCullers (RHP): 16 K-BB%, .285 xwOBA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.46 xERA: No, I don’t want to pick on McCullers either, but the Rays have been one of the more productive offenses in baseball in the second half. Since August 1st, they’re fifth in team wOBA and actually lead baseball in runs scored during that span. They are an interesting off-the-board tournament stack. On the other side of this game, the Rays will open with Collin McHugh. He should give way to the lefty Ryan Yarbrough, who has allowed a .336 xwOBA to RHB this year providing some potential appeal for the likes of Alex Bregman (.336 xwOBA), Carlos Correa (.370 xwOBA), and José Altuve (.331 xwOBA).
- NYM (4.4) vs. MIA Edward Cabrera (RHP) 4.7 K-BB%, .433 xwOBA, 1.67 WHIP, 9.17 xERA: The rookie Cabrera flashed a ton of strikeout ability in the minors. But through his first six starts, it’s been a bumpy ride. Just take a look at that 1.67 WHIP. LHB have really had his number so far with a .452 xwOBA and just a 16.9% K rate. Michael Conforto (.343 xwOBA) stands out as a superb value on DraftKings at just $2,800. Brandon Nimmo (.345 xwOBA) brings less power upside but has always shown excellent OBP from the leadoff spot. Dominic Smith (.322 xwOBA) has struggled mightily this year but showed some potential last year with a .412 wOBA (.390 xwOBA). He’s on the board as a potential punt. Add in Francisco Lindor (.342 xwOBA) and Pete Alonso (.369 xwOBA) and I think you could have a very interesting stack for tournaments against a young pitcher who has been a little shaky so far in his debut.
|Bobby Dalbec||1B||at BAL (Wells)||$3,600||$3,000|
|Alex Verdugo||OF||at BAL (Wells)||$3,400||$3,300|
|Trey Mancini||1B||vs BOS (Pivetta)||$3,200||$2,900|
|Brandon Nimmo||OF||vs MIA (Cabrera)||$3,200||$3,000|
|Michael Conforto||OF||vs MIA (Cabrera)||$2,800||$2,300|
|Dominic Smith||OF||vs MIA (Cabrera)||$2,400||$2,000|
|Harold Ramirez||OF||at KC (Zerpa)||$2,200||$2,400|
|Evan Longoria||3B||vs ARI (Bumgarner)||$3,800||$3,200|
|Wilmer Flores||1B/3B||vs ARI (Bumgarner)||$2,900||$3,000|