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Top Play SP: Patrick Corbin, WAS ($11,800) vs. PHI
Do you want the good or the bad about Patrick Corbin? The good news is he’s clear and away the pitcher with the highest strikeout rate on the slate. Corbin’s been so solid in the second half, putting up a 2.76 ERA while striking out 28.8% of the batters he’s faced. The bad news is he’s super expensive. Well, that and the Phillies have put up a 126 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers since Sept. 1. However, during that time, they’ve also struck out 26.7% of the time.
With just a five-game slate, you’ll have to decide whether to pay up for Corbin or to pay up for bats. A cheaper pivot from Corbin is Adam Wainwright ($8,100). Huh? I know, right? I completely admit that Wainwright lacks the strikeout upside of Corbin, but saving that cash opens up so many doors. Wainwright’s opponents, the Diamondbacks, have struggled against right-handed pitching all year. They’ve taken it to another level in September, putting up a 69 wRC+, tied for third-lowest in the league.
Honorable mention: Wainwright, STL ($8,100) at ARI.
Value SP: Steven Matz, NYM ($7,600) vs. MIA
On such a short slate, it’s really tough to find a value pitcher who’s in good form and also has a nice matchup. Of the 10 pitchers on today’s slate, Steven Matz has the best pCRA over the past 30 days (3.70). Before his more recent start in Colorado, Matz had been on a roll, throwing 41.2 innings and allowing just nine earned runs for a 1.94 ERA. In his nightmare Coors start, Matz allowed seven earned runs in four innings.
He’ll look to get back on the right side with a matchup against the Marlins. Everyone just sees the Marlins and thinks cushy matchup, but they’ve actually put up a 97 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this month. So while I have more confidence in Matz getting right than I do the Marlins offense, this is not a play without risk.
Honorable mention: Chandler Shepherd, BAL ($6,400) at TOR; Clay Buchholz, TOR ($4,800) vs. BAL.
Top Play: 1B Pete Alonso, NYM ($4,800) vs. MIA
I want to preface this with the fact that I like Caleb Smith. BUT, he’s really struggled down the stretch. Since the beginning of August, he’s allowed 13 homers and 34 runs (31 earned) over 47.1 innings thrown in nine starts. That comes out to a 5.89 ERA. Homer issue and faces the Mets? This looks like a job for Pete Alonso. Alonso has crushed lefties all year, putting up a .350 ISO. He just crossed the 50-homer mark and is chasing Aaron Judge for the all-time rookie home run record.
Top Play: OF Austin Meadows, TB ($5,500) vs. BOS
September is apparently Austin Meadows‘ favorite month. Meadows is on the ultimate heater, batting .388 in September with eight bombs, 21 runs, 18 RBI, and chipping in three stolen bases. Over that period, he’s put up a .418 ISO and .496 wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Meadows faces Jhoulys Chacin, who has made four appearances for the Red Sox after being cut by the Brewers. Three of those appearances came out of the bullpen, but his most recent appearance was as an opener, where he went 2.2 innings and allowed four earned runs to the Giants. Chacin and the Red Sox bullpen are no match to cool down Meadows’ streak.
Value: OF Austin Hays, BAL ($4,000) at TOR
Austin Hays joined the Orioles on Sept. 7 and has hit the ground running—or hitting? I don’t know. He’s not stealing bases so he’s not exactly running, but “hit the ground hitting” just doesn’t sound right. Hays has started 10 games with the Orioles and is batting .316 with two taters, but his plate discipline is even more impressive. In his time with the big league club, he’s struck out just 11.6% of the time, while walking 9.3%. The Orioles face Buchholz, who is easily the worst pitcher on today’s slate, but more about that in a minute.
Top Stack: Orioles at Blue Jays (RHP Clay Buchholz)
As I wrote in the Hays writeup, Buchholz is easily the worst pitcher on today’s slate. Buchholz has made five starts since returning from a shoulder strain that kept him out about three months. In those five starts, Buchholz has allowed 19 runs (18 earned) in 25.1 innings pitched for a 6.39 ERA.
So how do we attack Buchholz with the Orioles? The first three locked in are easy for me: Mancini ($5,000), Villar ($4,900), and Hays ($4,000) are locks for me. If Dwight Smith Jr. ($3,900) is in the lineup, he’s my fourth. If not, we can look to Rio Ruiz ($3,400), Anthony Santander ($4,200), or DJ Stewart ($3,200). Good luck today!
Honorable mentions: Blue Jays vs. Orioles (RHP Shepherd); Nationals vs. Phillies (RHP Zach Eflin).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.