Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers ($14,900): This is probably the last Kershaw day of the season, but it is a big one. A win tonight would clinch the NL West Division championship for the Dodgers, so I think Mattingly is going to let Kershaw do whatever he needs to do to get it. I have mentioned before just how ridiculous Kershaw is, but here is a few of his stats just for perspective: 2.25 ERA (3rd), 2.10 FIP (1st), 0.91 WHIP (3rd), and 11.50 K/9 (2nd). Against the mediocre Giants offense, Kershaw has the potential for 50 DraftKings Points. Start him.
Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres ($10,300): Ross is dominant in two of the most important facets of pitching, strikeouts and groundballs. Ross has the 8th best strikeout rate of anyone in baseball with a 9.71 K/9 and his 61.7% groundball rate is 3rd best in baseball. Those two stats make him very hard to pass up. He also has some other nice stats including a 3.17 ERA (20th) and 2.94 FIP (13th). Ross also gets a tremendous matchup against the Brewers at the pitcher friendly Petco Park. The Brewers are in the bottom 10 teams in weighted on-base average on the road with a .299 wOBA and have the 5th highest strikeout rate in baseball in September at 22.7%. If you combine Kershaw and Ross for your two pitching spots, you will have a manageable $3,100 per player to spread throughout your offense.
Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays ($4,900): If you want to go cheap on pitching may I suggest Matt Moore. Moore is the prototypical upside GPP play in that he has a ton of potential at a low price. He has scored 23+ DK points in his last two starts, so if you want to gamble for high upside he is the choice. He has pitched very well in his last 2 starts sporting a 1.32 ERA, 0.66 WHIP and 10.53 K/9 in 13.2 innings. He is facing the Marlins who have struggled since the All-Star break with a bottom 5 weighted on-base average of .307. If you combine Kershaw and Moore as your pitchers, you are left with $3,775 per player to spread around to your offense.
Since it is the last week of the season, you never really know who is going to play on a given day until the team lineups come out. Also, note that there are weather concerns in the Toronto-Baltimore, St. Louis-Pittsburgh, Minnesota-Cleveland, and Chicago Cubs- Cincinnati games. That said, here are a couple guys I like today assuming they play.
OF Brandon Guyer, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,900): Guyer brings a ton of value batting leadoff for the Rays when they face LHP. He has a .269/.377/.456 slash line vs LHP this season and has been on fire of late with a .276/.356/.469 slash line since the All-Star break. At such a cheap price, Guyer is nearly a must play against Marlins LHP Adam Conley.
OF Mikie Mahtook, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,300): Mahtook is another Ray that brings a ton of value against a LHP. Mahtook consistently bats second in the order and holds a nice .293/.379/.621 slash line vs LHP. He also has been on fire in September with a .377/.431/.660 slash line. His 1.091 OPS in September is 4th best in baseball over that span. He is well worth his low price.
1B/OF Darin Ruf, Philadelphia Phillies ($2,300): Ruf is consistenly batting clean up for the Phillies and makes for a great punt play at his $2,300 price tag. He has been particularly productive in September with a .333 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage. You could do a lot worse with $2,300 of your budget.
2B/3B Cory Spangenberg, San Diego Padres ($2,900): Spangenberg has solidified himself as the two-hole hitter for the Padres and has excelled in the role. Since his return from the disabled list on August 14, Spangenberg has a sweet .284/.361/.459 slash line. He makes for a great play at his low price.
REMINDER: Check all lineups before the games start to ensure your players are in their team’s lineup.
*All prices from DraftKings.com
*All Baseball stats from FanGraphs.com
Kevin is a recent UCLA graduate and is currently in the process of achieving his Masters in Sports Management from Long Beach State. He is a stat geek who thrives on taking advantage of the numbers in all aspects of sports and life. You can follow him on Twitter at @KevTom21 or reach him through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions or feedback.