STRATEGY FOR WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
Greetings all! I’m short on time here, so today’s article isn’t going to have the same format or as detailed analysis and information. Also, keep in mind that the weather in the eastern part of the nation this week might be a bit wet, as evidenced by the three games that were rained out and postponed yesterday, which surely crushed many hopeful DFS lineups. The weather across the slate looks pretty clean for now in terms of getting all the games in, but some strong winds may play a factor. ALWAYS be aware of the weather! So with that being said, let’s get down to it.
- Masahiro Tanaka ($10,200) is the highest priced pitcher of the day, but he runs into a Red Sox team that is on a 5-game winning streak with 32 runs generated during that time. Despite a 3-0 record against the Sox this season, Tanaka has not pitched particularly well against them with a 5.20 ERA and he has been nursing a hamstring injury. The Yankees really need a win here to shift their momentum heading into the post-season, but I don’t like the outlook for Tanaka against the surging (better late than never) Red Sox.
- The lefty Drew Smyly ($9,900) has a home matchup against a Marlins team that is very unimposing and has been featuring a lot of left-handed bats lately. Like fellow lefty Matt Moore, Smyly should have a decent amount of success against the fish and he also carries a good deal of strikeout upside.
- Jon Lester ($9,600) is seemingly coming at a reduced price in a road game at Cincy and I think that he makes for a nice play. The veteran lefty has seen the Reds three times this season and had two really nice DraftKings scores and one game was a bit of a dud, but I like his chances to produce a third good score. Lester has done a pretty good job at limiting the damage from the Reds’ best hitters and they are a team that can strikeout a lot, as evidenced by Lester’s 10 K performance against them earlier in the season.
- Garrett Richards ($9,200) is pitching for an Angels team that is surging and very hungry for a post-season berth. He is the number one guy in their rotation and there’s no bigger game for the Angels this season than this one as they head into a 4-game series at Texas to conclude the regular season. The A’s generally don’t strikeout a whole lot, but Richards’ teammate Nick Tropeano punched out 11 A’s yesterday as perhaps the A’s have mailed it in. Richards has nice upside and has been pitching pretty well as of late.
- Jordan Zimmermann ($8,100) is taking on the not so powerful Braves who he has baffled this season with a 1.97 ERA in 5 starts. Not usually known for his big strikeout appeal, Zimmermann has struck out nearly a batter per inning in the second half of the season (82 K in 84 IP) and definitely has some appeal here at a cheaper price and against a poor offense.
- It may seem like a bargain for Scott Kazmir ($7,600), but I would not trust the lefty here. He hasn’t been sharp at all in September, the Astros are the worst road team in the AL (which hurts his chances at a win), and the Mariners have some right-handed bats that could really put a hurting on Kazmir (Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez). Avoid.
- If you want to go cheap then I would suggest Andrew Cashner ($6,100) and Logan Verrett ($4,000). Cashner has been a huge disappointment this season, but on paper this is a pretty decent matchup pitching at Petco Park against a Brewers offense that is missing Ryan Braun. Cashner still carries a good amount of risk, but he does have big game potential. Verrett will likely be pretty highly owned due to his dirt cheap minimum price and a matchup against the lowly Phillies, but we can’t ignore him and the opportunity that he has. Verrett had a similar opportunity last week against the Braves and didn’t capitalize on it, but I would expect better of him this time and he has a great chance at a win.
- The Mets seem like some pretty obvious stack option taking on the flyball heavy, unimpressive rookie Alec Asher. (NOTE: Beware of heavy winds blowing in from LF though)
- The Angels will see the washed up veteran lefty Barry Zito, which presents a great opportunity for those right-handed bats.
- The Rangers feature a lot of left-handed bats in their lineup, so taking on the lefty Matt Boyd may not seem ideal, but a few of those lefties have done well against Boyd this season. Rougned Odor and Mitch Moreland in particular have homered against him.
- Mike Pelfrey has been absolute garbage on the road for the Twins this year with an ERA over 5.00, so the Indians seem like an ideal target that can be stacked with all those left-handed/switch-hitting bats they have. (NOTE: Beware of heavy winds blowing in from RF though)
- Sneakily we can consider the Red Sox against the top priced pitcher Masahiro Tanaka who the Red Sox have hit well, as previously mentioned. (NOTE: Beware of heavy winds blowing in from LF though)
- Also sneaky consideration should be given to the Mariners with those right-handed sluggers Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez having great potential. Gutierrez in particular is 10 for 23 with 3 HR against Kazmir.
***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).
***Article written before confirmation of starting lineups
***All stats from FanGraphs