Tonight we have a solid nine-game slate to examine. We have six days left in the regular season, so we’re on playoff watch and should take these situations into consideration when making teams. Lineups will be weak when teams clinch, and pitchers might not have as much upside if their teams are locked in or already out of the race. Paying attention to the standings is very important and gives us a nice edge over those not plugged in. Let’s dive into the top FanDuel picks at each position.
Luke Weaver vs. CHC - $9,500
The Cardinals are 2.5 games back from the Rockies and need to win every game they can to finish out the season, and Luke Weaver has been a stud for the Cardinals since moving into the starting rotation. He’s started six games and has at least six strikeouts in each of those outings. During that stretch he’s averaged 47.66 FanDuel points and has only allowed six earned runs. The Cubs are scary against right-handed pitching, but they do have a 21.2% strikeout rate this season against righties. They project to have six lefties in this lineup, and Weaver has a .225 wOBA with a 30.6% strikeout rate against lefties in 23.1 innings this season.
Aaron Nola vs. WAS - $9,300
I think Weaver is going to be popular, so I’m looking to pivot off him on a few tournament teams tonight. In my opinion Yu Darvish has limited upside, with the Dodgers having locked up home field throughout the playoffs, so I’m looking at Nola in a tough matchup against the Nationals. There is a lot of risk with this pick in this ballpark, but Nola has been lights out in four of his last five starts. There is a lot of power upside in this Nationals lineup, but they also have a 19.7% strikeout rate against righties this season. The projected starters have a .180 ISO with a 22.5% strikeout rate against righties over the last 30 days. Washington projects to have six righties in this lineup, and Nola has a .270 wOBA with a 28.8% strikeout rate against righties this season.
Austin Barnes vs. SDP - $2,300
Make sure you check the LAD lineup to see if Barnes is starting, but I’m hoping he draws the start against the lefty tonight. He’s an excellent source of value and helps out lineup construction on this slate. Barnes has a .250 ISO with a .370 wOBA against left-handed pitching this season, and he’d face a below average lefty tonight. Travis Wood has a .390 wOBA with a .219 ISO against right-handed hitters this season. If Barnes draws the start, I don’t see the Dodgers pulling him for Yasmani Grandal late, meaning he should be a safe bet to play the whole game.
Matt Olson vs. SEA - $4,300
I highly doubt we see a lot of people pay up for Olson tonight, but I think that’s a big mistake. This hot streak for Olson is one of the craziest things I’ve seen in baseball in a long time, and I’m just going to keep playing him until he cools off. He has 160 PAs against righties since being called up, and he has a .421 ISO with a .429 wOBA in that span. Over his last 70 PAs against righties, he has a .597 ISO with a .484 wOBA. Felix Hernandez will be on a tight pitch count, so this should turn into a bullpen game for the Mariners. Olson shouldn’t be garnering low ownership based on how hot he’s been, but he’s still been low owned on almost every slate recently.
Cesar Hernandez vs. WAS - $3,400
I think the Phillies are extremely sneaky tonight, and because of this price tag, I highly doubt Hernandez will be popular. He’s been really good over the last five games and draws a good matchup here. Over the last five games, he has eight hits with five walks and has scored seven runs. AJ Cole has really struggled with left-handed hitters this season, allowing a .418 wOBA with a .241 ISO. I could potentially see him getting a quick hook here and this turning into a bullpen game.
Deven Marrero vs. TOR - $2,200
There are a few cheap bats I like tonight, and I’m just hoping they all crack the lineup. I want to get a lot of exposure to the Rockies, and with these cheap bats, I’ll be able to do it while also having a stud pitcher. In a very small sample size, Marrero has crushed left-handed pitching. He has a .333 ISO with a .410 wOBA against left-handed pitching in 56 PAs. Anderson is known for his ability to induce groundballs, but he has really struggled this season. He has a .373 wOBA with a .210 ISO against righties, and the Red Sox are underpriced against him tonight.
Kike Hernandez vs. SDP - $2,200
I talked about Travis Wood above, and Hernandez is another value bat I like for the Dodgers. Like Barnes, if Hernandez starts tonight, I fully expect him to play the full game. He comes in with a .322 ISO and a .390 wOBA against left-handed pitching this season. It’s going to be hard to find a shortstop with these types of numbers, and we’re getting him at an insane value here. Wood has allowed 15 home runs in 70.2 innings against right-handed hitters, and he has the third highest HR/9 rate allowed to right-handed hitters on this slate.
Mike Trout @ CWS - $4,300
I could easily put Stanton and Blackmon here, but I particularly love this spot for Trout. He’s in one of the best matchups on the slate and is going to be my highest owned player tonight. The Angels would need to win out and the Twins would have to lose two games for LAA to make the playoffs, but tonight, they’re not out of it, assuming they win. Trout has a .346 ISO with a .443 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season, while Shields has struggled with righties and lefties all year. He has a .314 wOBA with a .207 ISO against right-handed hitters this season.
Tommy Pham vs. CHC - $4,100
This is one of the riskier plays on this slate, but I think Pham has high upside in this matchup tonight. I don’t like picking on guys like Lester, but he’s struggled with power righties this season. He has a .345 wOBA with a .189 ISO against and has allowed 21 home runs in 127.2 (1.48 HR/9) against righties. Meanwhile, Pham has been great against lefties this season, as he comes in with a .269 ISO with a .406 wOBA in that split. I think the DeJong/Pham combo is sneaky in GPPs tonight.