This article will focus only on the 11-game Main slate.
DraftKings/FanDuel – Main slate (11 games) – starts 7:10 PM EDT.
Wind blowing in for TOR@COL…but you know that doesn’t matter.
If the roof is open, PHI@MIL has a decent wind out to left.
Warm with wind out to left for DET@CWS.
Wind blowing out to center for ATL@LAD.
Other games for XBH:
BOS@KC – hot, winds out to left.
BAL@ARI – standard Chase Field XBH bump.
*Falter is the likely bulk reliever behind starter Thomas Hatch
Blake Snell will likely be the most popular SP1 option for today, and given SF’s strong K rates vs Ls, it’s justified. The top 2 SF bats vs Ls (by wRC+) have a 33% K rate or greater, and the main flaw of Snell’s this year – walk rate – isn’t a strength of the Giants lineup. He should be safe for all formats.
A decent SP2 option – or SP1 pivot if you want it – is Kyle Bradish. He doesn’t have as high of a K ceiling as Snell, but he hasn’t given up a HR in the past month and should have plenty of run support to help secure the win. Also should be fine for all formats.
Aaron Nola has been up and down this season but he’s trending up right now with his last start being a one-hitter vs STL. His previous start vs MIL in July wasn’t bad, with more SBs allowed than normal and some opportunistic singles (and fielding errors) so despite the loss to MIL yesterday, PHI should rebound and likewise, Nola should do fine.
A cheaper SP2 – but likely only for cash contests – is Mike Clevinger. The Tigers are still striking out at a high rate vs Rs and he’s only had two sub-par performances in the last two and a half months. He’s racked up six or more Ks in three of his last four starts which is a very obtainable number again vs DET.
Luis Castillo might be fine for cash, but his K rate is down vs Ls and the addition of Ronny Mauricio has given the Mets a bit of a spark. If you’re going to pay in the Snell range, might as well just use Snell.
Finally, if you are looking for lower rostered upside, Kyle Harrison looked like the real deal in his last start and has some impressive K rates. It’s a small sample size, but he’s facing the Fraudres – which tend to do well vs Ls, but didn’t do much vs Manaea the other night. If they underestimate Harrison and Machado & Sanchez start loosely swinging at FBs, he could pay off – but he’s not much of a discount so he’s probably best reserved for large-field tournaments.
TOR is dealing with a number of injuries right now, but that also opens up some nice value with their replacements. Ty Blach has been surprisingly better at home than on the road, but still has the honor of the worst PLV rating on the slate vs Rs. He doesn’t give up many HRs, but tends to give up a lot of hits overall, so a team like TOR that can chain hits together like they did last night could be trouble for him. Yusei Kikuchi had a good August – his K rates are up and he’s only given up two HRs total in the past two months – but his LD contact and PLV ratings are both trending in the wrong direction so there should be runs on both sides.
Braves bats are at a premium, but given the way they’re hitting, it feels like you need to try and work in at least 1-2 if you can. Emmet Sheehan is likely the next victim – he doesn’t K many batters and he’s a FB pitcher to bats of both sides. Yikes. Bryce Elder is still the same guy he’s been most of the year – PLV ratings suggest he’s on the verge of a blow-up, he only gets about 3-4 Ks, and yet he still doesn’t yield many HRs. The Dodgers will likely try and save some face after mostly giving up 2/3 of the way through last night’s game.
Some value is needed on this slate given all the expensive pitching and bats that are in good spots. Drew Rom has the next lowest PLV rating vs Rs with a 15% barrel rate to match. The trap chalk appears to be STL bats vs likely bulk reliever Bailey Falter, who just pitched six innings with one ER and eight Ks vs STL two weeks ago. Rom, however, gave up six ERs in that same game, so PIT bats are the better play here.
Colin Rea tends to give up a lot of hard contact to Ls and was sent back down after a rough July. He’s usually good for at least six hits allowed, a couple of HRs, and 4-5 ERs. The Phillies match up strong against him in a game they’ll probably want to make a statement after yesterday’s tough loss.
Base plays: Brandon Marsh (PHI)
Not expecting a ton of fireworks in this one, but it’s another spot for decent-value bats and Guaranteed Rate Field can carry some hits from FB pitching.
Stack/GPP plays: Elvis Andrus (CWS)
It’s not a great hitting spot on the slate, but David Peterson’s PLV rating vs Rs is also one of the worst and his walk rate is close to 20%. Assuming Julio Rodríguez stays in the lineup, SEA will need to keep pace with HOU and this is a matchup they can exploit.
Slade Cecconi is the type of pitcher you are forced to start in your rotation when your free agency claims don’t succeed. He’s providing them with a warm body in their rotation, but he’s a FB pitcher to Ls, which should suit BAL’s lineup just fine in a park like Chase Field.
Base plays: Anthony Santander (BAL)
Alec Marsh has a bit of a reverse splits problem giving up barrels to Rs at a 16% rate over the past month. BOS tends to stick to a lefty-heavy lineup, but building around the middle of the lineup should give RBI opportunities. Tanner Houck largely keeps Rs under control with a strong 70% GB rate, but he counters that with a 40% hard-hit rate to Ls.
As noted above, it’s hard to say which version of the Fraudres shows up today vs Kyle Harrison. Either Harrison puts up a ton of Ks, or the power bats show up. For that reason, they’re only being included as a potential GPP stack.