Plays of the Day
Value: Yoan Moncada has lived up to the hype thus far with 4 hits and a walk over his first 11 plate appearances and he clearly draws a prime matchup tonight against struggling RHP Edwin Jackson. Moncada is a switch hitter, who hit .305 with a .399 OBP against RHP in the Minors this year and is facing a fringe MLB SP today in Jackson.
Fade: Felix Hernandez is too expensive on FanDuel and too risky on DraftKings to consider in a tough matchup today. The Rangers absolutely pummeled him in his last outing at the Launching Pad in Texas, and even though he’s more consistent at home, I don’t trust him to pitch better than Rangers ace Cole Hamels in this rivalry tilt.
- No real weather concerns today.
- Nationals hosting RHP Ryan Weber
- Red Sox visiting RHP Edwin Jackson
- Indians hosting RHP Mike Clevenger
- Giants visiting RHP Chad Bettis
- Royals visiting RHP Jose Berrios
Longshot Stack: Rays hosting RHP Ubaldo Jimenez
Max Scherzer: (WAS) vs. ATL DK:$13,700/FD:$11,400
With Scherzer, it’s all about paying up for safety, as the Nationals ace seems to be back on track and performing like a true strikeout machine. He totaled his eleventh and twelfth start with double-digit strikeouts to continue his push for the MLB single-season record and he completely stymied a hot Orioles offense in his last outing at home. Scherzer is now sporting a ridiculous 0.80 WHIP and .167 BAA with a 12.10 K/9 ratio over 11 appearances at Nationals Park. While he wasn’t truly dominant in his last meeting with Atlanta, he’s certainly capable of shutting down a team that ranks close to dead last in every major offensive category this year.
Justin Verlander: (DET) @ CWS DK:$12,400/FD:$9,500
He draws a tough head-to-head matchup against White Sox ace Chris Sale on Labor Day, but Verlander is a superior option at that modest price tag on FanDuel. His resurgence during the second half of the season has been remarkable, as the former MVP is sporting a 2.04 ERA with a .163 BAA and 9.93 K/9 ratio over 10 appearances since the ASB. That includes his last start against the Northsiders in which he outpitched Sale and earned his second consecutive Win against the Tigers’ conference foes. Current White Sox are batting just .242 (46-for-190) with a 25.4% K-Rate in their careers against Verlander and that lineup is far from hot right now.
R.A. Dickey: (TOR) @ NYY DK:$6,300/FD:$7,100
Honorary shout out to Matt Moore ($6000/$7300), who is available at a serious discount despite flirting with a no-hitter in Arizona and shutting down the red-hot Dodgers over his past couple starts, but remains a risky option as he heads to Coors Field today. If you want a relatively safe play that won’t break the bank, Dickey should be able to eat some innings at a familiar venue in Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays knuckler is sporting a solid 3.53 ERA with just a .212 BAA over his last 8 appearances in the Bronx, and many of those meetings came against elite Yankees lineups. Now the pinstripes are fading fast with the 6th lowest collective wOBA (.308) in the Majors this year. Dickey is far more consistent when he pitches away from Rogers Centre (and outdoors), while Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka is sporting a troubling 4.17 ERA at home and might struggle today against an elite Blue Jays lineup.
Zack Greinke: (ARI) @ LAD DK:$8,800/FD:$9,700
His season has been rather listless, as Greinke deals with some nagging injuries and the transition of playing for a new team that has a much more hitter-friendly ballpark, but he returns to Dodger Stadium tonight as an opponent for the first time and if there’s one thing you can bank on with this talented RHP, it’s his competitive nature. Greinke held the Dodgers to 2 ER over 7 strong innings during an excellent June, but of course he missed over a month with an oblique injury after that and has not come back particularly strong. Yet after a shelling in Boston, he’s turned in Quality Starts in 2 of his last 3 outings. He’s been much better on the road this season with a 3.25 ERA and .247 BAA and will clearly feel comfortable at the ballpark where he pitched well enough last year to nearly win the CY Young Award.
Sandy Leon: (BOS) @ SD DK: $3,700/FD: $2,800
While he might not ooze with upside in a matchup at massive Petco Park, Leon still stands out as the best per dollar option and an excellent cash game play at this price tag. The Red Sox should be all over journeyman RHP Edwin Jackson, who has been lit up for 18 ER on 23 H while taking a Loss in each of his last 3 outings. Jackson is coughing up a 5.59 FIP and 1.80 WHIP thanks to his horrible 6.12 BB/9 ratio when facing LHB this year, so Leon and other Boston lefties have a solid floor in this matchup. The Red Sox primary backstop is still raking with a .409 batting average over his last 6 appearances and that makes him a very safe play on Labor Day.
Welington Castillo ($3300/$2700) is red hot for the D’Backs and worth a look against Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda.
If Felix Hernandez has another horrible outing against the Rangers, expect Jonathan Lucroy ($3900/$3200) to post a solid line for Texas.
Edwin Encarnacion: (TOR) @ NYY DK:$4,100/FD:$3,900
He’s not a particularly appealing option in the middle of all those elite bats on FanDuel, but Encarnacion is significantly cheaper than the top 1B option on DK today. His price tag has plummeted due to a brief slump, but he’s still flashing ample power with a .282 ISO Mark and 9 HR since the ASB. E5 happens to have great career splits with 8 hits, including 2 doubles and a HR, in his career against Masahiro Tanaka, who we mentioned has had his troubles at Yankee Stadium this year and is still struggling to overpower hitters with a partially torn ligament in his elbow. If he fails to locate his fastball against Encarnacion, you can expect the baseball to go for a ride in a ballpark with a high HR Factor.
The red-hot Albert Pujols ($5000/$3300) is a recommended mid-tier play on FanDuel with the Angels facing rookie RHP Raul Alcantara today.
Chris Davis ($3800/$3400) has homered in the past off Rays RHP Matt Andriese and he’s a classic boom or bust play with the platoon advantage this afternoon.
Brian Dozier: (MIN) vs. KC DK:$4,700/FD:$4,000
When Royals RHP Ian Kennedy faced the Twins in KC a couple of weeks ago, he was masterful during an eight-inning shutout performance. Yet the veteran has stumbled since then and he’s been far worse on the road this year, so there’s no reason to expect a repeat performance at Target Field. Meanwhile, Dozier has been en fuego with a HR in 3 consecutive appearances and he still leads the Majors with 21 dongs to go along with a .320 batting average and .403 ISO Mark since the ASB. Kennedy is coughing up a 1.63 HR/9 ratio that is the seventh-highest mark amongst qualified SP this year and Dozier is certainly capable of taking him deep.
Devon Travis ($3300/$3300) is worth a look as a cheap option on DK if you believe that Tanaka is not a pitcher to be feared.
Logan Forsythe ($4000/$3600) is swinging a hot bat and could serve as a solid addition to a longshot Rays stack against Ubaldo Jimenez.
Yoan Moncada: (BOS) @ SD DK:$4,100/FD:$3,200
The Red Sox most prized prospect has lived up to the hype thus far with 4 hits and a walk over his first 11 plate appearances and he clearly draws a prime matchup tonight against struggling RHP Edwin Jackson. We covered how Jackson is allowing lefties to reach base at an alarming rate (1.80 WHIP against the platoon) and he’s coughing up a high 22.9% LD Rate against the platoon this season. Moncada is a switch hitter, who hit .305 with a .399 OBP against RHP in the Minors this year and is facing a fringe MLB SP today in Jackson.
Yulieski Gurriel ($2900/$3000) is another top prospect from Cuba, who simply isn’t get the same respect as Moncada despite his solid production for the Astros.
Jake Lamb ($4000/$2900) is slowly coming around for the Diamondbacks and he happens to have great splits (6-for-10, 3 2B, HR) against Maeda this season.
Jose Pereza: (CIN) vs. NYM DK:$4,200/FD:$2,600
Peraza is an excellent option in any format because of his ability to reach base consistently. He’s hitting .433 over his last 10 appearances and has flashed plenty of upside with 14 stolen bases on the year, which makes him worth a long look at that modest price tag on FanDuel. Today, the Reds could serve as a solid stack against ancient RHP Bartolo Colon, who continues to dance around trouble, but is giving up a 35.3% Hard Contact Rate and a 23.5% Line Drive Rate to indicate that he could be tagged for a string of hits in any upcoming start.
Jonathan Villar ($3900/$3500 as 3B on FD) homered in a pinch-hit appearance over the weekend and he’ll serve as an immediate value on DK once he gets back in the Brewers lineup.
I likeCarlos Correa ($5100/$3800) is a GPP play with plenty of upside in a matchup against Indians rookie RHP Mike Clevenger.
Trea Turner: (WAS) vs. ATL DK:$5,400/FD:$4,000
The Nationals draw a premium matchup tonight against Braves rookie Ryan Weber, who has posted a 5.24 ERA as a reliever for the Big League club and made just 5 starts in AAA this season. While Bryce Harper could also serve as the heart of this potential stack, Turner is still a preferable play in my opinion because of the versatility of his upside. He’s going through the first mini-slump of his career with one hit over his last 2 appearances, but is poised to break out of it against a Minor League-caliber SP, who is simply over his head in this tough spot.
Hunter Pence: (SF) @ COL DK:$4,700/FD:$3,900
Pence remains a mid-tier option on DK because of his modest production recently, but he could provide elite upside in today’s matchup at Coors Field. The Rockies are sending vulnerable RHP Chad Bettis to the mound, and he’s coughed up worse numbers with a 5.09 FIP, 1.65 HR/9 ratio and 19.2% HR/FB ratio when facing RHB this season. Pence happens to be 5-for-11 over a small sample of at-bats against Bettis and he’s faring better in RvR matchup this year, so give him a look as he tries to rebound from a hamstring strain.
Yasiel Puig: (LAD) vs. ARI DK:$4,000/FD:$2,600
If designating Puig for assignment was a motivational tactic from the Dodgers front office, it appears to have worked quite well, as he’s returned to The Show with 3 hits, including a three-run homer, over his first 2 appearances this month. He found his rhythm in AAA with a .348 batting average and 4 HR over 19 games, and now he’ll have a chance to ride that momentum into the Big Leagues with suddenly vulnerable RHP Zack Greinke visiting his old team at Dodger Stadium. At the very least, Puig deserves consideration as a GPP value play on FanDuel at that price tag if he’s starting.
A.J. Pollock ($3300/$3500) is surprisingly cheap on DK regardless of his moderately difficult matchup against RHP Kenta Maeda.
Paulo Orlando ($3400/$3100) is slowly breaking out of his slump for the Royals and he draws a plus matchup against rookie RHP Jose Berrios.
Jason Heyward ($3400/$3000) continues to heat up for the Cubs and he’ll have the platoon advantage against RHP Zach Davies.
I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7