Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: September 30, 2015
Oh boy, the season is almost over. Nevertheless, we’re still churning out pieces, and as always, below I have a discussion on the pitching options, the best teams to stack from as well as a set of individual player rankings for tonight’s slate at DraftKings.
Note: Be sure to watch for lineups and weather tonight as the rain that wreaked havoc on last night’s slate has caused some double headers, and there is more weather on the way tonight.
Current figures at DailyBaseballData.com doesn’t show anything incredibly threatening for the status of games tonight, but weather can move quickly and there are more trustworthy sources on Twitter. Be sure to monitor everything prior to lock, as you’ll want to make sure games are happening before you set your lineup.
While there is essentially a full slate of games tonight, there is a dearth of starting pitching options. The best starting pitcher to take the mound tonight will be Jon Lester going for the Chicago Cubs against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Lester has had his fits this year, but has really molded a great season together thanks to a remarkable second half. He’ll be facing a depleted Reds lineup that might not have Todd Frazier and will be stuck with a bunch of no-name fill-ins. Great American is a great hitters park, but Lester is a sizable road favorite and the Reds are currently holding an implied run total in the low threes. His salary is less than $10,000, there is no reason to flirt with any other number one options, pencil him in.
After Lester, the options become slim. Drew Smyly and Jordan Zimmermann both represent viable options under the $10,000 mark as they both will face weak opposing lineups and are equal favorites. Smyly carries the higher price tag, but he’s also my preferred option, pitching at home against a weak Miami Marlins lineup. Smyly represents not only a serviceable floor, but also a solid upside, as he’s striking out over 10 hitters per nine innings. Also, if you’re worried about the weather, Smyly will be pitching at home in the dome at Tropicana Field, where weather will not be an issue.
Zimmermann on the other hand has a matchup with familiar foe, the Atlanta Braves. Much like the Marlins or the Reds, the Braves lineup resembles a AAA lineup rather than a big league roster. The one detriment to Zimmermann, despite being a favorite in this matchup is the relative lack of strikeouts provided by the Braves, and Zimmermann’s dwindling strikeout upside. Regardless though, he presents one of the “safer” matchups of the day, and his price is super accessible. I don’t think he represents enough upside to throw in tournament lineups, but his presence might be useful in cash games.
Last but not least, look to Andrew Cashner as once again an insane value at only $6,100 and Logan Verrett at only $4,000. Cashner presents upside and a decent floor with such a low salary against a weak Milwaukee Brewers lineup that is taking quite a negative park shift by playing in Petco Park as opposed to Miller Park. Verrett on the other hand is pitching against a depleted and hapless Phillies lineup and presents a lot of upside and a relatively safe value floor given his salary.
I’m less interested in using Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards and Mashairo Tanaka tonight, but given that all of them have success with the strikeout, and that none of them carry astronomical price tags, I’m perfectly on board with their use in tournaments.
- New York Yankees – The Yankees probably won’t be the top stack in most others rankings today, but I like the upside given by the stadium and their lineup as a whole against Wade Miley. While they’ll only throw a couple of tough right-handed hitters at Miley, he doesn’t possess enough strikeout prowess to keep me off of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner near the top of the order. Throw in the fact that Miley probably won’t be in the game much longer than five or six innings and you have even more reason to pick on him.
- Chase Field – The Rockies aren’t playing at home, but they still find themselves in a great stackable situation tonight as they play at Chase Field, the best run scoring environment of the night. Chade Bettis and Chase Anderson will duke it out tonight and this pair of right-handers should intimidate no one. I know that the Rockies are baseball’s worst road offense, but the dip from Coors to Chase Field is much less severe than other destinations in baseball. Add in the fact that the D’Backs possess a lot of tournament upside with the speed and power combinations of David Peralta, Ender Inciarte and AJ Pollock (plus Paul Goldschmidt) and you’ve got a perfect tournament stack.
- Chicago Cubs – Don’t get me wrong, I’ve really liked a lot of the work done by Anthony DeSclafani this season, but he’s not going to like his matchup with the Cubbies tonight. The Cubs are getting a significant park boost and possess the speed power combination that perhaps can only be rivaled by the Houston Astros for tournament purposes. Add in the fact that they’re on the road and are guaranteed nine at-bats, plus they won’t break the bank salary wise and you’re looking at another potentially successful tournament stack tonight.
- Kyle Schwarber – $4,100 – Chicago Cubs
- Wellington Castillo -$3,300 – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Brian McCann -$3,700 – New York Yankees
- Anthony Rizzo -$4,800 – Chicago Cubs
- Edwin Encarnacion -$5,000 – Toronto Blue Jays
- Paul Goldschmidt -$5,600 – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Daniel Murphy -$4,100 – New York Mets
- Brian Dozier -$3,900 – Minnesota Twins
- Aaron Hill -$2,700 – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Erick Aybar -$2,900 – Los Angeles Angels
- Starlin Castro -$3,100 – Chicago Cubs
- Trea Turner -$2,000 – Washington Nationals
- Josh Donaldson -$5,000 – Toronto Blue Jays
- Alex Rodriguez -$4,300 – New York Yankees
- Kris Bryant -$4,900 – Chicago Cubs
- Mike Trout -$4,900 – Los Angeles Angels
- Curtis Granderson -$4,700 – New York Mets
- Ender Inciarte -$4,500 – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Carlos Gonzalez -$4,800 – Colorado Rockies
- Jon Lester -$9,200 – Chicago Cubs
- Drew Smyly -$9,900 – Tampa Bay Rays
- Masahiro Tanaka -$10,200 – New York Yankees
- Logan Verrett -$4,000 – NEw York Mets
- Andrew Cashner -$6,100 – San Diego Padres
- Jordan Zimmermann -$8,200 – Washington Nationals