MLB DFS picks for Saturday, 9/12/2020: Raimel Tapia, White Sox, and D’backs

Today I’ve got a stack you can pay up for, as well as one you can fill in the gaps with. Also, the Giants and Padres are POSTPONED. Don’t be locking in Dinelson Lamet, okay? I feel compelled to share that there is a Coors game on this slate, though it was a letdown last night (at least for me, as I was heavy on the Angels). Today’s Colorado starter is Kyle Freeland, and the man is a stud–no way around it. I could see weaving in one of the lefties against Jaime Barria, who is allowing a .235/.333/.529 slash in the split. Lefty-hitting Raimel Tapia has been good and should leadoff for only $3,200. Tapia is quietly slashing .300/.372/.383 this year, a big part of the reason the Rockies aren’t rushing the now healthy David Dahl back atop their lineup.

Tapia, Charlie Blackmon (last night’s walkoff grand slam hero), and Daniel Murphy are sneakier than Arenado/Story. Plus, against right-handers Barria has been more effective, limiting them to a .151/.200/.303 slash. Small sample size applies, but still. Okay, you didn’t come here for Coors. Let’s move on.

The expensive stack: Chicago White Sox vs. Michael Fulmer

The Sox prevailed 4-3 in a low-ish scoring game last night, due to strong turns by Lucas Giolito and Casey Mize. Mize took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, actually. Anyway, today’s game may be a different story, given that it’s Fulmer and Reynaldo Lopez on the hill. The White Sox have a 6.08 implied run total against Fulmer and the Tigers bullpen. Tigers relievers have combined for the fifth-worst ERA in the bigs this year, at 5.20. The collective 7.89 K/9 out of the Tigers bullpen ranks 28th in the majors, too. Only the Giants and Marlins have lower K-rates. As for Fulmer, he’s probably wishing 2020 never happened, like most of the rest of us. His 8.24 ERA is backed by a 7.77 FIP, and 3.20 HR/9 is ghastly, especially against this powerful White Sox unit.

Against RHP, here are your highest ISOs among CWS players:

Luis Robert (.282), Eloy Jimenez (.279), and Jose Abreu (.277) are the top three. Of those three, Robert is the GPP guy for sure–due to his wheels and his bloated 36.2% strikeout rate. Yoan Moncada is a guy you can consider leaving off or having much less of, given his pedestrian .157 ISO and his large 28.5% K-rate. You can consider Yasmani Grandal (.177 ISO, .348 OBP) instead. Grandal is batting third tonight, and I’m definitely guilty of leaving him off of my stacks due to having a bias against catchers. Last night’s hero, Jimenez, is batting fifth. Truth is, top to bottom anyone here can go yard, except maybe Nick Madrigal (batting ninth). Now watch Madrigal belt a pair tonight…

The cheap stack: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. LHP Justus Sheffield

Only seven runs were scored between these two teams last night, a mild surprise given that it was Caleb Smith (ARZ) against Yusei Kikuchi (SEA) starting. Kikuchi has been bad on the road in 2020, but he was decent last night (four runs allowed over six innings). His velocity and K-rate are both up in 2020, but you can only stream him at home. Anyway, tonight the D’backs draw LHP Justus Sheffield.

Sheffield has been pretty average so far this year: 4.34 ERA, 21.9% K-rate, 8.1% walk rate, 1.31 WHIP. His 0.48 HR/9 is very good, though–(1.36 HR/9 is average). He’s also keeping the ball down, at 48.2%. That said, he’s also been far worse on the road. His K-rate drops from 24.0% at home to 18.8% away, and the walk rate moves from only 4.2% at home to a whopping 14.1% on the road. He’s been solid against lefty hitters, as RHH are definitely the guys we want against him. Luckily, it’s a clear-cut top four right-handers here if you count the switch-hitting Escobar. Escobar hasn’t been great against lefties this year, but the 56.8% fly ball rate is something, at least. Mostly I really dig the top three guys in Locastro, Ahmed, and Walker. It’s dirt cheap and the 4.71 implied total is healthy. To put a pretty little bow on this thing, the Mariners bullpen is among the worst in the league. Only the Phillies (7.47) and Rockies (6.90) have a higher bullpen ERA than Seattle, who checks in at 6.28. The Mariners’ 5.22 BB/9 is the second-worst mark in the league, after only Houston’s bullpen. Even if Sheffield surprises, the D’Backs should have their chances in the latter stages of this one.

Overall Strategy

I’ll try to weave in some lefty Rockies hitters, but I’m not going crazy for them. I’m pretty much holding to GPPs, and while there’s at least one quality hurler on the mound I’m fine staying away. Paying down for Arizona gives me the chance to work my way up to a quality pitcher at the top. I’m assuming Plesac may be trusted a bit less than Gallen, and that Gallen may be used more since he’s a little cheaper. I won’t be afraid to work my way up to Plesac. Gallen is the stronger favorite at home, another factor that may increase his ownership. Meanwhile, Plesac has pitched like a legitimate ace in 2020. I won’t shy away from him, especially on a single-pitcher site like FanDuel (where I mostly find myself).

Time to go weave some bats together and see what manifests…good luck out there today!

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