Welcome to my meandering first look at today’s slate. I’m guaranteed to miss something, but if you haven’t even had your coffee yet, maybe this can move you along quicker in your own studies. I’d love to chat or debate on Twitter. You can find me @HeathCapps or on the rotoranks handle, @roto_ranks. Come argue, that’s an invitation.
LHP Andrew Heaney at home against the Texas Rangers. It’s a 7.5 game total, and the Rangers have an implied 3.30 run total. Heaney has a 2.84 ERA in three September starts, though the Rangers have gotten to him a little this year. This is one to decide on, but I’m leaning Heaney here despite the presence of Lance Lynn on the other side, and Heaney’s below average performances against the Rangers in 2020. Texas has a .132 ISO (27th) and 25.7% K-rate (fifth-highest) versus lefties in 2020. The team .278 wOBA versus LHP ranks 29th…only the Mariners (.273 wOBA) have been worse in this split in 2020. And for what it’s worth, Todd Frazier is gone (traded to the Mets). He batted .343 with a homer and a .407 wOBA for Texas in this split. So the Rangers are arguably a tad weaker now.
Kwang Hyun Kim hasn’t allowed a run in his past four starts, and he’s on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates today. He worked up to 87 pitches in his last effort, too. Maybe I need to dig into him more.
I could be into LHP Kris Bubic against the Brewers if his price is affordable. Corbin Burnes is formidable with his strikeout stuff, but he doesn’t generally work deep–and this Brewers lineup has been underwhelming in 2020. Well, let’s rephrase. The Brewers rank sixth in ISO at .207, but they also have the eighth-highest strikeout rate vs. LHP, at 24.5%. Very much a boom-or-bust spot.
J.A. Happ looks like a boring cash game guy against the Red Sox today. That’s not without some value, especially if the right move is paying up for expensive bats (Dodgers, for ex).
The Red Sox are trotting out an opener in Chris Mazza, who has a 6.28 ERA in four starts this year. He also has a career 6.35 ERA against the Yankees. The Red Sox bullpen has a 5.93 ERA, the fourth-worst mark in the league. Don’t forget about Yankee bats today.
RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez takes the mound for the Rockies, he of the 8.68 ERA. The Dodgers lead the league with a .219 ISO, but that’s against both handedness of pitching. Against RHP in particular, the Dodgers have a .242 ISO, leading the league in that split by a good margin (the Braves rank 2nd with a .231 ISO).
Your top Dodgers against RHP are Mookie Betts (.338 BA, 16 HR) and Corey Seager (.326 BA, 10 HR). After that I suppose it’s Cody Bellinger (.238 BA, 9 HR), Justin Turner (.330 BA, 2 HR), or Chris Taylor (.308 BA, 4 HR). Muncy offers some pop (7 HR) but he’s batting .182 in this split. A.J. Pollock (.252 BA, 7 HR) has been solid, but he’s likely batting at the bottom of the order. Will Smith is quietly hitting .292 with six homers against RHP…maybe let’s pay attention to his batting order slot today. It would be nice if it was Bellinger hitting cleanup instead of Max Muncy today. We shall see.
Mike Clevinger is priced down at $9,800 on FanDuel today…four guys are more costly, and that just feels strange. This should be his final tune-up before the playoffs commence, and he should mow down this Seattle Mariners lineup. If I can pay this much for a pitcher today, I’m going to try.
Clevinger at 9800 and Heaney at 8500 are interesting. Kim at 8300 feels costly, and I wish Bubic were a shade cheaper than 7900. I don’t love Happ at 7700, but I might tolerate him if I decide to pay up for huge bats today. If I had to pick a guy right now I think it’s Heaney. Maybe the box scores against Texas will drive people away. Maybe Lance Lynn on the other side of the hill will as well. I’d rather find the salary to get Heaney than work my way down to Happ.
Gleyber Torres (.257 BA, 3 HR) has been a huge disappointment, but he homered on Thursday and he’s slated to bat fifth today for only $3,100. For the homer-happy Yankees team against a bad Red Sox pitching squad, that’s a shot I’m willing to take.
Kole Calhoun has five homers over his last four games, including two homers last night for Arizona, who managed to score six runs off of Greinke and company. There are a lot of really cheap Arizona bats right now, and even Calhoun is only $3,100. This is a stack I’ve come to for salary relief more than once in 2020, admittedly with mixed results. This Astros bullpen has a 5.27 BB/9, the worst mark in the majors by far. The next highest mark belongs to the Mariners, at 4.94 BB/9, for reference. I’m just saying, there’s a chance. Calhoun (3100), David Peralta (2700), and Christian Walker (2900) are all pretty darn cheap. Josh Rojas should bat leadoff for 2200, too. Not saying you go crazy here. Just that there are some cheap pieces that could help you round out a lineup or two.
Hope the first pass helps someone. At least it gets the juices flowin’, right? Good luck out there today, and I’m always around in the Twitterverse if anyone wants to talk some MLB DFS.