There are two weeks left in the regular season of Major League Baseball, and DraftKings has another big set of contests this Sunday afternoon, and the slate includes the 10 games in the early afternoon, starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. Unless otherwise noted, all stats referenced in this post are coming into play on Saturday.
As always, make sure to keep up with all the latest news and monitor starting lineups by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season winds down.
Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals ($9,800) – Castillo agreed to a massive extension with the Mariners on Saturday and will take the mound on Sunday in a good spot against the Royals. Kansas City ranks in the bottom 10 in the Majors in runs, wOBA, ISO and wRC+ this month, so Castillo should be able to limit any damage.
Since joining Seattle, Castillo has gone 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA, 2.89 FIP and 10.67 K/9. He struggled against the Athletics in his most recent outing, but he has over 19 DKFP in four straight starts prior to that, averaging 25.22 DKFP in those four outings. Castillo brings a high ceiling if he’s piling up strikeouts and the Mariners need him to step up as they continue to chase a playoff spot.
Other Options – Cristian Javier ($9,500), Nick Lodolo ($9,000)
Luis Ortiz, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs ($7,300) – Ortiz is making a strong case for a role in next year’s starting rotation for the Pirates with a good finish to the season. The 23-year-old was signed as a bargain international free agent four years ago, and has blossomed into a legitimate prospect with a great slider and good velocity. He spent most of the year in Double-A, going 5-9 with a 4.54 ERA, 3.76 FIP and 126 strikeouts in 114 1⁄3 innings.
His two MLB starts have been impressive. He debuted by only allowing one hit over 5 2⁄3 shutout innings against the Reds to earn 20.4 DKFP, and he was even more impressive while holding the Yankees to just one earned run over five innings to earn 16.3 DKFP. He has totaled 10 strikeouts in those 10 2⁄3 innings, and the potential is definitely there for him to reach a nice ceiling in a more favorable matchup at home against the Cubs, who have the fifth-highest K% of any team in September while hitting just .232 as a team.
Other Options – Aaron Civale ($7,500), Anibál Sánchez ($6,200)
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles ($5,700) – Altuve only missed one game after getting hit by a pitch earlier this week, and he’s putting together a great final month of the season. In his past 21 games coming into Saturday, Altuve went 30-for-81 (.370) with four homers, six stolen bases and a .445 wOBA. Over that span, he averaged 11.4 DKFP per game over and was on his way to another strong showing on Saturday with his 26th homer of the season.
Amed Rosario, Cleveland Guardians at Texas Rangers ($4,600) – Rosario has also been rolling in September, going 27-for-92 (.293) with three doubles, three homers, five stolen bases and a .330 wOBA. He has a .179 ISO, .341 wOBA and 123 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this season, so a matchup with lefty Cole Ragans ($5,000) should set up well for him to keep producing out of the second spot in Cleveland’s batting order.
Other Options – José Abreu ($5,100), Adley Rutschman ($4,900)
Elvis Andrus, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers ($4,100) – The White Sox have a great matchup (highlighted below in stacks), and Andrus remains affordable despite his recent consistent contributions from the top of the Chicago lineup. Andrus has hit .290 on the year against lefties like Tyler Alexander ($5,200) and six of his 14 homers have helped him to a .361 wOBA vs. southpaws. Since joining the White Sox 32 games ago, Andrus has hit .309 with six homers and eight stolen bases. He has hit safely in 13 of his past 15 games with eight multi-hit performances and a .388 wOBA, and he has had a green light on the basepaths with seven steals in his 13 most recent contests. With his blend of power and speed and a great lineup spot, Andrus is a very nice play under $4K on Sunday.
Mike Brosseau, Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds ($2,000) – Brosseau is expected to get the start for the Brewers in their Sunday afternoon matchup against lefty Nick Lodolo ($9,000). He has been used sparingly but has gone 3-for-9 (.333) since returning from the IL two weeks ago, highlighted by a pinch-hit grand slam on Wednesday. When he has gotten a chance, Brosseau is hitting .268 with a .350 wOBA and 126 wRC+. He has decent power potential and could be a great value to consider at his minimum salary, especially if he leads off in Cincinnati on Sunday.
Other Options – Vinnie Pasquantino ($2,900), Josh Jung ($2,300)
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins ($6,100) – After reeling off seven straight games with a home run, Trout has cooled off a little bit, homering just once in his nine most recent contests. This month, though, he still boasts a .433 wOBA to go with his .386 ISO. He’ll be in a good spot to get back on track Sunday since he has a great history of success against Twins starter and his former teammate Dylan Bundy ($5,900). In their past meetings, Trout is 5-for-11 with a pair of home runs.
Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs ($5,300) – Reynolds has put together a solid season despite being the Pirates’ only reliable bat for much of the year. He has been heating up lately with multiple hits in seven of his past 12 games including two doubles and four home runs to boost him to a .465 wOBA over that span. Nineteen of his 25 homers have come against righties, who he has a .354 wOBA against on the season, so his matchup against Adrian Sampson ($6,600) should set him up for success.
Other Options – Eloy Jiménez ($5,500), Michael Harris II ($5,100)
AJ Pollock, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers ($3,500) – Pollock has been a solid veteran presence in the White Sox lineup this year, and he has been especially effective against lefties. Eleven of his 14 homers have come against southpaws, against whom he has a .405 wOBA and .357 ISO. He has an impressive 169 wRC+ against lefties, especially compared to his 67 wRC+ against righties. He’s in a good spot against Alexander in his matchup and has three homers in his past five games.
Bubba Thompson, Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Guardians ($2,300) – Thompson brings a high ceiling as a punt play since he has elite speed. He has stolen 14 bases in his past 33 games while also hitting a solid .302 with three doubles a home run and a .315 wOBA. He doesn’t bring a lot of power at this point, but he has hit safely in five of his past six starts and always brings the stolen base potential. As the No. 9 hitter, he serves as a second leadoff option for the Rangers lineup, which should be in a solid production spot, as described in stacks below.
Other Options – Oscar González ($4,000), Robbie Grossman ($2,300)
TEAMS TO STACK
Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers – The White Sox have the second-highest team wOBA in the Majors against lefties this season, hitting .279 as a team with a .342 wOBA and 124 team wRC+. They’ll be in a good spot against lefty Tyler Alexander, who has gone 4-10 over 24 games this season with a 4.91 ERA, 4.91 FIP and 1.49 HR/9. He is coming off a strong outing in Baltimore, but prior to that, he had allowed nine home runs and 26 runs over 28 innings in his six previous starts. He has given up 11 hits and four runs in 7 1⁄3 innings against the White Sox, specifically.
As discussed above, Andrus and Pollock are nice midrange plays who usually hold down critical lineup spots. Eloy Jiménez ($5,300), José Abreu ($5,100), Andrew Vaughn ($4,400) and even Yoan Moncada ($4,200) all bring good power upside and usually hit better against lefties, which is why the team thrives against southpaws.
Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Guardians – The Guardians have been red hot, but they’re trying to get Aaron Civale ($7,500) right for a playoff run. Civale has struggled this year going 2-6 with a 5.29 ERA and 3.86 FIP. He has surrendered 10 homers and 51 runs in his 17 games and has been especially pounded by righties, who have hit .274 with seven homers and a .342 wOBA. He has also struggled away from Cleveland, posting a 6.13 road ERA.
The Rangers offer plenty of bargains behind their two power bats of Corey Seager ($4,900) and Marcus Semien ($4,800). Nathaniel Lowe ($4,100) and Jonah Heim ($3,900) are solid mid-range plays with power upside, and youngsters Josh Jung ($2,300) and Bubba Thompson (discussed above) have high ceilings as bargain plays.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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