Welcome to the final day of the MLB regular season. Not only is this your last chance to play some regular season MLB DFS, we also have a huge slate. Let’s take a look at some of the top studs and values at each position to help you set your DraftKings lineups.
Aaron Nola, PHI @ TB, $10,600 – The Phillies enter today’s contest with a slim chance of making the playoffs. They’ll need some help to pull it off – they’ll need losses from the Brewers and Giants – but it starts with a win over the Rays.
Luckily, they’ll be sending Aaron Nola to the mound. He’s pitched well over 11 starts in 2020, posting a 3.06 ERA and 11.97 K/9. His K/9 represents a new career-high, while his ERA trails just his 2.37 from his stellar 2018 campaign.
His matchup vs. the Rays looks tough on paper, but we’ll see which version of the Rays he actually faces. They’ve already secured the No. 1 spot in the AL playoffs, so they have nothing to play for on today’s slate. They could look to get some of their regular starters one final day of rest before the postseason.
Other Options – Sonny Gray ($10,000)
Seth Lugo, NYM @ WSH, $8,200 – The Mets entered Saturday with an outside chance of making the playoffs, but their hopes were dashed when the lost both games of a double-header. Ultimately, that means another season filled with disappointment in Flushing.
Their biggest culprit this season was the pitching staff, but Lugo stood out as one of the bright spots. He transitioned from the bullpen to the starting rotation following a rash of injuries and ineffectiveness to their other starters, and Lugo did an admirable job. He’s coming off one of his best starts of the season in his last outing, limiting the Rays to just one run over 6 1/3 innings. He also pitched to a K/9 of 11.72 in 2020, so he has plenty of strikeout upside as well.
He’ll be taking on the Nationals in the season finale, who have struggled to replicate their success from their 2019 season. They will be joining the Mets at home during the postseason, and they rank just 19th in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers.
Other Options – Drew Smyly ($8,400), Austin Gomber ($6,100)
Yasmani Grandal, CWS vs. CHC, $4,400 – The big caveat with all of the batters on today’s slate is to make sure that you’re monitoring the lineups before lock. 14 teams have already clinched their spot in the postseason, and only four teams are still fighting for playoff spots on the final day of the regular season. With that in mind, there could be some lineup wackiness.
As long as Grandal is active, he stands out as one of the better hitting options at the catcher position. The White Sox are currently implied for 5.3 runs vs. Cubs right-hander Adbert Alzolay ($8,600), who has struggled vs. left-handed batters this season. He’s allowed them to post a .337 wOBA, resulting in a 5.01 xFIP.
Other Options – Travis d’Arnaud ($4,700), Willson Contreras ($4,600)
Pedro Severino, BAL @ TOR, $3,200 – Severino is someone that I’m almost always going to have some interest in at catcher. Not only is he affordable at $3,200, but he’s also expected to bat fifth in the Orioles’ lineup. It’s hard to find a catcher who is cheap and also expected to occupy a spot in the top five of the batting order. Severino is also in a great spot today vs. Tanner Roark ($7,000), who has pitched to a dreadful 7.01 ERA and 7.15 FIP this season. He has been crushed by right-handed batters in particular, allowing them to post a ridiculous .505 wOBA over 107 plate appearances.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Severino is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Blue Jays.
Other Options – Alejandro Kirk ($2,700), Carson Kelly ($2,600)
Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. BOS, $5,500 – Freeman got off to a slow start this season following a scary bout with COVID-19 during the offseason, but he has been red hot over the final two months of the season. He posted a 168 wRC+ over the month of August, and he increased that number to 227 during September. Don’t be surprised if he’s taking home some hardware at the end of the regular season.
Unsurprisingly, Freeman has been at his best vs. right-handed pitchers. He has absolutely feasted in those matchups, posting a a ridiculous 220 wRC+. He’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits today vs. Nick Pivetta ($5,900), who has pitched to a 9.28 ERA over 10 2/3 innings in 2020. The Braves are implied for 5.4 runs in this matchup, which current ranks as the fourth-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Paul Goldschmidt ($5,100), Anthony Rizzo ($4,600)
Ryan Mountcastle, BAL @ TOR, $3,900 – I’m interested in virtually all of the Orioles’ right-handers today given Roark’s struggles in those matchups. They’re currently implied for 5.1 runs, and virtually their entire lineup is priced below $4,000. That makes them a great choice if you’re looking to pay up at pitcher or pair them with an expensive stack.
Mountcastle stands out as one of their best options. He’s expected to occupy the No. 3 spot in the lineup, and he’s posted an excellent 140 wRC+ in his first big-league season. He’s also been at his best vs. right-handed pitchers despite being a right-handed batter, increasing his wRC+ to 160 in those matchups.
Other Options – Edwin Encarnacion ($3,400), Christian Walker ($3,300)
DJ LeMahieu, NYY vs. MIA, $5,500 – The Yankees have already secured a spot in the playoffs, but their playoff seeding is still up in the air. They are currently in the No. 5 seed – setting up a first-round matchup with the second-place finisher in the AL Central – but they could drop to the No. 8 seed with a loss. That means they would have to take on the Rays, and the Yankees have gone just 2-8 in 10 matchups vs. the Rays this season.
LeMahieu enters this contest as a legit AL MVP candidate. He has been one of the lone standouts in a Yankees lineup that has battled injuries all season, and his 174 wRC+ is the fourth-highest mark in the MLB. The Yankees currently lead the slate with an implied team total of 5.8 runs vs. Jose Urena ($6,600), who has struggled to a 6.00 ERA and 6.28 FIP over 21.0 innings in 2020.
Other Options – Jose Altuve ($5,000), Cesar Hernandez ($4,400)
Ketel Marte, ARI vs. COL, $3,100 – It has been a bit of a lost season for Marte. He has been unable to replicate his success from 2019, albeit over a small 44 game sample size. His wRC+ of 91 is far from a disaster, but it still represents a significant decrease from his mark of 150 in 2019.
That said, it’s hard to hold the 2020 season against anyone, and Marte is dirt-cheap at just $3,100. He also has continued to mash left-handed pitching this season, posting a 181 wRC+ in those matchups. He’ll be facing a left-hander today in Kyle Freeland ($7,800), which definitely makes Marte an appealing value target.
Other Options – Christian Arroyo ($3,300), Eduardo Escobar ($3,300)
Rafael Devers, BOS at ATL, $5,400 – Devers is quite simply one of the best left-handed batters in baseball. He was dominant vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019, and he’s followed that up with a 137 wRC+ vs. right-handers in 2020.
He’ll be on the positive side of his splits today vs. right-hander Bryse Wilson ($6,200), who has surrendered a .363 wOBA to left-handed batters in 2020. That isn’t over a particularly large sample size, but such is baseball in 2020.
Other Options – Cavan Biggio ($4,400), Yoan Moncada ($4,400)
Yoshi Tsutsugo, TB vs. PHI, $3,600 – I’m not super excited about targeting Nola, but the Rays do have one of the highest implied team totals on the slate at 5.5 runs. Tsutsugo is expected to bat leadoff for the Rays, and he will have the splits advantage in this matchup. Nola has been dominant vs. right-handed batters this season, but he’s been a little more vulnerable vs. lefties.
Other Options – Eduardo Escobar ($3,300), Alec Bohm ($3,100)
Bo Bichette, TOR vs. BAL, $4,900 – Bichette has put together a solid second season in the big leagues, and he’s been at his best vs. southpaws. He’s posted a 143 wRC+ in those matchups, and he’ll be facing a left-handed pitcher today in Keegan Akin ($6,800). Akin is not a particular imposing southpaw either, surrendering a .315 wOBA vs. right-handed batters in particular.
Other Options – Francisco Lindor ($5,000), Marcus Semien ($4,200)
Jose Iglesias, BAL @ TOR, $3,900 – Iglesias is a cheap right-handed batter who is expected to bat second vs. Roark. That alone makes him a viable fantasy option, but he’s also swung the bat well vs. right-handers over the past 12 months. He’s posted a .436 wOBA and .204 ISO in those matchups, and he’s posted a 164 wRC+ vs. right-handers specifically in 2020.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Iglesias is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Blue Jays.
Other Options – J.P. Crawford ($3,700), Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($3,500)
Ian Happ, CHC vs. CWS, $4,000 – Happ is basically a stud/value hybrid today. He’s not all that expensive at just $4,000, but he has a monster ceiling in this spot vs. the White Sox. He’s expected to bat leadoff for the Cubs against right-hander Reynaldo Lopez ($6,900), and Happ has historically feasted on right-handed pitching. He’s posted a 142 wRC+ and .300 ISO in those matchups this season, and 11 of his 12 HRs have come against right-handers as well.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Happ is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the White Sox.
Other Options – Juan Soto ($5,900), George Springer ($5,500)
Austin Hays, BAL @ TOR, $2,000 – We conclude our tour of the Orioles today with Hays, who is expected to bat leadoff at the absolute minimum. Hays has posted a solid 102 wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, but I would play virtually any leadoff hitter priced at just $2,000.
Other Options – Ramiel Tapia ($3,700), Tim Locastro ($3,000)
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