This is the final weekend of the abbreviated 2020 Major League Baseball regular season but there are still a few more giant slates to attack. Saturday night brings a massive 11-game slate on DraftKings that gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET and is loaded with options since 22 teams will be in action. There is no weather to avoid or Coors Field to attack, so we’ll need to look more closely at each matchup to find the best plays.
As you take a look at each matchup, I would target the four offenses listed below who should be in a good place to succeed based on current form and expected matchup. Especially at this time of year, make sure to stay locked in to @DKLive on Twitter and check starting lineups in the DK Live app as we approach game time.
Cleveland is headed to the postseason but the team’s seeding is still very much up in the air since they could finish first, second or third in the division depending on the outcomes of games today and tomorrow against the Pirates. Cleveland will take on Joe Musgrove ($6,700), who is actually coming off a great start in his most recent outing. However, I still think Cleveland is a play with very high upside since Musgrove has been very inconsistent all season and has specifically struggled on the road. Musgrove has gone 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in his three road starts, allowing 12 runs in just 14 innings. He has given up a .369 wOBA and a 32.5% hard-hit rate in those starts while allowing three home runs. Most of the success against Musgrove has come from right-handed batters, who have hit .309 against him on the season with a .369 wOBA.
Cleveland usually starts the top of its lineup with four straight switch-hitters in Francisco Lindor ($5,000), César Hernández ($4,400), José Ramírez ($5,600) and Carlos Santana ($3,800). Even though they did clinch a postseason berth, they’ll probably leave those players locked in place since they can greatly improve their matchup with a strong finish this weekend. Ramírez was the walk-off hero on Tuesday night against the White Sox and is hitting .360 in his 21 games in September with a .480 ISO and .521 wOBA. He has bounced back nicely from a down year last year and returned as a fantasy stud. Lindor has been hot as well with a .343 wOBA although his power production hasn’t been quite as prodigious as Ramírez’s.
If you’re looking for a cheap way to get some Cleveland exposure, Jordan Luplow ($2,200) has gone 9-for-25 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and a .468 wOBA over his past 10 games. Luplow is sharing time with Tyler Naquin ($2,700) and Josh Naylor ($2,300) in the outfield, all of whom can be cheap fliers if they end up in the lineup against Musgrove and the Pirates on Saturday night.
Players to Consider
José Ramírez ($5,600)
Francisco Lindor ($5,000)
César Hernández ($4,400)
Franmil Reyes ($4,100)
Tyler Naquin ($2,700)
Josh Naylor ($2,300)
Jordan Luplow ($2,200)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Naylor is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Pirates.
2. San Francisco Giants
The Giants control their own destiny and can win their two games Saturday and Sunday and make the playoffs as the third team from the NL West. They could even wrap things up Saturday if the get a win and losses from the Phillies and Brewers. The Giants are wrapping up their season at home against the Padres, who are already locked into the No. 4 seed in the National League and are focused on getting their pitchers and hitters lined up for the first round.
To accomplish that goal, San Diego will start Zach Davies ($9,900) on three days’ rest. The Padres are just trying to get him lined up for Game 2 of their playoff series, so he probably won’t pitch long at all and they will probably go to some of their lower-end bullpen options for the rest of the game. It’s not the matchup against Davies that you’re attacking if you play the Giants; it’s the fact that the Giants have everything to play for and the Padres have nothing to play for.
San Francisco has been a top-10 offense over the past couple of weeks in almost every category and the Giants are definitely trending the right way as they make their playoff push. They have a .334 team wOBA with a .189 ISO over the past two weeks. Alex Dickerson ($4,500) has been crushing the ball in September with six home runs and a .443 ISO along with a .538 wOBA. He has averaged 10.6 DKFP over his past 10 games with seven extra-base hits. Donovan Solano ($3,500) is also finishing his breakout year strong and enters Saturday’s action with a .366 wOBA and .141 ISO on the season. All three of his home runs have come at home where he always seems to make good contact and only has a 10.1% soft contact percentage. Brandon Belt ($4,100) and Wilmer Flores ($4,100) are also mid-range priced bats that typically hit in the middle of the lineup and come with upside. Belt has an impressive .448 wOBA this month and has driven in 14 runs in 21 games.
Players to Consider
Mike Yastrzemski ($5,700)
Alex Dickerson ($4,500)
Brandon Belt ($4,100)
Wilmer Flores ($4,100)
Donovan Solano ($3,500)
Mauricio Dubon ($2,600)
3. Detroit Tigers
The Royals and Tigers are both on the outside of the playoffs looking in as they play their final weekend series in Kansas City. Both teams are worth a look at stacking, as players get a chance to audition for next year against favorable matchups. The Tigers face Carlos Hernández ($5,600), who has given up four home runs in his past two outings and has a 5.35 xFIP, which is the highest of any starter with multiple starts on this slate. He has allowed lefties to hit him hard, specifically, surrendering a .449 wOBA and 45.8 hard-hit percentage to left-handed hitters.
The Tigers’ lineup has been struggling down the stretch, but there have been a few bright spots who are worth a look in this favorable matchup. Willi Castro ($3,700) has a .408 WOBA in his 24 games this month and has produced an average of 11.6 DKFP over his past 10 games. Victor Reyes ($3,300) is very affordable for a leadoff hitter and has a solid .301 wOBA so far in September. He doesn’t have much power at all but does get on base and score runs. Harold Castro ($2,400) has also been very productive since rejoining the team in mid-September. He has hit safely in five of six games, going 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles and two RBI. All three of those batters will take on Hernández from the left side of the plate and are a great way to get cheap bats at the top of a lineup.
Players to Consider
Willi Castro ($3,700)
Victor Reyes ($3,300)
Niko Goodrum ($3,300)
Isaac Paredes ($3,000)
Harold Castro ($2,400)
Christin Stewart ($2,300)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Reyes is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Royals.
Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.
4. Boston Red Sox
The Braves have wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the NL and are just trying to keep everyone healthy and ready for the postseason. The Red Sox are out of the playoffs and have been for a while, but they still have some upside in this one since they’ll be taking on rookie lefty Tucker Davidson ($6,500) in his MLB debut. Davidson has been good in the minors but is totally unproven, making him a total wild card. Once Davidson leaves the game, the Braves are unlikely to put in any of their best relievers either, since there’s nothing for them to play for.
Boston’s bats haven’t been their big issue this season and several players have posted great numbers against lefties. Xander Bogaerts ($5,200) has an impressive .420 wOBA against lefties this season with a .230 ISO and four of his 10 home runs. The X-man got Friday night off before pinch-hitting late but comes in with an eight-game hitting streak and an average of 9.1 DKFP in his nine most recent starts. Bobby Dalbec ($3,900) has a .405 wOBA and .375 ISO in his 25 plate appearances against southpaws since joining the team. Alex Verdugo ($4,100) has returned to the leadoff spot lately for the Red Sox and is showing he can be more than a platoon option with good numbers against both righties and lefties this season.
Players to Consider
Xander Bogaerts ($5,200)
Christian Vázquez ($4,900)
Alex Verdugo ($4,100)
Bobby Dalbec ($3,900)
Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3,500)
Christian Arroyo ($3,200)
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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 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.