We have a solid 12-game slate on tap tonight to close out the last week of the regular season, with a ton of aces and a Coors Field game to boot. I will operate under the assumption that both sides of that Coors Field game will be chalky tonight, so you won’t find any of their names below. However, both sides obviously represent great options. You’ll just have to factor in the expected high ownership when building out your tournament lineups on FanDuel and DraftKings.
If you are looking for some places to swerve in tournaments though, here are my favorite options.
Corey Kluber vs. Chicago White Sox
My hope here is that the laundry list of marquee names at starting pitcher tonight keep the ownership somewhat tame on Kluber because I love the spot for obvious reasons. For one, the projected lineup from the White Sox tonight has a ridiculous 27% K% against RHP this season. Secondly, Kluber has upped his own strikeout rate in his past four starts: 33.3%, 43.5%, 33.3%, and 32.4%. It is only 25.9% on the season as a whole. Is that intentional or is it largely matchup based? That is certainly up for debate, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he has been cruising through 2018 waiting to crank it up come playoff time. He showed the massive ceiling he has in this exact same spot last time out against the White Sox, striking out 11 in eight innings. He is by far my favorite tournament pitcher tonight assuming projected ownership isn’t outlandish.
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Francisco Cervelli at Chicago Cubs (Cole Hamels)
As usual at catcher, we want to be targeting the best combination of power, lineup spot, and price tag that we can find. Assuming he overcomes the illness that has plagued him the past few days and cracks the lineup tonight, Cervelli is one of my favorite targets. For starters, he is likely hitting cleanup if he is in the lineup and also is only $3,500 on DraftKings ($2,900 on FanDuel). That checks two of the boxes right there. And while Cervelli might not have the most power at the catcher position tonight, he does have the platoon edge against Hamels in Wrigley where he MIGHT have the help of some wind blowing out to left. The combination of all of these things while also factoring in some low ownership makes Cervelli one of my favorite tournament targets at this position tonight.
Anthony Rizzo vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon)
Taillon’s dominance against righties is well documented. This season, he has only allowed a .260 wOBA to them while getting great strikeouts (25.8% K%) and groundballs (51.5% GB%). However, those numbers fall off dramatically against lefties (.324 wOBA, 20.1% K%, 42.6% GB%), which is where Mr. Rizzo comes in. While the numbers aren’t quite as stellar as last season, Rizzo still has posted a .386 wOBA and .212 ISO against RHP this season. Hitting in the heart of this Cubs order and holding a very affordable price tag, Rizzo makes for a phenomenal tournament pivot off of the chalkier Coors Field options.
Jose Ramirez at Chicago White Sox (Dylan Covey)
A fixture in this article all season, Ramirez is once again going to come in very low owned on a Coors Field slate. Opposing pitcher Dylan Covey has been pretty darn good against righties this season, but we can’t forget that Ramirez has that switch-hitting ability (left side also happens to be his better side) that makes the matchup very favorable against Covey and allows him to maintain the platoon advantage throughout the game against a terrible bullpen. Considering Ramirez is tied for fourth in MLB in home runs and stolen bases, I doubt I need to explain to you why there is upside here. But Covey loses a lot of his groundball ability to lefties and is not good at holding runners, so the upside here is endless with how good Ramirez is. With the masses paying up for Coors Field options and maybe Mike Trout, Ramirez once again is one of the better tournament options on the slate.
Alex Bregman at Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada)
Let’s see here. Bregman is getting a great park shift going into Toronto to face a reverse splits RHP that gives up a ton of flyballs. Estrada has only had three quality starts in his last nine, and he is backed up by a putrid bullpen. I mean, this has double dong upside written all over it folks! For whatever reason, Bregman has far and away been the best and most consistent hitter this year for the Astros. Specifically, his numbers this year against RHP (.396 wOBA, .242 ISO) dwarf his other more popular right-handed teammates (Springer, Altuve, Correa). And yet Bregman still goes mostly unnoticed on a night-to-night basis, especially in DFS circles. When it comes down to it, Bregman might be my favorite tournament play on the entire slate when we factor in his affordable price tags on FD ($4,300) and DK ($4,500). Fire him up in as many lineups as you can tonight.
Javier Baez vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon)
I mentioned Taillon’s great numbers against righties this season up above, so Javy certainly has his work cut out for him in that regard tonight. That being said, Javy has been no slouch against RHP this season himself, posting a .377 wOBA and .278 ISO. However, what really interests us here is the stolen base upside against Taillon, a guy who has notably struggled to maintain the running game. If Javy gets on, he is surely going to test the Pittsburgh battery. He has already swiped 21 bags this season, and it wouldn’t surprise me for him to get another tonight against Taillon if he can find his way on base. And if for some reason Javy can’t make his hay against Taillon, I like his chances against a Pirates bullpen that is nothing better than average.
Bryce Harper vs. Miami Marlins (Sandy Alcantara)
There are plenty of ways you can spend your money in the outfield tonight with Coors Field on the slate and Mike Trout facing a bad Rangers starter and bullpen. However, I love the spot for Bryce tonight considering ownership should be extremely low on him. With the Nats out of the playoff race, you just don’t hear his name much anymore. However, the matchup is a phenomenal one against a guy in Alacantara whose 2.35 ERA is nothing but smoke and mirrors. His 5.93 SIERA tells the much truer story, as he has been aided by a ridiculously low .217 BABIP in his limited time this season despite allowing 36% hard contact. Bryce’s dominance against RHP needs no further explanation, and Alcantara is backed up by a Marlins bullpen that has the second worst xFIP in the league (4.66). I think Bryce is a great contrarian way to spend some funds at a loaded outfield tonight.
Also Consider: Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, George Springer, Starling Marte, Kole Calhoun, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Gregor Blanco, Matt Kemp, Jackie Bradley Jr., Shin-Soo Choo