The Tigers banged-up rotation is desperate right now. So desperate, they’ve called upon Buck Farmer to fight their ongoing battle to maintain the AL Central lead. Farmer has spent the majority of this season at the “A level” (not AAA or AA, but A), and now he’s pitching in a high pressure situation on the road. Pittsburgh owns the highest on-base percentage in MLB, and the offense seems to be clicking after roughing up Justin Verlander on Monday and recording 9 hits last night.
Gregory Polanco, Josh Harrison, Starling Marte and Neil Walker make for great “core” plays within this stack. You can also consider guys like Ike Davis and Travis Snider as risk/reward picks with power upside/platoon advantage.
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Anthony Rizzo (1B) – CHC: His recent struggles can actually be viewed in a positive light, as his price has dropped to a very reasonable $3,700 on FanDuel. Rizzo broke the funk with a homerun last night, and he has great career numbers against Milwaukee pitcher Kyle Lohse (7/20, .450 avg).
Gregory Polanco (OF) – PIT: Polanco is my favorite Bucco to beat up on Buck Farmer. He has been doing his best Andrew McCutchen impression, batting .368 in the month of August with 5 multi-hit games. Considering the matchup along with his HR/SB upside, Polanco is worth his marked up price tag this evening.
Carlos Gomez (OF) – MIL: I’ve noticed that Gomez often flies under the radar for fantasy purposes. He’s definitely not of the same caliber as Trout or Stanton, but I’d go on the record saying he’s better than most outfielders of the next tier. Anytime a lefty lines up against this right-handed heavy Milwaukee lineup, you always have to consider a few “Brew Sticks” for your DFS team. Braun also profiles nicely in this matchup, but I’d lean towards Gomez with just as much HR potential and a lot more speed.
Billy Hamilton (OF) – CIN – EARLY: Anthony Raduano did well in his MLB debut last week, but pitching on the road at Great American Ballpark is a different story. The Yankees got a couple of quick steals on Raduano early last game, so if Hamilton gets on base, he could rack up some fantasy points on the base paths as well.
Ian Kinsler (2B) – DET: Pittsburgh hurler Vance Worley has been surprisingly good in the past three weeks, but the Tigers represent his hardest challenge to date. I think Detroit brings him back down to Earth, and Kinsler is looking good vs Worley’s .336 wOBA vs RHB.
Christian Yelich (OF) – MIA: All he does is hit! Yelich is sitting in a very comfortable spot vs Justin Masterson’s .353 wOBA vs LHB. He’s registered multi-hit games in three of his last four, and he’s one of the better “cash game” outfielders for a mid-range price.
Matt Joyce (OF) – TB: Joyce is having himself a fine little series against the awful Rangers’ rotation. It’s the same old story, just a different day as Miles Mikolas will take the bump for Texas. Joyce profiles well against shaky right-handed pitchers, owning a .351 wOBA in the past three seasons.
Jay Bruce (OF) – CIN – EARLY: Same situation as Billy Hamilton. Well, except for the speed part, but that goes without saying. He’s one of those players you want to ride up to the peak, then jump off right before a cold streak sets in. Bruce’s short-term stock is still ascending with hits in eight of his nine last games. I like his chances against a young righty in his home park.
Miguel Montero (C) – ARI: He’s such a safe, reliable value play for 50/50 and H2H matches. He usually walks and singles his way to a consistent 2-3 FanDuel points per game; rarely churning out a negative in the process. Manager Kirk Gibson has been giving him more rest down the stretch, so make sure he’s in the lineup first. If he isn’t playing, Salvador Perez (KC) makes for a quality pivot at the same price.
Hisashi Iwakuma – SEA: Iwakuma is probably one of your safest options on FanDuel. He pitches so well at home, and he’s listed as a considerable favorite in one of the lowest predicted scoring games of the day. Iwakuma owns the lowest BB/9 ratio in baseball (0.75), and he’s fully capable of 7+ K’s in a single outing.
Jordan Zimmermann – WAS: Zim was “just okay” in his last start vs the Mets, but I’m thinking he will fare better against the blue and orange today. Even though they’ve made some strides, the Mets still aren’t a good hitting team (28th in wOBA last two weeks & season), and they rank in the top 10 in strikeouts.
Mike Leake – CIN – EARLY: Leake presents the most upside of any pitcher tossing in the early slate. After a shaky July, he has turned it around to average 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 K’s in his last three starts. The matchup against Boston is middle-of-the-road, but the Reds bats are in a good spot to give him some run support against a rookie.