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Daily Forecast: Oscar Returns

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

The Angels and White Sox have a traditional doubleheader today, the kind with a 20 minute break between them. I miss those. The early game isn't a part of DFS contests, nor is the afternoon game between the Brewers and Jays. As such, you'll have 14 games from which to choose. Watch out for storms in Pittsburgh.

 

You have a couple legitimate options for stacking today, but I'm going to single out southpaw Brad Mills against the Detroit Tigers. They're among the best offenses against left-handed pitching, and it's easy to see why - the entire lineup bats righty. More importantly, they're good right-handed hitters capable of doing heavy damage from top to bottom. Mills, who was recently traded to the Athletics for $1, is a fly ball oriented pitcher without elite strikeout or walk numbers. Matchups don't get much worse. Comerica Park rates as neutral, but excellent weather will push it towards hitter friendly today.

 

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.

 

 

TOP SHELF


Adrian Beltre - TEX: He hasn't gone on a home run spree like some past seasons, but Beltre is putting together another typically strong performance. He's opposed today by contact oriented southpaw T.J. McFarland. Beltre does have better career and seasonal numbers against left-handed pitching, but the split isn't anything huge. 

 

David Ortiz - BOS: It's often best to avoid left-handed hitters at Fenway - the park factors are less favorable than the park's reputation. Ortiz is something of an exception. He's still showing plenty of big power. A low BABIP is responsible for his fading batting average - it will probably bounce back. Edwin Jackson has been prone to hits and home runs. We'll see if he can handle Ortiz.

 

Ian Kinsler - DET: Surprise, Tigers hitters are on the menu for today. Kinsler has one of the best matchups among second basemen, so you may want to save a place in your budget. He puts a ton of balls in play, which makes that coveted four hit game a little easier to find. He has the skill set to punish a mistake from Mills and plenty of supporting firepower to drive him home. 

 

Also Consider: Anthony Rendon - WAS, Miguel Cabrera - DET, Brandon Moss - OAK

 

 

 

BULK PURCHASE


Kole Calhoun - LAA: Calhoun is an interesting hitter thanks to his place atop the Angels lineup. He has plenty of thump and can swipe the occasional base. He's not exactly cheap, but a start against Scott Carroll is pretty exciting. In a small sample this season, he's slashed a .292/.357/.500 line against righties. With the doubleheader, just make sure he starts.


Jayson Werth - WAS: Werth is one of my very top picks for today. Over the years, he's been one of the best hitters in baseball against left-handed pitching, and Christian Friedrich is a particularly exploitable lefty. Werth's power is way down this season, but power is one of those stats that takes a very large sample to become predictive. He's almost at a bargain bin price, so it will be easy to work him onto your roster.

 

Adrian Gonzalez - LAD: The Dodgers lineup is a bit banged up, but Gonzalez is still right in the heart of it. He's productive in all the ways a DFS hitter needs to be productive. He puts plenty of balls in play and has enough pop to produce a big game. He's opposed by Justin Masterson today. I've watched Gonzalez golf a couple mistake sinkers into the seats this year, so Masterson will need to be careful.

 

Also Consider: J.D. Martinez - DET, Chris Davis - BAL, Joey Votto - CIN

 

 

 

BARGAIN BIN

 

Austin Jackson - DET: Jackson has always been a high BABIP hitter with a bit of pop. This season, he has a career low BABIP, and his power is down too. If you're a slave to recent trends, you'll want to avoid him. Personally, I have trouble passing on the bargain basement price, latent skills, and a projection for more typical production. He was recently demoted to the ninth spot. Obviously, you usually want to target top of the order hitters.

 

Jarrod Saltalamacchia - MIA: I usually prefer to use hitters who put a ton of balls in play. Salty takes more than his share of walks and strikeouts. Only 56 percent of his plate appearances have ended with contact. He has enough power to make Phillies starter A.J. Burnett pay. Unfortunately, if you want value from Saltalamacchia, it's probably home run or bust.

 

Oscar Taveras - STL: Here's an exciting pick from the bargain bin. Taveras is expected to be a special hitter, one who can spray the ball to all fields with authority. He isn't a prodigious home run threat, but he could eventually develop into one. For the current season, I think we're looking at Anthony Rendon as the absolute upside. He'll face Tim Lincecum today.

 

Also Consider: Russell Martin - PIT, Jed Lowrie - OAK, Michael Choice - TEX

 

 

 

STARTING PITCHER

 

Hisashi Iwakuma - SEA: Iwakuma has struggled with the long ball this season, which has hurt his overall numbers. His decent strikeout rate and elite walk rate should combine for an ERA around 3.00. He's efficient with an average of about seven innings per start. A complete game is never out of the question. The Astros have a better offense and a decent starting pitcher, so it'll be up to Iwakuma to earn the win. 

 

Clay Buchholz - BOS: In his previous start, his velocity was back up to 2013 levels. The results from his last game were borderline terrifying, especially the three home runs. On the surface, he lasted 7.1 innings, which is the deepest he's gone all season. This is a very high risk pick, one that other owners should be very wary about making. I mention him only because there is 15 point upside in a cheap package. You're likely to realize the downside. I would try him out in a GPP as an alternate lineup. One big point in his favor - he's facing the Cubs.

 

Marco Gonzales - STL: Gonzales has all the risk of Buchholz without any sort of major league track record. The changeup artist made his major league debut at Coors Field - a tough assignment for anyone. Today he'll pitch at the polar opposite of Coors - AT&T Park. If you opt to use Gonzales, you're counting on a friendlier park and easier opposing lineup to parlay into a few more strikeouts and innings. He's capable of posting an above average start. This is the "hard eight" of fantasy plays. 

 

Also Consider - David Price - TAM, Henderson Alvarez - MIA, Ian Kennedy - SDP

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on Rotoworld, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.