I just got done with a “faculty vs. seniors” volleyball during a pep rally at my school and it served as a violent reminder that I’m not 21 years old anymore.  Oh well.  Nothing left to do now but lick my wounds and prep for our 14-game Friday slate.  I’m on a heater right now, so let’s finish the season strong.  There is an slew of pitchers to choose from tonight, and teams’ standings really have to be taken into account now.  I’ll be in chat a bit later, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.

 

STARTING PITCHER

TOP PLAY

Jacob deGrom, NYM ($12,100)

You don’t need to spend the funds on deGrom with some good cheaper options available, but there’s no question that he’s the top pitcher on this slate.  DeGrom is now up to 27 straight starts allowing three or fewer runs, and he has had a quality start in every outing this year since MAY 13 which is flat out ridiculous.  There’s always risk that he’s managed with the Mets out of it, but I wouldn’t worry too much with deGrom leading the charge for the NL Cy Young.

Other options – German Marquez, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke

 

VALUE PLAY

Zack Greinke, ARI ($9300)

Greinke is a great cash play at almost $3000 cheaper than deGrom.  Arizona is deep in the thick of the playoff race (with Colorado who is their opponent), and we should see him extended as long as he can be.  The Rockies are getting a park downgrade away from Coors, and they rank dead last in wRC+ against RHP with a 23.7% K rate.  Colorado is almost missing Trevor Story which further depletes their upside as he’s a borderline 30/30 player this season.  Greinke is cheap enough to get elite pitching without sacrificing a lot of offense.

Other options – Rich Hill, Jose Berrios, Madison Bumgarner, CC Sabathia, Nick Pivetta, Sean Reid-Foley

 

CATCHER/FIRST BASE

TOP PLAY

Freddie Freeman, ATL ($4400)

Freeman doesn’t really fit the cash mold, but he’s a great GPP play at possible low ownership.  He’ll be taking on Nick Pivetta who has K upside, but he’s still getting killed by LHB.  Lefties have posted a 38% HHR against Pivetta this year along with a 1.49 HR/9, and Freeman has a .406 wOBA and .264 ISO against RHP over the last three years.

Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Olson, Ji-Man Choi, Luke Voit

 

VALUE PLAY

Carlos Santana, PHI ($3100)

Santana is a fairly easy call in cash at 1B tonight.  Julio Teheran is still a quality pitcher with the ability to miss bats, but he simply can’t get lefties out, and it’s only getting worse this year.  He basically has a 1:1 K:BB ratio against LHB this year while allowing a 40.2% HHR to them this season.  He’s given up 1.55 HR/9 to lefties over the past three years and Santana will maintain the platoon edge throughout the bullpen as well.

Other options – Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales, Yuli Gurriel, Ronald Guzman, Dominic Smith

Catcher values – Salvador Perez, Gary Sanchez, Evan Gattis, Mike Zunino

 

SECOND BASE

TOP PLAY

Rougned Odor, TEX ($3600)

In September, it’s important to note the park environments that maintain the summer weather when the rest of the country cools off.  Texas always offers an elite hitting environment, and Erasmo Ramirez has gotten absolutely toasted by LHB this year.  It’s a small sample size, but he’s allowed over three homers per nine innings, and Odor has a .220 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year.  Just watch the weather forecast, as rain and thunder could be in play.

Other options – Travis Shaw, Jose Altuve, Robinson Cano, Whit Merrifield, Ozzie Albies

 

VALUE PLAY

Cesar Hernandez, PHI ($2600)

If you’re looking to pay up at other positions, Cesar is a punt.  He’s not a good hitter but he’ll have the platoon edge described in Carlos Santana’s blurb.  He also has speed and Teheran has struggled with the running game in recent years.  If you’re a game log watcher looking for upside, I will point out that Cesar does have two homers in his last six games.

Other options – Brian Dozier, Jonathan Villar, Niko Goodrum, Neil Walker

 

THIRD BASE

TOP PLAY

Alex Bregman, HOU ($4300)

Bregman is the top play at the position, and you can make the argument that he’s the top play overall.  Andrew Heaney relies of fly balls to get outs, and that’s a dangerous proposition in Minute Maid Park against an Astros squad that ranks third in wRC+ against LHP.  Bregman has a .403 wOBA and a 44% FB rate against LHP this season and has a speed element as well (27 SBs since the beginning of last year).  He’s well worth his price tag in cash, and at least make sure he’s in GPP teams.

Other options – Miguel Andujar, Justin Turner, Matt Chapman, Eugenio Suarez, Mike Moustakas

 

VALUE PLAY

Asdrubal Cabrera, PHI ($2500)

Cabrera has a .361 wOBA against RHP as opposed to a .290 wOBA against LHP, so he fits right into the cash mold (even if you play Bregman as well).  Cabrera has been hitting anywhere from third to fifth which is ideal, and I’ve mentioned Teheran’s platoon struggles.

Other options – Jurickson Profar, Jeimer Candelario, Kyle Seager, Hunter Dozier, David Freese

 

SHORTSTOP

TOP PLAY

Didi Gregorius, NYY ($3900)

The Yankees have a slate high IRT of 5.7 runs tonight, and Didi is one of the best plays given Yefry Ramirez’s immense struggles with lefties so far this year.  Ramirez has allowed a .369 wOBA, 1.79 HR/9, and a 41.2% FB rate to LHB, and the short RF porch could be death for him.  Didi owns a .362 wOBA and .256 ISO against RHP this year and the Orioles bullpen is last in FIP.

Other options – Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado, Trea Turner, Carlos Correa

 

VALUE PLAY

Adalberto Mondesi, KC ($3400)

Mondesi is sizzling right now, and it seems he’s doing something with either his bat, legs, or both in every game.  Over the past ten contests, Mondesi has four homers, four SBs, five multi-hit games, and a 39% HHR, and he’s taking on Francisco Liriano whose immense walk rates just invite the blazing fast Mondesi to run all day.  Mondesi will definitely be in my cash lineups, even if it means putting him in the UTIL spot if I want Didi too.

Other options – Lourdes Gurriel, Elvis Andrus, Amed Rosario, Ronny Rodriguez

 

OUTFIELD

TOP PLAY

Giancarlo Stanton/Aaron Judge/Andrew McCutchen, NYY ($4500/$4300/$3700)

The Yankees outfield pops big time on this slate as these three mashers get to hit 1,2, and 4 against Yefry Ramirez and the abysmal O’s bullpen.  New York’s offense is back to full strength and they beat on Boston’s pitching over the last three days who are far better than Baltimore’s.  You want at LEAST of one these guys in your cash lineups tonight, and I’d rank them in backwards order of what I have listed above as far as cash priority plays.  Stanton has the most upside but also the most downside (35% K rate against RHP this year), and McCutchen and Judge are the top two plays on the team in HHR against RHP.

Other options – Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger, Christian Yelich, Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna, Shin Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, George Springer, Rhys Hoskins, Nick Castellanos

 

VALUE PLAY

Christin Stewart, DET ($2500)

The young Detroit phenom won me a lot of money and a lot of football tickets yesterday (54.4 FD points) and there’s no reason he can’t keep it going tonight.  Ian Kennedy has allowed 1.91 HR/9 to LHB over the past three years and Stewart’s minor league numbers suggest he can make a big impact at the MLB level.  He doesn’t possess speed, but the power upside is there, as he had a .216 ISO in AAA this year.  He’s still too cheap to fade in cash.

Other options – Aaron Hicks, Tommy Pham, Mallex Smith, Matt Kemp, Kike Hernandez, Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce, Denard Span, Tyler O’Neill, Steven Souza, Nick Williams, Billy McKinney, Jacoby Jones