Top Tier: Clayton Kershaw/Corey Kluber- Much like yesterday, we have some pretty closely graded guys at the top in Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber. Verlander gets bumped out of the group for me for cash games SOLELY based on his huge price tag on DraftKings, he is having equal or better seasons than these two, and is firmly in play for tournaments. As you know, this article is tailored for cash games daily and that has me focused on both Kershaw and Kluber. Both of these guys have seen their strikeouts decline this season with Kershaw coming in at 24.9% and Kluber 24.6%, but this doesn’t change how good they are in real life. I know I talk a lot about how real-life doesn’t matter in fantasy sports, especially daily fantasy, but they both have exploitable matchups with the Padres and Royals respectively which boosts their upside. It is hot again in Kansas City, so I do feel the need to slightly bump down Klubot despite how bad their offense is as a whole. This is once again a Coors Field slate, and whichever of these two fir your roster construction better I’m comfortable with
Mid Tier: Mike Fiers- My how things have changes. After being a pitcher I attacked periodically early on in the season, Fiers has turned the corner and I believe that it’s legitimate. He has four really good pitches and while he doesn’t get a park boost traveling to Minnesota it still plays mainly neutral to both hitters and pitchers. He pretty much walks nobody with very strong control, but he also doesn’t possess huge strikeout upside. For cash games, I trust him much more than Robbie Ray in this price range, but it would be foolish to take him over Ray in GPPs. We know what Ray is, he has control and contact issues but some of the best strikeout ability in the league. He has been chalk on some slates recently, but it’s important to emphasis that it’s not a good decision to play someone with his profile in cash games. Fiers is much safer and would be my choice in that format tonight.
Low Tier: Wei-Yin Chen- Chen at home has been one of the weirdest overall aspects of the 2018 season, but we are nearing September and it’s still a thing. His ERA is sub-2.50 compared to over 9.00 on the road…LOL! He also has actually been very good against left-handed batters this season and he will see a good amount of them in the Braves lineup. I don’t have much conviction here, but I played Alex Cobb last night and it didn’t end bad (he actually was chalk).
Batters (Non-Coors Field, in order of preference)
C: Yasmani Grandal, Yan Gomes, JT Realmuto
1B: Yonder Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Cody Bellinger
2B: Jed Lowrie, Brian Dozier, Travis Shaw
3B: Jose Ramirez, Matt Chapman, Alex Bregman
SS: Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado, Marcus Semien
OF: Michael Brantley, Christian Yelich, Khris Davis, Joc Pederson, Stephen Piscotty
Tournament Stack of the Day
Cleveland Indians- I’m not even sure this will be that sneaky, but I just can’t stop from attacking Heath Fillmyer. Fillmyer, or Fraudmyer, is a terrible pitcher that should get absolutely exposed by this contact-heavy Indians offense. As I mentioned above, it’s hot in Kansas City with fantastic hitting weather, coupled with Fillmyer’s lackluster advanced metrics. A 5.47 SIERA with 13.9% strikeouts, 11.8% walks and 40% hard-hits allowed, he is an unimposing as it gets on the mound. We obviously start with the two at the top in Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, and we can fill in with guys like Michael Brantley, Yonder Alonso or Edwin Encarnacion. It’s a deep lineup overall and my favorite on the slate.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)