With only seven games on the schedule today we’re spending the bulk of our money on starting pitching, because once you get passed the top 3 arms, there’s not a whole lot left.  Clayton Kershaw, $26,700 at Philadelphia and Patrick Corbin, $18,600 at San Diego are on top of the Streamonator and I’m feeling both matchups.  They’re both lefties, the’ye both facing two terrible offenses who strike out more than most teams in the league and they’re the cream of the crop tonight.  It’s Kershaw’s four start coming off the DL, so he should be in a good groove and he won’t be on a pitch count less than a 100 pitches.  The reins should be off tonight and I’m thinking he’ll come away with a W and double digit Ks.  Corbin got rocked for 8 ER in 4.1 innings at home against the Padres back on September 8th.  Look for a monster bounce back game in pitcher friendly Petco tonight, as I’m sure he’s been studying tape. Now that we’ve spent a good chunk on our pitchers. let’s get creative and see what we can do on the offensive side.

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There’s nothing more random than September baseball.  It’s a time where you throw season stats out the window and ride the hot bat or hot hand.  The mystery of a new guy can throw the league off for a few games and you can enjoy that all the way to a championship…or a few FantasyDraft bones.  Then there’s the recency of it all.  It’s always good to look at the 7 day performance of a given hitting team when trying to pick a pitcher during this time of year.  All year, it’s been a known thing: don’t start a pitcher vs the Dodgers.  Now?  Dodgers have been in a free fall and have the worst wRC+ over the last thirty days.  All this to say, this ain’t your mom’s time of year…hrm, not what I meant to say…namely cuz I don’t know what it means so instead I’ll just say over the last seven days, the Orioles have been one of the worst hitting teams in the league with a 53 wRC+ and a monstrous 28.2% K rate during that span heading into their matchup with Estrada last night (Marco was sitting at 3 K thru 2 as of this typing).  Why does all this matter?  Well, Joe Biagini already got to enjoy the mess that is Baltimore.  At Camden Yards on September 1st, Biagini went 7, struck out 10 so there’s a good chance this slide continues for these birds.  Keep in mind, this Biagini dream could quickly turn into a nightmare so stay away in cash, children.  Good?  Good.  With that out of the way, lets get on to this.  Here’s my Barbara Eden taeks for this Tuesday FantasyDraft slate (walks away humming the I Dream of Jeannie theme song)…

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Carlos Carrasco, $25,500 and the red hot Cleveland Indians are hosting the team formally known as the Detroit Tigers.  If you haven’t been keeping track the current Tigers aren’t posting a fearsome lineup by any means.  Nick Castellanos is swinging a hot bat, but other than him they are ice cold and Carrasco es en fuego!  Over his last three starts he’s 2-0 with 23 innings pitched, 24 Ks and 2 ER.  Yes, please and thank you.  Carrasco is the highest priced pitcher tonight, but with some creative pairing I’m confident we can piece together a winning roster.  Brandon Woodruff, $14,100, versus Pittsburgh is just what the doctor ordered to balance out the high price tag of Carrasco.  Woodruff has been very serviceable since being called up in early August.  He’s 1-1 with 1.52 ERA, with 20 Ks in 23.2 innings.  He’s facing a scuffling Pirates squad that’s only won 4 of it’s last twelve games and they’ve only scored a total of 6 runs over the last 5 games.  There’s not a ton of data to go off of for Woody, but I’ll take with the discounted price tag tonight.  Now that our pitching is set, let’s take a look at our offensive options.

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The Phillies seem determined to burn some serious pitching rubber. It’s September and they’re still rolling Aaron Nola ($8,400) out like these games actually mean something. I know players have their own self-pride, but this is like a hotel bible – it’s nice, but no one really cares. While the Phillies are busy playing Russian Roulette with Nola and a potential injury though, you should be Russian to get him in your lineup tonight. If you ignore Nola’s 20 earned runs across his last five starts and focus on the Nats ranking dead last in hits, third last in RBI’s and that whopping  .204 AVG over the last week, suddenly, this match up looks kinda okie-dokie. Here’s the rest of my Thursday picks:

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Lance McCullers (back) is back in action on Wednesday, making his first start since July as he comes off the disabled list. Starting a pitcher in their first outing back is always risky, but if McCullers is back on his game, he will be incredibly effective at a price of $7,600. It seems like he should be able to throw a full start, as he went five innings and 60 pitches in his last rehab outing. For a pitcher with a 10.05 K/9 and 2.94 FIP, a price this low feels insane. McCullers is a no-brainer in GPP formats.

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend but we are back to reality and have a full slate tonight. Since you are probably tired/hungover sitting at work, I am going to make this quick and easy to read. One Stack option that stands out to me is the LA Angels as they get to face Kendall Graveman tonight. The Angels have made some moves to push for the final Wild Card slot and they have paid off as the Angels have been playing some good baseball as of late. Over the last week the offense has been clicking, hitting .291 and an OPS of .861. They just ripped Graveman recently and I believe it should be a similar fate when they square up tonight. With Mike Trout and Albert Pujols having some serious BvP success, they should both be in your lineup. As well as Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton, Kole Calhoun and CJ Cron, they should be able to rack up some points for your line up.

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I’m hoping that most of you reading this at the very least have the day off, if not, my condolences to your summer.  For those of you still standing, reading, celebrating or partying, I’m here to give you some quick advice on tonight’s late games in DFS.  We are on a limited slate of only five games, so it’s going to be all or nothing tonight.  R.A. Dickey, $13,600 is at home vs the Rangers and I have a feeling the knuck-knuck will be dancing in the deep South’s overwhelming humidity.  He was lights out on Wednesday when I streamed him in Philly, posting a solid 8 innings, with 9 Ks and only giving up 1 ER.  He’s facing a Texas team that hasn’t seen him since May of last year and he dealt, 8 innings with 6 Ks and 0 ER.  Long story short, don’t be a dick and get you some R.A. tonight with a side of the double RR.  That’s right!  I’m all in on Robbie Ray, $21,000 who is facing the Dodgers in Los Angeles tonight and his road splits are insane!  Full disclosure?  I didn’t feature Ray today because I already did earlier this season and I didn’t want to repeat.  Yes, I’m endorsing him even against the mighty Dodgers.  I shouldn’t have to back up my picks with statistics, but I know you need to see the numbers to verify my claims.  Chase Field; 5-4, 4.50 ERA, with 82 Ks over 64 innings.  Like a young Willie Nelson our Ray Gun is ready to rock it “On The Road Again” where he’s 6-1, with a miniscule 1.49 ERA to go along with 88 K’s over 66.1 innings.  I know Willie warned our moms against letting their babies growing up to be cowboys, but this is one young buck who likes to go rogue and put up numbers on the road.  Now that our pitching is locked and loaded, let’s take a look at our offensive options.

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Michael Wacha ($6,900) has had it incredibly rough as of late, getting shelled in three consecutive outings, so it’s a bit of a frightening proposal to consider starting him on Thursday. However, as all savvy daily fantasy players know, a recent cold streak is a great opportunity to buy low on a player. Wacha still has a solid 3.76 FIP on the year and is rocking an 8.65 K/9. He can easily turn himself around against the Giants, who are the weakest lineup in baseball against righties this season, as they’ve got a .297 wOBA. Wacha also gets his start in the incredibly pitcher-friendly environment at AT&T Park. For such a nice price, Wacha can do you wonders in GPP formats.

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If you’re a risk-it-for-the-biscuit kinda guy (or gal), you’d do well to back J.A. Happ ($7,700) tonight. He holds a .196 AVG vs. the current Red Sox lineup, and has struck out 31 of Boston’s hitters to go with it. I normally liken Happ to a sparkling bottle of Merlot – too much is a bad thing, but just enough can be quite healthy. Therefore, go ahead and get plastered on Happ tonight. He’s allowed an earned run in 18 of his 19 games this season, but hey, the Red Sox have struck out 58 times at Rogers Centre this season – their highest ballpark total away from Fenway. On a night where there’s few “elite” pitchers to pick from, Happ is your man. Here’s who else I like on this fine Wednesday.

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If there is one thing the Cincinnati Reds can do is they can mash RHP. They currently rank top 5 against RHP in wOBA and OPS and almost in the top 10 in nearly all offensive categories. A match-up tonight against Chris Flexen leads to a great stacking possibility. Flexen has been up and down in his brief rookie campaign, but he has been awful on the road. He has an ERA of 8.18 away from home and a trip to Great American Ball Park should balloon that number even further. Joey Votto (410,000), Scooter Gennett ($8,000), Scott Schebler ($7,200), Eugenio Suarez ($8,000) and Adam Duvall ($7,800) should all be able to light up the scoreboard tonight. The over under in this game is sitting at 10 runs, so a slugfest is expected.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care! 

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