What’s up, everybody!  As the regular season winds down (shut up!  I’m not crying!!  You’re crying!!), these slates on FanDuel are getting tighter, but the deeper we get into the data, the bigger advantage we have to make it in the $$.  FanDuel has us set up for a 14-game slate to start the weekend.  Once upon a time, there was a strapping young man who took Luis Castillo ($8,500), up and coming stud, with the 73rd pick of their draft.  Throws 95+, they said.  Plus change and breaking ball, they said.  Can’t miss, breakout, they said.  Fast forward to 3 months later when Mr. Can’t-Miss sports a 5.49 ERA and earned a cut off my team (spoiler alert…..I’m the strapping young man).  Well, here we are in September, and guess who’s reeling me back in??  Mr. 1.46 ERA-in-September himself, Luis Castillo; and speaking of reeling, he gets a lovely match-up with the Marlins in Miami.   Going from Great American Smallpark to the friendly confines of Marlins Park (really?? That’s what they named it??) should help Luis Castillo…..as should facing the Marlins’ AAA lineup <insert rimshot here>.  Let’s take a look at the rest of Friday’s slate.

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Jacob deGrom, SP: $12,100 – This time of year, we’re always looking at motivation.  Cy Young Award motivation enough?  Yup, motivation enough for me.

German Marquez, SP: $10,200 – One of the hottest pitchers in the 2nd half……faces one of the coldest offenses in the 2nd half.  Don’t believe me??  Diamondbacks are 24th in wOBA, 23rd in ISO, and have the 4th highest K% vs RHP since August 1st.  Marquez has a 31.6% K% in the 2nd half, which coincides with a change in pitch mix that saw an increased usage in his breaking pitches.

CC Sabathia, SP: $7,500 – The wily veteran gets a Baltimore team that is just not good.  Yes, that is very technical analysis.  You don’t really need me to go into stats, do you??  Fine, fine.  Since August 1st, 29th in wOBA, 27th in ISO, and 4th highest K% vs LHP.  Satisfied??

Jhoulys Chacin, SP: $7,400 – Part deux of SPs in the $7k range that I like.  Chacin gets a park upgrade and faces a Pirates offense that is 28th in ISO and wOBA vs RHP since August 1st.

John Gant, SP: $7,300 – Here’s numero tres.  I call this one the “close my eyes and play against the Giants.”  Since August 1st, they’re dead last in ISO and wOBA vs RHP, and 3rd worst in K%.

Freddie Freeman, 1B: $4,400 – Freeman’s been heating up and the Braves face the team that’s chasing them in the Phillies.  There’s your motivation, so there should be no worries about getting pinch hit for.

Yadier Molina, C: $3,000 – Ok, ok, I get it.  The Cardinals face Madison Bumgarner, but MadBum hasn’t been the beast that he’s been in previous years.  He’s been great at home, where that ballpark hides some of the mistakes, to a tune of a 1.34 ERA; but get him out of that park and the blemishes come out (5.02 ERA).  Cardinals will be my sneaky stack tonight.  I think you’ll be able to get a nice little mini-stack at super low owned.

Travis Shaw, 2B: $4,100 – Ivan Nova really struggles vs LHBs, and man, Milwaukee has some beasts.

Whit Merrifield, 2B: $3,600 – Kid’s a lefty killer and gets a juicy match-up vs Francisco Liriano on Friday.

Jeff McNeil, 2B: $3,400 – This is my boy….and that’s coming from a Phillies fan.  McNeil just flat-out hits!  As of this writing, he even has 2 hits off Scherzer tonight.

Justin Turner, 3B: $4,300 – Cozy match-up vs Eric Lauer.  You can tell Justin Turner is healthy….well, because he’s mashing.

Mike Moustakas, 3B: $3,700 – This Brewers’ stack is certainly not cheap, but if you decide to pay down at SP some, I really, really like this spot.

David Freese, 3B: $2,300 – The value bats on this slate are few and far between.  If Freese is in the lineup vs Lauer, this is a spot you can go to and save yourself some cash to get some big bats in.

Didi Gregorius, SS: $3,900 – The Yankees get a dude named Yefry, who really gets crushed by LHBs.

Adalberto Mondesi, SS: $3,400 – .304, 7 HRs, 21 SBs.  That’s what Mondesi’s done in the 2nd half of the season.

Amed Rosario, SS: $2,800 – Love this as a pay-down option at SS.  Rosario’s quietly been almost as good as Mondesi, going .300, 5 HR, and 12 SBs since August 1st.

Christian Yelich, OF: $5,100 – If you’re paying down at SP, you have to lock this stud into your lineup.

Tommy Pham, OF: $3,800 – You think the Cardinals are kicking themselves for selling low on Pham??  Pham’s been one of the hottest bats in September.

Marcell Ozuna, OF: $3,500 – Part of your Cardinals sneaky stack.  Ozuna’s finally heated up!

Ender Inciarte, OF: $3,300 – Hitting in between Acuna and Freeman is helpful, isn’t it?

Harrison Bader, OF: $3,100 – The final piece of your Cardinals stack.

Brett Gardner, OF: $2,900 – Remember our boy Yefry?  Who struggles vs LHBs?  Here’s a cheap one.

Red Sox/Indians Bats – This is a full avoid game for me.  Trevor Bauer is going to be an opener for the Indians, and as of this writing, the plan is that Carlos Carrasco will follow him.  Honestly, I have no idea how long they’ll go, so I’m not playing the arms and I’m avoiding the Red Sox bats.  On the other side, Chris Sale is the opener for the Red Sox.  Again, I have no idea how long he’ll go, and with that uncertainty, I’m full fading this game.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Of course the game with one of the highest totals on the slate is also most likely to get PPD. At time of writing, there are thunderstorms all day in the forecast for Mariners/Rangers.  There are storms leading up to first pitch for the Red Sox/Indians game, which might force a delayed start, but that game should play fine.  Finally, in Pittsburgh, there’s about a 35% chance of thunderstorms starting about an hour after first pitch for the Brewers/Pirates.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Dodgers  (-265), Yankees (-280), and Astros (-215) are all big favorites tonight.  With the Mariners/Rangers (10.5) game in peril, that leaves the Orioles/Yankees and Royals/Tigers as the highest totals on the night at 9.  My personal play is on the Brewers, who are -125 in Pittsburgh.