On Players’ Weekend Marco Gonzales ($8,500) was simple with is nickname: “Gonzo”.  And why was that?  Because he’s too busy focusing on opposing batters to bother with some ridiculous nickname, that’s why.  You may remember him from such hits as a 3-0 April with a 2.14 ERA.  His numbers took a hit as the Mariners crash landed throughout the season, but even then he’s managed to go 16-12, albeit with a 4.09 ERA.  Now he’s revved it up again in September, going 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA.  Yes, Gonzales is facing the streaking Oakland A’s, but the A’s have trouble squaring him up.  They’ve only managed to hit him to a .225 batting average/.673 OPS split.  And he has gone 3-1 verse the A’s, averaging close to seven innings per start.  And finally, the A’s clinched a playoff spot last night, they’ll be bleary eyed at best.  So save some money, and zig while others zag to bigger name and more expensive pitchers who will be more worried about staying healthy for the playoffs than pitching well.  Now on to the picks, where we’ll be focusing on who’s hot going into the final weekend.

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Some players pack it in and coast to the end of the season.  These guys are turning it on.  Alex Bregman is one of those killing it in September, but he’s so valuable to his team that we’re betting he’s benched to rest for the playoffs.  He’s also cemented his 2019 legacy by hitting the 40 home run plateau.  The usual proviso that lineups should be checked before game time is extra here as lineups are extremely volatile on this final weekend of the season.

C, Christian Vazquez: $3,100 – One the one hand Vazquez is having some hamstring trouble.  On the other he is in the midst of a career year and would love to reach the 25 home run mark.  He has the fourth highest ISO (.424) in the majors over the past two weeks, including a .364/1.288 slash line.

1B, Mitch Moreland: $2,800 – Moreland is coming to play as his Red Sox career is likely coming to an end.  He has the 12th highest ISO (385) the last two weeks.  Along with Vazquez this could be a great value 1B/UTIL combo if needed.

1B, Howie Kendrick: $2,800 – There’s the old man and the sea, then there’s the old man Howie.  He’s aging like fine wine while he helps the Nats reach the playoffs with a .367 recent ISO.

2B, Cavan Biggio: $3,600 – The second hottest second baseman in the game, he’s got a two week ISO of .342.  Rookie’s that hit their stride are some of the safest final weekend bets.

SS, Corey Seager: $3,500 – Seager is hot as the season ends, carrying a .375 ISO and a worthy start at short.

3B, Tommy Edman: $3,300 – Case in point, Edman is part of the Cardinals express that’s cruising through September into the playoffs.  His two week ISO is .346.  Corey Seager is hurt, or he would’ve been the pick.

3B, Miguel Sano: $3,800 – Sano is second to Bregman at the top of the two week ISO with a .457 mark himself.  So why him when he’s in a similar situation to Bregman?  He’s so close to the 35 home run mark that his manager is likely to let him go for it.

OF, Sam Hilliard: $3,500 – Another of the rookie brigade, Hilliard is at home in Colorado and is just behind Sano with a recent .441 ISO.  He’s throwing in doubles and triples with his home runs.

OF, Ryan Braun: $3,800 – Another oldie but goodie, he’s rocking a .419 ISO as he helps to fill the void left by Yelich and brings the Brewers into the playoffs.  They have a shot to overtake the Cardinals in the NL Central, another incentive to start him in Coors Field.

OF, Charlie Blackmon: $4,400 – When he’s hot and at home he’s a must start.  His .394 ISO means he’s locked in, and is among the best bets for a multiple home run day today against a bullpen game from the Brewers.

OF, Oscar Mercado, $3,500 – No surprise, it’s another rookie.  This hot hitter (.388 ISO) won’t be the reason the Indians might not make the playoffs with 95+ wins.

OF, Kyle Tucker, $3,000 – This almost rookie and September callup may be sitting out, or may be the guy giving others a chance to rest.  He’s rocking a .375 recent ISO, including home runs and stolen bases to boot.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

The wind is blowing out in Boston, San Francisco, and…Colorado.  Might want to consider stacking those Brewers and Rockies lineups, starting with the guys mentioned above.  It’s blowing in for the Rangers and Yankees in Arlington.  Another reason to fade the Yanks, as they’ve more or less lost the best record in the AL to the Astros so have little incentive to play the starters.  There’s a little rain in KC for the Royals and Twins but it shouldn’t amount to much.

Doing Lines In Vegas

The best and the brightest: The biggest favorites are the Yankees (-272) at the Rangers, the Astros (-260) vs the Angels, and the Dodgers (-181) at the Giants.  The rare all road team top three.

Stack ’em, pack ’em and rack ’em: The highest projected runs scored today are the Brewers (6.58) at the Rockies, the Red Sox (5.42) vs the Orioles, and the Rockies (5.34) vs the Brewers.