DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Note: Player prices are based on Friday's games.

Here are some of the top plays on DraftKings for Friday night and the upcoming weekend…

Pitchers

Ervin Santana, ATL (Fri. at PHI), $9100 – Santana isn't exactly sprinting for the finish line, but he also hasn't been bad enough to scare me away, at least not at this price against a terrible Phillies lineup. Santana has proven that his 2013 return to form was no fluke, and he's pitched better than his 3.88 ERA indicates. Always known for his tendency to give up homers, the 31-year-old has allowed just 16 dingers through 30 starts this season, with his career-best 0.76 HR/9 contributing to a 3.42 FIP and 3.63 SIERA. He also saw his strikeout rate spike from 18.7 percent last season to an even 22 percent this year. The Phillies, meanwhile, have made for an easy matchup all season, as they rank 27th in wRC+ (85), 28th in wOBA (.295) and 21st in strikeout rate (21 percent). And, each of those numbers has been even worse since the beginning of September.

Ricky Nolasco, MIN (Sat. at DET), $5600 – This is a high-risk, medium-reward pick, but at $5600, I'm quite intrigued. Nolasco's nightmare season has at least taken a slight turn for the better since he rejoined the Twins in mid-August, as he's posted a
4.56 ERA, 3.74 FIP and 37:8 K:BB over 49.1 innings, albeit with an 0-5 record. He's been oddly up-and-down since his return, recording 20-25 DraftKings points in three starts, but fewer than five points in the other three turns. One of the good starts came last week against this same Detroit lineup, when Nolasco struck out five over eight scoreless innings, only to watch Glen Perkins give away his win.

Michael Pineda, NYY, (Sun. at BOS) – Despite losing most of the year to a shoulder injury, Pineda has provided plenty of cause for optimism, posting a 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 2.96 FIP and 49:7 K:BB in 12 starts. The lack of strikeouts – just 49 in 70 innings – is surprising, but Pineda still owns a career 8.29 K/9, and he got back on the punch-out bandwagon in his last two starts. The second of those outings was especially encouraging, as Pineda held a tough Baltimore lineup scoreless over 7.1 innings of one-hit, eight-K ball. Just as important, the right-hander reached 100 pitches for a second consecutive start, after being removed shy of the century mark in each of his first 10 outings this season. Further helping Pineda's cause, the Red Sox will likely trot out a very inexperienced lineup for the season finale, as they've been doing the past few weeks.

Other intriguing options:Jon Niese, NYM (Fri. vs. HOU), $8300; Ryan Vogelsong, SF (Fri. vs. SD), $7000; Francisco Liriano, PIT (Sat. at CIN), $10,500; Carlos Carrasco, CLE (Sat. vs. TB), $9800; Lance Lynn, STL (Sat. at AZ), $9700; Cole Hamels, PHI (Sun. vs. ATL); Danny Salazar, CLE (Sun. vs. TB)

Batters

Buster Posey, C/1B, SF, $3900 – Posey's second-half mash-fest has slowed down a bit over the last two weeks, yet he still has eight hits over his last six games, heading into the final series of the season. The Giants may not have anything to play for by Sunday, but they'll be fighting for home-field advantage in the play-in game through at least Saturday, meaning their star catcher should be in the lineup. Posey, owner of a .310/.363/.484 slash line this season, has a strong track record against each of the Padres' three scheduled starters, including hittable lefties Eric Stults (Sat.) and Robbie Erlin (Sun.).

Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B, NYM, $3700 – Murphy, who has struggled to the tune of a .256/.307/.357 slash line at Citi Field this year, has also not fared well at the plate in September. However, I'm not too worried about either of those things, as his past statistics don't show much in the way of home/road splits, and he's mostly been a very consistent batter this year. Murphy should finish the season with a bang, thanks to matchups against Houston right-handers Brad Peacock (Fri.), Samuel Deduno (Sat.) and Nick Tropeano (Sun.). This is an excellent price for the second baseman, as he has typically cost north of $4000 this season while producing 7.6 DraftKings points per game.

Neil Walker, 2B/3B, PIT, $3900 – Look for Walker to finish what's arguably been his best season on a high note, after breaking out of a 1-for-23 slump by hitting a homer in Thursday's game. While he probably shouldn't be used Sunday against Jhonny Cueto, Walker should feast on Friday and Saturday matchups with Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon, respectively. Despite barely reaching 500 at-bats, Walker has a career-high 22 homers, with the second-best RBI total (72) of his career. He cost $4000 or more for much of the season, but comes a bit cheaper due to the recent mini-sump, which was preceded by an extended hot streak.

Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD, $5100 – Puig's campaign has been both excellent and inconsistent, as his ridiculous hot streaks have more than made up for a few barren stretches. He's finishing the regular season on a high note, with three home runs, 18 hits (seven for extra bases) and two steals in his last 12 games. He might slow down in the playoffs against tougher competition, but Puig figures to mash over the last three regular-season games, as he'll be facing the dreadful Colorado rotation.

Alex Gordon OF, KC, $3900 – One of baseball's hottest hitters in August, Gordon finally seems to be breaking out of his ugly September slump, with four hits and three walks over his least three games entering Friday. He'll find the opposition to his liking this weekend, when the Royals face Hector Noesi (Fri.), John Danks (Sat.) and Chris Bassitt (Sat.) at U.S. Cellular Field. Even though the Kansas City bats have cooled down, it's hard not to like them over the final three days of the season.

Other intriguing options:

Jonathan Lucroy, MIL, C, $4000; Stephen Vogt, C/1B, OAK, $3000

Victor Martinez, 1B, DET, $4700; Adam LaRoche, 1B, WAS, $4100; Lucas Duda, 1B, NYM, $4100; Adam Dunn, 1B, OAK, $3600; Brandon Belt, 1B, SF, $3000

Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX, $3500; Scooter Gennett, 2B, MIL, $3000

Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA, $4200; Josh Harrison, 3B/OF, PIT, $3900; Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL, $3600; Pablo Sandoval, 3B, SF, $3200

Wilmer Flores, 2B/SS, NYM, $3200; Rafael Ynoa, 3B/SS, COL, $3100; J.J. Hardy, SS, BAL, $3000

Jose Bautista, OF, TOR, $5700 Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL, $4600; Justin Upton, OF, ATL, $4100; Hunter Pence, OF, SF, $3600; Khris Davis, OF, MIL, $3000; Gregor Blanco, OF, SF, $3000; Yorman Rodriguez, OF, CIN, $2000

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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