All player prices are as of Friday, August 28
Raisel Iglesias, CIN (Fri. at MIL), $7800 Ė Coming off a 13-strikeout gem against the Diamondbacks, Iglesias wonít exactly be flying under the radar for Fridayís start versus Milwaukee. No matter, the combination of price and matchup are just too good to pass up, with the rookie carrying a 77:21 K:BB ratio (73.1 innings) into a matchup with a punch-less lineup. Over the last 30 days (a stretch that almost matches up with the trade deadline), Milwaukee ranks 27th in wRC+ (82) and wOBA (.297), 20th in strikeout rate (21.8 percent) and 19th in walk rate (7.0 percent). Iglesias owns a 1.93 ERA, 29.2 percent strikeout rate, 6.7 percent walk rate, 59.5 percent ground-ball rate and 10.5 percent swinging-strike rate over that same stretch (five starts).
Mat Latos, LAD (Sat. vs. CHC) Ė It hasnít been pretty for Latos since he joined the Dodgers, with his three starts yielding a 0-2 record, 6.75 ERA and 8:3 K:BB ratio over 14.2 innings, leading to a demotion to the bullpen that included exactly zero relief appearances. Of course, the miniscule sample size doesnít carry much significance, and the larger picture still shows a player who has mostly looked like his old self over the last few months, after starting the season slow while battling back from an injury. The recent time off may seem like a concern, but Latos should still be cleared for his usual pitch count, as he tossed a five-inning simulated game Tuesday afternoon. This is obviously a very risky play against the strikeout-happy, homer-happy Cubbies, but itís a risk Iím willing to take because of the depressed price tag.
John Lamb, CIN (Sun. at MIL) Ė Though he owns an unsightly 6.06 ERA through the first three starts of his career, Lambís ability to miss bats is exactly what weíre looking for on DraftKings when taking a shot with a cheap pitcher. After posting a 9.5 K/9 and 2.67 ERA through 111.1 Triple-A innings this season, he has a 21:5 K:BB ratio in 16.1 innings for the Reds, despite starting his career with some tricky matchups (Dodgers twice, Diamondbacks once). And, as mentioned before, the Milwaukee offense is far from potent, especially since swapping out Gerardo Parra for a slew of replacement-level players. The 2-5 of Milwaukeeís lineup is solid, but the rest is just ugly.
Other options: Max Scherzer, WAS (Fri. vs. MIA), $12,500; Francisco Liriano, PIT (Fri. vs. COL), $10,000; Kevin Gausman, BAL (Fri. at TEX); Jordan Zimmermann, WAS (Sat. vs. MIA); J.A. Happ, PIT (Sat. vs. COL); Corey Kluber, CLE (Sun. vs. LAA); Stephen Strasburg, WAS (Sun. vs. MIA); Jose Quintana, CWS (Sun. vs. SEA)
C Brian McCann, NYY (at ATL), $4000 Ė Like everyone else, I normally target the Yankeesí left-handed bats when theyíre at home, taking aim at the short right-field porch. However, the matchups in Atlanta this weekend are undeniably excellent, with the Bombers scheduled to face right-handers Williams Perez (Fri.), Matt Wisler (Sat.) and Julio Teheran (Sun.). I may avoid the rejuvenated Teheran on Sunday, but Perez and Wisler are about as good as matchups get for left-handed power hitters. And, if youíre into this sort of thing (Iím definitely not), McCann will be facing his former team.
1B Mitch Moreland, TEX (vs. BAL), $3600 Ė Always much better against right-handed pitching, Moreland has actually been decent versus southpaws (.702 OPS) this year, yet his splits remain gaping. That means heís been crushing right-handers, as confirmed by his .296/.345/.534 slash line and 15 home runs (out of 18) in 253 at-bats. Fortunately for both our purposes and his, the hefty slugger will face three consecutive hittable, right-handed pitchers in Arlington this weekend. Only Miguel Gonzalez (Sun.) is truly worth picking on with a lineup stack, but Moreland also makes for a nice stand-alone play against Kevin Gausman (Fri.) and Ubaldo Jimenez (Sat.).
2B/3B Anthony Rendon, WAS (vs. MIA), $3700 Ė I knew it was only a matter of time before Anthony Rendon circa 2015 started to look like Anthony Rendon circa 2014. The extended absence was obviously costly and his season-long slash line wonít have time to recover, but the Natsí 25-year-old second baseman is finally back to the best version of himself, with eight hits (two homers) and five walks over the last five games. Lest anyone forget, weíre talking about a player who put up a .287/.351/.473 slash line last year, with 21 home runs and 17 stolen bases. And he did all of that in his first full MLB season, at the ages of 23 and 24. Also, heíll face the Marlinsí trash bag of a rotation this weekend, highlighted by matchups against lefties Adam Conley (Fri.) and Brad Hand (Sun.). The Nationals are a prime stacking option for both of those days, with all of their key players besides Bryce Harper hitting from the right side.
SS Troy Tulowitzki, TOR (vs. DET), $4300 Ė Iím mostly trying to avoid the Detroit-Toronto series at the SkyDome this weekend, as all of the key players will likely come with high ownership rates. Tulowitzki is the exception Iíll make, in large part because of his oddly reasonable price in combination with the scarcity at his position. Itís also nice that he bats leadoff, as his RBIs will either knock in himself or lightly-owned players at the bottom of the lineup, whereas Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will typically be driving in the highly-owned sluggers who bat in front of them. In other words, letís hope that Tulo goes deep a couple times and leaves the bases empty for Josh Donaldson. Then letís hope that the Detroit pitching staff can take care of Donaldson, Joey Bats and EncarnacionÖ cross all of your fingers for that one.
OF Andrew McCutchen, PIT (vs. COL), $4900 Ė McCutchen seems to be done with his semi-slump, as he enters Friday averaging 15.4 DraftKings points over his last five games, with only three strikeouts in that span. He still isnít contributing stolen bases, but he should do enough damage at the plate this weekend that it wonít even matter. Fridayís matchup with Jon Gray is perhaps a bit tricky, but with Gray on a strict pitch count, McCutchen will probably only have to face him twice before getting into the weak Colorado bullpen. Then, Cutch gets to face lefties Chris Rusin (Sat.) and Jorge De La Rosa (Sun.), which should lead to some weekend fireworks.
OF Justin Upton, SD (at PHI), $4500 Ė Upton will spend the weekend at homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park, facing MLBís worst pitching staff. A Friday matchup with rookie Aaron Nola isnít great, but heíll then take on lefty Adam Morgan (Sat.) and right-hander Jerome Williams (Sun.), two of the worst pitchers currently in a major-league starting rotation. Even with minimal help around him in the dreadful San Diego lineup, Upton should be good for a long ball or three over the next few days.
Other options: C Welington Castillo, ARI (vs. OAK), $3200; 1B Victor Martinez, DET (at TOR), $3500; 2B/OF Skip Schumaker, CIN (at MIL), $2000; 2B Kolten Wong, STL (at SF), $3200; 3B Evan Longoria, TB (vs. KC), $3500; 3B/SS Jung-Ho Kang, PIT (vs. COL), $3800; SS Ian Desmond, WAS (vs. MIA), $3800; OF Jay Bruce, CIN (at MIL), $4000; OF Jayson Werth, WAS (vs. MIA), $3400; 1B/OF Michael Cuddyer, NYM (vs. BOS), $3200
Tigers at TORís R.A. Dickey
Yankees at ATLís Williams Perez
Mariners at CWSís John Danks
Pirates vs. COLís Jon Gray
Nationals vs. MIAís Adam Conley
Blue Jays vs. DETís Matt Boyd
Pirates vs. COLís Chris Rusin
Brewers vs. CINís Keyvius Sampson
Reds at MILís Matt Garza
Astros at MINís Mike Pelfrey
Yankees at ATLís Matt Wisler
Diamondbacks vs. OAKís Felix Doubront
Blue Jays vs. DETís Alfredo Simon
Tigers at TORís Mark Buehrle
Indians vs. LAAís Jered Weaver
Rays vs. KCís Danny Duffy
Nationals vs. MIAís Brad Hand
Pirates vs. COLís Jorge De La Rosa
Reds at MILís Wily Peralta
Astros at MINís Ervin Santana
Rangers vs. BALís Miguel Gonzalez