Welcome to the final “On the Hill” article for the 2017 season. To quote Jimmy Fallon “this is it, you made it!” This will be the 118th time, I have put pen to paper (or keyboard to PC) to write this column this season and whether you have been reading since the beginning or just started I hope you have enjoyed reading it and hopefully made some money along the way. My recommendations this season have done fairly well finishing in the middle of the pack on the pitching side but in contention for a Top 3 finish on the hitting side with my stack recommendations this season.
The final Friday of the regular season features a 13-game MLB slate where there is still one playoff spot up for grabs and some playoff positioning still at stake. So, let’s get to it!
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Let’s mow down the competition 3 Up and 3 Down…
Trevor Bauer (FD-$9,000 / DK-$9,500)
I don’t trust how deep into the game the top high-priced aces (Strasburg/Greinke) will pitch tonight with their playoff spot secure, so I’ll pivot down to Bauer. The Indians are still playing to win in order to get home field in the AL and showed it by pitching Carlos Carrasco into the 9th inning yesterday. Bauer tossed seven innings in his last start allowing just one run with six strikeouts against the Mariners. He will pitch at home tonight where he has been better this season and will face a White Sox offense that has struck out 27% of the time against righties over the last 30 days. Bauer should be able to put up a quality start and win while approaching double-digit strikeouts making him a great Cash and GPP option.
Dan Straily (FD-$7,400 / DK-$7,100)
Straily and the Marlins don’t have anything to play for but neither does their opponent the Braves. Straily has allowed just two runs over his last two starts with 17 strikeouts in just 11 innings. He will pitch at home where he has posted a 3.18 ERA this season and is a decent sized favorite. He may not have huge upside against a Braves’ lineup that doesn’t strikeout too often but he should be a safe cheaper pitching option as a #2 starter on two-pitcher sites in Cash games.
Matt Boyd (FD-$7,000 / DK-$6,800)
Boyd has been impressive over his last three starts posting a 0.87 ERA and solid 20.5% strikeout rate. He will face the Twins who after clinching a playoff spot will likely rest some of their regulars which will water down the lineup Boyd will face. Boyd has also had success against Twins’ hitters during his career holding them to a .236 wOBA with a 20.3% strikeout rate over 128 plate appearances. We always seem to have pitchers throw gems in the last few days of the season against teams they have nothing to play for and Boyd might be the guy in that spot tonight.
Rockies vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu
The Rockies have a lot to play for as they have a two-game lead over the Brewers for the final Wild Card spot with three games to play. They will start a weekend series at home against lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu who has struggled against Rockies’ hitters over his career allowing a .400 wOBA in 114 plate appearances. No complicated reasoning here, ride with the Rockies’ top hitters at Coors Field in a game they need to win.
Nolan Arenado (FD-$4,900 / DK-$5,600)
Charlie Blackmon (FD-$4,900 / DK-$5,600)
Trevor Story (FD-$4,200 / DK-$4,500)
Ian Desmond (FD-$4,000 / DK-$4,400)
Rangers vs. Raul Alcantara
You wouldn’t think the Rangers would have much history against Alcantara but they do and it is good with a .380 wOBA and five home runs in 63 plate appearances. Alcantara hasn’t allowed a run in his last two short starts but has a 9.88 ERA on the road in his career while allowing 4.70 HR/9. Rangers’ hitters are reasonably priced considering they have one of the highest Vegas implied run totals on the slate.
Joey Gallo (FD-$2,800 / DK-$3,800)
Elvis Andrus (FD-$3,400 / DK-$4,200)
Nomar Mazara (FD-$2,800 / DK-$4,600)
Rougned Odor (FD-$2,300 / DK-$3,600)
Angels vs. Marco Gonzales
The Angels fell short of the playoffs but will look to end the season on a high note at home against the Mariners’ Marco Gonzales and the Mariners’ bullpen. Gonzales may not pitch too deep into the game but he could give up some long balls before he exits. He has given up 1.67 HR/9 to righties this season. Meanwhile, the Mariners’ bullpen has allowed 1.4 HR/9 over the last 30 days.
Justin Upton (FD-$4,000 / DK-$4,900)
Mike Trout (FD-$4,600 / DK-$5,500)
Albert Pujols (FD-$3,200 / DK-$3,600)
Kole Calhoun (FD-$3,300 / DK-$3,800)
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