The Labor Day MLB schedule is spread out throughout the day, but all 30 teams are in action, which is definitely rare for a Monday. Teams are trying to capitalize on attendance with one last gasp of summer and that’s a big reason why we saw only eight teams in action last Thursday, so they could all play here on September 5. DFS players are still watching closely, as we now have less than four weeks left in the regular season. Let’s see what sorts of values are out there for Monday’s games.
Remember that our column here at BangTheBook is centered exclusively on finding value. You know who the good players are. So does everybody else. It’s those under-the-radar guys that you pair with those high-salary players that allow you to come out on top.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for September 5:
Kansas City – Jose Berrios is back in the big leagues with expanded rosters and it’s hard to expect anything other than what we’ve seen from him. The Twins right-hander has a 9.24 ERA with a 6.18 FIP and a 5.50 xFIP in his 37 innings. He has no control and no command at the big league level, for whatever reason. He’s been great at Triple-A and through the system, but the Majors bring out the worst in him. The Royals aren’t a great offense, but Berrios needs to prove something before we avoid stacking against him.
New York Yankees – RA Dickey will have to find a way to keep the ball in the park at Yankee Stadium and that’s easier said than done for him. Dickey is carrying around a career-high 15.3 percent HR/FB% on the season and it doesn’t help that he’s increased his number of walks allowed this season. Dickey has a 4.43 ERA with a 5.14 FIP and a 4.80 xFIP. The Yankees should get some good swings in for this one.
Cleveland – Mike Fiers takes the hill for Houston tonight when they open up a big four-game set in Cleveland. Fiers has had some command issues this season that have led to a 4.31 ERA with a 4.52 FIP and a 4.19 xFIP. Fiers has actually thrown the pill pretty well of late, with one home run allowed in his last three starts, but he likes to group the long ball together and the Indians have hit plenty of them this season.
Here are the top value hitters for September 5:
Hyun Soo Kim ($3,000) – It would be nice if Hyun Soo Kim hit for some more power, but he’s slashing .333/.401/.450 against right-handed pitching on the season, so he’s finding ways to pick up points in DFS formats. Kim draws Matt Andriese in this one. Andriese has actually fared better against lefties than righties this season, but he’s also allowed a .462 SLG on the road, so those two stats balance out a bit.
AJ Pollock ($3,300) – AJ Pollock’s two days on, one day off routine will have him back in the lineup on Monday against Kenta Maeda. Pollock is slashing .321/.406/.429 since his return and he’s already swiped four bags to help pad that DFS stat line. When you have a chance to get a highly productive player at a price like this, the opposing pitcher isn’t all that big of a deal, and it’s not like Maeda is Clayton Kershaw or Chris Sale. Pollock still has the platoon advantage.
Mark Reynolds ($3,800) – The right-handed slugger has enjoyed his season in the altitude. Reynolds has a .313/.384/.490 slash at Coors Field on the year and owns a .292/.356/.431 slash at home against left-handed pitching. Reynolds doesn’t have the pronounced platoon splits that we’re accustomed to seeing from him, but he’s a good stream at a low price for a game at Coors Field against a southpaw.
Here are the top value pitchers for September 5:
Robert Stephenson ($6,400) – We’ll start with a situational streaming angle on Robert Stephenson. The Mets played Sunday Night Baseball and picked up a nice 5-1 win. It was a light-hearted flight to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport, but this is a quick turnaround and the Mets just played one of their chief rivals. Now, they play the Reds. Stephenson hasn’t shown a ton at the big league level, but he’ll get some tired hitters for this early start time on the Ohio River.
Jerad Eickhoff ($7,600) – The Marlins offense continues to suffer without key cogs like Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. Jerad Eickhoff is looking to put the finishing touches on a solid season here in September and he’s got a lot to like. For one thing, dingers have been his biggest issue and Marlins Park suppresses some power. For another, he doesn’t issue that many walks, so he doesn’t create his own issues. That’s big against a lineup missing key pieces.
Kenta Maeda ($9,000) – The Diamondbacks have owned left-handed hurlers this season, but righties have given them all sorts of problems. Kenta Maeda is having some home run issues over the last two months, but Arizona is 25th in home runs against right-handed pitching this season and 22nd in road homers this season. If Maeda can curtail that, at least for one outing, he should have plenty of success.