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Thursday, September 10
Just nine games all day on this Transition Thursday with six games on the main slate for both DK and FD with games starting at 6:40pm ET. A six-gamer in cash means we have to be near perfect and can’t get too cute with our plays. One glance at the slate should tell us that the masses will do all in their power to get Gerrit Cole into their lineups – if that game even plays. We may end up having a five-game slate as there’s a storm in NYC today and a high likelihood of this game getting rained out.
The only thing to be decided on any mound today is in San Diego where the Padres have Drew Smyly ready to pitch a few innings after a five-week stint on the IL with a finger injury. If he’s not ready to go, it’ll be righty Trevor Cahill instead. Regardless, I’d expect both to pitch in this one. As most know by now, Smyly is the one with the wicked strikeout upside but is much more volatile and prone to homers and general blow-ups. Either way, we’re not looking to target any Giants’ pitchers in cash tonight though we may prioritize more Padres’ bats depending on who is pitching.
There’s also Dustin May of the Dodgers who was shoving four-seamers at over 100 mph in his last start and priced so sweetly on FD ($7,600) that he may just tempt people over paying up for Sonny Gray ($10,100) if Cole isn’t an option and BAL-NYY gets canceled. There of course is Chris Paddack ($8,300) who should suck up some ownership on name brand and popularity alone but it’s been a rough road for him of late as Paddack has allowed 15 earned runs over his last four starts.
High chance of rain and possibility of delay or postponement in New York (BAL vs. NYY).
For the most updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center
- New York Yankees (-250)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (-200)
- Tampa Bay Rays (-195)
- San Diego Padres (-188)
Highest Run Expectancy
- Los Angeles Dodgers (5.7) – vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
- San Diego Padres (5.3) – vs. San Francisco Giants
- New York Yankees (5.3) – vs. Baltimore Orioles
- Tampa Bay Rays (5.3) – vs. Boston Red Sox
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Baltimore Orioles (3.3) – @ New York Yankees
- San Francisco Giants (3.8) – @ San Diego Padres
- Boston Red Sox (3.8) – @ Tampa Bay Rays
- Arizona Diamondbacks (3.9) – @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Today’s Best Pitchers
- Gerrit Cole RH/Yankees ($10,300) – keep tabs on weather
As discussed in the intro, his price isn’t at such a stratospheric level where we would not consider playing him if that game looks safe. Yes, he’s served up a home run at least once in each of his starts this year (2.25 HR/9) but he’s the whiffs master general with 10 strikeouts in three of his last six starts. Those other games? How about 7, 8, 9 strikeouts. He cruised against the Orioles early on last week in that start in Camden but then gave up five hits / five runs quickly (though only one was earned). Fortunately for Cole, Anthony Santander is on the IL but unfortunately for him, Santander’s replacement, former stud prospect DJ Stewart, has one-upped his teammate and hit at least one home run in the four games since being called back up. If you have any feelings about Cole having another one of these similar starts where he’ll rack up K’s and serve up homers and doesn’t top 30 DKP or 40 FDP, you may want to consider alternatives.
- Sonny Gray RH/Reds ($9,600)
Gray is a solid pivot off Cole as the 30-year-old has all but dominated this season with the exception of his latest outing where he was having some issues with his lower body during his pitch deliveries in that first inning against the Cardinals, allowing six quick runs before getting yanked. That was back on September 1 and he has essentially had a start skipped and should be fine in this one against the Cubs where the wind is still blowing in (in Wrigley). Gray has a 31.6% strikeout rate on the season and opposing batters manage just a .204 average against him. He’s been frugal on the flyballs (25 percent rate) and homers (three allowed in eight starts) as well. Take a look at the BvP of Cubs’ bats against him in the BvP section – it’s the most dominant thing I’ve ever seen.
- Sandy Alcantara RH/Marlins ($6,600)
The danger here is the fact that we’ve got a Phillies team that should mash right-handed pitching, though they are only ranked middle of the pack at 15th in ISO (.166) and 16th in wOBA (.325). Alcantara has only made three starts this season as he spent some time on the COVID-IL but his latest one at Tampa was a gem (6 IP – 1 ER – 3 BB – 8 K) and his first start of the season was in Philly and was a gem as well (6.2 IP – 3 H – 1 ER – 2 BB – 7 K). On FD it’s a tougher spot to swallow, but on DK he makes for a nice pairing with Cole or Gray as our SP2 since he’s underpriced.
Also Consider: Chris Paddack RH/Padres ($8,300), Dustin May RH/Dodgers ($8,800)
- Sonny Gray RH/Reds ($10,100)
- Chris Paddack RH/Padres ($9,000)
- Dustin May RH/Dodgers ($7,600)
- Gerrit Cole RH/Yankees ($11,200)
Really going to just stick to these four options for cash games, especially since Alcantara is priced a bit too high for the potential risk at $9,200. If there was no risk in BAL-NYY, then I’d probably pay up for Cole. Since I believe that game has major issues, Gray would be the direction I’d head in given his success against the Cubs. In his lone start against them this year, he whiffed 11 batters and didn’t allow a run. Last year in four starts against them, just 17 hits and nine runs allowed with 37 K in 30 IP (.160 BAA).
Paddack will be very chalky today, particularly if Cole doesn’t get to pitch. Though he hasn’t had issues with velocity nor does he appear to be hurt, Paddack simply hasn’t been as dominating as he was in his rookie season – he has a 4.75 ERA in nine starts and just one quality start in his last six attempts. These Giants aren’t the same bats we could simply gloss over like the last few years so, for me, Paddack represents more of a GPP play.
All the projection systems I see are down on Dodgers’ May and I just don’t get it. I recognize May has only struck out more than five batters once in eight starts and has only topped 30 FDP once (46 vs. SDP on August 4) but he’s not at much risk to get pulled before five innings and has reached there five of his last six starts. The Diamondbacks have been giving the Dodgers hell this week which was a surprise for Buehler and Kershaw owners, but they are arguably the least potent offense in baseball right now since they traded away Starling Marte and Ketel Marte hit the IL. Some may see May as more of a GPP play, but I’m absolutely fine using him in cash as I see a ceiling game for him and if you like the difference in bats you get in with him versus Sonny Gray for $2,500 more.
Pitchers to Target Against
- Mike Kickham (LH/BOS) – 31-year-old journeyman last pitched in the majors in 2014. Had a 4.27 ERA, 5.24 xFIP and 9.4% BB in Triple-A last year. May last 2-3 IP before ceding to bullpen.
TARGET RAYS RHH’s
- Madison Bumgarner (LH/ARI) – 8.44 ERA / 1.50 WHIP, 9 HR allowed in 21.1 IP (4 starts), served up 2 HR in his return from IL last start
TARGET ALL DODGERS HITTERS (ESPECIALLY RIGHTIES)
- Drew Smyly (LH/SF) – Two starts before IL; in 2019: 6.24 ERA, 10.7% BB, 2.54 HR/9 in 114 IP
TARGET PADRES RHH’s
Batter vs. Pitcher
Be careful overvaluing BvP, especially in sample sizes under 30 PA. Use it mostly as a tiebreaker between two hitters you’re considering or to include someone as part of your stack. There are a million other factors to consider before BvP including: matchup, opposing SP/bullpen, platoon splits, Vegas run totals, weather, umpire data.
C – Jorge Alfaro, RH/MIA (4 for 9, 1 HR vs. Jake Arrieta)
2B – Enrique Hernandez, RH/LAD (25 for 50, 4 HR, 2 SB vs. Madison Bumgarner)
SS – Miguel Rojas, RH/MIA (5 for 14, 1 HR, 1 SB vs. Jake Arrieta)
3B – Manny Machado, RH/SD (6 for 15 vs. Drew Smyly)
OF – AJ Pollock, RH/LAD (18 for 63, 3 HR vs. Madison Bumgarner)
OF – Corey Dickerson, LH/MIA (6 for 14, 1 SB vs. Jake Arrieta)
OF – Matt Joyce, LH/MIA (7 for 21, 1 HR vs. Jake Arrieta)
OF – Bryce Harper, LH/PHI (6 for 15, 1 SB vs. Sandy Alcantara)
vs. Sonny Gray (CIN)
- Anthony Rizzo – 0 for 8
- Javier Baez – 1 for 12
- Willson Contreras – 1 for 10
- Jason Heyward – 1 for 18, 1 HR
- Kris Bryant – 2 for 18, 1 HR
For More BvP info check out our BvP Matchup Page
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Will Smith RH/Dodgers ($4,200 DK, $2,900 FD)
- JT Realmuto RH/Phillies ($4,400 DK, $3,600 FD)
- Christian Vazquez RH/Red Sox ($3,800 DK, $2,300 FD)
- DK SPECIAL: Tucker Barnhart LH/Reds ($2,300 DK)
- FD SPECIAL: Austin Nola RH/Padres ($3,000 FD)
Let’s hope things are made easy for us by having Will Smith in the lineup instead of giving him a day off for backup Austin Barnes. Smith had been one of baseball’s unluckiest hitters this season but this has since balanced out over the last week with three dingers in his last five starts. Smith has a 53 percent hard-hit rate this season and a massive .464 xwOBA to go along with a 15.7% barrel rate. He’s a stud and would be a great bet to take Bumgarner deep.
JT Realmuto listed since he’s the best-hitting catcher in the league. He’s just 2 for 10 against Alcantara in his career and Alcantara looked damn good in his last start dropping 27.9 DKP on the Rays in Tampa. Christian Vazquez is in play facing a rookie lefty and went 4 for 4 in his last game. Just four homers on the season but we should see some more power from him before the season ends.
Tucker Barnhart is nothing special and his DK price reflects that. But if you need a punt against youngster RHP Alzolay, he is your man. Austin Nola is a top-3 fantasy catcher in baseball this season and has not slowed down producing whatsoever since joining the Padres. Who he faces between Smyly or Cahill (or both) doesn’t move the needle much for me but what does is an exorbitant price tag of 4.9k on Cole Night which makes him tough to fit and it’s why I have him listed on FD only.
- Luke Voit RH/Yankees ($5,200 DK, $3,900 FD) – possible rainout
- Jesus Aguilar RH/Marlins ($3,100 DK, $3,000 FD)
- Mitch Moreland LH/Padres ($3,900 DK, $3,000 FD)
- Rhys Hoskins RH/Phillies ($4,300 DK, $3,900 FD)
- Brandon Belt LH/Giants ($3,300 DK, $3,200 FD)
Tough position today because there aren’t any truly fantastic matchups to take advantage of. Well, there is Mike Brosseau (RH/TB – $4,700 DK) against the lefty and you could play him at 1B or 3B but he could eventually get subbed out by a lefty bat when Kickham is out of the game. You’ll see him again in the next section. Luke Voit was mashing for quite a while but it’s been about three weeks since his home run barrage, since then just one homer in his last 10 games and he went 0 for 4 in the game against the Orioles last week where rookie southpaw Keegan Akin surprised them. Seeing a young pitcher a second time is beneficial to the hitter and that’s good news for Voit but he’s just very pricey on both sites. Similar thoughts about Rhys Hoskins since he just doesn’t match up well with Sandy Alcantara and I’d rather use him in GPP’s than in cash.
Mitch Moreland and Brandon Belt are the two reasonably priced guys who most intrigue me. If the Padres face Cahill primarily, that’s great since Cahill is a righty and Mitch, a lefty. Not to mention Moreland has great history against him (7 for 25 with 3 HR). Belt has been priced down by the DK algo because Chris Paddack is on the mound but Paddack has been missing his fifth gear of late and hasn’t been the same pitcher we saw his rookie season. Meanwhile Belt has been mashing both LHP and RHP to the tune of a .345 average and a .486 OBP.
- Enrique Hernandez RH/Dodgers ($3,500 DK, $2,400 FD)
- FD SPECIAL – Michael Brosseau RH/Rays ($2,600 FD)
- Mike Moustakas LH/Reds ($4,600 DK, $2,600 FD)
- Jake Cronenworth LH/Padres ($4,100 DK, $3,100 FD) – better if it’s Cahill
- DJ LeMahieu RH/Yankees ($5,600 DK, $3,800 FD) – possible rainout
- Michael Chavis RH/Red Sox ($3,600 DK, $2,400 FD)
A few options here today but it all starts with Enrique Hernandez who hit a homer last night and now gets to face his favorite rival. Yep, as you saw above he’s hitting .500 in 50 at-bats against Madison Bumgarner. I’d surely expect to see him in the lineup and maybe with an even better lineup slot than ninth. He’s one of my core plays today and nooo it’s not just because of the BvP, guys!
Seems like Michael Brosseau is doing what Indians’ Jordan Luplow did last year – hit a homer every time he’s in the lineup against a lefty. Red Sox’ Mike Kickham is a bit more of a groundball pitcher but allows a hard-hit rate of 63 percent (!). You might see Brosseau leading off on Thursday and will be tempted to play him for the cheap FD price. I’m fine with it and may do so myself.
Mike Moustakas has way too good of a price on FD ($2,600) and will be the most popular option there, even with the wind blowing in. He did the unthinkable and hit a homer off Yu Darvish last night. Jake Cronenworth is better suited if the righty Cahill is on the mound. Croney can hit lefties too but he just may not be in the lineup if Smyly starts. DJ LeMahieu is always a great cash play, but the price tag is high and if the weather is okay and he’s safe to play then that means Cole is safe to play too and it’d be hard to fit in both. Michael Chavis is usually in the lineup against southpaw pitchers so I’ve listed him because there’s some interest here, but not ahead of the five listed above him. If you need that cap, you just go Hernandez.
- Bobby Dalbec RH/Red Sox ($3,200 DK, $3,000 FD)
- Eugenio Suarez RH/Reds ($4,600 DK, $3,500 FD)
- Brian Anderson RH/Marlins ($3,300 DK, $2,800 FD)
- Miguel Andujar RH/Yankees ($3,700 DK, $2,500 FD) – possible rainout
- Manny Machado RH/Padres ($5,700 DK, $4,200 FD)
Rookie Bobby Dalbec debuted a couple weeks ago and looked overmatched but has since begun living up to the hype, including four straight games with a homer entering today. You just can’t beat the savings here though the Rays’ home park isn’t a great one for hitters and rookie pitcher Fleming is a groundball guy. Eugenio Suarez is hitting under .200 for the season but just had a three-homer game earlier in the week and is always flexing his power. The issue is the wind blowing in though that didn’t stop Moustakas from taking Darvish deep yesterday. Brian Anderson seems like the best all-around option for price and matchup and may not be that highly owned since there are other pitchers on the board that folks will target. Manny Machado is priced just a bit too high for me on both sites and I’d need some sort of word from Giants’ manager Gabe Kapler that Smyly doesn’t have a pitch restriction and will go more than just a couple innings (and as we all know, we can’t trust Kapler’s word on anything).
- Jazz Chisholm LH/Marlins ($2,000 DK, $2,000 FD)
- FANDUEL SPECIAL – Gleyber Torres RH/Yankees ($4,900 DK, $2,700 FD) – possible rainout
- Xander Bogaerts RH/Red Sox ($4,600 DK, $3,700 FD)
- Willy Adames RH/Rays ($3,800 DK, $2,800 FD)
- Fernando Tatis Jr. RH/Padres ($6,000 DK, $4,800 FD)
Jazz Chisholm in the lineup today would really make things easy for our lineups and we wouldn’t have to force in any cheap pitching. He’s a big prospect of the Marlins who finally got the call last week and hit his first career homer last night, though he’s more of a contact and speed guy. Xander Bogaerts is pricey but is the best bet on the board for a three-hit game and is one of the safer plays on the slate. Though Willy Adames may be my favorite all-around shortstop for the price, he may not even be necessary today. Adames is always in play for us against bad lefty arms. The only thing is that I’m much less likely to play Adames at home. He averages fewer than five fantasy points per game there and nearly 10 on the road.
- Mookie Betts RH/Dodgers ($5,700 DK, $4,700 FD)
- Randy Arozarena RH/Rays ($3,200 DK, $2,800 FD)
- Wil Myers RH/Padres ($4,100 DK – better if it’s Smyly
- A.J. Pollock RH/Dodgers ($3,900 DK, $3,000 FD)
- J.D. Martinez RH/Red Sox ($4,400 DK, $3,100 FD)
- Bryce Harper LH/Phillies ($5,200 DK, $4,100 FD)
- Aaron Hicks SW/Yankees ($4,000 DK, $2,900 FD) – possible rainout
- Corey Dickerson LH/Marlins ($3,000 DK, $2,600 FD)
- Hunter Renfroe RH/Rays ($3,300 DK, $2,700 FD)
- Manuel Margot RH/Rays ($3,100 DK, $2,500 FD)
- Matt Joyce LH/Marlins ($2,100 DK, $2,500 FD) – better for GPP
- Shogo Akiyama LH/Reds ($2,200 DK, $2,300 FD) – better for GPP
Hard not to have some Dodgers exposure in cash today. If you’re running with expensive pitching (Cole, Gray) and can’t fit in Mookie Betts, then rolling with A.J. Pollock should work out fine given his solid history against Bumgarner and the fact that the veteran pitcher is a shell of his former self. The Marlins’ offense has been hitting well of late, scoring 21 runs in their three-game series against the Braves and you have some affordable options there, namely Corey Dickerson in the outfield who falls in at just $3,000 on DK and will likely be leading off against the righty Jake Arrieta who has a 5.67 ERA in seven starts this season. Don’t forget about the Rays’ right-handed bats against the journeyman Mike Kickham and the horrendous Red Sox bullpen. Randy Arozarena has been on some voodoo magic. In his last four times in the lineup when an opposing lefty got the start, Arozarena has hit four homers. For his price, he’ll be fairly popular today but for good reason. Keep the righty bats for the Red Sox in mind as well. Josh Fleming is a young pitcher with some upside making his fourth career start but does not offer much strikeout upside (18% K in the minors last four seasons) though he is a heavy groundball guy (66% GB in Triple-A last year).
FD VALUES – Dickerson (MIA), Hicks (NYY), Margot (TB), Arozarena (TB), Joyce (MIA)
DK VALUES – Joyce (MIA), Arozarena (TB), Dickerson (MIA), Akiyama (CIN)
Best infield cheap punts (both sites) – Enrique Hernandez (2B), Bobby Dalbec (3B), Jazz Chisholm (MIA)
(for both sites)
Sonny Gray (SP) + Enrique Hernandez (2B) + A.J. Pollock (OF) + Randy Arozarena (OF)
This combo should allow you to fit in almost any bats you want.
Good luck with your lineup builds. Let’s win all our cash games and take home the dinero.