The final day in September is also the penultimate day of the MLB regular season. We have 11 games on the DFS slate as rain led to one from the Mets-Phillies doubleheader being removed. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EDT or later. While the league doesn't mess around and make us wait for the postseason, we should still take advantage of opportunities. Here are my lineup recommendations.
Michael Wacha, SD at CWS ($40): After quietly posting a 3.32 ERA with the Red Sox last season, Wacha has recorded a 3.39. He's been much better at Petco Park, but this matchup is just too good. Something happened in September I did not envision: A team fell below Detroit offensively! The White Sox are now 29th in team OPS and runs scored, a true collapse of the highest order.
Jordan Wicks, CHC at MIL ($36): Wicks has been a viable option for the Cubs with a 3.00 ERA in six starts and a 2.66 across 20.1 road innings. The Brewers rank below average offensively and are kicking back waiting for the playoffs, and the fact Wicks is a southpaw helps with this matchup.
Joe Boyle, OAK at LAA ($36): Boyle made three starts at Double-A where he produced a 2.08 ERA. He then made three starts at Triple-A and registered a 2.25. In nine big-league innings, Boyle has yet to allow an earned run. The Angels are going to finish 15th or 16th in runs scored and are missing two or three of their best hitters while having nothing left to play for.
Catchers, of course, can be a tricky proposition from a DFS perspective since no position gets more rest aside from pitchers (and reasonably so). When Ryan Jeffers ($20) has played for the Twins, he's notched a .274/.368/.491 slash line. Jeffers is also at Coors Field this weekend. The Rockies have almost no healthy pitchers, which is why Karl Kauffmann has been recalled from Triple-A. He has a 5.69 FIP in MLB and is slated to get the start Saturday. Whoever it is, I'll take Jeffers against them at Coors.
It hasn't been as impressive as the rookie campaign, though Michael Harris ($19) has still hit .290 with 18 homers and 20 stolen bases. He's also put up an .809 OPS against righties and an .811 at home. Joan Adon, one of the most friendly pitchers when it comes to giving up walks, enters with a career 6.65 ERA while lefties have gone .287 against.
Once again, Rafael Devers ($17) is going to slug over .500 to go with over 30 homers and 30 doubles. And he's been better against righties with an .882 road OPS. Kyle Gibson has racked up 15 wins, but he can thank his offensive support for that. He's got a 4.86 ERA – 5.30 at home – and lefties have hit .288 against.
Playing second base for the Royals, Michael Massey ($14) has produced 15 home runs and six stolen bases. He also lists a .785 OPS the last three weeks. Massey is a lefty, so Clarke Schmidt is the ideal matchup with a 5.27 road ERA while southpaws have batted .300 against.
Stacks to Consider
This wayward Cardinals season is exemplified by Rom getting a start in the second-last game. With nothing to play for, a rookie with a 7.98 ERA through seven starts takes the mound once again. Rom has allowed 1.84 home runs per nine innings while righties have hit .339 against. Since he's a southpaw, I've decided on three righties.
I'm imagining the Reds will give young righty Encarnacion-Strand a start given the matchup. It helps that he's been hot with an 1.078 OPS the last three weeks. Steer delivers a B-plus version of everything you want from a hitter. I'm talking about a .356 OBP, 23 homers, 36 doubles, 15 steals, you name it. He's certainly been bolstered by a .907 OPS against southpaws. India missed time with injury, yet he's at 17 homers and 14 steals - and second base isn't a high-level offensive position. He's struggled against lefties this year, but has a .733 OPS in those matchups since 2021.
With the Brewers having set up the rotation for their first series of the playoffs, Rotowire's starting pitcher grid has Junk getting called up to start on what would be his day to work in Triple-A. If he doesn't, it'll probably be Adrian Houser, the odd man out for the postseason rotation. He's also a righty, but a veteran with a career 4.13 FIP. Junk, for his part, has struggled to a career 5.47 FIP in MLB and a 4.11 this year at Triple-A. Regardless who takes the mound, I'm expecting a matchup this Cubs trio can handle.
Suzuki has soared of late with a 1.041 OPS the last three weeks and an .896 on the road this season. Bellinger has dipped in production a bit at an inopportune time, though an overall slash line of .307/.356/.525 inspires confidence. So does his .990 OPS against lefties, making him somewhat matchup-proof when it comes to bullpen arms. Happ is a switch-hitter with an .819 OPS versus righties, so he certainly prefers that side. He's also recorded an .818 mark on the road.
Crawford has posted a 2.71 road ERA, but a 6.00 at home. When I see splits that stark (outside of Denver), I tend to regress both numbers toward the mean. And just last season, Crawford had a 6.51 away from Fenway Park. Over his last 12 starts, he's managed a 4.82.
Henderson only has 10 steals, but his nine triples (to go with 28 homers) highlights his speed. His .553 slugging percentage against righties shows power upside in the right matchup. Rutschman is heading into the postseason well with a .963 OPS the last three weeks. The switch-hitting catcher hasn't provided notable lefty/righty splits, though his .874 home OPS stands out. Mullins has been struggling, but with the playoffs approaching I think that increases the chances he plays in hopes of working out some of those kinks. He does have 15 home runs and 19 stolen bases in only 113 games, not to mention an .823 OPS against righties since 2021.