Welcome to October! Also, the last Saturday of the MLB regular season! A week from now, the playoffs will be happening. But for now, there are seven MLB games starting at 7:10 p.m. EDT or later. It's time to kick the month off with gusto. And by "gusto", I mean "DFS success". Here are my recommendations.
Cristian Javier, HOU vs. TAM ($54): Javier has allowed exactly ZERO runs across his last three starts. This should be a pitcher's duel against Shane McClanahan, but there is a striking difference for the two starters to handle as Houston ranks in the top-10 in runs scored while Tampa is in the bottom-10.
Jordan Montgomery, STL vs. PIT ($39): Since joining the Cardinals, Montgomery has posted a 3.12 ERA through 10 appearances. His last start went poorly, but it was against the Dodgers. The Pirates are much less threatening on the offensive front coming in 27th in runs scored and 28th in team OPS.
Michael Grove, LAD vs. COL ($35): Finding my third pick at pitcher was a little tricky, but in the end I'm going with Grove. He's gone five innings in each of his last three outings with a 3.60 ERA while also boasting baseball's best offense behind him and a pitcher's park to work with. If Grove once again goes five frames, the odds of him getting a win against the Rockies at home are quite high.
With the matchups available and pitchers on the mound, I found myself needing to pick a player going against a top-notch pitcher, but that means I needed an elite hitter up to the task. Enter Jose Altuve ($22). He's recorded an 1.056 OPS versus lefties this year and a .967 at home. I trust him, even against McClanahan. And for what it's worth, he's allowed nine runs over his last two starts.
This is decidedly not sustainable, but Bryan De La Cruz ($18) has registered a 1.245 OPS the last three weeks. He's also managed a .783 mark versus righties in 2022. We have Freddy Peralta in line to start Saturday, who hasn't gone more than two innings in any of his last three appearances since returning from injury. Perhaps that happens again. Peralta has struggled to a 4.75 ERA at home and I'm not sweating a bullpen game from the Brewers if that happens.
Quibble with the drop in homers, but Jose Abreu ($15) is hitting .304 with a .376 OBP and that's impressive. He's also produced a .909 road OPS on the road, so that lack of power has mostly been at home. Mike Clevinger has been better at home, but in all has a 5.01 FIP and righties have gone .258 against, so I still like this matchup for Abreu.
Unfortunately, Christian Yelich ($14) lost the pop that once made him an MVP-level player. However, he's still skilled enough with a .352 OBP, 12 home runs, and 17 stolen bases. He's also maintained a .771 OPS versus righties and a .774 at home. Edward Cabrera had a great stretch in August, but has dropped to a 5.34 ERA from his last six starts and that's in line with his career 5.02 FIP.
Stacks to Consider
Freeland is better away from Coors Field, but has a 3.59 ERA on the road since 2020, which is decent but far from impressive. He's also posted a career 4.42 FIP. Righties have hit .272 against him the last three seasons, and the Dodgers boast a few elite right-handed bats at their respective positions that entice me in nearly any matchup.
Smith has recorded a .905 OPS against lefties with an .842 the last three weeks. Betts has a .995 OPS against southpaws along with 35 home runs and 12 stolen bases. Turner also contributes at the plate and on the basepaths with 20 homers and 26 steals. And since 2020, he's managed a 1.048 OPS versus lefties. Clearly, this is a stack that really likes to see a lefty on the mound.
Rangers at Angels (Jose Suarez): Marcus Semien ($23), Adolis Garcia ($16), Jonah Heim ($7)
I'll keep it simple. Suarez has a 4.35 ERA at home this year and has allowed righties to hit .265 against on the campaign. Let's go with three guys from the Rangers who hit right to take advantage of that.
Semien is ending his first season as a Ranger on fire with a 1.042 OPS the last three weeks. It helps he's been on the road the last week or so with an .858 mark away. Garcia brings nice symmetry with 26 homers and 25 stolen bases while maintaining a .930 OPS the last 21 days. Heim is a switch hitter, but he'll be hitting righty against the southpaw Suarez and will be happy to do it with an .838 OPS versus left-handers.
Angels vs. Rangers (Cole Ragans): Mike Trout ($27), Taylor Ward ($23), Luis Rengifo ($18)
This has become a go-to stack for me against lefty pitchers. Ragans makes it particularly worthy of enthusiasm with a 5.40 ERA through eight career starts. He's faced few lefties and handled them, but righties have gone .299 versus the southpaw.
Trout is going to slug over .600 for the sixth straight season, which is incredible. However, since he's slugged a staggering .720 at home the last couple campaigns. Ward is ending the year doing his best Trout impression with 1.153 OPS the last three weeks and a home mark of .895. Rengifo is a switch hitter, but has a .969 OPS against lefties and a .902 at home.