Washington Nationals vs. Jason Vargas

Vargas, surprisingly, has actually pitched well lately including a six inning shutout against the Nationals on August 24th. That’s not likely going to happen a second time around especially when Vegas spots Nationals with a 5.09 implied run total. When you break down his numbers, you’ll note that Vargas has a 4.78 ERA at home but a 7.61 mark on the road, which is where he has to pitch in this one.

The Nats have multiple players that are very good against southpaws. The Nats have six players with a wOBA .380 or better against lefties. The righties are the ones I prefer here. Anthony Rendón is hitting .385 with an OPS over 1.000 over his last 10 games with five extra-base hits. Ryan Zimmerman has dominated left-handers all year, notching a .373 AVG and a .474 wOBA against them. Mark Reynolds , one of the cheaper options we have on this team, is hitting .328 with a .391 wOBA

Touching more on those with .380 wOBA’s or better against southpaws, we’re talking about guys hitting from the left side now. Bryce Harper and Juan Soto are the two we want from that side of the dish. Soto’s hitting over .300 with a .960 OPS for the month of September and has a .303 AVG against pitchers from the left side. Although Harper has struggled recently, he still has all the power in the world representative of his .379 wOBA vs. LHP.

Trea Turner shouldn’t be forgotten, however. Normally someone who hits right-handed pitching very well, Turner is batting .285 against lefties this year. A thing to note, he’s at 40 stolen bases this season so that shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s swiped five in his last 10 games, so when he gets on he’s actively looking to run.

Primary Option(s): Ryan Zimmerman , Anthony Rendón , Mark Reynolds , Trea Turner

Secondary Option(s): Bryce Harper , Juan Soto


Cleveland Indians vs. James Shields

The Indians have the highest implied total of the slate and if you look up and down the Indians roster, a lot of them have a long, deep history against James Shields . There are seven active Indians that have homered off of Shields in the past. Shields has allowed 31 bombs on the year and four over his last two starts, so this is a really dangerous spot to be in if you’re Shields and the White Sox.

Both Francisco Lindor and José Ramírez come into this game with batting averages below the Mendoza Line over their last 10 games, but both have taken Shields deep in the past. Lindor has had better overall success going 6-13 but Ramirez has 31 homers off of right-handers this year to go along with a .431 wOBA.

Jason Kipnis and Josh Donaldson are probably priced a little low here based on their potential. I know Donaldson hasn’t had the impact the Indians had hoped he would to this point in his Cleveland tenure, but he’s not too far removed from being an American League MVP. Kipnis on the other hand has begun to swing a hot bat, homering in two straight and notching an extra-base hit in three consecutive.

Yan Gomes is riding a five-game hit streak with at least one hit in eight of his last nine games including two homers. He’s a cheap way to go at catcher. Edwin Encarnación and Michael Brantley are a little too expensive for my blood, but you’re not going to be able to just spend up on Lindor and Ramirez both, so a nice pivot would be to use one or both of these guys.

Primary Option(s): José Ramírez , Francisco Lindor , Jason Kipnis , Josh Donaldson

Secondary Option(s): Yan Gomes , Michael Brantley , Edwin Encarnación