Welcome to Wednesday! We have a light slate today, just 4 games with a 7 P.M. EST start time or later, but hopefully that allows to sharpen our focus even more. Below are some targets as well as some value plays to help construct those lineups.
Matchups to Target
Contreras rode a 10-game hitting streak into September and it lasted 4 more games until he went 0-for-3 on 9/3, although he did draw 2 walks in that contest. He then started another 5-game hit streak until an 0-for-3 on 9/12. Since then he’s collected at least 1 hit in all 7 games since. That means he’s had at least 1 hit in 26 of his last 28 games and has been on base at least once in 27 of 28. During those 28 games he was 36-for-110 (.327) 7 2B, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 26 R, 4 SB (!), and 19 BB:26 K. Wednesday he’ll face LHP Zack Thompson of the Cardinals. Contreras has faced him just once in his career, but he generally hits lefties well, slashing .353/.662/1.092 against them (.256/.379/.713 vs RHP). Thompson has given up at least 3 ER in each of his last 3 starts on 22 H+BB in 17 IP, and has a 4.34 ERA and 1.46 WHIP on the season.
The Cubs and Ian Happ will take on Mitch Keller and the Pirates Wednesday night in Chicago. Keller was dominant his last time out, going 8 IP against the Nats allowing just 2 H while walking 1 and striking out 7. But his start prior to that he was roughed up for 8 ER on 12 H against Atlanta. It has been that kind of year for Keller. Happ has had a lot of success against the righty, going 8-for-19 (.421) with 2 2B and 2 HR (5 BB:4 K). Happ also has a nice 5-game hit streak going, during which time he is 9-for-21 (.429) with 2 2B, a HR, 1 RBI, and 4 R.
When J.D. has been in the lineup in September, all he has done is hit. He’s got a hit in 8 of 10 games, going 15-for-38 (.395) in the month and is 5-for-6 in his last 2 games with 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, and 2 BB. He’ll face the Tigers’ Reese Olson Wednesday. Olson has actually been really good in September, pitching to 1.37 ERA, but in those three starts he faced the lowly White Sox twice and the somewhat strikeout-happy Reds; on the season Olson has a 4.30 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Martinez has yet to face Olson in his career, but we’re riding the hot hand here and going with the veteran over the youngster.
This is more of an ‘Honorable Mention’ since Goldy is ice cold right now — he’s batting just .197 in September through 16 games. But he’s here because he faces RHP Adrian Houser of the Brewers on Wednesday night in St. Louis. In his career, Goldschmidt is 8-for-28 (.286) with 3 HR off of Houser (2 BB:4 K). The Brewers bullpen has been good this season, so you’re hoping Goldy can connect on a longball early here. Note that teammate Nolan Arenado is just 2-for-14 off of Houser, but has yet to strikeout against him, so he could be another option as well.
DFS Value Plays
Despite an 0-for-3 night on Tuesday, Heyward is batting .390 in September (16-for-41) with 5 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, and 2 BB:3 K. The Dodgers are heavy favorites in this one (-250) and the game has an O/U of 8.5, so there should be other options outside of Betts, Freeman, Muncy, et al, and Heyward could be one of them.
If you’re having trouble filling out your roster, IKF could be a sneaky source of power and likely a lower-owned option. For a guy whose career-high in home runs is 8 (2021), it’s somewhat surprising to see that he has 2 career HR against Kevin Gausman. In all, he’s 5-for-11 (.455) off of Gausman in his career, and has a double against him as well (1 BB:2 K).