Reminder: Always double check the lineup card before rosters lock to make sure that a player you've chosen to roster is playing that day, and check the weather to make sure your players won't get rained out of their game.
A caution about listening to narratives
The major narrative today will be that angry Matt Harvey is going to shove against the Nationals because of the crazy week he's had. Harvey is angry that the media and fans are calling him a fraud/phony for the shutdown talk, and he is going to take it out on the division rival Nationals. See one example, today's cover of the NY Daily News:
Don't fall into this trap. Fantasy owners should not rely on narratives when making player evaluation decisions. Ultimately, it's about skill level and pitch execution for performance, and the numbers will largely show that. Use the numbers, not the narrative. Harvey may indeed shove today, but it'll be because he's a great pitcher with nasty stuff, not because other people decided he has extra motivation to perform today.
A guy I think offers some degree of value and upside is Carlos Carrasco ($9,800), who is making his return to the rotation after a few weeks off due to shoulder inflammation, which the Indians claimed was minor. Carrasco takes on a White Sox offense that is bottom third vs RHP with a 93 wRC+ with an above average K% of 20.1%. Carrasco's peripherals have been very strong all year and his ERA has finally dropped closer to them in the second half of the season. In particular, Carrasco's 27.7% K% is 5th best in baseball among qualified starting pitchers, which is important for FanDuel scoring. Carrasco's opposition is Carlos Rodon, who has electric stuff and appears to have made progress as the season has gone along, but is still plagued by poor control and lots of walks.
Here are three thoughts I have about today's game:
I don't know if this sample is large enough to be overly meaningful (but it is 5 months into the season): Brian McCann ($4,500) is slugging .621 against pitches thrown 95 mph or faster this year. He faces Kevin Gausman in Yankee Stadium, a hard throwing RHP who throws 70% fastballs and averages 95.3 mph on it. McCann also has huge home/road splits as a Yankee, hitting significantly better at home with the short porch (157 wRC+ at home vs 88 on road this year, for example).
Other Yankee slugging % vs pitches 95 mph or faster:
Alex Rodriguez, .186
Jacoby Ellsbury, .231
Brett Gardner, .275
Chase Headley, .290
Didi Gregorius, .292
Carlos Beltran, .419
Stephen Drew, .423
Again, I don't know if the sample is large enough to draw long term conclusions from, but the season is 5/6ths over. It might be a good night to avoid Ellsbury/Gardner/ARod against the hard throwing Gausman.
-Evan Longoria ($3,000), who has been a lefty masher throughout his career (including this year, where he has a 166 wRC+ and ISO over .200), faces rookie Matt Boyd, who has allowed a .345/.388/.602 slash to RHB this year with a 5.88 FIP.
-And most notably, the Blue Jays face a below average LHP in Fenway Park. The Blue Jays offense is #1 vs LHP with a 128 wRC+ and .191 ISO. Josh "Dongaldson" and Jose Bautista are both very expensive, though, with Donaldson at 5.8k and Bautista at 5.5k. Troy Tulowitzki is reasonably affordable at $3,500.
You can follow me on twitter at @TimFinn521