MLB Daily Punts: September 20, 2013


The weekend is finally upon us with all but one game being played under the lights tonight. It is very sad to see the MLB regular season coming to a close, but at least the NHL and NBA are on the horizon, and who doesn’t love October baseball? We have been very lucky with weather lately, but it looks like it might be a problem in a few places tonight so be sure to keep an eye out. Today’s version is a bit abbreviated due to my friend’s birthday (shout out to SirSmursAlot), which has/will lead to a lot of drinking. Let’s just get into the picks…


Yan Gomes – I was hoping for a bigger offensive night out of the Tribe against Keuchel last night, but they only mustered up two runs. They are in another good spot tonight against Brett Oberholtzer, as Cleveland fares much better against lefties. I am not buying his numbers so far this year, although only issuing 9 walks in 60 innings is pretty solid. While I don’t think Oberholtzer implodes, I like the matchup for Gomes, even with Oberholtzer’s reverse splits. Gomes is batting .315 against LHP this year with a .912 OPS, and was hitting fifth against a lefty last night.

Also receiving consideration: Miguel Montero, Derek Norris, A.J. Ellis

First Base

Justin Smoak – Smoak is listed as a switch hitter but there is no doubt he prefers to hit from the left side. He will do just that tonight against Matt Shoemaker, who is making his ML debut for the Angels. In 65 career outings in AAA, Shoemaker is 24-26 with a 5.32 ERA. There is definitely some value to be had in this lineup. Smoak is cheap across the board and has hit all 17 of his HR’s against righties (in 286 at-bats), so I am going out on a limb and calling for a Smoak bomb tonight.

Also receiving consideration: James Loney, Mitch Moreland

Second Base

Dustin Ackley – He has been leading off for Seattle and that makes him very appealing tonight against the aforementioned Matt Shoemaker. On the sites where he is cheap, I would not mind using him to be able to spend elsewhere. The Mariner bats seemed to heat up in the middle of the summer and have regressed in August and September, but this is as good of a spot as any for them to break out of it for a night. I think Ackley crosses the plate a few times and pays off his salary tonight.

Also receiving consideration: Howie Kendrick, Nick Franklin, Neil Walker, Tony Abreu

Third Base

Juan Uribe or Michael Young – Considering it was impossible to predict what the Dodgers lineup would look like before they clinched a playoff berth, I don’t think Mattingly will make it any easier on us now. He is still going to rest players, which should put a few backups in favorable lineup spots from time-to-time. Robbie Erlin will be on the mound for San Diego and let’s just say I am not expecting to see a pitcher’s duel between him and Edinson Volquez. Take a look at the Dodgers lineup around 6:30-6:45 EST and see where you can find value; it could very well be found with Uribe or Young.

Also receiving consideration: Kyle Seager (where he is cheap, Draftstreet), David Freese


Josh Rutledge – He has been seeing regular playing time with Nolan Arenado banged up, and the matchup with Randall Delgado plus the Coors Field factor would make him a nice option if he starts tonight. Rutledge has actually been better against right-handed pitching this year (he’s hitting .181 against LHP), and provides decent pop for a middle infielder with the potential for stolen bases. His eligibility varies across the different sites but he’d be a nice 2B option where he is cheap as well.

Also receiving consideration: Didi Gregorius


J.B. Shuck – He’s the leadoff man for the Angels and is in a nice spot to produce against Erasmo Ramirez tonight. Ramirez has not been good this season with an ERA of almost 5 and is giving up a .282 average to left-handed hitters. I think Shuck should rack up a few hits and runs scored tonight. Shuck is solid against both lefties and righties so he won’t be stuck with bad matchups once Erasmo gets pulled.

Charlie Blackmon – Hopefully he has bought himself some more playing time with his performance over the past week. He has had multiple hits in four of his last five games, and has an XBH in each of his last five. Blackmon is hitting .313 against righties and I don’t see Randall Delgado having much success in Colorado tonight. If he is leading off again, he would be one of my favorite plays of the day.

Also receiving consideration: Michael Saunders, David DeJesus, Scott Van Slyke, Oswaldo Arcia

About the Author

  • Stephen Keech (SBK)

  • Stephen Keech, aka sbk5065, is a Penn State graduate from the city of Champions. He is a Projections & Alerts Manager at RotoGrinders, monitoring player news, projections, and lineups for NFL, MLB, and NBA.

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