There is no major news to report ahead of the final event of the season. The biggest decision of the week in terms of roster builds is what to do with Justin Thomas. Starting with a lead over the field, Thomas has one of the biggest price bumps for the week. As you finish up your lineup build for the week remember that you can leave way more money on the table than you are used to in a normal event. With only 30 players in the field, there will be a high chance of duplicate lineups. Good luck this week. ResultsDB will be up and running within 15 minutes of roster lock. Make sure to check out how your lineups stack up against the field.
Starting the week seven shots behind the lead, Dustin Johnson has almost become the forgotten golfer this week. With his projected ownership numbers dropping almost 20% since the start of the week, it appears most in the community are ready to give up on Johnson. WIth spotty form over his last few starts, it’s easy to make a case for marking this former number one golfer in the world off your list. The decrease in price combined with the drop in projected ownership makes this a great spot to buy low on a golfer that can makeup strokes in a hurry. Even without a win, Johnson could easily play well enough to get into the top 3, which would make him a top play at his price for the week. Back with his old swing coach and motivated to finish the season strong, Johnson seems like the perfect golfer you want in terms of chasing the lead.
If it were not for the new FedEx Cup format Rory Mcllroy would most likely enter the week as the golfer most picked to win at East Lake. With a win and two top ten or better starts in his last four appearances at East Lake, Mcllroy has one of the best course histories of anyone in this field. Starting five shots behind McIlroy will be one of the more popular chasers of Justin Thomas this week. Having gained an average of almost six shots tee to green in his last four starts at The Tour Championship McIlroy certainly has the game to make up ground on the field this week.
Just a few short years ago this former U.S. Open Champion had to return to the Web.Com Tour in order to regain his status on the PGA Tour. Fueled by a new putting style Glover will return to East Lake for the first time since the 2009 season. Glover closed out one of the final spots in the field by playing well at last week’s BMW Championship. Starting 10 shots behind the leader, Glover still stands out as a great source of value for the week. Always known for his ability to hit a golf ball, Glover will rely on his ability to gain strokes tee to green to claw his way back into the tournament. If his putter continues to stay hot Glover could end up being on the top point per dollar golfers for the week.
Caleb Smith has been dominant at times this year (29.1 K%), but he’s also benefited from his home ballpark with a 28.5 GB% and 9.7% Barrels/BBE. In fact, 14 of his 21 HRs have been surrendered in just 54.2 road innings this year. This is a dangerous spot for him against an Atlanta lineup featuring four batters above a .270 ISO vs LHP over the last calendar year. Ronald Acuna (157 wRC+, .292 ISO), Ozzie Albies (172 wRC+, .277 ISO), Josh Donaldson (134 wRC+, .279 ISO) and Adam Duvall (84 wRC+, .273 ISO) might be considered a contrarian approach as Smith may not want to attack, despite a healthy 5.57 implied run line. Another benefit is that he hasn’t gone beyond five innings in five straight starts. That leaves a depleted Miami bullpen with a 7.06 FIP over the last 30 days to pick up the slack.
Adam Plutko is a contact prone (14.2 K%), extreme fly ball pitcher (29.8 GB%), which is not a terrible thing to be at Citi Field as a decent contact manager (29.7% 95+ mph EV), but a warm, humid night with winds blowing out to center between 10-15 mph tonight, makes this a much more dangerous spot. With his fly ball lean, batters from either side of the plate are above a .320 wOBA and xwOBA against him over the last 12 months. Three Met bats have been very strong hitters with power against RHP over the last calendar year. Pete Alonso (150 wRC+, .313 ISO), Michael Conforto (144 wRC+, .282 ISO) and J.D. Davis (130 wRC+, .198 ISO) are the bats to own here, while Amed Rosario (93 wRC+, .134 ISO) has been red hot out of the leadoff spot as well (264 wRC+, 52 Hard% last seven days). The Mets find themselves in the middle of the board tonight at 5.16 implied runs.
From a narrative standpoint, it could be hard to get behind a player like Bryson DeCambeau for the last event of the PGA Tour season. With the slow play issue still somewhat in the forefront, it will be interesting to see if DeCambeau can just focus on playing golf moving forward. DeCambeau is another golfer priced down due to his last place starting position. Gaining a sense of how we value golfers in this new format will be an interesting process. One of the things you can do this week is to look at the pricing difference between two players based upon their starting position. While DeChambeau is only two shots behind Brandt Snedeker, he is 1800 dollars cheaper in DK pricing. The difference in starting points from 16 to 26th is only five points. When you look at five points over the course of four rounds I think it really becomes easy to make up that scoring deficit. Since there is only a 3 shot difference between the golfers at the bottom and those outside the top six, you could make a case for tiring to handicap talent instead of just starting position alone. Still, a very talented golfer, DeChambeau as one of the cheapest golfers in this field making him a value play worth considering for the week.
Mike Montgomery might be a must own on DraftKings tonight where he’s just $4.2K. Getting the worst part of it out of the way, he has some of the worst Statcast numbers on the board with a .374 xwOBA and 45.8% 95+ mph EV. Kevin’s forecast also calls for friendly hitting conditions in a tough park. However, he has been much better since being traded and established in a starting role. He has not allowed an ER over his last two starts against the Tigers (11 Ks), but also the Mets (3 Ks). He struck out seven Red Sox three starts back too with just two ERs. His numbers have vastly improved over the last month (3.81 SIERA, 3.40 FIP) and he’s in a fine spot against a Baltimore offense with a 19.3 K-BB% and 10 Hard-Soft% vs LHP this year. The projected lineup for Baltimore tonight includes just three batters above a .170 ISO and only one below a 21.6 K% vs LHP this year. Considering the upside at the top end of the spectrum tonight, a Montgomery/$10K+ pitcher combination might be too much to pass up tonight.
Justin Verlander is the no-brainer tonight, as he faces the Tigers (26.6 K% vs RHP) off six straight starts with double digit strikeouts. Walker Buehler (34.9 K% last 30 days) looks pretty strong at home against the Blue Jays too (24.6 K% vs RHP), but don’t forget about Patrick Corbin in a fine spot as well. Over his last 11 starts, Corbin has allowed more than two runs just twice, failing to complete six innings just twice as well with a 31.3 K% over this span. Additionally, he’s in a great spot in Pittsburgh. While the Pirates are a formidable, contact prone offense against RHP, they are simply atrocious against LHP. Their wRC+ drops to 73, while their strikeout rate rises to 22.8%. Pittsburgh is also a great park for lefty pitchers, suppressing right-handed power as well as any park in the league. The Pirates have just an 11.2 HR/FB at home, 12.4 HR/FB vs LHP and 5.6 HR/FB over the last seven days. Though Corbin is not the top pitcher on the mound tonight and it would be difficult to go wrong with any of the top three, he is the only one of the three below $11K on either site and offers more maneuverability with the remainder of the lineup.
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