This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
We can see the end of the MLB season on the horizon. The beginning of October is nigh. A few teams have clinched their playoff spots. Most teams have been eliminated. Without much to play for, rosters are a little complicated at the moment. If a guy is banged up even a bit, he probably won't play because why risk him? Young, unproven players are getting chances they may not have otherwise. However, if you are on top of matters, you can still find DFS success. Here are my recommendations for your lineup for Sunday. It's business as usual, with a full slate of afternoon games.
Dallas Keuchel ($42) got off to a slow start this season, perhaps because he wasn't even signed on Opening Day, but his new home in Atlanta has treated him well. The veteran pitcher has registered a 2.74 ERA at home, and now he's facing the Giants in a start to try and help him get in a groove for the playoffs. I like his odds given that San Francisco sits in the bottom-five in runs scored.
After a bit of a rough patch, Hyun-Jin Ryu ($44) went seven scoreless innings in his last start. The Dodgers also gave him an extra day to prep for this start against the Rockies. Colorado's overall offensive numbers are entirely the byproduct of Coors Field. On the road, they rank 28th in runs scored. As long as Ryu goes five innings so he can earn a win, he should pay off.
John Means' ($37) last start didn't go great, but he allowed two runs or less in five previous outings. On top of that, his home ERA stands at 2.86. Like the Rockies, the Mariners have produced massive splits - but theirs are about the calendar. Since the All-Star break, Seattle ranks 28th in runs scored.
Lastly, because I know what I am basically obligated to do at this point, let me tell you who is facing the Tigers on Sunday. That would be Reynaldo Lopez ($32). I'm not really looking at his numbers, though his 4.86 FIP is mediocre. If you don't like that, I understand, but the Tigers are truly woeful. They rank last in runs scored and the Royals - who slot in at 28th - are closer to the team in 13th than the Tigers are to them. Also, on a more anecdotal front, I'm a Tigers fan so I can tell you they've been hot garbage. I just wanted a chance to vent that, but the numbers certainly back me up.
Eddie Rosario ($17) of the Twins doesn't walk, but you can get away with that for fantasy purposes when you own a career .279 batting average and have managed over 30 homers and 100 RBI. The best thing for this matchup is the fact he's a lefty. Jorge Lopez has struggled to a 5.93 ERA, but the number that really jumps out to me is his .327 BAA versus lefties. Those kind of numbers would have you competing for the batting title.
Think Pittsburgh regrets the Chris Archer trade? All Austin Meadows ($24) has done with the Rays is slash .288/.360/.562 with 12 stolen bases to boot in 131 games. I also like the fact the Rays still have something to play for. And also the fact Nathan Eovaldi has recorded a 6.19 ERA in 10 starts this year. His main issue? Giving up 2.22 homers per nine innings.
The Yankees have experienced a ton of injuries and Gleyber Torres is also now day-to-day, but guys like Brett Gardner ($19) have stepped up, The veteran outfielder got in on the power-surge fun, setting new personal bests in homers and slugging percentage. Gardner has struggled against his fellow lefties, but Toronto's opener Ryan Tepera, and Trent Thornton who is expected to get the bulk of the innings, are righties. Thornton also has registered a 4.93 ERA.
Christian Yelich is done for the year, but the Brewers aren't just calling it a season. Eric Thames ($13) has done his part, at least at home with a .918 OPS and against righties with a .867 OPS. Fortunately for him, this game is in Milwaukee. Even better, Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams is a righty who comes in with a 5.59 ERA.
Braves vs. Logan Webb (Giants)
Webb isn't going to remind anybody of All-Star hurler Brandon Webb. The rookie has only made six starts, but he's compiled a 6.51 ERA during that time. His FIP may be respectable at 4.58, but he's also allowed 1.30 homers per nine innings even though his home park helps pitchers out on that front, especially against lefties. I have no fear for the two Atlanta lefties I'm recommending here.
Not that you have to ever worry about the steady Freeman. The only question is whether or not he's going to get his batting average up to .300 for the fourth-straight season. Even if he doesn't, he's already notched 38 homers, 120 RBI, and 112 runs. There's not much more you can ask of Freeman, who has been an elite hitter for almost a decade.
Albies doesn't boast a track record that long, but he's got a fine resume of his own. In his second full season, he once again produced over 20 homers and double-digit stolen bases. However, he's also really improve his batting average and has walked more, as his .351 OBP will show.
Joyce has been a feel-good story, but he's also helped fantasy players who took a chance on him feel good. Since the start of September, Joyce has managed an 1.003 OPS. The southpaw also has an. 895 OPS against righties on the season.
Indians vs. Vince Velasquez (Phillies)
Cleveland is another team that has a ton to play for, so I like the idea of stacking a few of its big bats. That's especially true in this matchup with Velasquez. Somehow, his 4.89 ERA is flattering because of the 5.23 FIP and the 1.99 homers allowed per nine innings. Velasquez also enters with a 5.27 road ERA, which is where this game will be.
Had Lindor not started the season hurt, the Indians might not be stuck fighting for a playoff spot. In 136 games, he's hit 31 homers and stolen 22 bases - his second straight season eclipsing 30 homers and 20 stolen bases. The switch-hitting shortstop has also posted a .291 batting average, an improvement on his last two campaigns.
Speaking of increases in batting average, Santana maintains a career average of .251. This year he's hitting, .284, and the 34-year-old has also set personal bests in OPS and home runs. Not bad for a guy that's been a slugger for years. And while it's as much about his teammates as his own play, Santana has scored over 100 runs for the first time in his career.
Reyes has struggled a bit since joining the Indians, but this is a guy who crushed 27 homers in 99 games with the Padres before getting traded. He owns a career .501 slugging percentage despite playing a good chunk of it at Petco Park. Since Velasquez has given up essentially two homers per nine innings, I like Reyes to potentially start rounding in his form from San Diego.