Labor Day is a holiday all about YOU! Whoever you are, the idea is to kick back from your “labor” and have a great long weekend. However you decide to celebrate yourself, make sure you spoil yourself with plenty of fantasy baseball. Major League Baseball cooperates with the party, with all 30 teams in action across the country-- they’re working just so you enjoy your day.
There are nine afternoon games in the 1:00-4:00 start time on the east coast, and six later games starting from 4:00 to 9:00 PM. Whether you're playing early, late, or all-day windows, there are definitely some nice picks throughout the day who are in good form with good matchups today.
I put in some overtime for you today with my picks to give you extra options for all your Labor Day celebrations. Each Monday, you can catch my daily league picks or check me out over at sportsreelboston.com for fantasy football and baseball daily coverage.
Here are some of my favorite picks for each position. I've tried to vary the timeslot and price range so you can blend them into the perfect lineup for however you decide to play fantasy baseball on this Labor Day.
MLB Daily League Lineup Picks for September 2, 2013
Stephen Strasburg (WAS): One of the few aces on the mound today is Strasburg, who takes the hill at 7:05 as the Nats take on the Phillies. Strasburg is 2-0 against the Phillies this year with a 0.53 ERA and just nine hits allowed in 17 innings of work while striking out 19. He should be fresh after a rain-shortened start his last time out, and just a few weeks ago he pitched a four-hit, 10-strikeout, complete=game shutout against the Phils. Strasburg is always better at home, but it’s a great matchup against the weak Phillies tonight.
Andrew Albers (MIN): Albers bounced back from a couple of rough starts with a better outing at home against KC his last start. Today he faces free-swingin' Houston in one of the better matchups on a tough early slate. He comes into this one with a 2.92 ERA and a .215 BAA (batting average against), so I think he’ll have a solid start against the ‘Stros.
Derek Holland (TEX): Holland is a roller-coaster, but he’s been solid against Oakland, going 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in two starts against them. He’s allowed 12 hits in 13 2/3 innings while striking out 15 Athletics in those starts. He’s also been pitching well since the All-Star break, with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts and a .222 BAA-- the 1-2 record isn’t reflective of how well he’s been pitching.
Danny Duffy (KC): Duffy has been exceptional since coming back from Tommy John surgery, and in his last two starts he hasn’t allowed a run in 12 2/3 innings. In that span he’s picked up 10 K while walking three and giving up six hits. He’s in a nice matchup at home against the Mariners, and I think he’s one of the better low-priced starters in the early window.
Yadier Molina (StL): Molina and the Cards visit great American Ballpark on this Labor Day to take on the Reds and Mat Latos . Molina has owned Latos in his career, going 12-29 with three doubles and a home run. He’s still cheap after his DL stint and recent struggles, and thus represents good value at the always-tricky catcher spot.
A.J. Ellis (LAD): Ellis is in Colorado today and will look to bounce back from yesterday’s 0-3, three-strikeout performance. He enjoyed his earlier trip to the Mile High City, going 3-8 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored, and he'll look to take advantage of a good matchup against Chad Bettis (0-3, 4.80 ERA) today.
Hank Conger (LAA): Conger is a solid value option late as the Angels take on Tampa Bay. He’s hit in six straight games, going 5-16 over the past week with a double and a homer. He’s never faced Chris Archer before, but he’s emerged as a solid backstop for the Halos in the midst of a disappointing year for LA.
Chris Davis (BAL): Davis didn’t hit a homer in Yankee Stadium over the past weekend, but he’ll head to Cleveland today as the Orioles take on Justin Masterson. In his career, he’s homered off Masterson once while going 4-12. Davis is always a good play if you can afford him, and that’s true on this Labor Day as well.
Victor Martinez (DET): Martinez crushed everything he saw in August, hitting .386 including a .571 clip over the final week. He is hitting .387 in the second-half and has been a great third bat behind Miggy and Prince. He comes into Fenway to face his former team this afternoon as he faces John Lackey, whom he is 10-24 against in his career.
Josh Satin (NYM): Satin is going to get plenty of playing time now that the Mets have likely lost Ike Davis for the remainder of the season. On Saturday, Satin went 3-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored, and he was hitting .294 coming into the Sunday night game. His value won’t stay at the bottom of Draft Kings ($2,000) for long, so use him as a value play while he’s available for the minimum.
Marco Scutaro (SF): In his last nine games, Scutaro has gone 8-31 and got a day off yesterday in Arizona. He should be back in the lineup today as the Giants face the Padres and Ian Kennedy, whom Scutaro is 7-18 against in his career with three doubles and a triple.
Daniel Murphy (NYM): Murphy was 12-18 in the last four games before last night’s Sunday Night Baseball game. He had four doubles, four RBI, and two steals in those games and has hit over .300 in the second half. He’s 8-15 in his career against Atlanta starter Paul Maholm and is one of the best picks of the day.
Ryan Goins (TOR): Goins hit safely in his first eight MLB games going 12-30 before taking an 0-4 yesterday against James Shields. He’s provided a nice spark at the top of the Blue Jays' lineup and should be in the lineup against Brandon McCarthy and the D'Backs today.
Aramis Ramirez (MIL): Ramirez had hit in five straight before going 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance yesterday. He’s hit three home runs in his last ten games while going 12-35 with three doubles and nine RBI as well. He is 4-11 against Charlie Morton in his career.
Manny Machado (BAL): Machado has hit in five in a row and nine of his last ten games. He’s 8-20 in his last five games with two doubles and three RBI. He leads the majors with 46 doubles, and he’s fittingly 1-3 with a double against Masterson.
Alberto Callaspo (OAK): Callaspo has been a nice addition for Oakland and has a nice history against Derek Holland. He’s 12-38 with five doubles and a homer for his career against Texas’s scheduled starter.
Brian Dozier (MIN): Dozier has had a nice season and a strong second half. In August he hit .276 with six homers, both season-highs. He and the Twins are in one of the best matchups of the day against Paul Clemens of the Astros.
Yunel Escobar (TB): Escobar is 2-4 against Garrett Richards in his career and has hit safely in five of his last six games. He’s a decent mid-range option as the Rays take on LA.
Brad Miller (SEA): Miller has hit in five straight and in nine of ten. In his last ten games, he’s 14-40 with four runs scored and a stolen base. He is still a great value as he and the Mariners face Danny Duffy and the Royals.
Outfield - Early Games
Andrew McCutchen (PIT): McCutchen is having a solid season and he has feasted on the Brewers, going 23-67 (.343) with four homers and 11 RBI. He’s coming off his best month of the season hitting .384 in August and working 20 walks.
Vernon Wells (NYY) Wells plays early on Labor Day against Jose Quintana whom he is 4-4 against in his career with a pair of doubles. Against lefties like Quintana, he’s hitting .300 this season, making him a solid option if he gets the start.
Jon Jay-(StL): Jay has great career numbers against Mat Latos—11-27 with two doubles. He also hit .327 during a very solid August—40 points higher than any other month this season.
Will Venable (SD): Venable had his hitting streak snapped yesterday, but he’s been on fire lately. He hit .367 in August with eight homers and 15 RBI during the month. He’ll face the Giants and Barry Zito tonight, whom he is 6-16 with a home run against in his career.
Abraham Almonte (SEA): Almonte has gone 2-9 since being recalled and should be back in the lineup tonight against the Royals. He hit .300 in the minors this year with 15 homers and 26 stolen bases in 440 at bats. He should get a good look for the M’s the rest of this season.
Outfield - Late Games
Mike Trout (LAA): Trout went 2-3 against Rays starter Chris Archer in his start against him earlier this season. He has hit .354 since the All-Star break with eight homers and 23 RBI in 130 at-bats.
Adam Eaton (ARI): Eaton has picked it up lately, going 12-35 in his last seven games with a pair of doubles, two triples, three RBI, and two steals. He and the Snakes are hosting the Blue Jays for Labor Day at 4:10, and he’s in a good matchup against Todd Redmond.
Coco Crisp (OAK): Against Derek Holland, Crisp is just 2-14, but he’s so scorching hot that he’s a good play anyways. He homered in his last two games and has six home runs in his last 11 games. In the last eight games, he’s 10-31, and he’s also a speed threat adding 17 steals on the season.
Tony Campana (ARI): Campana is a speed option with some serious value if the D'Backs put him atop their lineup today against Toronto. He had a good year in Triple-A, and has been solid since being recalled going 11-35 in 14 games with five steals and eight runs scored. If your league rewards stolen bases, Campana is a nice play whenever he starts.
Kole Calhoun (LAA): Calhoun has played and hit safely in four straight games and has nine RBI in his last six games. He’s hit .318 at home where the Angels take on Tampa in the latest game of the day tonight.
As always, remember to check your MLB daily lineups before they lock and make sure you are doing your own research, too, for optimal performance! The most successful daily leaguers are grinders who are constantly tweaking their lineups as the day goes on and fantasy news gets released. Good luck today, RotoBallers!