Welcome to September 1 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 30 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. Make sure you’re using our customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!
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September 1 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:08 Starting Pitcher
12:30 First Base
14:52 Second Base
17:04 Third Base
- In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
- In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.
September 1 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
The starting pitcher position is rather difficult to sift through tonight. Clayton Kershaw (LAD) is making his first start July 23rd, but this matchup is as good as it gets. The Padres are ranked dead last in wRC+ vs. LHP and they’re striking out 24.9% in this split. Kershaw will also benefit from pitching in one of the best pitching environments in baseball (Petco Park), but he’ll be limited to five innings (75 pitches). Given the pitch limit, it’s difficult to pay full prices for Kershaw in a Coors Field slate but from a skill perspective he laps the field comfortably.
The other challenge in this slate after Kershaw’s pitch limit is identifying a particular pitcher you feel great about from a cash game perspective. Jimmy Nelson (MIL), Gerrit Cole (PIT) and Kevin Gausman (BAL) carry very similar projections in this slate and these are probably your safest paths at the position in cash games. Cole carries the second lowest IRT (3.5) in this slate, and he’s at home (PNC Park is an excellent pitching environment). Cole’s K rates have been strong of late (27.2% over the L5 starts) and the $9,100 price tag puts him in play on FD, but he’s a challenging fit on DK where he’s $11,100. On the latter site, we prefer going towards the Nelson/Gausman combo. In fact, from a skills perspective, you could argue Nelson is the second most skilled starter in this slate. Nelson has been missing bats all season (26.6% K rate, 11.2% SwStr rate are career highs) and the run prevention has been excellent (3.75 ERA/3.10 FIP). The only challenge we see with Nelson is he’s at home (bad pitching environment) in a matchup against a Nationals offense that’s getting healthier, though they’re still missing their best hitter (Harper). All in all, you have to love the price tags for Nelson around the industry, which are a bit light when you take into account how good he’s been this season. Gausman is another SP in a bad pitching environment (Camden Yards) and his K rates haven’t looked great lately though the matchups weren’t very friendly for Ks (Angels, Red Sox at Fenway). He’s a fine complement on DK as a -165 favorite and a mid-tier price tag. Dinelson Lamet (SD) is right behind the SPs in projection, and he’s flashed a big K rate (28.9% K rate, 12% SwStr rate). It’s an awful matchup (Dodgers) and he’s an underwhelming underdog vs. Kershaw, but the Ks makes him a viable target on DK where he’s $7,600.
Luis Castillo (CIN) is probably in that Nelson/Cole tier in terms of being one of the most talented SPs in the slate after Kershaw, though the matchup vs. the Pirates doesn’t have a lot of Ks (18.8% K rate vs. RHP). He’s in PNC Park though and the Pirates have been awful in this split (27th in wRC+). Castillo struck out nearly 37% of the batters he faced over his L3 starts, including nine Ks vs. the Pirates in his last start. We like him in GPPs and despite being a negative value on DK given the price tag ($9,500), he can probably be considered in cash games too.
The next tier of SPs is reserved almost entirely for GPPs. Jack Flaherty (STL), Reynaldo Lopez (CWS), Tyler Skaggs (LAA) and Sean Manaea (OAK) carry cheap price tags around the industry and have decent K projections. Lopez in particular is very intriguing given the big K rates he’s shown over his first two starts with the White Sox after posting a 25% K rate at AAA this season. Flaherty is making his debut but he’s in the best pitching environment in all of baseball (AT&T Park) and he posted a 25% K rate in the minors this season. Skaggs is in a terrible environment (Texas) and Manaea has been awful over his L5 starts, but they have some name value and a little bit of talent.
Chris Iannetta (ARI) is the preferred catcher option on this Friday slate, picking up the platoon edge on left-hander Kyle Freeland and getting a nice park boost as the Diamondbacks move to Coors Field. Iannetta has made a bolt up the Diamondbacks lineup, finding himself in the two hole, particularly against left-handed pitchers. Though not an extra crazy imposing platoon player, Iannetta has been serviceable against southpaws, posing a .352 wOBA and .167 ISO against them since 2015. At $3,500 on DraftKings, he is your cash game play but at $3,500 on FanDuel you might be spending elsewhere. On FanDuel you can get a much cheaper Salvador Perez (KC) for $2,400 against Dillon Gee. Not only is Gee fly ball and home run prone (1.77 HR/9), but Perez is getting a park shift in his favor as Target Field is a notable upgrade for RHB over Kauffman Stadium. Just above Perez are Buster Posey (SF) and J.T. Realmuto (MIA). Posey returned to the lineup last night, and while contextually he is in the worst potential environment, he’s the most skilled option and is only $2,700 on FanDuel. Realmuto too lags behind from a contextual standpoint, but provides some power and speed upside for $2,800. The pure punt option in this group for FanDuel is Stephen Vogt (MIL) who is just $2,200.
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) is undoubtedly the top spend at first base and the top bat on the slate. Goldy has been a monster against LHP since 2015, posting a .425 wOBA and .239 ISO and is now getting the overall environment shift to Coors Field. His price on FanDuel is unheard of ($5,400) but there are routes to making it work. Goldy is followed closely in per dollar value by a trio on both sites made up of Eric Thames (MIL), Lucas Duda (TB), and Logan Morrison (TB). Thames will draw Tanner Roark in his home park, and though the matchup is less enticing it’s the price tag that throws him in the conversation ($3,500 on DK, $3,000 on FD). Duda and Morrison will get young right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, but are receiving a huge park boost going to Chicago. Lopez is a big strikeout arm, but has also struggled mightily to put the ball on the ground (22.2% GB%) and through two starts, inevitably hurting him in the home run department. Furthermore, the Rays have one of the highest non-Coors implied run totals on the slate.
Miguel Cabrera (DET) is day to day due to back problems, and is still waiting suspension news but is $2,800 on DraftKings. Cody Bellinger (LAD) is back, and Mark Reynolds (COL) will get the other side of Coors Field. There is a lot to choose from for tournaments if straying from the top per dollar plays.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) and Neil Walker (MIL) are the two most valuable options at the 2B position on Friday. Ramirez has posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and we’ll get him from the left side of the plate against right-hander Buck Farmer. Farmer has never been much of an intimidating arm, and although has found some strikeouts, has struggled to keep the ball in the park (2.31 HR/9) through five starts.
Walker comes with a bit cheaper tag, and like Ramirez will benefit from getting to hit from the left side of the plate. He has shifted all over the place in the lineup, but hit no worse than fourth in the last week against RHP. Daniel Murphy (WSH) remains a bit cheap on both sites relative to his skills versus RHP, but the matchup with Jimmy Nelson isn’t one we’re looking to attack in cash games. Brad Miller (TB) is very cheap on both sites ($3,100 on DK, $2,700 on FD) and will get the platoon edge on Reynaldo Lopez. He’s posted a positive delta in Hard% and is a way to get exposure to the Rays at a less than premium position. Brandon Drury (ARI) holds 2B eligibility on DraftKings and is another chance to get exposure to the Diamondbacks for cheap.
Evan Longoria (TB) and Nolan Arenado (COL) are the top two options at the hot corner on Friday, but for different reasons. Longoria is the cheaper play, again taking advantage of the matchup with the young right-hander Reynaldo Lopez. An ever so slightly positive delta in Hard% aside, Longoria has shown a steep decline in power over last season, making him a lower upside play, but a valuable one nonetheless. Our preference is to get up to Arenado, as he provides more upside, albeit at a higher cost. The matchup with Taijuan Walker is less enticing for RHB, but he’s still allowed a .163 ISO to same-handed batters since 2015.
Tyler Saladino (CHW) is a pure punt option on the other side of the Longoria game, priced at just $2,500 on DraftKings and $2,200 on FanDuel. He’ll get the platoon edge, but lacks any semblance of upside. Josh Donaldson (TOR) is reasonably priced on both sites and will get a matchup with Kevin Gausman. Gausman has been a bit better since the end of June, but has still had some struggles with the long ball, allowing four home runs two different times in that span. Travis Shaw (MIL), Mike Moustakas (KC), and Manny Machado (BAL) all represent different tiers of third basemen that should be considered for tournaments, though our cash game focus is between Longoria and Arenado.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) and Trea Turner (WSH) duke it out for the top projected shortstop play on the slate. Lindor will get the aforementioned Buck Farmer, but Turner’s matchup with Jimmy Nelson is a bit more difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, the two represent the highest upside plays at the position, and given it is unnecessary to spend on a top starting pitcher, it’s reasonable enough that you might be able to fit one of these options in. Turner in particular is a top-2 per dollar play on both sites.
Adam Rosales (ARI) is the top per dollar play on DraftKings at $3,200. He hit second in the last start against a left-hander (though it was without Iannetta), but previously has found his way into the lineup against southpaws. Even without drawing a top lineup spot, he’s an option at $3,200 with the platoon edge. Trevor Story (COL) brings a ton of swing and miss and doesn’t provide a good lineup spot but is a high upside option whenever he is in his home park. On FanDuel, Jean Segura (SEA) is $2,700. Sean Manaea seems to have deteriorated in recent starts and has struggled with power to right-handed batters (.180 ISO allowed since 2015). Ketel Marte (ARI) is another way to get exposure to Coors for much lower ownership, and Elvis Andrus (TEX) and the Rangers have a sneaky high implied run total against Tyler Skaggs.
A whole slew of Coors Field bats flood the outfield ranks with Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Charlie Blackmon (COL), J.D. Martinez (ARI), and A.J. Pollock (ARI) all ranking in the top ten of our outfield rankings. The allure is simple with the Coors being the top environment for offense, and although both starting pitchers are competent, Vegas is still providing implied run totals near six runs for each team. Gonzalez is now the worst of the bunch but is $3,100 on DraftKings and $3,000 on FanDuel, one of the cheapest ways to get exposure to the game. Martinez and Pollock have both been excellent versus left-handed pitching, having posted a .301 and .201 ISO against southpaws respectively since 2015. Plus, Charlie Blackmon is Charlie Blackmon. It’s reasonable to fit an entire Coors outfield, particularly on DraftKings.
Justin Upton (LAA) flies up our ranks with a cheap price tag and a matchup with Cole Hamels. The issue will be making sure that Upton is ready to play after being traded yesterday during an off day, but if so he’s posted absurd batted ball data of late (41.7% Hard%) and will be getting a great environment for offense in Texas. The Blue Jays leadoff experiment has now handed the keys to Steve Pearce (TOR). He’s $2,700 on FanDuel and will now be the road leadoff hitter against the home run prone Kevin Gausman. Jay Bruce (CLE) has added depth to the Indians lineup and has posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days. He’ll draw the platoon edge on homer prone, Buck Farmer. We like to exploit Ryan Braun (MIL) against LHP, but he’s still $3,200 on DraftKings – we don’t know why. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) continues to mash homers and gets a three outcome arm in Nick Pivetta. Pivetta either strikes you out, walks you or allows a home run.
1) Arizona Diamondbacks
2) Colorado Rockies
The Diamondbacks have a three game series at Coors Field that begins tonight, and hitters like Paul Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez and A.J. Pollock will have the platoon edge in the series opener. The Rockies get a home run prone pitcher as the home equation in Coors. This game will likely be very chalky tonight.
3) Tampa Bay Rays
4) Cleveland Indians
The Rays get a massive park shift as they’re Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago) and they’re facing a young SP (Reynaldo Lopez) who’s backed up by a terrible bullpen. Lopez has been pretty good in his first couple of starts, so there’s a chance that the Rays will be an under the radar stack. The Indians are on the road facing Buck Farmer and a bad pen. If their game two lineup is intact, they’ll be an excellent stack in tournaments given the context.
5) Miami Marlins
6) Baltimore Orioles
7) Milwaukee Brewers
8) Los Angeles Dodgers
The Marlins aren’t in a good hitting environment, but Nick Pivetta allows ton of hard contact (21% hard minus soft hit rate) and his GB rate is pretty underwhelming (40%). The Dodgers almost missed this tier, but that’s mostly context related (Petco Park, facing a pitcher that misses a ton of bats). Still, Lamet’s struggle has been allowing hard contact in the air (18% hard minus soft hit rate, 44% FB rate) and the Dodgers are loaded even without Corey Seager. We don’t expect the Dodgers to be popular in this slate.
Los Angeles Angels: Massive park shift and Cole Hamels is sporting a career low 15% K rate and a career worst 4.89 xFIP.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals don’t hit for a lot of power, but Dillon Gee could help in that department.
Seattle Mariners: Something might be wrong with Sean Manaea, who’s posted a 7.4% K rate over his L5 starts.