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September 10 MLB DFS: Lead Off The Night With Rajai
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September 10 MLB DFS Show Outline: 

01:29 Starting Pitchers
09:52 Catchers
11:51 First Base
15:08 Second Base
17:49  Shortstops
20:27  Third Base
23:09 Outfield
27:27  Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks


September 10 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Max Scherzer (WAS)

Tier Two

2) Adam Wainwright (STL)

3) Rich Hill (LAD)

4) Johnny Cueto (SF)

Tier Three

5) Jon Gray (COL)

Tier Four

6) Cole Hamels (TEX)

Tier Five

7) Drew Hutchison (PIT)

Max Scherzer (WAS) is generally the top starting pitcher when he takes the bump due to his elite skill set, particularly in terms of strikeouts (career high 31.6 K percentage). Tonight is no different as Scherzer faces a Phillies team ranking 29th in wRC+ against RHP with a high 22.4 K percentage. He’s currently listed as the largest favorite on the slate by a large margin (-290) and also holding the lowest implied run total against (IRTA) by a wide margin (2.8).

Johnny Cueto (SF) has a reasonable price tag across the industry, but the value in the second tier of starting pitchers comes in the form of Adam Wainwright (STL) and Rich Hill (LAD).

Wainwright in particular is a great value on DraftKings. He’s had an up and down year, but he’s coming off two straight decent starts in which he posted his two highest average fastball velocities of the season. Most important for Wainwright’s value is the matchup against a Brewers team we’ve been picking on a ton recently, particularly with right handed starting pitching. The Brewers strike out more than any other team in the league against RHP and regularly feature lineups with just two or three LHBs. Wainwright is the second largest favorite on the slate (-200) and tied with Hill for the second lowest IRTA (3.5).

Hill has been phenomenal all season, showing last week’s small sample size wasn’t a fluke. He’s striking out batters (28.5 K percentage), keeping the ball on the ground (48.8 GB rate), and inducing weak contact (0.8 hard minus soft hit rate). Hill faces a Marlins team that hopefully is without Giancarlo Stanton again. They are 22nd in wRC+ against LHP with the 10th highest K percentage.

We love getting Jon Gray (COL) outside of Coors Field where his strikeout ability (25.0 K percentage) has a better chance to shine. It doesn’t get much better than in San Diego against the worst team in MLB against RHP with the second highest K percentage. The price isn’t in a great spot, making him just a secondary cash game value, but he’s someone to target heavily in tournaments.

Cole Hamels (TEX) is priced cheap enough on DraftKings that he could be considered as a second starting pitcher over there, if not spending $10k-plus on a pitcher.

Now that he’s in the NL and in a great pitcher’s park, we’d consider Drew Hutchison (PIT) a cheap tournament option. He’s a modest -155 favorite at home facing a Reds team that provides him with some strikeout upside. If we have a tough time getting hitter punts, Hutchison could potentially be used as a second cash game starting pitcher on DraftKings alongside Scherzer.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Yadier Molina (STL)

4) Jarrod Saltalamacchia (DET)

5) Salvador Perez (KC)

At the catcher position, if not using Max Scherzer it’s pretty easy to get up to one of Victor Martinez (DET) or Buster Posey (SF), who rank closely in our model. Martinez will face Ubaldo Jimenez, who currently has a 4.94 xFIP to go along with an elevated hard hit rate. Posey gets a big positive park shift playing in Arizona, and their combination of starting pitching (4.85 ERA for Archie Bradley), relief pitching (arguably the worst pen in the league right now), and lack of defense always make them a tasty team to pick on. Posey is the best value on DraftKings where he’s underpriced. If using Max Scherzer on FanDuel, you likely don’t have the luxury of paying up, so we suggest fully punting with Jarrod Saltalamacchia (DET), who gives you some power upside in a plus matchup, even if it comes from a poor lineup spot.

First Base Rankings

1) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

2) Eric Hosmer (KC)

3) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

4) Kendrys Morales (KC)

5) Mike Napoli (CLE)

First base is pretty different on the two sites. Over on FanDuel, it’s a really good spot to get exposure to the Royals getting a huge park shift playing in US Cellular Field against the ridiculously homer prone James Shields (2.08 HR/9 may represent his true baseline). Both Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales (KC) have very affordable price tags. Freddie Freeman (ATL) is a fine alternative as Bartolo Colon has allowed a .170 ISO to LHBs since the start of last year. On DraftKings you don’t get this trio priced very kindly. Regardless of if you’re using Scherzer or not, you’re still likely spending around $20,000 for starting pitching in cash games, so cheap options like Wil Myers (SD) (poor context but good price), Victor Martinez (DET), and Josh Bell (PIT) (hitting second against Robert Stephenson who has a ZiPS projected 5.40 ERA).

Second Base Rankings                  

1) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

2) Matt Carpenter (STL)

3) Brian Dozier (MIN)

4) Ian Kinsler (DET)

5) Josh Harrison (PIT)

We’d like to save money at second base, particularly if using Max Scherzer. On DraftKings this is pretty easy to do as the top three ranked second basement are all priced aggressively while cap relief plays like Josh Harrison (PIT) (leading off for a Pirates team with an implied run total of 5) and Kelly Johnson (NYM) (potential top five lineup spot against John Gant, who projects to give up power at the big league level – high fly ball and hard hit rates in a small MLB sample) are cheap. On FanDuel, we don’t get the nice price tags on those two guys so you’re either left hoping Joe Panik (SF) gets a nice lineup spot or pure punting with Dee Gordon (MIA) (awful matchup but min priced). As a result, you may be tempted to pay up and if doing so any of the top three options work. Daniel Murphy (WAS) possesses the best price tag of the trio, but Brian Dozier (MIN) is red hot and facing a homer prone pitcher (ZiPS projects 1.42 HR/9 for Clevinger).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

2) Corey Seager (LAD)

3) Brandon Crawford (SF)

4) Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM)

5) Tim Anderson (CHW)

We’re pretty zoned in in a couple of mid-tier values at the shortstop position. Francisco Lindor (CLE) has a favorable matchup against Hector Santiago (.335 wOBA, .213 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015). Brandon Crawford (SF) gets that big park shift, which is important for a hitter with his skills (.167 ISO, decent combination of fly ball and hard hit rate) and faces Archie Bradley (career .368 wOBA and .177 ISO allowed to LHBs).

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Matt Carpenter (STL)

3) Manny Machado (BAL)

4) Miguel Sano (MIN) (if top five)

5) Jedd Gyorko (STL)

Nobody really separates themselves at the third base position from either a raw total or value perspective. As a result there’s a few different directions you can go. On FanDuel you’ve got some nice power options in Nolan Arenado (COL) (platoon edge against Christian Friedrich), Jedd Gyorko (STL) (power breakout and now facing the reverse splits of Chase Anderson – .368 wOBA, .211 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015), and Trevor Plouffe (MIN) (health risk). If Plouffe is out, we actually could get a value to separate themselves on DraftKings as that would likely push Miguel Sano (MIN) into the cleanup spot. Sano is in the midst of an extended cold streak, but the matchup/price put him in a nice spot there.

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Mike Trout (LAA)

3) Rajai Davis (CLE)

4) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

5) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

6) Miguel Sano (MIN)

7) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

8) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

9) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

10) Denard Span (SF)

11) Jay Bruce (NYM)

12) J.D. Martinez (DET)

13) Trea Turner (WSH)

14) Hunter Pence (SF)

15) Adam Eaton (CHW)

On tonight’s slate Bryce Harper is once again the top outfielder and number one hitter overall in our model. Harper, who also holds the highest home run score, draws a matchup with Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff who has been susceptible to left-handed power in his career, allowing 1.50 HR/9 and a .345 wOBA to left-handers since 2015. While Harper presents plenty of value, more can be found with Rajai Davis (CLE) and Andrew McCutchen (PIT) who fall third and fifth respectively among outfielders in our model. Davis will get the platoon advantage and should move back to the leadoff spot to face left-hander Hector Santiago who has amassed a 5.32 xFIP while allowing 36.2% hard contact and 1.72 HR/9. McCutchen draws a matchup with right-hander Robert (5.20 xFIP, 2.23 HR/9) and an eventual date with a horrible Reds bullpen. Those two are industry wide plays and after them values get a bit more site specific. Stephen Piscotty (STL) has an affordable tag on DraftKings (more picking on those Chase Anderson reverse splits) and you can also get the Giants outfielders at pretty affordable mid-tier pricing. On FanDuel, Jarrod Dyson (KC) is in a plus matchup. It’s not one that meshes with his skill set (park shift and facing Shields better for power guys), but hitting leadoff for a team that should be successful along with his speed upside make him viable. In that same game, Melky Cabrera (CHW) is one of the more attractive sub-$3k options on FanDuel. We’d ideally like a pure punt in the outfield to make it real easy to use Max Scherzer in cash games, so if a power upside guy like Michael Conforto (NYM) finds his way into the lineup, we’ll make sure to cover it in alerts.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) St. Louis Cardinals

2) San Francisco Giants

3) Cleveland Indians

4) Pittsburgh Pirates

5) Detroit Tigers

6) Kansas City Royals

The tier one of stacks is all pretty even, and you could argue any potential order of these stacks. While the Giants haven’t necessarily been cooperative with us lately, the park shift and potential for a game getting out of hand in Arizona makes them one of the top tournament stacks. The Royals also have big time event upside given the park and Shields’ issues with the long ball. Given how spread out and closely ranked our top stacks are tonight, you don’t have to force any mini-stacks in cash – simply follow the site specific value where it leads you.

Contrarian Tournament Stacks

-Twins (multiple individual power bats facing Mike Clevinger, whose wildness and fly ball tilt in a short MLB sample makes him a nice guy to pick on in tournaments)

-Mets (like the Twins, we like the HR upside here as the Mets have the fifth most HRs in MLB against RHP; Gant will miss bats but like Clevinger will issue walks and long balls)

-Rangers (this stack has a bit less power upside, but you’re picking on a rookie RHP who posted a whopping 6.13 ERA in 83.2 AAA innings this season)

MLB Daily Analysis

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We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 


We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution.