Welcome to September 14 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for September 14 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 14 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:39 Starting Pitcher
09:47 First Base
12:01 Second Base
15:33 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 14 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
On a short slate, starting pitcher is scarce. Our top overall projected option is Masahiro Tanaka (NYY), who is in a matchup that admittedly amplifies his volatility. Tanaka’s 20.3 HR/FB rate is ruining an otherwise solid pitching line. He’s at home against a powerful Orioles team. However, Tanaka is the most skilled pitcher on the slate, and the result is a high win probability (-195) and the highest projected strikeout total (6.8). He’s a strong option on both sites.
On FD, if you’re scared of Tanaka’s volatility, you could pivot to Tanner Roark (WAS) for a bit cheaper. We’ve been picking on this Atlanta team a bit more over the second half of the season. Freddie Freeman isn’t as hot, and the team has dropped to 24th in wRC+ against RHP. What’s most notable about Roark, who is in a solid pitching environment, are his recent K rates: 23.1, 37.0, 39.1, and 29.2. His SwStr% does not seem to have taken a big leap forward, so we’re hesitant to bump the baseline K rate too high, but it does make him more compelling on a shallow slate.
Jose Berrios (MIN) rates just behind Roark, but a higher price tag makes him a better option for tournaments.
Cash game roster construction on DK is a bit fluid. You get caught in no man’s land with that SP2 spot, where you either have to sacrifice one of your few big bats to get up to Roark/Berrios alongside Tanaka, or you take more cap relief than you probably need to get the value out of some cheaper, riskier options like Felix Hernandez (SEA) or Mike Foltynewicz (ATL). Hernandez is in a rough spot in Texas, but is simply too cheap for where we have his baseline. Folty is a volatile SP, but carries higher K upside and is at least in a friendlier pitcher’s park in the NL.
It’s no surprise that Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the top overall C on the slate with a home matchup and platoon edge against Wade Miley (.351 wOBA and .169 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015). Sanchez is also the top per dollar value at the position, and whether or not you use him just comes down to roster construction elsewhere.
Behind Sanchez is Willson Contreras (CHC), who we noted yesterday does carry some pinch hit risk that our model isn’t accounting for. However, Contreras also gives you some cap relief off of Sanchez, while still giving you access to a powerful catcher (.193 ISO baseline) and high IRT (5.4 for the Cubs).
On a slate that lacks obvious cap relief plays, especially on FD, if you’re not using Sanchez or Contreras, you simply want to full punt the position with the best option when lineups arise.
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is the top projected 1B, facing Seth Lugo, who is a pretty generic RHP, although he does allow more balls in play than the league average given lower K and BB rates. We’re currently estimating a hefty 5.4 IRT for the Cubs, which would be the highest on the slate. He’s the guy to use if you’re paying up at the position, but it’s not too hard to save some money here, particularly on DK.
Yonder Alonso (OAK) and Justin Bour (MIA) rate as top four values on DK and FD, both on the road receiving positive park shifts against bad RHPs – Andrew Cashner (5.15 xFIP) and Jake Thompson (5.75 xFIP) respectively. Justin Smoak (TOR) creeps into this conversation on FD where he’s underpriced, but faces by far the best pitcher in the worst hitting environment of these three options.
Directly behind Alonso and Bour are some GPP power threats in Joey Gallo (TEX) and Chris Davis (BAL).
Up the middle, options are pretty site specific. We’re keyed in on Dee Gordon (MIA) on DK, where he’s sub-$4k as a road leadoff hitter for one of the higher expected scoring teams on the slate. Gordon has a positive 15-day Hard% delta.
On FD, the 2B values are muddled, but the strict pricing on that site pushes us towards the cheapest of the bunch, and that’s Robinson Cano (SEA) on the road in Texas against Andrew Cashner. Nothing Cashner’s arsenal suggests he’s done anything skill wise to overachieve his expected ERA,s he’s simply been lucky across the board with a 77.1 LOB%, 7.9 HR/FB%, and .264 BABIP.
If you’re paying up at the position, the top two options are Jose Altuve (HOU) and Brian Dozier (MIN). We have a slight lean the way of Dozier, given a strong second half and absurd splits against LHP since 2015: .374 wOBA and .261 ISO.
On FD where it’s tough to find places to save money, the Orioles-Yankees game gives us a couple of lower cost pivots with upside in Jonathan Schoop (BAL) and Starlin Castro (NYY).
There’s plenty of power at the third base position as Josh Donaldson (TOR) (.257 ISO baseline), Kris Bryant (CHC) (.245), and Joey Gallo (TEX) (.282) all carry gaudy power skills. They’re top values at the position, joined by the event oriented Alex Bregman (HOU), who has matched the 8 HRs and 8 SBs he recorded over the season’s first half in 30 fewer games over the second half.
It’s admittedly difficult to differentiate much between these options. On DK you’re probably choosing between Donaldson and Gallo so you can A) save money off of Bryant and B) keep Bregman open at SS. On FD we lose Gallo and pricing is scrunched together enough that you may want to squeeze in Bryant’s meaningfully higher projection and positive 15-day Hard% delta.
Manny Machado (BAL) is an excellent tournament play on FD, where he’s far cheaper than on DK (relatively) and may be low owned if Tanaka ends up as a chalky pitcher.
On DK, Derek Dietrich (MIA) may not have the power upside of the top options, but he’s cheap and has recorded a .176 ISO against RHP since 2015.
On DK there’s enough value elsewhere to pay up for one of the high upside Houston options (Alex Bregman (HOU) or Carlos Correa (HOU)), who lack the platoon edge but still have a favorable overall matchup against Ricky Nolasco (5.30 FIP). They provided meaningful cap relief from Trea Turner, but much more skill than the top cheap value in Freddy Galvis (PHI). You lose Bregman at SS on FD, but Correa is just over the average cost of a roster spot after slotting in either Tanaka or Roark.
Jean Segura (SEA) is a secondary value on both sites as a road leadoff hitter in Texas.
We’d really like to pay up for Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), our top overall hitter on this slate by a wide margin. Stanton has an absurd .359 ISO this season, equaling his combined HR totals from the previous two seasons. Stanton gets a positive park shift playing in Philadelphia, and will face Jake Thompson, who has a high Hard-Soft% and low K rate, leading to 1.81 career HR/9 (85 IP). Teammate Christian Yelich (MIA) is somewhat expensive for his skills, but a cheaper way to get Marlins access. Yelich holds the platoon edge and one of the best 15-day Hard%’s of any OF on this slate.
The issue with Stanton, of course, is price. A lack of offensive value plays on FD means he’s likely a GPP play only there. On DK, you have the flexibility to fit him in, but it may require a riskier SP2 option.
On both sites, Jay Bruce (CLE) is affordable as a Top 5 overall outfielder. Cleveland is tied with the Cubs (estimated), for a slate high 5.4 IRT. Opposing RHP Jake Junis is fly ball oriented and has a ZiPS ROS projection of 1.50 HR/9.
If Steve Pearce (TOR) is able to return from his back injury, he’s underpriced as a road leadoff hitter, despite the negative park shift and facing one of the better SPs on the slate (Berrios). If he’s not in the lineup, cap relief options on FD become limited quickly. You could look to Jon Jay (CHC), a cheap way to get exposure to a good offense and lineup spot (1). Or you could sacrifice lineup spot to an extent, and use Bradley Zimmer (CLE), who possesses a bit more event upside and also gives you access to a top offense.
On DK it’s much easier to find mid-low priced pivots off of Pearce. His teammate, Jose Bautista (TOR), is underpriced, and Nick Williams (PHI) has a strong home matchup against Jose Urena (.336 wOBA and .180 ISO versus LHBs).
George Springer (HOU) and Marcell Ozuna (MIA) are secondary values across the industry. They make for excellent tournaments plays as they could get lost in the shuffle if people are either paying up for Stanton or dropping down for value.
1) Miami Marlins
2) Chicago Cubs
The Marlins’ combination of event hitters, park upgrade, and favorable matchup against Jake Thompson (5.47 Steamer projected ERA) make them the top stack to own on a small slate.
3) Cleveland Indians
4) Houston Astros
The Astros could get overlooked because of the negative park shift and lack of platoon edge for their best hitters (all right-handed). However, Ricky Nolasco yields tons of power and is a subpar overall pitcher, and the pricing is reasonable on the high event Astros – Altuve, Correa, Springer, and Bregman.
5) Texas Rangers
6) Seattle Mariners
7) Washington Nationals
8) New York Yankees