Welcome to September 16 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for September 16 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 16 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:50 Starting Pitcher
10:42 First Base
13:17 Second Base
15:43 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 16 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Jacob deGrom (NYM) is our top overall pitcher on the slate and surprisingly the top value as well, which says more about the dearth of pitching options than it does deGrom. deGrom receives a negative park shift going into Atlanta and has a 4.2 IRTA that’s a bit high for a tier one SP. However, with deGrom it is all about the strikeouts. He has a 28.4 K% on the season, 32.6% over his last three starts.
With the lack of SP depth, we suggest paying up for either deGrom or Zack Greinke (ARI). Our model strongly prefers deGrom, especially on DK where Greinke is meaningfully more expensive. On FD, though, Greinke is a touch cheaper. A lower K rate baseline coupled with a matchup against a contact oriented Giants team puts Greinke’s K projection nearly two full strikeouts below deGrom. If simply concerned about floor, though, Greinke is in the best pitching environment on the slate (SF), has by far the lowest IRTA (3.5), and faces a Giants team ranked 29th in wRC+ against RHP. deGrom definitely edges out Greinke on ceiling, but it’s at least within reason to save a couple hundred dollars and accept Greinke’s floor.
Madison Bumgarner (SF) lags behind deGrom and Greinke as he’s still clearly not at full strength: allowing 11 ERs over his past two starts and has yet to top a 30% K rate in any single start since returning from the DL.
The SP2 conversation on DK is brutal. You aren’t paying up for two mediocre expensive values in deGrom and Greinke on a small slate Coors slate. However, the cheap options will make you cringe. Our projections give the lean towards Parker Bridwell (LAA) or Tyler Anderson (COL) on a pitch count in Coors (limited to 70 last time out). Bridwell offers nothing encouraging from a skills perspective, allowing lots of hard hit aerial contact to go with a well below average K rate. The case for Bridwell comes down to ballpark (Angels) and opponent. The Rangers have a 23.7 K% as a team against RHP, which is giving Bridwell an acceptable K projection despite his skill limitations in that area.
Anderson at first glance is a non-play given his home park (Coors) and a potential pitch limit (70 last game, went 4 IP facing just 13 batters). However, if they let him pitch deeper, we have him as a solid value on this slate with an IP baseline of just 5. Despite the park, Anderson is an above average pitcher going up against a Padres offense that is 29th in wRC+ against LHP with a higher 25.3%, and his price does not reflect that.
Ben Lively (PHI) is coming off two strong starts. It looks like smoke and mirrors, but on FD you can throw him into the tournament mix if you’re buying the recent performances at all.
Cole Hamels (TEX) is tough to describe on this slate. He’s not really a good value but provides you with a lot more skill than the cheap options and avoids the high cost of the expensive plays. It’s not a ringing endorsement, but hey – this is the slate we’ve been dealt.
Jonathan Lucroy (COL) is the top catching value on both sites on Saturday, but a measly lineup spot and a lack of overwhelming salary cap relief (particularly on FD) might have us looking in a different direction, despite an implied run total of 6.9 runs. Where he is $3,700 on DraftKings, we might look to use him in cash games, but you can get more access to Coors Field with Austin Hedges (SD) for $200 cheaper. Hedges has offered little success versus LHP in his career, but he could potentially garner a better lineup spot and has posted a positive delta in recent batted ball data.
Russell Martin (TOR) is $100 cheaper on DraftKings, and is a reasonable alternative, but he’s our favorite cash game option at $2,300 on FanDuel. Martin will again not come with a great lineup spot, but will get the platoon edge on fly ball prone Adalberto Mejia. Mejia has escaped damage multiple times this year, but has posted a 5.04 xFIP and allowed 1.25 HR/9. Chris Iannetta (ARI) rounds out the potential cash game options, as he’ll likely come with the best lineup spot and the platoon edge on Madison Bumgarner. We’d prefer to take advantage of a weaker starting pitcher, but Iannetta will give you the best chance at the most plate appearances.
Wil Myers (SD) and Mark Reynolds (COL) lead the way at first base, both taking advantage of the Coors Field hitting environment. Myers will get the advantage of being on the road, and having the platoon edge on left-hander Tyler Anderson. Anderson isn’t someone we’re overly excited about picking on, but Myers has posted excellent batted ball data of late (37.9% Hard%) and has posted a .199 ISO against LHP since 2015.
Reynolds will get the luxury of facing a much worse pitcher in Jordan Lyles. Reynolds is no stranger to production against RHP (.355 wOBA, .200 ISO against RHP since 2015) and the Rockies implied run total of 6.9 runs leads him to the second highest projection at the position, only trailing Myers. They are priced equally on DraftKings, where the decision is a coin toss, but on FanDuel Reynolds will save you $500.
Kendrys Morales (TOR) and Justin Smoak (TOR) are both very cheap in their matchup with Adalberto Mejia. Smoak is the top value on FanDuel where he’s priced at just $2,800. We’re less excited to use him when he’s hitting from the right side for power, but he’s posted a better wOBA and a .203 ISO against LHP since 2015. Since you’re likely paying for deGrom on FanDuel, Smoak is an excellent cash game play.
Or you can dip down a bit more to Jesus Aguilar (MIL) at just $2,300. Aguilar should slide into the fourth or fifth spot in the Brewers lineup against the contact-oriented Adam Conley. In just over 100 plate appearances against LHP, he’s posted a .368 wOBA and .190 ISO against LHP, plus he’s posted a 37.5% Hard% in the last fifteen days.
Brian Dozier (MIN) and DJ LeMahieu (COL) are your top projected scorers at 2B. LeMahieu lacks a sense of real upside, but will get an excellent lineup spot and an implied run total of 6.9 runs against Jordan Lyles. Dozier is the more exciting play though, and the top value on FanDuel for $300 cheaper. He’ll draw a matchup with home run prone (1.44 HR/9 allowed) Marco Estrada. The Twins boast the third highest implied run total (highest non-Coors) and Dozier too has posted a positive delta in Hard%. Where he’s cheaper on FanDuel, he’s more of a cash game play – and the opposite is true on DraftKings where LeMahieu is cheaper.
Dee Gordon (MIA) stands out as one of the top values on DraftKings at $3,700. Gordon carries immense stolen base upside, and has posted a strong positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days (despite not a great number overall). Neil Walker (MIL) fills the cheap void on FanDuel, and is the alternative on that site. He’ll hit from the right side, and will be the away team in his home park (an excellent offensive environment). Adam Conley is fly ball oriented, contact prone, and has pitched to a 5.42 xFIP. What are you afraid of?
Rougned Odor (TEX) and Jed Lowrie (OAK) both hold some tournament appeal.
Nolan Arenado (COL) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) are the strongest duo at 3B. Arenado is the stronger play contextually, but paying for his price tag at least warrants a conversation. Nevertheless, the matchup with Jordan Lyles couldn’t get much better. Donaldson is the cheaper of the two, and is our lean on FanDuel where the price gap is more significant. Donaldson is another Blue Jay that will grab the platoon edge on Adalberto Mejia, and his strength against LHP has been widely documented. He’s posted a .401 wOBA and .278 ISO against LHP since 2015.
We’d like to keep the conversation strictly between the top two, but there is a chance you’ll need to stem to some cheaper options, particularly on DraftKings. Joey Gallo (TEX) is only $3,900 and gets 3B eligibility. His matchup with Parker Bridwell removes his major weakness, the strikeout. Bridwell has only posted a 15.4% K% this season and has allowed 1.41 HR/9 in that time. Maikel Franco (PHI) is an even cheaper option at $3,400 against Kendall Graveman.
Shortstop is not surprisingly an ugly position on the slate. On DraftKings, we’ll look to take the value that Freddy Galvis (PHI) brings with just a $2,900 price tag. Galvis is nothing special, but will draw the platoon edge and a good lineup spot against Kendall Graveman. Furthermore, Galvis has posted serviceable power numbers for a middle infielder, posting a .141 ISO against RHP since 2015. You can also turn to either Yangervis Solarte (SD) or Trevor Story (COL) who rate as the top two options on both sites. Their price tags are a bit more accessible on DraftKings with the value opened up with the second starting pitching spot, but if you choose to pay down a few times on FanDuel, you could find a way to make them work.
And if you don’t pay for them, you’re left with few options on FanDuel. All of our top options are priced at $3,400 and above, but we’d prefer to save that price range for a strong position. Therefore you’re looking towards potential options like Orlando Arcia (MIL), Brandon Crawford (SF), or perhaps even Adam Rosales (ARI) to simply punt away.
Charlie Blackmon (COL) is far and away the top outfield value on the slate. We want to force him into cash game lineups as much as possible in his matchup with Jordan Lyles.
Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Gerardo Parra (COL), Ryan Braun (MIL), and Domingo Santana (MIL) follow further behind Blackmon to help make up a middle tier of outfielders on Saturday.
Gonzalez and Parra will both draw the aforementioned Lyles matchup, and are cheaper Rockies options that might go a bit less owned given the field’s propensity to pay for both Arenado and Blackmon. Braun and Santana are excellent values, and cheap ways to attack left-hander Adam Conley. The Brewers are in an interesting situation which puts them as the away team in their home park, taking advantage of the excellent context as well as getting nine guaranteed at-bats. Adam Conley‘s struggles aside, both Braun and Santana are excellent with the platoon edge, both posting .380+ wOBAs and .220+ ISOs since 2015 in the split.
More Coors bats filter in the middle tier, as both Jose Pirela (SD) and Manuel Margot (SD) are in the low $4,000s on DraftKings. We don’t view them as cash game plays, despite grabbing the platoon edge on Tyler Anderson and being the road team at Coors, but instead would look to utilize their value in tournaments. Steve Pearce (TOR) continues to fight back problems, but should he ever find his way back into the lineup he’s an excellent value on both sites. Instead, his teammate Jose Bautista (TOR) fills the mold of the excellent per dollar play, though we’d prefer to use him in tournaments.
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) is a home bat, but gets a big park shift in his favor moving to Miller Park. Another big home run bat, Khris Davis (OAK) is also getting a big park shift in his favor moving to Philadelphia. Ben Lively is a fly ball arm that struggles to strike hitters out and has posted a 5.55 xFIP – Davis is a great tournament one-off.
1) Colorado Rockies
The gap between the Rockies and everyone else is massive. In fact the gap between them and the Padres is almost equal to the gap between our second best stack (Padres) and second worst (Atlanta). The Rockies, despite high ownership projections, can be stacked in all contest types.
2) San Diego Padres
3) Toronto Blue Jays
The Padres are the obligatory road team in Coors Field on a short slate stack. While the rationale my not be unique, it shouldn’t be held against them/ We do however prefer them as a complementary stack rather than a full stack.
The Blue Jays are the top contrarian stack, receiving a negative park shift and holding a middle of the pack IRT. The Jays are set up better against LHP, and opposing pitcher Adalberto Mejia, who played with fire much of the season, has been burned his last couple of starts, allowing 7 ERs in as many IP. What is particularly glaring is the drop-off in GB rates for Mejia recently: 38.5 to 28.6 to 18.2 to 9.1.
4) Milwaukee Brewers
5) Oakland Athletics
The Brewers are an excellent tournament stack – getting the rare double benefit of the guaranteed nine innings of a road team but hitting in their favorable home park. Throw in their event oriented lineup, particularly against LHP, and a struggling Adam Conley, and there is plenty of upside here.
6) Texas Rangers
7) Minnesota Twins
8) Miami Marlins
9) Philadelphia Phillies
Bridwell is a desperation SP2, not someone we’re afraid of, and the Rangers are hovering between the top of this tier and entering the one above it. Bridwell allows hard hit aerial contact, and his current 3.94 ERA is not indicative of how he has pitched (4.99).