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September 17 MLB DFS Early Slate: Let Jake Pay Your Rake
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September 17 MLB DFS Early Slate Show Outline: 

00:56 Starting Pitchers
05:28 Catchers
07:19 First Base
08:58 Second Base
10:21 Shortstops
12:15  Third Base
14:10 Outfield
18:55 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks


September 17 MLB DFS Early Slate PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Two

2) David Price (BOS)

Tier Three

3) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

4) Justin Verlander (DET)

Tier Four

5) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

6) Jameson Taillon (PIT)

In a short early slate, your top priority in cash games is to fit Jake Arrieta (CHC) into your lineups. We’ve been picking on the Brewers with RHP all season long, especially lately and with far lass talented pitchers than Arrieta. Now Arrieta (-275) gets Milwaukee at home. Arrieta hasn’t been as dominant as last season (walks have been an issue), but he continues to keep the ball on the ground and limit hard contact. Facing the Brewers helps for Arrieta to overcome his one weakness, a lack of K upside (well, relative to his high price tags) as the Brewers strike out more than any other team versus RHP.

If you’re worried about Arrieta’s inconsistency over the second half of the season (multiple outings with an xFIP over 5 since August), David Price (BOS) is a fine pivot. Price has been great recently, recording at least seven strikeouts in five straight starts. He pitches in a tough park and better opponent, but the Yankees do still rank 24th in wRC+ against LHP.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) and Justin Verlander (DET) are best used in tournaments due to the combination of pricing, matchup, and opportunity cost. Arrieta and Price aren’t without risk, so you can look here for tournament pivots. We particularly like Carrasco in that format given some gaudy second half K numbers.

On DraftKings, you’re likely complementing Arrieta with one of our tier four starting pitchers. Both Gio Gonzalez (WAS) (Atlanta has been much better over the second half but still ranks 28th in wRC+ against LHP) and Jameson Taillon (PIT) (great combination of K/BB ratio and GB rate but some risk in Cincinnati) are fine options. It’s close enough that we’d likely take the extra cap relief that Taillon offers.

Catcher Rankings

1) Gary Sanchez (NYY)

2) Willson Contreras (CHC)

3) Tyler Flowers (ATL)

4) Sandy Leon (BOS)

5) Wilson Ramos (WSH)

Gary Sanchez (NYY) remains the top ranked catcher in our model as the run-scoring environment at Fenway Park and the premier lineup spot pushes him head and shoulders above a shallow catcher position. However, due to his price, the matchup with David Price and the push to pay for top starting we’d prefer to save some salary at the catcher position. Although we’d prefer a better lineup spot, Tyler Flowers (ATL) presents a lot more flexibility in terms of salary (especially on FanDuel) and has posted a .330 wOBA and 112 wRC+ against left-handers since 2015 (as compared to .306 wOBA and 91 wRC+ against right-handers).

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

3) Joey Votto (CIN)

4) Hanley Ramirez (BOS)

5) Josh Bell (PIT)

David Ortiz (BOS) not only rates as the best first baseman in our model, but he is the number one overall hitter on the entire slate. He possesses elite skills against right-handed pitching and draws a matchup with Bryan Mitchell, a right-hander that ZiPS projects at an ERA of 5.47. While Anthony Rizzo (CHC) and Joey Votto (CIN) follow right behind Ortiz and rank inside our top six hitters overall, Ortiz represents such a strong value that he is the preferred first base option if paying up. First base is not void of values though, as Josh Bell (PIT) and Hanley Ramirez (BOS – value specific to FanDuel) represent ways to save salary in positive matchups. Bell gets a big positive park shift to Great American Ball Park and draws a matchup with the fly ball prone Anthony DeSclafani who has allowed a .350 wOBA and 1.35 HR/9 to left-handers since 2015. Ramirez’ value is strictly tied to FanDuel, but his matchup with Bryan Mitchell and a positive 14 day delta in our well-hit tool make him stand out as a solid salary relief option.

Second Base Rankings

1) Daniel Murphy (WSH)

2) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

3) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

4) Trea Turner (WSH)

5) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

While Daniel Murphy (WSH) represents the top second baseman in our model, the position provides the opportunity to save even more salary to allow for spending elsewhere. Dustin Pedroia (BOS) is our second ranked second baseman and will grant you even more exposure to a potent Red Sox lineup while Ben Zobrist (CHC) remains even cheaper ($3,200) and will hit from the left-side (.341 wOBA, 120 wRC+ since 2015) in a premier lineup spot.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

2) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

3) Jose Peraza (CIN)

4) Addison Russell (CHC)

Shortstop represents one of the weakest positions on the slate headed by another Boston Red Sox player, Xander Bogaerts (BOS). Bogaerts price tag though presents a bit of a challenge, especially when our preferred lineup build includes a top priced starting pitcher. While his matchup with Zach Davies isn’t the best on the slate (.296 wOBA allowed to righties since 2015), Addison Russell (CHC) provides another salary relief option that should command a top-five lineup spot.

Third Base Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Travis Shaw (BOS)

3) Anthony Rendon (WSH)

4) Javier Baez (CHC)

Kris Bryant (CHC) is far and away the top third baseman in our model and he represents a positive value on both FanDuel and DraftKings. While the preferred build seeks offensive value, the third base position is so shallow that Bryant model (.385 wOBA, .232 ISO against right-handers since 2015) warrants hard consideration even in the cash game format. If you wish to seek value at this position, Javier Baez (CHC) and Travis Shaw (BOS) represent the best ways to attain it, barring decent lineup spots.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mookie Betts (BOS)

2) Bryce Harper (WSH)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC)

4) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

5) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

6) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

7) Trea Turner (WSH)

8) Josh Bell (PIT)

9) Adam Duvall (CIN)

10) Jose Peraza (CIN)

11) Jayson Werth (WSH)

12) Matt Kemp (ATL)

In the outfield, Mookie Betts (BOS) and Bryce Harper (WSH) represent the top two plays, and Harper in particular represents as the strongest value on both FanDuel and DraftKings. Since we’re looking to tackle value at a lot of the other offensive positions, opening the floodgates in the outfield is a bit more viable of an option. Pirates outfielders Andrew McCutchen (PIT) and Gregory Polanco (PIT) fall inside our top-20 hitters overall and their price tags are easily fit in a matchup with a big positive park shift in their favor. Attacking the middle salary outfielders appears to be the best way to build, as the well runs dry fairly quick at the bottom of the salary spectrum. Adam Duvall (power upside and park in his favor) represents a site-specific value on FanDuel, as his $2,700 price tag is low enough to warrant consideration, despite a matchup with Jameson Taillon (.287 wOBA allowed to righties). On DraftKingsJosh Bell (PIT) possess dual eligibility, providing a potential cap relief option that strays from the middle tier.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Boston Red Sox

Tier Two

2) Washington Nationals

Tier Three

3) Chicago Cubs

4) Pittsburgh Pirates

5) Cincinnati Reds

It’s pretty tough to force much Boston exposure in cash games due to pricing, but if you’re conscious of it, you can make some decisions to get in a couple of Red Sox bats whether it’s choosing Betts over Harper or Taillon over Gonzalez to create more cap space for Boston players.

With so many aces in play on a short slate, it’s tough to get too contrarian in tournaments. We like the Pirates as a non-chalk stack (ownership will likely still be fairly high due to limited options) because of the massive park shift. The Reds may come with low ownership, but simply due to hitting environment are worth pursuing in tournament formats.

Tournament Stack

-Detroit Tigers (Carlos Carrasco is volatile as evidenced by his up and down game log, and the Tigers offense has the HR upside to pay off in tournaments)

MLB Daily Analysis

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