Welcome to September 21 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for September 20 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 21 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:05 Starting Pitcher
11:13 First Base
14:06 Second Base
16:10 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 21 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) is the top starting pitcher on the slate, and is a foundation for cash games on Thursday. He’ll draw one of the best opposing matchups one can find, getting a White Sox lineup that is consistently filled with names you probably haven’t heard of. Vegas strongly agrees with our take, as the White Sox hold an implied run total against of just three runs, and Keuchel is a massive -330 favorite. He’s easy to fit on DraftKings at $11,300, but is astonishingly valuable on FanDuel where he is only $8,900. There is a conversation to be had about fading him in tournaments on that site, where his expected ownership is massive.
Carlos Martinez (STL) falls right behind Keuchel, but both have some small warts. Martinez is priced above Keuchel on both sites, and will draw a matchup in a horrible environment in Great American Ball Park. The Reds as a team, are also not overwhelmingly strikeout prone, as they’re ranked 19th in K% versus RHP this season. While Martinez still holds the second highest strikeout projection, we’d prefer to use the other context tiebreakers (price, park) to make him more of a tournament play.
After the top tier, there is a really interesting middle tier of starters priced in a complementary range on DraftKings, including: Jake Arrieta (CHC), Danny Salazar (CLE), J.A. Happ (TOR), Tyler Anderson (COL), and James Paxton (SEA). Arrieta is an interesting potential SP2 on DraftKings, where he is only $8,100 – but we’d prefer him in tournaments. The tricky issue with Arrieta is he’s making his first start back from the disabled list after dealing with a hamstring issue and will be limited to around 75-80 pitches. Still though, given the Brewers’ issues with the strikeout (25.7% K% against RHP).
Paxton and Anderson would be our preferred secondary cash game options on DK. Paxton is coming off a flukey start, but had a strong stretch right before hand and has been fantastic this season (3.28 xFIP). His 28.1% K% plays really well against the Rangers, who have struggled to make contact in the split, posting the 5th highest K% at 24.7%. The other positive for Paxton is that he’ll be getting the Rangers on a huge negative park shift, moving to a chilly Seattle. We just had Tyler Anderson as a viable candidate against the Padres in Coors Field, and now he’s drawing them in Petco Park. Anderson has been much better than his ERA suggests, and has actually shown a slight bump in K% this season. The Padres rank 28th in wRC+ against LHP and have the third highest K% in the split, making Anderson a viable cash game SP2 on DK.
Both Jason Vargas (KC) and R.A. Dickey (ATL) have some tournament appeal as super cheap options on DK.
We don’t need to focus so much on cost savings on Thursday, but there are plenty of those options available at catcher. John Hicks (DET) is the top per dollar value, coming in at just $2,000 on FanDuel and $3,200 on DraftKings. Hicks hit fifth in the Tigers last start against a LHP, and we have him projected to hit there once again. Albeit in a small sample size, he’s posted a .194 ISO against LHP since 2015. Hicks’ teammate James McCann (DET) should find a similar lineup spot and has been even better against LHP in a bigger sample size (.387 wOBA, .261 ISO). Opposing pitcher Adalberto Mejia has been a frequent target of ours and is fly ball prone and has allowed 1.30 HR/9 this season.
Brian McCann (HOU), Jason Castro (MIN), and Salvador Perez (KC) all rate similarly, and Wilson Contreras (CHC) is a potential spend as the top projected scorer.
Lucas Duda (TB), Logan Morrison (TB), and Miguel Cabrera (DET) rate as the top three per dollar values at the first base position as a trio of very affordable options. Miggy will get the aforementioned matchup with Adalberto Mejia, but both Duda and Morrison get a big park upgrade and face Gabriel Ynoa. Ynoa doesn’t have a lot of experience, but has been badly beaten with hard contact ( > 40% Hard% allowed) and has pitched to a 5.12 xFIP. Both Morrison and Duda come with a big power presence against RHP, having posted .220+ ISOs in the split since 2015.
Without a necessity to spend down, Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Anthony Rizzo (CHC) are potentially spend worthy options, though they are strongly priced on both sites ($4,000+ on FD, $5,000+ on DK). The two are the top projected scorers at the position, and represent excellent tournament options. Freeman comes with great batted ball data, and Rizzo is drawing a strong park upgrade in his favor.
Jose Altuve (HOU) and Brian Dozier (MIN) are the top projected scorers at the second base position and both represent excellent potential spends. Altuve draws young right-hander Carson Fulmer who in just less than 30 innings in his career has posted a 5.68 xFIP and allowed 1.82 HR/9. Altuve and the Astros have the highest implied run total on the slate and will get to take advantage of a bad pen after Fulmer exits.
Dozier’s matchup with Jordan Zimmermann has us salivating just as much. He comes with a slightly cheaper tag on both sites and will look to take advantage of the plummeted GB%, K% and other detrimental peripherals Zimmermann has posted. The Twins rival the Astros as far as implied run total, so the decision is essentially a pick-em when deciding on upside.
As far as value, the sites differ just a bit. Jonathan Schoop (BAL) is extremely valuable on FanDuel at $3,000. He’ll get his home park and opposing pitcher Matt Andriese has allowed more than 40% hard contact (via FanGraphs). On DraftKings, Ian Kinsler (DET) is another Tiger that floods to the top of the rankings with his matchup with Adalberto Mejia. Plus, Whit Merrifield (KC) is only $3,800 and will draw the platoon edge. Merrifield has been better than anticipated, and is actually quite event oriented (17 HRs, 30 SBs).
Evan Longoria (TB) is the top per dollar play on both sites, drawing a park upgrade and a matchup with Gabriel Ynoa. Longo is better served with the platoon edge, but has posted a .191 ISO against RHP since 2015. At $3,700 on DraftKings, he’s a valuable option – but a cheap one that you might not need.
On FanDuel we’d prefer to just pay for Manny Machado (BAL) at $3,500. Machado has been incredible in the second half and is now just too accessible and skilled for his price tag. He’s our favorite cash game play. DraftKings puts Nick Castellanos (DET) into play as well, another Tiger getting Adalberto Mejia. Castellanos has posted a .252 ISO against LHP since 2015. For a bit cheaper, you can get exposure to the Astros with Alex Bregman (HOU). Bregman has been hitting sixth against RHP, but has held his own against them (.185 ISO in just over 500 PAs in his career).
Nolan Arenado (COL), Kris Bryant (CHC), and Anthony Rendon (WSH) should all draw some tournament consideration.
Carlos Correa (HOU) remains far too cheap on both sites ($3,400 FD, $4,700 on DK) and is our preferred cash game option on both sites.The batted ball data isn’t spectacular, but he’s drawing a great matchup and is too skilled for his price – much like Machado at the previous position.
Trea Turner (WSH) is actually the top projected player at the position, and has posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days. With the expectation that most people will accept the cheaper tag on Correa, Turner is an excellent tournament option with a ton of upside. Paul DeJong (STL) is only $3,100 on FanDuel and gets a big park upgrade playing in Great American Ball Park. Homer Bailey has been horrific, and the strong decline in strikeout percentage (16.1%) is a big plus for DeJong who struggles with the strikeout.
Jorge Polanco (MIN) is only $4,000 on DraftKings, and if he gets a good lineup spot he’d be a good value against Jordan Zimmermann. You can also take advantage of Alex Bregman (HOU) and his dual positional eligibility.
Outfield remains in a strange limbo of per dollar value on both sites. Josh Reddick (HOU), Corey Dickerson (TB), and Carlos Beltran (HOU) are among the top per dollar plays on both sites. We’ve talked time and time again about the matchups for both Reddick and Beltran, but it’s the price tags that make them stand out – where Beltran is at the bare minimum on FanDuel and Reddick is priced in the mid-tier.
Dickerson gets a strong park boost, and his prowess against RHP is well documented. He’s posted a .245 ISO against RHP since 2015. His teammates Steven Souza (TB) and Kevin Kiermaier (TB) also rate well on both sites. It gets messier as you move throughout the middle tier. Lorenzo Cain (KC) isn’t particularly event oriented, but he’s posted a .386 wOBA and .223 ISO against LHP since 2015. He comes with a middling price tag and a park upgrade to the Rogers Centre.
George Springer (HOU) is among the top projected scorers on the slate, hitting at the top of the Astros lineup against Carson Fulmer. At $3,700 on FanDuel, he’s actually our second most valuable per dollar play as well. Max Kepler (MIN) will get the platoon edge and the matchup with Jordan Zimmermann. At $2,500 on FanDuel and $3,400 on DraftKings, he’s a very cheap way to get exposure to the Twins and their 5.3 implied run total.
Kyle Schwarber (CHC) has posted a strong positive delta in Hard% in the last fifteen days. He struggles to put the ball in play, but remains very powerful (.267 ISO against RHP since 2015). The other plus, is Zach Davies is not someone to fear as far as strikeouts, having posted just a 15.7% K%. Last but not least, Nelson Cruz (SEA) has batted ball data with a Hard% over 50% in recent weeks. Cole Hamels is not the same guy this season, and Cruz has always been disastrous for LHP to deal with.
2.Tampa Bay Rays
3. Washington Nationals
4. Minnesota Twins
5. Chicago Cubs
We didn’t talk much about the Nationals, but they’ve lengthened their lineup with the reinsertion of both Jayson Werth and Trea Turner. R.A. Dickey is always a bit of an enigma, but when he does struggle, particularly with the home run, it comes in bunches. In each of the last five games he’s allowed a home run, he’s at least allowed one more.
6. Baltimore Orioles
7. Toronto Blue Jays
8. Detroit Tigers
The Blue Jays will draw soft throwing left-hander Jason Vargas, and hold an implied run total of five runs – but don’t break through the individual positional analysis much. Vargas has come back to Earth this season, posting a 4.99 xFIP while allowing 1.38 HR/9. Furthermore, he’s allowed six home runs in the last 18 innings pitched.