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September 22 MLB DFS: Rays of Hope
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Welcome to September 22 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for September 22 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 22 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
12:29 Catcher
14:12 First Base
17:36 Second Base
19:52 Third Base
23:16 Shortstop
27:01 Outfield
30:41 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • 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 22 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

Zack Greinke (ARI) tops this slate. He’s the largest favorite on the slate at -235, and his bounce back season hasn’t shown signs of slowing. Greinke has pitched 22 innings over his last three starts, allowing just three ERs in that span and striking out 20. The park is subpar (home in Arizona) and the matchup is neutral; it’s Greinke’s skills that position himself as the top SP. Greinke is our preferred cash game option on FD.

Behind Greinke are Justin Verlander (HOU) and Masahiro Tanaka (NYY). Verlander is the safer option from a run prevention standpoint, but a high price tag and contact oriented Angels lineup leads us to Tanaka if playing someone from this tier. The Blue Jays have dropped to 25th in wRC+ against RHP with a middle of the pack K rate. As is always the case with Tanaka, if he can limit the homers (1.74 per 9) he has meaningful upside (24.6 K%).

Rich Hill (LAD) lags behind the top three pitchers from a raw total perspective but makes for the best building block on DK due to price. Hill is a massive -225 favorite with a 3.0 IRTA that is half a run better than any other option. The concern with Hill is how deep he will pitch. He faced just 18 batters last time out and hasn’t faced more than 21 in any of his past four starts. We’ve accounted for this in our baselines, but if you’re even more concerned, you can use the customizer to lower his outs further.

Our value rankings point towards using a cheap second pitcher on this slate, but all come with a good deal of risk. The three we’re focused on all have IRTAs between 4.5-4.8. Before we get there, though…

If you’re willing to sacrifice some offensive upside, you can rid yourself of the great risk those three SPs carry by complementing Hill with Tanaka on DK or jumping at some mid-tier options.

The first of those is Jon Gray (COL). We’re generally enamored with Gray’s K upside, but Coors Field ruins his value half the time. In this matchup, Gray not only gets the extremely favorable park shift pitching in Petco Field, but he faces one of the juiciest lineups out there from a DFS perspective for opposing pitchers. Gray has struck out 17 batters over his last two starts.

Jeff Samardzija (SF) may see a boost in our projections when we see what the actual Dodgers lineup is. They’re expected to be without Corey Seager and could also be without Justin Turner. Samardzija doesn’t carry the ceiling of Gray, but he’s significantly cheaper. Shark is actually priced closer to Newcomb, and possesses a higher floor due to way better control and a larger outs per start baseline (over a full inning higher).

However, as mentioned above, there are three cheap values that litter the top of our value rankings (although the value formula is a bit skewed to favor cheaper pitchers).

Sean Newcomb (ATL) has the best K line baselines of the three cheap pitchers that rate best in our model. He’s struck out 23.4% of batters faced and will face a Phillies offense ranked 27th in wRC+. As always, the issue with Newcomb is control. He’s walking over 5 batters per 9 IP.

Jason Hammel (KC) has given up multiple runs in 13 straight starts, including 11 over his past two. He’s not a play for the faint of heart, especially given the negative park shift and some relatively high heat in Chicago. However, he can keep the runs on the south side of 4, Hammel is in position to strike out a handful of batters or more and could be looking at a win (-130). The White Sox are throwing out terrible lineups, ranking 24th in wRC+ against RHP with a high 23.7 K%. Hammel is tourney viable on FD.

Daniel Norris (DET) may be the scariest option of the bunch, since there are longevity concerns here after spending some time in the bullpen. He’s better used as a tournament sprinkle.

Basically, all three options are likely to give up runs, but they can combat that issue with high K projections relative to their price tags.

Catcher

Gary Sanchez (NYY) leads the way at the catcher position with the top projection. He’s on the road in Rogers Centre facing Marco Estrada, a home run prone pitcher. Sanchez is the highest priced catcher around the industry but it’s not overly difficult to fit him in cash games on either site.

The main alternative in any format at the position is Chris Iannetta (ARI). We have a .197 ISO baseline for Iannetta vs. LHP, and he’ll be hitting second for an offense with an IRT of 5.5 runs. The price tag really stands out for Iannetta on FD where he’s just $2,400.

In tournaments, you can go after power upside bats with appropriate tags like Salvador Perez (KC) in a very strong hitting environment (unusually warm in Chicago) and Willson Contreras (CHC). On the cheaper end, Stephen Vogt (MIL) works just fine for upside at a near minimum price tag on FD.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC), Freddie Freeman (ATL), Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) and Joey Votto (CIN) carry high end projections at the first base position into matchups and contexts that are favorable for upside. It’s not very challenging to have access to these options on FD where pricing seems soft on the whole as we finish the MLB season. Of this group, Rizzo feels flat out underpriced at $3,800 with the platoon edge in his matchup.

We also have a couple of cheap targets in Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison (TB) that have skyrocketed in projection given their context. They’re on the road in Camden Yards (massive park shift) and facing Ubaldo Jimenez. Ubaldo is notoriously bad vs. LHBs – he’s allowed a massive .395 wOBA and .264 ISO in that split since 2016 (around 600 PAs). They’ve been a bit cold of late, but we have confidence thanks to the incredible context.

Miguel Cabrera (DET), Eric Hosmer (KC – or Brandon Moss on DK) and Mitch Moreland (BOS) are viable targets at cheap price tags (with the exception of Hosmer) that have appeal in tournaments.

Second Base

Brian Dozier (MIN) is the top projected scorer at second base and the price tag isn’t overly aggressive on FD ($3,900). Dozier is facing a subpar LHP on the road, so he’s very viable in cash games on that site.

On DK, saving money is our preferred route at the position. Neil Walker (MIL) is just $3,600 on that site and we have a cool .211 ISO baseline from the left side of the plate. John Lackey is a decent matchup as well. If you needed to save some funds on FD at the position, Jonathan Schoop (BAL) strikes us as underpriced at $2,900. That feels like a wrong price tag for Schoop in a strong hitting environment, especially after the type of season he’s enjoyed (career high 32 HRs, .220 ISO).

Brad Miller (TB) is viable as a part of Rays stack in tournaments. He’s finally hitting the ball a bit harder of late (26.3% L15 HHR).

Third Base

If you’re able to pay up at third base, Freddie Freeman (ATL) represents a phenomenal target as the top projected scorer at the position on DK. He’ll have the platoon edge at home vs. Ben Lively, who doesn’t miss bats (14.5% K rate this season) and doesn’t induce many ground balls (37% GB rate).

There are strong plays behind Freeman that come at affordable price tags. Rafael Devers (BOS) is in Cincinnati, which is a massive park shift in favor of the Red Sox LHBs. Devers is an acceptable drop down on DK. Mike Moustakas (KC) is priced accurately on DK and he’s still a top three value, but it’s on FD where you’re likely playing him in cash games. Moustakas doesn’t get the benefit of an elite lineup spot (usually hits sixth), but he’s in Chicago tonight with the platoon edge and won’t cost you much on FD ($2,800).

Nolan Arenado (COL) and the Rockies are in Petco, but he’s $3,900 on FD. We’d rather pay down for Moustakas, but that price tag keeps Arenado in play across all formats. Kris Bryant (CHC) and Manny Machado (BAL) are viable upside options in tournaments.

Shortstop

Trea Turner (WSH) carries the top projection at the shortstop position and the gap here between Turner and our second highest projected scorer, Francisco Lindor (CLE), is a little over two FanDuel points. Turner is expensive, but he’s on the road with a decent chance at five plate appearances against a bad Mets staff. He’s viable across all formats while Lindor and his high HHR over the L15 can be considered in tournaments.

There’s not much depth behind the pricey shortstops. Thankfully Carlos Correa (HOU) has a middling price tag on FD ($3,400), but his matchup against Garrett Richards doesn’t stand out. The other route is to go cheap, which doesn’t seem like a suboptimal route if you can’t reach for Turner. Adam Rosales (ARI) looks like the best punt target on DK, and his value would improve if he was able to garner a better lineup spot than seventh. Freddy Galvis (PHI) and Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) are other cheap-ish routes that are viable on DK. They both come with better lineup spot than Rosales but the price tags are in the low to mid $3Ks.

Outfield

Charlie Blackmon (COL) is in a terrible hitting environment (Petco), but he’s facing a terrible pitcher in Jordan Lyles that has allowed a .396 wOBA and .191 ISO to LHBs since 2015. Blackmon is expensive but reachable on DK if you decide to play a cheap SP2.

The best values in the OF are Kevin Kiermaier and Corey Dickerson (TB). The Rays lineup will give Ubaldo Jimenez fits thanks to all the LHBs that can either hit for power or run (Kiermaier). Dickerson has fallen off during the second half of the season, but the cheap price tags are now accounting for his lack of production. Kyle Schwarber (CHC), Jay Bruce (CLE), Gerardo Parra (COL) (on FD) and Curtis Granderson (LAD) (on FD) are other routes with the platoon edge that you can consider to round out your OF.

Mookie Betts (BOS) is expensive but if you wanted to have some Red Sox exposure in cash games he’s in consideration. It’s not as big of a park shift for Betts, but this is a road matchup in Cincinnati against a bad pitcher. Betts stands out a bit more on FD where he’s a top five OF value despite a price tag that feels pretty appropriate.

Aaron Judge (NYY) is priced efficiently around the industry but we really like this matchup (Estrada) in Rogers Centre and he’s been swinging the bat much better of late. He’s a strong tournament target.

Stacks

TIer One

1) Chicago Cubs

2) Tampa Bay Rays

3) Colorado Rockies

4) Kansas City Royals

For a large slate, it’s surprising we don’t get any outlier stacks. Rather the stack progression is linear. The Cubs, still fighting to clinch the division over the Brewers, lead our rankings. They’re a road team receiving a positive park shift. They’ll face rookie RHP Brandon Woodruff, who has pitched well (3.28 ERA), but the MiLB numbers indicate regression should hit (4.44 FIP).

The Rays are really cheap as a team on FD. Like the Cubs – road shift/negative park shift – and the additional benefit of playing the volatile Ubaldo Jimenez, who just truck out 10 batters against the Yankees, but has had other such flashes of dominance quickly erased throughout the season.

The Rockies are the best contrarian stack of this group, playing in Petco Park. Our baselines on Lyles are just so horrific that they still get pushed up the rankings. Granted it was in tough pitching environments, but Lyles has given up a combined 11 ERs over his past two starts.

Tier Two

5) Boston Red Sox

6) Arizona Diamondbacks

7) New York Yankees

If we’re light on one team in this slate, it’s likely a Diamondbacks team in a great hitting environment, with a high 5.4 IRT, and facing a contact oriented LHP that enhances the RH event bats of Paul Goldschmidt, AJ Pollock, and JD Martinez.

Additional Tournament Stacks

Baltimore Orioles: Alex Cobb has allowed a 22% hard minus soft hit rate this season, and he’s gotten a little lucky on the run prevention side of things (3.63 ERA/4.24 xFIP). The price tag on the Orioles are a bit light on FD.

Minnesota Twins: Minnesota’s IRT is approaching five runs, and behind Daniel Norris is one if not the worst bullpen in the league. This feels like a good spot to generate upside for this offense with nine guaranteed innings of strong matchups on the road.

 

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