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September 23 MLB DFS: Bend it like Beckham
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Welcome to September 23 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for September 23 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 23 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:56 Starting Pitcher
07:20 Catcher
09:53 First Base
12:42 Second Base
15:08 Third Base
17:27 Shortstop
19:23 Outfield
22:24 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 23 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

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

Saturday’s slate brings about one of the strangest starting pitching slates in a while. At the very top, Stephen Strasburg (WAS) projects comfortably ahead of the pack. Strasburg has a softer matchup against the Mets end of season AAA lineup they’ve been playing at the major league level but he’s fully priced at $13,300 on DraftKings and $11,300 on FanDuel.

The price tag relative to the player pool is a bit softer on FanDuel than on DraftKings which makes it easier to justify the safety of an elite starter in cash games.

On both sites, the most valuable SP is Julio Teheran (ATL). The Phillies, even with Rhys Hoskins hitting like Babe Ruth, project as a below average offense against RHP and they project as a particularly favorable matchup for Teheran’s wide platoon splits. The Phillies simply don’t have many threatening hitters from the left side, especially in the power department. Teheran’s been pitching well down the stretch (2.40 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 42 K in 45 IP over his last seven starts) with his velocity ticking up a bit. Teheran’s a relatively strong favorite at home (-170) and moderately priced ($8,000 on FanDuel and $7,900 on DraftKings).

After Teheran, the values get bunched with a few correctly priced mid-tier targets in Gerrit Cole (PIT), Danny Duffy (KC), Sean Manaea (OAK), and Lance Lynn (STL). Manaea gets a friendly matchup against the Rangers who traditionally struggle to make contact against LHP (24.7 K Rate against LHP). Manaea went through a brutal stretch in August but has settled down with three earned runs or less allowed in five of the last six games. Manaea isn’t working very deep into games but the price tag doesn’t require a deep push as long as the strikeouts are there. Cole and Duffy come with more mid-tier price tags. Duffy has a pitch cap concern as he was limited to 70-75 last time out and we’re guessing 90 or so this time. The White Sox do strike out a ton but are a bit better against LHP than RHP with their lineup of minor leaguers. Cole gets a primarily RH heavy Cardinals’ lineup with the benefit of a favorable home park.  

On DraftKings, a Manaea-Teheran pairing opens up all of the offense but a Cole-Teheran pairing projects as the best cash game target. On FanDuel, we feel there’s more room to get up to Strasburg with softer pricing.

Catcher

Salvador Perez (KC) is the top projected scorer at the catcher position. Salvy won’t have the platoon edge, but Dylan Covey sucks (12.6% K rate, 2.78 HR/9) and it’s warm once again in Chicago (low 80s).

Buster Posey (SF) and Chris Iannetta (ARI) (if hitting second) are right behind Perez in projection, and they both come with cheap price tags on FD. Both of these catchers will have the platoon edge in their respective matchups, but Iannetta is in the better environment (Chase Field). There’s no need to look beyond these three catchers in any format in this slate. You could consider Nick Hundley (SF) as a punt option in tournaments on DK but keep in mind that the gap in projection is meaningful.

First Base

We’re going back to the well with Lucas Duda (TB), who’s our top value at the position around the industry. Duda remains really cheap and gets another plus matchup (Jeremy Hellickson) in Camden Yards, which as we mentioned yesterday, represents a huge favorable park shift for the Rays offense. Teammate Logan Morrison (TB) is even cheaper than Duda on FD, where he’s playable in all formats.

Behind these cheap targets is a loaded position. Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) is in Chase Field facing a LHP, Freddie Freeman (ATL) is in SunTrust Park with the platoon edge and Eric Hosmer (KC) is getting a favorable park shift and gets to face Dylan Covey,  The better hitters from this group are clearly Goldy and Freeman, but their price tags are full. It’s probably best to tackle this group of hitters in tournaments given how cheap the Rays are, but Hosmer’s mid-tier price tag keeps him in play in cash games. Hosmer’s teammate, Brandon Moss (KC), should be considered as a cheap source of power upside in tournaments on DK.

Second Base

Whit Merrifield (KC) represents the top projected scorer at second base with pretty conservative baselines on our end. Merrifield is a road leadoff hitter with event upside (18 HRs/32 SBs this season), and the Royals have a hefty IRT (5.3) thanks to a positive park shift and a matchup against Dylan Covey.

The price tags on Merrifield are appropriate, which brings us once more to Jonathan Schoop (BAL). Schoop’s price tag on FD just feels wrong again. He’s $2,800 on that site, and even if you believe that Schoop’s HR totals are a bit inflated, he would still be underpriced for the baselines we have for him vs. RHP. Even on DK the price tag feels a touch light ($4,000). Dee Gordon (MIA) is $3,500 on DK as a road leadoff hitter in Chase Field. He’s the top value at the position on DK.

Brad Miller (TB) can be used as part of a Rays stack in tournaments. He’s underperformed our baselines all season and he no longer hits in a good lineup spot, but the price tags are low.

Third Base

Freddie Freeman (ATL) gets another strong matchup at home, and he’s the top projected scorer at third base on Saturday. The price tag is appropriate on Freeman, and fitting him ultimately depends on your choices at SP.

There’s strong depth at the position in this slate. Mike Moustakas (KC) remains free on FD. He’s $2,700 and gives you cheap power upside in an excellent context. Evan Longoria (TB) has cheap-ish price tags around the industry and gets Jeremy Hellickson (.205 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015) on the road. Manny Machado (BAL) is priced more accurately but gets a matchup against a wide reverse splits pitcher at home. It’s probably best to stay within this group of targets in cash games and tournaments at the position since there’s a significant drop off in projection below these options.

Shortstop

Trea Turner (WSH) is the top projected scorer at the position, but he’s expensive. We prefer Turner in tournaments tonight. Tim Beckham (BAL) is right behind Turner in projection and carries a more manageable price tag in cash games around the industry. Beckham will face Jake Odorizzi, a RHP that has allowed a .216 ISO to RHBs since 2015.

On DK, Elvis Andrus (TEX) is a viable alternative to Beckham. He’s a couple hundred dollars cheaper and while he’s in a subpar hitting environment (Oakland), he’ll have the platoon edge vs. Sean Manaea, who’s been roughed up over the second half of the season (5.83 ERA). Freddy Galvis (PHI) is even cheaper around the industry and gets Julio Teheran as a matchup, which is a favorable one thanks to Teheran’s wide splits.

Outfield

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) gets a massive park shift in his favor going into Chase Field and he represents our top projected scorer in the OF. Stanton is obviously expensive, but he deserves consideration in tournaments.

It’s a reduced slate (nine games), but we still get solid OF depth. Lorenzo Cain, Melky Cabrera (on FD) and Brandon Moss (KC) stand out immediately given their juicy context on the road and you can have access to at least one of these options in cash games on both sites given their soft price tags. Steven Souza and Corey Dickerson (TB) are flat out underpriced on FD at $2,800 and $2,200 respectively. Jeremy Hellickson is a great matchup for this Rays offense that relies on power to generate runs. S Hellickson doesn’t miss bats (career low 5.24 Ks per 9) and he’s very home run prone (1.94 HR/9 this season). Teammate Kevin Kiermaier (TB) is more expensive but deserves consideration as a road leadoff hitter with some event upside. Christian Yelich (MIA) is just $3,700 on DK, which feels like a light price tag given the park shift boost. Khris Davis (OAK) has a perfect matchup for power upside (Miguel Gonzalez) and the price tag is decent on DK. If you needed a bottom of the barrel option on DK, Gorkys Hernandez (SF) is $2,300 and usually gets a good lineup spot vs. LHP.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Kansas City Royals

2) Arizona Diamondbacks

3) Tampa Bay Rays

The Royals get a road matchup with a park upgrade against one of the weakest opposing starters on the slate backed up by likely the worst bullpen. The Royals have the second highest implied total on the slate and are the only road team with an implied total over five. They’re cheaper on DraftKings than FanDuel but accessible on both sites. Arizona has the chalkier implied run total but prices that are difficult to access. If you’re going the mid-tier SP route, it’s not difficult to get up to them and with Strasburg soaking up some ownership the Diamondbacks overall ownership should be held in check against a below average lefty at home. The Rays are a really intriguing cheap play on FanDuel where you can pair them with Strasburg. Hellickson is very homer-prone and they get the big park upgrade for power.

Tier Two

4) Baltimore Orioles

5) Miami Marlins

6) Atlanta Braves

7) Oakland Athletics

The second tier should carry more of the contrarian targets. The Orioles and Marlins should come with substantially lower ownership than their opponents in the same friendly hitting environment. Odorizzi has been extremely fly ball prone (48 percent) this season and historically more vulnerable to same-handed bats which makes the Orioles the most compelling power upside from this tier. The Athletics continue to lead the way in team hard hit rate over the last 15 days and in a big park should remain overlooked with more expensive price tags.