Welcome to September 4 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for September 3 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 4 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:56 Starting Pitcher
09:46 First Base
12:24 Second Base
15:18 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 4 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
After a very challenging starting pitching slate yesterday, we’re treated with Carlos Martinez (STL) in a phenomenal context today. Martinez is in Petco Park facing a Padres offense that ranks 27th in wRC+ and are striking out 25% of the time vs. RHP. CarMart has the lowest IRTA in this slate (3.6) and he should be your priority at the position in cash games on both sites.
Trevor Bauer (CLE) is next up in projection after Martinez, and he’s our preferred SP2 on DK. Bauer is another pitcher with a dream matchup – facing a White Sox offense that ranks 24th in wRC+ and are striking out 23% of the time vs. RHP. They only have two above average hitters in their lineup these days. Should you choose to fade Martinez on FD, Bauer is the pivot we feel best about in cash games.
Martinez is more vulnerable to LHBs, and he’ll likely face four of them. Bauer isn’t exactly a “safe” selection either. They’ll be popular, so you can look towards Jake Arrieta (CHC) and Dylan Bundy (BAL) in tournaments. Arrieta has been consistently good for about a month and a half, but there aren’t many strikeouts in that Pirates lineup. We prefer Bundy. The latter has been pitching out of his mind of late, generating a 32% K rate over his L5 and it comes with big SwStr rates and strong run prevention (3.70 xFIP or lower in each of his L4 starts). He’s in a bad environment facing a Yankees offense that ranks second in wRC+ vs. RHP, which is where the risk comes from (IRTA is sitting at 4.5).
Luis Perdomo (SD) is another intriguing tournament target as a SP2 on DK. He’s a bit more lineup dependent given his wide splits.
Buster Posey (SF) and Gary Sanchez (NYY) lead the way at the catcher position on Monday. Posey and the Giants are getting a huge park shift moving to Coors Field and will draw a matchup with right-hander Chad Bettis. Posey hasn’t had much success in the way of batted ball data recently (13.8% Hard%), but he’s perhaps the most skilled option at the position and is now getting the massive park upgrade. Sanchez won’t get quite the same park environment, but does get a matchup with fly ball prone Dylan Bundy. Bundy has been much better of late, but has still struggled with the long ball (1.39 HR/9).
It might be difficult to pay top dollar for these options though, leading us in other directions. Salvador Perez (KC) is still very cheap and will be facing Artie Lewicki in his debut. Lewicki has been solid in the minor leagues this year, but Perez comes with home run upside, a decent lineup spot and is particularly cheap at $3,300 on DraftKings and $2,300 on FanDuel. Stephen Vogt (MIL) is another cheap option available on DraftKings, as he gets Homer Bailey (5.20 xFIP) in Great American Ball Park. Where there are only a few options in FanDuel’s early only slate, Yan Gomes (CLE) and Alex Avila (CHC) are two of the better, cheap starting catching options. Gomes in particular will draw a park upgrade and matchup with James Shields for $2,700.
Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) is the top first base option on the slate, even with Coors Field available on both slates. Encarnacion and the Indians will draw James Shields in Guaranteed Rate Field, and he’s one of a few Indians with excellent batted ball data recently. Shields has allowed at least one home run in each of his last six starts, and there is a good chance that streak is extended on Monday.
Cheaper options filter in after Encarnacion, as Eric Thames (MIL) and Matt Carpenter (STL) again find themselves underpriced relative to their skillsets against RHP. An issue for Thames this season has been putting the ball in play (29.7% K%), but his matchup with Homer Bailey bodes well in that regard, as Bailey has recorded just a 14.8% K% this season. Contextually Thames outranks Carpenter, but it’s the Cardinals first basemen that is a bit cheaper on DraftKings. Carpenter will be in Petco Park, but his opponent Luis Perdomo has struggled mightily with LHB (.365 wOBA, .172 ISO allowed to LHB since 2015). Where there is a large pricing discrepancy on FanDuel, our obvious lean is to Thames, but if the extra few dollars matters, Carpenter is a suitable alternative on DraftKings. Carlos Santana (CLE) has first base eligibility on both sites, and is a great tournament complement who will take advantage of the same matchup as his teammate, Encarnacion. Greg Bird (NYY) is back in the Yankees lineup, and despite not drawing a notable lineup spot, he’s just $2,500 on FanDuel and $2,900 on DraftKings.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) is the top projected scorer at the position, coming off a five extra-base hit game and now drawing a matchup with James Shields. The batted ball data has swung in the positive direction, and the Indians have an implied run total of 5.7 runs. His tag on DraftKings at $5,300 is maybe a bit restrictive, but on FanDuel at $3,500 he stands out as an excellent source of per dollar value. Neil Walker (MIL) is not available in the FanDuel early slate, but he’s the top per dollar play on DraftKings. Walker has been notably more powerful from the left side (.179 ISO since 2015 vs. RHP, as compared to .150 ISO vs. LHP) and now gets all the struggles of Homer Bailey. For $3,700 on DraftKings, he’s our preferred cash game option where it might be difficult to spend up on Ramirez. Ian Kinsler (DET) offers a decent bit of salary relief where available. Jakob Junis hasn’t been anything special (4.83 xFIP) and he’s fly ball prone.
If you needed a hard source of salary relief, Yangervis Solarte (SD) fits the bill. He’s $2,900 on DraftKings and $2,500 on FanDuel and while the matchup with Carlos Martinez is not enticing in the least bit, Solarte has had success against RHP (.345 wOBA, .178 ISO since 2015).
Nolan Arenado (COL) runs away with the third base position once again, but the price tag isn’t easy to fit on DraftKings, especially if paying up for starting pitching. He needs little justification, but a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days fits the bill. Though Arenado is the top projected scorer, Travis Shaw (MIL) is perhaps the best “true value” at the position. Shaw has posted a .208 ISO against RHP since 2015, and is now getting the platoon edge against Homer Bailey in GABP. He has horrific recent batted ball data (Hard% 7.1% over L15), but is $2,900 (if playing all-day slate) and $3,900 on DraftKings. He’s a great cash game option on DraftKings.
There is a good chance both of Pablo Sandoval (SF) and Ryder Jones (SF) find themselves in the starting lineup against Chad Bettis. While neither provides a lot of upside, they are getting the platoon advantage and a huge park shift in their favor. Furthermore, they are both quite cheap at $3,700 and $2,700 on DraftKings respectively. Mike Moustakas (KC) is like a juicier version of Shaw, having posted a .361 wOBA and .233 ISO against RHP since 2015. The lineup spot (6) isn’t the most ideal spot for cash games, but provides tons of upside for tournaments at $4,500 on DraftKings.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) has third base eligibility on DraftKings, and rivals Arenado at the position should you decide to spend elsewhere at second base.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) blows the field away as far as per dollar value and raw projection at shortstop, but the lack of depth at the position and his price tag likely have him suited for tournaments despite an excellent matchup with James Shields.
On DraftKings, those cheaper options might be Paul DeJong (STL), Freddy Galvis (PHI), or the Coors Field bats who are both sub-$4,000. DeJong and Galvis provide a bit more value, but both have their warts. DeJong’s matchup with Luis Perdomo pits him against an arm that has success against RHB. In his success in limiting a ton of damage though, Perdomo has only posted a 19% K% against RHB since 2015, and strikeouts are the major concern for DeJong (29.3% K%). Galvis too comes with a good lineup spot, but nowhere near as much potential upside as DeJong. Nevertheless, Galvis has decent power for a glove first middle infielder (.143 ISO against RHP since 2015).
The preference if you have the cash would be to spend on Trevor Story (COL) or Brandon Crawford (SF) who will take advantage of the Coors Field environment. They are priced a bit aggressively on FanDuel, but on DraftKings at sub-$4,000 are easier fits.
Jay Bruce (CLE) is another Indian bat that finds himself at the top of his position ranking, given his matchup with James Shields. Not only does he rate well in terms of raw projection, but Bruce is $4,200 on DraftKings and $3,500 on FanDuel, an affordable outfield piece for either site. His .264 ISO against RHP since 2015 also helps his case.
After Bruce, the Coors Field bats come out of the woodwork. Charlie Blackmon (COL), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Gerardo Parra (COL), Jarrett Parker (SF), Denard Span (SF), and Hunter Pence (SF) all rate in the top fifteen of per dollar plays in the outfield on Monday. There is little left to say about Blackmon’s prowess against RHP, and even CarGo has been better of late, posting a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days. The Giants side will face a more difficult matchup with Chad Bettis, but Bettis has been roughed up in each of his last two starts, allowing two home runs in both and only making it five innings each time. Parker is the bat with the biggest upside (.201 ISO against RHP since 2015), but Span and Pence are options to get you exposure to decent lineup spots and at valuable salaries as well. Though not typically a spot where we’re looking to find extreme value, Coors outfield bats will go a long way in allowing for top spends elsewhere (Arenado, Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion, etc).
Ryan Braun (MIL) is still far too cheap on DraftKings despite horrible recent batted ball data. The matchup with Homer Bailey should be an impetus to positive results and $3,700 is a reasonable price to pay. Braun’s teammate Eric Thames (MIL) also holds OF eligibility on DK, where you could potentially play him alongside Encarnacion. Nick Williams (PHI) has posted strong batted ball data in his last fifteen. The young Philly has struggled to put the ball in play, but has posted a .212 ISO against RHP in a small sample size. He’s near pure punt price at $2,600 on DraftKings. With fewer options on FanDuel, Lorenzo Cain (KC) and Bradley Zimmer (CLE) jump into the ranks as potential cheap or mid-range OF options suitable for cash games. Zimmer will get James Shields, while Cain and the Royals get the debut of Artie Lewicki, drawing an implied run total just over five runs.
1) Colorado Rockies
2) Cleveland Indians
The Rockies just top the Indians in our stack rankings. Chris Stratton has been pretty decent at the major league level, but don’t forget that this is the same pitcher that had a 5.11 ERA at AAA this season. His K-BB% is sitting at eight percent. We’re picking on him in Coors Field, no matter how tilting the Rockies have been of late. As a last note – the Rockies have the highest IRT in this slate (6.1 runs). The Indians are facing James Shields. He’s allowed a 2.22 HR/9 mark and it’s backed up by a 44% FB rate. They are fantastic tournament stack.
3) Milwaukee Brewers
4) San Francisco Giants
The Giants offense has a lot of hitters with negative deltas in their HHR over the L15, but they’re the road equation of Coors field and they’re facing a pitcher that allows plenty of contact. Chad Bettis has generated a 14.7% K rate through four starts, and last season the K rate wasn’t much bigger (17%). With that being said, the Brewers are a sexier offense to stack. They have event upside pretty much everywhere in their lineup, and they’re facing Homer Bailey in one of the best hitting environment in all of baseball (Cincinnati), especially for home runs. Bailey has been a bit more decent of late, but we’re talking about a pitcher that has an ERA over seven and ERA predictors well over five.
5) Cincinnati Reds
6) Chicago Cubs
7) Los Angeles Angels
8) New York Yankees
9) St. Louis Cardinals
This tier just missed being ranked with the tier above. The Reds stand out immediately. They’re at home facing Chase Anderson, who has a very wide discrepancy between his ERA (2.96) and his xFIP (4.55). The xFIP indicates that Anderson has gotten lucky, and upon further review, he really has (46.6% FB rate, 8.5% HR/FB rate). He has been missing bats, but we want to pick on him in GPPs. The Cubs have plenty of upside in their offense, but they’re in a terrible hitting environment. The Angels draw the best matchup of this tier. They’re facing Chris Smith, who doesn’t miss bats (12.5% K rate), has wretched run prevention (6.27 ERA/6.75 FIP) and his fly ball tendencies have led to a massive 2.47 HR/9. The Angels are in a bad hitting environment, but the friendly matchup makes them appealing in tournaments.