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September 6 MLB DFS: The JK Kid
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September 6 MLB DFS Show Outline:

01:48  Starting Pitchers
09:02  Catchers
10:44 First Base
13:56 Second Base
17:33  Shortstops
19:28  Third Base
21:11 Outfield
35:30  Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks



September 6 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Corey Kluber (CLE)

Tier Two

2) Jason Hammel (CHC)

3) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

Tier Three

4) Aaron Sanchez (TOR)

Tier Four

5) Clay Buchholz (BOS)

6) Luke Weaver (STL)

7) Jake Odorizzi (TB)

8) Brandon Finnegan (CIN)

Tier Five

9) Rafael Montero (NYM)

10) Ross Stripling (LAD)

11) James Paxton (SEA)

12) Dillon Gee (KC)

Corey Kluber (CLE) is the top pitching play as there’s a big gap in skills between him and the other options. Kluber was a large home favorite when slated to face Dallas Keuchel (-165), and now that Kuechel has been scratched, expect that number to balloon. While sometimes facing the Astros is a high risk, high reward matchup, the IRTA Kluber is just 3.3, the lowest on the slate. He also carries the highest projected K rate. On DraftKings it’s very easy to fit Kluber into your lineups, but on FanDuel we may take a more value based approach given the tighter pricing and the want for some Coors Field bats.

On FanDuel we’re a bit more apt to attack with the tier two options in cash games, opening up more cap room for bats. Jason Hammel (CHC) is a little riskier since he’s susceptible to power and this is a hitter’s park. However, he’ll have big time K upside against a very righty heavy Brewers lineup and is a heavy -189 favorite. That’s narrowly edged out by Gio Gonzalez (WAS) (-222) who has a bit less K upside against a contact oriented Atlanta team but appears to be a bit safer (IRTA of just 3.4). Gonzalez has now posted four of his five highest average fastball velocities over his last four outings.

Luke Weaver (STL) remains incredibly cheap on DraftKings. At near punt prices, this is another good slate he can be risked in cash since he allows you to roster the top pitcher on the slate without sacrificing hitting upside. Weaver is in a great pitcher’s park and has struck out 29.2 percent of batters faced through four starts. On FanDuel, if you wanted to go risky at starting pitcher to load up on bats, our preference would be for Clay Buchholz (BOS). It’s certainly a risk given how bad he’s been on the season (ERA/FIP/xFIP all over 5), but in the last two starts he made mid-August he allowed 2 ERs in 12.1 IP to go with 12 Ks. Now he faces a really bad and strikeout prone Padres offense in Petco. Vegas is not that concerned over Buchholz’s volatility, pegging him for a 3.5 team total and as a -200 favorite.

Some of our favorite tournament options are Brandon Finnegan (CIN) and Ross Stripling (LAD). While Stripling is a bit site specific (nice leverage pivot off of Weaver on DK), Finnegan can be used anywhere. A sleeper heading into the year, Finnegan’s results have been very disappointing – until recently. Over the last three starts he has an absurd 29 strikeouts and 50-plus GB rate. The strikeouts are supported by Finnegan posting season highs in SwStr rate three consecutive weeks: 14.6/17.5/17.9. It’s odd because his velocity has not come back, but this is definitely the type of streak worth chasing in tournaments.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Victor Martinez (DET)

3) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

4) Gary Sanchez (NYY)

5) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

We’d love to pay up for Buster Posey (SF). We’re erasing yesterday’s shutout of the Giants in Coors Field. Today Posey will be in the lineup and is the best bat from the Giants to get exposure to against Tyler Anderson, who can be pesky to pick on at times even at home. Posey has a .360 wOBA and .182 ISO against LHP since 2015, compiling most of those numbers at home in the worst hitter’s park in all of baseball. If not using Posey, you might as well punt with Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) (nice power upside in Cincinnati but be wary of picking on Finnegan too much), although Victor Martinez (DET) is an okay option on FanDuel where he holds catcher eligibility.

First Base Rankings

1) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

2) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

3) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

4) Joey Votto (CIN)

5) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

No surprise that on a 15 game slate first base is incredibly cheap. Starting way up top Anthony Rizzo (CHC) gets a positive park shift against a pitcher in Wily Peralta who cannot handle LHBs (.396 wOBA and .230 ISO allowed since 2015). If taking more of a value approach, Miguel Cabrera (DET) is a phenomenal target on FanDuel. He has a positive 0.5 delta in our well-hit tool, and that’s not including two homers he hit off Chris Sale yesterday. It’s a big park shift in Cabrera’s favor, and Miguel Gonzalez will allow power, particularly to same handed batters. Alternatives to Cabrera include Mike Napoli/Carlos Santana (CLE), although their value is best on DraftKings. Many of the Cleveland hitters are underpriced today as LHP Dallas Keuchel was scratched, leaving Brad Peacock (ZiPS projected 5.47 ERA and 1.59 HR/9) to start for the Astros. Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) is a tournament favorite. He may get overlooked due to opportunity cost, but opposing pitcher Luis Cessa has had real issues with the long ball in his brief MLB career, something both ZiPS and Steamer project to continue.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

2) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

3) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

4) Matt Carpenter (STL)

5) Trea Turner (WAS)

With Dallas Keuchel scratched, Jason Kipnis (CLE) is another Cleveland bat that finds himself underpriced and a great value on both sites. Over his career Brad Peacock has allowed a .360 wOBA and .193 ISO to LHBs. The best alternative to Kipnis is Ben Zobrist (CHC), but he’s not going to save you any more money. If Tommy la Stella (CHC) were to leadoff as he did yesterday, he’d be a strong cash game target on FanDuel. With a three homer game, Brian Dozier‘s (MIN) absurd second half continues. He had a positive 0.6 delta in our well-hit tool entering that contest and now has 19 HRs (half his season total) since August. He can be used in tournaments no matter the price or site.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Corey Seager (LAD)

2) Eduaro Nunez (SF) (if top six)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Manny Machado (BAL)

5) Brad Miller (TB)

Corey Seager (LAD) is a phenomenal tournament target facing Shelby Miller (.414 wOBA and .240 ISO allowed to LHBs this season) and the Diamondbacks bullpen (second highest xFIP in MLB, arguably the worst pen in the league right now). The price likely forces you to look elsewhere. On DraftKings, Francisco Lindor (CLE) is another cheap Indian priced to face Kuechel, and on the stricter pricing FanDuel, Tim Anderson (CWS) (hitting second at hope against a bad LHP in Matt Boyd) and Didi Gregorius (NYY) (hitting fourth or fifth for the Yankees at home against a RHP, albeit against a tough pitcher) offer cap relief.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Matt Carpenter (STL)

5) Eduardo Nunez (SF) (if top six)

We haven’t hit on the Colorado side of Coors Field yet, but they are not to be forgot, carrying a hefty 6.0 IRT, the highest on the slate. Not surprisingly then Nolan Arenado (COL) is the top rated option at the hot corner. We would emphasize the Colorado LHBs in the outfield first. As a result, you may find yourself going cheaper here. While Manny Machado (BAL) (just missed out top five) isn’t in a great spot in Tampa Bay, he’s a great hitter against same handed pitching. With Jake Odorizzi also having reverse splits, Machado is underpriced on DraftKings. Industry wide, Danny Valencia (OAK) is a target. We’re trying to not get too much Oakland exposure nowadays, but facing the underwhelming Ricky Nolasco with a top four lineup spot makes Valencia a reasonable cash game play.

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Mike Trout (LAA)

4) Charlie Blackmon (COL) (health risk)

5) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

6) Hunter Pence (SF)

7) Raimel Tapia (COL) (if leading off)

8) Kris Bryant (CHC)

9) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

10) Mookie Betts (BOS)

11) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

12) Jose Bautista (TOR)

13) Angel Pagan (SF)

14) Brandon Moss (STL)

15) David Dahl (COL)

Carlos Gonzalez (COL) is second to only Anthony Rizzo in our overall hitter rankings, and we’d consider him a core cash game play. He’s the best way to get exposure to the Rockies offense against Jeff Samardzija, who has allowed a .352 wOBA and .221 ISO to LHBs since 2015. All of his teammates, particularly whoever leads off (Charlie Blackmon (COL) or Raimel Tapia (COL) depending on Blackmon’s health) are also in play. Bryce Harper (WAS) and Mike Trout (LAA) find themselves with the platoon edge against below average pitching. Even on a Coors slate they are cash viable as a result, although we’d still likely end up with our exposure to them in tournament formats. Harper on FanDuel is the best price point for either of those two across the two main sites. The DraftKings pricing on Coors guys is surprising as both Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan (SF) are extremely affordable as mid-tier options. It’s important to get upside in all three outfield spots on DraftKings as a result. On FanDuel we’re more open to punting a spot. If we get Jorge Soler (CHC) in the lineup (has been hitting cleanup when he is), he’s the obvious punt choice at just $2,300.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Coors Field

2) Chicago Cubs

3) Cleveland Indians

It’s no surprise that our cash game exposure is heavily reliant on these three teams

Tournament Stacks

-Los Angeles Dodgers (at this point in the season, it’s not unreasonable to think you could stack against the Diamondbacks every night in tournaments given how poor their defense and bullpen is, creating massive upside for the opposition nightly)

-Detroit Tigers (love the huge park shift and Miguel Gonzalez‘s career 1.39 HR/9 does not bode well against a team with lots of righty power)

-Washington Nationals (ended up sitting a bunch of regulars yesterday, but similar to yesterday we like the LHBs against a RHP with wide splits and a bad, heavily right handed bullpen behind him; individual pricing should lead to low ownership)

-Toronto Blue Jays (power hitting team in a park that rewards power against a pitcher that is giving up power left and right)

MLB Daily Analysis

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