Welcome to September 7 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for September 7 MLB DFS along with LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using the 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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02:10 Starting Pitcher
- 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.
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September 7 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
There are an abundance of high upside pitching options and values across different price points on Friday’s 15-game slate. It starts up top with Blake Snell (TB). Snell is have a superb season. While there’s some luck in that 2.02 ERA (3.11 FIP, 3.36 xFIP), he has favorable batted ball data leading to a low .288 xwOBA. He’s also on a tear since returning from the DL, posting K percentages of 33.3, 38.1, 50.0, 33.3, and 40.0 in his last five starts. With his leash extending a bit, that has led to 28 combined strikeouts over his past three starts. Snell has a dream matchup to continue his dominance. He’s a -245 home favorite with just a 2.7 IRTA, facing an Orioles team that is 29th in wRC+ against LHP. Snell is rock solid for cash games in all formats; price-wise, he’s easier to fit in on FD.
If you can’t quite get up to Snell, the pivot off of him is Patrick Corbin (ARI). Corbin has the more difficult matchup against Atlanta (third in wRC+, 19.6 K% against LHP). It’s possible the gap between them in our projections should be wider. However, Corbin’s run of dominance (30-plus K% in seven of eight starts) and a larger batters faced and outs expectation gives him a similar K projection at $1,400 less on DK. That savings matters on a large slate, featuring Coors Field.
Aaron Nola (PHI), Carlos Carrasco (CLE), and James Paxton (SEA) are a tier below Snell and Corbin. Carrasco would have the edge here but an unfavorable umpire scales back his projection are tough. All three have meaningful upside to be used as pivots off of Snell and Corbin in tournaments, especially Paxton on FD where the price is kind.
A couple of mid-tier options for tournaments are Clayton Kershaw (LAD) (DK only) and Chris Archer (PIT). Kershaw is in the worst possible environment for pitching, Coors Field, but the price accounts for this context. While the K rate hasn’t risen to previous three season levels, his endurance has come back. Kershaw has averaged 7.5 IP over his last four starts, facing a low of 26 batters over that span.
Archer is a volatile asset, and there are some concerns over the upside given a quick hook while with PIT. He hasn’t faced more than 22 batters in any of his last five starts. Still, the raw talent is there, and the context is great. Archer is a -200 favorite with just a 3.1 IRTA.
It makes sense to bypass that midtier and pair your expensive SP1 with a sub-$7k SP2 on DK. The best options for this are Felix Pena (LAA) or Dylan Bundy (BAL). We prefer Pena, who is coming off four straight starts with 6 IP or more. He’s flashed his K upside, and the past two starts made up for less Ks with GB rates over 50%. Pena faces a White Sox team that will whiff a bunch. They are close to league average in wRC+ against RHP, though, which combined with a big negative park shift presents some risk here.
Bundy is more of a tournament option in our eyes. He does have a strong K rate on the season that is enticing (24.3%, over 30 in back to back starts), but he’s a wide splits pitcher facing a Rays lineup we’re projecting to have just RHBs in it. The weakness of those LHBs does keep the projection up, but Bundy also has a low win probability as a big underdog, so there are less outs to hitting value than there are with Pena.
Stephen Gonsalves (MIN) has really disappointed in his three starts since getting called up, allowing more runs than IP (just 10), while walking twice as many as he’s struck out. We had hoped to see some DFS value out of him given a decent K rate baseline. We’ve scaled that back, but if there was a time to keep buying low, it might be now, at least in tournaments. Gonsalves is about as cheap as you can get on DK ($4,200). He’ll face a Royals team that strikes out at an above league average rate against LHP and ranks dead last in wRC+ in that split. He’ll also do that from home, where temperatures are cooler, and the wind is blowing slightly in.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) and Yadier Molina (STL) top the projections at the catcher position. Grandal has the bigger upside in projections if he grabs a good lineup spot in Coors Field. The Dodgers face Jon Gray whose velocity has dipped the last two starts. Gray’s been more vulnerable to LHBs in his career (.323 wOBA, .169 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2017) while Grandal has smashed RHP (.346 wOBA, .233 ISO since 2017) despite playing in a pitchers’ park. Molina gets the better lineup spot and also has the platoon edge against a weaker pitcher overall. Daniel Norris has allowed a .334 wOBA and .183 ISO to RHBs since 2017). Molina has crushed lefties (.347 wOBA, .237 ISO against LHP since 2017) and is slightly cheaper. If you can afford to spend, these two are strong targets in all formats.
For slightly cheaper, Salvador Perez (KC) gets the platoon edge with a park upgrade for RH power in Minnesota. Perez has been good against LHP (.320 wOBA, .220 ISO) since 2017 and in Stephen Gonsalves’ short career he’s been battered by RHBs (.496 wOBA, .171 ISO in a super small 44 PA sample).
Those are primarily the three cash game targets on DraftKings. James McCann (DET) and Yan Gomes (CLE) are cheaper options with poor lineup spots. Gomes is more in play as a part of Cleveland stacks while McCann has some stand-alone value as a pure punt.
Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) and Anthony Rizzo (CHC) edge out a pair of Dodgers first base eligible options in Cody Bellinger (LAD) and Max Muncy (LAD) at the top of the first base projections. The group is all pretty expensive but Encarnacion is the cheapest of the bunch and projecting the best against a fly-ball righty in a good power hitting park in Toronto. Encarnacion has posted a .369 wOBA and .264 ISO against RHP since 2017 while Marco Estrada has allowed a .382 wOBA and .237 ISO to RHBs in that same span. The other options are all great alternatives with Gray’s velocity dip and the Dodgers big park boost and Anthony Rizzo‘s recent hot streak against a wide platoon splits starter, but Edwin gets the nod up top.
If looking for a bit more salary relief, Matt Olson (OAK) is affordable on FanDuel in a great matchup against contact-oriented Yovani Gallardo. Unfortunately the matchup is still in Oakland’s huge park but the Athletics have a solid 5.0 implied total. Ji-Man Choi (TB) is just a touch cheaper with a great matchup for his power against fly-ball oriented Dylan Bundy but in a tough park for power. Bundy has allowed a .364 wOBA and .211 ISO to LHBs while Choi has destroyed RHP to the tune of a .394 wOBA and .271 ISO as a big leaguer.
On DraftKings, Miguel Sano (MIN) is under $4,000 for a matchup with Heath Fillmyer. The concern with Sano is his availability and health after getting carted off earlier in the week but the Twins are hopeful he’ll be available this weekend. Jose Martinez (STL) and Daniel Murphy (CHC) are solid plays priced a bit more aggressively but they’re close enough in price to Encarnacion that we’d rather try to find the extra couple hundred to get Edwin in.
Whit Merrifield (KC) is a surprising name atop the 2B projections. A road leadoff hitter with the platoon edge and some speed makes up for some of the context from the lack of expected run support from his teammates (4.4 implied total). Merrifield has been good against LHP in his career (.378 wOBA and .189 ISO since 2017) and we noted Gonsalves’ struggles with RHBs. The price tag is appropriate on both sites and on a slate with so much offense you’ll likely prefer value at the second base position. Merrifield is a strong play but just might not fit your optimal roster construction.
Daniel Murphy (CHC) isn’t far behind Merrifield but he’s generally a bit more expensive and makes more sense in tournaments.
In general, we’re looking for salary relief at second base. On FanDuel, Yairo Munoz (STL) and Logan Forsythe (MIN) are priced nearly as full punts ($2,300). Forsythe has seen some opportunities in good lineup spots but mostly against LHP. On Friday night he’ll face Heath Fillmyer who has allowed a .377 wOBA and .225 ISO to RHBs in a small big league sample. The matchup is good but will the lineup spot elevate him? Munoz is less likely to hit in a good lineup spot but has a similarly strong matchup with Daniel Norris and Munoz has hit well at the big league level this year (.335 wOBA, .165 ISO). The Cardinals have a strong implied total at nearly five runs and most importantly Munoz is cheap.
On DraftKings, the cheap play is Rosell Herrera (KC) who frankly is terrible. We have a baseline on Herrera of a .270 wOBA and .090 ISO in the split against LHP but we project he’ll draw a favorable lineup spot. This is tenuous as the Royals haven’t faced a lefty in a while and don’t run consistent lineups. If Herrera’s in a good lineup spot he serves a purpose as a punt. If Logan Forsythe is in a good lineup spot, we’d much prefer him for $400 more.
There are a slew of mid-priced options that don’t really fit the slate but have upside for tournaments. Jed Lowrie (OAK) and Jonathan Schoop (MIL) have some stack appeal against opposing pitchers who give up plenty of power.
Yoan Moncada (CHW) and Jose Altuve (HOU) have some more standalone value due to their power-speed combination.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) outpaces the third base options by a wide margin. Ramirez has slumped a bit to start September but the indicators are encouraging. He’s still walking more than he’s struck out and he’s posted a 60 percent hard hit rate according to FanGraphs data in the small sample. Ramirez is priced appropriately and a fine play but not necessarily your primary target at third base.
Justin Turner (LAD), Max Muncy (LAD), and Alex Bregman (HOU) all project a bit behind Ramirez and generally are more expensive or priced the same. The exception is Turner on FanDuel where the price tag is a bit more reasonable but in general this tier is for tournaments.
Matt Chapman (OAK) in that tier above as well but comes with a much better price tag on both sites. Chapman has posted a monstrous .375 wOBA and .267 ISO against RHP since the start of 2017 while Yovani Gallardo has yielded a .373 wOBA and .213 ISO to RHBs. Chapman’s been hitting near the top of the order of late and carries a more reasonable price tag than his counterparts. He’s a very strong cash game target and fine in all formats.
On both sites, Miguel Sano (MIN) is a salary relief option if available. Heath Fillmyer struggles to miss bats (14.6 percent K Rate this season) and the bullpen behind him is putrid as well. The only concern with Sano is health.
In tournaments, guys like Matt Carpenter (STL), Kris Bryant (CHC), Nolan Arenado (COL), and Anthony Rendon (WSH) all make sense. Carpenter as a part of Cardinals stacks. Bryant as a low-priced one-off but also viable in Cubs stacks. Rendon as a one-off power option against Jon Lester‘s hard contact allowed and Arenado in Coors Field against a lefty with low ownership because the lefty’s name is Kershaw.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) has a sizable lead on his counterparts at shortstop similar to his teammate Jose Ramirez at third base. Unlike Ramirez, Lindor has been in steady form of late.
Below Lindor is Trea Turner (WSH) who is priced affordably and gets the platoon edge against Jon Lester who is most notable for being easy to run on but this season has also struggled to generate soft contact against RHBs (just a 14.9 percent soft contact rate). Turner gives a bit of salary relief from Lindor but rates as a similarly strong value and thus finds his way into optimals a bit more frequently.
On FanDuel, Jonathan Schoop (MIL) is really affordable at $2,900 and if he lands a strong lineup spot against Derek Holland (.372 wOBA, .231 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2017) would make for a fine source of salary relief. The lineup spot is a big question for Schoop as is some pinch hit risk when the game gets into the bullpen.
On DraftKings, Jorge Polanco (MIN), Paul DeJong (STL), and Carlos Correa (HOU) are all affordable options if you wanted to drop down from Turner/Lindor but we prefer all of them in tournaments.
Mike Trout (LAA) tops the outfield projections with Joc Pederson (LAD) slightly behind. These two really dominate the outfield projections and Pederson is far cheaper. Our projections always love Pederson against RHP (.356 wOBA, .249 ISO since 2017) and when he gets these big park shifts like the one into Coors Field it’s impossible to ignore him. He’s not priced accordingly at $3,400 on FanDuel and $4,800 on DraftKings and thus is one of the best values on the slate. Target him aggressively.
As has been the case most nights of late, the value in the outfield is priced very differently on the two sites. On FanDuel, you get possible pure salary relief options like Tyler O’Neill (STL) and Max Kepler (MIN). They’re legitimate power hitters in good lineups spots but priced like punts. On DraftKings, they’re priced more appropriately in the $4,000s and still good plays but as standout. O’Neill projects as a big swing and miss guy but with legitimate power against LHP (.338 wOBA, .228 ISO baseline) and we think he’ll hit in the middle of the order in the American League where the Cardinals get a DH and have a 4.9 implied total. Kepler just has a good matchup with Fillmyer and then a punt price tag.
On DraftKings, Ryan Braun (MIL) and Michael Brantley (CLE) look like some of the strongest values as underpriced players in the $4,000s. Braun has always hit LHP well (.343 wOBA, .240 ISO since 2017) and now gets a matchup against Derek Holland. Brantley has a matchup that inflates power against Marco Estrada and in a good park for it. If you’re looking for more salary relief in the outfield, Nick Delmonico (CHW) has been our go-to-guy of late. He’s just $3,500 on DraftKings and he’s hit .332 wOBA, .197 ISO in his first 343 PAs against RHP in the big leagues.
If Cody Bellinger (LAD) gets a good lineup spot, he’s priced affordably on FanDuel at just $4,000.
In tournaments, some of the power upside guys with reasonable price tags that may go overlooked include: Kyle Schwarber (CHC), Khris Davis (OAK), and Lorenzo Cain (MIL). They all have price tags that are secondary on this slate with all the strong offensive situations and may come in under-owned as a result.
1) Los Angeles Dodgers
2) Cleveland Indians
While the Dodgers are an obvious stack as the road team in Coors Field with a slate high 5.2 IRT, opposing pitcher Jon Gray’s recent velocity dip and horrifying SwStr rates in back to back starts add additional upside.
Cleveland has the second highest team total, so we aren’t off the beaten path at all here. They benefit from hitting in Toronto, a favorable park, especially if the roof is closed. Temperatures are starting to cool off, so teams in warm or indoor parks will benefit a bit more than they have recently when it’s been hot everywhere. Marco Estrada has a .357 xwOBA and .216 xISO.
3) St. Louis Cardinals
4) Chicago Cubs
A righty-heavy Cardinals lineup will get a positive park and league shift to face LHP Daniel Norris, who is working his way back from injury. He has a career 4.62 xFIP and 1.26 HR/9 and is backed up by a Tigers bullpen that has the fifth highest xFIP in MLB.
The Cubs get a slight boost from an umpire that is unfavorable for starting pitchers. They’re guaranteed nine innings on the road against Joe Ross, who is making his first MLB start of the season. Ross had a pretty small K Rate in his Minor League starts.
5) Milwaukee Brewers
6) Houston Astros
7) Washington Nationals
The Brewers park is offensively friendly, and that’s amplified by the weather elsewhere on this slate. Opposing pitcher Derek Holland allowed 2.07 HR/9 just a year ago with a similar GB rate. If the Ks fall off and HR/FB rate regresses, his current 0.98 HR/9 could balloon quickly (especially outside of San Francisco).
The Astros may go overlooked as a stack given a modest IRT, but David Price, who is dealing with a wrist injury, has allowed a decent amount of hard-hit aerial contact. Boston is a great park for RHBs, of which the Astros have plenty with event upside.
8) Oakland Athletics
9) Pittsburgh Pirates
10) Minnesota Twins