Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/21/17
Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB optimizer, our NFL Optimizer, and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.
First time with NFL or MLB? Be sure to read our free MLB and NFL Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.
It's going to be tough to get excited about tonight's pitchers so we might as well lean on the guy in the best pitchers park in the big leagues who comes in as an early -300 favorite. He doesn't provide a ton of upside with a slightly above average 7.4 K/9 rate but is very consistent with an elite 66% ground ball rate while limiting opponents to a very low 24% hard contact rate. The White Sox have popped off some runs lately but overall have been a bottom-feeding offensive team and the best part is that Keuchel comes in under $9K on FanDuel allowing you to load up on bats in cash games.
It's always worth considering a Rockies pitcher away from Coors Field despite the lowered run support. Tyler Anderson will be back on the mound to make his second start(3rd appearance) since returning from an injury he suffered in late June. In 10 innings pitched, he has allowed just three hits and no earned runs while striking out seven and walking just two. He showed us K upside early in the year and gets a boost tonight facing a Padres team that strikes out 25% of the time vs. left-handed pitching. Anderson makes an excellent SP2 in all formats on DraftKings and a low-end punt play on FanDuel that will allow you to stack just about anyone.
If you are playing early slate consider Danny Salazar(CLE)
The lack of high-end catchers tonight makes it easy to save some salary at the position and it starts with the Tigers backstop, James McCann. He hits down in the order but is having somewhat of a breakout season with career highs in home runs(13), RBI(48), wOBA(.330), and wRC+(103). He has also been much better vs. left-handed pitching with a .413 wOBA, 160 wRC+, and .284 ISO this season and faces a youngster in Mejia who has struggled to a 4.01 BB/9 and 5.04 xFIP on the season. Roll out McCann comfortably in all formats.
Mike Zunino FD 2700 DK 3500
Opponent - TEX (Hamels) Park - @SEA
FD - 9.71 DK - 7.25
Next, I turn to the hottest catcher in the league over the last couple weeks. Mike Zunino, over his last 11 games(40 PA), has posted a ridiculous .440 wOBA and 183 wRC+ with a pair of home runs and six driven in all from the seven-hole in the lineup. He has also added some upside with a career-high 23 home runs and is just one RBI away from a career high there as well. Like McCann, Zunino is also a beast vs. left-handed pitching with a .382 wOBA, 143 wRC+, and a .314 ISO. He also gets a plus matchup vs. Cole Hamels who has given up multiple home runs in two straight and four of his last seven starts.
Joe Mauer FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @DET
FD - 11.43 DK - 8.81
This marks the first time I have written about Joe Mauer all season. The former MVP and three-time batting champ is proving he still has something left in the tank as he is recording his first .300+ average in four years while adding a .352 wOBA and 117 wRC+. He isn't going to provide much upside but has been a very solid cash play lately with hits in five straight and 25 of his last 27 starts. He also gets an elite matchup vs. Jordan Zimmerman making his return to the lineup after sitting out with neck issues. He has been a dumpster fire all year with a 6.18 ERA and has given up five or more earned runs in four of his last five starts. Sign me up!
Justin Smoak FD 3200 DK 4500
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.8 DK - 8.8
It's been a frustrating second half for Smoak who is hitting just .256 since his first All-Star game and while this takes him out of cash consideration, he still makes a high upside GPP play. The average may have slipped but the power has not as Smoak has 15 home runs in the second half giving him 38 for the season to go with his 89 RBI and 82 runs scored. He is a switch hitter who has been considerably better vs. southpaws with a .439 wOBA and 178 wRC+ and faces Jason Vargas who has been hit hard by the regression fairy as he has given up a .396 wOBA in the second half with 14 home runs and a 39.9% hard contact rate.
Also Consider: Danny Valencia(SEA)
Ian Kinsler FD 3400 DK 4300
Opponent - MIN (Mejia) Park - @DET
FD - 11.07 DK - 8.89
Kinsler has a lot of things going for him tonight and is my top-rated play at the position. He is coming off a well-deserved day off on Wednesday after picking up hits in 11 of his previous 14 games which included six home runs pushing his season total to 20 for the fifth time in his career. Throughout his career, he has always been much better vs. lefties and nothing has changed this season as he enters this matchup with a .381 wOBA and 138 wRC+ on the season. With a price down in the second tier on both sites, Kinsler is safe in all formats.
Jonathan Schoop FD 3000 DK 4600
Opponent - TB (Andriese) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.6 DK - 8.83
The Orioles offense hs definitely not been the issue in 2017 as they rank 12th overall in runs scored and Jonathan Schoop has played a huge part all year. He stepped into the three-hole in late June and never looked back with a .304/.343/.504 slash line with 18 home runs and 63 RBI. With the lack of run scoring of the Orioles lately, Schoop is more of a GPP play tonight but the matchup is a good one facing Matt Andriese who has struggled lately giving up 13 earned runs(4 HR) over his last 11 innigns pitched and sits with a 17.7% HR/FB rate on the season.
Also Consider: DJ LeMahieu(COL)
Trevor Story FD 3400 DK 3900
Opponent - SD (Richard) Park - @SD
FD - 9.78 DK - 7.61
A familiar face at the shortstop position when facing a lefty. Overall the average has fallen right off in 2017 but that can mostly be contributed to his ability vs. right-handed pitchers. That is the great thing about DFS is that we can choose to only play him in the right matchups. It is almost a perfect recipe tonight as Story carries a .453 wOBA and 168 wRC+ vs. southpaws into tonight's matchup vs. Clayton Richard who has really struggled vs. right-handed bats giving up a 37% hard contact rate and .371 wOBA. I would rather roster Sotry at home in Coors but under $4K on both sites, I will gladly take the risk in Petco.
Paul DeJong FD 3100 DK 4500
Opponent - CIN (Bailey) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.47 DK - 8.13
Dejong has been a player who moved through the Cardinals system very quickly after being drafted in the 2015 June Amateur Draft and is now making an impact on the big-league club. Hitting mostly out of the three-hole in the lineup, he has posted a .357 wOBA and 121 wRC+ on the season and only has room to improve when it comes to his OBP(.322) which is largely contributed to his 29% K rate. The main reason he shows up near the top of the PTS/$ ranks on FanDuel tonight is not only the price but the matchup vs. Homer Bailey and his 6.86 ERA and 15.3% HR/FB rate.
Also Consider: Tim Beckham(BAL)
Nolan Arenado FD 4100 DK 5200
Opponent - SD (Richard) Park - @SD
FD - 13.59 DK - 10.38
Yoo knew it was coming but I just can't help myself when Arenado faces a lefty, especially when he isn't the most expensive option at the position. I always prefer him and all the Rockies at home in Coors but the park downgrade will most likely help keep the ownership in check. If you like targeting right-handed power against weaker southpaw pitching like me this is the matchup as Arenado leads the world with a crazy .536 wOBA and 223 wRC+ vs. southpaws. With a lack of top pitching on the slate, it makes it very easy to fit Arenado in all formats tonight.
Mike Moustakas FD 2500 DK 3700
Opponent - TOR (Happ) Park - @TOR
FD - 9.98 DK - 7.54
The Moose snapped out of a mini-slump on Wednesday night vs. the Blue Jays with his first multi-hit game in two weeks. He also hit his 37th home run of the season which set a new Royals record and while he hits down in the lineup, his price on FanDuel cannot be ignored. It places him at the top of the PTS/$ ranks tonight and allows you to load up at pitcher and almost every other position. The consistency has faded down the stretch but the upside is more than enough to get him into your lineups tonight.
Also Consider: Evan Longoria(TB)
Nelson Cruz FD 3700 DK 4400
Opponent - TEX (Hamels) Park - @SEA
FD - 13.39 DK - 10.02
It's been another typical Nelson Cruz kind of season in 2017 as he has tallied 30+ home runs for the fourth straight year and 100+ RBI for the third time in four seasons. Despite having slightly better numbers vs. righties this season, Cruz has destroyed southpaws for his career and gets a plus matchup tonight vs. Cole Hamels who has seen a giant regression in 2017 with a 4.89 xFIP and K rate that has dropped below six per nine. If you are looking for home runs, this may be the matchup as Hamels has given up multiple home runs in two straight and four of his last seven starts.
Dexter Fowler FD 3700 DK 4900
Opponent - CIN (Bailey) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.17 DK - 8.07
Fowler stayed red hot on Wednesday night recording a home run in three straight while picking up his fourth straight multi-hit game. The Cardinals need it and much more as they still sit 2.5 games back of the second NL Wildcard spot with less than two weeks to go in the regular season. After scoring 15 runs in the first two games in the great American SmallPark, the Cards get another top matchup that should help them get closer to their goal of the making the playoffs. They will face Homer Bailey who has seen more lows than highs this season with a 6.86 ERA which can be largely contributed to his lack of control(4.16 BB/9) and inability to keep the ball in the park(15.3% HR/FB rate). Fowler is another mid-tier play that is safe in all formats.
Josh Reddick FD 3600 DK 4100
Opponent - CHW (Fulmer) Park - @HOU
FD - 13.21 DK - 10.38
The Astros have locked up a playoff spot as well as the American League West division but don't count out their motivation just yet as they still have lots to play for. They currently sit one game back of the Indians for best record in the AL and if you think that doesn't mean anything you would be wrong as home field advantage in the playoffs is huge! From a DFS perspective, Josh Reddick has been one of the top value plays in the outfield all season thanks to his spot high in the order in the middle of some superstar players(Altuve, Correa, Springer). He has been a consistent contributor in 2017 with a .317/.365/.483 slash line while chipping in with 13 home runs and 82 RBI. Just another mid-tier option that is safe in all formats.