Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/22/18
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Welcome to Saturday baseball! I know football is in full swing, but baseball is nearing October and things are heating up. We have two slates on our hands tonight and we’ll break each of them down separately. We only have three games on the early slate and therefore not a lot to choose from. At pitcher, Tyler Glasnow gives you the right amount of safety and upside. He’s been stellar since joining the Rays and his price hasn’t quite caught up. His wOBA allowed dipped to a career-low .230 over the last two months and he’s striking out 11 batters per 9. This match-up with Toronto isn’t anything to write home about, ranking league average against righties with a .319 wOBA. Glasnow is going 6-7 innings every time he takes the hill and you won’t find a better option elsewhere for the price. Let’s get to the main slate.
On to the main slate, we have a couple guys that deserve attention. On the high-end, Verlander is in a tier of his own. He's also priced $2k higher than the field. If you have the funds, you know what you're getting with one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. When you couple that with it being September, Verlander is going to give you a solid performance. I just personally think there are better options for the price. We'll move down to Rich Hill, who has the best match-up of all with the San Diego Padres. Against lefties, they rank 22nd in baseball with a .299 wOBA. They also strikeout 23% of the time and have the 4th lowest HR/FB %. Rich Hill will never go more than 7 innings, but he's extremely safe at over 30 FanDuel points. If you have bats you feel like you can lean on, Hill is a great guy to slot into your cash games. His risk level is substantially lower than anyone in the same price range and he still lets you pay up for some hitters. There are a lot of pricey pitchers on this slate and I have a feeling the ownership will be rather spread out.
Just hear me out. Anthony DeSclafani is not a good pitcher and you'll never hear me claim he is. With that being said, he's a bit better than being the cheapest pitcher on the slate. Especially when he's facing the Miami Marlins in the spacious Marlins Park. Against righties, the Marlins rank 28th with a .292 team wOBA. They strikeout 23% of the time and have the least amount of power in baseball. DeSclafani hasn't been great, but his numbers don't suggest a gas can. In over 100 innings, he's sporting a 4.05 xFIP while striking out lose to 8 per 9 innings and walking just 2. His price is extremely low and you'll be able to pay up for whatever bats you want. On DK, you can match him up with Verlander and still have some cash to spend on bats. It's not fun to trust Anthony DeSclafani, but the price and match-up may be too much to pass up.
This bout between the Jays and Rays should be a good one, with Glasnow on one side and Thomas Pannone on the other. Pannone isn’t nearly as good and deserves to be targeted in all formats. Against righties, albeit a small sample size, Pannone is sporting a 6.11 xFIP with a .340 wOBA. He’s yet to be ready for the majors and is simply a struggling lefty at this point who will give it up to the Rays. C.J. Cron is a left-handed specialist that has mashed them to the tune of a .361 wOBA on the season. He’ll be right in the middle of the order and isn’t overly expensive on any given site. Cron is an excellent option in both cash games and tournaments.
If you need a catcher, Robinson Chirinos is in an excellent spot. Chirinos is a switch-hitter, but hits much better against the left side. He's held a .327 wOBA vs them with 17 home runs on the season. He faces off with Marco Gonzales tonight, who's an average left-hander with some HR issues. He's also moving from Safeco Field to Arlington, so the HR issue should be highlighted. His numbers aren't bad, but a .361 wOBA vs lefties on the road is something that catches my eye. Catcher is always a bare position and Chirinos gives you a ton of power at the price, while also providing some safety when in this match-up. The ballpark is phenomenal and the Rangers are expected to put up 4+ runs. Give me Chirinos if I must pick one.
On to the good stuff. There are a ton of options at first base. Our favorite is Anthony Rizzo facing off with Lucas Giolito. It's a perfect match-up for Rizzo and I may have 10% exposure across cash games and tournaments. Giolito has potential down the road maybe, but he's been downright terrible. On the season, he's giving up a 5.42 xFIP and a .360 wOBA allowed vs left-handers. He's given up 26 home runs in 150 innings and has shown no signs of improvement. Rizzo on the other hand, is still one of the best players in baseball. Against righties, a .378 wOBA backed up by 20 homers and 21 doubles. The match-up couldn't be any better and the Cubs are guaranteed 9 innings of at-bats with them being on the road. Rizzo is affordable on both sites and I'm a big fan in all formats. He may be in every lineup of mine. This is my HR pick of the night.
David Hess is taking the mound against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. Things could get messy rather quickly. Through nearly 100 innings of work, Hess has given up a 5.47 xFIP all the while striking out just 6 batters per 9 innings. He faces one of the most lethal offenses in baseball and you can really target either or Torres and Neil. While Torres is the better hitter, Walker is great against righties and have immense power in this ballpark. The Yankees are going to be a popular play tonight and I’ll make sure to have plenty of exposure against gas can David Hess.
We're right back onto the Cubbies at second base with Daniel Murphy. I don't see how you can get away from the guy when he's cheaper than so many guys in worse spots. Murphy has looked great recently and now sees a match-up with one of the more boom/bust righties in all of baseball, Lucas Giolito. Murphy is as good as ever, sporting a .372 wOBA against righties with a 35% hard contact rate. We've already touched on Giolito, but he's been pitiful against lefties with a 5.42 xFIP and no peripherals to believe that's anything but the truth. Beyond pitiful for a top prospect. Murphy and the Cubs hold an implied team total of 5 and I have a feeling the over hits. The price on Murphy is fair on both sites, so you won't be sacrificing elsewhere to fit him.
Shortstop is an interesting position on this early slate. On the upper-tier, Didi Gregorius is obviously a phenomenal play and is the top dog at the position of you can afford him. If you’re working on any sort of budget, Willy Adames is our guy. He’s been the Rays’ biggest prospect for some time now and is finally shaping into a solid major leaguer. He’s facing off with Thomas Pannone tonight, who we’ve touched on. He’s held a pitiful 6.11 xFIP to righties and I’ll be targeting as many Rays’ righties as I can. Adames is affordable and in a high-upside spot.
Elvis Andrus has definitely been bad as of late, but according to him, he now feels better than he has at any point since returning from injury. At his price and in this match-up, I'm more than willing to trust Elvis Andrus. He' not only consistent but has a ton of upside and seems to always be involved when the Rangers score a bunch. Marco Gonzales isn't necessarily a gas can, but he's not a good arm and he has a lot of issues with the long ball. Moving into this ballpark in Arlington, I would imagine they only get worse. Andrus has always preferred lefties and has stroked them for a .351 wOBA since last year. If you have the funds, sure, Baez, Lindor, and Machado all have a ton of upside. There are just a ton of ways to pay up on this slate and you'll have to pay down somewhere. Shortstop is ugly and Andrus should give you some production at a low price.
Matt Duffy FD 3200 DK 4000
Opponent - TOR (Thomas Pannone) Park - TOR
FD - 9.63 DK - 7.49
I know, it feels weird to target so many Tampa Bay Rays. On this slate, the Rays and Yankees seem to be a head above the rest. The Yankees are also extremely expensive, so you can fit these Tampa bats and still pay up elsewhere. On to our 3rd one, Matt Duffy may be our favorite. Hitting 3rd, he'll have every opportunity out there to come through. Duffy has been great ever since playing for San Francisco, but just never got the opportunity. Now, he's sporting a .330 wOBA against both sides of the plate with some added power vs lefties. As we know by now, Thomas Pannone is a pitcher you want to target. The Rays are expected to put up well over 4 runs in the game and I'm all over the righties.
We haven't focused on these Dodgers just yet, but they are in as good of a spot as anyone on this main slate. Facing off with Jacob Nix, the sky is the limit. Nix, a rookie, is not a good pitcher by any means just yet. He's held a .355 wOBA, which is still inflated. His true xFIP is at 5.54, so there is still some room for regression. It's inevitable against a Dodgers lineup that brutalizes righties. Justin Turner is lethal against everyone, sporting a .371 wOBA vs righties. His price is high, but I've given you some ways to pay down, so he's not all that tough to fit in. The Dodgers are going to put up a bunch of runs tonight and I have a hard time believing Justin Turner isn't a big reason why.
You can go back to the well here with the Yankees or Rays if you want. I'm just trying to get some diversity into the article. We haven't touched on the Nationals, but they are in a solid spot. At home, they'll face off with a major gas can in Corey Oswalt. Oswalt hasn't gone more than 3 innings in each of his last two starts, so you're more so looking at a bullpen game. When he's in there, he's sporting a 6.39 xFIP to left-handers. Impending doom at it's finest. A bullpen for the Mets that ranks 26th in baseball. Harper is obviously the cream of the crop and one of the top plays on the entire day if you can afford him. Soto is just a bit cheaper, but has the same power potential and won't be as highly owned.
Nelson Cruz vs a poor lefty is something we have been doing since the origin of MLB DFS. Cruz has another 36 home runs this year and you guessed it, has murdered lefties. On the season, he's sported a .380 wOBA with a crazy 46.5% hard contact rate. He's still one of the leagues premier power hitters and you'll want exposure against just about every lefty. Especially Mike Minor, who has home run issues of his own. In 120 innings vs righties, he's given up 19 of them. He's not a bad pitcher, but struggles with power and will now see a Nelson Cruz that's moving into a hitter ballpark. Cruz is my favorite way to spend up in an eventful outfield.
You can add whichever Dodgers outfielders make the lineup. Facing off with Jacob Nix, everyone in the lineup is in play. He's been terrible against both sides of the plate and has shown no signs of getting any better. The Dodgers on the other hand, are ready to go and move into the playoffs. They're hitting from both sides of the plate and are now hosting a pitiful Padres team with a tired bullpen. Joc Pederson (.372 wOBA) is a great power righty and you can lean on him to see 5 at-bats in this match-up. This main slate has a lot of different ways to go, but the Dodgers and Cubs are my personal favorites. Good luck tonight!
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