Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Monday, Labor Day 9/2/19

With the Labor Day holiday here, MLB shifts to an afternoon slate of games. There isn't much to speak of pitching-wise here, but we will make due with what we're given. What we do have are a bunch of good offenses poised to possibly put up a lot of runs against bad pitching. That's what the holidays are all about right?

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Kyle HendricksKyle Hendricks FD - P 8100 DK - SP 8900
Opponent - SEA (Justus Sheffield) Park - CHC
FD - 35.45 DK - 18.33
Hendricks is far from an ace, but that’s pretty much what we are looking at for this afternoon Labor Day slate of games. He doesn’t strikeout a ton of batters (7.6 per nine) but he gets away with it my limiting the walks and ends up with decent peripherals (4.75 K:BB). The xFIP is about a run higher than the 3.47 ERA so you can’t get too bullish there, but the matchup is choice. The Mariners rank 18th in wOBA against righties this season and that number is falling as they drift closer to the bottom. They strike out 25% of the time in the split which should buoy Hendricks’ K numbers. We will need an update on Wrigley wind today as the only caveat to Hendricks as a cash play.

Adam WainwrightAdam Wainwright FD - P 7300 DK - SP 7600
Opponent - SF (Tyler Beede) Park - STL
FD - 31.41 DK - 15.94
Wainwright has ticked his K numbers up a bit over the last two seasons and is hovering around a strikeout an inning. With it have come more walks though so he isn’t exactly getting a ton of bang for his buck in that department. That being said, he’s a perfectly (above) average pitcher at this point with a choice matchup in the Giants. San Fran ranks near the bottom of the league in wOBA against righties and have such little pop in the lineup that it’s tough to figure Waino getting torched here. He opens as a -175 home favorite with a 9 over/under. That, plus the matchup are good enough to put him in the conversation for cash pitchers on both sites considering the price.


Catcher/First Base

Joey VottoJoey Votto FD - 1B 3000 DK - 1B 4200
Opponent - PHI (Drew Smyly) Park - CIN
FD - 12.74 DK - 9.54
Votto’s struggles this season are well-documented with almost all of his stats falling off a relative cliff. He’s now priced as an average, middle of the order, bat and we can treat him as such. He’ll face the lefty Drew Smyly who really struggles with control and is walking 4.63 batters per nine. That’s good news for Votto who even with the decrease in skills, is still a very patient hitter with a 12% walk rate. That should start him with a solid floor on Monday in this matchup.

Jesus AguilarJesus Aguilar FD - 1B 2500 DK - 1B 3500
Opponent - BAL (Asher Wojciechowski) Park - TB
FD - 11.47 DK - 8.61
Much like Votto, Aguilar has struggled this season in the power department especially and the OPS is barely scraping over .700. He’s about 30 points lower in BABIP relative to his career average and the Hr/FB ratio is nearly half his career numbers as well. That, combined with the move to a pitcher’s , has led to some weaker output on the season. Good news is he’s hit righties slightly better than lefties on the year and has a great matchup against the erratic Asher Wojciechowski. The Rays have one of the higher implied totals on the slate and should be in a spot to put up some runs.

Ji-Man Choi (FD $2800 DK $4100) makes for a good play as well if he can land near the top of the lineup.

Strongly consider paying up for Freddie Freeman (FD $4300 DK $5300) in this spot considering you’ll likely be saving enough on arms.

Second Base

Ozzie AlbiesOzzie Albies FD - 2B 3400 DK - 2B 4600
Opponent - TOR (Jacob Waguespack) Park - ATL
FD - 13.4 DK - 10.37
In his third season, Albies continues to improve his overall fantasy stat line. He’ll likely set his career best in steals, and RBIs while raising his walks and lowering his K’s from last year. There’s an outside chance he equals his career best in home runs as well, but that’s not all that likely. That being said, he should be hitting second for Atlanta who come in with the slate’s second-highest implied run line of the day against Jacob Waguespack. The switch-hitting Albies is worse against righties which is the only thing that dings his projection in this matchup.

Luis ArraezLuis Arraez FD - 2B 2800 DK - 2B/3B 4000
Opponent - DET (Jordan Zimmermann) Park - DET
FD - 10.94 DK - 8.38
Arraez remains in the edit class of hitters who walks (10%) more than he strikes out (8%). In modern day baseball, this is an incredible feat. He makes contact roughly 81% of the time which helps raise his floor considering he doesn’t have much power or speed. Yet even with only three home runs on the season, he still has an .826 OPS and .356 wOBA. He makes for a solid cash game player even lower in the lineup simply because of his floor. That being said, he doesn’t have a tremendous amount of upside because of the fantasy profile.


Javier BaezJavier Baez FD - SS 3900 DK - SS 4200
Opponent - SEA (Justus Sheffield) Park - CHC
FD - 13.56 DK - 10.39
Baez moved up to the leadoff spot against the lefty Gio Gonzalez on Sunday and we could see him repeat that on Monday against Justus Sheffield. The former isn’t a prototypical leadoff hitter in that he doesn’t take many walks (5%) but he’s tuned up lefties for his career with an OPS hovering around .900 and a .369 wOBA in that split. Sheffield struggles mightily with control which should reduce Baez’s K expectation, a weakness of his for sure. Keep an eye out for the Cubs’ lineup as well as the over/under which will depend on the winding Wrigley.

Amed RosarioAmed Rosario FD - SS 2800 DK - SS 3900
Opponent - WSH (Joe Ross) Park - WSH
FD - 10.79 DK - 8.51
I liked Rosario a lot more when he was getting the everyday leadoff nod for the Mets. That hasn’t been the case as much lately though against righties where he typically moves down to about sixth in the lineup with McNeil in the top spot. It makes sense considering the platoon split differential, though I still don’t mind Rosario in this matchup against Joe Ross who’s rocking a mid 5.00’s xFIP and walks more than 4.5 batters per nine.

Third Base

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD - 3B 3500 DK - 3B 4800
Opponent - TOR (Jacob Waguespack) Park - ATL
FD - 13.41 DK - 10.02

Donaldson comes into this matchup with a .918 OPS on the season and has remarkably been better against righties this year. He’s striking out less in that split and is rocking a .381 wOBA. The Braves are set to put up some runs against Waguespack who sports a 5.01 xFIP and can’t really strike anyone out. The K/9 is less than seven and this Braves squad should give him fits especially around the top of the lineup.
Kris BryantKris Bryant FD - 3B 4100 DK - 3B/OF 4200
Opponent - SEA (Justus Sheffield) Park - CHC
FD - 13.4 DK - 10.08
Bryant is coming much too cheap on DraftKings at $4200 and even without the information on the Wrigley wind I think we can safely slot him in as a cash game play over there. He’s rocked lefties this season with an OPS over 1.000 and a .419 wOBA in that split. Those are, of course, elite numbers making this a fairly easy play on DraftKings. He should be second in the order against the southpaw and as stated, we are only really waiting on the weather report out of Chicago to make judgments on the Cubs’ implied run line.


Ronald AcunaRonald Acuna FD - OF 4100 DK - OF 5600
Opponent - TOR (Jacob Waguespack) Park - ATL
FD - 15.26 DK - 11.69
Acuna is coming very expensive, but it’s warranted at this point. He’s still flirting with a 40/40 season though he’ll really need to pick up the speed pace (31 SBs) if he wants to get there. That’s splitting hairs though because even a 40/30 season puts him at near historic fantasy levels. He’s showing patience (10% BB rate) and the ability to hit righties and lefties equally well this season. He makes for easily the top OF pay up on this early slate and I actually don’t think the salary will be much of an issue considering you likely won’t be breaking the bank on pitching.

If you are looking to punt also here with a Braves’ stack, Matt Joyce (FD $2400 DK $4000) should be in the 6-7 hole and is coming very cheap on FanDuel. He would help relieve some of those salary concerns.

Max KeplerMax Kepler FD - OF 3600 DK - OF 5300
Opponent - DET (Jordan Zimmermann) Park - DET
FD - 13.36 DK - 10.13
Kepler is a little pricey on DraftKings, but you really have to like the mid-$3K FanDuel action against Jordan Zimmermann. I’m still in the “his home runs are a bit of an outlier” camp, but it’s really neither hear nor there at this point. He’s nearly and everyday leadoff hitter, is tough to strikeout at 16% and plays in one of the true bombing offenses of our time. I suspect on FanDuel he’s something like the chalk considering the Twins have the highest implied run line thanks to Zimmermann’s struggles.

Consider Eddie Rosario (FD $3700 DK $4600) right along with Kepler in that Twins stack. The former is also coming cheap on FanDuel and is a little more affordable on DraftKings.


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