Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Wednesday 9/16/20
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Almost all of the elite pitching comes on the main slate and while you can never go wrong with Jacob deGrom, it is almost impossible to ignore Cole's price that has dipped below $10K on DraftKings. Finally, after 10 starts, he went a whole start without giving up a home run and outside of two starts(vs. TB, @ATL) has been very good this season. He has struck out seven or more batters seven straight starts and has a 33% K rate on the season and faces a Jays team that is only slightly above average offensively on the season and have struck out over 28% of the time over the last week. This is the lowest price I can remember over the past couple of years and you can bet I will be taking advantage in all formats.
On DraftKings, I am always trying to keep my starting pitcher's combined salaries below $20K and with Cole's price, we can easily accomplish that with Bunday at SP2. After four mediocre(at best) seasons with the Orioles, he looks like a completely new pitcher in LA going 5-2 over his first nine starts and holding opponents to two or fewer runs in seven of those starts(2.48 ERA, 3.38 xFIP). Tonight, he faces a D-Backs team that has lost 20 of their last 24 games and rank bottom 3 in almost every offensive category. All things considered, Bundy is my favorite SP2 on DraftKings and an upside GPP play on FanDuel.
If we are going to be paying up for pitching tonight(possibly two on DraftKings) we are going to need some value and I am a fan of what first base provides. It starts with the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols, who may be on the home stretch of his career but is still providing fantasy value. He has been especially good lately as he comes in with hits in eight of his last 10 games while average 7.7 DK/10.7 FD points per game. The Angels face lefty Caleb Smith tonight and while he isn't likely to go deep, the D-Backs have one of the worst bullpens in the league so fire up Pujols in all formats.
This may seem a little crazy targeting a pitcher who is coming off a one-hit performance but I am not quite ready to buy in just yet. First of all, almost everything went his way in that game vs. the Indians as he tallied an insanely low .059 BABIP and for the season is still giving up over 42% hard contact. For Candelario, it has been a very solid start to 2020 as he entered Tuesday night hitting .325 with a .404 wOBA and 156 wRC+. He is a switch hitter who has been better vs. lefties but has still held his own vs. righties with a .377 wOBA and 138 wRC+. For me, the final decision for cash games will come down to Candelario or Pujols. Stay tuned for lineups.
José Altuve FD - 2B 3000 DK - 2B 3400
Opponent - TEX (Kyle Gibson) Park - HOU
FD - 14.26 DK - 10.92
Altuve made his return last night and while he is currently 0-3 and hasn't been consistent all season, the price is finally down in a spot where he starts popping in the PTS/$ rankings. This pick also has to do with the matchup as the Astros are one of four teams currently projected for 5+ runs facing Kyle Gibson who has been nothing short of a disaster in 2020 with a 1.66 WHIP, 6.14 ERA, 32% HR/FB rate. There is a very good chance Altuve will be in 100% of our optimizer lineups tonight.
This play is for FanDuel only as the decision is pretty easy for me if paying up on DraftKings as DJ LeMaheiu is just $200 more. On FanDuel, that gap is $700 as Fletcher is priced exactly the same which may seem crazy but Fletcher is having the better year, by far. More than production numbers, Fletcher gets a tremendous opportunity hitting at the top of the Angels lineup with two elite hitters in Trout and Rendon behind him. Pairing Fletcher and Walsh is most likely the way to go in cash games tonight while adding one of Rendon and Trout and then stacking all of them in GPP.
Torres did not start the last two games but he was available to pinch-hit and is expected back in the lineup on Wednesday. That is great news as he comes at a value price on both sites while the Yankees are projected to be the highest-scoring team on the slate going up against Tanner Roark and the Jays. Stay tuned for lineups but if he is back in the five-hole, he will be a part of my core in all formats.
Adalberto Mondesi FD 2800 DK 3900
Opponent - DET (Tarik Skubal) Park - DET
FD - 12.13 DK - 9.42
This is simply a case of the sites not adjusting to a new situation yet. After a very slow start to 2020, the Royals moved Mondesit down to the eight spot in the lineup leaving him fantasy irrelevant but that changed in September as he has started to turn it around and comes in with hits in nine of his last 10 games. That prompted his move back up to the top of the lineup hitting behind the very talented White Merrifield. The Royals also get a plus matchup vs. the Tigers and Tarik Skubal making Mondesi/Merrifield one of my favorite two-man stacks in cash games tonight.
José Ramírez FD 3700 DK 5400
Opponent - CHC (Jon Lester) Park - CHC
FD - 11.78 DK - 8.88
As of now, I am not really a fan of the value at third base making it one of the spots I will likely be paying up at. Good news as there are three players to choose from in the "elite" class and for me, it starts with Jose Ramirez who checks all the boxes. First of all, he has good lately as he comes in with three straight multi-hit games and while the average(.263) is nothing to write him about, he has been very productive with a .373 wOBA and 132 wrC+. On top of that, he faces a struggling Jon Lester and absolutely crushes lefties to the tune of a .512 wOBA and 227 wRC+ so far this season. He is in play in all formats.
While JRam is my favorite player at the position, the system absolutely loves Alex Bregman and the Astros tonight. He was out with injury for a couple of weeks and after going hitless in his first three games back has turned it around and comes in with a three-game hitting streak. What the system really loves is the discount off Rendon and JRam which will likely have him in close to 100% of our optimized lineups. Check back closer to lock.
Marcell Ozuna FD - OF 3900 DK - OF 4700
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 14.35 DK - 10.86
Adam Duvall FD - OF 3000 DK - OF 4300
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 12.47 DK - 9.31
The Braves have field a Top 10 offense on the season and it has been even better as of late as they sit 1st and 2nd in wOBA(.390) and wRC+(144) over the past 14 days. This combined with the plus matchup vs. a rookie start has the right near the top of my list of teams to target tonight and it starts in the outfield. Acuna comes with a massive price tag and is very hard to fit if paying up for pitching so I will resort to Ozuna and Duvall.
Ozuna has been everything and more that the Braves had hoped he would be when they brought him in on a one-year deal. He has not only hit for average(.317) but has also provided a ton of power with 14 home runs, 43 RBI, and an elite 162 wRC+(12th best in al lof baseball). Duvall hasn't been as consistent overall(.257 average) but has been scorching hot lately with 13 home runs and 30 RBI since the start of the month. Both outfield are also plus against lefties and both are in play in all formats.
It may seem a little odd going with Frazier over Stanton who are priced pretty much the same on both sites but hear me out. For cash games, I am not ready to trust Stanton who made his return to the lineup last night and despite the Yankees putting up 20 runs, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. For Frazier, he has filled in admirably for Judge and Stanton as he went into Tuesday night's game hitting .280 with an elite .385 wOBA and 145 wRC+. He has been the everyday cleanup hitter and if he remains there, is a core play in all formats in another plus matchup vs. the Jays.