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DraftKings DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Friday (9/18)

Sep 18, 2020

With the regular season winding down quickly, let’s get a couple more good Friday slates in!

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Value Pitchers to Target

Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ BAL $9,700 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Adrian Houser (MIL) vs. KC $8,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Jaime Barria (LAA) vs. TEX $6,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Glasnow: There’s always some risk with Glasnow, given his erratic outings and propensity to give up the long ball, but overall the numbers look fantastic. He has a 35 percent strikeout rate, an eight percent walk rate, and 1.01 homers surrendered per nine. He also absolutely dominated the Orioles earlier this year, as he put up 38 DraftKings points on them — if you’re into that kinda thing.

Houser: It hasn’t been a year that has justified an $8,000 price tag for Houser, but there is really not much to like below $9,000 tonight. The problem with Houser is how well lefties have handled him, as they have put up a .882 OPS on him over the last two seasons. The thing that makes this an interesting play is that the Royals’ lineup is filled with righties, with their only probable lefties being the very light hitting Adalberto Mondesi, Alex Gordon, and Nicky Lopez. Houser goes to work on righties, holding them to a .598 OPS while striking them out 25 percent of the time. It’s a great spot for Houser, but I wish that he was about $1,000 cheaper.

Barria: There is always some risk with cheap veteran pitchers, as they just naturally don’t have a ton of upside. Barria is no exception; he has just a 20.3 percent strikeout rate over the last two seasons, and he gives up 2.2 homers per nine. However, the matchup is too good to not mention. The Rangers have been getting absolutely pasted by starting pitchers lately. Astros pitchers struck out 36 Rangers in three games in their last series, and that was without throwing your typical Astros stud pitchers (Urquidy, Valdez, and McCullers were the starters in that series). They also scored just three total runs in that series, so it seems like any SP against the Rangers is a pretty good bet for right now.

Catcher/First Base

Francisco Mejia (SD) @ SEA (Kikuchi) $2,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Carlos Santana (CLE) @ DET (Fulmer) $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Matt Olson (OAK) vs. SF (Cahill) $5,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Mejia: With the Dodgers in Coors, you probably want a stone-minimum priced catcher in your lineup, and Mejia gives you some pop upside against a pitcher that doesn’t fair very well against right-handed bats.

Santana: Fulmer’s real weakness seems to be the right-handed batter, but he is no world-beater against lefties, either. He has an 11 percent walk rate with a .778 OPS allowed to lefties this year. Santana’s price has really plummeted, and fairly so — he’s had a pretty awful year, but he still draws a ton of walks and should have some opportunity to chip in a few points at this low price tag tonight.

Olson: Not a cheap tag for Olson, but a great bet for a homer tonight against Cahill, who gives up a 9 percent barrel rate to lefties with a .860 OPS allowed.

Second Base

Gavin Lux (LAD) @ COL (Castellani) $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Donovan Solano (SF) @ OAK (Bassitt) $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐ High

Lux: The problem with Lux is his inability to make contact, so that takes a lot of the Coors advantage out of the picture. However, if he can put the bat on the ball, he should do pretty well with his raw power and speed. If he’s slotted ninth in the lineup again, I’ll probably prefer to stay away, but the upside is there.

Solano: Solano had a hot start to the season, and since then, he’s been a pretty average hitter. So finally, his price has decreased. Bassitt gives up tons of contact to righties (85 percent contact rate), so Solano brings a decent floor here for a sub-$4k price tag, and he should be hitting in the heart of the order.

Third Base

Gio Urshela (NYY) @ BOS (Perez) $4,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Nate Lowe (TB) @ BAL (Cobb) $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

Urshela: The Yankees are in a nice spot in Fenway against a pretty bad lefty, and Urshela’s production has been awesome this year when he’s been on the field.  He is hitting .282/.363/.513 with six homers in just 135 plate appearances. This price is too low for a talented hitter in a great lineup in a great matchup.

Lowe: This is a pretty great spot for Lowe — against Alex Cobb in Camden Yards. Cobb has given up a 12.6 percent barrel rate to lefties while striking them out just 13 percent of the time, so I am all aboard the Rays tonight at these low price tags.


Willy Adames (TB) @ BAL (Cobb) $4,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Gleyber Torres (NYY) @ BOS (Perez) $3,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Adames: Cobb has given up a ridiculous 16.8 percent barrel rate to right-handed bats over his last 126 times facing them (goes back to 2019). That has resulted in a .968 OPS and a .395 wOBA, so the Rays’ righties are in quite a good spot to hit the ball hard tonight.

Torres: It’s been a surprisingly poor 2020 for Gleyber, as he’s posted just three homers with a .772 OPS. Lots of that has to do with injury, and he seems to be healthy now. He’ll get a couple of at-bats at least against Martin Perez tonight, who has given up a .808 OPS to righties since last year. Take advantage of the price drop on Torres.


Corey Dickerson (MIA) vs. WSH (Crowe) $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
David Dahl (COL) vs. LAD (White) $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Matt Joyce (MIA) vs. WSH (Crowe) $2,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Willie Calhoun (TEX) @ LAA (Barria) $2,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Dahl: Did you ever think that you would see Dahl below $3,000 at home? Probably not. There is a good chance that he isn’t in the lineup tonight, since his horrible numbers seem to have earned him some bench, but if he is in the lineup, I’m not sure how you pass it up. The numbers be damned; I’ll take Dahl’s power/speed combination in Coors all day here.

Dickerson and Joyce: This may be more of a bullpen game for the Nationals, but these two should get at least a couple at-bats against Crowe, who has given up a 91 percent contact rate and an 18 percent barrel rate in a very small sample size (15 plate appearances). The Marlins should project near the top of their distribution in runs scored tonight, and you can get some exposure to that for very cheap with these two outfielders.

Calhoun: It’s been a dismal 2020 for Calhoun, as he’s dealt with multiple injuries and isn’t hitting the ball when on the field (.380 OPS for him this year — yikes). However, none of that actually justifies a $2,100 price tag against Barria. This is a pretty good way to save some salary.

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Zack Greinke (SP – HOU) $10,100: There’s less upside here than you’d usually want from a five-figure starter, as Greinke comes in with just a 23 percent strikeout rate over the last two seasons. However, the matchup is great, and the floor is very high. The Diamondbacks have had a bad season offensively, and they’re averaging just 1.54 DraftKings points per plate appearance, which are the lowest number on the entire slate. Without a ton of high-dollar pitchers on the board tonight, I think it makes sense just to lock in the points with Greinke and move on.
  • Dodgers: Mookie Betts (OF) $6,000, Cody Bellinger (1B/OF) $5,800, Max Muncy (1B/3B) $5,500, Corey Seager (SS) $5,300, and Justin Turner (3B) – $5,200: These guys all seem well worth the big price tags here against Castellani, who has given up an OPS over .800 to both sides of the plate while not getting many strikeouts (11 percent to lefties, 18 percent to righties).
  • Rockies: I’m less interested in the Rockies than the Dodgers here, just because the prices are a bit less enticing, and we don’t know much about the Dodgers starter Mitch White. However, as they project to score the second-most runs on the slate, I can’t really go this whole post without talking about them a bit. I’d prefer Charlie Blackmon (OF) for $5,600 and Trevor Story (SS) for $5,600 if I’m going here.
  • Ronald Acuna (OF – ATL) $5,800: He’s a good leverage play here, and you could pivot to Acuna while the field chases the Dodgers. Steven Matz is the opponent for Acuna, and he has given up a respectable but not great .783 OPS and an 8.6 percent barrel rate to righties since last year. Acuna has some massive upside and probably won’t see much ownership here.
  • Jose Ramirez (3B – CLE) $5,300: J-Ram has had one heck of a season, now with 13 homers and 10 steals. As we’ve talked about, the matchup with Fulmer is about as good as it gets, so he is a guy worth the money at the hot corner.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Max Fried (SP – ATL) $9,800: This is low hanging fruit, certainly, but it should be mentioned that Fried is returning from an IL stint after suffering a back injury. The Braves have no reason to push him here, so I wouldn’t expect a full outing from Fried. He also isn’t exactly the strikeout king of the world while he is pitching, so there is no real upside here going with this really low floor.
  • Zac Gallen (SP – ARI) $9,500: It’s been a couple of bad starts in a row for Gallen, but that’s not the reason I’m fading. It’s about the strikeout upside here. The projected Astros lineup has a crazy low 17 percent collective strikeout rate, the lowest in the league by a good margin. I don’t see the upside here.
  • Tim Anderson (SS – CHW) $5,200: This goes for the rest of the expensive White Sox righties as well. They face Tejay Antone tonight, who has been murder on right-handed batters early in his career, allowing just a .515 OPS, a 60 percent contact rate to them while striking them out a ridiculous 41 percent of the time.
  • D.J. LeMahieu (2B/3B – NYY) $5,600: LeMahieu has been awesome again this year, and the matchup is good against Perez, but the price tag is just too much. If I’m spending this kind of scratch, I want it to be on a Dodger in Coors, and not on LeMahieu.

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Jon Anderson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jon, check out his archive and follow him @JonPgh.

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