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DraftKings DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Saturday (9/12)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 12, 2020

Justus Sheffield has a great matchup tonight against the Diamondbacks.

Tonight’s DraftKings touted pitchers include a couple of value hurlers and one ace. A couple of pitchers who are opposing one another appear in the notable fades section. The hitter selections involve a wide array of salaries and ample upside to warrant usage.

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Value Plays


Justus Sheffield (SEA) @ ARI $7,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Tejay Antone (CIN) @ STL $6,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

After a couple of rocky starts to open the year, Sheffield has settled into a nice groove. In his last five starts spanning 29.2 innings, the young lefty has pitched to a 3.03 ERA and 4.05 SIERA with a 5,7 BB% and 22.6 K%, per FanGraphs. He has a great matchup tonight against a Diamondbacks offense that ranks dead last in wRC+ (60) against southpaws.

Antone wasn’t on my radar entering the year, but the 26-year-old righty has pitched his way into the rotation and onto the fantasy radar with a 2.49 ERA (3.54 SIERA) and 33.3 K%. He matched his previous season-high 82 pitches in his last start, so he should be good to go for a full — or full-ish — workload tonight in a middle-of-the-road matchup with the Cardinals.

Catcher/First Base

Jeimer Candelario (DET) @ CHW $3,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Carlos Santana (CLE) @ MIN $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Colin Moran (PIT) @ KC $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

This table features a mix of guys playing above their track record, Candelario and Moran, and a guy whose track record earns him some slack in a down year. Candelario’s mashed this year for a 163 wRC+, and Moran’s tapped into newfound power with a .248 ISO. Santana’s struggled with a 92 wRC+, but his 125 wRC+ against southpaws since 2017 is far more enticing for sticking into daily lineups tonight.

Second Base

Jonathan Schoop (DET) @ CHW $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Kike Hernandez (LAD) vs. HOU $3,700 ⭐⭐ High
Nick Madrigal (CHW) vs. DET $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Another second baseman appears in the studs worth their salary section below, and he’s my preferred option tonight. However, I’m not opposed to using any of these three. Schoop’s enjoying the first year with the Tigers sporting a .206 ISO and 119 wRC+. It’s no accident both tables have included a Tiger, either. Reynaldo Lopez has been a gas can this year with a 8.38 ERA and 5.92 SIERA in four starts lasting only 9.2 innings.

Third Base

Kris Bryant (CHC) @ MIL $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Maikel Franco (KC) vs. PIT $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
David Bote (CHC) @ MIL $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

I don’t have Nolan Arenado or Jose Ramirez listed as studs worth their salary below, but I love both and another option from the hot corner does make the cut for that section. In other words, my preference is to pony up for one of the top options. If you don’t, however, Bryant and Bote offer right-handed exposure to Brett Anderson’s .352 wOBA ceded to righties this year.


Javier Baez (CHC) @ MIL $4,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Nick Ahmed (ARI) vs. SEA $3,900 ⭐⭐ High
Adalberto Mondesi (KC) vs. PIT $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Baez and Mondesi are both having forgettable seasons with the former recording a 52 wRC+ and the latter amassing a 36 wRC+ to date. However, facing lefties since 2017, Baez owns a .349 OBP, .278 ISO, and 136 wRC+. As for Mondesi, he has a plus matchup and is a more valuable fantasy option than real-life hitter thanks in large part to his 15 stolen bases. He’s also riding a modest eight-game hit streak, so he’s in decent recent form.


Franmil Reyes (CLE) @ MIN $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
A.J. Pollock (LAD) vs. HOU $3,900 ⭐⭐ Medium
Raimel Tapia (COL) vs. LAA $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Hunter Dozier (KC) vs. PIT $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Justin Upton (LAA) @ COL $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Tapia is leadoff hitter exposure at Coors Field on the cheap, and Upton’s Coors Field power potential at a tiny salary. Simply playing at MLB’s far-and-away most hitter-friendly venue, as you can see on our MLB Park Factors page, puts both on the daily fantasy radar. Reyes is my favorite hitter in the table, though. In 275 plate appearances against lefties since reaching The Show in 2018, he has a .382 OBP, .216 ISO, and 139 wRC+. He’s raking this year with a .371 OBP, .204 ISO, and 135 wRC+.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Zac Gallen, ARI ($9,400): Gallen’s pitched outstanding this year with a 2.29 ERA (3.83 SIERA) and 27.9 K%, and he and the Diamondbacks are -175 moneylline favorites in a game with a pitcher-friendly over/under total of only eight runs, according to the BettingPros consensus line.
  • Charlie Blackmon, COL ($5,600): Blackmon’s a fire-breathing monster at home against righties.
  • Anthony Rendon, LAA ($5,400): Rendon gets a huge park factor lift from playing at Coors Field — not that he needs any help against southpaws with a .415 OBP, .305 ISO, and 159 wRC+ against them since 2017.
  • Christian Yelich, MIL ($5,400): When Yelich is at home against a righty, he’s one of the top hitting options. Tonight’s no exception.
  • Keston Hiura, MIL ($5,000): The greatest weapon at the disposal of righty Kyle Hendricks is his changeup, so it’s not entirely surprising he’s coughed up a more fantasy-friendly .348 wOBA in same-handed matchups than the .234 wOBA he’s held lefties to this year. Hiura matches in righty-righty matchups with a .297 ISO and 141 wRC+ against fellow right-handers since debuting for the Beer Makers last year.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Julio Urias, LAD ($9,200): Frankly, I don’t understand Urias’ salary. He hasn’t eclipsed 80 pitches in any of his last four starts, and he’s scored double-digit fantasy points in only one of those turns. Easy fade.
  • Framber Valdez, HOU ($8,900): Valdez has pitched quite well this year, but I wouldn’t advise committing to his sizable salary cap number in a potentially dangerous matchup.
  • Cody Bellinger, LAD ($5,800): It’s not like Bellinger’s 119 wRC+ against lefties since 2017 is bad, but it’s certainly not good enough to warrant spending $5,800 on using him tonight, though.
  • Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($5,600): Goldschmidt has a 132 wRC+ against righties since 2017, which is obviously quite good. Antone has held right-handed batters to a slate-low .199 wOBA, though, making Goldschmidt’s salary too big to suggest using him.
  • Jorge Polanco, MIN ($5,400): Polanco’s salary isn’t as baffling as the aforementioned Urias’ salary is, but he’s grossly overpriced to use on tonight’s slate.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.