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DraftKings DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Wednesday (9/2)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 2, 2020

Tonight’s a night in which I believe the optimal strategy is to double up on the bargain arms — all of whom are in five-star matchups — in order to load up on the top hitters. Having said that, there are a bevvy of value hitters to mix in who are also in tasty matchups tonight.

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Value Plays

Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ PIT $8,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Adrian Houser (MIL) vs. DET $8,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ KC $6,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

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Just take a gander at that matchup column. This trio of hurlers is treated to dreamy matchups tonight. Hendricks draws a Pirates club sitting dead last in wRC+ (55) against right-handed pitchers this year while sporting the fifth-highest strikeout percentage (25.9%) against them this year, according to FanGraphs. He and the visiting Cubs are sizable -210 moneyline favorites, according to bettingpros consensus line.

Houser’s opponent, the Tigers, rank 26th in wRC+ (89) against righties but fan against them at the highest clip (28.6 K%). He and the host Brewers are -154 moneyline favorites.

McKenzie offer the most return on investment upside namely due to having the smallest salary of the three hurlers. His opponent, the Royals, rank tied for 23rd in wRC+ (90) against righties and have the 11th-highest strikeout percentage (24.4%) against them. While McKenzie took a step back in needing 84 pitches to complete four innings in his last turn, thus, failing to qualify for the win in a blowout victory for The Tribe, it was his second time throwing at least 80 pitches in two big-league starts. In other words, he doesn’t appear to face a particularly restrictive pitch count.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Eric Hosmer (SD) @ LAA $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low/Medium/High
Mitch Moreland (SD) @ LAA $4,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low/Medium/High
Bobby Dalbec (BOS) vs. ATL $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

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Julio Teheran‘s been awful this year with a 9.17 ERA and 5.67 SIERA in five appearances (four starts) spanning 17.2 innings. Both Hosmer and Moreland — as well as a number of other forthcoming players — will have an opportunity to further his struggles this year. For their parts, Hosmer and Moreland are raking in 2020 with the former tallying a 171 wRC+ and the latter ripping off a 197 wRC+ against righties.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jake Cronenworth (SD) @ LAA $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Luis Arraez (MIN) vs. CHW $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Nick Madrigal (CHW) @ MIN $2,800 ⭐⭐ Medium

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Cronenworth finds himself hitting down order in the loaded Friars’ lineup, but the sting of his lineup spot is eased by the unusual amount of talent around him that low in the order and the top of the order not far in proximity from wrapping around behind him. Further, the rookie has been unreal against righties with a .412 OBP, .342 ISO, and 192 wRC+. If you’re looking to save salary to squeeze in another big bat or spin up to one of the top arms, Arraez and Madrigal offer you a pair of solid options on the cheap.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Manny Machado (SD) @ LAA $4,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kris Bryant (CHC) @ PIT $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Josh Donaldson (MIN) vs. CHW $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

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Machado’s far and away my favorite option at the hot corner in the table. Having said that, Bryant returned from the IL yesterday and squares off against Derek Holland and his .416 wOBA yielded to 372 right-handed batters faced since last year. Donaldson’s expected to be activated from the IL tonight. He’s risky given the layoff, but the Twins have the potential to explode tonight, Donaldson has plus power in a five-star matchup, and he’s dirt cheap. Those are all good reasons to consider him.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Javier Baez (CHC) @ PIT $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Willy Adames (TB) @ NYY $3,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High

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My favorite shortstop is among the studs worth their salary below, but Baez is an enticing pivot at a discount. He, too, will be treated to the same unsightly .416 wOBA Holland’s coughed up to righties since last year noted when touting Bryant. Baez’s power is top shelf against lefties as evidenced by his .282 ISO in 427 plate appearances against them since 2017.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Kyle Tucker (HOU) @ TEX $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Eddie Rosario (MIN) vs. CHW $4,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Trent Grisham (SD) @ LAA $4,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Franmil Reyes (CLE) @ KC $3,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Hunter Renfroe (TB) @ NYY $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐ High

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Rosario and Grisham are yet another Twin and Padre, respectively, so I’ll refrain from selling you on using them. The five-star matchups for each speak for themselves. Tucker, Reyes, and Renfroe all offer GPP appeal with Tucker tallying a .284 ISO against lefties in his young career, Reyes owning a .251 ISO against righties since reaching The Show in 2018, and Renfroe recording a .300 ISO against lefties since 2017.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Nelson Cruz (MIN) $6,100: Cruz remains a Statcast monster ranking 18th among qualified hitters in barrels per plate appearance percentage, according to Baseball Savant.
  • Juan Soto (WAS) $5,700: Speaking of Statcast, Soto ranks second in barrels per plate appearance percentage and fly ball an line-drive exit velocity. He’s parlayed his silly batted-ball data into an MLB-high 214 wRC+ among qualified hitters.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD) $5,200: Ranking just a few spots lower at tied for sixth in wRC+ (179) is Tatis Jr. He’s also crushing flyballs and liners ranking third in exit velocity on them at 100.2 mph.
  • Christian Yelich (MIL) $5,000: Yelich hasn’t been his MVP-caliber self this year, but his .281 ISO is nothing to sneeze at. Additionally, he’s battered righties at home for a .416 OBP, .375 ISO, and 183 wRC+ since joining the Brewers in 2018.
  • Miguel Sano (MIN) $4,800: No one hits the ball harder on flyballs and liners than Sano at 102.2 mph. His elite power is poised to pose problems for Reynaldo Lopez‘s fly-ball tendencies (47.8 FB% thisyear).

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Mookie Betts (LAD) $6,200: Betts has been great this year, but he’s not worth the highest salary among hitters tonight facing Zac Gallen and his .285 wOBA ceded to righties since last year.
  • Mike Trout (LAA) $5,800: Trout’s basically in the same boat as Betts, except Dinelson Lamet‘s been even tougher in righty-righty matchups holding same-handed foes to a .280 wOBA since last season.
  • Brandon Lowe (TB) $5,600: Lowe’s mashing lefties this year, but the sample is still small and doesn’t wash away his pre-2020 below-average numbers against southpaws.
  • Ketel Marte (ARI) $5,400: Marte’s 2019 power outburst is feeling like a distant memory with only one homer and a .099 ISO in 150 plate appearances this year.
  • Tim Anderson (CHW) $5,400: Anderson’s much better against southpaws than righties, and Jose Berrios is a tough draw, making his gaudy salary unpalatable.

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

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