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DraftKings DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Wednesday (9/16)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 16, 2020

Dylan Bundy’s pitching at an elite level.

I took some liberties including one ace in the value plays table at pitcher, and another ace makes the cut as a stud worth his salary. Three teams make up a significant portion of the touted hitters with the Braves, Astros, and Indians well represented.

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Value Plays

Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Dylan Bundy (LAA) vs. ARI $9,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) vs. TEX $7,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Brady Singer (KC) @ DET $6,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Is Bundy actually a value play? It depends on how you define value. He’s the fifth-most expensive starting pitcher to roster tonight, but he offers the upside of either of the two pitchers with five-figure salaries — spoiler alert, both are below — in a four-star matchup with a Diamondbacks offense that ranks tied for 24th in wRC+ (86) against righties this year, per FanGraphs. Bundy and the host Angels are -190 moneyline favorites, according to Betting Pros. With a 2.48 ERA, 3.48 SIERA, and 29.3 K% in his first year with the Angels, Bundy’s pitching at an elite level.

McCullers is a high-risk option in a five-star matchup. He’s a matchup driven play in his return from the IL. It’s always risky using a pitcher in their first start back from an IL stint, and this is no exception. However, it might be a risk worth taking in GPPs with the Astros serving as -250 favorites and the Rangers ranked 29th in wRC+ (67) against righties this year.

The Tigers haven’t been much better against righties this year with a 80 wRC+ that’s 26th, and they’re the most punch-out prone offense against them with a 27.7 K%. Singer’s not lighting the world on fire with just a 4.66 ERA, but his 4.41 SIERA and 21.8 K% aren’t awful. In fact, they’re good enough to make him a strong play at his tiny salary in a five-star matchup.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Salvador Perez (KC) @ DET $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Hunter Dozier (KC) @ DET $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Carlos Santana (CLE) @ CHC $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
A pair of Royals’ righties, Perez and Dozier, make the value table for catchers and first basemen. They’ll be taking cuts against southpaw Tarik Skubal and his .608 SLG and .413 wOBA yielded to 61 righties faced in his rookie campaign. Santana’s not having a banner year, but with a .376 OBP, .199 ISO, and 125 wRC+ against lefties since 2017 and a four-star matchup tonight, he’s worth a look at just $3,500.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Ozzie Albies (ATL) @ BAL $4,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Jose Altuve (HOU) vs. TEX $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Nick Madrigal (CHW) vs. MIN $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
My favorite second baseman is listed below, but it’s hard to argue with the dirt-cheap rookie Madrigal and his 153 wRC+ against righties. Altuve and Albies are having forgettable 2020 campaigns, but their prior success is good enough for me to cut them some slack with great matchups tonight.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Maikel Franco (KC) @ DET $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Josh Donaldson (MIN) @ CHW $4,200 High
Austin Riley (ATL) @ BAL $4,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Donaldson’s one-star matchup is eye-catching for the wrong reasons, but he’s a viable contrarian play due to his excellence at the dish. He has a .254 ISO and 135 wRC+ against righties since 2017 and a .250 ISO and 131 wRC+ in 70 plate appearances overall this season. Franco offers gamers another piece of right-handed exposure to Skubal’s struggles with righties, and Riley has a five-star matchup as well with rookie Keegan Akin and his .375 wOBA allowed to 48 righties this year.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Adalberto Mondesi (KC) @ DET $3,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Jose Iglesias (BAL) vs. ATL $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
My favorite shortstop option is below, but Mondesi’s a volatile option with a high ceiling worth embracing his high risk. Mondesi’s 45 wRC+ this year is atrocious, but his 16 stolen bases are fantasy-scoring friendly. He’s in great form of late, though. In 43 plate appearances since September 4, he has a .357 OBP, .333 ISO, 163 wRC+, four homers, and eight stolen bases.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Kyle Tucker (HOU) vs. TEX $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Franmil Reyes (CLE) @ CHC $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Ryan Mountcastle (BAL) vs. ATL $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Michael Brantley (HOU) vs. TEX $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jordan Luplow (CLE) @ CHC $2,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Teammates galore with a couple of members of the Astros and a pair from The Tribe. Righty Kyle Gibson has been tattooed by lefties for a .522 SLG and .377 wOBA this year, making it a five-star matchup for Tucker and Brantley. Reyes and Luplow will step into the batter’s box against Jon Lester and his .494 SLG and .347 wOBA yielded to righties this year. Mountcastle’s terrorized pitchers in his rookie season, showcasing his carrying tool, his bat. The hit-first prospect has mashed to the tune of a .425 OBP, .247 ISO, and 178 wRC+.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Jacob deGrom, NYM ($10,400): Among qualified pitchers this year, deGrom ranks second in ERA (1.67), SIERA (2.73), and strikeout percentage (37.8 K%), and, unlike the other top hurlers on this slate — the aforementioned Bundy excluded — he has a favorable matchup with the Phillies ranking just 18th in wRC+ (98) against righties.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL ($5,900): Acuna Jr. is raking this year with a .409 OBP, .336 ISO, and 163 wRC+. He’ll enjoy the same favorable matchup with Akin I pointed out in Riley’s write-up above.
  • Francisco Lindor, CLE ($5,600):
  • Jose Ramirez, CLE ($5,400): The switch-hitting infield duo of Lindor and Ramirez have been thorns in the side of southpaws with a 132 wRC+ and 130 wRC+, respectively, against them since 2017.
  • Whit Merrifield, KC ($5,400): Merrifield’s the best — albeit the most expensive, too — hitter to attack Skubal with tonight with a .354 OBP, .197 ISO, and 125 wRC+ against lefties since 2017.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Lucas Giolito, CHW ($10,200):
  • Gerrit Cole, NYY ($9,900):
  • Aaron Nola, PHI ($9,600): This trio of starters is excellent, but with matchups against above-average offenses on tap tonight, they’re less appealing to roster than Bundy and/or deGrom, making them fades for me.
  • Nelson Cruz, MIN ($5,500): It’s one thing to use Donaldson at his affordable salary in a one-star matchup with Giolito, it’s a different thing altogether to pay Cruz’s huge salary in a bad matchup.
  • David Fletcher, LAA ($5,300): Fletcher only recently returned from the IL, but even if he wasn’t potentially shaking the rust off, he’d be a poor selection at more than $5,000 for a player with below-average power and just two stolen bases this year.

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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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