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FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Tuesday (9/15)

Sep 15, 2020

Deivi Garcia has given the Yankees a much-needed boost since his promotion

We’re nearing the end of the regular season and the games are really starting to have a playoff feel to them. As weird as this season has been, it’s refreshing to get to watch some baseball that really means something, piped-in crowds notwithstanding.

We’ll see really only one ace that I trust on Tuesday, and then a solid second tier of pitchers, followed by a whole bunch of arms that just seem unattractive or risky. So for starting pitching and shortstop, I recommend going with the tried-and-true studs because the rest of the field just offers too much risk. You can make up for the pricey investments with some stacks in some discount lineups where a simple advantageous matchup could make your lineup economic and victorious.

Without much lights-out pitching, feel free to stack whatever powerful lineups you choose, but take a look below to find some cheaper options in unexpected places.

Onward, DFS players.

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Deivi Garcia (NYY) vs. TOR $8,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
at DET $8,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Carlos Carrasco (CLE) at CHC $9,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Deivi Garcia has given the Yankees a much-needed boost since his promotion, posting a 3.06 ERA in three starts. He’s recorded six strikeouts in each of the three games, including his last go-around against the Blue Jays on September 9. Garcia turned in a solid performance in that game, spinning seven innings, allowing two earned runs and no walks to collect his first win in the big leagues. Of course, there’s a risk here as the Jays’ lineup will have seen him recently. Statcast likes Garcia’s performance so far, ranking him in the 76th percentile in both xwOBA and xERA.
The Detroit Tigers walk less (7.0%) and strikeout more (26.8%) than any other team in baseball. I like Danny Duffy on the hill in Detroit on Tuesday, especially since three of his last four starts produced at least 26 fantasy points against the offenses of divisional rivals. First, the good. He’ll carry a 9.06 K/9 into this game, and he’s allowed more than two earned runs only three times in his last nine starts. But, there is definitely “bad.” Duffy carries risk with a HR/9 of 1.54 and an xFIP of 5.13. He’s walked nine batters in his last 11.2 innings. He’s been lucky; opponents have a BABIP of .248 in 2020, a good country mile south of his career mark of .291. If he wasn’t playing the Tigers, I’d definitely stay away, but considering the lack of good bargains on Tuesday’s slate, I’ll roll the dice that Duffy’s luck continues.
Carrasco is the third-highest priced pitcher on Tuesday, but I’m calling him a value pick because he’s on a particularly impressive string of consistency. He’s scored exactly 40 DFS points in his last three outings. He registered a quality start in all three games, allowing a total of two earned runs and striking out 19 in 19 innings. Oddly, he did not get a win in any of them despite never allowing more than a single earned run.  That may continue on Tuesday as his opponent will be the best pitcher of the day in Yu Darvish. Still, the Cubs haven’t been hitting well at all (.230 BA, 79 wRC+ since September 1), and only Detroit strikes out more than the Cubbies (26.2% K-rate).

Catcher / First Base

Paul Goldschmidt (STL) at MIL $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Salvador Perez (KC) at DET $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Joey Votto (CIN) vs. PIT $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Last Sunday, I recommended Goldschmidt against Jon Lester because of Goldy’s ridiculous career numbers against Jon Lester and lefties in general. He went 1-for-5 that day but the “one” was a three-run blast off of Lester. On Tuesday, he faces lefty Brett Anderson. So let’s just run the script again. Goldschmidt in his career against left-handed pitchers: .319/.429/.592, ISO of .273, wRC+ of 167. Career against Brett Anderson: 8-for-15, two homers, 3:1 BB:K ratio. In the words of Billy Joel, “What else do I have to say?” We didn’t start the fire, but we should definitely start Goldy.

I can’t say that I’m usually going to recommend a Royals’ stack, but it appears we’re headed in that direction. Sal Perez will be the first on the list. Matthew Boyd has been pretty bad in 2020, posting a 7.63 ERA and a 2.68 HR/9. Perez has been good in 2020, batting .333 with five homers. He’s also 7-for-14 in his last three games with a home run. He offers a nice, cheap option with everything going for him: weak pitcher, favorable righty-lefty matchup, and history to boot (9-for-31, two homers against Boyd). Is Perez a high-octane, high-ceiling juggernaut? Not likely. But he could score double-digit points for dirt cheap, which makes room in your budget for the juggernauts.

Not much to say about Joey Votto. He’s not the beast he once was, but he’s a value play extraordinaire in 2020. He has one hit in five straight games and has homered in the last two. He’ll face Joe Musgrove of the Pirates, against whom he’s 4-for-12 with one homer. Don’t pick Votto as a lottery ticket to win the day. If you have studs in other positions, you can plug in Votto for cheap because he’s very likely to get some points for you. He’s scored at least six fantasy points in all but two games since August 29, and averages 9.7 FPPG on the season.  That’s more than Vlad Guerrero Jr., Anthony Rizzo, and Willson Contreras, all who cost slightly more in the same position slot.

Second Base

Whit Merrifield (KC) at DET $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
vs. LAD $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Whit Merrifield’s history against Matt Boyd is impressive. In 39 at-bats, Merrifield has hammered out 20 hits, slashing .513/.548/.744 against the Tigers’ lefty. Merrifield is also hitting well recently, producing multiple hits in five of his last six contests.

Jake Cronenworth is still Statcast’s xBA leader (.367). He’s hitting .324 for the red-hot San Diego Padres and appears to be locked in again, doubling twice on Monday. For $3,000, he’s an awesome value.

Third Base

Jeff McNeil (NYM) at PHI $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dylan Moore (SEA) vs. SF $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Maikel Franco (KC) at DET $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Before we talk about Jeff McNeil and his absolute “must-play” status on Tuesday, there’s a caveat to the “must.” Watch the starting lineup as McNeil was removed with gastrointestinal discomfort on Sunday and very little is available regarding his condition going into Tuesday’s games. The Mets were idle on Monday so he received a natural day off. Now, if he’s in the lineup, you must start him. Since August 31, he’s batting .429 with an OPS of 1.316, including four homers (he homered in four consecutive games) and a 6:4 BB:K ratio. And if you thought Whit Merrifield’s stats against Boyd were impressive, take a look at McNeil against Arrieta: 13-for-20 with one homer and no strikeouts. Hot hitter? Check. Great matchup history? Check. Bad bellyache? Check. Monitor Tuesday’s lineups and deploy him if available.

It’s crazy to me that Dylan Moore is still priced at just $3,200, given his 13.12 FPPG. Only Manny Machado and Jose Ramirez score more than Moore among Fanduel’s 3B options (excluding Bobby Dalbec and his 12 games). He’s got power and speed (7 HR, 11 SB), and the metrics support his numbers at worst and actually suggest his numbers are unlucky (.292 xBA vs. .265 BA). He’s only been shutout from scoring any fantasy points four times this season. He’ll get a favorable righty-lefty matchup when the Mariners visit San Francisco and face Tyler Anderson.

Maikel Franco bats right-handed and can be stacked with the other Royals mentioned in this article against lefty Matthew Boyd. A Royals stack kind of feels like owning Connecticut, Oriental, and Vermont in Monopoly. You really can’t expect to win the game with them, but they could be a decent foundation. For his part, Franco has been uncharacteristically consistent, not going more than one game without a hit since August 15-16. He’s batting .358/.393/.490 in the month of September, including 9-for-19 in his last four contests. He has a double, a homer, and eight RBI in that stretch. He could be one of the best values of the day if the Royals create traffic against Matthew Boyd and the Tigers.


Marcus Semien (OAK) at COL $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
at MIA $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

I feel really off balance in trying to choose shortstops for Tuesday. Players are either premium-priced, slumping, or facing a pitcher who is good or has owned them. Marcus Semien is none of those. He’s been racking up points in Fanduel in the last week (double digits in four games out of last six) and will be batting in Coors Field. Not a flashy pick, but he remains viable in a thin field at his position outside the big guns.

Bogaerts is really the only other value play that I like, simply because he’s had a pretty high floor. He scores fantasy points most nights and is seventh-most expensive at his position. He averages 11.13 FPPG which makes him priced pretty fairly and if I had to pick a shortstop outside of Tatis, Story, Turner, Anderson, and Seager, I like my chances against Alcantara and the Marlins.


Hunter Dozier (KC) at DET $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
at PHI $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Wil Myers (SD) vs LAD $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dominic Smith (NYM) at PHI $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Trent Grisham (SD) vs LAD $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

It’s today’s broken record: Hunter Dozier is a Royals’ righty with good history against Matthew Boyd (10-for-17, two homers, three doubles). It’s worth noting that the Royals as a team have hit Boyd extremely well in 166 at-bats. Current KC hitters are batting a collective .349 with a .241 ISO against Boyd. Overall in September, Dozier has a hit in 13 of 15 games. In 2020, he has an average of 11.6 FPPG.

Michael Conforto is really hummin’ along in the month of September. This month, he’s batting .404 with four home runs and an OPS of 1.177. He’ll get the favorable lefty-righty matchup against Arrieta, against whom he has some moderate success (.961 OPS in 22 AB). I like his price and his 13.1 FPPG, which is more than a lot of guys priced higher.

Almost identical to Conforto in FPPG and price is Wil Myers, who averages 13.0 FPPG and costs $3,400. He’s homered in consecutive games, making it four bombs in his last six contests, a stretch in which he’s collected 10 RBI. The Padres are hot, Myers is hot, it’s a good value. Myers has only 1 AB against the Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin, so the matchup is kind of unknown at this point. Still, if you like playing hot bats on hot teams, Wil Myers is right up your alley.

I’ll double down on Mets’ outfield lefties and go with Dominic Smith. That makes a Mets’ stack if McNeil plays against the veteran Jake Arrieta. What I like about this is that the Mets have very good numbers in a large sample size against Arrieta, collectively slashing .310/.367/.462 in 197 AB. Smith is 5-for-10 with two doubles and one home run against Jake in his career.

And for good measure, let’s also double down on the Padres’ outfield and Trent Grisham. Grisham does everything (nine home runs, seven steals, 20 RBI, 35 runs) and you can get him for cheap. He’s riding a 10-game hit streak right now, including a homer off of Clayton Kershaw on Monday night.

Five Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Manny Machado (SD), $4,300: Slashing .341 with a .919 OPS in September. Stack him with the others, the Padres have won eight straight and just seem to want it.
  • Yu Darvish (CHC), $11,200: Eight straight quality starts, 11.57 K/9. Cleveland is middle-of-the-pack with a 23.5% K-rate.
  • Trea Turner (WAS), $4,300: On fire for an extended period of time: batting .384 with a 1.122 OPS in his last 30 days. He has five homers and nine steals in that span.
  • Freddie Freeman (ATL), $4,100: Multi-hit efforts in six of his last seven games. He has four homers and 12 RBI in that stretch. Overall he’s batting .345 and averages 15.3 FPPG.
  • Tim Anderson (CHW), $4,000: His price keeps going up and with good reason. He’s now batting .369 on the season and 9-for-14 in his last three games.

Five Notable Players to Fade

  • Anthony Rizzo (CHC), $3,200: Cold, colder, coldest. Rizzo is just 4-for-37 since September 4, including an 0-for-6 with four K’s on Sunday.
  • Robinson Cano (NYM), $3,200: Has bad numbers against Arietta in his career (.194, no homers in 31 AB). .194 is also his batting average this month.
  • Nolan Arenado (COL), $4,200: DTD with a shoulder injury and his .772 OPS is not nearly high enough for his price point.
  • Corey Seager (LAD), $3,900: I’m usually all about Corey Seager, but somehow righty Zach Davies gets the best of the left-handed shortstop. Seager is just 3-for-17 against Davis in his career. Better to invest in one of the other SS studs listed above.
  • Jake Flaherty (MIL), $9,800: The Brewers have a collective .300/.377/.600 slash against Flaherty in 69 PA. Flaherty also has a 4.68 ERA at Miller Park. Good pitcher, just risky on Tuesday for his price.

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Steven Boysko is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Steven, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter, @StevenBoysko.


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