MLB MLB DFS

MLB DFS Picks for September 16th, 2019

Joey Ricotta | September 16th, 2019 

With the MLB season winding down, we won’t have many more opportunities to take advantage and make some money playing DFS. We need to capitalize on the remaining opportunities. That brings us to tonight’s slate of seven games, starting a little later than normal at 7:40 ET. On the docket, we have a game at Coors Field which we always have to prioritize one way or the other, as well as some pitchers in good spots. To save you time and research, I went ahead and put some work in for you. The daily grind keeps rolling. We aren’t slowing down for anything or anyone. It’s time to get right back to it. Here are some of my favorite DFS plays for tonight’s games.

Pitching

Jose Berrios ($10,200 on DK and $8,500 on FD)

While being as inconsistent of an ace as there is in baseball, Berrios still always has the potential to pitch like a legitimate ace. The dilemma always is, which Berrios are you going to get? Going up against the Chicago White Sox has worked in Berrios’ favor this season. He’s pitched a quality start against them every time he’s faced them this season. In four starts against the Southsiders, Berrios owns a 3-1 record with a 3.00 ERA. He’s struck out 25 batters in the 27 innings pitched. The Sox have also struck out at the third-highest rate against right-handed pitchers since the All-Star break at 26.6%.

Zach Davies ($6,100 on DK and $6,800 on FD)

This is more of a price point and match-up play than anything else. Davies really struggled against the San Diego Padres earlier in the season, allowing nine hits and five earned runs in just 2.2 innings pitched. And although Davies only strikes out 15.7% of batters, the Padres still have struck out at a 26% clip versus righties since the All-Star break. I certainly don’t feel great about it, but I’m willing to roll the dice here.

Pablo Lopez ($5,500 on DK and $6,700 on FD)

While the match-up isn’t as great as we’d normally like it to be, it isn’t all that bad either. From a fantasy perspective, we are always searching for strikeouts, especially for DFS. The Arizona Diamondbacks are running out a lineup featuring only two batters that strikeout more than 21% (Josh Rojas – 24.5%, Jake Lamb – 23.7%). Despite that, the Dbacks are tied for the second-lowest batting average against right-handed pitchers since the All-Star break, hitting only .230. During that span, they’ve also had the fifth-lowest wRC+ (82) against them. Lopez’s 4.97 ERA isn’t attractive and might drive down ownership. We’ve seen him put up 29-31 points on DK already this season. I think the more realistic points expectation is 15-20, but we’ll take that at $5,500.

Other Targets: Robbie Ray and Stephen Strasburg.

Core Hitters

1B Pete Alonso ($5,700 on DK and $4,400 on FD)

The Polar Bear’s already set the Mets franchise record for most homers in a single-season. He’s the odds on favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award and is tied with Eugenio Suarez for the major league lead in home runs with 47. Now, he’s tracking down Aaron Judge‘s most home runs hit in a single-season by a rookie record, Judge hit 52 in 2017. Lefties have hit Antonio Senzatela better than righties this season, but his hard contact allowed to righties is nearly identical at 36%. If there’s any player that doesn’t need a boost to hit homers, it’s Pete Alonso. If he’s getting a ballpark boost by playing at Coors Field, we can probably just pencil him in and take the easy cash.

3B Nolan Arenado ($5,500 on DK and $4,700 on FD)

Nolan Arenado at home versus a lefty. Nolan Arenado at home versus a lefty. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It’s the only thing we need to know, but I’ll tell you more. Arenado is 6-16 (.375) with 4 HRs and 13 RBIs lifetime against Steven Matz. Lock and load.

OF Kyle Schwarber ($3,900 on DK and $3,200 on FD)

Schwarber’s price compared to his Hard Hit percentage sticks out like a sore thumb. His 50.6% Hard Hit rate is by far the best among players on either side of this game. Over the last 26 games, he’s hit .272 with 8 HRs and 23 RBIs. According to Fangraphs, Schwarber hits only 12.5% soft contact against right-handed pitchers. That means 87.5% of the balls he puts in play are hit medium to hard. That’s a lot of loud noise coming off his bat. Also, 30 of his 36 dingers on the year have been against righties. To top it off, Schwarber has only faced Kevin Gausman twice but one of those at-bats was a home run.

OF Nicholas Castellanos ($4,100 on DK and $3,700 on FD)

Love and marriage. Love and marriage. Castellanos and the Cubs go together like a horse and carriage. Since joining the Cubs, Nicholas has a .343/.373/697 slash line with 15 bombs and 33 RBIs. He’s put up those numbers in only 42 games played. He played 100 games for the Tigers and only hit 11 HRs and 37 RBIs. Guess who’s leading all of baseball in doubles. Castellanos is with 54 between both clubs. Listen, I’m not messing around here. The guy loves playing for the Cubs and hitting at Wrigley Field. The price is too cheap, get him in some lineups.

Other Targets: Kris Bryant, Trevor Story, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano

Value Plays

C Meibrys Viloria ($2,100 on DK and $2,200 on FD)

Paying up for Yasmani Grandal or Wilson Ramos is fine, but I prefer punting catcher in my main lineup on slates like this. Unless you’re playing multiple tournaments, then all bets are off. The young catcher for the Kansas City Royals has been getting a decent run here of late. He’ll be going up against Tanner Roark who has been much better against righties than lefties, with a .370/.287 lefty/righty wOBA split. At basically the bare minimum on DraftKings, he becomes too difficult to pass up in cash games.

2B/OF Ben Zobrist ($3,300 on DK and $2,700 on FD)

Since returning to action after missing a significant amount of time due to a personal matter, Zobrist is 11-30 with a .367/.441/.975 slash line. He just popped his first homer of the season on Saturday and will be hitting lead-off tonight. Zo is 8-13 with 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 XBHs, and 4 BBs versus Kevin Gausman.

Other Targets: Michael Lorenzen and Lewis Brinson.

Stacks

New York Mets and Colorado Rockies

Nothing new here, stack the game being played at Coors Field in Colorado. The New York Mets come to town to square off against right-handed hurler Antonio Senzatela. Senzatela owns a 6.87 ERA for the season. Going up against a desperate team still in the playoff hunt doesn’t bode well for him. The Mets will send lefty Steven Matz to the bump. The Rockies love teeing off against left-handed pitchers with the highest wOBA (.382) out of any team against lefties at home.

Chicago Cubs vs Kevin Gausman

In 11 appearances with the Cincinnati Reds this season, Gausman has a 4.02 ERA. Not terrific by any stretch, but much better than his 6.19 ERA in 16 starts with the Atlanta Braves earlier in the season. The Cubs are scorching hot right now. They are coming off of a series at home where they put up 47 runs, becoming only the fifth team in the modern era (since 1900) to score at least 14 runs in three straight games. They also set a club record for most homers in a three-game set with 14 bombs. Gausman’s success with his new club hasn’t been as a starter. This will be his first start with the Reds. The wind isn’t blowing out like it was this weekend, but it shouldn’t blowing in hard enough to have that much of an effect on hitting. Collectively, the Cubs hitters are cheap and easily stack-able. They were priced as if they were going to face Sonny Gray. Kevin Gausman was announced as the starter after DraftKings made their pricing. Take advantage.

Oakland Athletics vs Glenn Sparkman

The A’s tagged up Sparkman pretty good the last time they faced him in Kansas City. Sparkman lasted only 4.1 innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits with one home run. The A’s are hungry for a playoff spot and swinging it well. They’ve hit the third-most homers since September 1st with 29 big flies. Their wOBA, wRC+, and hard contact rate have also been top five, during that time. Sparkman’s 5.94 ERA and 2.05 HR/9 rate are less than ideal facing a team that is mashing right now.

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