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MLB DFS: Arms, Bats, and Stacks for September 17th, 2019

Joey Ricotta | September 17th, 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 14 games, starting a little later than normal at 7:05 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 and 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.

Arms

Justin Verlander ($12,800 on DK and $12,000 on FD)

Cash game pitcher number one. When Verlander is scheduled to pitch, you pretty much just pencil him in and then figure out the rest of your lineup. He’s had an incredible career and maybe the best season of his career. Going for win number 19 tonight, Verlander has averaged 33.11 DK points since the all-star break. He’s leading the league in wins, ERA, innings pitched, quite frankly I don’t care who he’s playing tonight. The Texas Rangers, who are they? In five games started against them this season, Verlander is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 39 Ks in 30 innings pitched. Put him in your lineup.

Yu Darvish ($11,200 on DK and $10,400 on FD)

I’m tempted to take the $1,600 discount and use Darvish in cash games, but the overall dominance and consistency displayed by Verlander drive me away from that. Nonetheless, Darvish has been incredible since the all-star break, posting a 2.44 ERA. In 66.1 innings pitching since the break, he’s struck out 93 batters, held opponents to a .191 batting average, and walked only six batters. Since the beginning of September, the Cincinnati Reds have hit only .206 against right-handed pitchers, tying them for second-worst in the majors. I’ll definitely take the guy that’s rolling against the team that’s not in GPPs, especially with the wind blowing slightly in from right field.

Mitch Keller ($8,100 on DK and $5,800 on FD)

Are we really going down this path again? How many good match-ups does Keller have to not perform well in before we stop using him? I don’t know the answer to that, but here I am talking him up again. At some point, it has to pay off right? Going up against the lowly Seattle Mariners is a nice get right spot. On paper, Keller’s 8.29 ERA looks abysmal, but his 3.61 FIP and 4.76 home ERA implies that regression is coming. Keller’s 28.2% strikeout rate mixed with Seattle’s 26.5% strikeout rate since the all-star break, would lend me to believe that there will be some Ks in this game. If Keller can limit the damage and doesn’t take a line drive off his wrist, he should be okay.

Adam Plutko ($7,700 on DK and $7,800 on FD)

Whether this is right or not, I’m starting Plutko off with four points on DraftKings. Facing off against Zac Reininger who has an 8.25 ERA, I think he should get the win as long as he makes it through five innings of work. Plutko has faced the Detroit Tigers twice already this season, having two good starts and one bad start. The last outing against them, he pitched 5.2 innings of three-hit baseball, allowed only one run, and struck out nine. The outing was good enough for 29.8 DK points. We’ll certainly take that tonight, but we should temper our expectations a little as that was his best DK performance of the year. A more reasonable expectation would be 18-22 points.

Bats

OF Nelson Cruz ($4,700 on DK and $3,700 on FD)

The lefty masher. The ageless wonder. The 39-year old Cruz has destroyed the Chicago White Sox this season. In 14 games against them, he’s slashed .455/.508/.982 (1.490 OPS) with 8 HRs and 24 RBIs. On the season, Cruz has 37 HRs and 97 RBIs, the exact number in both categories that he finished with last season. He’s put up those numbers in only 110 games. Still a great season last year, but it took him 144 games to reach those numbers. Ross Detwiler is a guy who really struggles against right-handed batters and so far against Cruz. Righties have a .423 wOBA against him and Cruz is 5-8 with 3 HRs, 5 RBIs, and 2 BBs in 10 plate-appearances. This seems like a slam dunk.

OF Brandon Nimmo ($4,500 on DK and $3,300 on FD)

Nimmo hit a lead-off homer Monday night in the series opener that probably doesn’t get out many other places, but the Coors Field effect was on full display. If history tells us anything, the ball will be flying again tonight. Normally, when targeting Coors Field, I try to look for the cheaper players, unless we are talking about Nolan Arenado or Trevor Story. No one is value menu cheap, but Nimmo is reasonably priced and expected to hit lead-off again. Left-handed batters have a .410 wOBA and 2.31 HR/9 against Tim Melville this season.

Stacks

New York Mets vs Tim Melville (Coors Field)

Melville was a good story when he first came up this season, but he’s regressed. He currently sits with a 5.16 ERA, 6.48 FIP, and 2.38 HR/9 rate. The Mets might put a major beating on Melville at Coors Field tonight. You can attack with Colorado Rockies too, but Marcus Stroman is more of a ground ball type of pitcher. He doesn’t give up many homers and I think he can limit the damage at Coors.

Chicago Cubs vs Sonny Gray

Normally, we never target against Sonny Gray, but this isn’t a normal situation. The Cubs are going into this game rolling offensively and battling hard for the playoffs. The prices on them are still way too cheap. Gray’s numbers don’t imply that this is a bad spot for him, this is merely a gut call. Many people are looking at the match-up and won’t do it. If you can get low ownership on the Cubs at discounted prices, I think you should in at least one lineup. GPP ONLY.

Atlanta Braves vs Vince Velasquez

Velasquez struggles mightily on the road with a 5.40 ERA and .362 wOBA against. The Braves have hit the fifth-most homers against RHPs in the majors with 178 bombs. Velasquez can definitely give up homers, as he has a 2.08 HR/9 rate this season. Use the lefties as one-offs and don’t be afraid to stack in tournaments.

Minnesota Twins vs Ross Detwiler 

The Twins are leading the majors in a lot of categories against left-handed pitchers. Most notably, they’ve hit the most homers (87), have the best batting average (.286), and OPS (.873) against them. Detwiler’s 2.65 HR/9 rate, 11.42 road ERA, and .423 wOBA to right-handed batters, and you have yourself an easy stack.

Boston Red Sox vs Logan Webb

I feel like a lot of people are going to overlook the Red Sox tonight with Coors Field being on the slate and some other great spots to attack. Logan Webb has an 8.76 road ERA and .414 road wOBA against. Boston ranks third in OPS (.823) and wOBA (.345) against righties this year. Mookie Betts is out of the lineup, but I still think they can get to Webb. If you’re looking for one-offs, use J.D. Martinez or Xander Bogaerts. Webb struggles more against right-handed batters, with a .431 wOBA against him.

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