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The Deep Dive: MLB DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | Wednesday, 9/8

Adam Scherer



The MLB DFS Deep Dive is back! This article is intended to give you an in-depth look at the top MLB DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on the day’s fantasy baseball slate. It is recommended that you use this article in conjunction with Awesemo’s MLB projections, ownership projections and the Top Stack tool.

MLB DFS Deep Dive: DraftKings + FanDuel Picks | Sept. 8

Top Pitchers

Freddy Peralta ($10,200 DraftKings/$9,400 FanDuel) is one of the biggest question marks on the slate as he takes on the Phillies. Peralta returned from the injured list in his last start and struggled through two innings and 53 pitches. Manager Craig Counsell said after the game that the plan was to limit Peralta to a short outing and then bring him back on regular rest (as opposed to an extra day) tonight against the Phillies. He did not specify what the plan is for tonight’s game, however. Peralta leads the slate with a 33.5% strikeout rate, so if he were to be allowed to throw 90-plus pitches, he would be one of the top options on the slate. On the other hand, he is one of the worst options if he only throws around 55 pitches again. The most likely outcome is that Peralta goes 70 to 80 pitches, which would make him a viable tournament option as long as he is not projected for much ownership.

Yu Darvish ($9,300 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) has produced strong numbers this season, but he has struggled lately. He has struck out 29.2%, walked 5.6% and has a 3.68 xFIP. Darvish has allowed at least four earned runs in seven of his last 10 starts, however. In those 10 starts, he has averaged five innings per start and has a 27.1% strikeout rate, 4.6% walk rate and 3.56 xFIP. He has allowed 2.3 home runs per nine innings over that time, but it has been driven by 22% home runs per fly ball. He has also suffered from a .326 BABIP over those 10 starts. For his career, Darvish has allowed a .287 BABIP and 13.7% home runs per fly ball. His first-pitch-strike rate over those 10 starts is 58.7%, his swinging strike rate is 12.7%, his zone rate is 47.2%, and his no-swing rate is 31.3%. For the season, those rates are 60.6%, 12.6%, 46.6% and 30.9%, respectively, so there are no glaring differences in his recent starts. Darvish has allowed a .281 xwOBA over those 10 starts compared to a .361 actual wOBA. Darvish has primarily been dealing with a lot of bad luck, and he is a good play tonight against a weak Angels lineup.

Frankie Montas ($9,000 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) has a relatively difficult matchup against the White Sox, but he is facing them in a pitcher-friendly park, and they have just a 3.8 implied run total. Montas has struck out 26.7% of hitters this season and has a 3.65 xFIP. He has a higher strikeout rate against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters, but his strikeout rate against righties increase as the season has progressed.

Vladimir Gutierrez ($7,700 DraftKings/8,300 FanDuel) is not a very good pitcher, and he has struggled for most of the season. He has struck out 17.9% of hitters while allowing 1.54 home runs per nine innings with a 5.09 xFIP. He has a favorable matchup, however, as he faces the Cubs. The Cubs have the highest strikeout rate in baseball since the trade deadline, at 29.2%. They have a 99 wRC+ and .184 ISO over that time as well, so there is risk here, but there is plenty of built-in upside against this lineup. Plus, Gutierrez is projected for less ownership than some similarly priced options.

Touki Toussaint ($7,300 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel) is another viable SP2 tournament pivot on DraftKings as long as he is projected for relatively low ownership. He has produced mediocre numbers this season, but that is enough to be an option on tonight’s slate. Toussaint has struck out 22.6% of and has a 4.27 xFIP in his starts this season. He is facing the Nationals, who have been a slightly above-average offense since the trade deadline, with a 104 wRC+ and 20.9% strikeout rate.

Mike Minor ($6,700 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) is projected to be the highest-owned value pitcher on DraftKings. The projected ownership makes sense because Minor projects is the best point-per-dollar option in the price range, but his range of outcomes is not much different than some of the alternatives, including Gutierrez and Toussaint. Minor’s 22.6% strikeout rate is identical to Toussaint’s, and his 4.32 xFIP is almost the same as well. Minor faces the Orioles in Camden Yards, which is a dangerous place to pitch. The Orioles also have a 107 wRC+, .187 ISO and 24.7% strikeout rate since the trade deadline, and they have produced a 108 wRC+, .176 ISO and 23.3% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season.

Top Hitters

Travis d’Arnaud ($3,800 DraftKings/$2,900 FanDuel)

Frank Schwindel ($3,500 DraftKings/$3,800 FanDuel)

Ozzie Albies ($5,100 DraftKings/$4,200 FanDuel)

Austin Riley ($5,400 DraftKings/$3,700 FanDuel)

Adalberto Mondesi ($4,400 DraftKings/$4,100 FanDuel)

Jorge Soler ($3,900 DraftKings/$3,400 FanDuel)

Tyler Naquin ($2,900 DraftKings/$2,900 FanDuel)

Andrew Benintendi ($3,500 DraftKings/$2,600 FanDuel)

Top Stacks

Note: Be sure to check out the Top Stacks Tool to compare a team’s chances of success to their aggregate ownership.

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  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Tampa Bay Rays

Top Under-owned Stacks: Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox

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Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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