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. 17
Zack Wheeler ($10,600 DraftKings/$10,700 FanDuel) has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. He has struck out 28.9% of hitters, which is the second-highest strikeout rate on the slate, and has a 2.88 xFIP. He has walked only 5.4% of hitters and allowed just 0.74 home runs per nine innings. He faces the Mets, who have a 94 wRC+ and 24.5% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season.
Walker Buehler ($10,200 DraftKings/$9,900 FanDuel) is an excellent pitcher in a relatively difficult matchup as he takes on the Reds. Buehler has a 26% rate and a 3.63 xFIP. Cincinnati has a 107 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season and could be returning Jesse Winker to the lineup tonight. He also gets a park downgrade pitching in Cincinnati. Still, his ceiling is as high as anyone else on the slate given his talent level, and he is likely to be relatively low owned given his proximity to Wheeler in salary.
Logan Webb ($9,800 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) has been one of the season’s biggest surprises, as he has turned into a legitimate ace for the Giants. Webb’s 2.87 xFIP is the lowest on the slate, slightly edging out Wheeler, and he has struck out 26.1% of hitters. He has a dangerous matchup against the Braves, but the game is in San Francisco, which helps to mitigate Atlanta’s power. Atlanta’s active roster has a 24.1% strikeout rate, and their projected lineup features six right-handed hitters (including the pitcher). Webb has struck out 28.8% of right-handed hitters this season while limiting them to a .259 xwOBA and .095 xISO.
Chris Sale ($9,500 DraftKings/$10,000 FanDuel) is expected to return from the COVID list to start tonight’s game against the Orioles. Sale has struck out 27.5% of hitters this season, and that number should increase as the sample size grows since he has struck out at least 35% of hitters in each of his last three seasons and at least 30% of hitters in five of his last six seasons. He is facing an Orioles’ team that has power from the right side but also has a 24.7% strikeout rate overall this season.
Dylan Cease ($9,100 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) should be one of the most popular pitchers on tonight’s slate. His 31.1% strikeout rate leads the slate, and he has a respectable 3.90 xFIP as well. He also has an excellent matchup against the Rangers, who have a 3.6 implied run total. Texas’s active roster has struck out 23.1% of the time and has an 83 wRC+ and .290 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season.
Corey Kluber ($9,000 DraftKings/$7,700 FanDuel) is one of the bigger question marks on the slate. He is relatively inexpensive, especially on FanDuel, for his 26.1% strikeout rate this season. He also has an inflated 4.30 xFIP and has walked 10.9% of hitters. Kluber has not been as dominant as he was at his peak, as he has struggled with injuries this season. The upside is still there, but he is a risky option based on his overall performance and the fact that he could be somewhat limited. He has a relatively good matchup against the Indians, who have an 89 wRC+ and 23.9% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season.
Luis Patino ($8,400 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) has struggled so far in his rookie season, but he is one of the most highly regarded pitching prospects in baseball. He has excellent stuff and a favorable matchup against the Tigers at Tropicana Field. Patino has struck out 22% of hitters this season and has a 5.29 xFIP and 1.52 home runs per nine innings. Detroit’s active roster has just a 91 wRC+ and a 25.8% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season, however, so it is likely that Patino will reach his upside in this matchup. Many of the same arguments can be made in favor of Josiah Gray ($8,200 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) in his matchup against the Rockies, but Patino projects slightly better, so he has the edge if ownership does not matter.
Adrian Houser ($7,100 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) is not a very good strikeout pitcher, but he is a good enough real-life pitcher to consider at his DraftKings salary tonight against the Cubs. He has only struck out 17.8% of hitters this season, but he has a 4.38 xFIP and has only allowed 0.75 home runs per nine innings. The Cubs lead the league in strikeout rate since the trade deadline, so there is a bit more upside here than usual or Houser. He has also thrown at least 100 pitches in back-to-back starts and three of his last five, so he should go a bit deeper into the game than he has for most of the season.
Elieser Hernandez ($6,800 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) is one of the best value options on the slate as he takes on the Pirates in Miami. Hernandez has struck out 23.4% of hitters and has a 4.05 xFIP this season. He has not thrown more than 5.1 innings in any of his eight starts, but he threw 93 pitches against the Braves in his last start, so the potential is there for him to go six innings if he is pitching well. Pittsburgh has struck out 23.3% of the time against right-handed pitching this season and has an 82 wRC+.
Omar Narvaez ($4,400 DraftKings/$2,400 FanDuel)
Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200 DraftKings/$4,000 FanDuel)
D.J. LeMahieu ($3,900 DraftKings/$3,700 FanDuel)
Alex Bregman ($4,400 DraftKings/$4,000 FanDuel)
Corey Seager ($4,200 DraftKings/$3,600 FanDuel)
Luis Robert ($4,700 DraftKings/$4,000 FanDuel)
George Springer ($4,900 DraftKings/$3,900 FanDuel)
Eloy Jimenez ($4,100 DraftKings/$3,400 FanDuel)
Note: Be sure to check out the Top Stacks Tool to compare a team’s chances of success to their aggregate ownership.
- Boston Red Sox
- Chicago White Sox
- Toronto Blue Jays
Top Under-owned Stacks: Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays
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