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The Deep Dive: MLB DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | Monday, 9/20

Adam Scherer



Blue Jay pitcher Robbie Ray was heavily trolled for throwing a dud against the Yankees on Thursday, and his pants were the butt of many of the jokes

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. 20

Top Pitchers

Robbie Ray ($10,200 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) has a dangerous matchup against the Rays, but there is always significant upside in rostering Ray. He has struck out 33.1% of hitters this season and has an excellent 3.15 xFIP. He has allowed 1.42 home runs per nine innings, but that was in part because he spent most of the season pitching his home games in extremely favorable parks for hitters. Tonight’s game is in Tampa Bay, which should help to mitigate power numbers. Tampa Bay’s active roster has a 110 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season but has also struck out 24.2% of the time. Ray is currently projected to be the highest-owned pitcher on DraftKings and the third-highest pitcher on FanDuel. Tampa Bay’s upside makes them an interesting tournament stack given Ray’s ownership, but Ray is also the highest-projected pitcher on the slate.

Framber Valdez ($9,500 DraftKings/$9,300 FanDuel) is a better real-life pitcher than DFS pitcher, as his 22% strikeout rate doesn’t translate into elite upside. He has a favorable matchup against the Angels, however. The Angels’ 80 wRC+ since the trade deadline is the worst in baseball over that time, and they have a 25.7% strikeout rate. While his strikeout numbers aren’t great, Valdez is good at preventing runs. He has a 3.58 xFIP this season, and his 69.2% ground-ball rate leads the slate by a wide margin.

Freddy Peralta ($9,200 DraftKings/$8,900 FanDuel) has the highest strikeout rate on the slate at 33.7%, yet he is only the third-most expensive pitcher on DraftKings and the fifth-most expensive pitcher on FanDuel. Tonight’s start against the Cardinals will be his fourth since returning from injury. He has thrown 53, 81 and 71 pitches in those starts, lasting two, 3.2 and six innings, respectively. While he only threw 71 pitches his last time out, the fact that he pitched six innings and had previously thrown 81 pitches shows that he can throw more pitches tonight if he needs to. There is some risk since the Brewers’ plans for him are unclear, but his reduced salary alleviates some of those concerns.

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Huascar Ynoa ($9,100 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) is another good strikeout pitcher in a favorable matchup. He has struck out 28.1% of hitters this season and has a 3.27 xFIP. He is facing the Diamondbacks tonight in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks active roster has an 85 wRC+ and 24.2% strikeout rate since the trade deadline, and the active roster has a 79 wRC+ and 24.8% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers.

Sean Manaea ($8,900 DraftKings/$9,600 FanDuel) takes on the Mariners tonight in Oakland. Manaea has a 26.1% strikeout rate and 3.54 xFIP this season. Seattle’s active roster has a 93 wRC+ and 25.1% strikeout rate in 2021. Against left-handed pitchers, they have struck out 25.1% of the time and have a 91 wRC+. One potential negative for Manaea is that the Mariners’ projected lineup has six right-handed hitters. While he has held righties to a respectable .323 xwOBA, Manaea has only struck out 23.7% of righties compared to 34% of lefties.

Nestor Cortes ($8,600 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel) is coming off a dominant start against the Orioles his last time out, as he struck out 11 hitters in 6.1 innings pitched. He has now made 11 starts this season and has a 24.6% strikeout rate in those starts. He has an inflated 4.56 xFIP, but he has held hitters to a .277 xwOBA in his starts. Cortes has an excellent matchup against the Rangers, who have a league-worst 78 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season. They have only struck out 21.2% of the time, but it is still an overall favorable matchup for Cortes.

Ranger Suarez ($6,500 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) stands out as the clear SP2 value option on DraftKings as he takes on the Orioles. Suarez has made a total of nine starts this season, striking out 24.4% of hitters and posting a 3.68 xFIP in those starts. The Orioles have right-handed power in their lineup, and this is a dangerous park to pitch in, but Suarez’s inexpensive price tag helps to offset those concerns.

Top Hitters

J.T. Realmuto ($4,400 DraftKings/$3,300 FanDuel)

Anthony Rizzo ($3,800 DraftKings/$3,700 FanDuel)

Ozzie Albies ($4,800 DraftKings/$3,900 FanDuel)

Alex Bregman ($4,200 DraftKings/$4,000 FanDuel)

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Carlos Correa ($4,400 DraftKings/$3,500 FanDuel)

Austin Riley ($4,300 DraftKings/$3,400 FanDuel)

Kyle Tucker ($4,400 DraftKings/$3,700 FanDuel)

Eddie Rosario ($2,500 DraftKings/$2,600 FanDuel)

Giancarlo Stanton ($4,300 DraftKings/$3,900 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.

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. Houston Astros
  3. New York Yankees

Top Under-owned Stacks: Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics

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Looking for more MLB DFS picks content? We have loads of daily fantasy baseball articles, data, DraftKings and FanDuel cheat sheets and more on the Awesemo MLB DFS home page.

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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