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. 21
Brandon Woodruff’s ($10,400 DraftKings/$10,200 FanDuel) 29.6% strikeout rate and 3.05 xFIP this season lead the slate. He projects as the top pitching option and is reasonably priced all things considered. He has a relatively difficult strikeout matchup against the Cardinals, who have struck out just 22.2% of the time against right-handed pitching this season, but St. Louis also has a below-average 93 wRC+ and .305 wOBA.
Alek Manoah ($9,500 DraftKings/$9,600 FanDuel) has a dangerous matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, but it is also a matchup with plenty of upside. Manoah has struck out 26.6% of hitters in his rookie season, and the Rays active roster has struck out 24% of the time against right-handed pitching. Manoah also gets a favorable park shift pitching in Tropicana Field. The downside for Manoah is that Tampa Bay’s active roster also has a 113 wRC+, .328 wOBA and .203 ISO against right-handed pitching.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,600 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel) has had a disappointing season on the surface, but the underlying numbers tell a different story. While he has a 5.00 ERA, his xFIP is just 3.49. He has suffered from an elevated .358 BABIP and has only stranded 67.1% of baserunners. For his career, he has a .309 BABIP and 73.8% left-on-base rate, so both of those numbers are likely to regress to the mean sooner than later. He has struck out 27.1% of hitters this season and has a middle of the road matchup against the Mets. There is some risk here, as New York has a respectable 4.3 implied run total, but there is some risk associated with most pitchers on tonight’s slate.
Jordan Montgomery ($8,300 DraftKings/$8,800 FanDuel) is likely to be the most popular SP2 option on DraftKings tonight as he takes on the Rangers. Texas has just a 3.2 implied run total, and Montgomery and the Yankees are -260 favorites. Montgomery is having a solid season, striking out 24.8% of hitters and posting a 3.91 xFIP. The Rangers active roster has a 79 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season, which is the worst in baseball, and their 81 wRC+ overall is tied with Miami and Pittsburgh for the worst mark as well. The only potential negative for Montgomery is that the Rangers active roster strikes out at a below-average rate but, but given everything else working in his favor, that is not much of a concern.
Griffin Jax ($6,400 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel) does not deserve much consideration on FanDuel, but he is worth a look on the two-pitcher sites, and there are not any particularly appealing pay-down options tonight. Jax has been objectively terrible since being promoted to the Twins, producing a 5.67 xFIP, allowing 2.24 home runs per nine innings and striking out 17.4% in 11 starts. He is facing a Cubs team that leads the league in strikeout rate since the trade deadline. The Cubs have been close to average in term of production over that time, but there will be strong winds blowing in at Wrigley Field, which could help mitigate some of their power.
Alec Mills ($6,200 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) will be opposing Jax, and he is a DraftKings-specific SP2 option. Mills has only struck out 17.3% of hitters in his 17 starts this season, but he has as respectable 4.05 xFIP and has only allowed 1.04 home runs per nine innings. Minnesota has plenty of power in their lineup, but the wind is expected to be blowing in, which should knock down some of their fly balls. One big concern for Mills is that he has struggled against left-handed hitters this season, with a 16.8% strikeout rate, .366 xwOBA and .173 xISO. By comparison, he has held righties to a .286 xwOBA and .110 xISO and has a 17.4% strikeout rate. Do not hesitate to load up on Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler in particular in lineups that do not feature Mills.
J.T. Realmuto ($4,100 DraftKings/$3,300 FanDuel) gets a favorable matchup against Connor Greene and the Orioles’ abysmal bullpen. Realmuto is affordable for a catcher that hits as well as he does. In 924 plate appearances against right-handed pitching since the start of the 2019 season, Realmuto has a .335 wOBA and .198 ISO.
Anthony Rizzo ($3,700 DraftKings/$3,600 FanDuel) has plenty of competition at first base tonight, but he offers savings that will allow for paying up elsewhere. He is facing Dane Dunning, who has been decent this season, with a .329 xwOBA and .165 xISO allowed to left-handed hitters. Still, Rizzo has a .360 wOBA and .223 ISO in 1,012 plate appearances against right-handed pitching over the last three seasons, and he gets to hit in front of the short porch in Yankee Stadium.
Trea Turner ($5,900 DraftKings/$4,300 FanDuel) is the clear top option at second base as he faces Antonio Senzatela in Coors Field. While Senzatela is not a bad pitcher from a run-prevention standpoint, allowing just a 4.03 xFIP and .306 wOBA at home this season, he does not miss many bats. Part of the appeal of rostering hitters in Coors Field is that the massive outfield allows singles to become doubles and doubles to become triples. Turner’s speed makes him a prime candidate to take advantage.
Alex Bregman ($4,200 DraftKings/$3,900 FanDuel) is extremely inexpensive in a favorable matchup against Packy Naughton. In his limited time since being promoted to the Angels, Naughton has only struck out 13.2% of right-handed hitters while allowing a .360 xwOBA and .161 xISO. Bregman has a .381 xwOBA and .205 xISO in 372 plate appearances against left-handed pitching since the start of the 2019 season.
Corey Seager ($4,600 DraftKings/$4,000 FanDuel) is mispriced for a game in Coors Field. Senzatela is not a particularly bad pitcher, but Seager projects as the clear top shortstop option given his relatively inexpensive price tag and spot in the middle of a lineup that has a 6.6 implied run total. Seager has a .376 xwOBA and .230 xISO in 754 plate appearances against right-handed pitching over the last three seasons.
Mookie Betts ($6,400 DraftKings/$4,100 FanDuel) could be relatively difficult to pay for since there is so much value available in the outfield, but he is one of the highest-upside options on the slate. He has a .395 xwOBA and .236 xISO against right-handed pitching since 2019 and is another hitter on Los Angeles who can use his speed to take advantage of balls that he hits into the gaps at Coors.
Jorge Soler ($3,800 DraftKings/$3,200 FanDuel) has a middle -of-the-road matchup against Luke Weaver. Weaver has struck out 25.2% of right-handed hitters this season, but he has also allowed a .193 xISO. The roof is going to be open at Chase Field tonight, which means that Soler and the Braves will get to hit in 95-degree weather and the ball should carry more than usual. While Soler has an elevated 26.5% strikeout rate in 1,051 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers over the last three seasons, he also has a .346 wOBA and .246 ISO.
Eddie Rosario ($2,900 DraftKings/$2,800 FanDuel) will have the platoon advantage against Weaver, who has only struck out 16.7% of lefties compared to 25.2% of righties this season. Since the start of last season, Weaver has only struck out 19.9% of lefties compared to 24.7% of righties. Left-handed hitters have a .343 xwOBA and .196 xISO over that time. Rosario only has 245 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers this season, but he has a .324 xwOBA and .191 xISO, which is plenty for a hitter at his price point.
Note: Be sure to check out the Top Stacks Tool to compare a team’s chances of success to their aggregate ownership.
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Atlanta Braves
- Houston Astros
Top Under-owned Stacks: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays
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