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. 29
Max Scherzer ($10,400 DraftKings/$11,500 FanDuel) takes on the Padres tonight as the Dodgers look to gain ground on the Giants for the NL West title. Scherzer allowed five earned runs in Coors Field in his last start but prior to that had only allowed five earned runs total in his first nine starts with the Dodgers. Including his time with Washington, Scherzer has struck out 34.8% of hitters this season and has a 3.18 xFIP. The Padres have some dangerous hitters in their lineup, but their 2.9 implied run total is the lowest on the slate.
Carlos Rodon ($10,200 DraftKings/$10,300 FanDuel) has been excellent this season and has a favorable matchup against the Reds. Rodon’s 35.1% strikeout rate leads the slate, and he has a 3.03 xFIP. Normally he would be one of the top pitching options in this situation. There is significant risk at his price tag tonight, however, because he missed his last start with arm soreness, and the White Sox have nothing to play for. It would be surprising if he has a long leash tonight since the game does not matter, and the only real goal for Chicago is for Rodon to finish the game healthy and ready to go for the postseason. An argument can be made for Rodon in GPPs if his ownership is low since there is some chance that he will be allowed to throw around 90 pitches, but look elsewhere if he is relatively popular.
Gerrit Cole ($10,100 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) is in a similar spot tonight as he was in his last start against the Red Sox. On one hand, Cole is an elite pitcher with a 33.9% strikeout rate and 2.88 xFIP this season. He is capable of producing a dominant start against anyone. On the other hand, the Blue Jays are one of the worst matchups that a pitcher can have in DFS because, in addition to having power from top to bottom in their lineup, they are one of the most difficult teams in the league to strike out. Their 19.9% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season is the lowest in baseball, and they combine that with a 113 wRC+ that is the third best and a .198 ISO that ranks fifth. Cole is an extremely risky option, but assuming most ownership at this price point gravitates to Scherzer, he is tempting in GPPs because a difficult matchup does not lower his ceiling — it makes it less likely that he will reach it, but that decrease in chances of success can be mitigated by reduced ownership.
Aaron Nola ($9,500 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel) has a difficult matchup against the Braves in Atlanta. Like Cole, Nola’s projected ownership will play a significant factor. Nola is a good pitcher, though not on the same level as guys like Cole and Scherzer, with a 30.3% strikeout rate and 3.30 xFIP this season. He has a dangerous matchup against the Braves, who are third in baseball with a .202 ISO since boosting their lineup at the trade deadline. He does not totally inspire confidence, but Nola is talented enough to consider in tournaments if he is not expected to be popular.
Frankie Montas ($9,400 DraftKings/$9,900 FanDuel) has a favorable matchup against the Mariners. Seattle’s active roster has a 93 wRC+ and 24.8% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season, though it is worth mentioning that since the trade deadline their active roster has only struck out 22.2% of the time and has a 99 wRC+. However, Montas enters tonight’s game with a 26.6% strikeout rate and 3.68 xFIP. The Mariners projected lineup has six left-handed (or switch) hitters, and Montas has struck out 29.2% of left-handed hitters this season thanks to an increase in splitter usage, from 18.9% last season to 30.9% this year.
Nathan Eovaldi ($8,400 DraftKings/$8,800 FanDuel) will probably be one of the more popular pitchers on tonight’s slate. He has not been priced lower than $9,200 on DraftKings in any of his last five starts, but they lowered his price tonight in time for a favorable matchup against the Orioles. Eovaldi has struck out 25.4% of hitters this season and has a 3.50 xFIP, plus he is pitching in a must-win game, which makes it likely that he will be allowed to work deep into the game if he is pitching well. Baltimore’s active roster has a 91 wRC+ and 25.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season.
Taijuan Walker ($6,600 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel) has been a volatile pitcher with a high ceiling and a low floor this year. He is inexpensive with an excellent matchup against the Marlins. Walker has struggled in the second half of the season, striking out 18.5% of hitters and posting a 5.37 xFIP compared to a 25% strikeout rate and 3.93 xFIP in the first half. Still, the Marlins active roster has struck out 25.5% of the time and has an 80 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. At Walker’s price in an elite matchup, there is not much risk in rostering him.
Max Stassi ($2,800 DraftKings/$2,100 FanDuel)
Bobby Dalbec ($3,400 DraftKings/$3,000 FanDuel)
Jorge Polanco ($5,200 DraftKings/$3,500 FanDuel)
Josh Donaldson ($4,500 DraftKings/$3,200 FanDuel)
Amed Rosario ($4,200 DraftKings/$3,000 FanDuel)
Hunter Renfroe ($4,600 DraftKings/$3,600 FanDuel)
J.D. Martinez ($4,500 DraftKings/$3,900 FanDuel)
Michael Conforto ($2,900 DraftKings/$2,300 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
- Minnesota Twins
- Los Angeles Dodgers
Top Under-owned Stacks: Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants
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