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. 1
Max Scherzer ($10,900 DraftKings/$11,500 FanDuel) has a relatively difficult matchup against the Braves, but Atlanta has just a 3.1 implied run total. Scherzer has struck out 34.6% of hitters and has a 3.31 xFIP this season. He has been somewhat home run prone with 1.29 home runs per nine innings, but he has been a dominant pitcher otherwise. Atlanta’s projected lineup has five right-handed hitters, plus the pitcher’s spot, and Scherzer has struck out 37.6% of right-handed hitters this season. He has struck out lefties at a 31.8% clip. There are four legitimate aces pitching tonight, but Scherzer is one of only two that does not have legitimate pitch count concerns.
Chris Sale ($10,400 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel) has had success through his first three starts since returning from the injured list, striking out 34.4% of hitters and posting a 2.47 xFIP. He has a dangerous matchup tonight against the Rays, but the game is being played in Tropicana Field, which is beneficial for Sale. In addition to a difficult matchup against Tampa Bay, it is important to note that Sale has not gone more than 5.1 innings in any of his three starts — including one where he was pulled after five innings despite throwing only 71 pitches against Texas. Sale is certainly capable of picking up 20 to 25 DraftKings points in five innings, as he has in all three of his starts so far, but the fact that he has not thrown more than 90 pitches yet makes it difficult to trust his ceiling compared to pitchers like Scherzer.
Carlos Rodon ($10,100 DraftKings/$10,200 FanDuel) is in a similar situation to Sale. Rodon is making his second appearance since returning from the injured list. In his first start back, he had a difficult matchup against the Blue Jays. He worked five innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out three on 67 pitches. He has an excellent matchup tonight against the Pirates, but it seems likely that he will be limited to around 80 pitches. Rodon has struck out 35.1% of hitters this season, and he can pile up plenty of fantasy points in 80 pitches, but it will be difficult for him to be the best pay-up option on his own merits; he will need the fully stretched out aces to have mediocre performances in addition to pitching well himself.
Gerrit Cole ($9,900 DraftKings/$11,200 FanDuel) is the clear top option on DraftKings and one of the best options on FanDuel as well. Cole is one of the four aces who can throw 100-plus pitches tonight, and he has a favorable matchup against the Angels. He will need to navigate his way around Shohei Ohtani, but there are plenty of strikeouts in the Angels’ projected lineup. Since the start of last season, Brandon Marsh, Jo Adell, Max Stassi, Ohtani, Jack Mayfield, Justin Upton and Phil Gosselin have all struck out at least 26.9% of the time against right-handed pitching. Cole has a 34.3% strikeout rate and 2.84 xFIP this season.
Kevin Gausman ($8,700 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) has struggled recently, but his salary has decreased as a result. For the season, Gausman has struck out 28.8% of hitters and has a 7.5% walk rate and 3.47 xFIP. Over his last 10 starts, however, Gausman has struck out only 26.9% of hitters and has a 9.4% walk rate and 3.75 xFIP. He has also averaged only five innings per start, and he has thrown more than 100 pitches only once. Over his last five starts, his strikeout rate sits between 23% and 24%. Gausman’s decreasing salary keeps him in play in tournaments because it helps to offset some of the risk, and Gausman has a very high ceiling. Milwaukee only has a 3.2 implied run total against Gausman, and he is pitching in an extremely pitcher-friendly park.
Joe Ryan ($5,000 DraftKings) is likely to be my most owned SP2 on DraftKings tonight as he makes his major league debut against the Cubs. Ryan spent most of this season at Triple-A for the Rays before being acquired by the Twins. In 57 innings with the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate Ryan struck out 34.9% of hitters and had a 4.7% walk rate and 3.45 xFIP. In two starts in Minnesota’s organization he struck out 50% of hitters and had a 5.9% walk rate and 0.86 xFIP over nine innings. Ryan has worked five, four, four, seven and five innings in five appearances over the last month. If he can go about five innings tonight, he projects as the best point-per-dollar value option on DraftKings.
Kyle Higashioka ($2,900 DraftKings/$2,300 FanDuel)
Luke Voit ($3,400 DraftKings/$3,200 FanDuel)
Jorge Polanco ($4,300 DraftKings/$4,000 FanDuel)
Josh Donaldson ($4,000 DraftKings/$3,200 FanDuel)
Bo Bichette ($5,500 DraftKings/$3,900 FanDuel)
Byron Buxton ($3,400 DraftKings/$3,700 FanDuel)
Luis Robert ($4,400 DraftKings/$4,300 FanDuel)
Giancarlo Stanton ($4,800 DraftKings/$3,800 FanDuel)
Note: Be sure to check out the Top Stacks Tool to compare a team’s chances of success to their aggregate ownership.
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Oakland Athletics
- New York Yankees
Top Under-owned Stacks: Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers
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