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MLB DFS Picks: Justin Verlander & Spotlight Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball Lineups, September 12 (FREE)

Josh Engleman

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Free MLB DFS picks today from Awesemo fantasy baseball projections and rankings, and the best lineups & value targets for DraftKings & FanDuel 5/21.

MLB Picks: Thursday, September 12th dueling seven game split slates on Yahoo, DraftKings, FanDuel and FantasyDraft. Before you lock in your baseball DFS lineups and MLB DFS picks, make sure to check out check out Awesemo’s DFS baseball MLB rankings and projections. Not a member? Sign up HERE and use Promo Code: MLBSTACKS for 50% off any one month subscription. 

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I wanted to put a different spin on Spotlight Pitchers, so I’m giving everyone a peek behind the curtain on how I look at them. Below you’ll find three tables, one each for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo, with the pitcher pool for today’s slate. In the table, you’ll find the pitcher’s name, salary, my projection and my percentage likelihood that they hit a particular target score.

This is the information that helps me make my decisions for which pitchers to roster. In addition to using my projected stat line for a pitcher, I can estimate their chances of scoring 45+ FD points or 30+ DK points. These targets ignore the points acquired for getting the win, as I use the Vegas odds to set those scores for my pitchers.

Since I am a strict MME player in baseball, these are the thresholds I’ve determined I want on a day-to-day basis to try and win a tournament. Because of the difference in roster construction between the sites, I end up with a concentrated pool on FanDuel and a more spread out pool on DraftKings.

FanDuel MLB

NameFD$FDFD%
Walker Buehler$1020039.213.7%
James Paxton$980034.29.0%
Jose Berrios$960035.711.0%
Dallas Keuchel$900028.43.7%
Tyler Glasnow$880027.53.1%
Anthony Desclafani$840030.44.2%
Mike Fiers$830027.91.6%
Dakota Hudson$790025.40.9%
Marcus Stroman$780030.53.4%
Eric Lauer$770024.11.9%
Austin Voth$760023.70.9%
Vince Velasquez$760030.23.5%
Zach Plesac$740023.11.4%
Jose Urquidy$700026.61.5%
Justus Sheffield$690021.40.6%
Pablo Lopez$680026.03.9%
Alec Mills$680021.90.6%
Johnny Cueto$670022.91.2%
Nathan Eovaldi$650025.01.9%
T.J. Zeuch$630015.90.2%
Asher Wojciechowski$600019.00.9%
Steven Brault$590025.41.1%
Zach Davies$570018.61.0%
Taylor Clarke$560018.40.3%
Antonio Senzatela$560018.80.4%
Patrick Sandoval$550015.70.2%
Joseph Palumbo$550011.60.1%
Eric Skoglund$550015.30.3%

DraftKings MLB

NameDK$DKDK%
Walker Buehler$1170021.812.4%
James Paxton$1120018.38.4%
Jose Berrios$1080019.19.9%
Marcus Stroman$1030016.23.2%
Anthony Desclafani$990016.54.1%
Dallas Keuchel$960015.43.4%
Johnny Cueto$930012.01.2%
Austin Voth$900012.00.9%
Justus Sheffield$870010.50.6%
Zach Plesac$850011.41.4%
Dakota Hudson$810012.60.9%
Mike Fiers$790014.61.6%
Jose Urquidy$750014.01.4%
Eric Lauer$720012.51.9%
Tyler Glasnow$690014.83.1%
Alec Mills$690011.00.7%
Patrick Sandoval$67007.40.2%
Pablo Lopez$650014.03.7%
Vince Velasquez$620016.03.3%
T.J. Zeuch$59007.50.2%
Eric Skoglund$56007.10.3%
Antonio Senzatela$54008.60.4%
Joseph Palumbo$54005.50.1%
Asher Wojciechowski$52008.80.9%
Zach Davies$47008.81.0%
Taylor Clarke$45009.30.4%
Steven Brault$430012.81.1%
Nathan Eovaldi$410013.11.9%

Yahoo MLB

NameY$YY%
Walker Buehler$5423.311.4%
James Paxton$4520.09.0%
Mike Fiers$4216.31.7%
Jose Berrios$4221.29.0%
Tyler Glasnow$3915.84.5%
Vince Velasquez$3817.43.8%
Anthony Desclafani$3718.24.3%
Taylor Clarke$3510.40.6%
Dallas Keuchel$3417.63.3%
Pablo Lopez$3416.14.0%
Marcus Stroman$3317.93.2%
Zach Plesac$3313.21.5%
Nathan Eovaldi$3314.52.6%
Eric Lauer$3214.52.1%
Steven Brault$3214.31.3%
Johnny Cueto$3213.61.5%
Dakota Hudson$3214.21.0%
Alec Mills$3112.60.8%
Austin Voth$3113.71.0%
Jose Urquidy$2815.81.7%
Asher Wojciechowski$2610.41.1%
Justus Sheffield$2612.00.8%
Antonio Senzatela$2610.40.5%
Patrick Sandoval$258.60.3%
T.J. Zeuch$259.00.3%
Joseph Palumbo$256.30.2%
Eric Skoglund$258.60.4%
Zach Davies$2510.51.2%

Justin Verlander

On a smaller slate, raw points carry a bit more weight. Verlander is the clear top projected starter tonight. It’s not really a great matchup. The A’s rank 20th in the league in strikeout rate against righties. They’re been a top-10 offense in both wRC+ and ISO. It’s very much not a great spot for Verlander…

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But he’s still my top pitcher for the slate. Verlander has struck out a preposterous 38% of lefties this year. While his rate against righties is bit more tame (32%), it’s still lethal. He has the ability to mow people down in a way that is unrivaled on this slate. On a night without a Coors game, paying up for Verlander feels like the correct move.

Tyler Mahle

This is not going to end well, but I see it as a necessity. There aren’t a ton of interesting options to pay down for tonight, so Mahle sort of wins by default. The good news for Mahle is that the Mariners are an excellent strikeout matchup and a below average offense against righties. The park is a significant upgrade to pitching at home in Cincinnati. The bad news relates to Mahle’s struggles with lefties. In 2019, Mahle has allowed a .217 xISO to lefties compared to a .125 xISO to righties. It’s a tale of two pitchers. The Mariners have been leaning significantly more to the left over the past few months, so there is a path to disaster. I’m willing to bet on the strikeout upside at bargain price tag.

Other Options

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that I end up with uncomfortable amounts of Drew Smyly and Dylan Bundy. They are both scary pitchers in bad matchups, but there really aren’t any other choices to pay down for. Between the two, I “prefer” Bundy, but the more likely scenario is they both get bombed. Unfortunately, that’s basically it. That’s mostly a testament to how much Verlander I’ll end up having.

Josh is Contributor for Awesemo.com where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections for soccer. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Awesemo's Premium Slack. You can contact Josh by emailing [email protected].

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