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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Friday, Sept. 3

Eric MacPherson



MLB DFS Picks, top stacks and pitchers for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups, including the Astros | Saturday, 9/18

Friday, Sept. 3, has a fantastic 14-game main slate with intriguing pitching options and a game at Coors Field. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Friday, Sept. 3

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Baltimore Orioles at LHP Nestor Cortes Jr. — 3.5 implied runs

There are a lot of options at pitcher tonight that are going to take a chunk of salary cap, and some of the top stacks carrying appropriate salaries. Baltimore is uniquely positioned on Yahoo to provide some excellent hitters at a discount against a suspect pitcher. Nestor Cortes Jr. has excellent traditional numbers this season, with a 2.77 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. However, he walks far too many hitters and allows a .210 ISO over his last 250 batters. This has resulted in home runs in each of his last five outings, and at some point the crooked numbers will follow.

The Orioles carry an unfair reputation, as they are league average against righties and in the top 10 against lefties. Trey Mancini ($9) is the primary target, as he has a .365 wOBA and .250 ISO in his last 182 righty/lefty matchups. Austin Hays ($12) is right behind, and while he does not walk often, he also does not strike out a lot either. He also has a .349 wOBA and .228 ISO over his last 185 opposite-handed matchups. The third Oriole to target is Ramon Urias ($12), who continues to get better every week. Finally, depending on his spot in the lineup, catcher Pedro Severino ($10) has some appeal as a cheap power bat.

Evening Slate

Kansas City Royals vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel — 4.4 implied runs

The Royals will be facing enigmatic southpaw Dallas Keuchel at home tonight. Though Keuchel has ceded just three home runs over his last 23 innings, he has allowed 1.51 home runs per nine innings on the season, including three starts with three allowed. Catcher Salvador Perez continues to crush lefties, with a .403 wOBA and .349 ISO in his last 181 opportunities. Whit Merrifield had 11 stolen bases in August and is battling Starling Marte for the league lead. Merrifield will likely look to run down the stretch. Carlos Santana and Michael A. Taylor can round out full stacks. Adalberto Mondesi is back after missing just over 10 weeks, but it is hard to trust him since the Royals are treating him carefully. The salary algorithms are not giving any discount for his services on DraftKings and Yahoo, and combined with the likelihood of him batting sixth or seventh tonight, gamers need to temper their expectations.

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Late Slate

Houston Astros at RHP Jake Arrieta — 4.9 implied runs

Though they will be without the designated hitter this series, the Astros are a top target in Friday’s tournaments. There are unmitigated disasters, and then there is Jake Arrieta. On the season he has a 7.13 ERA while allowing 2.2 home runs per nine innings. The Cubs released Arrieta in mid-August, and it is likely that the Padres will soon send him packing as well.

Yordan Alvarez has played 28 games in left field this season, so there is a decent chance that the Astros will work him into their starting nine a few times this series. Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley though their salaries vary greatly by DFS site. Yuli Gurriel is fourth in the race for the batting title, and he should have plenty of RBI opportunities tonight. Alex Bregman may be towards the bottom of the order as he shakes off the rust from his injury layoff, and that makes him an intriguing option to pair with Kyle Tucker, who is back from the COVID-19 list. Feel free to mix and match the Houston hitters in all formats on Friday.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Shohei Ohtani vs. Texas Rangers — 3.3 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $10,800 | DraftKings $8,700

Over his last seven starts, Shohei Ohtani has allowed only 11 runs, a 2.20 ERA and an 0.795 WHIP and struck out 44. Texas is a bottom-five offense against right-handed pitchers, scoring runs 18% less efficiently than league average. The DraftKings salary is a steal, while those on Yahoo and FanDuel are appropriate for this matchup. The only concern would be that the Angels could be conservative with Ohtani, and the slightest twinge could have him relieved of his pitching duties. That said, he has six quality starts in his last seven outings, which should alleviate those fears somewhat.

Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Kyle Gibson at Miami Marlins — 3.5 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $37 | FanDuel $9,400 | DraftKings $8,100

Not only does Kyle Gibson have the benefit of facing Miami, but he also gets to do so in Marlins Park, which is a major pitching upgrade over Citizens Bank Park. This has been a career year for Gibson, with a 2.94 ERA that ranks 11th in the league and a personal-best 1.18 WHIP. The Marlins strike out 25.2% of the time against right-handed pitching, which is the third-worst mark in the league and a boost for Gibson as that is the one category that keeps him from being considered an ace.

Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Glenn Otto at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — 4.7 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $6,700 | DraftKings $5,000

This is a speculative play that is best reserved for large-field tournaments on Yahoo and DraftKings, but rolling with rookie Glenn Otto provides a great deal of salary cap flexibility. In his MLB debut Otto held the Astros scoreless across five innings allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts. The Angels are a league-average offense against righties, though most of their production is concentrated with Ohtani and Jared Walsh. Otto was acquired by the Rangers as part of the Joey Gallo deal, and he has future promise as a regular rotation contributor. Enjoy the discount and load up on big bats in Otto lineups.

Final Thoughts for the Friday, Sept. 3 MLB DFS Picks Slate

There is a hint of precipitation in Kansas City and Denver, so keep track of those forecasts leading up to lock. This will be our final Friday slate before the NFL season, and there are some solid tournament prize pools available across the DFS sites.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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