Tuesday, Sept. 21, brings split-slate action, with a four-game early set heading into an 11-game main slate. 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, Tuesday, Sept. 21
Yahoo Stack of the Day: New York Yankees vs. RHPs Dane Dunning and Glenn Otto — 4.8 implied runs
Texas is slated to roll out a pair of underwhelming youngsters against the loaded Yankees lineup. Things will open up with Dane Dunning, who is ramping back up after missing time on the COVID list. Glenn Otto will be following him, and while he has allowed just one home run and struck out 19 in 16.1 innings, he also has a 9.37 ERA. Some of that is bad luck, though against a lineup like New York it really doesn’t matter.
Joey Gallo ($18) has been dealing with a sore neck, but he should be back in this lineup. Fellow trade deadline acquisition Anthony Rizzo ($13) has been marginal since landing in New York, but this is an absurd salary for the tantalizing matchup. D.J. LeMahieu ($13) is also coming at a ridiculous discount, and Aaron Judge ($20) and Giancarlo Stanton ($20) offer massive power upside. While the Yankees will be popular, there are 22 teams in action and the Dodgers are in Coors Field, so opportunities for differentiation abound.
Detroit Tigers vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel — 4.3 implied runs
The early slate begins at 1:10 p.m. ET with Detroit hosting the White Sox, then there is a break until the 6 o’clock hour, which brings the other three games. Weather could be an issue in Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati, but the fourth game is safe in Miami. Of the Midwest games, the first one looks like it has the best chance of getting in, with a reasonable one- or two-hour window before the first chance of precipitation arrives.
Dallas Keuchel has been struggling over the last month, allowing five or more runs in four of his five appearances. In this stretch he has managed only 20.2 innings, and though he has ceded only two home runs, he has allowed 25 runs, 23 earned.
Jonathan Schoop has struggled over the last month, but he profiles well against Keuchel and should be a primary target. Switch-hitters Victor Reyes, Robbie Grossman, Niko Goodrum and Jeimer Candelario provide flexibility, and all are average to above average depending on what side of the plate they are swinging from. Eric Haase continues to flash power, and he also knocks out the catcher requirement on Yahoo and DraftKings.
Houston Astros at LHP Packy Naughton — 5.6 implied runs
After four seasons in the minors, Packy Naughton profiles as a marginal reliever at best, and today he gets the unfortunate task of taking on the lefty-killing Astros. Houston is outpacing the average team in the league by 21% when it comes to run creation. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker have had the most success, and gamers inherently shy away from lefty/lefty matchups. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa are the righty trio to target, and Yuli Gurriel has been phenomenal with the platoon advantage and is also second in MLB with a .317 batting average.
The bottom of the order will bring some differentiation options, with Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers and Jose Siri manning two of the three outfield slots. Martin Maldonado is also in play on sites that require a catcher. The Astros work on all slates and are an intriguing pivot away from the popular Dodgers.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: LHP Jordan Montgomery vs. Texas Rangers — 3.3 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $8,800 | DraftKings $8,300
The Rangers make this section for a second straight day against a Yankee lefty. Yesterday they hung tough against Nestor Cortes but still suffered seven strikeouts. Texas is a bottom-of-the-barrel squad against southpaws from a runs and power perspective. Jordan Montgomery racks up the strikeouts, with 23 in his last 13.2 innings. This is a favorable salary for the matchup, and Montgomery is a core pitching option for all formats on Tuesday.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Brandon Woodruff vs. St. Louis Cardinals — 3.1 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $10,200 | DraftKings $10,400
Brandon Woodruff ‘s 2.55 ERA and 0.96 WHIP are both in the top five among qualified starters. Even better for fantasy purposes, he has a top-10 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings. St. Louis creates runs 10% less efficiently than league average against righties, making this a plus matchup. The only hesitation keeping Woodruff from being the top pitcher of the day is that Milwaukee has clinched their playoff spot and can do little to catch the Giants or Dodgers for the best record in the National League. Woodruff has been getting a little extra rest between starts, and he has generally been held to just six innings and 90 to 100 pitches, as the Brewers want him fresh and healthy for the postseason.
Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Alec Mills vs. Minnesota Twins — 4.2 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $31 | FanDuel $7,200 | DraftKings $6,200
Alec Mills is a perfectly fine fourth or fifth starter, and most teams would be happy to have him as a part of their rotation. However, strikeouts are king in MLB DFS, and Mills does not get too many, as evidenced by his 17.6% strikeout rate over the last two seasons. Additionally, he is susceptible to left-handed power, though since the Twins will be losing the designated hitter in this matchup, it is likely only Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler will be the above-average power bats in the lineup. There is one major thing playing in the favor of Mills today, and that is a stiff 20 mph wind coming in from left field. While the recent renovations in and around Wrigley Field over the last few years have changed the impact of wind, the forecast is strong enough to indicate it will be a factor today. That and the reasonable salary have Mills in play on the two-pitcher sites.
Final Thoughts for the Tuesday, Sept. 21 MLB DFS Picks Slate
Once again, keep an eye on the weather in the Midwest, with Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit all seeing potential precipitation for the early slate. At this time the main slate does not have any weather concerns. There are some high-powered offenses in great matchups today, and the Dodgers will be in the thin Denver air, making this a fun tournament environment.
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