Wednesday, Sept. 29, has a 13-game main slate with playoff intrigue and some interesting pitching matchups. 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, Wednesday, Sept. 29
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Texas Rangers vs. RHP Janson Junk — 4.7 implied runs
The Rangers have not made many appearances in this article series on the season. Tonight they have a matchup with Janson Junk, who has been plagued by home run issues. In three starts he has allowed nine runs (five earned), which is why he has a 3.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. However, he has allowed five home runs in just 12.1 innings and has only five strikeouts. Junk is not even a top-25 prospect in the Angels’ system, and he projects as a fringe reliever at best.
Adolis Garcia ($13), Nate Lowe ($17) and D.J. Peters ($15) all have power against right-handed pitching and should be the first targets. There is no need to go completely crazy with a full stack, but they are cheap, and with Nick Solak ($8) and Willie Calhoun ($12) in the mix, there is an adjacent group with tremendous salary cap flexibility as a complementary stack.
Boston Red Sox at LHP Zac Lowther — 5.9 implied runs
The Red Sox are in the midst of the Wild Card race, and all of their regulars should be in the lineup. Zac Lowther shut out Texas in his last start for five innings, earning his first career win. That now gives him a 6.06 ERA in four September starts and 1.65 home runs per nine innings.
Once again, lefty mashers Enrique Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe are going to be in play at the top of the order. Core options will be J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, even in the lefty/lefty matchup. Bobby Dalbec has been flashing immense power upside; he is a threat to go deep at any point in the game and has punished pitchers of either handedness. Kyle Schwarber is also a nice differentiation option. Baltimore only has one southpaw reliever, and the rest of the beleaguered bullpen is righties. Last night Schwarber knocked one out of the park against a left-handed starter, and that could very well happen again tonight.
San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Merrill Kelly — 5.3 implied runs
In his two September starts since spending a month on the COVID-19 list, Merrill Kelly has an 8.44 ERA across 10.2 innings of work. San Francisco is going down to the wire with a two-game lead over the Dodgers for the National League West. Both teams are in the playoffs, but whichever wins the division avoids the one-game Wild Card round. The point on this is that every run counts, and last night Arizona effectively used its two lefty relievers to entice the Giants to pinch-hit LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mike Yastrzemski. Both are reasonable options in lefty/lefty matchups, but at that point the game was tied at 1-1. Ultimately, the Giants broke the game open with four runs in the sixth and held on for a 6-4 victory.
Wade and Yastrzemski are both in play again tonight but are better suited for the late slate. Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Kris Bryant are the trio to target first, and then the lefties and Evan Longoria can form the full stack.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Max Scherzer vs. San Diego Padres — 2.8 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $60 | FanDuel $11,500 | DraftKings $10,400
This will likely be Max Scherzer’s last start before the postseason. Though Scherzer allowed five runs in his last start, that was in Coors Field, so he gets a mulligan. Prior to that in his nine starts for Los Angeles Scherzer had allowed five earned runs in 58 innings, with a 0.78 ERA, 1.35 FIP and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Nathan Eovaldi at Baltimore Orioles — 3.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $9,300 | DraftKings $9,000
Boston is half a game ahead of Seattle and only one ahead of Toronto for the second Wild Card berth. They are two games behind the Yankees, so this is a must-win situation. It will be a cool evening in Camden Yards, with temperatures in the mid-60s and a slight breeze in from left field. The Yankees tagged Eovaldi for seven runs in 2.2 innings in his last start. Prior to that he had an eight-game stretch with a 2.27 ERA, 2.61 FIP and 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings. Eovaldi should be closer to that production tonight against the Orioles, who are in the bottom third of the league for run creation against right-handed pitchers.
Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Frankie Montas at Seattle Mariners — 3.7 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $8,400 | DraftKings $8,400
Oakland is mathematically alive for the playoffs, but by the slimmest of margins. It likely would be in the Wild Card mix with Boston if it had handled its business against the Mariners. The Athletics have lost their last 11 games against Seattle, including seven by two or fewer runs. The Mariners are an average team at best against right-handed pitchers, and this is a good matchup for Frankie Montas. In five September starts Montas has been outstanding, with a 2.61 ERA, just over a strikeout per inning and four home runs allowed. Play the percentages tonight and roll with Montas.
An alternative option would be Alex Wood against Arizona. However, his pitch count is a concern, as he is likely to be in the 80-pitch range in his third start back from the COVID-19 list. Last night the Cardinals won their 17th straight game and clinched a playoff berth. Typically, lineups are filled with reserves the game after a team punches its playoff ticket, but the Cardinals may elect to go with their usual lineup. In the event they put out their understudies, Adrian Houser becomes an option as a second pitcher on Yahoo and DraftKings.
Final Thoughts for the Wednesday, Sept. 29 MLB DFS Picks Slate
The American League has a crazy Wild Card race, with five teams still alive. In the National League things are even weirder, as the teams with the two best records in the league are battling to see who gets stuck being the Wild Card.
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