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Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (9/17/17): MLB DFS Advice for FanDuel and DraftKings

Good morning, Rotoballers. Today is a joyous Sunday since we have a full slate of MLB and NFL daily fantasy on deck. As for the bases side, all 30 teams are taking part in the Main slate, which begins at 1:05 EDT. We've got a number of aces and second-tier pitchers on the bump and a bevvy of teams still fighting to lock up a playoff spot. With that in mind, there's much to break down and a lot of options to fill your roster with.

Before we get into player analysis, let's see if there are any interesting early Vegas lines that we can use to our benefit, particularly when we're trying to narrow down our stacks and pitching targets. The teams with the most attractive run total projections are the following: Rockies (6.9), Yankees (6.1) and Tigers (5.9). Those are pretty high totals and good places to start when stacking.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on 9/17/17. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. Let's dance.

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DFS Starting Pitchers to Consider

Corey Kluber - SP, KC vs CLE (DK - $13,400, FD - $12,000)

Kluber is likely to be the chalk today, and for good reason. Kluber was already an elite (or nearly elite) pitcher in my mind entering the season, and all he's done this year is elevate his status. That's a pretty tall task when you're already near the top. For the season, Kluber owns a 0.9 WHIP to go with a really strong 11.8 K/9. Tonight, he faces an okay Royals team that owns a collective .320 wOBA against righties and right around a 20% K rate. Not the most perfect matchup, but pitcher's of Kluber's caliber are essentially matchup-proof. The only time pitchers of this caliber are to be avoided, particularly in cash games, are when the matchup is terrible and/or there are much safer options on the board. Vegas loves him tonight, as he and the Indians are already -254 on the moneyline and the Royals run projection is a minuscule 2.9. On top of that, his Statcast data is very favorable. In his last three starts, his hard hit rate allowed is just 22% and the average batted ball distance is a low 180 feet. He's viable in both cash and tournaments tonight, though I wouldn't fault you for wanting to fade him in tournaments at this price and ownership.

Justin Verlander - SP, SEA vs HOU (DK - $11,900, FD - $10,400)

Verlander is pitching some of the best baseball he's thrown this season and while the Astros may have the AL West all but officially locked up, they are still fighting to secure home field advantage and trail Cleveland for the best AL record buy just two games. Justin has managed to hit and surpass his price implied value in nine of his last 10 games - by enormous margins, mind you - and it's been weeks since he has failed to record at least seven strikeouts. He has a pretty good matchup against a Mariners team that has a projected lineup that strikes out in 23% of their at-bats against righties this year. Vegas is fairly confident in Mr. Verlander as well, as the Astros are currently -205 on the moneyline and the Mariners run projection is just 3.7. His Statcast data from his last few starts is appealing as well, the hard hit rate at 35% isn't elite, but it's fine when paired with a low fly ball rate of 38% and an average batted ball distance of just 188 feet. Verlander can be deployed in cash games but I prefer him and his upside in tournament formats.

Also Consider: Jon Gray - SP, SDP vs COL (DK - $8,500, FD - $7,500); Eduardo Rodriguez - SP, BOS @ TBR (DK - $7,900, FD - $8,000)


DFS Infielders to Consider

Rafael Lopez - C, TOR @ MIN (DK - $2,700, FD - $2,800)

Lopez is a really intriguing tournament option tonight. The lefty is a right-handed pitching hitting specialist, and he's got numbers that you should be seeking when constructing a tournament lineup - a monster ISO split (.313), a recent hard hit rate (33%) and a monstrous fly ball rate (83%). The matchup isn't ideal, so if you're looking for a more reliable option to use for cash, look to the likes of Chris Iannetta first and then Christian Vazquez.

Jose Abreu - 1B, CWS @ DET (DK - $4,500, FD - $3,800)

Abreu is hot right now and he gets to face a pitcher in Matt Boyd who's allowed over a .200 ISO over his last three starts. In addition to that, Abreu has excellent splits against southpaws. For the season, he has a massive .457 wOBA and pairs that with a strong ISO mark of .295.

Cesar Hernandez - 2B, OAK vs PHI (DK - $4,000, FD - $3,200)

Hernandez has a lot of things in his favor tomorrow at a position that is frankly scarce of players in good situations. For starters, he's got a good matchup against Sean Manaea, he who has always familiar with allowing big innings and has an opponent wOBA allowed of .397 over his last three starts. Cesar has good team context, an excellent hitter's stadium and he's a stolen base threat. From a splits perspective, the swith-hitting second baseman does much better against southpaws than he does right-handers. For the season, his wOBA and ISO splits are .365 and .200, respectively.

Matt Chapman - 3B, OAK @ PHI (DK - $3,100, FD - $2,700)

If Rhys Hoskins wasn't breaking records, Chapman would be the belle of the ball right now. He's doing ridiculous things for a rookie and showcases excellent baseball IQ - he's got a bright future. Tonight? He's got a great matchup in a ballpark upgrade situation at a very cheap price. In his 2017 campaign, his splits against right-handed pitching have been very strong - .353 wOBA and a .293 ISO.

Adeiny Hechavarria - SS, BOS vs TBR (DK - $3,200, FD - $3,600)

It may be a little uncharacteristic for Hechavarria, but he's been hitting out of his mind in the past few days. In fact, over his last four games he hasn't recorded less than 12 fantasy points and has twice surpassed twenty. His hard hit rate over the past 13 games is a ridiculous 63% and he pairs that with an impressive 24% line drive rate. He's particular strong against lefties, too, and he'll see one today. For the year, his wOBA and ISO splits against southpaws are .377 and .242.

Also Consider: Francisco Lindor - SS, KC vs CLE (DK - $5,300, FD - $4,700)


DFS Outfielders to Consider

Aaron Judge - OF, BAL vs NYY (DK - $5,600, FD - $4,300)

Mr. Judge is showing up just in time for the Yankees as they make a playoff push. More importantly for you and me, he's back to mashing home runs and has a juicy matchup today against Ubaldo Jimenez. Judge's hard hit rate 45% over the past two weeks and the fly ball rate (54%) is very attractive as well. For the season, he's been excellent against right-handed pitching, too, posting a .414 wOBA and .314 ISO.

Rhys Hoskins - OF, OAK vs PHI (DK - $5,400, FD - $4,500)

Normally I try digging for more value -  or ways to at least stay below 4K for cash and tournament viable outfielders, at least - but Judge and Hoskins are in such excellent spots that it would be criminal not to recommend them. Hoskins has essentially produced video game numbers against southpaws this season, sporting a .536 wOBA and .636 ISO.

Also Consider: Clint Frazier - OF, BAL vs NYY (DK - $3,500, FD - $2,400)


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