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Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (9/19/17): MLB DFS Advice for FanDuel and DraftKings


The real home stretch is finally upon us. We've got a big 15 game slate on deck tonight, so with that, let's try to fatten our pockets before fully making the switch to football. After all, the number of full slates we've got left to play is almost single digits at this point.

There are a few interesting Vegas lines I'd like to point out before I move into player selections and analysis. Knowing these lines, where the public stands and the direction lines have moved can be beneficial when making lineup decisions - particularly when selecting cash game pitchers and tournament stacks. The heaviest favorites on the moneyline tonight are the Astros (-228), Nationals (-203), and the Diamondbacks (-175). As for projected run totals, we have Athletics, Astros, Mariners and Tigers all at five runs or greater, and early movement in that arena tells us the Twins (moved from 4.2 down to 3.8) might be a strong team to fade.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on 9/19/17. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me up on Twitter @kpLUCH.

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DFS Starting Pitchers to Consider

Zack Godley - SP, ARI @ SDP (DK - $11,100, FD - $9,600)

With Max Scherzer on the board tonight, it feels a little odd ranking Godley as my number one guy in cash, but here we are. Allow me to explain: Scherzer hasn't been himself in what feels like nearly a month. He's failed (miserably) to reach value in each of his last three starts. In two of those games, he failed to record twenty points and with the price you pay to roster him, that really kills your night right there. I'm not a BvP guy, but I do pay attention to outcomes of games similar to what we have tonight with Scherzer versus the Braves - a power pitcher facing a division rival that sees him often. This Braves team has given him fits this season (in his most recent outing too, no less) and I think that warrants fading him in cash. As for Godley, he has been an incredibly strong pitcher this season - 1.1 WHIP, 0.85 HR/9 and a 9.8 K/9 - and he has what I consider to be the best matchup tonight. He gets an incredibly strike-out heavy Padres team (28% K rate versus RHP) in the best pitcher's park in the majors. The Diamondbacks are currently the third highest favorite (-175) of the night and when you consider the run support he should receive, the consistency he's pitched with and the strikeout upside, I think he's a strong play in any format this evening.

Aaron Nola - SP, LAD vs PHI (DK - $8,300, FD - $8,900)

Nola is a very intriguing tournament option tonight and has a lot of key things working to his favor. Let's start with the opponent - the Dodgers are a very talented team, but it's been a while since they've swung the bats well. In fact, they have the 6th lowest team wOBA in all of September. They're still a scary team, no doubt, but recently they're much scarier on paper and in name than they have been in the batter's box. They also happen to strike out a ton - their projected lineup has gone done via strikeout 27.9% of the time this season, to be exact - and that combined with their name brand recognition (which should help depress Nola's ownership in GPP's) is what makes it so enticing to use him in large-field tournaments tonight. Nola's had one really poor performance this month, but outside of that, he's been really strong. He carries a 9.7 K/9 into this game and has performed much better at home in Philadelphia, which is a little peculiar seeing as it's been a "hitter's park" - but who am I to argue with the splits? His Statcast data is very encouraging as well - in his last two starts, he's allowed a paltry 10% hard hit rate, and his average batted ball distance and exit velocity allowed both went down. He's not safe enough for cash play, but I really like Nola in tournaments tonight.

Also Consider for GPP's: Drew Pomeranz - SP, BAL vs BOS (DK - $8,100, FD - $8,400); C.C. Sabathia - SP, MIN vs NYY (DK - $7,200, FD - $6,700) 

 

DFS Infielders to Consider

Tournament and/or Value/Punt Plays listed in italics 

 

Mike Zunino - C, TEX vs SEA (DK - $3,500, FD - $3,100)

Zunino is a great value tonight when you look at what he's accomplished this season and the matchup in front of him. Martin Perez has been knocked around all season and in his three most recent starts, he's allowed an opponent wOBA and ISO of .398 and .213 respectively. Zunino has a strong wOBA split of .375 - which, combined with the team context (Mariners run projection of 5.2 is 3rd highest on slate) gives him a strong floor - and home run upside as well. His ISO split of .302 is tremendous and he's sporting an impressive 44% hard hit rate in his last ten games.

Also Consider: Evan Gattis, C, CWS vs HOU (DK - $3,200, FD - $2,300)

 

Joey Votto - 1B, STL vs CIN (DK - $5,300, FD - $4,200)

Votto and his ever wonderful splits against right-handed pitching - .435 wOBA, .263 ISO - have a nice matchup today in sandbox Cincinnatti against rookie pitcher Jack Flaherty. Flaherty has promise, but he's struggled to find his footing in the majors and has some damming numbers in three starts - 1.67 WHIP and a 2.01 HR/9. Votto's fantasy output from the past week is nothing special, but the Statcast data tells us he's run into some batted ball luck and his hard hit rate and line drive rate in that stretch - 44% and 33%, respectively - are excellent. He's squaring the ball up quite nicely.

Also Consider: Joey Gallo - 1B, TEX @ SEA (DK - $4,100, FD - $3,500)

 

Jose Altuve - 2B, CWS vs HOU (DK - $5,100, FD - $4,000)

Altuve is in a situation tonight where I think he can collect a few hits and he's got great team context. The Astros currently have the second highest implied run total and he matches up well with a team that is throwing out a struggling former top prospect in Lucas Giolito (and the White Sox also happen to have a bottom three bullpen in the majors). For the season, Altuve boasts a .404 wOBA split, a .540 slugging percentage split and in his last 10 games, his hard hit rate is at 33%, which is five percentage points higher than his year-long average.

Also Consider: Brian Dozier - 2B, MIN @ NYY (DK - $5,000, FD - $4,000) and Neil Walker - 2B, MIL @ PIT (DK - $3,800, FD - $3,200)

 

Travis Shaw - 3B, MIL @ PIT (DK - $4,300, FD - $3,500)

Shaw enters this one swinging a hot stick, having crushed value in his three straight and six of his last 10 games. He possesses really strong season splits against right-handed pitching - .367 wOBA, .247 ISO - and faces a pitcher in Trevor Williams who has been serviceable, but is not too be feared and is certainly no stranger to poor outings. In the past 10 games, Shaw has a 41% hard hit rate he's paired with a 45% fly ball rate - both of which are numbers to be excited about.

Also Consider: Josh Donaldson - 3B, KC vs TOR (DK - $5,400, FD - $4,200)

 

Carlos Correa - SS, CWS vs HOU (DK - $4,600, FD - $3,500)

I'll spare you the re-detailing of why I like the Astros and the matchup tonight and just gush about Correa. The man has had his ups and downs (in terms of fantasy point output) since returning from a long stint on the disabled list, but the advance stats show he's pretty locked in. In the past 15 days, his hard hit rate is hovering at 35% and his line drive rate is just a fraction shy of 20%. Those figures, combined with an increase in batted ball distance, are really encouraging. For the season, he boasts a .368 wOBA split and he's always got double-dong potential. This only really applies to tournament strategy, but numbers show his ownership has been incredibly low lately and that could be a big advantage to those of us playing in large-field GPP's tonight.

Also Consider: Adam Rosales - SS, ARI @ SDP (DK - $2,600, FD - $2,000)

 

DFS Outfielders to Consider

J.D. Martinez - OF, ARI @ SDP (DK - $5,600, FD - $4,800)

J.D. has put together one of the most impressive months I can ever recall. There has to be a million teams kicking themselves for not dealing for him at the deadline. For the season, he owns incredibly impressive numbers in the splits department - .518 wOBA, .478 ISO - and in this month those numbers have actually crept up! In the month of September, his wOBA and ISO totals are more than 20 points higher than his season long totals against both sides (LHP + RHP). Not surprisingly, his Statcast data for September is something to behold - 56% hard hit rate, 60% fly ball rate and, wait for it, a 278 foot average batted ball distance. Poor Travis Wood stands no chance tonight.

Nelson Cruz - OF, TEX vs SEA (DK - $4,500, FD - $3,800)

So long as he isn't in a major slump and/or only making weak contact, Cruz is lock-and-load for me against southpaws. Against a southpaw like Martin Perez and what should be slightly decreased ownership due to the full slate and bevy of options, he's a no-brainer for tournaments. In the past 13 games, Cruz is sporting a massive 50% hard hit rate and while the fly ball percentage has dipped a little, his line drive rate is up to 32% (!!) and his batted ball distance is 236 feet. For the season, he boasts a .371 wOBA and .246 ISO for splits against lefties.

Chad Pinder - OF, OAK @ DET (DK - $3,300, FD - $2,700)

I couldn't possibly showcase just mid-tier and expensive options. Enter my favorite value play of the evening, Mr. Chad Pinder. Pinder's bat and his incredibly low price point are very promising tonight. He gets to face a Quad-A pitcher in Chad Bell and his opponent wOBA allowed of .431, and if the Athletics mow through Bell, he and his teammates will get a few cracks at what is perhaps the worst bullpen in all of baseball. For the season, Pinder has been extra effective against southpaws, owning a .359 wOBA and .222 ISO for his splits. To add his tournament allure, you'd have to go back to games the night of August 28th to find him with a higher ownership percentage than 5% (and he's also SS eligible on DraftKings).

Also Consider:

 

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