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FanDuel MLB Lineup Picks, Advice & Sleepers for 9/1

Happy Labor Day to all you DFS players out there. It is one of the best baseball days of the year with lots of afternoon games, rosters expanding and pennant races in full tilt. Hopefully you all have time to get a few Fanduel lineups into play today and earn some money while enjoying the long weekend.

Today is a difficult slate because of all the early games. If you are playing the full slate, like me, then you most likely won’t know the lineups for the Nationals-Dodgers and Rangers-Royals games when the early games start. Tread lightly on those players. You don’t want an empty spot in your lineup if someone gets an unexpected day off.

Remember, these picks are posted early in the day for your convenience, and without knowledge of the teams’ starting lineups. ALWAYS check starting lineups before finalizing your FanDuel entries. On days like Monday, especially, teams will often give some of their regulars a day off.  


Also, you have got to check out RotoBaller's new BvP (batter vs. pitcher) analysis tool, which shows you all the daily matchup stats for every single hitter in the MLB.


Starting Pitchers

TYSON ROSS, SD ($8800): To me, Ross is the clear top pitching choice today. I don’t want to overspend on David Price ($10900) or Corey Kluber ($10500) who are facing each other in a toss-up game. I’m also avoiding Cole Hamels against the Braves, who are one of the top teams against lefty pitching this season. The Padres are quietly riding a hot streak at home where they’ve won 19 of their last 25 games. Ross gets a depleted Diamondbacks offense in an extreme pitchers’ park where he’s posted a 1.93 ERA this season while striking out more than a guy per inning. All this and he comes in at a reasonable price that will allow you some flexibility with your hitter picks.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER: Julio Teheran ($8700), Jason Hammel ($6700).



By Cbl62 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia CommonsTOP OPTION: BUSTER POSEY, SF ($4400): His price has shot up due to his recent hot streak, but he’s the top hitter on the board today. He is facing a weak lefty (Franklin Morales) in Coors Field. If you have the budget, jump on the matchup.

VALUE OPTION: EVAN GATTIS, ATL ($2600): He faces Cole Hamels, one of the league’s toughest lefties, but Gattis is a stone-cold lefty killer. You make the start here in hopes that he will go yard. At the near punt pricing, it’s a good bet to make. I really hate to rely on small pitcher vs. batter samples, but Gattis has homered twice off Hamels in six career plate appearances.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER: Jonathan Lucroy ($3300).


First Base

TOP OPTION: MIKE MORSE, SF ($2600): Another right-hander facing Morales at Coors Field. My top two options at first base are actually Anthony Rizzo ($4400) and Steve Pearce ($3500), but both are hurt and likely won’t play today. Looking at the matchups, it looks like a weak day at first base for the bigger-named sluggers. As a result, I’ll turn to Morse at this price and hopefully get him in stack with Posey and other Giants’ sluggers at Colorado. The Giants’ offense has been putting up some runs lately and I don’t think that will change at Denver altitude.

ALSO CONSIDER: Kennys Vargas ($3000).


Second Base

Rotoballer-MLB-News-Fantasy-Baseball-Advice-Analysis-Robinson-CanoTOP OPTION: ROBINSON CANO, SEA ($3400): This is an absolutely abysmal day for second basemen. There are four guys I want to recommend: Justin Turner ($3600), Anthony Rendon ($4100), Asdrubel Cabrera ($2600) and Adam Rosales ($2900), but they are all playing late and may be risky to start if we don’t have lineups by 1 p.m. eastern.

Other options like Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Murphy are hurt. Therefore, Cano becomes my default option. His price is still pretty reasonable for a guy with the potential for double-digit points on any given night. He faces Jason Hammel who has been bad since coming to Oakland. Cano is probably the safest pick at 2B, but it’s a lukewarm recommendation at best.

ALSO CONSIDER: The punt. Spend the minimum and hope to catch something (anything) from a player at the minimum like D.J. LeMahieu ($2200) or Alexi Amarista ($2200). If you are going to pay for Posey, you’ll need to save somewhere.


Third Base

TOP OPTION: LUIS VALBUENA ($3300): This looks like a very unsexy pick with the young studs the Cubs have in their lineup now-a-days, but I like Valbuena for three reasons. 1) He’s hot, hitting five home runs since August 20, including one yesterday afternoon; 2) He does all his damage against right-handers, with 14 of his 15 homers coming against them; and 3) Jimmy Nelson has had his issues against lefty hitters, who have a .352 wOBA against him.

ALSO CONSIDER: Adrian Beltre ($3200 – late game warning), Aramis Ramirez ($3100).



TOP OPTION: JHONNY PERALTA, STL ($2900): It is a REALLY rough day at some positions, and shortstop is one of them. Peralta faces Gerrit Cole, who could legitimately shut down the entire Cardinal offense, but the St. Louis shortstop comes off a three-hit, two-RBI game yesterday. He has now hit in eight straight starts and in 15 of his last 17. Overall, he gets on base 34 percent of the time and has 18 homers from a power-deficient position. I think he’s worth the buy for $2900, especially since no other options jump off the page today.

ALSO CONSIDER: Starlin Castro ($3100), Daniel Santana ($3400).



TOP OPTION: JUSTIN UPTON, ATL ($4000): It may seem like I’m picking on Cole Hamels, but the Braves love to face lefties and Upton is atop the list of Atlanta southpaw crushers. He has a .464 wOBA against lefties this season and a .310 average against Hamels for his career. Anytime the Braves face a lefty, I will always consider guys like Upton and Gattis as good bets for homers, walks and RBIs.

CHRISTIAN YELICH, MIA ($3600): There’s a lot to like here. Yelich has hit in 16 of the last 18 games and has also drawn 10 walks over that span. He faces Zack Wheeler, who has proven to be vulnerable against lefties (.352 wOBA against). At the same time, Yelich has a .353 wOBA against righties. This is a good matchup for him.

ALEX GORDON, KC ($3200): Here is one guy in a late game that I may actually take the risk and start, even without confirmation of the starting lineup. He has started 130 of the Royals’ 136 games this season and don’t believe the Royals will give him a day off at this point in the pennant race. Gordon continued his hot hitting last night, smacking a game-tying homer in the ninth inning, giving him six homers in the last two weeks. I feel like I’d like to get some skin in the game against Colby Lewis, one of the weakest pitchers on the slate today. At a reasonable price, Gordon is my guy.

HUNTER PENCE, SF ($3700): For the same reason, I recommended Posey and Morse, I feel like Pence should be included in a Giants’ stack tonight. Pence has historically preferred lefty pitching and has worn out the Rockies this season: .411/.500/.696 with four homers, 23 runs scored, 10 walks and 8 RBI in 16 games.

ALSO CONSIDER: Khris Davis ($3000), Carlos Gomez ($3900), Gerardo Parra ($2600). Jacob Turner is another weak pitcher to pick on tonight, even though the Brewers save most of their slugging for lefty pitchers.


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