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MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Double Down Against Detroit with the White Sox Bats + Cease as SP1 (Sept 25)

Eric MacPherson



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Sunday, Sept. 25, wraps up the weekend with a 10-game featured slate locking at 1:05 p.m. ET. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks today for pitchers and stacks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

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DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (9/25)

Primary Main Slate Stack:

Chicago White Sox vs. LHP Tyler Alexander — 4.7 implied runs

Every time it looks like Tyler Alexander has turned the corner and put everything together, he runs out of talent. Clearly he would make the rotation for most teams in the league, but he does his best work when being limited to two turns through the opposing batting order or five innings, whichever comes first. In his last five starts, even with a little extra time off, the 28-year-old has tallied just 24 innings with a 7.13 ERA, 6.40 FIP and seven home runs against just 15 strikeouts.

For all of their injuries and foibles, the White Sox can still roll out a formidable lineup against lefties. Jose Abreu, A.J. Pollock, Eloy Jimenez along with Andrew Vaughn are the core for to target for full stacks this afternoon. Each has plenty of extra-base hit upside and they are surprisingly not going to break the bank. The only downside is that this quartet fills up all three outfield slots as well as first base, but that can be mitigated by focusing on key one-offs at the middle infield positions. Marcus Semien, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager all fit the bill for this strategy.

Secondary Main Slate Stack:

Miami Marlins vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez — 4.4 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Stack Tool would like to acknowledge the long and storied career of Anibal Sanchez. The 38-year-old broke into the league back in 2006 with the Florida Marlins. That September, in just his 13th start in The Show, he pitched a no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks with the game being played in Dolphins Stadium. Sanchez has been in the league with several father and son pairings, including Fernand Tatis Sr./Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Sr./Jr. and Craig and Cavan Biggio, among many others. Heck, when he first broke into the league he played against Mike Stanton and then later had the other Mike Giancarlo Stanton as at teammate.

Now that the appropriate respect has been paid, it is time to get down to business. Strikeouts are no longer part of the repertoire of Sanchez, who is lucky to get one every other inning. He also issues walks at a similar rate and he has been incredibly lucky this season with a 4.40 ERA compared to his 6.30 FIP. Finally, power is also an issue, with nearly two home runs allowed every nine innings. The Miami lineup is far from sexy, but they do offer several capable hitters at a variety of positions at bargain salaries. Brian Anderson, Garrett Cooper, JJ Bleday and Nick Fortes can be used as a secondary or mini-stack that provides synergy as well as differentiation while affording gamers the ability to roll out two ace pitchers and the main stack of their choice.

Late Slate Stack:

New York Mets at LHP JP Sears — 4.7 implied runs

September has been a mercurial month for young lefty JP Sears, who has had two excellent starts bookend a pair of abysmal outings. This should be no surprise as the 26-year-old has surpassed his career high for innings this season. Sears came over from the Yankees as part of the Frankie Montas deal, and he has been solid in his time with the Athletics and looks to be a promising addition to the middle of their rotation. However, the Mets are a daunting matchup and this is likely the penultimate outing of the season for Sears. In his four September appearances, he has been saddled with a 6.88 ERA, 6.18 FIP while allowing five home runs in 17 frames.

The Mets are well positioned to take on southpaws, starting with the absurd power of Pete Alonso, which is accompanied by Mark Canha and Darin Ruf, who both thrive with the platoon advantage. Switch-hitters Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar both do their best work when swinging the stick from the right side of the plate, and we can use catcher James McCann at the bottom of the order for differentiation as part of a “wraparound” stack.

Best MLB DFS Pitchers

Primary Main Slate Pitching Target:

RHP Dylan Cease vs. Detroit Tigers — 3.0 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,800 | FanDuel $10,500

This is a matchup made in heaven for Dylan Cease, who currently is behind only the resurgent Justin Verlander in the American League Cy Young Award odds. Cease is setting career bests across nearly every statistical category and his 2.13 ERA is second among all starters, while his 1.09 WHIP is just inside the top 20. Even better for fantasy purposes, he is fifth with 217 strikeouts and his 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings rate are fourth overall among qualified pitchers.

The projected lineup for Detroit has a 27.1% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching since the start of last season. In that same timeframe, Cease has been sublime with a 31.5% strikeout rate. The only knock against the 26-year-old ace is that he does have a 10.0% walk rate across his last 1,400 batters. Chicago is -260 moneyline favorites to garner the victory on Sunday.

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Secondary Main Slate Pitching Target:

RHP Luis Castillo at Kansas City Royals — 3.3 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,800 | FanDuel $9,600

While Seattle is just 5-4 in games where Luis Castillo takes the mound, it is generally a lack of offensive production that has kept them out of the win column. Across nine starts for the Mariners, the former Cincinnati ace has allowed just 17 earned runs on his way to a 2.83 ERA, 2.89 FIP with 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Kansas City has been frisky over the last week, winning five of seven games; however, they were 2-8 in their 10 tilts preceding that stretch.

The Royals do have some talented hitters in youngsters Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino, with veteran catcher Salvador Perez providing a steadying presence. However, the bottom half of their order drops to below replacement-level hitters. Even without Julio Rodriguez and Eugenio Suarez, the Mariners are -190 moneyline favorites to secure a win this afternoon.

Late Slate Pitching Target:

RHP Max Scherzer at Oakland Athletics — 2.6 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,900 | FanDuel $10,800

This matchup is a complete mismatch, though it is important to note that Max Scherzer has been limited to 68 and 67 pitches in his last two starts. At the beginning of the month, the 38-year-old pulled himself out of a game against the Nationals, citing fatigue. This was fortuitous, as it was more than just being tired; instead, he landed on the injured list with an irritated oblique.

The Mets have a 1.5-game lead on Atlanta for the National League East crown, and clearly they want to stay out of the Wild Card mix. While it would be a surprise to expect more than 80 pitches for Scherzer, in this matchup he could still put up excellent fantasy production in limited action. In his last two starts, even though they were shorter than typical for the bulldog mound presence, Mad Max still logged 11 innings, allowing just three hits and one run with 14 strikeouts.

Additional Opportunities

Nick Lodolo has a 6.5 strikeout prop in his matchup with Milwaukee this afternoon. While we may not want to take the risk with our DFS lineups, this is a wager worthy of our attention. Currently, the Stokastic MLB DFS projections are forecasting 7.1 strikeouts and a 59% win probability. I four September starts, the rookie has seven or more strikeouts in each outing with 7, 11, 11 and 9. While it does not predict anything regarding today, one of those 11 strikeout performances was against the Brewers.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Edward Cabrera vs. Washington Nationals (Main)
  2. LHP Shane McClanahan vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Main)
  3. RHP Cristian Javier at Baltimore Orioles (Main)
  4. RHP Adrian Sampson at Pittsburgh Pirates (Main SP2)
  5. RHP Drey Jameson vs. San Francisco Giants (Late)

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Other Hitting Options

  1. Kyle Tucker at RHP Austin Voth (Main)
  2. Franmil Reyes at RHP Luis Ortiz (Main)
  3. Corey Seager vs. RHP Aaron Civale (Afternoon)
  4. Ketel Marte vs. LHP Scott Alexander (Late)
  5. Albert Pujols at RHP Michael Grove (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

There is a chance of afternoon showers in both Philadelphia and Baltimore, so keep tabs on that forecast closer to first pitch. Chicago could see some early-inning rain, but there is a clean window if they choose to go for a 60- to 90-minute delay. For those playing Sunday Night Baseball, there is a strong possibility of precipitation in New York, and that is another situation that bears monitoring tonight.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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