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MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Toronto Should Topple Nick Pivetta + Corbin Burnes & Joe Ryan are SP1s (September 30)

Eric MacPherson



MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Toronto Should Topple Nick Pivetta & Corbin Burnes + Joe Ryan are SP1s (September 30)

Friday, September 30, closes out the work week and September with a 13-game featured slate starting at 7:05 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.

DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (9/30)

Main Slate Stack:

Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Nick Pivetta — 5.0 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Stack Tool has seen other stacks find success against Nick Pivetta and while Toronto has clinched a postseason ticket, seeding is still in play with Seattle and Tampa Bay still within striking distance at 1.5 and two games back. Pivetta is a solid starter, but he does allow his share of power, including five home runs in his last three games. The 29-year-old has a career ERA of 5.00 and a 1.39 WHIP, so we have all seen this movie before.

Any Toronto stack should have George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as the center piece with their light tower power. Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez also have a strong track record against same-handed pitching and can be used for full-stacks. There are plenty of ways to differentiate with the Blue Jays, as catcher Alejandro Kirk, utility man Whit Merrifield and third baseman Matt Chapman can fill a variety of positions and they tend to be less popular plays among the masses.

Evening Slate Stack:

St. Louis Cardinals vs. RHP Johan Oviedo — 4.2 implied runs

The Cardinals have clinched the National League Central title and are basically locked into their seeding. This means that we will likely see some of the regulars getting off days, but that also opens up opportunities and improved positioning in the batting order for some of the understudies, who also can be employed at a discount.

This is a “Remember Me?!” game for Johan Oviedo, who was dealt to Pittsburgh as part of the Jose Quintana trade in August. Oviedo is a solid pitcher, though he is better positioned to be a reliever. In the meantime, the Pirates are giving him a chance to stick in the rotation as they have nothing to lose. Over his last 458 batters faced in The Show, the 24-year-old hurler has a mediocre 21.0% strikeout rate with an ugly 12.7% walk rate. To his credit, he has been solid from a groundball perspective, but he still allows his fair share of power.

Lars Nootbaar and Dylan Carlson should be in the lineup down the stretch and both have favorable salaries. It is likely that Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado will get a game off in this series, but we will have to see what happens with the starting lineup in the absence of an actual announcement from the team. Brendon Donovan, Corey Dickerson and Albert Pujols are secondary options that can be used to create a full-stack.

Late Slate Stack:

San Diego Padres vs. RHP Davis Martin — 4.5 implied runs

Rookie Davis Martin cruised through Double-A and Triple-A this season, though most projection systems have the 25-year-old as a back-of-the-rotation starter with a mediocre strikeout rate and allowing above-average power. He is the 25th-ranked prospect in the Detroit farm system, so this expected output is in line with his talent metrics.

Look to the hitters swinging the stick from the left side of the plate to have the most success against Martin. Juan Soto, Jake Cronenworth and switch-hitter Josh Bell of course are the key components for any Padres stack along with Manny Machado. If Jurickson Profar is batting leadoff, he is a strong option as well.

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Primary Pitching Target:

RHP Corbin Burnes vs. Miami Marlins — 3.5 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,700 | FanDuel $10,300

Corbin Burnes is popping in the Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool with his cherry matchup against the Marlins. Milwaukee trails Philadelphia by a half-game for the final Wild Card berth and they are 3.0 games behind San Diego. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner has been excellent once again this season. Currently, he is 20th with a 3.11 ERA and 10th with a 1.00 WHIP. Most impressive are his 231 strikeouts, which rank as the third most in the league.

The projected lineup for the Marlins has a solid 22.5% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers over the last two years, though they also have a .109 ISO, which is downright pathetic. Burnes should be in line for a quality start tonight and if the offense can get anything going against Sandy Alcantara, there is a chance for victory points as well.

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Secondary Pitching Target:

RHP Joe Ryan at Detroit  — 3.2 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,600 | FanDuel $9,600

Over his last four starts, Joe Ryan has had two duds (vs. LAA, at NYY) and two monsters (at CLE, vs. KCR). Today he wins the lottery of matchups by facing Detroit. This season, the Tigers have been one of the worst teams in the league against right-handed pitching with a 74 wRC+. Weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes various factors such as ballpark effects to create an efficiency metric with a baseline of 100, which means that Detroit is scoring runs 26% less than league average against righties.

It is not a precursor or predictor for tonight’s results, but it is comforting to see that in his three prior matchups against Detroit, Ryan has posted a 1.02 ERA, 0.57 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 17.2 innings with a trio of victories.

Late Slate Pitching Target:

RHP Yu Darvish vs. Chicago White Sox  — 3.2 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,100 | FanDuel $10,500

San Diego has not yet mathematically clinched a Wild Card slot, but they do have a 99% chance of making the postseason. While they do not need to overwork Yu Darvish, he should be in line for his standard workload in a solid matchup against Chicago. Though his strikeouts were down earlier this season, they have been trending upward to just over one per inning. If we look at the last 15 starts for the 36-year-old ace, he has a 9-4 record with a 2.87 ERA, 3.40 FIP and 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings across his last 100.3 frames. On the season, Darvish has a career-best 24 quality starts, which is the second most in MLB. The White Sox have been sputtering, losing eight of their last nine games and they are better suited to face southpaws.

Additional Opportunities

Alex Cobb is an intriguing option in the player prop market. Tonight, he has a 4.5 over/under on his strikeout prop while the Stokastic MLB DFS projections are forecasting 5.6 strikeouts and a 68% that he surpasses this milestone. The -125 moneyline still works out to a reasonable 16% expected return on investment aka xROI as calculated by OddsShopper.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Jacob deGrom at Atlanta Braves (Main)
  2. RHP Sandy Alcantara at Milwaukee Brewers (Main, Evening)
  3. RHP Alek Manoah vs. Boston Red Sox (Main)
  4. LHP Framber Valdez vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Main, Evening)
  5. LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. Colorado Rockies (Main, Late)

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Other Hitting Options

  1. Harrison Bader vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (Main)
  2. Carlos Correa at LHP Tyler Alexander (Main)
  3. Jack Suwinski at RHP Jack Flaherty (Evening)
  4. Adolis Garcia at LHP Reid Detmers (Late)
  5. Joey Gallo vs. RHP Chad Kuhl (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

Washington has moved their Saturday game to a Friday doubleheader to get ahead of the Hurricane Ian rain shadow. With heavy rain forecast in the DC Metro area from late afternoon through the weekend, the second game is likely to be washed out.

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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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