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MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Circling Wander Franco & Rays Against Jose Berrios & Blue Jays (Sept 22)

Eric MacPherson




Thursday, Sept. 22, has an eight-game featured slate locking early at 6:35 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 (9/22)

Main Slate Primary Stack:

Tampa Bay Rays vs. RHP Jose Berrios — 3.7 implied runs

While Jose Berrios seems to have steadied the ship, he has had some wildly divergent outcomes over the last three seasons. The name recognition and sub-4 implied run total are likely to keep most gamers looking elsewhere for their primary stack tonight.

Berrios has been suceptible to left-handed power as opposite-handed batsmen have rolled up a .350 wOBA and a .225 ISO over the last two seasons. That bodes well tonight for switch-hitters Wander Franco and Francisco Mejia who also knocks out that pesky catcher requirement on DraftKings. Veterans Ji-man Choi and David Peralta will also have the platoon-advantage, though they may not be close to Franco, depending on how the batting order shakes out. Righties Randy Arozarena and Isaac Paredes can be used to fill in the gaps in order to create a stack with maximum synergy.

Main Slate Secondary Stack:

Philadelphia Phillies vs. LHP Max Fried — 3.5 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Batters Tool has identified a couple of Phillies as contrarian options tonight. While Max Fried has been outstanding this season, he has seen an uptick in his home run rate. Though he is in the top-10 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, he has allowed four home runs in his last two games and six in his last five.

Tonight there are a lot of good real-life pitchers drawing starts, which is limiting the easy-to-identify targets. In this matchup we can look to one or two Philadelphia hitters, with home run upside, that can lead to large field tournament differentiation.

Alec Bohm, JT Realmuto and Jean Segura all have the platoon-advantage along with a strong history of success against Fried. Though Bryce Harper will be in a lefty-lefty matchup, he too has been productive against Fried. It makes sense to limit lineups to just two Philly hitters and hope this contrarian strategy bears fruit.

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Primary Pitching Target:

RHP Brandon Woodruff at Cincinnati Reds  — 3.4 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,600 | FanDuel $10,000

Brandon Woodruff is an easy recommendation as the top pitcher in Thursday’s player pool. While his strikeouts have been inconsistent this season, the upside is still there in any matchup. In three of his last five starts, he has double-digit whiffs, which of course is fantasy gold. The Cincinnati offense benefits from playing half their games in hitting friendly Great American Ballpark. However, the projected lineup for tonight is not overly intimidatingly with a strikeout rate approaching 28% against right-handed hurlers over the last two seasons.

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Secondary Pitching Target:

RHP Hunter Greene vs. Milwaukee Brewers — 4.3 implied runs
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,500 | FanDuel $8,200

Justin Verlander is in a positive matchup against Baltimore, though he may only be in the game for around 75 pitches as there is no real reason for the Astros to push him down the stretch with their playoff seeding virtually locked in with the second best record in baseball. Shane Bieber would be another contender over Hunter Greene, though he has a higher salary and similar matchup to the rookie.

Greene is back after missing six weeks with a sore shoulder. In his return to action, he struck out 11 in St. Louis on just 81 pitches. That seems like a reasonable workload as the season winds down and while he is unlikely to reach those lofty heights, a half-dozen strikeouts is definitely a realistic outcome in this matchup.

Additional Opportunities

Currently, Michael Wacha has a 3.5 over/under strikeout prop in his matchup with the the Yankees. The Stokastic projections are forecasting 4.7 strikeouts and a 68% win probability. The downside is that in order to support this prop, most betting sites are listing it a -150 or more. That makes this wager one that may be better utilized in a same game parlay or combined with other picks today to create a more favorable payout.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Justin Verlander at Baltimore Orioles
  2. RHP Shane Bieber at Chicago White Sox
  3. RHP Hayden Wesneski at Pittsburgh Pirates
  4. LHP Max Fried at Philadelphia Phillies
  5. LHP Julio Urias vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

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Other Hitting Options

  1. Rafael Devers at RHP Jameson Taillon
  2. Josh Naylor at RHP Johnny Cueto
  3. Kyle Tucker at RHP Kyle Bradish
  4. Freddie Freeman vs. RHP Zac Gallen
  5. Austin Riley at LHP Ranger Suarez

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

The featured slate should not have any weather issues, so once the MLB contests lock, we can safely turn our attention to Thursday Night Football!

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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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