MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: SP1s Kevin Gausman and Bailey Ober Have Strong Matchups (September 26)

Tuesday brings a terrific MLB featured slate with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. As always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help in identifying today’s MLB DFS top stacks, key pitchers and MLB DFS picks. Look to Kevin Gausman and Bailey Ober as tonight’s aces.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Sept. 26

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. New York Yankees — 3.5 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $11,500 | FanDuel $11,100 | Yahoo $50

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has RHP Kevin Gausman as the bucks-deluxe pitching recommendation across the board. Tonight DraftKings is including the second game of the Coors Field Extravaganza, though FanDuel and Yahoo are electing to exclude that matchup from the featured slate. This, of course, will create different decision points on the various sites.

In his three prior meetings with New York, Gausman compiled a 2-0 record and a 0.90 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 20 innings. He also had 31 strikeouts, which was the main driving force of his dominance. The Yankees have averaged just over 3.8 runs per game over the last 30 days, which is in the bottom third of the league, and their 26.8% strikeout rate is the third highest during this stretch.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Bailey Ober vs. Oakland Athletics — 3.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,100 | FanDuel $9,000 | Yahoo $39

Tonight RHP Bailey Ober is the winner of the daily “Who is facing the Oakland A’s offense?!” game we have been playing all season. The 28-year-old ended up being assigned to the minors after spring training, but he was called up after four appearances. He had strong results through the All-Star Break but struggled after the festivities, enough so that he was sent back down to Triple-A for a confidence boost. After one appearance with the St. Paul Saints, he returned to The Show and has been solid, with 10 innings, nine strikeouts and four runs allowed in road games against the White Sox and Reds.

The main knock against Ober is that he does not have a lot of strikeout upside, but he is a little better than league average. Over the last 30 days, the Athletics have a 26.1% strikeout rate, which is the fourth highest in the league, and the offense has scored the fourth-fewest runs during this timeframe.

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Main Slate Wild Card Pitching Target: LHP Joey Lucchesi vs. Miami Marlins — 3.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,200 | FanDuel $7,900 | Yahoo $35

After missing last year recovering from Tommy John surgery, LHP Joey Lucchesi has worked his way back up to The Show. The 30-year-old is an adequate, though not particularly spectacular pitcher, and the Miami offense is not exactly a pushover. So consider this a fantasy-point-per-dollar recommendation as an SP2 on DraftKings and Yahoo.

The other alternatives in the bargain bin are not particularly inspiring, but they can be sprinkled across tournament portfolios in addition to Lucchesi. RHP Zach Davies is the cheapest, and while he makes Lucchesi seem like a strikeout artist, Davies has the far better matchup against the pitiful White Sox, who have plated just 12 runs in their last five games.

Also among the dregs is LHP Cody Bradford, who should be stretched out enough to throw 70 or so pitches, but he may not be able to clear the fifth inning. That would eliminate him from being eligible for the win against the Horrible Halos. Lastly, there is RHP Brady Houck, who is facing a Rays team that seems to lose a key player every three days or so and is staggering across the finish line, though somehow still in the mix to sneak by the Baltimore Orioles for the best record in the American League.

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MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Milwaukee Brewers vs. LHP Zack Thompson — 4.5 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

Break one off for the Brew Crew, as Milwaukee has clinched a playoff berth and is closing in on the National League Central Division title. Tonight the Brewers will be hosting LHP Zack Thompson, who has meandered through his last four starts, compiling a 5.73 ERA and 20 strikeouts across 22 innings. In his last start, the rookie was roughed up by the Brewers, who chased him after five innings and scored four runs on the strength of two round-trippers.

Milwaukee is well positioned to take on southpaws, and Josh Donaldson has been surprisingly effective after being claimed off the scrap heap. In his last 50 plate appearances against opposite-handed hurlers, the former MVP has a .401 wOBA and a god-mode .457 ISO. Outfielder Tyrone Taylor also has been getting extra-base hits, mostly at the expense of lefties. He is a solid discount dandy, though a potential pinch-hit candidate.

Carlos Santana, Mark Canha, Willy Adames and William Contreras are the core four to target, and, of course, leadoff man Christian Yelich looks to be healthy again. The other nice thing about this matchup is that there is no precipitation risk and there is a good chance the roof will be closed, which actually makes for a better hitting environment, with so many cooler fall evenings for many of the other venues tonight.

Main Slate Secondary Target: San Diego Padres at LHP Kyle Harrison — 4.5 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:45 p.m. ET

Three weeks ago, San Diego took rookie LHP Kyle Harrison to task with four home runs. In his 20 innings this month, Harrison has allowed seven total home runs on his way to a 6.30 ERA, with a substandard 15 strikeouts in this timeframe. Harrison is the top prospect for San Francisco, and he has shown flashes of upside, he just does not have a lot of experience having been drafted in the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft right out of high school. This was his first year at Triple-A, and he was amazing in 65.2 innings, with 14.39 strikeouts per nine innings while equally awful with 6.58 walks per nine. This will likely be the final start of the season for the rookie.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has been phenomenal against lefties this season, with a .408 wOBA and a .238 ISO. Manny Machado also has had sustained success throughout his career when holding the platoon advantage, and this year he has a .382 wOBA and .202 ISO in 147 plate appearances. Catcher Luis Campusano has been looking like Babe Ruth, and while it is a small sample size of 47 plate appearances, his .475 wOBA and .262 ISO against southpaws.

Ha-Seong Kim, Garrett Cooper and, of course, veteran Xander Bogaerts are the secondary trio to target, and they can be used with or without the Tatis, Machado and Campusano triumvirate.

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Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight we can look to Kyle Bradish in the sports wagering market for his total pitching outs prop. The True Odds feature on OddsShopper shows that Baltimore ace has -173 “true odds” of not pitching beyond the sixth inning, and the -182 odds currently available are actually working in the favor of the books for a -2% expected value.

Looking at the larger picture, Bradish is likely to be the opening starter in the playoffs for Baltimore, and the Orioles currently have a 2.5-game lead over Tampa Bay for the best record in the American League. Furthermore, the O’s did not play yesterday and the bullpen accounted for a grand total of 49 pitches, so everyone is well rested for the final push to the finish line.

In his last seven starts, Bradish has closed out the sixth inning six times. Only once has he thrown more than six innings, and that was two weeks ago against the Rays. The 27-year-old has averaged one strikeout per inning this season, and those tend to contribute more pitches to his workload, which usually caps out around 90 to 100 pitches and just so happens to coincide with the end of the sixth inning more often than not.

Even if he were hyper-efficient tonight against the hapless Nationals, it is hard to see his manager having him throw more than six innings, particularly with the postseason so close at hand.

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Final Thoughts for Tuesday, September 26 | MLB DFS Picks

The East Coast has some potential precipitation risks in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia, though none appear to be at risk of more than a delay. Chicago is the lone trouble spot in the Midwest, but it is still too far out to anticipate if this game could be delayed or actually postponed.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock, at 6:00 p.m. ET, brought to you by OwnersBox. Click through this link and create an account to receive up to a $500 first deposit match AND a FREE WEEK of Stokastic NFL Sims Max, a $59.95 value — full details here.

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Eric MacPherson
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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