Saturday has a variety of “featured slates” throughout the day 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. Saturday has us dodging the raindrops, so be nimble with contingency plans like LHP Jordan Montgomery and the Houston Astros offense.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Sept. 23
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers
Main Slate Pitching Target: LHP Jordan Montgomery vs. Seattle Mariners — 4.2 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,700 | FanDuel $9,400 | Yahoo $38
The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has LHP Jordan Montgomery as the best fantasy point per dollar option tonight, in a home matchup against the Seattle. The Mariners have actually been solid against southpaws this season, with the active roster carrying a 116 wRC+ which is the sixth best offensive efficiency in the league. Of course they do have a 26.4% strikeout rate which is the second highest and only a .151 ISO, which is very middle-of-the-pack.
Montgomery is having a fine season with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.201 WHIP with essentially identical production with St. Louis and now Texas. The main knock against him is a lack of strikeouts, though his 8.0 per nine innings rate should get a bit of a boost against the M’s tonight. Seattle’s projected lineup has plenty of swing-happy hitters with Julio Rodriguez (28.6%), Teoscar Hernandez (30.9%), Eugenio Suarez (32.9%), Dylan Moore (32.1%) and catcher Luis Torrens (31.6%) all striking out well above league average.
Rookie J.P. France would be the next man up as he takes on the visiting Kansas City Royals in Houston, though he has struggled down the stretch allowing five or more runs in three of his last five outings. He is at a career high 150.2 innings and even with getting an extra day of rest between starts for the last couple of weeks, he has allowed 23 runs and seven home runs in his last 23.1 frames.
Veteran LHP Clayton Kershaw is in maintenance mode prior to the playoffs and it would be a surprise to see him throw more than 80 pitches tonight and RHP Logan Gilbert has a tough matchup in Texas against the Rangers. Tread lightly friends and keep that powder dry for NFL Sunday!
Early Slate Pitching Target: RHP Brandon Woodruff at Miami Marlins — 3.5 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $11,800 | FanDuel $11,500 | Yahoo $56
It looks like Milwaukee should be able to hang on to the third best record in the National League and the Brewers have all but clinched the Central title, holding an eight-game lead over the Cubs with eight games left on the schedule. In April, RHP Brandon Woodruff suffered a subscapular strain, which kept him on the shelf for almost four months. He ahs been outstanding in his return with a 2.13 ERA, 3.62 FIP and a .155 batting average against, accompanied by 56 strikeouts across 50.2 innings. The highlight of these eight outings was a complete-game shutout, at the expense of the Marlins in Milwaukee two weeks ago.
Considering the Brewers are eying a tough playoff run that is going to see them have to go through Atlanta or Los Angeles in the second round, it is unlikely to see Woodruff for more than 90 or so pitches or six innings this afternoon, whichever comes first. That is not something that has been announced, but it would be prudent to weight that potential scenario with Woodruff’s apex salary.
There are limited pivot options with all of the weather on the East Coast, but LHP Joey Wentz in Oakland or RHP Jesus Luzardo against the Brewers comprise the short list, particularly if RHP Nick Pivetta sees his matchup in Boston against the White Sox washed out.
MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks
Main Slate Target: Houston Astros vs. RHP Jordan Lyles — 6.0 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Over the last three seasons, RHP Jordan Lyles leads the league with 102 home runs allowed. This year he has ceded 38 round-trippers, which trails only the 42 suffered by RHP Lance Lynn. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has allowed dingers in nine consecutive starts and 12 of his 29 appearances have resulted in multiple home runs.
Look to the usual suspects in Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. Differentiation can be found with Chas McCormick who is an underrated power bat that is still in development. This stack projects to be the most popular on the featured slate, so keep that in mind as you craft lineups for the large-field tournaments. Easy differentiation can be found by looking to the other dugout and taking Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez or Nelson Velazquez, for leverage against France, who is the second most popular pitcher on this slate.
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Early Slate Target: Detroit Tigers at RHP Joe Boyle — 4.1 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:07 p.m. ET
The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool is interested in the Detroit Tigers in their matchup against rookie RHP Joe Boyle. The 24-year-old came over from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for LHP Sam Moll at the trade deadline. Boyle is a modern day Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh and most projection systems have him for 10-plus strikeouts and a rarely seen 6-plus walks per nine innings. Clearly he would be best used as a reliever, but at this point in the season the Athletics have nothing left to lose, well other than games.
For as much as the Motor City Kitties get besmirched in this space, Spencer Torkelson and Kerry Carpenter are actually promising young bats. Matt Vierling and Zach McKinstry are replacement-level hitters, but at the top of the order they are all but assured of five plate appearances on the road.
Future Hall of Famer, Miguel Cabrera has only two extra-base hits in his last 13 starts, but he also has four multi-hit games. Javy Baez clearly no longer cares, but he could always run into one today and for the daring, Akil Badoo does care, but sadly he has trouble getting on base – but at least he is a threat to swipe a bag when he does. DFS is all about matchups and opportunities, plus with all the weather issues today, at least this game does not have to deal with that variable. This is a tepid recommendation, but truthful nonetheless.
Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities
This afternoon we can look to Daulton Varsho in the sports wagering market for his home run prop. The True Odds feature on OddsShopper shows that the 27-year-old has +433 “true odds” of knocking one into the stands, with a strong +480 payoff, which is indicative of a line that is inefficient by almost 8%.
Home runs are always fickle, particularly when players are on the road in pitching friendly parks like Tropicana Field. Varsho has regressed a little from his breakout last season, but he still has 18 home runs in 500 plate appearances this season, as well as a solid .177 ISO in 438 opposite-handed matchups. RHP Zack Littell has allowed a .184 ISO over his last 224 righty-lefty matchups and while we should not let batter versus pitcher results drive our decisions, it is fun to see that Varsho is 3 for 3 against Littell with a double, a home runs and a walk.
Final Thoughts for Saturday, September 23 | MLB DFS Picks
Weather from Tropical Storm Ophelia has already had the Nationals push Saturday’s game to a Sunday doubleheader. The action in Boston, New York and Philadelphia is also bringing the threat of postponements at those venues. Finally it looks like Minnesota could see some in-game rain as well.
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