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MLB Baseball DFS Advice

DFS MLB Baseball Picks for September 5, 2021

Aaron Judge New York Yankees
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: New York Yankees pinch hitter Aaron Judge (99) finishes a swing during the New York Yankees versus Baltimore Orioles game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 29, 2021 in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

We have a 10-game main slate on DraftKings today with the first pitch at 1:05 PM EST. The game in Coors Field is not included in this slate, so the highest implied run totals are for the New York Yankees (6.2), the Toronto Blue Jays (5.4), the Cincinnati Reds (5.5), the Boston Red Sox (5.1), and the Tampa Bay Rays (5.4). The Chicago White Sox, who came through for us last night have about a 5.0 run implied total and the Milwaukee Brewers (5.0) are once again in a good spot. Two games that could also provide big offense are still without lines (Pirates-Cubs in a windy Wrigley Field; and the Phillies-Marlins game in Miami).

There’s some light rain throughout the national weather forecast today, but nothing serious enough for us to fade any bats outright in our MLB DFS player pool for tonight’s DraftKings contests.

Here is a selection of today’s Core Players 50-50 MLB DFS lineup for 9/04/21 (using DraftKings Values)

 PitcherCorbin Burnes $9,700
 First BaseLuke Voit $4,000
 Second Base   
 Third BaseLuis Urias $3,900
 Short Stop   
 OutfieldAustin Meadows $4,700
 OutfieldAaron Judge $6,000

Corbin Burnes – P  ($9,700) – We have a wealth of viable pitching options on today’s slate, but Burnes has the highest projection for DK points. He’s actually eclipsed the 20-point mark in nine of his last 10 starts and has given us two GPP-winning scores in two of his last four outings, including 31.1 DK points his last time out on August 30 in San Francisco and a masterpiece in Wrigley Field against the Cubs on August 11 where he struck out 15 batters and scored 49.6 points.

Luke Voit – 1B  ($4,000) – He’s in a bit of a home run drought, but there’s opportunity in the middle of this Yankees order and he does his best work against fastballs and sliders, two of the three pitches that Orioles starter Keegan Akin has in his repertoire. The price is just too good to pass up given Voit’s upside and the high projected run total.

Luis Urias – 3B ($3,900) – This is a wonderful matchup for a hot young hitter who’s done a fine job of handling just about any pitch this season, with plus value ranks on fastballs, sliders, cutters, curveballs and changeups. That across-the-board competence is something that could help further flummox a veteran pitcher like Lester who relies heavily on a four-pitch repertoire (he doesn’t throw as slider) to throw hitters off balance. Urias went yard yesterday and is in a great spot to do so again this afternoon.

Austin Meadows – OF ($4,700) – Meadows offers much-needed salary relief from the elite tier without sacrificing too much of the mojo that we like from our $5,000+ hitters. Ensconced among a slew of professional hitters who make contact at high rates and draw their fair share of walks, Meadows has great lineup protection and draws a favorable matchup along with the rest of the Rays lineup – a date with Twins SP Griffin Jax. 

Aaron Judge – OF ($6,000) – This is where we should be spending up, getting access to the Yankees’ best hitter and a guy that finds a way to get on base. Judge is making contact at the highest rate of his career (72.7 percent, up a full five percentage points from his career rate of 67.5 percent), and he carries multi-homer upside into every game. Don’t overthink this one and pay up for a Yankees slugger who’s been steady and engaged all season long.

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• All-sport, all-access to for a month or a year
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• Read our strategy on how to build well-designed lineups around a core hot hitters that allows you to spend big.
• See our list of three players to avoid this week and WHY…   

The Pitchers

Robbie Ray ($10,100) – Ray is the second-best option after Burnes and has averaged over 30 DK points per game over his last five outings. But the matchup against Oakland is far from a cakewalk, since they rank best in the league against the Cy Young candidate’s out pitch – a nasty slider that’s gotten him a 46.4 percent swing-and-miss rate in 2021. Still – his version of that devastating pitch gets a 10.4 value according to FanGraphs and is among the best in the league after guys like Yu Darvish (14.4), Joe Musgrove (13.6) , Max Scherzer (12.5) and Gerrit Cole (12.1).

Dylan Cease ($9,700) – Tampa Bay Rays SP Luis Patiño is a viable GPP option if we get a righty-heavy lineup for the Twins, but he’s a little more volatile than Cease, who’s given us a steady stream of workable DK points totals over his last 10 starts. That’s despite surrendering a few homers (five) over his past four outings, where he’s done an excellent job of limiting the damage by keeping guys off base. He’s reached double-digit Ks in four of his last nine starts, sports a 30.8 percent K rate this season, and draws a Royals lineup that doesn’t inspire any true fear, except in the form of Salvador Perez.

Corey Kluber ($8,600) – There’s a little more risk with “Klubot” but the matchup is a good one and the Yankees should give him the requisite run support to get the job done with minimal damage against the Orioles. He pitched great for 3.1 innings against the Angels in his return from the IL on August 30 before getting touched up in the fourth and yielding a grand slam to Jack Mayfield. Before the hit that started the rally for Los Angeles, he sat down 10 straight Angels to start the game, notching six Ks. If there’s nothing mechanically wrong, he’s worth another shot, especially in GPPs.

The Value Players

Tucker Barnhart – C ($3,000) – Barnhart is more of a GPP play than a cash game darling, as he’s got some decent power but hits a little further down in the Reds lineup. I prefer him as a stack component a little more than a one-off, but he’s viable in single-entry builds if you don’t have a lot to spend at catcher.

Max Schrock – 2B/OF ($2,600) – Schrock pairs well with Barnhart in Reds stacks but you can make a very good case for him to be a must-play at this price considering his positional flexibility and the eye-popping small-sample metrics he’s given us against RHP: .410 wOBA, .240 ISO in 45 AB vs. RHP this season.

Gleyber Torres – SS  ($3,300) – Recently activated form IL, Torres has an impressive history against the Orioles, terrorizing them on an almost spiritual level over the past few seasons. He got a hit last night in his first game back and is dirt-cheap at just $3,300 on a slate without too many obvious value plays in the shortstop slot. If you’re not spending up, he’s an excellent option.

Tyler Naquin – OF  ($3,000) – The left-handed Naquin has a .366 wOBA and .242 ISO vs. RHP this season and is one of the better value plays on the slate batting second against Casey Mize.

Lorenzo Cain – OF  ($2,500) – I love the value that Cain offers against Lester, and even if he’s hitting near the bottom of the lineup, this veteran outfielder is worth a look for some salary relief.

The Stacks

New York Yankees – They’ll be chalky, because they have the highest implied total of the slate, but we’re kind of excited about rolling out Voit, Judge, Torres, Gary Sanchez ($4,600), and one of the other big bats among Joey Gallo ($4,800), D.J. LeMahieu ($4,400) or Giancarlo Stanton ($5,300). If Voit doesn’t get the nod at 1B, or we want to switch things up in multi-entry, we can pivot to Anthony Rizzo, who’s still very affordable at just $4,300. 

Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays are still woefully underpriced for the potential they offer against just about any pitcher in baseball, but today they face the uninspiring Jax and his comedic 6.71/6.74 ERA/FIP combo. We have no problem recommending a full Rays stack, mixing and matching among Meadows, the expensive but terrifying Brandon Lowe, Randy Arozarena, Nelson Cruz, Wander Franco and value options Kevin Kiermaier ($2,400) and catcher Francisco Mejia ($3,100).

Cincinnati Reds – There is plenty of value here in the 1-2-7-8 hitters, projected to be the electric Jonathan India ($4,700) and the aforementioned Naquin, Barnhart and Schrock. Then we can add Joey Votto ($5,000 and batting cleanup) to round out the full five-man stack on DK and still have plenty left over for double aces on the mound and top hitters in the $4-5K range from the rest of the slate. We recommend getting some GPP exposure to one of these builds, especially if you’re rolling out some MMEs or 20-max entries.

Milwaukee Brewers – We don’t need a full stack here, but the Brewers face the eminently crushable Jon Lester and there’s immense value in the 1-4 hitters, especially if they move Cain up in the lineup. If so, we can plug him in alongside Urias, Eduardo Escobar ($4,600) and Christian Yelich ($4,400) and get a low-owned four-man stack with oodles of upside. Avisail Garcia ($3,800) might be back in the mix today as well, so that’s worth watching as the lineups are finalized.

Go win your lineup and tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.

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