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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: September 23, 2015

Below I’ve included a discussion for tonight’s slate of games at DraftKings keying in on the pitching options, the best teams to stack from as well as an individual set of player rankings.


It looks like there might be some thunderstorm chances in Minnesota, but otherwise, the slate is safe! Be sure to monitor the weather closer to game time.

Pitching Perspective

This week has been up and down in terms of pitching options, and the same is true tonight. There are a few top options in Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber and Zack Grienke, but other, cheaper options will be based purely on matchup rather than skillset.

Of the top three, I’d rank them in the order of Grienke, Scherzer and Kluber. Grienke as you may well know is perhaps the NL Cy Young frontrunner and has been impressive all season long. He has a matchup with an Arizona Diamondbacks team that has been dragged away from their home park. The Diamondbacks are set up much better to attack left-handed pitchers, as they have the last two nights against Alex Wood and Brett Anderson, and against right-handers, their team strikeout totals are in the top-10 in the league (20.8%). Grienke’s strikeout numbers have taken a hit this season, but he’s excelled in run prevention and still offers you enough upside with strikeouts to post excellent fantasy numbers. Over 25% of players found a way to roster Jake Arrieta at $14,500 last night, so the $13,200 required for Grienke should be no problem.

Scherzer has been a mess in the second half as he’s allowing home run balls at an upsetting rate, but he still offers so much strikeout upside that can mitigate any problems with earned runs. Vegas doesn’t necessarily think the Orioles are worth that many runs tonight either, as they’re experiencing a negative park shift away from their home park in Baltimore. Scherzer is still striking out over 10 hitters per nine innings this season and his salary is at the lowest you might be able to find someone of his ability. Despite recent performances, I’m still on him for cash games.

Kluber is sort of a mold of these two arms, putting together good run prevention skills with better strikeout numbers than Grienke. His matchup with the Minnesota Twins is perhaps the best of these three matchups, but he’ll have the disadvantage of pitching on the road at the same salary as Max Scherzer. If you’re deciding between the two, I’d lean Scherzer, but love Kluber for tournaments. He’s pitched to a 2.99 xFIP this season, and that’s despite early struggles that left us wondering if the reigning Cy Young winner was a fluke. A little hint – he’s not ; use him with confidence.

Outside of these three guys, salary relief options I’m looking at tonight are Lance Lynn and Andrew Cashner. Both Lynn and Cashner have absurdly low prices given their skillsets and matchups and both can be used in cash games. Lynn takes on a fairly weak Cincinnati Reds lineup that is experiencing a fairly significant park shift away from Great American Ball Park. Lynn as you might know has a steady strikeout rate, but can often struggle with his command, allowing free passes and getting himself in trouble. The Reds are one of the more patient teams in the league (top 10 in BB%), but their also one of the worst overall offensively, falling in the bottom third in terms of wOBA. He’s the safest of the cheap options tonight.

Cashner on the other hand has a tougher matchup with a solid San Francisco Giants lineup, but he is pitching in a great ball park and has a super accessible salary. Cashner has regained a little of what made him such a valuable strikeout pitcher this season, ramping up his K/9 to near eight after a season below seven last year. As a result though, he’s increased his walk percentage, and hasn’t been super sharp in terms of run prevention, pitching to a 3.87xFIP. This play is banking on his salary and knowing that he doesn’t need an incredible performance to hit value, but also presents upside to land you a great reward in tournaments.

Stack Options

  1. Coors Field – It’s obligatory to include this here at the top, as it’ll be the game with the most exposure industry wide tonight. The Pirates will be taking on a below average right-handed pitcher in Christian Bergman and have an implied run total nearing six runs! Yes, it’s approaching six runs. They’ll be the most popular stack, but you’ll need exposure to them in cash games. Most notably try to gain exposure to the valuable players in their offense like Josh Harrison and Aramis Ramirez who have salaries under $4,000. That will allow you to pay for Carlos Gonzalez, Andre McCutchen and Starling Marte.
  2. Chicago Cubs – Yep, I’m recommending my Cubbies today against right-hander Zach Davies. Davies has been less than thrilling so far this year, posting a crazy high 5.14 BB/9 while not striking out many hitters and pitching to a 4.58 xFIP. He’s done a pretty good job of eliminating the home run ball, but the Cubs lineup is so good, and so deep, that he doesn’t threaten me at all. The best part about this stack is their upside will be unparalleled and under-owned tonight thanks to the game in Coors Field. Live and die with them in tournaments.
  3. Toronto Blue Jays – Yes, the Blue Jays are at home, so they had to be in this piece somewhere. Ivan Nova, while possessing a solid set of pitches has been brutal this year, striking out next to no one and getting bitten by the home run ball, despite his decent ground ball rates. The Blue Jays are an incredibly intimidating offense and also will add to the diversification of your tournament lineups. If you’re looking to try and be different in tournaments look to them.

Player Rankings


  1. Kyle Schwarber -$4,600 – Chicago Cubs
  2. Francisco Cervelli -$3,600 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. John Jaso -$2,700 – Tampa Bay Rays

First Basemen

  1. Justin Morneau -$3,300 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Anthony Rizzo -$5,600 – Chicago Cubs
  3. Pedro Alvarez -$3,900 – Pittsburgh Pirates

Second Basemen

  1. Josh Harrison -$3,500 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  2. Neil Walker -$4,300 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Chris Coghlan -$3,700 – Chicago Cubs


  1. Jose Reyes -$4,200 – Colorado Rockies
  2. STarlin Castro -$3,600 – Chicago Cubs
  3. Xander Bogaerts -$4,000 – Boston Red Sox

Third Basemen

  1. Aramis Ramirez -$3,600 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  2. Josh Donaldson -$5,000 – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Josh Harrison -$3,500 – Pittsburgh Pirates


  1. Charlie Blackmon -$4,700 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Carlos Gonzalez -$4,700 – Colorado Rockies
  3. Gregory Polanco -$4,600 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  4. Andrew McCutchen -$5,400 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Corey Dickerson -$3,200 – Colorado Rockies

Starting Pitchers

  1. Zack Grienke -$13,200 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Max Scherzer -$12,400 – Washington Nationals
  3. Lance Lynn -$8,400 – St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Corey Kluber -$12,300 – Cleveland Indians
  5. Andrew Cashner -$6,900 – San Diegoe Padres

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