We head into Tuesday with 4 game slate featuring the American League Wild Card Day 1 action. We have an awesome pitcher's duel between Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole, some young and fun teams in the White Sox and Jays on the road, and a sneaky pitching matchup between Kenta Maeda and Zack Greinke. There are going to be a lot of plays that will turn into the "obvious" chalk plays and some extra contrarian ways to attack this slate.
When looking at the slate it comes down to paying up for the obvious pitching targets or taking some risk with some of the cheaper options in maybe tougher matchups. How much risk are you willing to take on this slate? If you build a lineup against Bieber or Cole, even if it is just a couple of bats, you will be quite unique. Playing Blake Snell or Zack Greinke could give you major leverage against what should be the popular stacks. Lots of ways to go today and this article will highlight some of the stronger plays but also listen to MLB DFS Quick Hits to get a full slate rundown with some strategy as well.
In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 9/29/2020. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel, and other sports too. If you have any questions or comments, contact me on Twitter @bdentrek.Editor's Note: Love the strategy of season-long fantasy sports? Live for the short term gratification of DFS? Try Weekly Fantasy Sports on OwnersBox - a new weekly DFS platform. Sign up today for a FREE $50 Deposit Match. Offer expires Thursday night! Sign Up Now!
DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers
Gerrit Cole - P, NYY at CLE ($8,600)
Cole had a bit of a hiccup in the middle of the season but has bounced back in a big way in his last four starts. He has thrown at least six innings, including seven innings in three straight starts. He has struck out at least seven in all four starts but that is not the concern as he has struck out at least seven in all but two starts this season. The more important aspect over his last four starts is the fact Cole has only allowed a home run in two of those four starts and only one in his last three. That's a big deal because he had given up at least one home run in each of his first nine starts. He has allowed only a 6.6% barrel rate and a 37.7% hard-hit rate over the last four games. He will face an Indians offense that has been ice cold outside of Jose Ramirez. In the month of September, the Indians are striking out 23.4% of the time vs RHP with a .233 average and .144 ISO. Cole will be facing Bieber and will be the arm I want to use in this Cy Young pitcher's duel.
Kenta Maeda - P, MIN vs HOU ($8,000)
Maeda is as consistent as they come this season. He has thrown at least six innings in eight of his 11 starts while allowing no more than three runs in any of his 11 starts. He finished the season with a 2.70 ERA, his FIP of 3.00 and xFIP of 2.63 say it was not a fluke either. He was just that good. He had a 32.3% K-rate to go with an awesome 4% BB-rate as he dominated the Central Divisions. He will take on the Astros today, an Astros team that is a shell of its former self. Houston does not strike out a lot, only 18.4% of the time in September vs RHP, but they also only hit .253 with a .175 ISO. Between Maeda's consistency, his ability to limit weak contact with a 7% barrel rate and 24.7% hard-hit rate, and the Astros struggles, Maeda makes for a solid play tonight between cash and GPP lineups.
Other Options: Blake Snell (TB vs TOR) $7,800
DraftKings DFS Infielders
The catcher's position is a bit pricey today and with the tough pitching matchups, the idea of saving cash at the position makes the most sense. Murphy is the top option when it comes to savings and upside before seeing lineups. Murphy has hit safely in 10 of his 16 games played in September for a strong .277 average. He also has five home runs with a .362 ISO and a very impressive 20.3% BB-rate over those 16 games. He is also barreling the ball 17.6% of the time with a 41.2% hard-hit rate. He has a very tough matchup vs Giolito today, but he will look to use his .232 ISO and .369 wOBA vs RHP to some success.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - 1B, TOR at Blake Snell ($4,200)
Vladito had an up and down season but really finished strong over the last 14 games. He hit safely in nine of 14 games with a .333 average. He had eight extra-base hits, a .294 ISO, and a very impressive 5.7% strikeout rate. He also had a 56.3% hard-hit rate over the 14 game stretch and will look to continue that versus Snell tonight. On the season Vlad had a .345 ISO with a .363 wOBA and a 35.7% HR/FB rate vs LHP this season. On the season Snell has allowed 1.7 HR/9 to RHH with a 29.2% HR/FB. The Jays powerful RHH are in play tonight and that starts with some 1B value in Valdito.
Lowe is having one heck of a season for the Rays and will look to keep things rolling in the playoffs. He finished the season strong hitting .321 over his last 16 games with four home runs and three stolen bases, doing a little bit of everything for the fantasy players everywhere. He had a .264 ISO, 12.7% BB-rate, 13.2% barrel rate and a 50% hard-hit rate. He will face Shoemaker to start the night, but Shoemaker only threw three innings in his last appearance on September 21 and that was his first appearance since August 21. After Shoemaker, it appears to be Robbie Ray, but we shall see. Lowe hit .259 vs RHP this season and .300 vs LHP, so it does not matter who the Jays throw as Lowe will be a strong play at a shallow 2B position today.
Other Options: Joey Wendle (TB vs TOR) $3,900
Jose Ramirez - 3B, CLE at Gerrit Cole ($5,300)
I am not looking to fully target Cole today, but if one would, they better start with Jose Ramirez. JRam was probably the hottest hitter in baseball to finish the season. He hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games for a .417 average with 17 extra-base hits. He only struck out 10.3% of the time over that stretch with a .550 ISO and a 20.8% barrel rate. To say JRam was locked in would be an understatement. He will face Cole tonight who allowed LHH to hit 2.7 HR/9 with a 40% hard-hit rate this season.
Willy Adames - SS, TB vs Matt Shoemaker/Robbie Ray ($4,100)
Adames finished the season on a four-game hitting streak where he had two extra-base hits and a stolen base. He had a .313 average with a .250 ISO as well over that stretch. He scored double-digit DK points in four of his last eight games and had five or more points in six of his final eight games. He brings cash game appeal with tournament upside in a strong matchup vs the Jays today.
Other Options: Jonathan Villar (TOR at TB) $3,800
DraftKings DFS Outfielders
Rosario comes into today's matchup hitting safely in eight of his last 10 games with a .289 average. He has three home runs to go with a .263 ISO and a 43.8% hard-hit rate. He faces the righty Greinke today and on the season he hit .265 with a .284 ISO on the season vs righties. Of late Greinke has not been the Greinke most fear allowing three or more runs in seven straight starts while throwing no more than six innings in any of those starts. Over those seven games, he has a 5.73 ERA, has allowed six home runs with a 10.5% barrel rate and 37.7% hard-hit rate. The BOMB SQUAD is very live today and Rosario is an affordable piece of the action.
Randy Arozarena- OF, TB vs Michael Shoemaker/Robbie Ray ($3,800)
Arozarena has been quite the surprise this season and for our sake will hopefully be ignored today. He has been hitting near the top of the Rays lineup and flourishing, In his last eight games he is hitting .320 with a .400 ISO, three home runs, and three stolen bases. The power and speed combo he brings the player is perfect for DFS. He comes in quite affordable today and should be a staple in your lineups, especially when stacking the Rays.
This is primarily an upside versus price tag play today. When looking at small slates like today, with elite pitching, finding values with major upside should be a priority. Lou Bob fits that mold. He did not have the best of second halves but did finish on a three-game hitting streak that could maybe carry over to the postseason. On the season he hit .273 and a .347 wOBA vs LHP this season. He could easily go 0'FER, but could also hit a couple of home runs while stealing a bag and put up 20+ points. Lou Bob is a GPP only play and could make for strong value today.
DraftKings DFS Stacks
- Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays (Michael Shoemaker, RHP/Robbie Ray, LHP)
- Minnesota Twins vs Houston Astros (Zack Greinke, RHP)
- Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (Blake Snell, LHP)
- Sneaky Stack- Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics (Jesus Luzardo, LHP)