DraftKings MLB Picks September 19: Should You Fade Max For The Strong Middle Tier?

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 07: Starting pitcher Max Scherzer
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 07: Starting pitcher Max Scherzer /
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 05: Yu Darvish #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on September 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

DraftKings MLB Picks September 19

We have a full 15 game slate for our main DraftKings tournament tonight, but there are just four pitchers in our elite tier. Are any of them worth paying for? I faded them all yesterday, and I’m glad I did. Let’s take a look at how today’s DraftKings tournament shapes up.

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We will provide you with several options to build your lineup here. Want to spend all your money on pitchers and play bargain bats? We will highlight who is worth the money. Want to punt arms and pay up for the big boppers? We can help you with that as well, and everything in between!

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Next: DraftKings Pitcher Plays

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 14: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Fenway Park on September 14, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

I faded Max Scherzer in his last start against the Braves last week. That helped put me in the money since Max gave up seven runs in six innings. He has allowed 14 runs in 25.2 innings to Atlanta this  season. His strikeouts prevented that game from being truly horrendous, but if you are spending that much on a pitcher, you want more of a sure thing. Scherzer isn’t going to get pasted by the Braves again, but he may not live up to that lofty price tag either. However, if you are going to spend big on one pitcher, Scherzer is less of a risk than the others despite last week’s start.

Yu Darvish hasn’t been what the Dodgers paid for so far in L.A. However, he dominated the Giants in his last outing, and he gets a Philadelphia offense that on paper still isn’t very good. That said, they got three runs off of Clayton Kershaw last night, so take that for what you will. There is more risk involved with Darvish than what usually enters the elite tier, but he has been strong on the road since joining the Dodgers. This matchup, at least from an opponent perspective, looks pretty good, but it is in a hitter’s park. Buyer beware on this one.

Zack Godley‘s numbers against San Diego aren’t as strong as I would like if I’m paying that much for him. The middle tier is so strong tonight that you don’t have to put up with someone in the elite tier allowing a .256 average with two homers and ten run in only 78 at bats. I will admit that I am a big Godley fan and it will be hard for me to fade him, but I will tonight.

Mike Clevinger was awful against the Angels earlier this season. And even though his price is elevated, his ERA is still 3.91 over the last ten games. I don’t think he is worth it tonight. Clevinger will likely have a pretty good game, but I can see him being outscored by at least two of the middle tier pitchers and likely more.

Middle Tier:

Drew Pomeranz has a 2.86 ERA in his last ten starts, but he has allowed five runs in 16.1 innings against Baltimore this year. However, the Oriole offense has gone cold lately, scoring just 27 runs in the last ten games. With the recent dominance of Pomeranz and the struggles of the Baltimore offense, he is my favorite pitcher in this tier, and I could see fading the elites all together for him.

I’m more neutral on Jose Berrios. I’m not going to play him in Yankee Stadium, but at the same time, I’m not lining up to stack against him either. Aaron Judge  and Starlin Castro are about the only ones I’m considering, and Castro is just because of his lower price.

Nick Pivetta stymied the Dodgers last night, so I’m not really scared of using Aaron Nola. Nola has been stronger at home, going 8-4 with a 3.01 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 80.2 innings over 12 starts this year. There is a lot of upside here tonight, possibly more than with Darvish. Nola seems too cheap here, and I will be using him at least once.

Marcus Stroman has allowed the Royals a .266 average in 64 at bats, but he has still only allowed five runs. You would like to see less base runners, but Stroman could put up comparable stats to the rest of the pitchers in this tier with lower ownership.

Chase Anderson is another one of those guys that is quietly dominating in the second half. Anderson has a 2.79 ERA over his last ten starts, but he has a disappointing 5.71 ERA in four career starts in PNC Park. That said, the Pirates have only scored more than two runs in a game twice in their last dozen. Anderson is another pitcher that should perform very well for his price.

Bargain Pitchers:

Kevin Gausman has held Boston to a .230 average with eight homers and 18 RBI in 204 at bats in his career. Those are strong numbers for someone in this tier. The lack of pop by the offense leaves Gausman with a minimal chance at a win, but his 2.63 ERA over his last ten starts shows that Gausman’s rough mid season is in the distant past. He is my favorite cheaper pitcher tonight.

Well, that was quick. The Cubbies have moved Mike Montgomery back into the rotation. He automatically gets a look since he is a lefty against the Rays in a pitcher’s park.

Trevor Williams has a solid 3.71 ERA at home, and turned in a quality start against the Brewers earlier this year while striking out seven in six innings. He has elevated strikeout potential again, and should come out of this with another solid outing for a very reasonable price.

Daniel Gossett has been average, but the Tigers have been downright awful. I simply cannot justify recommending a stack of any sort concerning that lineup, so the logical alternative is to recommend Gossett against the worst offense in the majors this month.

Sam Gaviglio gave up just two runs in eight innings to the Blue Jays earlier this season while striking out nine. He has also only allowed three runs in two starts for the Royals. Gaviglio is nothing flashy, but he could turn in a nice outing for his price range if you are punting pitching all together or need a cheap second with Scherzer.

PHOENIX, AZ – SEPTEMBER 09: Paul Goldschmidt #44 of the Arizona Diamondbacks breaks his bat on an RBI single against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Chase Field on September 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

If I am paying up at first base, the clear choice for me once against is Paul Goldschmidt against Travis Wood. Joey Votto against rookie Jack Flaherty is a suitable pivot, and Edwin or Carlos Santana against Tyler Skaggs isn’t a bad idea either.

Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman with the platoon advantage against rookie Luiz Gohara are nice plays. Especially Rendon. He is my favorite if paying up at the hot corner.

Middle Tier:

Chad Bell is probably still smarting from the beating he took at the hands of the White Sox in his last outing. Ryon Healy is strong against lefties, as is Matt Chapman. You can easily play both in a lineup with elite pitchers if you so choose.

I’m not stacking Braves against Max Scherzer, but Freddie Freeman is about as cheap as he will ever be, and he has homered off of Scherzer twice in 18 at bats.

Justin Bour is due. Just saying…..

Joey Gallo has had a slow September power wise, but Mike Leake provides a good opportunity for him to get a hold of one.

Bargain Shoppers:

Eric Hosmer is hitting .405 over his last ten games, and is just $3,500. He is way too cheap against Marcus Stroman. Evan Longoria also looks like an absolute steal against Mike Montgomery and the suddenly shaky Cubs bullpen.

Cheap catcher alert! Chris Gimenez is 5-12 with three walks, a double, a run scored, and two RBI against CC Sabathia. The Twins don’t hit lefties as well as they used to, and there were shut down by one last night. The right handed bats are too expensive with the exception of Jimenez.

The Mets offense is loaded with cheap bats. It is worth exploring a few of them against Odrisamer Despaigne. Dominic Smith leads the charge, but you really can’t go wrong with Travis d’Arnaud, Brandon Nimmo, or Juan Lagares either. The Mets have been scoring more runs than they really should lately.

Danny Valencia and Mike Zunino are both in this tier against Martin Perez and they likely shouldn’t be. Zunino has homered twice in just nine at bats agianst Perez and Valencia is 8-25(.320) with a homer and five RBI off of Perez. And Kyle Seager……wow. Seager is 16-41(.390) with four homers, eight runs scored, and seven RBI off of Perez.

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 24: Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals hits a single in the third inning during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park on June 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

Lucas Giolito has been really good lately, but there is no way I’m starting him against the Astros. Jose Altuve remains the ultimate choice at second base, but Paul DeJong and Yoan Moncada have a lot more upside tonight.

I really like Trea Turner against rookie Luiz Gohara tonight. If you are playing for an elite shortstop, make it Turner.

Middle Tier:

Dee Gordon was the catalyst against Matt Harvey last night. He should be against Seth Lugo again tonight, though I don’t see them quite beating up on Lugo as bad as they did Harvey.

Jean Segura is down in this tier tonight. He could operate much like Gordon did last night as the leadoff hitter against the weakest pitcher. Gordon came up big last night. Expect Segura to do it tonight.

Bargain Shoppers:

Chad Pinder against a strong play, particularly at just $3,300. I like Marcus Semien as well.

Brandon Drury doesn’t always hit lefties well, but he may make an exception for Travis Wood. All of the right handed Arizona hitters are in play tonight, and some of them are very reasonably priced.

Lost in the motif that all Rockies except Jon Gray are much better on the road is that German Marquez really isn’t anymore. His ERA is over 4 everywhere now due to recent struggled. Brandon Crawford is an awfully strong punt at $2,600 tonight.

Next: Top Outfield Plays

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 13: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on September 13, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

If it weren’t for Mookie Betts, Boston’s numbers against Kevin Gausman would be really sad. Mookie is 12-26(.462) with four walks, a double, three homers, eight runs scored, and seven RBI in his career against Gausman. He is the only Red Sox player I really trust tonight.

Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich have both homered off of Seth Lugo in their careers. Not like you need another reason to play either of them.

If you have been paying any attention at all since August 1st, you don’t need me to tell you that J.D. Martinez is once again an elite play. He is one of the few that I would fade Betts for tonight.

The Rockies, and the outfielders in particular, have hit Johnny Cueto hard. Carlos Gonzalez has the best numbers at the cheapest price. CarGo is 13-36(.361) with three walks, two doubles, a homer, and seven RBI off of Cueto. It’s hard to trust them away from Coors, but Gerardo Parra and Charlie Blackmon have also hit Cueto well.

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Middle Tier:

The Mariners as a whole have destroyed Martin Perez. Of course Nelson Cruz is right in the middle of it all. He is 7-19(.368) with three homers, seven runs scored, and five RBI off of Perez.

Khris Davis is likely going to be highly owned against Chad Bell, but he just might be worth it. He is a strong bet for homer number 40 tonight.

Shin-Soo Choo has two solo homers off of Mike Leake in only 14 at bats. Nomar Mazara has taken him deep as well. If you aren’t planning on blowing your budget in the outfield, these two are strong mid-level plays.

Bargain Shoppers:

I don’t fully trust Yu Darvish, so Odubel Herrera and Nick Williams are once again two of my favorite plays. However, I likely wont use both in the same lineup just in case Darvish pitches out of his mind again.

Brandon Guyer hits all lefties hard, but he really seems to like Tyler Skaggs. Guyer has two homers and five RBI in just five at bats against Skaggs! He will be in a few of my lineups!

The entire Pittsburgh outfield is cheap, and all three of them have hit Chase Anderson well in his career. Combined, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and Andrew McCutchen are 20-50 with five homers, three steals, ten runs scored, and eight RBI off of Anderson. You can play all three for just a shade over $10,000 if you don’t trust Anderson’s recent hot streak.

Next: FanDuel MLB Picks and Pivots

Good luck out there, and check out our picks for FanDuel baseball, along with our PGA picks. We also have plenty of NFL stuff to get you ready for football!