DraftKings MLB Picks September 20: Pay up for Max
This is a bit of a special one for me. When this article goes live, it will be the 2,500th article that I have posted. Yes, you have been reading me ramble on this site for almost five years now. Some of you found me even before that. This is a bit of a milestone. I can’t quite believe how far this has gone. If you cant either, take a trip back in time to my first published article for Fantasy CPR, all the way back on October 8th of 2013. Of course it was covering my college football odds picks, which is probably still the favorite thing I do every week here. This was 18 months before I became an editor on the site. As you can see, things were a little different back then.
Reminiscing aside, we have eight games on our Thursday. There is a west coast matinee, leaving seven games for the main DraftKings tournament. We have one ace, a decent second tier, and a whole lot of stack bait.
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Rain wont be a bother tonight. There is a 12 mph wind blowing out to center in Cleveland, but center is a long ways in Progressive Field. It may not help all that much.
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!
These tips are based mostly on past performance. This is a nice tool for building a lineup, but should not be the only pieces of information you use. We have plenty of writers on here who give you relevant information no matter which site you play on!
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Max Scherzer ($13,000): The bit of cruel irony here is that you practically have to use Vargas as your SP2 with Scherzer if you want a decent offense. Of course, I could see this being a low scoring game. The Mets are hitting just .207 with seven homers and ten runs in 140 at bats with 48 strikeouts against Scherzer. Those are numbers fitting of this price. Now the bad news: Scherzer only picked up 19.6 DraftKings points in his one start against the Mets this year. That isn’t much of a deterrent. Scherzer is by far the best pitching option on this slate.
Matt Boyd ($9,400): This one is not without risk. The Royals have pushed across 12 runs in 25 innings against Boyd this year, so they chances of him hitting value for this price aren’t great. That said, Boyd has a 2.44 ERA in 13 home starts. The Royals have also been known to rack up the strikeouts. The problem is that the Royals are hitting .286 against Boyd in 126 at bats with three homers and 20 runs. This is more risk than I am comfortable dealing with when shelling out this much for a pitcher.
Jorge Lopez ($7,400): Lopez has a brilliant 1.39 ERA in two road starts so far. His 2.33 ERA in September is something worth chasing as well. Detroit’s offense isn’t horrible, but they aren’t great either. Lopez gets more of a park upgrade than usual here, so I expect a strong outing so long as his rib isn’t bugging him. Reports say it isn’t, so Lopez should be good to go, and is a very good middle tier option tonight.
Yonny Chirinos ($5,800): Chirinos looks to be the favorite to take over for the opener tonight. He has only allowed one run to the Jays in seven innings this year, good enough for 23.6 DraftKings points. Chirinos wont go seven in this one, but he should go five. That would give Chirinos enough value to be worth a look here with marginally less risk than Vargas.
Cody Reed ($5,500): Cody Reed is about as inconsistent as they come, but he gets a nice park upgrade here, and the Marlins offense is mostly awful. Reed pitched five shutout innings against the Cubs last week for his best start as a major leaguer. There is a strong chance he builds on that in Miami since the Marlins don’t really hit anyone well and it is one of the best pitcher’s parks around.
Jason Vargas ($4,600): It kind of makes me sick even thinking about using Vargas, but he racked up 31.7 DraftKings points against the Nats in New York a couple of weeks ago. The road numbers for Vargas are pretty bad, but I don’t think he gets blown up here. That alone makes Vargas worth this low of a price. Only the Dodgers have kept Vargas under 20 DraftKings points in his last four starts. Vargas may not hit 20 here, but I would bet he’s in the mid teens. That makes Vargas a huge bargain here.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Jeff Brigham:
Brigham has been terrible in both trips to the mound this year. I don’t see how or why that changes here. Gennett, Schebler, and Joey Votto are really strong plays even in a pitcher’s park. I also can’t say no to a decently priced Eugenio Suarez. I kind of want to take a shot with Peraza and/or Billy Hamilton here since gap hitters may be even more valuable than the power hitters in this cavernous park.
Chicago White Sox vs. Josh Tomlin:
Tomlin hasn’t been all that great out of the bullpen or starting. The risk here is that Carrasco owned the White Sox last night, but the talent level between Carrasco and Tomlin is huge. The White Sox have the power to take advantage here, even without Abreu. Moncada, Davidson, Daniel Palka, Avi Garcia, and Tim Anderson comprise and affordable stack that could come up big.
Cleveland Indians vs. James Shields:
The numbers for Shields against Cleveland aren’t completely horrible, but Shields’ work over the last month or so is. Cleveland has smacked 12 homers against Shields in 281 at bats with 34 runs. There is potential here if we know where to look. Yonder Alonso and Edwin each have three homers off of Shields. Josh Donaldson has two. Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Brantley all have one. Alonso, Edwin, and Donaldson are my favorites. You can finish this off any way you like or just go with a mini stack.
Atlanta Braves vs. Vince Velasquez:
Some teams just have some guys’ numbers. The Braves have Velasquez’s. They are hitting .342 with four homer and 17 runs in 117 at bats. Albies has two homers against Velasquez, both this year. Camargo and Flaherty have the others. Acuna, Tyler Flowers, Inciarte, Markakis, and Adam Duvall are all hitting .389 or better against Velasquez. There is serious potential here.
Nice try DraftKings, but I’m not paying $10,700 for Tanaka, who has a 6.60 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox this year. J.D. Martinez has slugged three homers against Tanaka in just 16 at bats. Benintendi, Pearce, Moreland, and Betts have all homered twice. Tanaka has been solid enough lately that I wont stack, but I would be surprised if he got out of this unscathed.
Whit Merrifield is 10-23(.435) with four RBI and four steals against Boyd. Salvador Perez has two of the three homers and six RBI in 27 at bats. Mondesi is on fire, and he has the other homer. A Royals mini stack could come up big against Boyd. Alcides Escobar is 9-25(.360) with four RBI against Boyd if you need a strong punt play.
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The only things the Mets muster against Scherzer are long balls. Michael Conforto has slugged three homers against Scherzer in 21 at bats. I don’t mind taking a run at him with Conforto or Nimmo chasing a long ball here.
The Yankees have slugged seven homers against Eduardo Rodriguez, but none of them have come from Stanton or Judge. Greg Bird has two of them! The ones I’m chasing though are McCutchen, Andujar, and Gary Sanchez.
Gaviglio’s luster at home has worn off. There is a lot of value with the Rays lefties priced the way they are. Kiermaier, Mallex Smith, Joey Wendle, and Choi are all between $4,100 and $4,300. I plan on using at least two of them.
I kinda want to go after Vargas, but at the same time, I feel like I know better. I may take a cheap shot with Michael Taylor or Mark Reynolds, but everyone else is priced way too high considering how Vargas has pitched lately.
Who is going to have a bat in their hands for the Tigers? Candelario and Goodrum are questionable. Iglesias is out. So is Hicks. I do like Jim Adduci for the price here, but I can’t see anyone else that I’m really crazy about.
Billy McKinney, Gurriel, and Aledmys Diaz are all $3,800 or less. I realize that the Tampa pen has been good, especially using the openers, but this seems really cheap. There is value on the low end Blue Jays tonight.
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