Sep 12, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of the DraftKings sign board during the match with FC Dallas playing against New York City FC at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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DraftKings MLB Picks For September 5
We have a full main slate which spans all day on DraftKings for you on Labor Day. Lots of aces are laboring on the mound today. Seven pitchers hit the $10,000 threshold, with three more topping $9,000. Should we go cheap on hitting, or spend on the elite pitchers? Let’s take a look at the past stats to try and point us in the right direction.
NOTE: these picks are based solely on statistics. Some players have never faced their opponents, or have very little experience against them. I am not saying that none of those are good picks. The highest scorer of the day could be someone with no experience against his opponent. This is based on statistical analysis only. If you have a gut feeling, then by all means, follow that. This is not an exact science. The best lineups usually have a mix of proven stats and hot players. Check out this post from Matt McGarvey for great tips about whether to use a hot player in DFS or not.
For you first time players, if you would like $20 worth of free entry tickets, use this link for the referral bonus! Then continue reading for tips on how to turn that $20 into more!
Apr 7, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Robert Stephenson throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Why should you avoid Ryan Weber? Let me count the ways! He is facing possibly the best pitcher in baseball in Scherzer. The Nationals are a very good team. He has a 5.24 ERA on the season. He has only made five starts all year. All of those were at AAA Gwinnett. Even if Weber does pitch well enough to be in contention for a win, he likely wont last the required five innings for a win. Stay far away from this one.
The current Reds are hitting .357 against Bartolo Colon, and that includes Brandon Phillips‘ awful career mark of 2-15. The Reds offense has been lousy lately, but this track record isn’t very inspiring. Colon is quite a risk here, but he could dominate the Reds.
Robert Stephenson started the season in Cincinnati going 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts. At AAA Louisville, he had a 4.41 ERA in 24 starts. He has the potential to be a big steal against the Mets, but those AAA stats are uninspiring.
Only four current Rockies have faced Matt Moore. Those four are a combined 5-23 with two RBI and eight strikeouts. Now the bad news: Mark Reynolds has 13 of those at bats with two hits and six strikeouts. Moore has posted a 3.16 ERA for the Giants in six starts. Moore could be a sneaky pick at Coors Field since most of the Rockies’ power is from the left side.
Jose Berrios has a bright future in front of him, but it’s hard to see through his 9.24 ERA. The Royals put up four runs on him on August 19th. There isn’t nearly enough upside to chance it with Berrios on a full slate.
Chad Kuhl has never faced the Cardinals. After a bit of a rocky beginning, Kuhl has not allowed more than three runs in his last six starts. He faced both the Cubs and Nationals in that span, so there is reason to believe he can be solid against the Cardinals.
Raul Alcantara will make his major league debut today against the Angels. He posted a brilliant 1.18 ERA in 45.2 innings at AAA Nashville, but he is still a bit of a risk against a suddenly hot Angels team.
Jake Esch was solid in his debut against the Mets last week, and he has a realistic chance of turning in solid numbers against the Phillies as well. Still, Esch isn’t a high strikeout guy, so his upside is limited.
Aug 30, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz (31) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Drew Pomeranz ($12,000): For those of you that don’t remember, Pomeranz spent the first three years of his career with the Colorado Rockies. During his tenure there, the current Padres team was a pathetic 1-17(.059) against him with four strikeouts. I don’t really see where the Padres got any better, so despite the small sample size, I like Pomeranz in the elite tier. There is a ton of potential here against the team Pomeranz began the season with.
Kyle Hendricks ($11,400): Milwaukee is hitting just .171 against Hendricks over 70 at bats with only three runs scored and a whopping 21 strikeouts. These are the elite numbers you are looking for when relying on past stats while chasing aces. Expect Hendricks to dominate the Brewers again.
Masahiro Tanaka ($9,900): The Blue Jays have only managed a .197 average against Tanaka in 147 at bats with three homers, only ten runs, and a solid 38 strikeouts. The strikeout total is a notch below elite, but the rest of the numbers stack up well if you want to spend a little less but still get a high quality arm.
Max Scherzer ($13,700): Scherzer’s numbers against the Braves are good, but if I’m blowing 35% of my budget on one player, I want elite. The Braves are only hitting .227 against Scherzer in 203 at bats with four homers, but they have scored 17 runs. The 56 strikeouts is a good total, but not elite. And Scherzer gave up four runs to the Braves on August 20th. Of course, Scherzer is a threat to no hit the Braves with 20 strikeouts, but the past history says his outing today will be closer to his August 20th start than the former. I want more for my $14,000.
Ian Kennedy ($9,100): The Twins are hitting a respectable .262 against Kennedy in 84 at bats with three homers, but they have only scored six runs. He has also struck out an impressive 18 batters. The Twins are offensively challenged, and Kennedy is having a solid season. There is nothing here that suggests that trend wont continue.
Zack Greinke ($8,800): The Dodgers are only hitting .186 against Grienke is 97 at bats with two homers, seven RBI, and 23 strikeouts. Those numbers are approaching elite territory, though his 4.17 season ERA will scare a lot of people off. He has the potential for low ownership and a big return, making him an interesting option.
Mike Fiers ($6,500): Cleveland is only hitting .216 against Fiers in 37 at bats with a homer, three RBI, and seven strikeouts. Those are solid numbers at this price, but what really makes Fiers intriguing today is his mound opponent. Mike Clevinger has pitched in relief for most of the last month and had limited success as a starter this year. Houston should provide Fiers plenty of run support putting him in great shape for a win.
R.A. Dickey ($6,300): Knuckleballers are prone to the occasional blow up, but don’t expect it here. The Yankees only have five homers against Dickey in 208 at bats. With Alex Rodriguez gone and Dustin Ackley hurt, the Yankees are rather punchless against Dickey. Ackley has two of those five homers. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are a combined 2-3 against Dickey, but neither have taken him deep.
Jered Weaver ($4,900): Weaver is not the Weaver of old – his season ERA is more than a run and a half above his career mark – but this is about checking out past stats. Weaver has held the A’s to a .251 average in 243 at bats with six homers, 23 runs, and 32 strikeouts. If he can come anywhere near those averages, he will produce well for his price.
Aug 23, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) hits a home run against the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning at Target Field. The Tigers win 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
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The only reason I suggest stacking Tigers against Chris Sale is because of the homers. The Tigers have hit 12 off of him. Miguel Cabrera ($3,800) is only 10-42(.238) against Sale, but he has ten walks, a double, two homers, and four RBI. Ian Kinsler ($3,800) is only 11-42(.262), but he has five walks, two doubles, two homers, and four RBI. Victor Martinez ($3,100) is 19-42(.452) with four walks, three doubles, four homers, and nine RBI against Sale. He is one of the few that has hit Sale hard. J.D. Martinez ($3,800) is also worth a look. He is 9-32(.281) with three walks, two doubles, three homers, and six RBI against Sale.
The White Sox have actually hit Justin Verlander very well. Jose Abreu ($3,700) is 10-27(.370) with two walks, a double, and four solo homers. Melky Cabrera ($3,100) is only 7-32(.219), but he has two walks, a double, a triple, a homer, and six RBI off of Verlander. Todd Frazier ($3,300) has two hits in nine at bats with a homer and three RBI. Justin Morneau ($2,600) is 13-56(.232) with eight walks, five doubles, two homers, and five RBI against the Tigers ace.
Yes, some Texas hitters have made King Felix look princely. Enough of them to use a stack. Elvis Andrus ($3,000) is 27-92(.293) with eight walks, four doubles, and a whopping 15 RBI against King Felix. Carlos Beltran ($3,400) has four doubles, two walks, two singles, and two RBI in just 11 at bats. Ian Desmond ($4,200) is 2-9 with a solo homer off of Felix. Mitch Moreland ($3,100) only has 10 hits in 47 at bats(.213), but he has seven walks, three doubles, two homers, and three RBI against Felix. Jurickson Profar ($2,600) has four hits in his first six at bats off of Felix with a double and a pair of RBI. Adrian Beltre ($4,000) is only 11-49(.224), but he has seven walks, a double, a homer, and three driven in.
Cole Hamels has mostly handled the Mariners, but they have still hit eight homers in 176 at bats against him. DraftKings provides nice rewards for homers, so they are worth chasing. Nelson Cruz ($4,200) is 4-13(.308) with two walks and a solo homer. Robinson Cano ($4,000) has really struggled against Hamels, going just 6-27(.222), but he has hit two solo homers. Franklin Gutierrez ($2,800) is 4-15(.267) with four walks, a double, a homer, and two RBI. Adam Lind ($2,300) is 3-11(.273) with a solo homer as well. Leonys Martin ($2,500) is also another lefty with a solo shot against Hamels, but it is his only hit in seven at bats. Seth Smith ($2,600) has one as well, his only hit in three at bats. Kyle Seager ($3,300) is 7-24(.292) with three walks, a homer, and five RBI against Hamels.
You can’t accurately say that any Oakland players have owned Jered Weaver, but some have hit him hard when they have hit him. Billy Butler ($3,300) is only 9-42(.214), but he has a walk, a double, a homer, and five RBI. Danny Valencia ($3,400) is 5-23(.217), but he has a double, two homers, and three RBI. Stephen Vogt ($3,300) has enjoyed the most success off of Weaver, going 10-31(.323) with two walks, two doubles, two homers, and four RBI.
Andrew McCutchen ($4,200) is 14-51(.275) with two walks, six doubles, a triple, a home run, and four RBI off of Adam Wainwright. Jordy Mercer ($3,100) is an interesting target. He is 6-21(.289) off of Wainwright with two walks, a double, two homers, and three RBI. Gregory Polanco ($5,200) is 3-9 with a walk, a double, and two RBI against Wainwright. Josh Harrison ($3,500) is 7-21(.333) with a walk, two doubles, and a RBI off of Wainwright. Starling Marte ($5,400) is only 6-29(.207), but he has a walk, a triple, a homer, and a pair of RBI.
Aug 23, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb (22) hits a 2 RBI double in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Adonis Garcia ($3,700) is 3-8 with a walk, a double, a homer, and three RBI against Max Scherzer. Ender Inciarte ($3,800) could be a bargain if he leads off. Inciarte is 4-11(.364) with two walks and three doubles. Tyler Flowers ($2,800) and Freddie Freeman ($4,000) have also taken him deep, but they are only 5-21 against Scherzer.
Coco Crisp ($3,600) is 3-7 with two doubles, a homer, and two RBI against Mike Fiers.
Hunter Pence ($4,700) is 5-11 with a homer and three RBI against Chad Bettis. Brandon Belt ($4,400) already has seven hits in 13 at bats(.538) with three walks, two doubles, and two RBI. Angel Pagan ($4,800) has a single and a solo homer in six at bats. Brandon Crawford ($5,200) is only 2-15(.133) against Bettis, but he has a homer and four RBI.
Dustin Pedroia ($5,000) is 7-20 with two walks, a double, a homer, and six RBI against Edwin Jackson. David Ortiz ($5,500) boasts a .409 average (9-22) against Jackson with seven walks, two doubles, two homers, and eight RBI. If you are feeling lucky, both Aaron Hill ($3,200) and Hanley Ramirez ($4,800) have homered twice off of Jackson, but they are a combined 12-62.
Corey Seager ($4,300) is 2-3 with a walk and a solo homer against Zack Greinke. Chase Utley ($3,700) is 4-16 with a walk, two doubles, a homer, and a pair of RBi off Greinke.
Trevor Plouffe ($3,800) is 6-14(.429) with a walk, a double, a homer, and two RBI against Ian Kennedy. Joe Mauer ($3,700) is just 2-11, but he does have a solo homer off Kennedy.
Kenta Maeda has not fooled Jake Lamb at all. Lamb ($4,000) is 6-10 with a walk, three doubles, a homer, and three RBI against Maeda already.
Edwin Encarnacion ($4,100) is 8-19(.421) with a walk, two doubles, a homer, and two RBI against Masahiro Tanaka. Jose Bautista ($4,100) is 6-25(.240) with a walk, two doubles, a homer, and three RBI. Josh Donaldson ($5,200) only has three hits in 19 at bats, but he has a homer and three RBI against Tanaka.
Be sure to check out the FanDuel picks from out experts in that area! Brian Tulloch provides the picks, and alternative plays if you don’t want to follow the herd. Don’t play FanDuel before checking it out!