Scouting The MLB - September 4

A 10-game MLB slate should provide enough variation to craft some solid DFS lineups tonight, here are our top plays

Stackable Menu

  1. Baltimore Orioles (lefties) hosting RHP Mike Leake
  2. New York Yankees hosting RHP Brandon Workman
  3. Minnesota Twins hosting LHP Hector Santiago
  4. Seattle Mariners hosting LHP Robbie Ross Jr.

Longshot stack:Detroit Tigers visiting RHP Trevor Bauer

Potential Slugfest:New York Yankees hosting Boston Red Sox. Over/Under set at 8.5 runs.

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Two Studs:

Max Scherzer (DET) @ CLE: $12,800 – Facing RHP Trevor Bauer

There’s only one SP priced like a stud today, but for good reason. Scherzer has improved in every statistical category during the 2nd half, and while he’s still struggling a bit with consistency, his lofty 10.86 K/9 ratio provides a solid safety net. He allowed 9 H, 6 runs (5 ER), and 2 HR in his last start, but still posted 21.6 DK points as he struck out 11 White Sox batters. The Tribe got to him earlier this year, but active Indians are hitting a collective .216 with a 22% K-rate in their careers against Scherzer. If you can afford him, he should give you a leg up in any format on tonight’s short slate.

Jake Odorizzi (TB) vs. TOR: $8600 – Facing LHP Mark Buehrle

Odorizzi has been lights out at home all season, and recently bounced back from a rough stretch with a dominant performance last Saturday. The young RHP allowed 1 H, 3 BB, and struck out 7 Red Sox as he produced 30.8 DK points in the win, and is now sporting a 10.01 K/9 ratio at Tropicana Field. More importantly, he's allowed just 4 HR (0.42 HR/9) at home this season, and the Blue Jays' offense is somewhat dependent on the long ball. If he can be careful with their two right-handed sluggers (Encarnacion and Bautista), he should be able to navigate this lineup considering Odorizzi is holding LHB to a .240 wOBA, and has a minuscule 1.17 FIP to go along with a 12.40 K/9 ratio against lefties at home.

Value Play:

Wily Peralta (MIL) vs. STL: $6600 – Facing RHP Michael Wacha

After sputtering in consecutive starts, Peralta was given an extra day of rest before he's scheduled to take the ball at home against the Cardinals. These teams are headed in opposite directions, as Milwaukee's lost 8 straight and St. Louis has won 4 in a row to create a tie atop the division, so Peralta will look to play the role of "stopper" as they open a 4-game series tonight. He's handled the Cardinals so far this season, allowing just 3 ER over 20 IP (3 starts), and he has a higher K/9 ratio (7.03) at home. While he's not the safest play, he's worth a look as a 2nd SP that can provide salary relief.

Longshot Pitcher:

Kyle Gibson (MIN) vs. LAA: $5400 – Facing LHP Hector Santiago



Brian McCann (NYY) vs. BOS: $3900 – Facing RHP Brandon Workman

A prickly character that seems to fancy himself “protector of the game,” at times, McCann also fancies himself a certified Red Sox killer, as he’s crushed the Yankees' historic rivals all season. He’s batting .348 against Red Sox pitching (.227 against other teams), and has produced 46 DK points through 2 games of this series. We expected the LHB to make the most of the short porch in RF at Yankee Stadium, and 15 of his 17 HRs have come at home this season. Now he’ll face a young RHP in Workman that’s struggled to stay in the Majors this season, and has struggled against the platoon. Consider McCann a longshot to go yard for a third straight game, and a relatively enticing option in all formats at this price tag.

Potential Value:

Yasmani Grandal ($2900) should spell Rene Rivera tonight, since the other Padres catcher has played 3 days in a row. He’ll have the platoon advantage as converted reliever Randall Delgado starts for Arizona tonight.


Alex Avila ($3200) missed last night’s game due to concussion-like symptoms, but if the Tigers LHB is back in the lineup tonight he’s worth a look against young RHP Trevor Bauer.

First Base:

Kenny Vargas (MIN) vs. LAA: $4400 – Facing LHP Hector Santiago

It’s simply too hard to fade this outstanding rookie, as Vargas has produced nearly an RBI per game (31 RBI in 32 appearances) this season. The switch-hitter isn’t as dangerous as a RHB, but his numbers are still above average (.308 wOBA and a .123 ISO) against lefties. Santiago’s been great since joining the Angels rotation, but is still allowing plenty of base runners (1.34 WHIP on the road), and doesn’t usually go deep into games as a converted reliever. Vargas has been especially prolific at home, where he’s batting .355 and averaging 12.5 DK PPG through 15 appearances, and is locked in as the cleanup hitter in a streaking offense.

Potential Value:

Ryan Rua ($2200) has minimal upside as the Rangers usual 5-hitter against LHP, but is so cheap that he’s worth consideration as a punt play.


Mike Napoli ($4000) isn’t hitting for average, but if LHP Chris Capuano makes a mistake up in the zone, the Red Sox slugger is certainly strong enough to deposit it over the short fences at Yankee Stadium.

Second Base:

Robinson Cano (SEA) @ TEX: $4700 – Facing LHP Robbie Ross Jr.

He’s probably not going to carry your lineups, but Cano is the best top-tier play at his position tonight. Robbie Ross is starting for the Rangers, and while he performed well in his last outing, that has more to do with the Astros inconsistencies than his talent level. He’s allowed LHB to post a .342 wOBA throughout his 3-year-career, and Cano has the very same (.342) wOBA against LHP throughout his lengthy career. The fact that he’s slumping right now makes his price tag pretty manageable, but Cano and the Mariners should get something going in Texas as they look to stay in the Wildcard hunt.

Potential Value:

Gordon Beckham ($3600) is starting to heat up for the Angels and could be productive if Twins starter Kyle Gibson struggles.


Kolten Wong ($3900) is a longshot to tee off on Wily Peralta, who can struggle against LHB at times. The Cardinals usual 2-hitter is getting healthy again and has tons of upside in the right matchup.

Third Base:

Chris Davis (BAL) vs. CIN: $4800 – Facing RHP Mike Leake

Ok, Chris Davis, after producing DK points in 10 straight games and launching 4 HR during that span, you’ve graduated from a longshot play to a top play. Davis is worth consideration as he faces a National League SP that’s been crushed by LHB (.352 wOBA against Leake) all season. Davis has gone on this hot streak during a lengthy home stand, and the warm weather should allow the ball to continue to fly out of Camden Yards. Consider him in GPP formats and cross your fingers if you use him in other games.

Potential Value:

Kelly Johnson ($2400) would be an ideal punt play if he starts at third for the O’s tonight. For half the price of Davis, he also has a nice uppercut swing as a LHB that could take Leake out.


Eduardo Nunez ($3000) caught fire last night as the Twins 2-hitter. He’ll likely bat lower in the order tonight, but is still worth a look at this price.


Danny Santana (MIN) vs. LAA: $4500 – Facing LHP Hector Santiago

Has pairing Santana and Kenny Vargas together in 50/50 and H2H lineups ever led to disappointment? The Twins switch-hitting rookies have been some of the steadiest DFS performers over the past month, and Santana has produced DK points in 29 of his last 32 games. He’s not quite as effective against LHP, but is still sporting a .339 wOBA and .135 ISO as a RHB. He’s averaging 11.2 DK points over his last 5 games and will get plenty of opportunities out of the leadoff spot.

Potential Value:

Scooter Gennett ($3500) is a cheap option as the Brewers likely leadoff hitter tonight. He’ll face Michael Wacha, who may show some rust after a lengthy DL stint.


Mookie Betts ($4000) is batting .353 with a .402 wOBA against LHP, so he’s a GPP candidate as the Red Sox face LHP Chris Capuano tonight.


Brett Gardner (NYY) vs. BOS: $4800 – Facing RHP Brandon Workman

Gardner will bat somewhere towards the top of the Yankees lineup, even if he doesn’t lead off, and will likely be productive against an inexperienced RHP. Workman has taken a loss in all 5 of his appearances since the ASB, and is sporting a 6.97 ERA during that span. He struggled in Yankee Stadium earlier this season, and Gardner has homered off the Red Sox young hurler. He’s a dual threat that can heat up in a hurry, and has already started to do so, as he’s 5-12 over his last 3 games.

Yoenis Cespedes (BOS) @ NYY: $4700 – Facing LHP Chris Capuano

A rivalry game in cramped Yankee Stadium is worth targeting tonight, and Cespedes is one of the best options from the visitor’s dugout. He’s batting .288 with 12 XBH in 30 games since joining the Red Sox, and has always shown tons of power with a career .219 ISO against LHP. He’s never faced Capuano, but the southpaw doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, and Cespedes could put his offerings on a line very easily.

Austin Jackson (SEA) @ TEX: $4200 – Facing LHP Robbie Ross Jr.

Jackson is hitting .298 against LHP this season, and is one of the few RHB in the Mariners lineup. He’s been doing a solid job as the leadoff man in Seattle, and is batting .320 over his last 10 games. While he doesn’t possess as much power as teammate Corey Hart ($3000), who homered in his first game back last night, he’s produced double-digit DK points in 3 of his last 5 games and stolen 2 bases during that span.

Potential Values:

Jon Jay ($3200) is batting .392 over his last 10 games and has been caught stealing in each of his last two games. He may bat towards the bottom of the Cardinals order, but has plenty of upside in an intriguing matchup.

Dan Robertson ($2700) is getting steady playing time for the Rangers, and should lead off against LHP Roenis Elias tonight.

Alejandro De Aza ($2800) and David Lough ($1900) are appealing punt plays that will have the platoon advantage against Mike Leake. We’ll see which outfielder draws the start tonight.

I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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