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Scouting the MLB DFS, Thursday September 8

The NFL season kicks off tonight, but you can cash in MLB DFS contest at the same time by browsing our Daily Breakdown

Plays of the Day

Value: A.J. Cole draws a fantastic matchup tonight against a Phillies team that is ranked dead last in terms of collective wOBA (.292) this season and is sporting a horrendous .183 batting average with just 31 runs scored over the last 14 days. Tonight the Nationals (-204) are the biggest favorites on the slate and a great stacking option once again, which gives Cole a great chance to earn his second straight Win.

Fade: Ryan Braun may seem like an appealing option with the platoon advantage against Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia, but the veteran southpaw has had his number in the past. Braun is just 10-for-56 (.179) with 9 Ks in his career against Garcia and he might not get much to hit this evening.

Weather Report

    Strong chance of delays in Pittsburgh and St. Louis with storms in the area this evening.

Stackable Menu

  1. Nationals hosting RHP Alec Asher
  2. Rangers visiting RHP Taijuan Walker
  3. Cardinals hosting RHP Junior Guerra

Longshot Stack: Rockies visiting LHP Clayton Richard


Two Studs

Ivan Nova: (PIT) vs. CIN DK:$9,800/FD:$7,600

The inherent safest option in the board tonight is understandably the most expensive on DK, as Nova’s Pirates (-150) are solid favorites at home against a Reds team that’s starting to slide as the season winds down. The former Yankees RHP has found life to be much easier in the N.L. Central and so far he’s 2-0 with a 2.46 ERA and 0.86 WHIP to average 23.5 DK PPG over 3 appearances at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. He’s been solid throughout the second half of the year with a 3.13 ERA and .246 BAA since the ASB, so even though his strikeout numbers aren’t fantastic (19.1% K-Rate during that span), he’s a solid cash game option this evening.

Alex Cobb: (TB) @ NYY DK:$6,500/FD:$8,900

The most expensive SP on FanDuel is a fantastic bargain on DK tonight and Cobb might wind up scoring the most FPs of any pitcher this evening if he can build on the momentum of his last outing. He was predictably rusty in the first inning against Toronto after being out of action for nearly a year, but found his rhythm in impressive fashion with 7 Ks, including 3 straight strikeouts in the fifth while retiring 10 consecutive batters before taking a seat. While he might not have the stamina to go past 6 or 7 innings, there aren’t many pitchers with tremendous upside on this short slate, so Cobb seems like a great per dollar option against a Yankees team that still struggles to hit consistently. He’s held current Yanks to a collective .187 batting average (14-for-75) with 18 Ks in his career against the Bronx Bombers and has a good chance to earn his first Win of the year if veteran LHP C.C. Sabathia stumbles.

Value Play:

Derek Holland: (TEX) @ SEA DK:$6,100/FD:$7,600

Another great bargain on DraftKings tonight, Holland should be able to exceed the value of that price tag if he can simply post a Quality Start against this familiar foe. While current Mariners have good overall splits (.297 batting average over 232 career at-bats) against Holland, much of that production has come from fringe players and Robinson Cano (foot), who is not quite 100 percent and clearly not the same player that he was in New York when he posted most of his numbers against the Rangers southpaw. Holland’s strikeout numbers have dipped, but he’s pitching to contact and has elicited 20 GB outs while posting a 2.00 ERA over his last 3 appearances. He posted good numbers against Seattle at home before struggling at Safeco Field this past June, but the way he’s going right now, I think you can trust the veteran on the road tonight.

Longshot Pitcher:

A.J. Cole: (WAS) vs. PHI DK:$8,300/FD:$6,500

We’ve highlighted some bargains on DK tonight, but Cole could serve as the premier cheap GPP play on FanDuel. The rookie draws a fantastic matchup against a Phillies team that is ranked dead last in terms of collective wOBA (.292) this season and is sporting a horrendous .183 batting average with just 31 runs scored over the last 14 days. Cole has performed well in three consecutive tough matchups, capped by a three-hit, one-run performance to outduel Mets ace Noah Syndergaard and earn his first Win last Friday. Tonight the Nationals (-204) are the biggest favorites on the slate and a great stacking option once again with weak Phillies RHP Alec Asher slated to get tagged by a streaking lineup, so Cole is less of a longshot and more of a high-upside play in all formats.



Wilson Ramos: (WAS) vs. PHI DK: $3,900/FD: $3,500

There’s a chance that the Nats roll with LHB Jose Lobation ($2900/$2800) behind the plate tonight, in which case he would emerge as a very appealing value play with the platoon advantage against Alec Asher. Either way, the Nationals starting catcher will be worth strong consideration against a sophomore pitcher who posted a 9.31 ERA with a 2.48 HR/9 ratio to go 0-6 as a rookie last year. Asher is making his first start of 2016 after posting some very good numbers in AAA, but facing a red-hot Nationals team that’s in the middle of a pennant race is not an easy introduction. The Nats caught fire during an easy home series against the Braves, with Ramos finally coming alive with a single, walk and double to break a 3-game hitless streak. Yet he’s certainly been solid all year and he’s sporting a .314 batting average with an .815 OPS at home, so give him a look as part of an appealing stack.

Potential Value

Yadier Molina ($3700/$2900) is a strong cash game play to consider against RHP Junior Guerra with a solid .366 batting average over his last 10 appearances.


Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker has been lit up in each of his last 5 appearances, which makes Jonathan Lucroy ($4600/$3900) an appealing GPP option as part of a Rangers stack.

First Base:

Joey Votto: (CIN) @ PIT DK:$4,900/FD:$3,800

It’s simply the reality of a short slate that you may have to use a top hitter against a top SP that might even be in the same lineup. You can search for value plays with upside once MLB lineups are released this afternoon, but Votto is clearly the premier cash game option and he stands alone as a truly safe play this evening. Nova has been better against the platoon this season, but allowed LHB to hit .311 last year and is giving up a .354 wOBA with a 38.6% Hard Contact Rate when facing lefties this season. Votto is only 2-for-8 in his career against Nova, but he’s logged a 2B and HR in that sample size and he’s obviously been on fire with a .418 batting average and 1.171 OPS since the ASB.

Potential Value

Ryan Zimmerman ($3100/$3200) came up short with another goose egg last night, but he’s worth a look as a cheap addition to a Nationals stack this evening.


Perhaps Dae-Ho Lee ($3200/$2800) starts for the Mariners tonight in part because he’s launched 2 HR over 8 career at-bats against Holland.

Second Base:

Robinson Cano: (SEA) vs. TEX DK:$4,200/FD:$3,700

It would be much easier to pay up for Daniel Murphy ($5500/$4100) on FanDuel tonight, but he’s so pricey on DraftKings that once again, you may want to consider a consistent LHB even if you’re using the SP (Derek Holland) that will face him. Cano has posted great numbers with 16 H, including 3 doubles, a triple, and a HR in his career against Holland (.356 batting average) and he’s had little issues with a .336 wOBA against LHP this season. As has been the case since he was signed for a monstrous contract by Seattle, he’s hit for more average than power this year, but he is batting .395 with 3 HR while hitting safely in 11 consecutive appearances. He fouled a ball off his foot on Tuesday but bounced back to extend that hitting streak last night and seems like the preferred cash game option on DK this evening.

Potential Value

Cesar Hernandez ($3500/$3300) is starting to go on one of his streaks again, which makes him a solid cash game play against rookie RHP A.J. Cole.


Logan Forsythe ($4700/$3900) has crushed C.C. Sabathia (8-for-19, 4 2B, 2 HR) in the past and he should lead off for the Rays tonight.

Third Base:

Adrian Beltre: (TEX) @ SEA DK:$4,400/FD:$3,700

While you might want to consider a few Mariners bats tonight, Derek Holland is a relatively safe play because his adversary is struggling so badly. Taijuan Walker has been touched up for 12 ER over 13.2 IP since getting recalled from the Minors and he hit a low point when he was yanked in the first inning of a home start against the Angels last Saturday. He’s struggled throughout the season and has really struggled against the Rangers with a 5.79 ERA and .319 BAA over 6 career appearances against the divisional rivals. Beltre has been a thorn in his side with 7 hits, including 3 doubles, a HR and 8 RBI over 14 career plate appearances against Walker and he’s been hot lately with a .351/.467/.649 slash line over his last 10 appearances.

Potential Value

Jhonny Peralta ($2900/$2800 as SS on FD) is a nice cheap option to consider on DraftKings tonight.


Nolan Arenado ($5300/$3900) is still an elite tournament option despite the fact that he moves from Coors Field to Petco Park to open this series, as he’ll still have the platoon advantage against weak LHP Clayton Richard.


Jonathan Villar: (MIL) @ STL DK:$5,100/FD:$3,800 as 3B

Villar continued to flash mind-blowing upside last night with 2 homers to lead the Brewers in a narrow 2-1 win over the Cubs. Tonight he draws an easier matchup against veteran LHP Jaime Garcia, who seems to have run out of gas in his eighth MLB season and is sporting a troublesome 18.7% HR/FB against RHB this year. Villar has crushed lefties to the tune of a .326/.405/.535 slash line and he’s been even more effective on the road with a .435 wOBA against the platoon away from Miller Life Park. While the Brew Crew possesses modest career splits against the Cardinals SP tonight, look for them to buck that trend with a solid offensive performance.

Potential Value

Jose Peraza ($3500/$2700) continues to rake for the Reds and he remains under priced on both main DFS sites.


Danny Espinosa ($3300/$2700) could serve as a cheap addition to a Nationals stack this evening with plenty of individual upside due to his power.


Bryce Harper: (WAS) vs. ATL DK:$5,600/FD:$4,200

I don’t think you can go wrong with Harper’s teammate Trea Turner ($5500/$4100), who is still probably the superior cash game play as the Nationals prospective leadoff man tonight, but let’s go against the grain a little with Harper. Asher’s struggles against the platoon certainly would indicate that Harper has a chance to blow up tonight, as the sophomore RHP allowed LHB to hit .373 with a .453 wOBA, as he coughed up a whopping 2.57 HR/9 ratio when facing lefties last year. Harper is still slumping by his lofty standards, but he’s turned it around with a .312 batting average and .378 wOBA since August 1, so you hope that the power numbers will follow.

David Dahl: (COL) @ SD DK:$4,400/FD:$3,200

Dahl remains quite affordable on both main DFS sites despite his consistent production, because he moves from Coors Field to Petco Park in this matchup. He’ll also face a LH starter in Clayton Richard, but the Padres southpaw is still posting a .291 BAA with a 1.58 WHIP in LvL matchups this season. Dahl is hitting .333 with a .350 wOBA on the road against LHP and .310 overall against lefties. Even though he isn’t flashing much power in those situations, balls aren’t exactly flying out of Petco Park, so consider him as a low-ceiling cash game play in the mid-tier price range.

Carlos Beltran: (TEX) @ SEA DK:$4,200/FD:$3,600

He seemed to go through some trouble during his initial transition to the Rangers, but Beltran has found his rhythm once again in the A.L. West with a fantastic .439/.500/.732 slash line during his current 10-game hitting streak. We mentioned how Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker has struggled in each of his last 5 appearances and Beltran is a switch hitter that could give him trouble. While he’s holding lefties to low batting average, Walker is sporting a 5.89 FIP thanks to a rough 20.8% HR/FB ratio when facing the platoon, so Beltran has tremendous upside as part of a Texas stack.

Potential Values

Stephen Piscotty ($3700/$3700) is relatively cheap on DK ahead of a decent matchup against RHP Junior Guerra.

Nomar Mazara ($3700/$3200) may get the start for the Rangers or it might be Carlos Gomez ($3100/$2700), but either player would be worth a look against Walker.

Consider Scott Schebler ($2900/$3000) as a tournament play with even more upside if you’re fading Pirates RHP Ivan Nova.

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