DFS Plays of the Day – September 14

Ryan Amore previews Tuesday's DFS slate.

Tuesday’s 12-game slate is led by the Yankees taking a trip to Camden Yards along with their ace Gerrit Cole. There are plenty of potential spots for offense, but value pitching seems very hard to come by tonight.


Top Tier Pitching


Gerrit Cole is set to return after leaving his previous start early with what seems to have been a minor case of hamstring tightness. With the Yankee bullpen in shambles right now and the Wildcard race unbelievably close, the Yankees have plenty of incentive to let Cole go for as long as he can tonight. His 29.20% K-BB leads the slate by a mile. On DraftKings his salary seems like a value relative to the other options tonight, as he only costs $700 more than Montas and $500 more than Giolito. Cole has made just one start against the O’s this year, way back on April 6th. Seven scoreless innings, no walks, no earned runs, and 13 Ks (45.4% CSW).

Frankie Montas has been dialed in lately. The only knock here is that the price has really caught up to him and the Royals don’t strike out a whole lot (19.8% since August 1st, tied fourth lowest). He seems like more of a play on FanDuel where you’re getting more of a discount relative to Cole.

José Berríos is the pitcher in this tier that I have the least interest in. He seems overpriced relative to the other options here, especially considering Tampa’s offense has been very good lately (they are third in team wOBA since August 1st). They’re especially tough against RHP too, with lefty bats Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, and Ji-Man Choi at the top of the order.

Lucas Giolito is making his return from the IL due to hamstring tightness. The White Sox, however, can afford to take it easy with Giolito as they are cruising along in the AL Central. Lance Lynn only threw 70 pitches in his return from the IL so I’m a little leery of a potential short outing from Giolito, even though it is a great match up against a weak-hitting Angels lineup.

Nathan Eovaldi makes sense if you’re looking to be different in this price range. He’s been very efficient all year with just a 4.4% walk rate while also holding opposing batters to just a .284 xwOBA.


Mid-Tier/Value Pitching


The value tier seems especially perilous tonight. I’ll mention Erick Fedde just because he did pitch a gem against the Marlins already this year, but I really think that was an outlier type of performance—the skills are nothing to get excited about. Kyle Gibson gets a favorable draw against the Cubs. Since August 1st, they lead the league with a 29.5% K rate. Jesús Luzardo has rebounded of late, cutting down his fastball usage in a couple of his recent starts and generating better results. The Nats could be a tough test for him tonight though; since August 1st, they have a .332 team wOBA (fifth) and lead baseball with a 10.7% walk rate. Touki Toussaint gets the road Rockies, so there is some potential there and we’ve certainly seen strikeout upside from him before, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more volatile option than Atlanta’s mercurial righty.



Bats and Stacks


  • NYY (6.0) at BAL Alexander Wells (LHP) 5.4% K-BB, .403 xwOBA, 1.90 WHIP, 7.63 xERA: It’s the Yankees’ turn to take batting practice at Camden Yards. In fairness, Wells has only made four starts, but what we’ve seen so far hasn’t been pretty. He’s allowed an xwOBA of .444 against RHB along with an 8.9% K rate. Not good. And you all know there’s a beleaguered O’s bullpen lurking behind him after the horror story this past weekend against the Jays. Aaron Judge (.405 xwOBA this season) and Giancarlo Stanton (.353 xwOBA) are two of the slate’s top plays. If you go here in tournaments the key, as always, will be trying to be a little different in your stacks so that means targeting a boom/bust options like Gary Sánchez (.336 xwOBA), Luke Voit (.353 xwOBA), or Gio Urshela (.304 xwOBA) in the bottom of the order.


  • HOU (5.4) at TEX Jordan Lyles (RHP) 11% K-BB, .355 xwOBA, 1.44 WHIP, 5.61 xERA: The Astros are second in team wOBA this year at .335. They are another top offense to target as they go down to Texas to pick on Rangers pitching starting with Jordan Lyles. Going by his splits, give a slight edge to the lefties Yordan Alvarez (.382 xwOBA), Michael Brantley (.362 xwOBA), and Kyle Tucker (.402 xwOBA).


  • CWS vs LAA (n/a)  Packy Naughton (LHP) 3.2% K-BB, .266 xwOBA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.00 xERA: The White Sox get a suspect southpaw in Packy Naughton. They are also getting their leadoff man back from the IL in Tim AndersonYou should take advantage of the pricing on DraftKings, as really all three of José Abreu (.347 xwOBA, $4,200), Eloy Jiménez (.322 xwOBA, $3,700), and Luis Robert (.348 xwOBA, $4,400) seem too cheap.


  • PHI vs CHC (5.7) Adrian Sampson (RHP) 14.5%, .359 xwOBA, 1.16 WHIP, 5.76 xERA: Sampson posted a 5.40 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, and 14.7% K rate in 130 IP in the KBO last year. Not great. Bryce Harper (.428 xwOBA) is one of the best bats of the slate.


  • SF (5.1) vs SD Jake Arrieta (RHP) 8.8% K-BB, .369 xwOBA, 1.73 WHIP, 6.15 xERA: The Giants have really been one of the best offenses in baseball this year. They’re third in home runs (213) trailing only the Braves (214) and Jays (230). And they also tend to not draw much attention when they are at home, something that could present a buying opportunity for tournaments. LaMonte Wade (.351 xwOBA) and Tommy La Stella (.328 xwOBA) are potential values on DraftKings; they’ve been hitting cleanup and leadoff respectively against RHP.


  • LAD (5.3) vs Luke Weaver (RHP) 14.4% K-BB, .320 xwOBA, 1.14 WHIP, 4.44 xERA: Weaver hasn’t pitched all that badly, but this is just a mismatch. And considering the struggles the D-Backs have had all year in their pen, there is upside worth chasing here in tournaments. If you’re looking for just a single hitter, Corey Seager (.374 xwOBA) at $4,200 on DraftKings really sticks out as an excellent value.


  • OAK (5.1) at KC Jackson Kowar (RHP) 4.9% K-BB%, .383 xwOBA, 1.88 WHIP, 6.72 xERA: Note there could be some rain in KC tonight. Kowar has shown some really impressive stuff noted by a 35.2% CSW his last time out. But he’s also a young pitcher who has also allowed a ton of base runners in his four starts so far. Matt Olson (.381 xwOBA) is a great tournament play against the unproven righty.


  • NYM (4.5) vs STL Jake Woodford (RHP) 9.8% K-BB%, .333 xwOBA, 1.39 WHIP, 4.85 xERA: Sort of a sleepy spot at Citi Field, but the one bat that stands out is Michael Conforto (.351 xwOBA). He’ll have the platoon advantage against Woodford, who is allergic to missing bats (18.7% K rate). He’s an easy buy on DraftKings at just $3,400.


Value Bats


Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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