DraftKings Plays of the Day—9/4

Rich Holman previews the Sept. 4 slate on DraftKings with his must-plays and best values of the day.

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In this article, we’ll be going over our plays for tonight’s eight-game slate on DraftKings.


Top Play SP: Shane Bieber, CLE ($11,300) vs. CHW


Shane Bieber has been an absolute monster this year, increasing his swinging-strike rate and strikeout rate by leaps and bounds. Bieber gets a matchup with the White Sox, who have struggled against right-handed pitching all year. Their 83 wRC+ against righties ranks third-worst in the league. They’ve also struck out at a 26.2% clip, good for the third-highest rate. Bieber combines strikeout upside with safety, which easily makes him my favorite cash-game play on today’s slate.

Honorable mention: Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD ($9,200) vs. COL.


Value SP: Jakob Junis, KC ($7,500) vs. DET


While Bieber faces the team with the third-highest strikeout rate against righties, Jakob Junis faces the team that strikes out the most in the Tigers. The Tigers have struck out at a 27% clip against righties this year and are tied with the Marlins for the league’s worst wRC+.

Junis has faced the Tigers twice this year, earning quality starts in both while allowing two earned runs per start and striking out 11 Tigers total. Junis could be a little chalky because of this matchup and his history against the Tigers, but in cash-games, I’m happy to eat that chalk.

Honorable mentions: Trevor Williams, PIT ($6,600) vs. MIA.


Top Play: 1B/OF Cody Bellinger, LAD ($5,600) vs. COL


Yeah, yeah, I cheated a little. It’s certainly not a hot-take to tell you Cody Bellinger is good at baseball, but what do you want me to do? Pick someone lower than him and ignore the matchup with Antonio Senzatela? Bellinger’s been a monster, and his numbers need no punching up, so I’m going to just move on to Senzatela.

Senzatela is a fastball-heavy pitcher (64.3%), who doesn’t miss bats (12% strikeout rate) and walks almost as many batters as he strikes out (10.3%). In other words, he’s earned his 6.95 ERA. He’s also been destroyed by left-handed batters to the tune of a .413 wOBA. We may be talking about the rest of the Dodgers lineup a little later.

Honorable mentions: OF Nelson Cruz, MIN ($5,400) at BOS; OF Mike Trout, LAA ($5,000) at OAK.


Top Play: 2B/OF Whit Merrifield, KC ($4,700) vs. DET


Every five to six days, an amazing occurrence happens in baseball: The Tigers trot out Edwin Jackson for all us tater lovers. Since joining the Tigers, Jackson has not disappointed. Over his five Tigers starts, Jackson has allowed 22 runs (19 earned) over 23.2 innings pitched. Once Jackson departs this start, we’ll then be treated to a matchup with a bullpen that has allowed a 5.14 ERA since Aug. 1so the hits just keep on coming.

I’m happy to pick on the Tigers with any competent hitter, but we’ll go with Whit Merrifield to get the job done. Merrifield has been one of the lone bright spots in the Royals lineup all season, batting .300 and coming close to going 20-20.

Honorable mentions: SS Francisco Lindor, CLE ($5,500) vs. CHW; 3B Matt Chapman, OAK ($4,300) vs. LAA.


Value: 2B Gavin Lux, LAD ($3,700) vs. COL


Das Wunderkind, Gavin Lux made quite the impression two nights ago. So much so that the Dodgers moved their No. 2 prospect to leadoff last night. It doesn’t matter to me where he hits in this lineup because the matchup with Senzatela is just way too juicy. Lux will most likely be chalk at this price, but in cash games, this is good chalk.

Honorable mentions: 1B Ryan O’Hearn, KC ($3,400) vs. DET; 1B Paul Goldschmidt, SF ($3,900) vs. SF. 


Top Stack: Dodgers vs. Rockies (RHP Antonio Senzatela)


At his point, I feel like I’ve touched on the Dodgers enough that you knew this was coming. So I’ll keep this part brief and touch on a couple of other teams that I really like for tonight.

In addition to Bellinger and Lux, I really like Corey Seager ($4,300) and Matthew Beaty ($4,400). Those prices make paying up for Bellinger realistic, and if you can fit in a Justin Turner ($4,700) or a Joc Pederson ($5,300), even better.

Next up, we have the Royals against Edwin Jackson. Jackson and the Tigers provide as much potential upside as any other pitching staff on the slate. In addition to Merrifield, we can welcome back Adalberto Mondesi ($5,200) by adding him to our lineup and then look to Hunter Dozier ($4,700), and Jorge Soler ($4,700). If you need cheaper bats to make this stack work, look no further than Ryan O’Hearn ($3,400) and Alex Gordon ($3,900).

Finally, we’ll touch on the Indians, who face the inexplicably good Ivan Nova. After going seven starts from July 22 to Aug. 24 allowing just five earned runs, regression finally started setting in his last time out, when he allowed five runs (four earned) to the Braves. The Indians will look to keep the regression train rolling. We have to start this stack with Lindor and Carlos Santana ($5,200) before adding Oscar Mercado ($4,100), Yasiel Puig ($4,300), and Franmil Reyes ($4,600). Good luck today!

Honorable mentions: Royals vs. Tigers (RHP Jackson); Indians vs. White Sox (RHP Nova).


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.

Rich Holman

Tax Auditor by day (I promise I'm not the devil), dad to twin velociraptors by night. Complete sports junkie. Philly fan that only boos occasionally.

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