DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Tuesday 9/22/20

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Tuesday 9/22/20

The MLB season is drawing to a close but there are still games to be played. Let’s take a look at some baseball picks for FanDuel and DraftKings.

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Pitchers

Framber ValdezFramber Valdez FD - P 10000 DK - RP 9700
Opponent - SEA (Ljay Newsome) Park - SEA
FD - 37.23 DK - 19.59
Valdez struggled in starts against the Dodgers and Angels but bounced back last time around against the Rangers, striking out 11 batters in 6 1/3 innings while allowing only a single run. He’s had an excellent season with a 3.02 xFIP and is striking out batters 26% of the time while issuing only a 6% walk rate. These are near ace-level peripherals and on Tuesday he’ll face the Mariners who have the 27th-ranked team wOBA in the league right now. They are a light-hitting crew that strikes out 25% of the time on the season. This is a smash spot for Valdez as a -172 opening money line favorite.

Blake SnellBlake Snell FD - P 9200 DK - SP 9500
Opponent - NYM (Seth Lugo) Park - NYM
FD - 35.05 DK - 19.21
After getting up over 100 pitches in two of his previous four games, the Rays dialed it back for Snell in the doubleheader against Baltimore on Thursday, throwing him only 72 pitches though that did take him through more than five innings. He’s been excellent in his shortened season with a 3.07 xFIP and a strikeout rate close to 11 per nine. The only hesitation here on Tuesday is that the Mets are a very good offensive team and that could cause some issues. But pitching is pretty weak all around on this slate and Snell rates as the best overall arm opponent notwithstanding.

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Catcher/First Base

Freddie FreemanFreddie Freeman FD - 1B 4000 DK - 1B 5400
Opponent - MIA (Jose Urena) Park - ATL
FD - 14.37 DK - 10.79
Freeman is putting together a monster, MVP-caliber season with just about every number checking the right box. He’s walking (17%) more than he’s striking out (14%), has a 1.084 OPS and has just generally been crushing. Only the power is lagging behind his per plate appearance numbers from last season, but notably much. And this is a near-perfect matchup for Freeman against Jose Urena who has only struck out six batters per nine for his career while walking more than three. He’s the very definition of a below-average arm and the Braves have one of the highest implied run lines to start the day.

Renato NúñezRenato Núñez FD 3000 DK 3700
Opponent - BOS (Nick Pivetta) Park - BOS
FD - 12.83 DK - 9.69 Nunez is coming cheap on both sites, but especially DraftKings at sub-$4K. He isn’t putting up the same power numbers he did in the breakout 2019 campaign, but he’s still been better for his career against righties in the reverse platoon split. Nick Pivetta has always been prone to the long ball and that’s been no different in his few 2020 innings. This is a guy with strikeout stuff, but he grooves the fastball and the ERA has always lagged the xFIP because the home run issue is real.

Second Base

Josh RojasJosh Rojas FD - 2B 2200 DK - 2B/SS 3400
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - ARI
FD - 11.99 DK - 9.24
Rojas appears locked into the Diamondbacks’ leadoff spot at this point but the price on either site hasn’t fully adjusted for this new(ish) opportunity. He doesn’t have any power to speak of, but has shown the ability to take walks at every stop including an 11% BB rate in his first 200+ major league plate appearances. He’s running bad on the BABIP (.234) to start this season but that should turn around. And the on-base issues because of it are dampening some of the speed he displayed in the minors where he swiped 70 bags in fewer than 1000 plate appearances. I think he makes a nice, cash game punt play if hitting in the top spot.

José AltuveJosé Altuve FD - 2B 3000 DK - 2B 4200
Opponent - SEA (Ljay Newsome) Park - SEA
FD - 12.45 DK - 9.53
I can’t imagine Jose Altuve will look back at 2020 fondly for reasons beyond al the rest of us. After coming off the sign-stealing scandal he hasn’t done much to show he can hit without the aid of a trash can or a chest buzzer. Though some of his struggles could be tied to injury and he has hit safely in four of his last six games. This is a good matchup for Altuve’s batter profile because Ljay Newsome has a low K rate and Altuve traditionally has put the ball in play a lot. The price is down for good reason, but I like the matchup for the Astros in general.

Shortstop

Fernando Tatis Jr.Fernando Tatis Jr. FD 4100 DK 5700
Opponent - LAA (Griffin Canning) Park - LAA
FD - 13.74 DK - 10.51
I think we are going to feel pretty good about spending up at shortstop on Tuesday. Tatis really needs no introduction at this point and is putting together an MVP-like season in his own right. He has a .932 OPS with 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases, walks more than 10% of the time and has a .278 ISO through is first 600+ major league plate appearances. And, oh yeah, he’s 21 years old. The Padres face the mediocre Griffin Canning who sports a high-4’s career xFIP though does have some strikeout stuff at more than a batter an inning. Regardless, this is a spot you can splurge on Tatis seeing as how we get savings elsewhere and he’s one of th best in the game.

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD - SS 3700 DK - SS 5400
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BOS
FD - 13.66 DK - 10.33
Bogaerts isn’t putting up quite the same numbers we saw in 2019, but it is likely just more a sample-size thing than anything else. The power numbers are right on pace for what he did last season, but the walks are down just a tad this year. He’s also about 20 points light on his BABIP compared to career averages. Keegan Akins has some real stuff, but Xander has tuned up lefties for his career with a 129 wRC+, .367 wOBA while walking 11% of the time and striking out only 16% of the time. I prefer Tatis of course, but Bogaerts just a little bit of savings in almost as advantageous a situation.

Third Base

Rafael DeversRafael Devers FD 3900 DK 5400
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 13.63 DK - 10.34
The 23-year-old Devers has gotten his season back on track after a dreadful start and now has the OPS back up into the mid-.800s. The home run numbers are right back on track with what we saw last season and he’s getting the strikeout numbers back in check as well. He’s hit in 11 of his last 13 games with four home runs in that span. The downside on Devers today is that he’s been much worse against lefties for his career and that does knock the projection down some. He isn’t a pushover with a mid-.700s OPS in that split, but it is definitely worse than what he does against righties.

Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 3500 DK 4800
Opponent - SEA (Ljay Newsome) Park - SEA
FD - 12.12 DK - 9.02
Bregman, like many of his other Astros teammates has struggled this season. Is it because they can’t cheat anymore? Maybe. Is it because the pressure is on them because they can’t cheat anymore? Also, maybe. In Bregman’s case there is some bad luck thrown in there as well with a BABIP 40 points lower than his career number. He still walks at an elite rate (13%) and is tough to put down on strikes (13%). The BABIP plus a lower Hr/FB rate are contributing factors to his tough season but that has us still probably buying low on his here against Newsome.

Outfield

J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD - OF 3300 DK - OF 4300
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BOS
FD - 15.41 DK - 11.58
J.D. Martinez against lefties is a traditional unlike any other even if this season has put that a bit to the test. He’s had a horrible (by his standards) season so far with a .660 OPS and every number trending in the wrong direction. The walks are down, the K’s are up though the super-low BABIP also points to a lot of bad luck. This is still a guy with a career .984 OPS and .408 wOBA against lefty arms. Those numbers are stupid considering it’s over a 1K+ plate appearance sample size. He just tunes up southpaws and I’m willing to buy on the historical numbers even if this year has been something of a nightmare.

Cedric MullinsCedric Mullins FD 2300 DK 2600
Opponent - BOS (Nick Pivetta) Park - BOS
FD - 11.67 DK - 9.06
DJ StewartDJ Stewart FD 2900 DK 2600
Opponent - BOS (Nick Pivetta) Park - BOS
FD - 12.05 DK - 9.11
As mentioned with Nunez, the Orioles are in a good spot against Nick Pivetta on Tuesday and I don’t mind a mini-cash stack with their bats considering they are coming cheap across the board. Mullins isn’t a world-beater but he’s coming near the minimums on both sites and is particularly cheap on DraftKings considering he’s slotted to hit leadoff in this matchup. The on-base skills aren’t amazing but he has shown some speed upside when he can get there. I’m mostly looking at this from a plate appearance / price angle rather than Mullins as a dynamic offensive threat.

Meanwhile, Stewart is the much better hitter of the two and has decently impressive numbers over his first 278 major league plate appearances. He’s walking at a 12% rate and has 14 home runs in that span. I’d like to see this season’s K numbers get in check, but the strikeout hasn’t been much of an issue for him at any stop.

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DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Tuesday 9/22/20