DFS – September 1 – Risky Business

DFS Baseball LogoPaul previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for September 1st.

Today we have 15 games on the MLB schedule starting at 3:05 pm (there are actually 16 games but the 2nd game in Colorado isn’t counted anywhere in DraftKings). As always, check your lineup prior to game time for any last minute scratches and be sure to check the weather report before game time for any potential delays and or cancellations. Good luck!


It’s a pretty interesting day as far as match-ups go, and quite honestly I may play a few lineups that are polar opposites to each other. I’m not confident in many starting pitching options and may have to overspend in that area and rely on some cheap bats. On the other hand, I’d love to start Goldschmidt, Pollock, Ellsbury and Altuve today but that would mean really gambling on some low-end starting pitchers. There really isn’t a middle ground that I have been able to find…. yet. Here are the players I am considering; I will post my lineup(s) on twitter. No matter what, there is going to be a lot of risk in my future. Let’s see how it plays out.

Starting Pitchers

Studs: Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants ($12,400), Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers ($12,500)

Our two top pitching choices face off against each other today in a game that Vegas has 5.5 runs as the over/under. Greinke is 25-5 lifetime at home as a Dodger, including a 4-0 mark against the Giants (6-0 overall). As good as Greinke’s first half was with his 1.39 ERA, his K rate, BAA, xFIP and Hard Hit rate have all gotten even better since the All-Star break. Bumgarner is not to be outdone though, beating the Dodgers twice this year, allowing just 3 runs in 20.2 innings while striking out 21. In his past 5 starts he is 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. Forced to choose between the two, I would take Bumgarner against the flailing Dodgers offense, but you can’t go wrong with either SP1 today.

Bang for Your Buck: Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays ($6,900), Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($6,300)

Smyly hasn’t been very good since returning from the DL, getting into the 6th inning just once in his 3 outings. Today he faces the Orioles who he has a lot of success against in the past, tossing 27 innings, allowing just 3 ER while striking out 29. Current Orioles have a .160 AVG against Drew Smyly. Vegas isn’t a big fan here, having the Orioles as -115 favorites and 8 runs as the over/under. 

Cashner hasn’t been good all season, but he is better at home (3.34 ERA) than on the road (4.55). He also has a massive variance in his K rate, striking out 26.2% at home and just 15.7% on the road. Vegas actually likes Cashner today, making the Padres favorites at -110 with just 7 total runs scored. 

Hail Mary: Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox ($5,700), Justin Nicolino, Miami Marlins ($4,500)

The Yankees current offense has hit Porcello hard, with a .336/.387/.527 line. Vegas likes the Yankees to win with a lot of offense in this game. The odds really are stacked against Porcello succeeding today at home, but he makes for an interesting tournament play. Porcello was dominant in his return from the DL last week, shutting out the White Sox over 7 innings. He’s allowed 2 ER or less in 4 of his last 5 outings and has a respectable 3.43 ERA in the second half. It’s a stretch, but that’s why it’s called a Hail Mary.

Speaking of stretches, Justin Nicolino has just a 8% K rate to go with his 7.3% K rate in his 6 big league starts. Today he faces the Braves who are in the bottom 3rd of offenses over the past 30 days and 25th overall against left-handed pitching. Nicolino has thrown 3 consecutive QS and in his two road starts has just a 1.32 ERA. I don’t love this match up, but it’s not terrible for $4,500.


Studs: Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs ($4,400)

One day I won’t recommend Schwarber, but today isn’t it. It probably won’t be any day that he goes up against a RHP, when his OPS is over 1.000 against them. Today he gets Anthony DeSclafani who has given up 11 HR already to LH hitters. 

Bang for your buck: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals ($3,200)

If you noticed that I didn’t include Verlander in any of my pitching picks, it’s because the Royals have hit him hard recently. Ignore JV’s 19-8 record and 3.26 ERA lifetime against them and look at the last 3 years where he is 4-6 with a 4.19 ERA. For the past two years, his ERA has been even worse at 5.01 over 7 starts. Leading the hit parade for the Royals is Perez, going 18-38 against Verlander with a 1.266 OPS.

Hail Mary: Jarrod Saltalmacchia, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,700)

Salty has hit left-handed pitching better than right-handed and with a double header today, could get the call against LHP Yohan Flande. He’s 2-4 this year in Coors and for this price, it’d be worth gambling on his power showing up if he’s in the lineup.

 First Base

Studs: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks ($6,400)

A .370 AVG and a 1.106 OPS against LHP for the year would be enough to make Goldy a favorite target today. Add in that he’s playing in Coors and it’s just enough to make me consider spending this kind of money.

Bang for your buck Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals ($4,200)

Hosmer is hitting .334 against RHP this year with a .935 OPS. His ISO is approaching .200 in the second half, while hitting for a .349 AVG. In Verlander’s lone start against the Royals this year, Hosmer was 2-4. 

Hail Mary: Evan Gattis, Houston Astros ($3,700)

Gattis hit 6 home runs in August, bouncing back from June and July when he only hit 5 HR combined. He faces Roenis Elias today, who he’s is 4-8 against this year with a home run. Gattis is his best at home against LHP with a .289 AVG and a .873 OPS. 

Second Base

Studs: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros ($4,500)

Altuve is otherworldly at home against LHP, hitting .407/.478/.580 faor the season. He’s hitting .355 in the second half and had 42 hits in the month of August. 

Bang for your buck: Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners ($3,700)

I’ll keep riding Cano’s hot hand as long as Draft Kings keeps his price in check. Cano is hitting .353 in the second half with 8 home runs and more walks than strikeouts. Today he faces Scott Feldman who he has a .364 lifetime average against. 

Hail Mary: Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,900) 

Hill hasn’t been good at all this year, but hit .267 in August after failing to cross the Mendoza line in June and July. I don’t know if he’ll get in the lineup this afternoon against Flande in Coors, but at this price he’d be a nice play if he was. 

Third Base

Studs: David Wright, New York Mets ($4,800)

David Wright gets to face Aaron Harang today, who has given up 25 ER in his past 28 innings of work. Wright is batting .304 since his return from the DL and has a career .455 average in 33 at bats against Harang. 

Bank for your buck: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,600)

This is one of my favorite BvP match ups ever. Longoria has owned Tillman throughout his career with a 1.321 OPS over 43 at bats. This year, I’ve used Longoria three time against Tillman and he’s hit for a 1.217 OPS. This will be the 4th time they’ve faced this year, and coming off a HR last night, I’m all-in on Longoria tonight. 

Hail Mary: Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners ($3,500)

Seager goes up against Scott Feldman today, in what should be a fairly high-scoring affair. Seager is actually hitting LHP better than RHP this year, but for his career he been much better against righties. Seager is 5-12 against Feldman, including 1-3 earlier this year. 

Short Stop

Studs: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros ($4,600) 

Welcome back Carlos Correa! In his first game back in nearly a week Correa went 2-4 last night with a home run. Today he goes up against LHP Roenis Elias while hitting .304/.367/.570 against left-handers this year. 

Bank for your buck: Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,500)

While Owings hasn’t had a lot of success against LHP this year, he did hit .304 against them in 2014. He gets to faced Yohan Flande in Coors, after going 3-4 last night in Colorado. Pretty good price for a decent bat in a great situation.

Hail Mary: Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,800) 

Ahmed didn’t start last night’s game in Colorado, but should get in against LHP Flande this afternoon. For the season, Ahmed is hitting .280 against LHP with a solid .733 OPS. If he’s in the lineup, I’m starting him at this price. 


Studs: A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks ($6,100), Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees ($4,500), Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets ($4,800)

Pollock crushes LHP with a .339 AVG and a .532 SLG and should have no trouble getting on the board in Coors today.

Jacoby Ellsbury faces Rick Porcello and is the reason I am less than confident in the match-up as much as I think it’s a intriguing gamble. Depending on what happens today, Ellsbury/Porcello could be my new favorite BvP match-up to watch for. As it is now, he’s 11-17 against Porcello with 4 home runs. 

Yoenis Cespedes goes up against Aaron Harang, hitting .319 against RHP with 20 home runs and 7 stolen bases, Since arriving in New York, he has been a monster hitting .284 with 8 home runs and 23 RBI in just 116 at bats. Harang has been awful as I noted earlier with a 7.28 ERA since June. 

Bang for your buck: Yasmany Tomas, Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,100), Carlos Gomez, Houston Astros ($3,700), Michael Conforto, New York Mets ($3,600)

Yasmany Tomas hits LHP for more power and hopefully that plays today at Coors Field. His average has taken a significant hit during the second half, but I’m in it for the big power here especially with Flande giving up 10 HR already in the second half.

Carlos Gomez comes in to today having hit in 6 straight games after really struggling for most of August. He hasn’t hit LHP well this year, but has in the past and has a better Hard Hit rate against them this year than against RHP. It’s a stretch, but I like his value at this price. 

Michael Conforto hit his 4th HR of the year last night and has a .280/.375/.507 line against RHP this year. He gets to face none other than Aaron Harang today.

Hail Mary: Jeff Francoeur, Philadelphia Phillies ($2,500), Aaron Altherr, Philadelphia Phillies ($2,700), Jarrod Dyson, Kansas City Royals ($3,000)

A couple of Phillies outfielders that may get a chance to play against LHP Jon Niese are Jeff Francoeur and Aaron Altherr. Francoeur is hitting .351 in the second half with 6 home runs. He’s 3-8 with a pair of walks against Niese in his career. Altherr has just faced Niese once, going 1-3 earlier this year with a double. He got a hit in his 5th straight game last night. 

Jarrod Dyson hit .323 for the month of August with 5 stolen bases. He has stolen 4 bases off of Verlander in the past and could be a cheap source of points if he’s in today’s lineup. 

For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @fantasyassembly


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Paul Hartman

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Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.