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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (9/22/21)

Welcome to the MLB DFS Slate Breakdown! In this article, I’ll offer my favorite cash and GPP plays to go along with the top stacks on our slate. You can find all of our Core Plays throughout MLB Premium Package, or you can click here to join our free Discord!

 

Vegas Overview – Below is an excerpt from our sister site, Bet Karma. It has daily player props, live trends (below), and much more! Access all odds, trends, and line movement for all sports here: BetKarma Live MLB Trends

Projections will be updated throughout the day. You can stay up to date on all of our latest projections by utilizing our FREE projections portal at DFS Karma.

NOTE: Tables are embedded in the breakdown and update LIVE. The various tables will update with starting lineups confirmation, when projections are edited in the projections portal(s), and every hour. If a table is showing an error message or is blank, please wait a moment and refresh the page and it should re-populate correctly. Thanks!

Pitching

MLB DK Pitcher Table

Zack Wheeler

Wheeler continues to enjoy a potential Cy Young award-winning season for the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s posted a 2.83 ERA with a 2.87 xFIP and a 28.9% strikeout rate through 20 starts. He’s been more consistent in his last few starts, and he quietly boasts 50 DK point upside. Wheeler gets a great matchup against the Baltimore Orioles, who’ve recorded a .305 team wOBA with a 25.5% strikeout rate over the last 14 days. He’s a -297 favorite in a game set at 8 runs, and Wheeler is the SP1 on this slate.

Corey Kluber

Kluber’s seen mixed results throughout the 2021 season. He’s recorded a 3.68 ERA with a 4.35 xFIP and a 25.4% strikeout rate over only 14 starts. He got his pitch count up in his last game, scoring 21.3 DK points. Most importantly, Kluber gets an elite matchup against the Texas Rangers tonight. They own a .284 team wOBA with a 24.6% strikeout rate over the last 14 days. Kluber’s a -260 favorite in a game set at 8.5 runs, and he could go a bit overlooked with Chris Sale being priced only slightly higher than him on DraftKings and Luis Garcia slightly more expensive on FanDuel.

Joe Ryan

Once again we have a situation where I don’t love either pitcher in the Minnesota Twins/Chicago Cubs game, but it’s a spot you have to consider. Through 3 starts, Ryan owns a 2.12 ERA with a 4.68 xFIP and a 23.3% strikeout rate. He’s flashed near 30 DK point upside, as well. Although Ryan’s due for regression, he gets a great matchup against Chicago, who’s posted a .330 team wOBA with a 28.3% strikeout rate over the last 14 days. The most important aspect of this game is the weather. The wind is currently blowing in over 20 mph, giving the edge to either pitcher. Again, I don’t love Ryan [at the moment], but there is clear upside with the matchup and weather in this game.

Other GPP Targets: Luis Garcia, Walker Buehler, Chris Sale, Kyle Hendricks, Ian Anderson, Cole Irvin

 

Top DraftKings Batters

MLB Top Batters

Top FanDuel Batters

FD MLB Top Batters

 

Batters

C

JT Realmuto

Realmuto continues to be a bit underpriced, although he’s much closer to where he should be tonight. He’s caught fire over his last 10 games, posting a .333 average with a .538 slugging percentage and a .948 OPS. He boasts 5 extra-base hits (1 home run), 8 RBIs, and 4 stolen bases in those games. Realmuto gets an elite matchup against a struggling Keegan Akin in a hitter-friendly stadium tonight. He’s expected to hit in the heart of the Philadelphia Phillies lineup, and Realmuto can be used in all leagues on this slate.

Yadier Molina

Molina’s an interesting option for the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s been playing well, hitting for a .316 average with a .500 slugging percentage and a .866 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he owns 3 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 7 RBIs. Molina gets a great matchup against Brett Anderson, and he’s quietly been an elite option with tremendous power against left-handed pitching this season. Molina could go overlooked with Gary Sanchez and Austin Nola priced around him tonight, but he’s an outstanding option hitting fifth in the St. Louis lineup.

1B

Freddie Freeman

It’s going to be difficult to go wrong at the top of first base, as several options – Brandon Belt, Max Muncy, Matt Olson, Kyle Schwarber – are great plays above $5k. Freeman may be my favorite, though. He boasts a .405 average with a .571 slugging percentage and a 1.003 OPS over his last 10 games. He’s recorded 4 extra-base hits (1 home run) and 6 RBIs in those contests. Freeman gets an elite matchup against Merrill Kelly and the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen tonight. He’s hitting second in the Atlanta Braves lineup, and Freeman could go a bit overlooked with Muncy only $100 more expensive tonight.

Paul Goldschmidt

If you need to save a bit of salary, Goldschmidt is an elite option. He’s posted a .306 average with a .611 slugging percentage and a 1.020 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he recorded 7 extra-base hits (2 home runs), 6 RBIs, and 1 stolen base. Goldschmidt gets a great matchup against Brett Anderson in a hitter-friendly stadium, and he’s found plenty of success against left-handed pitching throughout his career. He’s expected to hit second in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup, and Goldschmidt’s cheap enough to be used in all leagues.

2B

Jose Altuve

Altuve continues to play at an elite level for the Houston Astros, recording a .325 average with a .550 slugging percentage and a .950 OPS. He’s posted 5 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 6 RBIs in those games. Altuve’s leading off for Houston, and he gets an elite matchup against Janson Junk tonight. The Astros are one of the top offenses on the slate, and it’ll start with the hot-hitting Altuve. He’s an elite option in all leagues if you can get to the top of this position.

Tommy La Stella

It’s important to note DJ LeMahieu is an elite option here, and he could end up being chalkier than La Stella. With that being said, the latter’s hitting for a .290 average with a .645 slugging percentage and a 1.017 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 5 extra-base hits (3 home runs) and 8 RBIs over that span. La Stella leads off for the San Francisco Giants against right-handed pitching, and he gets a great matchup against Vince Velasquez tonight. He’s cheap enough to be considered in all leagues on this slate.

3B

Nolan Arenado

Similar to several St. Louis Cardinals on this slate, Arenado’s found plenty of success in recent games. He’s recorded a .289 average with a .658 slugging percentage and a 1.015 OPS over his last 10 contests. Over that span, he boasts 5 extra-base hits (4 home runs) and 10 RBIs. He’s another dominant option against left-handed pitching, and Arenado gets a great matchup against Brett Anderson in a hitter-friendly stadium. He’s hitting fourth in the St. Louis offense, and Arenado is a great option in all leagues.

Alex Bregman

How does Bregman continue to be so mispriced on a nightly basis? Over his last 10 games, he’s hitting for a .289 average with a .395 slugging percentage and a .773 OPS. He possesses 2 extra-base hits (1 home run) and 10 RBIs in those games. Bregman gets an elite matchup against Janson Junk, and he’s a massive part of the Houston Astros offense. He’ll hit near the top of their lineup, and Bregman can be used in all leagues on this slate.

Editor’s Note: Remember, you can sign up for all of our Core Plays here, or join our free Discord here.

SS

Carlos Correa

Correa’s been playing extremely well for the Houston Astros, posting a .308 average with a .538 slugging percentage and a .879 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts 5 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 12 RBIs over that span. Correa also gets an elite matchup against Janson Junk and the Los Angeles Angels tonight. He’s currently expected to hit third in the Houston lineup, making him an elite option in all leagues for a surprisingly low price tag.

Willy Adames

Adames recently returned from injury, scoring only 4 DK points in his 2 games back. With that being said, he’s simply too cheap for how well he’s played this season. Adames gets a solid matchup against a struggling Miles Mikolas, and he’ll be hitting near the top of the Milwaukee Brewers offense. He’s a player that can be considered in all leagues until his price tag jumps up.

OF

Houston Astros

The Astros continue to be one of the most important outfields on any slate because of their wide variety of price tags. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker continue to play at a high level, and they’re the priorities in this outfield. With that being said, Jake Meyers and Chas McCormick are far too cheap tonight. They both come with tremendous upside, and any of these four can be considered in all leagues against Janson Junk.

Mookie Betts

I don’t truly want to attack German Marquez, even in Coors tonight. With that being said, I’ll take a stand on Betts. He’s been playing well, hitting for a .341 average with a .561 slugging percentage and a .965 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he owns 5 extra-base hits (2 home runs), 8 RBIs, and 1 stolen base. I don’t love the matchup, but Betts boasts upside against anyone, especially when he’s leading off for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the most hitter-friendly stadium in the MLB. He can be considered in all leagues.

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta’s outfield has three options that can be considered. Eddie Rosario is entirely too cheap for how well he’s been playing, and he’ll benefit from a matchup against Merrill Kelly tonight. Jorge Soler is another cheap option, who’s hitting near the top of the order. Similar to Rosario, Soler can be used in all leagues. Adam Duvall is a high upside option, although he comes with a bit more risk. He’s best suited for GPPs, especially at his current price tag.

Philadelphia Phillies

This was initially going to be an Andrew McCutchen recommendation, but it doesn’t make sense why the other Phillies outfielders can’t find success against Keegan Akin. McCutchen is expected to hit sixth in the Philadelphia lineup, but he’s still an outstanding option on this slate. Bryce Harper continues to find success against either handedness, and he’s been playing at a high level in recent games. He’s an elite option, as well. Odubel Herrera is expected to lead off, but he’s best suited as a tournament play on this slate.

 

Stacks

“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen

Team Batting vs. Opp. Pitch

DraftKings Team Stacks

DK MLB Stacks

FanDuel Team Stacks

FD MLB Stacks

“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)

Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo home runs, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.

When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.

We have another solid 10 game slate with plenty of stacking options tonight. Below are my five favorites.

DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas

HOU – Altuve/Bregman/Correa/Alvarez/Tucker

ATL – Soler/Freeman/Albies/Duvall/Rosario

PHI – Herrera/Segura/Harper/Realmuto/McCutchen

NYY – LeMahieu/Judge/Rizzo/Stanton/Gallo

LAD – Betts/Seager/Turner/Muncy/Turner

DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas

HOU – Altuve/Bregman/Correa

PHI – Harper/Realmuto/McCutchen

ATL – Soler/Freeman/Albies

NYY – LeMahieu/Judge/Stanton

LAD – Betts/Seager/Muncy

 

Written by Justin Bales (Follow @BalesSJustin on Twitter)

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