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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for September 26

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Monday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is just over a week away from wrapping up the regular season, and this Monday starts the final full work week of regular season fantasy baseball contests. The schedule on Monday is a lighter one with just four games on the main fantasy baseball on DraftKings, which gets underway at 6:35 p.m. ET to include the early start in Pittsburgh. All four of the matchups are divisional contests, so they will have a significant impact on the standings.

As always, make sure to keep up with all the latest news and monitor starting lineups by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with my picks for the rest of the season and into the playoffs.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $100K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Luis Severino, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays ($10,000) – Severino had been on the shelf since just before the All-Star break with a right lat strain, but he returned last Wednesday and looked sharp against the Pirates, allowing just one run on two hits with six strikeouts in five innings for a total of 23.5 DKFP. The win improved his record to 6-3 in his 17 starts. Severino has 101 strikeouts in his 91 innings for 9.99 K/9.

Even though he may not be fully stretched out to go deep into this contest, he’s the high-salaried option I trust the most on this limited slate. He will be trying to make the case to be a part of the Yankees’ postseason plans and also trying to help them clinch the AL East, which they lead by 8 12 games coming into the day.


Bryce Elder, Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals ($8,400) – Over in the NL East, the Braves have pulled to within 1 12 games of the Mets, and both teams have clinched a spot in the playoffs. The Braves will begin their three-game set by giving the ball to Elder, a 23-year-old prospect who has split time this year between the Majors and Triple-A. He has gone 1-3 with a 3.38 ERA, 4.09 FIP and 8.10 K/9 in his eight Major League appearances and has shown a high ceiling lately.

Elder’s most recent start was also against the Nationals, and he gave up just one run in 5 23 innings while striking out six and earning 18.6 DKFP in the no-decision. He also looked sharp earlier this month, posting 23.1 DKFP against the Marlins in another no-decision. Since the start of July, he has also been pitching well in Triple-A, going 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA, 4.45 FIP and 7.33 K/9. He is in one of the better matchups on the slate as well, making him my favorite play of the eight SP available when salary is part of the consideration.

Other Option – Roansy Contreras ($7,500)



Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,800) – The Red Sox and Orioles start their four-game set at Fenway with a favorable matchup for Boston’s lineup against Jordan Lyles ($7,900) which is highlighted below in stacks. Devers is one of several Sox lefties to consider and has been Boston’s best bat most of the season. He took Sunday off but has gone 22-for-73 (.301) with six doubles, two homers and 18 RBI in his 19 games in September. His .373 September wOBA raises his season total to .369, and he has hit righties especially well all year, posting a .387 wOBA vs RHP that includes 23 of his 27 home runs.


Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds ($5,000) – Another young lefty from the left side of the diamond to consider is Cruz, who gets a good matchup against Chase Anderson ($6,300) and the Reds. Cruz has gone 21-for-80 (.263) over his past 20 games with three doubles, two triples and six home runs boosting him to a .384 wOBA over that span. He got a day off Saturday and returned with a pair of hits and eight DKFP on Sunday. He has at least eight DKFP in four of his past six games and brings a high ceiling due to his combination of elite speed and raw power.

Other Options – Matt Olson ($4,500), Gleyber Torres ($4,200)


Ji Hwan Bae, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds ($2,300) – Bae is another young Pirate expected to get plenty of playing time the rest of the season and was recently ranked the No. 11 prospect in the Pittsburgh system. The 23-year-old lefty has led off each of the Pirates’ past two games and has gone 2-for-12 with a double, two stolen bases and an average of 8.7 DKFP per contest in his three games since being called up. Bae hit .289 with a .353 wOBA in 108 games at Triple-A while stealing 30 bases. He’s a great value play at this salary, especially if he keeps leading off.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ji Hwan Bae is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Reds.


Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($2,100) – Since being called up, the 22-year-old Red Sox rookie is batting only .125 (6-for-48), but he has shown good plate discipline, walking a dozen times, and good power with four of those six hits leaving the yard. His .305 wOBA and .250 ISO reflect his great power potential at this affordable salary, and in this matchup with Lyles, he should be able to continue his adjustment to the Majors.

Other Options – Ke’Bryan Hayes ($3,300), Rodolfo Castro ($2,800)



Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays ($6,400) – Judge didn’t homer in the Yankees’ four-game set with the Red Sox, so he’ll take his quest for 61 north of the border to face Kevin Gausman ($10,300) and the Blue Jays. Gausman has been very inconsistent lately, and Judge has homered three times off him in their previous matchups while going 8-for-22 (.364) with nine strikeouts and five walks. While they’re sure to be careful with him, Judge will likely find a way to produce fantasy points and needs to be considered on such a short slate. Despite his five-game homer drought, he has smashed nine homers in his past 20 games while going 32-for-72 (.444) with a .593 wOBA and 302 wRC+.


Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox ($5,000) – Mullins and the Orioles have a favorable matchup against Connor Seabold ($5,000), who has struggled in his four starts in the Majors, posting a 10.47 ERA, 5.87 FIP and 2.20 HR/9. Mullins will start the series with a five-game hitting streak and is hitting .288 with a .344 wOBA against righties this season. While he has slid into a platoon due to his struggles against southpaws, he still brings a high ceiling against righties from his spot atop the Orioles’ order.

Other Options – Bryan Reynolds ($4,900), Tommy Pham ($4,500)


Oswaldo Cabrera, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays ($2,900) – Gausman’s inconsistency makes it tricky to get a read on whether to stack Yankees or not, but at under $3K, Cabrera is too good a deal to overlook. In his past 13 games, the 23-year-old rookie has gone 14-for-45 (.311) with four doubles, four homers, two stolen bases and a .455 wOBA. He still has plenty of swing-and-miss potential, but his .356 ISO over that 13-game stretch showcases his power upside.


Terrin Vavra, Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox ($2,100) – Vavra doesn’t have the same power upside as Cabrera or Casas, but he is a good value play if he’s in the lineup vs. Seabold. He has gone 8-for-21 (.333) in his past 10 games with a double, five runs scored and two RBI. He has yet to homer in his 33 games in the Majors but has a solid .271 average and .309 wOBA, making him a solid punt play if you’re loading up on Orioles vs. Seabold.

Other Options – Lane Thomas ($3,400), Kiké Hernández ($3,100)


Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles – The Red Sox were shut out on Sunday night, but they have a soft landing spot against Lyles, who they shelled for eight runs in 3 23 innings earlier this month. Lyles did have a good outing in his most recent start against Detroit but has still given up nine home runs in his past eight outings and posted a 4.76 ERA and 4.77 FIP. Most of his issues have come against lefties, who have hit 14 of those 24 home runs allowed and posted a .360 wOBA against him this season.

Devers and Casas bring good power potential as a result along with left-handed bats Alex Verdugo ($4,100) and even Reese McGuire ($2,400). Xander Bogaerts ($5,400) and J.D. Martinez ($4,200) are also solid right-handed options with high ceilings to consider. Tommy Pham ($4,500) has gone 5-for-13 against Lyles in the past with a home run, and Kiké Hernández ($3,100) has gone 6-for-12 in their previous matchups.

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox – This one should be a high-scoring contest, so on a small slate, let’s go with dueling stacks. Seabold has been pretty solid at Triple-A, going 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 17 13 innings over his past three starts, but he has been shelled every time he has been called up to the Majors. His 10.47 ERA makes him attractive to stack against, and he has been pounded by both righties (.480 wOBA) and lefties ($.483 wOBA) in his limited action in the Majors.

Mullins and Vavra are options at opposite ends of the salary spectrum in the OF, and it also makes sense to consider Anthony Santander ($4,400) and Ryan Mountcastle ($4,000), who usually hit in the heart of the order. Rookies Adley Rutschman ($4,700) and Gunnar Henderson ($3,900) have arrived at the Majors and helped push the Orioles into playoff contention, although they’ll need a big final push to chase down the Mariners, who lead them for the final Wild Card spot by four games with 10 games remaining.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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 non-public information.

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