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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for September 5

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

Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It’s a busy Labor Day for Major League Baseball with games spread throughout the holiday providing plenty of fantasy baseball goodness all day long on DraftKings. The main slate gets underway at 6:40 p.m. ET with a pair of afternoon games from the West Coast in San Diego and Seattle. In the evening, the Astros host the Rangers in a Lone Star State showdown while the Guardians visit the Royals in an AL Central matchup. The six-game slate closes with two games from Los Angeles, where the Dodgers and Angels host the Giants and Tigers, respectively.

Make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news 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 all my picks as the season continues.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $222K Relay Throw [$50K 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.



Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants ($9,600) – Heaney’s start was pushed back to Monday, but there appears to be no injury issue as the team tries to just get him some extra rest. The 31-year-old lefty has gone 2-1 in his 10 starts for the Dodgers, posting a 2.12 ERA, 3.29 FIP and an impressive 13.5 K/9. He has 28 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings over his three most recent starts and brings a high ceiling if he keeps racking up Ks. Heaney has been bitten by the long ball, giving up six homers in those three outings, but the Giants’ lineup doesn’t bring much power potential. Over the past two weeks, the Giants have hit just .234 with a .097 ISO, .298 wOBA and a 24.8% K rate. Heaney should be set up well, especially at home, where he has a 1.05 ERA in 25 2/3 innings this season.

Other Options – Triston McKenzie ($10,700), Brady Singer ($8,700)


Hunter Brown, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers ($5,200) – Brown was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Astros’ system and the No. 71 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline in their midseason rankings. The 24-year-old righty will make his MLB debut on Monday in a good spot vs. the Rangers, who have dropped eight straight games. Brown hasn’t been going especially deep into games, so don’t expect more than six innings at the most, and there’s a chance he may not even reach the minimum innings to qualify for a win. Even without a win, though, Brown brings fantasy upside due to one thing — his strikeout potential. In Triple-A, he had 134 strikeouts in 106 innings this year, producing a 31.5% K rate. He also issued 45 walks, but if he can get his control vs. Texas, he should be able to post a strong enough number to be worth his salary. He doesn’t have to put up a huge number to be a great play at this price, and his strikeouts should be enough to make him a solid SP2 on a slate that features nothing but shaky options under $7.5K.

Other Options – Lance Lynn ($7,900), Marco Gonzales ($6,800)



Jose Altuve, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers ($5,700) – Altuve has been on fire over the past few weeks, going 22-for-57 (.386) with nine multi-hit performances, six doubles and three home runs over his last 14 games. He has at least 13 DKFP in five straight games and is averaging 13.6 DKFP per game over his past 10 contests. He’s up to 23 homers on the season to go with his .389 wOBA and 159 wRC+. He is hitting .319 with a .449 wOBA against southpaws this season and has gone 16-for-53 (.302) in his extended history against Martín Pérez ($8,100).


Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants ($4,600) – What year is it? Turner has turned back the clock over the past few weeks and comes into this series with a 14-game hitting streak. During that stretch, he has gone 23-for-52 (.442) with eight doubles and a pair of home runs, producing 11.1 DKFP per contest. He has gone 3-for-7 in his limited chances against opposing SP Logan Webb ($7,600). Turner’s recent surge and good spot in a productive lineup make him a nice high-ceiling target with a mid-range salary.

Other Options – Manny Machado ($5,900), José Abreu ($4,400)


Luis Rengifo, Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers ($3,800) – Rengifo has been one of the few bright spots for the Angels this season — aside from the continued greatness of Shohei Ohtani ($6,400). Rengifo has settled into the heart of the order and has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games, going 12-for-49 (.245) with a double and two home runs. He has been outstanding this year against lefties, hitting .319 with seven home runs, a .388 wOBA and a 155 wRC+. He has also had much better splits at home, where he’s hitting exactly .300 with a .360 wOBA. In this favorable spot at home against a southpaw, he’s a solid play under $4K who can fit in at either 2B or 3B depending on your roster.


Nick Pratto, Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Guardians ($2,700) – Even in a matchup with Triston McKenzie ($10,700), Pratto seems very underpriced, especially compared to his teammate and fellow rookie Bobby Witt Jr. ($6,200), whose salary has skyrocketed recently. Pratto has had strikeout issues, but the 23-year-old also brings great power potential, having hit four home runs over his past eight games while going 11-for-33 (.333) with a .496 wOBA during that span. All of his home runs in the Majors have come against righties, and he seems to have earned a spot in the heart of the Royals’ order alongside Witt for the rest of the season as part of the Royals’ youth infusion.

Other Options – Christian Walker ($4,000), Jake Cronenworth ($3,900), David Fletcher ($3,100)



Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox ($6,300) – Rodríguez is heating up again and had the full diversity of his potential on display on Sunday, going 4-for-6 with a home run, a stolen base and 30 DKFP. He extended his hitting streak to six games and is 9-for-27 (.333) with two homers and a double during that run. Seattle is in the top Wild Card spot and riding a seven-game winning streak as they open their home series vs. the White Sox Monday night, and Rodríguez has been a huge part of their success, with 23 homers, 24 stolen bases, a .348 wOBA and 134 wRC+ in his impressive rookie season.


Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers ($5,500) – Not that Trout needs many things in his favor to bring huge upside, but he does have just about every split pointing in his direction Monday vs. the Tigers (matchup highlighted below). Trout hit his 29th homer of the season on Sunday, despite it only being his 94th game of 2022. He’s hitting .270 but has a .401 wOBA and 164 wRC+. Trout had been better this season against lefties (.427 wOBA) and at home (.467 wOBA) this year, and he has reached base safely in 11 of his past 12 contests. If you’re spending up in the OF, he’s definitely worth considering on this slate.

Other Options – Mookie Betts ($6,500), Eloy Jiménez ($4,200)


Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners ($3,800) – Vaughn has 12 hits over his past 12 games, including three doubles and a pair of home runs. He has thrived this year against left-handed pitchers like Marco Gonzales ($6,800), hitting .341 with a .363 wOBA against southpaws. Vaughn also has much better splits on the road for some reason, hitting .330 away from Guaranteed Rate Field with nine of his 15 homers and a .394 road wOBA.


Stone Garrett, Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres ($2,600) – The Diamondbacks’ outfield has been a great source of value plays lately — they’re giving several young stars a chance to shine in the final month of the season. Many of those stepping up have been lefties, though, so Jake McCarthy ($3,200), Alek Thomas ($2,700) and Corbin Carroll ($2,500) are all on the wrong side of the split against southpaw Blake Snell ($10,200). Instead, in this matchup, Garrett makes sense since the right-handed OF has flashed major power potential. He smashed 28 homers while posting a .369 wOBA in 103 games at Triple-A and has homered twice in his nine MLB games. The 26-year-old rookie has gone 7-for-14 (.500) against lefties in the Majors with a double and a home run.

Other Options – Trey Mancini ($3,900), AJ Pollock ($3,400), Leody Taveras ($2,500)


Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers – Returning to the Rangers has resulted in a solid season for Martín Pérez ($8,100), who is 10-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 3.32 FIP. The veteran lefty has had a problem with Houston, though, allowing the Astros to score 13 runs on 25 hits in 26 innings across four starts. Their familiarity with Pérez resulted in 12 runs over 10 innings in two meetings in August and should make them a good stack Monday night, as well. Pérez is usually good vs. lefties, but Kyle Tucker ($5,100) is 4-for-11 in his career against him. Martin Maldonado ($2,400) has also had success, going 9-for-18 (.500) with three extra-base hits. For the most part, it makes sense to target right-handed hitting Astros like Altuve (highlighted above), Alex Bregman ($5,400), Jeremy Peña ($4,000) and Trey Mancini ($3,900), the last of which is 7-for-19 (.368) in his past meetings with Pérez. You can finish your ‘Stros stack off with a bargain play like Yuli Gurriel ($2,900) or Mauricio Dubón ($2,100) if they’re in the lineup, as well.

Los Angles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers – The Tigers will also be giving the ball to a lefty, as Tyler Alexander ($5,600) takes the mound with a 3-8 record, 4.76 ERA and 4.84 FIP. In his past four starts, Alexander has allowed 15 runs and six home runs over 18 2/3 innings. He did beat the Angels during that stretch, but I think Los Angeles is a solid value stack with good upside in this rematch. Nine of Alexander’s 11 home runs allowed have come against right-handed hitters, who have a .347 wOBA against him. Start your stack with righties like Trout (discussed above), Taylor Ward ($3,100) and David Fletcher ($3,100). Rengifo (discussed above) is always a solid play against southpaws, and there are also some other nice value plays, like Matt Duffy ($2,100), Jo Adell ($2,300) and Andrew Velazquez ($2,300), the last of which homered off Alexander in their meeting a few weeks ago.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $222K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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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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