clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Baseball Picks Today: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for September 16

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

Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

With several key series for the playoff race and plenty of intriguing storylines on almost every roster, the MLB regular season continues this weekend with another jam-packed Saturday of baseball action. There are 10 games on the main Saturday night slate on DraftKings, which gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Six of those games started right away with a few from the West Coast finishing things off. Three of the matchups are divisional games, including one at Coors Field, which always deserves some extra attention since more runs and home runs are typically produced in the rarified air.

There are a few weather situations to monitor closely and some injuries to keep an eye on as well. As always when playing DFS fantasy baseball, you’ll want to keep up with the latest news about lineups, injuries and any weather issues, so be sure to install the DK Live app and follow DraftKings Network on X (@DKNetwork). I’m also on X (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the regular season races play out and we get geared up for what should be an outstanding postseason.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $120K Bat Flip [$30K to 1st]



Pablo Lopez, Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox ($10,500) – Lopez has emerged as the Ace of the Twins rotation, and both he and Luis Arraez have been critical to their new teams’ success in what appears to be a good trade for both sides. The 27-year-old righty went 10-7 in his 29 starts this season with a 3.43 ERA and 3.33 FIP while posting what will likely be a career-high 10.73 K/9. Lopez has been especially locked in over the last several weeks. Since August 1, he made eight starts and allowed more than two earned runs only once. In that span, he went 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA, a 2.96 FIP and 53 strikeouts in 50 innings. He is coming off one of his most impressive outings of the season. He had 14 strikeouts and allowed just two hits in eight innings against the New York Mets last Sunday and earned a massive 43.6 DKFP.

Lopez gets a great matchup against the White Sox, who have struggled again this season and are a distant 22 games behind the AL Central-leading Twins. Since the All-Star break, they have scored the fourth-fewest runs in the MLB with the lowest team wOBA in the majors at just .290. Lopez faced them twice earlier this season and allowed four runs on nine hits across 14 23 innings while racking up 18 strikeouts. He didn’t get the win in either of those games but should be able to get better results if he stays in form in this great matchup on Saturday night.

Other Options – Tyler Glasnow ($10,800), Cole Ragans ($8,500)


Ranger Suarez, Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals ($7,400) – Suarez has been very solid for the Phillies, allowing three earned runs or fewer in five straight starts. While he didn’t get a win in any of those outings, he posted a solid 3.14 ERA and 4.17 FIP while striking out 31 over 28 23 innings. He did have a brief stop on the IL for a hamstring issue in the middle of that run but showed he’s back to full strength by going 6 13 innings with 10 strikeouts for 25.3 DKFP in his most recent start last Sunday against the Miami Marlins.

Suarez will look to build on the momentum from that start as he and the Phillies continue to try and lock up an NL Wild Card. Coming into the day, they have a four-game lead over the Reds and Diamondbacks, who are tied for the third and final Wild Card spot. The Cardinals have been one of the biggest disappointments in the majors this year and are limping to the finish line. Over the last 30 days, they have scored the fourth-fewest runs in the MLB while hitting just .223 as a team, the second-lowest mark of any team over that span.

Other Option – Grayson Rodriguez ($7,800), Sawyer Gipson-Long ($7,500), Keaton Winn ($5,900)



Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros ($6,000) – While it has been a rough season overall for the Roayls, Witt’s play has definitely been cause for optimism, especially in the second half. On the year, Witt has a .278 batting average and .346 wOBA with 29 homers and 46 stolen bases. In 39 games since August 1, he posted a .319 batting average with a .402 wOBA, 11 homers and 17 stolen bases. He has produced 12.4 DKFP per game over that span and has been even better with 19.4 DKFP per game over his past five games, which includes four multi-hit performances, a home run and seven stolen bases. Witt is running wild right now on the bases, which gives him a very high ceiling and makes him my favorite pay-up play in the infield on Saturday night.


Spencer Torkelson, Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels ($4,600) – Torkelson isn’t quite as pricey as some of the top options on the board, but he has been bringing elite production over the past few weeks. The 24-year-old was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft but struggled early in the year to adjust to the majors. He seems to have found his groove though and has gone 17-for-49 (.347) over his 12 most recent contests with five multi-hit games, four doubles, four home runs and a .447 wOBA. In those 12 games, he averaged 11.9 DKFP and should be able to keep producing against lefty Tyler Anderson ($6,900) and the Halos on Saturday night.

Other Options – Trea Turner ($6,300), Jose Altuve ($6,200), Royce Lewis ($4,800)


Ronny Mauricio, New York Mets vs. Cincinnati Reds ($3,500) – Mauricio missed a couple of games due to illness earlier this week but was able to get back in the lineup on Friday. Since joining the Mets on September 1, the 22-year-old hasn’t looked overmatched. He hit .282 (11-for-39) in his first 11 games with two doubles, a home run and four stolen bases to average 7.6 DKFP per contest. His power and speed combination give him good upside at this price, and the Mets should continue to take a long look at Mauricio to see if he’s ready for a regular MLB role next year.


Jordan Lawlar, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs ($2,500) – Lawlar is the Diamondbacks No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, which also ranked him as No. 10 in all of baseball. The 21-year-old is just 2-for-17 (.118) since being called up a week ago, but he still brings a ton of potential at this price. In his 105 games across Double-A and Triple-A, he hit .278 with 20 home runs and 36 stolen bases. If he gets back into the lineup against Kyle Hendricks ($7,200) and the Cubs after getting Friday off, he’ll be a great way to grab some serious upside at a very reasonable salary.

Other Options – Carlos Santana ($3,800), Paul DeJong ($3,400), Andre Lipcius ($2,700)



Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($6,500) – Rodriguez continues to be red hot in the second half of the season and has led his Mariners’ surge into the Wild Card race. Rodriguez had two more hits on Friday and has hit a remarkable .440 (48-for-109) over his past 24 games while averaging 16.5 DKFP per contest. Remember when he was slumping earlier this season? Neither does he, apparently! Over that 24-game span, Rodriguez has 11 homers and eight stolen bases, bringing his totals to 30 homers and 36 stolen bases on the season. While a matchup with Clayton Kershaw ($10,000) definitely isn’t soft, Rodriguez has hit .333 against lefties on the season with a .375 wOBA. The Mariners hold just a 12 game lead over the Blue Jays for the third and final AL Wild Card spot, so they need a strong showing against the Dodgers this weekend.


J.D. Martinez, Los Angeles Dodgers at Seattle Mariners ($5,200) – Martinez has had a solid first season with the Dodgers and has hit 26 homers with a .359 wOBA over his 98 games. Since returning from the IL six games ago, he has posted five games with double-digit DKFP and gone 9-for-23 (.391) with one home run and four RBI. Martinez is a consistent and important part of one of the best lineups in baseball, and getting him at this mid-range level gives you both a high ceiling and a solid floor.

Other Options – Mookie Betts ($6,600), Randy Arozarena ($5,000), Kerry Carpenter ($4,500)


Luis Matos, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies ($3,200) – Friday was a weirdly quiet offensive game at Coors Field, but the Giants will hope they can get their bats going on Saturday night against lefty Kyle Freeland ($5,000), who has given up 23 runs over his five most recent home starts. Matos is an affordable way to get a piece of that action, and the rookie has shown some solid signs of progress since his latest stint in Triple-A. He has gone 10-for-27 (.370) since rejoining the MLB team with two doubles, two walks, three runs scored and three RBI. He has hit .329 with a .379 wOBA against southpaws in his time in the majors, so he should be in a good spot to return value against Freeland.


Heston Kjerstad, Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($2,000) – Kjerstad smashed his first MLB hit for his first MLB home run in his first MLB start on Friday night and delivered good value from the minimum salary. He still brings a great ceiling at this salary on Saturday. As I highlighted in yesterday’s picks, he was very productive in the minors. In 45 games in Double-A, he had 11 homers and a .422 wOBA before being moved up to Triple-A. In 76 games at that level, he had 10 homers and a .381 wOBA before being called up for his MLB debut. Kjerstad has plenty of power potential even in a tough matchup with Tyler Glasnow ($10,800), so I still think he’s a great salary saver to consider on Saturday.

Other Options – Tyler O’Neill ($3,600), Mark Canha ($3,000), Pete Crow-Armstrong ($2,500)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $120K Bat Flip [$30K to 1st]

The Crown Is Yours: Sign up for DraftKings and experience the ultimate host for games and betting experiences!

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 skills 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.