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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for September 22

Pearce Dietrich gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Wednesday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Wednesday features a 10-game MLB main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.



Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Baltimore Orioles ($10,400) — This one doesn’t require much thought. Wheeler’s numbers please everyone. For the traditional fans, Wheeler has 14 wins and a 2.83 ERA in 200 innings. For the nerds, he has a 6.5 WAR, 2.87 xFIP, 29% K rate, 28% fly ball rate and a 22% hard contact rate. All of his advanced metrics look great, but the last three data points are very easy to understand and they explain his success this season. He strikes batters out and when he does not, he surrenders soft hit fly balls. On Wednesday night, he’ll face a Baltimore offense that is well below average in every category against right-handed pitching — 85 wRC+, .298 wOBA, .159 ISO, 31% hard contact rate, 25% K rate and an 8% BB rate.

Other Option: Chris Sale ($9,600)


Cole Irvin, Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners ($5,800) — This is a reach, but the value plays are weak on this slate. If there are expensive bats that DFS players absolutely must have, then Irvin is worth consideration. He’s not going to get there with strikeouts (16% K rate), but it’s possible that he gets to 3x, by allowing batters to get themselves out — ground ball outs and fly ball outs. Despite his poor advanced metrics, Irvin has 10 wins, a 3.94 ERA and is coming off back-to-back quality starts. The Mariners are not a potent offense and they have struggled with left-handed pitching — 91 wRC+, .296 wOBA, .159 ISO, 30% hard contact rate, 25% K rate and a 8% BB rate.

Other Option: Merrill Kelly ($6,500)

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Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies ($5,100) — Germán Márquez ($7,400) has been better at home than on the road. That is strange, but it’s relative. Márquez’s home splits are not better than other top tier pitchers’ splits. Will Smith crushes right-handed pitching — .403 wOBA, .278 ISO, 156 wRC+ and a 39% hard contact rate — and he’s playing in Coors Field.

Other Option: Buster Posey ($5,300)


Tom Murphy, Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics ($3,500) — Against left-handed pitching, Murphy has a .348 wOBA, .216 ISO, 126 wRC+ and a 41% hard contact rate. Since Aug. 1, Murphy has a .391 wOBA, .255 ISO and 155 wRC+. Cole Irvin is not a lights-out pitcher and he allows his fair share of hard contact (33%) and fly balls (39%).

Other Option: Elias Díaz ($4,000)



Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers ($4,600) — This one is for the BvP truthers. In 21 at-bats against Brett Anderson ($7,900), Goldschmidt has 10 hits, two home runs and 7 RBIs. For the anti-BvP audience, Goldy has a .419 wOBA, .257 ISO, 167 wRC+ and a 48% hard contact rate against left-handed pitching.

Other Option: Kyle Schwarber ($5,100)


Miguel Sanó, Minnesota Twins at Chicago Cubs ($3,700) — After a slow start to the season, Sano has come to life against right-handed pitching — .343 wOBA, .311 ISO, 118 wRC+, 44% hard contact rate and a 37% K rate. He strikes out a lot, and that hurts Minnesota stacks, but the upside is hard to deny. He’s been particularly hot this month with a .392 wOBA and .420 ISO. Kyle Hendricks ($7,500) has been worse against lefties, but he hasn’t been great against right-handed batters either (4.21 xFIP),

Other Option: Jared Walsh ($4,000)

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Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins at Chicago Cubs ($4,900) — As mentioned above, Kyle Hendricks struggles with left-handed batters — .372 wOBA, .223 ISO, 1.7 HR/9, 17% K rate, 10% BB rate and a 38% fly ball rate. Polanco’s price is starting to dip again despite the spectacular season he is having. Against right-handed pitching, he has a .357 wOBA, .238 ISO, 127 wRC+ and a 19% K rate.

Other Option: Tommy Edman ($4,600)


Andy Ibáñez, Texas Rangers at New York Yankees ($4,200) — Corey Kluber ($9,000) looked great in his last start against his former team, but in his three other starts since returning from the IL, he got beat around. Since Aug. 1, Ibáñez has a .381 wOBA, .186 ISO and 145 wRC+,

Other Option: Kolten Wong ($4,000)



Manny Machado, San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants ($5,700) — There’s a reason why Scott Kazmir ($5,900) has not pitched in the big leagues in half a decade and why the Giants were reluctant to call him up despite their depleted rotation. In Kazmir’s lone appearance, he allowed three hits and two earned runs in two innings. Machado has been better against right-handed pitching, but this is a bad lefty and most of Machado’s at-bats will likely come against right-handed pitchers from the bullpen.

Other Option: Justin Turner ($5,500)


Patrick Wisdom, Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins ($4,000) — Joe Ryan ($8,200) is a fly ball pitcher (47%) and Wisdom is a fly ball hitter (18.8-degree launch angle) when he hits (38% K rate). If Wisdom makes contact against the right-handed pitcher, then this could provide cheap access to a home run — .351 wOBA, .289 ISO, 119 wRC+ and a 46% hard contact rate.

Other Option: Austin Riley ($4,400)



Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,600) — It may not be wise to target a Cy Young candidate with an expensive bat, but it’s Coors Field and Walker Buehler ($9,800) allows plenty of hard contact (36%) and fly balls (40%). You know the story with Story, a lefty target would be preferable, but Coors is Coors.

Other Option: Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,300)


Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,000) — Merrill Kelly ($6.500) is a reverse splits pitcher meaning that as a right-handed pitcher he struggles with right-handed batters —.356 wOBA, .201 ISO, 36% hard contact rate, 37% fly ball rate and 1.6 HR/9. Swanson has been average against right-handed pitching, but he should be able to get to Kelly or the worst bullpen in baseball (5.00 xFIP).

Other Option: Jake Cronenworth ($3,600)



Starling Marte, Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners ($5,800) — Chris Flexen ($7,000) doesn’t allow a lot of power, but he allows a lot of contact to right-handed batters — .344 wOBA and a 16% K rate. This makes for a perfect matchup for Marte — .379 wOBA and a 144 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Marte should be able to reach multiple times, steal some bases and score some runs.

Other Option: Mookie Betts ($6,000)


Jose Siri, Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels ($2,100) — His salary has increased by a measly $100 despite a .460 wOBA, .400 ISO and three stolen bases since Sept. 3. His power is not an anomaly. The 25-year-old had a .235 ISO at Triple-A this season, .245 ISO at Double-A in 2018 and .237 ISO at Low-A in 2017.

Other Option: Adam Duvall ($4,400), Alex Verdugo ($3,100)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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 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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