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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for September 23

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

Major League Baseball has another busy Friday night lined up, with a 12-game main slate of fantasy baseball on DraftKings getting underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. At this point in the playoff chase, most series are divisional contests, including seven of the 12 games under the lights Friday. There are a few weather spots to keep an eye on — mostly in Minnesota, where the Twins are scheduled to host the Angels.

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 all my picks.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K 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.



Carlos Rodón, San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks ($10,300) – Rodón has put together a great first season in San Francisco and leads the Majors with a 2.27 FIP while posting 11.8 K/9, which is the most for any pitcher who has worked at least 150 innings. Rodón has been remarkably consistent, logging over 27 DKFP in five of his past six outings and reaching double-digit strikeouts in four of those starts.

In his past nine outings, he’s only given up more than two runs once, posting a 2.09 ERA and 1.97 FIP while striking out 72 batters in just 51 2/3 innings. He faced the D-backs once during that run and struck out 11 in six innings of one-run ball to earn 30.5 DKFP in a no-decision. He only threw 71 pitches in his most recent outing due to a blister and cracked nail. After a few extra days rest before this start, he should be rested and ready to put together another dominant outing.

Other Options – Shohei Ohtani ($10,800), Chris Bassitt ($9,500)


Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers ($7,700) – Giolito hasn’t been nearly as productive as his former-teammate Rodón, but he has found his footing after a disastrous June, July and August. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in three straight starts, totaling 16 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings with a 3.45 ERA and 3.24 FIP.

He’ll face the Tigers for a second straight start after posting 14.3 DKFP in a no-decision last time. In that outing, he generated 16 swings and misses on 96 pitches for a solid 32% CSW, which indicates better results could be on the way. Detroit’s offense has been at or near the bottom of all the offensive categories all season long, so Giolito should be able to continue his recent positive trend in this matchup.

Other Options – Jeffrey Springs ($8,200), Dean Kremer ($6,500)



Manny Machado, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($5,400) – The Padres are sure to get plenty of attention playing at Coors Field (more in stacks below), so it’s a little surprising Machado isn’t even more expensive. The 30-year-old smashed his 30th homer of the season on Thursday and is now 12-for-42 (.286) with four homers and a .406 wOBA over his past 12 games. He has already homered twice in his seven games at Coors Field this season and is packed with power potential in the plus-matchup highlighted in stacks.


Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox ($4,100) – Torres has been streaky all season, but when he’s on a heater he can be a great option for DFS. He came up empty on Thursday, going 0-for-5. Prior to that, he had gone 18-for-45 (.400) with four homers and a .497 wOBA over a 10-game span. He will look to get back into that groove on Friday night against Rich Hill ($6,300). Hill has allowed four runs or more in three of his past four starts, and Torres has 10 of his 23 homers against lefties like Hill, giving him a .347 wOBA against southpaws.

Other Options – Bobby Witt Jr. ($5,300), José Abreu ($4,900)


Michael Toglia, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres ($3,600) – Toglia is a name DFS players will get to know quickly as the prospect settles into Coors Field. He was the No. 23 overall pick in the 2019 draft out of UCLA and quickly rose through the Colorado system, hitting .333 with seven homers in just 17 games at Triple-A Albuquerque before getting called up to the Majors. He went 6-for-16 (.375) and averaged 10.25 DKFP per contest over the four home games vs. the Giants to start the week. The 24-year-old switch hitter has gone 5-for-18 (.278) with two doubles and a home run vs. LHP and should be in a favorable spot against Sean Manaea ($7,300) at Coors on Friday night.


Mark Vientos, New York Mets at Oakland Athletics ($2,000) – Vientos is expected to get the start again on Friday night for the Mets as they take on lefty Cole Irvin ($6,700). The 22-year-old slugger is only 1-for-18 in eight games in the Majors. He did show impressive power potential at Triple-A, though, hitting .283/.361/.524 with 24 home runs and especially tearing up lefties with a .330/.408/.732 slash line. For a player at the minimum salary, he has a lot of power upside and adds to his value even more with both 3B and SS eligibility.

Other Options – Elvis Andrus ($4,000), Yuli Gurriel ($3,300), Albert Pujols ($2,900)



Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles ($6,100) – After only hitting one home run in all of August, Alvarez has found his power stroke in September and mashed six homers in his 16 games this month. Over that span, the lefty has gone 20-for-60 (.333) with 11.9 DKFP per contest. Alvarez and the Astros were quiet on Thursday in the series opener, but they get a good matchup against Dean Kremer ($6,500) on Friday.


Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($5,000) – It’s getting to be Arozarena’s time of year, and he’s once again heating up as we approach the postseason. He had a pair of doubles and 28 DKFP on Thursday night in the series opener and now has three multi-hit games with double-digit DKFP in his five most recent contests. Arozarena has added five stolen bases over the past 15 games while hitting .312 with eight doubles, a home run and an average of 10.2 DKFP per contest.

Other Options – Juan Soto ($5,400), Tommy Pham ($4,800)


Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($3,700) – Without Fernando Tatis, Profar has been the Padres' leadoff hitter most of the season and has been very productive in the role. He went through a rough stretch earlier this month but has gone 4-for-16 (.250) with a home run over his past four games. He had two hits and 21 DKFP on Thursday and will look to carry that momentum into this great matchup in Denver.


Kerry Carpenter, Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox ($2,600) – Carpenter has homered in back-to-back games and is expected to continue to hit in the heart of the Tigers’ lineup for the rest of the season. In his 98 games in Double-A and Triple-A, Carpenter hit .313 with 30 homers. Like many call-ups this season, he scuffled early but has found his footing. Over his past 11 games, he is 12-for-37 (.324) with four homers, a double and an average of 8.5 DKFP per contest. Since Giolito has struggled giving up home runs and Carpenter is flashing power upside, he’s a nice value play in this matchup.

Other Options – Trey Mancini ($3,700), Yonathan Daza ($3,000), Oswaldo Cabrera ($2,800)


San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies – The Padres at Coors Field should be a strong stack against Ryan Feltner ($5,000), who has allowed at least three runs in five straight starts while never making it past the sixth inning. Feltner has allowed 14 homers in 17 starts, most of which have come to right-handed hitters, who have a .913 OPS against him.

Machado and Profar (discussed above) are strong plays as a result, and you can also lean into the fun at Coors Field by adding in Juan Soto ($5,400), Brandon Drury ($5,000), Jake Cronenworth ($4,200) or Josh Bell ($3,800) into the stack. There aren’t usually many cheap options in the Padres’ lineup, but José Azocar ($2,000) could be an outstanding play at the minimum if he gets the start.

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox are, understandably, going to be very careful with Aaron Judge ($6,200), walking him three times Friday night. That will lead to more traffic on the bases, though, and Rich Hill ($6,300) has already been struggling a bit coming down the stretch. He has made 23 starts and logged 107 1/3 innings, which is incredibly impressive for a 42-year-old, but he seems to be wearing down in September, posting a 6.62 ERA and 3.56 FIP in four starts this month.

Right-handed hitters with power upside — Torres, Judge, Thursday’s walk-off hero Josh Donaldson ($4,400) and Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100) — are attractive options. Oswaldo Cabrera ($2,800) and Harrison Bader ($2,600) are also great value plays in the OF if you see the Yankees piling up runs against Hill and the Red Sox.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K 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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