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

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 1:05 p.m. ET.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday features a 10-game main slate starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.


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PITCHER

Stud

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($9,700) – Burnes stands out as the easy choice for pitcher on today’s slate. He’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, posting a 2.27 ERA and 1.58 FIP to go along with 12.24 strikeouts per nine innings. That makes him a steal at $9,700, especially in a good matchup vs. the Cardinals. Burnes leads all of today’s pitchers with a 3.1 opponent implied team total, and his -251 moneyline odds make him a sizable favorite, as well.

Other Options – Robbie Ray ($10,100), Dylan Cease ($9,400),

Value

Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds vs. Detroit Tigers ($8,900) – Castillo isn’t exactly cheap at $8,900, but he still represents one of the better pure values on the slate. He got off to a dreadful start this season, but he’s turned things around with a 3.17 xFIP since the All-Star break. He’s increased his K/9 to 10.44 over that time frame, and he boasts elite strikeout upside Sunday vs. the Tigers. They own the second-highest strikeout rate against right-handers this season.

Other Options – Taijuan Walker ($7,700), Brady Singer ($6,700)


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


CATCHER

Stud

Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,300) – Contreras is basically the last man standing for the Cubs. He was their only top player that wasn’t moved at the trade deadline, and he returned to the lineup on Saturday after a stint on the IL. He’s had another solid year at the dish, and his $4,300 salary is lower than usual. He owns a solid matchup vs. right-hander Wil Crowe ($7,600), and the Cubs’ implied team total of 5.0 runs is one of the highest marks on the slate.

Other Options – Yasmani Grandal ($5,400), Gary Sanchez ($4,600)

Value

Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds vs. Detroit Tigers ($3,000) – Barnhart is an above-average hitter for a catcher, particularly one who costs just $3,000. He’ll be on the positive side of his splits Sunday vs. right-hander Casey Mize ($6,400), who has surrendered a .365 wOBA to right-handed batters this season. The Reds’ implied team total of 5.5 runs also ranks third on the slate.

Other Options – Jacob Stallings ($3,100), Danny Jansen ($2,800)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds vs. Detroit Tigers ($5,000) – Let's continue to pick on Mize with another left-handed batter for the Reds. Votto has had a wonderful season in 2021, posting a 168 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers. He also boasts a .342 ISO in that split, and 25 of his 28 homers this season have come against right-handers. He can definitely do some damage in this matchup.

Other Options – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($6,000), Eduardo Escobar ($4,600)

Value

Luke Voit, New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4,000) – It’s been a bit of a disappointing season for Voit, which caused the Yankees to trade for Anthony Rizzo ($4,300) before the trade deadline. That has seriously cut into Voit’s playing time, but expect him to be in the lineup Sunday vs. Keegan Akin ($5,700). Voit has been at his best against southpaws this season, posting a 130 wRC+ in those matchups. He’s also been significantly better since the All-Star break, posting a 143 wRC+. He’s underpriced for a Yankees squad that leads the slate with an implied team total of 6.2 runs.

Other Options – Bobby Dalbec ($3,400), Frank Schwindel ($3,300)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins ($5,500) – The Rays have been consistent contenders for a while now, but they usually do it through pitching and defense. However, they have become one of the best offensive teams in baseball this season. They lead the league in runs per game, and they rank third in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers. Lowe has been one of their best hitters in that split – he owns a 152 wRC+ vs. right-handers – and he’s expected to bat leadoff Sunday vs. Griffin Jax ($6,000), who has pitched to a 6.74 FIP over 53 2/3 MLB innings.

Other Options – Marcus Semien ($5,400), DJ LeMahieu ($4,400)

Value

Jonathan Villar, New York Mets @ Washington Nationals ($4,000) – Villar has taken over as the Mets’ leadoff hitter recently, and he has thrived in that role. He boasts a 154 wRC+ when batting first in the lineup, and he has an exploitable matchup Sunday vs. Josiah Gray ($8,100). Gray was part of the package that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers, and he has the potential to be an excellent starter in the future. That said, he’s struggled to a 6.36 FIP over 40 innings this season.

Other Options – Luis Arraez ($3,000), Max Schrock ($2,800)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians ($6,000) – Devers is simply one of the best hitters in the game against right-handed pitching, and he’ll be on the positive side of his splits Sunday vs. Zach Plesac ($7,400). Plesac is a mediocre pitcher – he’s posted a 4.83 FIP over 20 starts this season – so I like Devers’ chances.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Devers is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. Cleveland.

Other Options – Jose Ramirez ($5,800), Mike Moustakas ($4,900)

Value

Luis Urias, Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,900) – The Brewers’ offense has the potential for some fireworks on Sunday. They’re taking on Jon Lester ($6,500), who owns a 5.05 ERA and 5.22 FIP this season. He’s struggled mightily against right-handed batters, in particular, surrendering a dreadful .384 wOBA. Urias is expected to bat leadoff for the Brewers on Sunday, making him underpriced.

Other Options – Ke’Bryan Hayes ($3,600; questionable), Kevin Smith ($2,300)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Oakland Athletics ($5,500) – The Blue Jays are playing baseball on Sunday, which means that stacking them is a viable option. The top of their lineup is arguably the best in the league, and Bichette is one of their best hitters against left-handed pitchers. He owns a 145 wRC+ in that split, and he’s also a threat on the bases. He’s racked up 21 steals this season, making him one of just six players with at least 20 homers and 20 steals.

Other Options – Francisco Lindor ($5,000), Willy Adames ($4,300; questionable)

Value

Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,300) – Torres has seen his star diminish a bit in 2021, but he’s been better over the second half. He owns a 115 wRC+ since the All-Star break, and he’s also displayed a bit more power. The Orioles have also been Torres’ favorite victim throughout his career. He owns a 1.143 OPS in 49 career games vs. the Orioles, and he’s launched 16 homers in those contests.

Other Options – Miguel Rojas ($3,800) Kyle Farmer ($3,600)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Oakland Athletics ($4,600) – Hernandez is always priced at a slight discount compared to some of his superstar teammates, which is a mistake vs. left-handed pitchers. His numbers in those matchups are absolutely mind-boggling: 201 wRC+, .469 wOBA, .402 ISO. That makes him their most dangerous hitter in that split. I’ll gladly take the discount with Hernandez vs. Cole Irvin ($6,900).

Other Options – Giancarlo Stanton ($5,300), George Springer ($5,200)

Value

Tyler Naquin, Cincinnati Reds vs. Miami Marlins ($3,000) – Naquin will bat second for the Reds on Sunday, which makes him a nice value at $3,000. He benefits from the same elite matchup as the rest of his left-handed hitting teammates, and Naquin boasts a 152 wRC+ since the All-Star break. He’s cooled off a bit after a torrid August, but he’s been an above-average hitter against right-handed pitching all season.

Other Options – Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($3,600), Ben Gamel ($2,300)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


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