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Daily Games

MLB DFS Plays: Friday 9/18

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: September 18, 2020, 11:44 am ET

This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.


Dodgers at Rockies – Los Angeles will call upon Mitch White, a decently regarded prospect who has inconsistent stuff and a long rap sheet of injuries. Coors Field is not the ideal venue for his first big league start. Across the aisle, the Dodgers knocked three home runs in four innings against Ryan Castellani earlier this month. That game was at Dodgers Stadium.

Yankees at Martin Perez – As key personnel have returned, the Bronx Bombers have recaptured their swagger. Perez is a well below average pitcher backed by an even worse bullpen. According to the plan, this will be the first game with both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the lineup.

Reds vs Jonathan Stiever – The White Sox will call upon Stiever for a second start. He’s coming off a breakthrough 2019 campaign. Reports suggest his pitch usage is as yet immature. There’s no margin for error at Great American Ballpark. It’s arguably the most homer friendly environment outside of Colorado.


Zach Plesac – Indians (at Tigers) – Yahoo: $50, DK: $8500, FD: $10400

A resurgent Tyler Glasnow at Baltimore will be the chalk tonight. Plesac offers an… unusual… alternative. He’s appropriately priced on DraftKings which means he’ll be a popular as both a pairing with Glasnow or as a first pitcher. Yahoo and FanDuel have both botched it. He’s 15-20 percent overpriced. Sometimes, it can make sense to spend money inefficiently in a GPP if it means getting a good at a low rostership rate. Since Glasnow is cheaper on both platforms, he should absorb most of the attention.

Plesac is coming off his worst outing in which he tossed seven innings and allowed three home runs to the Twins. The strikeout prone and limp-batted Tigers offer an easy opportunity to rebound. Plesac is one of the most efficient pitchers in the league which helps him to pitch deep into games at the expense of his strikeout rate.

Also Consider: Tyler Glasnow, Zack Grienke, Danny Duffy, Tejay Antone, Yusei Kikuchi (value), Jordan Montgomery (value)


Austin Barnes – Dodgers (at Ryan Castellani) – Yahoo: $10, DK: $3300, FD: $3000

The Dodgers have consistently alternated between Will Smith and Barnes. Smith drew the start yesterday so it will probably be the cheaper, less-talented Barnes behind the dish tonight. He’s an unimpressive hitter in most contexts. However, a visit to Coors Field puts some shine on his potential since it cuts his expected strikeout rate and improves his potential for extra base hits. Even at Coors Field, he’s priced quite cheaply.

Also Consider: Yasmani Grandal, Gary Sanchez, Salvador Perez, Sam Huff (value)


Jared Walsh – Angels (vs Wes Benjamin) – Yahoo: $16, DK: $4000, FD: $3100

Walsh changed his swing mechanics. Scouts have yet to learn a way to exploit his new approach. By quieting his load, he’s more than halved his 2019 strikeout rate without giving away any power. He now profiles as a low-OBP power bat not unlike a left-handed C.J. Cron. Until the scouting report catches up, Walsh should be viewed as a top first baseman. The Rangers will bullpen tonight. Walsh will face a mix of various long relievers.

Also Consider: Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Luke Voit, Nate Lowe (value), Daniel Murphy (value)


Dylan Moore – Mariners (vs Chris Paddack) – Yahoo: $17, DK: $3800, FD: $3200

There are quite a few expensive second baseman to consider as well as a few affordable plays at Coors Field. Moore offers an alternative to both directions with just as much potential to fill up the boxscore. I don’t think anybody has any idea of what to expect from Paddack tonight. This is his first start back from a minor ankle injury. He’s still racking up strikeouts with his fastball-changeup dynamic duo, but he’s also proven to be very homer prone (2.01 HR/9). Moore in particular matches up well for power outcomes.

Also Consider: Gavin Lux, Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon, Jose Altuve


Justin Turner – Dodgers (at Ryan Castellani) – Yahoo: $20, DK: $5200, FD: $3600

It’s a good idea to pony up for a third baseman tonight. Turner is a Coors Field dream. Roughly three-quarters of his plate appearances end with contact. He consistently produces a high BABIP without the help of altitude. Batting third for the Dodgers helps to fuel run production. Even though he has only two home runs this season, his launch angle is ideal for power production. That’s why he projects for a one-in-five chance to homer.

Also Consider: Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon, Gio Urshela, Edwin Rios (value, if starting), Sherten Apostel (value)


Xander Bogaerts – Red Sox (vs Jordan Montgomery) – Yahoo: $18, DK: $4700, FD: $3600

Obviously, the Coors Field shortstops and Fernando Tatis are the most obvious shortstop targets. That means Bogaerts should fall almost completely unused. Meanwhile, our Rotoworld Player Projections believe him to be the third-best at the position. Bogaerts is having a typical season hitting for power while producing runs. He bats third for an underappreciated Red Sox offense. Montgomery has proven to be inconsistent from start to start.

Also Consider: Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Chris Taylor, Fernando Tatis


Mike Trout – Los Angeles (vs Wes Benjamin) – Yahoo: $26, DK: $5900, FD: $4600

Usually, fading Trout is the correct play. In GPPs, he’s always far too popular. However, with the Dodgers visiting Coors Field and expensive pitchers on the docket, Trout should find himself with a tame rostership. Against Quad-A caliber competition, Trout is the likeliest hitter aside from Mookie Betts to lead the slate.

Giancarlo Stanton – Yankees (at Martin Perez) – Yahoo: $20, DK: $4300, FD: $3800

The Green Monster is a chip shot for Stanton. Perez is a moderately homer prone ground ball pitcher which is perfect for Stanton. He thrives on low pitches. There really isn’t anything more to it – nobody is more likely to homer tonight.

Also Consider: Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock, Chris Taylor, Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Hunter Renfroe, Nick Castellanos, Austin Meadows, Willie Calhoun (value), Leody Taveras (value), David Dahl (value), Shogo Akiyama (value)

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on NBC Sports Edge, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.