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Gleyber Torres

Today’s edition of Aces and Bases focuses ONLY on FanDuel’s monster 14-game MLB DFS Main Slate for 4:05PM ET, hopefully finding you some green screens!

The weather concerns in this slate are sparse and minor, and we shouldn’t be concerned about any delays that could impact the pitchers we’re targeting today.

MLB DFS: The Aces

Top MLB DFS Ace: Corbin Burnes ($12,000)

There’s definitely part of me who wants to roster Trevor Bauer, and the Dodgers RHP is certainly worth a look on DK at a discount, but on FD, Burnes makes the most sense as top dog, as he possesses the most strikeout upside on the slate. While some simulations actually have Bauer projected for a higher total tonight (even WinDaily’s model gives Bauer the slight value edge — likely due to the TEX team K rate of 26.8% vs. RHP), the new crackdown on foreign substances has had a detrimental effect on the K numbers of a few pitchers, “Tricky Trevor” included. Burnes, as Adam Strangis points out in his must-read 6/12 Starting Rotation article, is coming off a monster start where he racked up 13K and 70 FD points. He’s a top five MLB pitcher and FanDuel’s scoring allows him and his 18.5% swinging-strike rate (a metric that ranks behind only Jacob deGrom this season) the chance at 60+ each and every night he takes the mound. We’ll have to get a little creative with our hitting stacks to build something we can be confident with, but Burnes is a great option for cash games and I’ll be using him in some GPPs as well.

Best GPP Value: Joe Musgrove ($8,300)

For the second straight week, Muskrat Joe takes our top value spot. He was serviceable in that role last week with a 10 K outing, but he did get knocked around a little bit to the tune of 9 hits and 3 ER — and the pedestrian 5.0 IP kept him from receiving the crucial quality start bonus we need from our SP. Adam and I both like him for today’s slate, and the fact that he’s kept his ERA, FIP, and xFIP under 3.00 in this career year make me happy to recommend him against the Mets. who strike out at a team rate of 23.7%. Musgrove is carrying a career-high 34.2% K rate and limiting his free passes, and the Mets don’t have their usually lefty firepower without a few of their better offensive players. Joe’s unlucky 6/5 start still yielded 36 FD points, and this time he’s the same price and should eclipse the 40 mark.

Contrarian GPP Play: Jameson Taillon ($6,200)

I was actually a little giddy when I saw that Adam was on Taillon as a GPP value play today, because he’s one of the first options I considered when I thought “contrarian play” for this slate. Taillon is effective against right-handed bats and the Phillies (who have a bunch of them) strike out at the third-highest rate in MLB (26.4% — tied with MIA and MIL). I wouldn’t blame anyone for going a little safer with value options like TB LHP Rich Hill ($7,700 vs. BAL), but the Orioles relatively low K rate (20.2%) vs. LHP makes me think he lacks the same upside, value and leverage for GPPs. If we want to stack some of the best bats, we’ll need what Taillon offers in salary relief to get there.

MLB DFS: The Bases

Top Stack: Atlanta Braves vs. MIA RHP Zach Thompson

AS of 11:11 a.m. EST, there’s no line yet on this game, but you’d have to imagine that the high-powered Braves offense is projected for 5+ runs against a 27-year-old rookie making just his second major-league start. Thompson’s minor-league metrics don’t jump off the page and the Braves have just too much firepower to worry about using them. Go with Ronald Acuna ($4,300), Freddie Freeman ($3,400), Ozzie Albies ($3,400) and a still-discounted Austin Riley ($2,700) in a four-man stacks, swapping out Albies for value options (and righty mashers) William Contreras ($2,200) and Abraham Almonte ($2,100) if you need the salary savings to get four Braves in your build.

Value Stack: Milwaukee Brewers vs. PIT RHP Chad Kuhl

The Brewers have a bunch of risky but potent hitters in their lineup to go along with the consistently excellent bat of Christian Yelich ($3,800), including Avisail Garcia ($2,700), Omar Narvaez ($2,200), Daniel Vogelbach ($2,600), Luis Urias ($2,700) and Willy Adames ($2,200). Left-handed OF Jace Peterson is also an option at just $2,200. I’m particularly interested in four-man combos that prominently feature Narvaez, Yelich and Vogelbach as a three-man core, with Urias, Garcia, Peterson and Adames alternately making up the fourth Brewer bat. Giddyup!

Update: Luis Urias is sitting this one out.

Contrarian Stack: Oakland A’s vs. KC RHP Jackson Kowar

The A’s are never all that popular as a team stack on big slates, and today they could be in for an offensive explosion against Jackson Kowar, who carries a 54.00 ERA after one career start — a rocky debut outing against the Angels on Monday. The usual suspects are in play here, from “Mashing” Matt Olson ($3,500) to leadoff hitter Mark Canha ($3,700) and a slew of low-priced options including Tony Kemp (just $2,000!), Jed Lowrie ($2,900) and Sean Murphy ($2,400). I’m also quite enamored with Seth Brown ($2,400) as a risk-reward value option, and I’ll be mixing and matching a few different four-man combinations of these six A’s hitters in my large-field GPP entries.

Update: Both Lowrie and Canha are not starting on Saturday.

Other stacking options: NYY RH bats vs. PHI RHP Vince Velazquez, CIN LH bats vs. COL RHP German Marquez

Good luck, and make sure you utilize the MLB Projection models to land on your one-offs and off-the-wall value plays!

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Today’s edition of Aces and Bases focuses ONLY on FanDuel’s six-game MLB DFS Main Slate for 7:05PM ET, hopefully finding you some green screens!

No major weather concerns, but there’s a game in Coors with an 11.5 point total and two pitchers, one — LHP Kyle Freeland — with 7 BB in 8.0 IP so far this season and the other, visiting lefty SP Cole Irvin — with a .358 career road wOBA. It goes without saying to get exposure to this game, but we’ll give you some other options to consider.

MLB DFS: The Aces

Top MLB DFS Ace: Jacob deGrom ($11,500)

It’s hard to click any other name at SP on FD, even though Kevin Gausman’s last four starts (averaging 52.5 FD points and 9 K per game) have the edge on deGrom’s last four (43.25 FD points and 8 K per game). The Mets ace costs just $300 more than Gausman and boasts a very silly 1.53 xFIP, compared to a still-impressive 3.07 for the Giants RHP. I’ll have shares of both, but deGrom is still deGOAT.

Best GPP Value: Joe Musgrove ($8,300)

He’s much harder to trust than the big dogs, but Muskrat Joe (2.08 ERA, 2.65 xFIP, 11.72 K/9 in 11 starts this season) is a dynamic pitcher who can break a slate. The salary savings allow you to get whatever Coors game stack you want, albeit with a much higher risk. There are definitely signs that regression is coming, as Musgrove’s .212 BABIP is a solid 80 percentage points lower than his career metric (.294), but I’m willing to ride out another start about this pesky DFS darling.

Contrarian GPP Play: Kevin Gausman ($11,200)

Gausman’s numbers are amazing this season, and as discussed earlier in the deGrom writeup, he’s on a helluva run with his K numbers. The Cubs strike out at a 25.2% team rate, a lot more than the Padres (21.1%), so I’m inclined to be overweight on Gausman in GPPs for the additional leverage, as deGrom should still earn more ownership. Again — pricing is pretty soft for some of the high-projected-total games, so the big spend SPs will make up about 90 percent of the ownership.

MLB DFS: The Bases

Top Stack: Colorado Rockies vs. OAK LHP Cole Irvin

The A’s are a fine choice for top spot too, with Mark Canha ($4,200), Matt Chapman ($3,800), Matt Olson ($4,400)and Jed Lowrie ($3,600) being the obvious four-man stack at or near the top of the order. But they are pretty expensive, and they might be tough to fit in some cases with deGrom or Gausman up top. Canha is an impressive hitter who sees the ball well and makes for an amazing leadoff hitter in Coors, so I’ll haver some Colorado stacks that add on him as the primary one-off for OAK, and then find a three-man stack from another game for leverage. For the Rockies, I prefer C.J. Cron ($3,700), Charlie Blackmon ($3,900), Garrett Hampson ($3,300) and Joshua Fuentes ($3,400) against Irvin (who’s given up 24 hits over his last three starts), though there may be some other necessary value plays depending on who starts.

Value Stack: New York Yankees vs. BOS LHP Eduardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez has been very “gettable” in his last three starts, and while the Yankees strike out a lot, Yankee Stadium is getting hot and humid and the wind is blowing out to right center today, aiding some of those power righty bats in the Bronx. There’s loads of value and upside in rostering a three or four-man Yankees stack tonight, with D.J. LeMahieu ($3,000), Aaron Judge ($3,600) and Gleyber Torres ($2,900) as my three favorite “spends” and Gio Urshela ($2,500), Gary Sanchez ($2,400) and Clint Frazier ($2,300) clocking in with serious bargain prices.

Contrarian Stack: Los Angeles Angels vs. SEA LHP Yusei Kikuchi

Kikuchi has been okay in 2021, but he hasn’t been missing as many bats in his last few starts, opening himself up for a possible letdown against the home team Angels and their parade of right-handed power bats, including Justin Upton ($3,000), Anthony Rendon ($3,200) and Taylor Ward. ($2,600) And there’s obviously Shohei Ohtani ($4,000), whose metrics against LHP are a bit down in ’21. But $2K punts Phil Gosselin ($2,000) and Juan Lagares ($2,000) are in play (if they play) tonight, as Gosselin boasts great numbers vs. LHP (.460 wOBA in 26 AB this season)

Good luck, and make sure you utilize the MLB Projection models to land on your one-offs and off-the-wall value plays!

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We’ve got five hitters for you in the 9/6 MLB DFS main (1:05 p.m. EST) slate in large-field FD GPPs, where it pays to be fearless and swing for the fences.

9/6 MLB DFS – C-1B Jose Abreu (FD $3,800) CWS @ KC

I’ve made the mistake of fading Abreu in favor if cheaper options before, and it’s a rough lesson to learn. Everything about the Cuban slugger’s matchup today is favorable, from the opposing pitcher (“Oh How Far Have You Fallen, Matt Harvey?” could be a modern folk song performed in sandlots by hipster troubadours) to the 20 mph winds blowing out among the ramped-up heat and humidity. I’ll be targeting a few hitters from the ChiSox today, but Abreu is the first.

9/6 MLB DFS – 2B D.J. LeMahieu (FD $3,900) NYY at BAL

We’ll need to find some value plays later in our GPP lineups, but there will be plenty of time for that one we delve into the outfield, where there’s always bargain options worth a look. For now, let’s focus on high-upside plays like LeMahieu, who along with his general awesomeness against RHPs (.408 wOBA) so far this season) has a history of smashing poor Asher Wojciechowski, the poster boy for dumpster fires. Just be aware that since both the Yankees and White Sox have the highest implied totals of the day, three of my five targets here will be players from those squads – and I’ll be using players from those games in my GPP stacks.

9/6 MLB DFS – 3B Josh Donaldson (FD $2,800) MIN vs. DET

We’re still getting a massive discount on Donaldson from the FanDuel algorithm since he’s only a few games back from injury, and if we want anybody with a pulse on the bump on our teams, we’re going to have to get some sub $3K players in here. The veteran masher is hitting second in the potent Twins lineup and faces a rookie pitcher (RHP Casey Mize) who skipped AAA and is definitely going to have his hands full today. This might be where I stray a bit from my CHW and NYY stacks because I’m not as high on switch-hitting Yoan Moncada, whose numbers against RHP aren’t as great, and hot corner savant Giovanny Urshela is on the IL.

UPDATE: With no Donaldson in the lineup, the Twins look a little less potent and you can pivot to a similarly priced Austin Riley or Travis Shaw.

9/6 MLB DFS – SS Gleyber Torres (FD $2,800) NYY at BAL

Torres has struggled this season with injuries and ineptitude at the plate, but if there’s a venue that will get the good vibes going for him again, it’s Camden Yards – where he boasted a 1.667 OPS (not a typo) in 36 plate appearances in 2019 and 7 of his 12 hits were homers. We don’t always like to play guys who are scuffling, but he notched a double and a walk last night and this could be the spot he breaks out in a big way. I wouldn’t question your decision to play either White Sox SS Tim Anderson or Twins SS Jorge Polanco if you don’t trust Torres yet, but I’m fearlessly forging into the fray with Gleyber!

UPDATE: Ugh. Another spot where we have to pivot. Jorge Polanco makes the most sense and you can always adjust another spot to fit in Tim Anderson.

9/6 MLB DFS – OF Jesse Winker (FD $2,900) CIN @ PIT

While generational talent Luis Robert and RHP destroyer Eloy Jimenez will be anchors in many of my GPPs, I’ve got to highlight the insane value we’re getting from Winker, who’s realizing his massive potential and sporting a .432 wOBA vs. RHPs in 2020 (including a .329 ISO and eight homers in 85 AB). Winker comes in at an affordable price in the heart of the Reds order against a relatively woeful and eminently hittable Chad Kuhl, who’s taken his lumps from the Cincy offense.

NOTE: My pitching will be a mix of Masahiro Tanaka (always a nail-biting GPP play with upside) and the occasional high-priced option when I can find enough value in the $2,200-$2,800 range for UTIL and the third OF position.

Good luck!

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Photo: By All-Pro Reels from District of Columbia, USA

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The 10/19 DFS picks for MLB at Win Daily Sports are ready, as the Yankees forced a Game 6 in the ALCS and hopped the first flight back to Houston

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10/19 DFS MLB: DK Showdown(8:08 p.m. EST)

10/19 DFSSP Strategy and Picks

The only pitcher I’ll have more than 10 percent exposure to herewill be Jose Urquidy, who ha a shot at pitching 2-3 innings of high-strikeout actionagainst a Yankees team that can pile up Ks and just had to fly back to Houston.Urquidy has 4 Ks in 1.2 IP of postseason action and finished the regular seasonwith a 24% K rate. He’s an option, I don’t like the Yankees options facing anAstros team that’s going to have great ABs.

Let’s move on to the hitters. That’s what we’re doing on FanDuelanyway – where our first sample lineup from 10/18 performed quite well.

10/19 DFS Hitters

The top hitter picks for the 10/19 DFS Showdown are going to bepretty balanced, leaning toward the Astros, especially without much worry aboutforcing in pitchers. Unfortunately, all the pricing for hitters is up and verytight – since we have no aces on the mound.

10/19 DFS New York Yankeesbats

Gleyber Torres (DK $14,400/$9,600)

Just one hit (a double) last night, but he’s got an excellent plate approach with the requisite kind of discipline that leads to production in key spots. None of the Yankees have faced Urquidy before, so I trust approach as much as anything here. I’m going right back to the well even though the price is up a tad.

DJ LeMahieu (DK $15,600/$10,400)

The ownership will be higher, but so is the price (higher than JoseAltuve!) – so I’m going to build a few lineups with Torres, LeMahieu and avalue Yankees bat, with a balanced group of Astros I like. Yesterday’s leadoffbomb may have been a Yankee Stadium special, but LeMahieu is aggressive at theplate and has excellent protection in the lineup, which coming back around sometimesprovides him ample baserunners to knock in a few (107 RBI in 2019). I might belower owned than last night, but he’s still part of my core build.

Gary Sanchez (DK $10,800/$7,200)

The price shot upbecause of the lag from Game 4’s HR, but I’m not off Gary. Hitters like thisneed to bust through their bad stints, and this certainly is a park where hehas an advantage, as the HR Park Factor for away RHBs was 156 for Minute Maidin 2019. If he’s in the lineup, I’m using him.

Aaron Hicks (DK $9,900/$6,600) and Aaron Judge ($13,800/$9,200)

The Aarons will be popular, and while I like them both in this matchup, the prices are also much higher. I’ll be around 20-40 percent ownership for both of them but they’re not core builds because of ownership (Hicks) and the price jump (Judge).

Otheroptions: Didi Gregorius (DK $8,100/$5400), Brett Gardner (DK $11,100/$7,400)

10/19 DFS Houston Astrosbats

Alex Bregman (DK $16,200/$10,800)

You can only avoid Bregman’sbat for so long, and he hit some balls on the screws last night that were rightat guys. He’s going to avoid high ownership because of the price, and he’s probablygoing to get a couple ABs against J.A. Happ tonight. The entire Houston lineupbrutalizes Happ, and I want the ringleaders (Bregman, Altuve and Yordan Alvarez)in as many lineups as they’ll fit.

George Springer (DK $15,900/$10,600) andCarlos Correa ($12,600/$8,400)

My outlook on both of these guys is similar – I’m going to beusing them together in stacks with Bregman and Altuve when possible, but mostlygrabbing one or the other. Springer makes more sense as a cash game play thanCorrea, who I like better for GPPs, even with Correa’s price staying the same.

JoseAltuve (DK $15,300/$10,200)

Altuve is itching for another breakout like he in Game 3, and he’sa much better hitter at home (.306/.372/.608 slash this season at home). I’llhave more shares than last night in GPPs, especially since the salary didn’tjump much.

Other10/18 DFS options: Martin Maldonado ($5,400/$3,600) Michael Brantley (DK $11,400/$7,600),Yordan Alvarez ($14,100/$9,400)


Sample DK Showdown Lineup (Yankees heavy):

Captain (1.5x) – G. Sanchez (10,800)

UTIL – A. Hicks ($6,600)

UTIL – Brantley ($7,600)

UTIL – Torres ($9,600)

UTIL – Gregorius ($6,200)

UTIL – Judge ($9,200)

SampleDK Showdown Lineup (Astros heavy)

Captain (1.5x) – Jose Altuve ($15,300)

UTIL – Correa ($8,400)

UTIL – Hicks ($6,600)

UTIL – J. Urquidy ($8,200)

UTIL – Brantley ($7,600)

UTIL – Maldonado ($3,600)

SampleDK Showdown Lineup (Balanced w/just bats for both teams):

Captain (1.5x) – Torres ($14,400)

UTIL – Correa ($8,400)

UTIL – Brantley ($7,600)

UTIL – Hicks ($6,600)

UTIL – Judge ($9,200)

UTIL – Maldonado ($3,600)

10/19 DFS Hitters for FDSingle-game

The prices haven’t changed much so we can tackle this similarly tolast night, though I’ll be using more Astros. I was very Yankees-heavy lastnight and it worked out.

SampleFD lineup (Yankees heavy, $500 left):

MVP (2x) – Torres ($6,500)

All-Star (1.5x) – Judge ($7,500)

UTIL – Altuve ($9,000)

UTIL – Hicks ($4,500)

UTIL – LeMahieu ($7,000)

SampleFD lineup (Astros heavy — $0 left):

MVP (2x) – Bregman ($8,500)

All-Star (1.5x) – Correa ($8,000)

UTIL – Hicks ($4,500)

UTIL – Alvarez ($7,000)

UTIL – LeMahieu ($7,000)

SampleFD lineup (Balanced – $500 left):

MVP (2x) – Judge ($7,500)

All-Star (1.5x) – Bregman ($8,500)

UTIL – Sanchez ($6,000)

UTIL – Correa ($8,000)

UTIL – Hicks ($4,500)

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Aaron Judge (+0.5), Jose Altuve (+0.5) and Gleyber Torres (+0.5)

I prefer Judge because he’s just as much of a threat to score as Springer and benfits from more RBI chances because of the Yankees 9 and 1 hitters.

Altuve is my pick because Yankee pitchers have been less careful with him than Bregman, who they’ve been staying away from. I really like the +0.5 here too,

I can’t rely at all on Stanton, and Torres is my guy. Let’s take it down!!!

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With the Astros up 3-1, the Yankees are on the brink of elimination in the ALCS. We’ve got your 10/18 DFS picks for the featured Showdown contests.

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10/18 DFS MLB: DK Showdown(7:08 p.m. EST)

10/18 DFS SP Strategy and Picks

Astros ace JustinVerlander has the edge in upside and in most scenarios will go deeper into thisgame than Yankees LHP James Paxton – though the Yankees have a slight edge in theimplied totals. You don’t need both pitchers in this one, and I’ll likely have someexposure to both starters, even with Paxton considerably cheaper.

Justin Verlander (DK $18,000 CPT, $12,000UTIL)

There’s always the possibility that Verlander throws one of his trademark gems against the Bronx Bombers on their home turf, but the righthander’s vulnerability to the long ball makes him a risky option at such a high price. The veteran hurler – a future Hall of Famer who’s posted the highest K/9 rates of his entire 15-year career in 2018 (12.20 K/9) and 2019 (12.11 K/9) – has struggled a bit this postseason but struck out 12 batters in six innings as recently as Sept. 28. If you’re building Verlander lineups with him at Captain, the implication is that you’ll be fading Yankee bats, so you’ll probably need to employ some creativity if you also want the big Houston bats.

James Paxton (DK $12,900 CPT, $8,900 UTIL)

The price is right, and the upside is there, but Paxton hasn’tgiven us his best so far this postseason. He has, however, struck out 11batters in 7 IP, and although the Astros don’t whiff all that often, they’lllikely come out aggressive at the plate with a 3-1 lead in the series. IfPaxton’s stuff is on point, he could easily post double-digit Ks over 5-6innings of work.

10/18 DFS Hitters

Who’s going to be the hero of Game 5, if not one of the startingpitchers? Here are my top hitter picks for the 10/18 DFS Showdown.

10/18 DFS New York Yankees bats

Gleyber Torres (DK $12,300/$8,200))

If he’d come up big with the bases loaded against Ryan Pressly in the fifth inning last night, he’d probably be the odds-on favorite for World Series MVP heading into Game 5, but the 22-year-old is still looking to bolster his batting resume with a standout performance in Yankee Stadium. He’s still slashing .345/.406/.793 this postseason, with the only knock being his relatively futility against Verlander thus far (1-for-12 with 5 Ks).

DJ LeMahieu (DK $13,500/$9,000)

Torres hasn’t had much success against Verlander, but LeMahieuis 5-for-15 career with a homer and just two Ks. He’s got Aaron Judge hitting rightbehind him and should get some pitches to hit as the Yankees leadoff hitter onFriday night.

Gary Sanchez (DK $7,800/$5,200)

He parked one into the left field stands last night and is massively underpriced – even in this difficult matchup against Verlander, who has owned him (2-for-19, 5 Ks). Gary is still pretty scary, though, and he’ll be a chalky value play in this Showdown. It’ll be interesting to see if Aaron Boone moves him up a little further in the lineup tonight.

Other options: Didi Gregorius (DK $8,100/$5400), Aaron Judge ($11,400/$7,600), Aaron Hicks ($8,400/$5,600)

10/18 DFS Houston Astros bats

George Springer (DK $14,100/$9,400)

Last night’s homer – Springer’s 13th career postseason HR in 166 at-bats – was a powerful statementby the leadoff man that he’s ready for another big night in Game 5, and hismatchup against Paxton and subsequent relievers should give him plenty of chancesto make his mark. The price is high, but he’ll be the main Astros hitter I havein my builds.

Carlos Correa ($12,600/$8,400)

Like Springer, Correa hit his second homer of the postseasonand the 10th of his postseason career. Springer and Correa form quitethe power tandem, as that was sixth time those two have homered in the samegame in the postseason – an all-time MLB record, according to a tweet by STATS.Correa has good numbers vs. LHP (138 career wRC+, .371 wOBA) and Paxton in particular(9-for-22 career).

Jose Altuve (DK $15,000/$10,000)

It’ll be tough to fit in Altuve at the Captain spot, but he’scertainly viable in Astros-heavy lineups that fade Verlander. He’s slashing.351/.385/.730 this postseason with four homers and seven runs scored in just39 plate appearances.

Other 10/18 DFS options: Michael Brantley (DK $10,200/$6,800), Alex Bregman (DK $14,700/$9,800), Yordan Alvarez ($13,800/$9,200), Martin Maldonado ($6,000/$4,000)

Note: Robinson Chirinos may sit after he got banged up last night behind the plate, so stay tuned to who’s donning the “tools of ignorance” for Houston tonight.

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Sample DK Showdown Lineup (Yankees heavy):

Captain (1.5x) – G. Torres ($12,300)

UTIL – J. Paxton ($8,600)

UTIL – LeMahieu ($9,000)

UTIL – Gregorius ($5,400)

UTIL – Sanchez ($5,200)

UTIL – Springer ($9,400)

Sample DK Showdown Lineup (Astros heavy w/Verlander):

Captain (1.5x) – Verlander ($18,000)

UTIL – Correa ($8,400)

UTIL – Reddick ($4,800)

UTIL – Springer ($9,400)

UTIL – Sanchez ($5,200)

UTIL – Maldonado ($4,000)

Sample DK Showdown Lineup (Astros heavy w/justbats for both teams):

Captain (1.5x) – Springer ($14,100)

UTIL – Correa ($8,400)

UTIL – Brantley ($6,800)

UTIL – Gregorius ($5,400)

UTIL – Sanchez ($5,200)

UTIL – Altuve ($10,000)

10/18 DFS Hitters for FDSingle-game

Without pitchers in the player pool, there’s a need for evenmore variance in your lineup building. Try to leave a few bucks on the table inthe larger contests and don’t worry about having the most expensive player inthe MVP slot.

Sample FD lineup (Yankees heavy – $500 left):

MVP (2x) – LeMahieu ($7,500)

All-Star (1.5x) – Springer ($9,000)

UTIL – Alvarez ($6,500)

UTIL – Torres ($7,000)

UTIL – Hicks ($4,500)

Sample FD lineup (Astros heavy — $0 left):

MVP (2x) – Springer ($9,000)

All-Star (1.5x) – Altuve ($9,500)

UTIL – Maldonado ($4,000)

UTIL – Sanchez ($5,500)

UTIL – Brantley ($7,000)

Sample FD lineup (Balanced – $1,000 left):

MVP (2x) – Correa ($7,500)

All-Star (1.5x) – LeMahieu ($7,500)

UTIL – Sanchez ($5,500)

UTIL – Torres ($7,000)

UTIL – Alvarez ($6,500)

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Justin Verlander Under 7.5 Strikeouts & James Paxton Over 4.5 Strikeouts (3x WIN)

Verlander would normally be a pretty safe bet to reach eight Ks, but the more the Yankees see of the veteran, the more they’ll provide excellent ABs. I expect Verlander to challenge hitters in Game 5 and as a result, there will be more balls put in play early in counts.

We’re also counting on Paxton giving us his best stuff. As I mentioned before, he’s whiffed 11 batters in 7 IP this postseason, and I expect him to go a little deeper into this game than he did in Game 2.

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NOTE: This 10/17 DFS MLB preview was written on 10/16 but still applies due to postponement.

The 10/17 DFS MLB guide focuses on Showdown, one that could see runs aplenty.

The Astros toss out Zack Greinke. He’ll be opposed by Yanks hurler Masahiro Tanaka, who put Houston’s bats in cold storage in an impressive Game 1 win. Both offenses have yet to really flex their respective muscles, something that could change tonight.

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10/17 DFS Showdown: HOU @ NYY

MVP/Captain (2X)

Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU (DK $15,900, FD $9500)

Altuve slammed his fourth homer of the postseason on Tuesday, setting the tone for Houston’s 4-1 win. He’s hitting .375/.412/.813 in October with half of his 12 hits going for extra bases. Though he has just one steal in the postseason, Altuve remains a threat to swipe if the Yankees have their guard down.

All-Star (1.5X, FanDuel Only)

Gleyber Torres, 2B, NYY (FD $13,200, DK $7500)

If Altuve is the present, then Torres has already called dibs as the future at second base. Like Altuve, Torres went deep on Tuesday and comes into tonight hitting .417/.500/1.000 with a pair of homers. He’s hit in each of New York’s six postseason games and is the one bat in the Pinstripes lineup that could put up 20 Fantasy points in an instant.

Dial U for Utility


Yordan Alvarez, OF, HOU (DK $14,100, FD $6500)

Remember the first moments of Creed v. Drago in Rocky IV when Apollo kept jabbing and jabbing…until Ivan finally let loose and…you know the rest. That’s Alvarez’s bat, which is languishing at .207 in the postseason. He has yet to record a hit in the ALCS, but — as mentioned previously — Alvarez homered every 11.59 at-bats in the regular season. I’ll call my shot: if they play tonight, Alvarez goes deep.


Yuli Gurriel, 1B, HOU (DK $11,700 FD $6000)

Like Alvarez, Gurriel has scuffled in the ALCS. Like Alvarez, Gurriel has the type of bat that can explode in any given swing. Although he didn’t hit well against the Yankees in the regular season (.214 batting average), three of his six hits were for extra bases. You’ll take a 1-for-4 from Gurriel if that one hit was an extra base knock with runners on.


Gary Sanchez, C, NYY (DK $9600, FD $5500)

There is officially no in-between when it comes to my Utility picks. Sanchez has just two hits in 21 postseason at-bats this season. Oh, lest we forget: Sanchez also has 10 strikeouts. Either this Showdown lineup hits it big or it’s going to be money blown away.

I’d bet on the former…This 10/17 DFS MLB Showdown feels like the long green coming my way.

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Things are heating up in the MLB and we’ve got two games on tapfor 10/15 DFS — here are my picks for the two-game slate and the featuredShowdown.

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10/15 DFS Two-Game Slate(DK & FD)

The games for 10/15 DFS: Houston Astros at New York Yankees (4:08 p.m. EST) & St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals (8:05 p.m. EST)

10/15DFS SP Strategy and Picks

Gerrit Cole isthe top pitcher and I don’t think even the Yankees can hit him, so I’ll beusing him with Luis Severino some of the better hitters from the Cards-Nats anda bat or two from the Astros – and maybe one at most from the Yankees.

SP1: GerritCole (DK $10,200, FD $11,800)

Cole’s game logs are preposterous to look at, as he’s struck out10 batters or more in his last 11 starts. The Bombers lefty bats could yank oneout in the short right field porch, but he’s bound for another 10+ Ks and 7+ inningsof low-WHIP hurling.

SP2: LuisSeverino (DK $6,900, FD $7,800)

Given his price and my narrative of stacking against the pitchers in the NLCS game, I’ll need to plug him in here and hope for the best. This probably isn’t a game the Yankees will win unless Severino pitches extremely well and taps into the home splits (3.55 ERA career, 27.9% K rate and .288 wOBA at Yankee Stadium in his career).

10/15 DFS Hitters

10/15 DFS C: Yadier Molina, STL (DK $3,300, FD $2,600)

Molina is the only viable value option at C if we fade the Astros-Yanks. I’ll eat the chalk here, because Yadier is a HOF catcher who refuses to go out like a chump and get swept by the Nats.

10/15 DFS 1B: Paul Goldschmidt, STL (DK $4,400, FD $3,800)

Goldschmidt is cheaper than Howie Kendrick and facing a LHP (148wRC+ and .298 ISO vs. LHPs in 2019). He’s locked into the 1B slot in mylineups. Pivot: Kendrick

10/15 DFS 2B: D.J. LeMahieu, NYY (DK $4,500, 1B on FD $3,700)

LeMahieu is a contact hitter with power to all fields and he’s batting leadoff – so he’s guaranteed the most plate appearances for the Yankees. My sole contrarian bat at what feels like a reasonable price, I’ll be counting on him to differentiate. Pivot: Jose Altuve

10/15 DFS 3B: Anthony Rendon, WAS (DK $5,100, FD $4,000)

The chalk here will probably be Alex Bregman, since he’s $100cheaper than the Nats 3B and facing a hittable righty in Yankee Stadium, but Rendonhas a .241 ISO vs. RHPs and Dakota Hudson doesn’t have very high K numbers(7.01 K/9 in 2019) Pivot: Bregman

10/15 DFS SS: Paul DeJong, STL, (DK $4,000, FD $2,800)

Another not-too-exciting play, DeJong did manage to collect acouple hits in Game 3 and should remain low-owned with some of the bugger nameslike Trea Turner, Bregman and Gleyber Torres at SS. Pivot: Torres

10/15 DFS OF: Josh Reddick, HOU (DK $3,400, FD $2,600)

The lanky lefty gets the start in right field in Game 3 even thoughhe struggled at the plate during the ALDS (1-for-10). He’s avalue play who’s hit righties well over the course of his career (110 wRC+,.172 ISO). Pivot:Dexter Fowler, Victor Robles

10/15 DFS OF: Marcell Ozuna, STL (DK $4,900, FD $3,900)

Ozuna has cooled off a bit at the plate since the NLDS, but he still collected two hits (including a double) last night against the Nats. He previously had multi-hit games in all of the NLDS games except Game 5, when the game was out of reach for the opposition after the huge first inning. Pivot: Yordan Alvarez

10/15 DFS OF: Jose Martinez, STL (DK $4,000, FD $2,400)

Another plug-n-play for his value, Martinez could be overlookedsince he’s been out of the lineup so much in the playoffs. But he’s likelygetting the start against LHP Patrick Corbin and has plenty of upside for hisprice. Pivot: Michael Brantley

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10/15 DFS FeaturedSingle-Game (8:08 EST on FD)

Sample FD lineup:

MVP (2x) – M. Ozuna (8,000)

All-Star (1.5x) – A. Rendon ($9,500)

UTIL – D. Fowler ($6,500)

UTIL – J. Martinez ($4,000)

UTIL – P. DeJong ($6,500)

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10/15 DFS FeaturedShowdown (8:08 EST on DK)

Sample DK Showdown Lineup:

Captain (1.5x) – M Ozuna ($13,500)

UTIL – V. Robles ($7,600)

UTIL – J. Martinez ($8,000)

UTIL – Y. Molina ($5,000)

UTIL – P. DeJong ($7,200)

UTIL – D. Hudson ($8,200)

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It’s 10/13 DFS and we’ve got another ALCS game on tap tonight – let’s get right to the MLB picks for the Showdown contest on DraftKings.

10/13 DFS DK Showdown

The game: New York Yankees at Houston Astros (8:08 p.m. EST)

General strategy: Justin Verlander is super expensive, and theYankees hitters looked good last night in just about all their ABS against Greinke,so I don’t think I’ll be using JV much at all in my DK builds. I’m primarilyconcerned with using Paxton as contrarian and getting Gleyber Torres and DidiGregorius in all my lineups.

10/13 DFS Showdown – Captain Spot

Pitchers: Using Paxton or Verlander at the top spot makesit tough to get in decent bats from either side, so that’s not my preferred routehere.

CPT Option1: Didi Gregorius ($9,600)

Didi hasfour hits in his last seven ABs including a home run, and he’s driven in sixruns during that two-game span. He’s inexpensive and using him at CPT gives youflexibility at the UTIL spots.

CPT  Option 2: DJ LeMahieu ($14,100)

If you’re looking for a contrarian CPT play on the Yankees who’s not intimidated by Verlander, consider LeMahieu – who’s electric in the leadoff spot and has all kinds of upside. The price is a little high but if he’s not my CPT, he’s in one of my UTIL spots.

10/13 DFSShowdown – Utility Options

Big spends: Alex Bregman ($10,400) and Jose Altuve ($9,800)

Pick yourpoison here. Both Bregman and Altuve are proven postseason performers and theypile up the extra base hits. They’re a combined 17-for-58 off Paxton, thoughAltuive has taken him deep twice in 30 AB. I’ll have exposure to one or both.

Big Spend Pivots: Aaron Judge ($8,600) or George Springer ($10,000)

Mid-range 1: Aledmys Diaz ($7,400) – He may get the start versus Paxton.

Mid-range 2: Gleyber Torres ($7,600) – The price hasn’t caught up to his tear at the dish.

Value 1: Brett Gardner ($7,000) – Fierce ABs and plenty of upside.

Value 2: Gio Urshela ($5,600) – Another talented player who’s often under the radar.

GPP punts: Martin Maldonado ($4,000)

Sample 10/13 DFS DK Showdown Lineup

CPT  (1.5x) – D. Gregorius ($9,600)

UTIL – J.Altuve

UTIL – DJ LeMahieu

UTIL – J.Paxton

UTIL – G.Torres

UTIL – M. Maldonado

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The 10/12 DFS MLB Two-Game Slate is about the Nationals seeking to move one step closer to really loving Life After Bryce (WAS @ STL, 4:08 ET, FS1) while Act 1 of Clash of the Titans goes down in H-Town (NYY @ HOU, 8:08 ET, FOX).

Showdown and Hitting picks follow, and I’m pretty sure we won’t forget the four starting hurlers in question.

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10/12 DFS Showdown: WAS @ STL

MVP/Captain (2X)

Trea Turner, SS, WAS (DK $14700, FD $9500)

Runs will be at a premium today, so I’ll go with the one player capable of creating runs on his own. Four of Turner’s eight postseason hits are for extra bases, and I feel today’s the day he becomes aggressive on the basepaths.

All-Star (1.5X)

Adam Eaton, OF, WAS (DK $7600, FD $7000)

Eaton has a great track record against Cards starter Adam Wainright, having recorded a .545 batting average (6-for-11) with a homer and a 1.455 OPS. Yes, he’s scuffling thus far in the postseason (.167 batting average, .560 OPS), but the thought of hitting Wainright is the wake-up call his bat needs.


Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, WAS (DK $7000, FD $6500)

Like Eaton, Zimmerman has a strong record against Wainright. In 34 career at-bats, Zimmerman has hit .353 with a pair of homers and a 1.048 OPS. He’s facing Wainright at a time where Zimmerman has five hits in his last three games while showing there’s still some pop left in his bat with a homer and a double among his hits.


Tommy Edman, 3B, STL (DK $9000, FD $7000)

You’re going to be hard-pressed to find anyone in the Cards lineup with success against Max Scherzer, but Edman — albeit a brief sample — is an exception, having gone 2-for-3 with a homer off the Nats ace. He was hitless in Game 1 yet had four hits in the previous two games. Edman is more dominant at home, where he’s posted a .959 OPS with four homers and 26 runs scored at Busch Stadium.


Yadier Molina, C, STL (DK $4400, FD $5000)

I’ve had a decent rate of success with catchers in the postseason, so consider Molina a roll of the dice. Molina is hitting just .130 thus far in the playoffs but there’s a feeling he can pay off here this afternoon. Sometimes, you have to play a hunch, and at this low a salary, I’ll take my chances.

10/12 DFS Showdown: NYY @ HOU

MVP/Captain (2X)

George Springer, OF, HOU (DK $15,000, FD $8000)

One of a handful of Astros who have hit well against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, Springer has two homers and a 1.126 OPS in 14 at-bats against him. He also had three hits in Games 4 and 5 in the ALDS, a good sign that his postseason woes have moved past. Springer has a .931 OPS at home and a .998 OPS versus righties. Run with him tonight.


D.J. LeMahieu, 3B, NYY (DK $9600, FD $7500)

LeMahieu knows a thing or two about Astros starter Zack Greinke, having faced him 58 times as a member of the Rockies while Greinke was bouncing around the National League. He’s hit Greinke with a .293 average with a homer among his six extra base hits against him. LeMahieu has tagged Astros pitching with a .429/.480/.905 with a pair of dingers and six runs scored.


Gleyber Torres, 2B, NYY (DK $8200, FD $6500)

Youth be damned, Torres hit a sizzling .417 in the ALDS with four of his five hits going for extra bases. He hasn’t fared well against the Astros this season (.708 OPS) but does have a pair of homers against them. He’d be my early choice for ALCS MVP. Clip and save that last sentence.


Yuli Gurriel 1B, HOU (DK $7800, FD $5500)

One of the most impressive LDS facts was Gurriel not striking out in 19 at-bats. He’s lethal at Minute Maid Park, where he’s gone .311/.351/.615 with 19 homers. While he owns just one hit in eight at-bats against Tanaka, Gurriel has the look of a silent assassin waiting to strike big time for us DFSers.


Carlos Correa, SS, HOU (DK $8000, FD $7000)

C-Squared has struggled in the postseason, but the sight of facing Tanaka should make his bat happy. Correa has two homers and an 1.108 OPS in 15 at-bats against Tanaka. He thrives at home (1.034 OPS) and is the one overdue bat in the Astros’ lineup that could change the complexion of this series if he gets hot.

10/6 DFS Pitching Picks

1) Max Scherzer, WAS @ STL (DK $10,200, FD $11,400)

The easy lay-up among today’s pitchers, I really don’t have to explain why, but here goes: 12.69 K/9, 1.72 BB/9 and an 0.94 HR/9. We’re done here.

2) Zack Greinke, HOU vs. NYY (DK $7,500, FD $8,700)

There’s reason to be hesitant about Greinke after he was lit up for three homers by the Rays in Game 3 of the ALDS. His season total of 0.91 HR/9 suggests it was a blip on the radar, along with his 36.2% hard contact rate.

3) Adam Wainwright, STL vs. WAS (DK $6,100, FD $8,000)

A solid September has carried into October for Wainwright, who has an ERA of 3.06 at home since the start of the 2015 season. There’s risk with a hurler who has allowed opponents to record a .286 batting average against him since the All-Star break, but Wainwright’s postseason experience will help attract users.

4) Masahiro Tanaka (DK $7,300, FD $8,000)

Tanaka has a 2.25 ERA against the Astros this season, yet it was the only time he saw them. I’m not sure I’d want to risk him, even with the friendly salary.

10/12 DFS Hitters

10/12 DFS C: Robinson Chirinos, HOU vs. NYY (DK $3600, FD $2500)

Plug him into the eighth spot, A.J. Hinch. After all, Chirinos does have an .887 OPS with nine homers when placed there.

10/12 DFS 1B: Ryan Zimmerman, WAS at STL (DK $3700, FD $3000)

Going strictly on the track record he has against Adam Wainwright. He’ll be a value play that allows you spend big elsewhere.

10/12 DFS 2B: Jose Altuve, HOU vs. NYY (DK $4700, FD $4300)

Crushed it with a 1.281 OPS in the ALDS. Increased hard contact rate makes Altuve a dangerous presence. If you’re looking at an Astros stack, make sure Altuve is in it.

10/12 DFS 3B: Alex Bregman, HOU vs. NYY (DK $5100, FD $4100)

Damned if his 17.2% walk rate and 12% strikeout rate isn’t the most impressive things of the 2019 season. That 44.7% hard contact rate is lethal.

10/12 DFS SS: Carlos Correa, HOU vs. NYY (DK $4100, FD $3700)

Career-best .289 Isolated Power falls under the radar due to his injuries. Correa also had a career-high 36.9% fly ball rate and a scary good 25.6 HR/FB rate.

10/12 DFS OF: Aaron Judge, NYY at HOU (DK $9000, FD $8500)

Somewhat quiet in the ALDS, Judge had four hits in 10 at-bats in Minute Maid Park. He’s another overdue bat that will pay off.

10/12 DFS OF: Juan Soto, WAS at STL

He’s homered twice in the postseason despite a tepid .259 batting average.

10/12 DFS OF: Marcell Ozuna, STL vs. WAS

Friday night aside, Ozuna has mashed it in the postseason, going .360/.407/.727.

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A fully-loaded main slate awaits us on the final Friday of the regular season. With the postseason picture developed, the focus of the 9/27 DFS Hitting Picks will be to just have fun.

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9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — Catcher

Jorge Alfaro, MIA at PHI

DK ($3,800), FD ($2,700)

Alfaro has three homers this week and has spent September showing signs of becoming a useful offensive backstop. He’s hit .234/.355/.453 (.808 OPS), with his OBP an encouraging sign that Alfaro will start cutting down his 33.6% strikeout rate. His hard contact rate stands at 44%, and with neither the Fish or Phils having little to play for, Alfaro could be in line for a power display against his former teammates.

9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — First Baseman

Max Muncy, LAD at SF

DK ($4,300), FD ($3,900)

His bat is starting to awaken just in time for the postseason. Muncy has a .952 OPS in the past week and hit his first homer of the month in Tuesday’s win over the Padres. He’s been more potent on the road, sporting a .921 OPS with 21 of his 34 homers hit outside Dodgers Stadium. Despite the drop in Isolated Power from last year’s .319 to this year’s .262, Muncy continues to hammer the ball consistently, as his 45.7 hard contact rate puts oomph in his .282 BABIP.

9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — Second Baseman

Garrett Hampson, COL vs. MIL

DK ($4,300), FD ($3,700)

My choice at 2B on Wednesday, Hampson has since added a pair of steals, three hits and an RBI. He now closes out the season at Coors Field, which should add icing on a September that has seen Hampson go .361/.418/.625. His .330 BABIP offsets his 26.7% strikeout rate, while his 38% fly ball rate has resulted in five homers this month. Hampson has the speed to make his 42.7% ground ball rate work in his favor, and the ability to hit to all fields makes him a good fit tonight.

9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — Third Baseman

Alex Bregman, HOU at LAA

DK ($5,200), FD ($4,500)

Thursday’s homer was Bregman’s seventh against Angels pitching this season, giving him an 1.186 OPS along with 20 RBI and 18 runs scored. Bregman has a 12.1% strikeout rate that’s countered by a 16.8% walk rate and a 45.5% fly ball rate that’s been the driving force behind his 79 extra base hits. In today’s swinging for the fences craze, the fact Bregman has struck out just 82 times while hitting 40 homers is more impressive. It’s also a reason he should be a more serious AL MVP candidate, but that’s just me…

9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — Shortstop

Gleyber Torres, NYY at TEX

DK ($4,900), FD ($3,700)

Nothing like Rangers pitching to help spark a bat before the postseason. Torres hasn’t hit well this month (.775 OPS) yet does have five homers and four doubles among his 16 September hits. His .258 Isolated Power is due for an extended power spike, and a 41.6% fly ball rate projects well in homer-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas goes with lefty Joe Palumbo, he of the 9.22 ERA and 2.63 HR/9 rate. You know where this is leading to, right?

9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — Outfielder

Aristides Aquino, CIN at PIT

DK ($5,000), FD ($4,000)

Like the aforementioned Torres, Aquino hasn’t hit well this month, but is warming up just in time before the end of the season. Aquino slammed his 18th homer on Thursday and has a .929 OPS over the past week. He’s hit the Pirates well in his brief time in the bigs, going .417/.462/.833 with a homer in 12 at-bats versus Bucs hurling. A 28.8% HR/FB rate pairs well with a 44.7% FB rate, and despite the significant dip in hard contact rate, Aquino still has an above-average 39% total.

9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — Outfielder

Ryan Braun, MIL at COL

DK ($5,800), FD ($3,800)

Braun brings a sizzling bat into Coors Field, having gone 8-for-15 with two homers, eight RBI and six runs scored in his past five games. Over the past two weeks, he’s delivered an OPS of 1.210 that has been key toward Milwaukee’s run to the postseason. He’s also boosted his Isolated Power to .221 and brings an exceptional .323 BABIP into tonight. He has hit the ball hard all season, but his 45% hard contact rate has been at its loudest when the Brewers needed it to be.

9/27 DFS Hitting Picks — Outfielder

Kyle Tucker, HOU at LAA

DK ($4,700), FD ($3,100)

The power is coming alive for Tucker, who homered on Thursday, his second straight with a dinger and fourth in 62 September at-bats. His BABIP stands at .350 and his hard contact rate has reached 47.7%. Tucker whiffs too much (27.7%), which remains the biggest thing hampering his upside, and even with the Angels going with lefty Patrick Sandoval, the Astros will likely give Tucker the start.

9/27 DFS Hitting Stacks

9/27 Hitting Stack of the Day: Milwaukee Brewers: Start with Braun and add Mike Moustakas ($4000 FD) and Yasmani Grandal ($3800 FD). I’d sacrifice some pitching if it meant adding Keston Hiura and his $4200 salary at FanDuel.

9/27 Hitting Stack Runner-Up: New York Yankees: As usual, it will cost to stack with Pinstripes, but is worth it tonight. You could go with Torres and follow up with Aaron Judge ($5300 DK) and an affordable Austin Romine ($3800) if he is getting the start behind the plate. D.J. LeMahieu comes in at a stiff $5400, but find a solid punt play at pitcher and load up.

9/27 Hitting Stack to Consider: Oakland Athletics: Even with Khris Davis and Mark Canha banged up, there’s still lumber to stack, starting with Matt Chapman ($3600 FD). Marcus Semien ($4100 FD) is a good middle infield choice, and Ramon Laureano ($3300) is an affordable sleeper pick.

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