MLB DFS Plays: Friday 9/20

Brad Johnson

This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We will 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.

We’re cooking with 14 games tonight.

PITCHER

Jacob deGromNew York Mets (at Reds)

When evaluating pitchers, it’s easy to get caught up secondary considerations. deGrom is visiting Luis Castillo at power friendly Great American Ballpark. While it’s obviously a challenging combination of opponent and venue, what really matters is deGrom himself. He projects to deliver close to seven innings and nine strikeouts. For many of the other good pitchers in the slate, that’s their upside. With deGrom, it’s just a 50th percentile outcome. Since he’s cheaper than Shane Bieber and comparably priced to Charlie Morton, I do expect deGrom to be the most-owned pitcher.

Also Consider: Shane Bieber, Clayton Kershaw, Charlie Morton, Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez (value), Steven Brault (value)

CATCHER / FIRST BASE

Mitch GarverMinnesota Twins (vs Eric Skoglund)

A common play is to leave the catcher slot for a cheap value play. Tonight, Garver represents an opportunity to flip the script. He’s the second-rated hitter – behind a teammate who we’ll discuss in a moment. He has a nearly 40 percent chance for a home run. It’s not just a homer-or-bust profile either – Garver works counts and hits for a high average. Skoglund is in the mix for worst pitcher in the majors. The Royals bullpen is weak too.

Also Consider: Will Smith, Yasmani Grandal, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy (value), Freddie Freeman, Jose Abreu, Pete Alonso, Joc Pederson (value)

SECOND BASE

Gavin Lux – Los Angeles Dodgers (vs Peter Lambert)

If you’re rostering Garver at catcher, you’ll need to cut some corners elsewhere. Fortunately, Lux rates around the fifth best at second best despite a bargain price tag. The Dodgers top prospect has produced mixed results through his first 49 plate appearances. Nobody is getting excited about a .267/.327/.467 batting line. It’s merely decent. However, a peek under the hood at his batted ball profile reveals what should be a high BABIP, high-powered approach. I’d hazard to say he’s been unlikely. A matchup against Lambert is an opportunity for him to blast off.

Also Consider: Max Muncy, Gleyber Torres, Jeff McNeil, Whit Merrifield, Jonathan Schoop (value)

THIRD BASE

Josh Donaldson – Atlanta Braves (vs Tyler Beede)

On his good days, Beede is effectively wild. Donaldson’s superb plate discipline should serve him well in selecting hittable pitches to wallop deep into the night. Beede is homer prone (1.67 HR/9), and Donaldson is among the league leaders in power production. He has around a one-in-four chance for a big fly. Compared to the other top third basemen in this slate, he’s relatively cheap.

Also Consider: Anthony Rendon, Miguel Sano, Yoan Moncada, Justin Turner, Matt Chapman (value)

SHORTSTOP

Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians (vs Drew Smyly)

Although Smyly has pitched passably for the Phillies, he’s remained ridiculously homer prone - 1.99 HR/9 for Philly, 2.64 HR/9 on the season. Over his career, Lindor has better plate discipline versus southpaws. He projects for around one-third of a home run to go with all the myriad other ways he might produce DFS value. Lindor is the only elite name in the Indians offense, and yet a full stack could prove to be a sneaky-good option.

Also Consider: Tim Anderson (value), Gleyber Torres, Jorge Polanco, Trea Turner, Manny Machado (value)

OUTFIELD

Nelson Cruz – Minnesota Twins (vs Eric Skoglund)

If Garver looks attractive, then Cruz is downright irresistible. He’s the likeliest hitter to hit a home run. And as we saw last night, one blast can easily be followed by another. There’s nothing complicated to this analysis. Skoglund and friends will almost certainly serve up multiple home runs. Cruz is the best bet to be a part of the action.

Franmil Reyes – Cleveland Indians (vs Drew Smyly)

Home runs are the name of the game tonight with several games expected to include oodles of the big lies. Reyes is nearly as likely as Cruz to ring the bell. He even has similar opportunity for a multi-homer extravaganza. The downside to Reyes is that he often zeroes out when not posting big point totals. It’s an all-or-nothing approach that’s better served to GPPs than 50/50s and smaller contests.

Also Consider: Cody Bellinger, Yordan Alvarez, Ronald Acuna, Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Jeff McNeil, Eloy Jimenez (value), Yasiel Puig (value), Joc Pederson (value), Ryan McBroom (value)