Early Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top Targets, Values for September 12

Wednesday afternoon brings a sizable four-game slate of fantasy baseball starting at 12:35 p.m. ET. Be sure to follow @DKLive for the latest lineups and news for this slate. As always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine at @SBuchanan24.

Pitcher

Stud

Carlos Carrasco, CLE at TB, $10,200 — This slate is packed with premium pitching options with Carrasco topping my list. He faced this Rays club just two starts ago at Progressive Field, scoring only 15.65 DKFP through 6 1/3 innings. He did give up five runs but also struck out nine while walking two. With this game taking place in Tampa, I think he finds a lot more success in this spot. Carrasco is coming off one of his most dominating performances of the year, scoring 39.8 DKFP against the Blue Jays while striking out 14 in eight innings.

Other Option — Gerrit Cole ($12,000)

Value

Jameson Taillon, PIT at STL, $8,500 — Taillon quietly had himself a strong month of August, scoring at least 20 DKFP in four of his five starts with at least seven strikeouts in three of them. He’ll take on the Cardinals, a team he pitched well against twice earlier this season, averaging 24.1 DKFP through 14 1/3 innings with a K/9 of 7.5. While the Cardinals can be pesky, in terms of value pitching, we don’t have many options to go on for this slate.


Catcher

Stud

Yasmani Grandal, LAD at CIN, $4,100 — This one was a no-brainer for me, as Grandal will see Anthony DeSclafani ($5,700). The knock against DeSclafani is he struggles against lefties, as evidenced by his .365 wOBA against them with a 6.14 FIP and a 39 percent hard-hit rate. Grandal will bat from the left side in this matchup, where he sports a .359 wOBA and a .248 ISO when facing right-handed pitching.

Other Option — Tucker Barnhart ($4,200)

Value

Martin Maldonado, HOU at DET, $2,900 — Maldonado certainly doesn’t draw the most favorable spot in the Astros’ lineup, usually batting eighth, but beggars can’t be choosers on a four-game slate. He’ll face Daniel Norris ($5,000), who recently rejoined the Tigers’ rotation after missing the majority of the year. Against lefties, Maldonado owns a .291 wOBA with a .135 ISO.

Other Option — Francisco Cervelli ($3,500)


First Base

Stud

Tyler White, HOU at DET, $4,600 — First base has a lot of strong options to choose from, and White tops my list for this afternoon. He’s been red hot in the second half of the season, posting a .440 wOBA with a .336 ISO and 10 of his 12 home runs on the year. Even better have been his numbers against lefties, where he sports a .461 wOBA and a .333 ISO.

Other Option — Cody Bellinger ($4,700)

Value

Edwin Encarnacion, CLE vs. TB, $3,400 — Look, I’m not going out of my way to get Encarnacion in my lineup, but I don’t even know the last time he was this cheap. He gets a $900 discount from his salary yesterday and will bat in the heart of the Indians’ lineup. His numbers against lefties aren’t particularly great — just a .310 wOBA with a .162 ISO — but if you need to save salary, I’d be all for it.

Other Option — Josh Bell ($3,900)


Second Base

Stud

Adam Frazier, PIT at STL, $4,200 — Second base is pretty weak on this slate, as no one really stands out in terms of a good matchup. I’m likely going with the hot bat of Frazier, who is averaging just under 9 DKFP over his past 10 games, which includes a home run and four doubles. He’s facing Daniel Poncedeleon ($6,200), who is making his fourth start. Against righties, Frazier owns a .359 wOBA with a .188 ISO.

Other Option — Jose Altuve ($4,500)

Value

Kolten Wong, STL vs. PIT, $3,400 — I do like Taillon against the Cardinals, but in terms of a value play, Wong fits the mold. Wong won’t likely do anything spectacular, as his numbers hover around the league average against righties. He enters this game with a .318 wOBA and a .153 ISO with a 28 percent hard-hit rate. He won’t hurt you in salary, so if you need so save some, he’s a consideration.

Other Option — Niko Goodrum ($3,600)


Third Base

Stud

Alex Bregman, HOU at DET, $5,700 — Bregman is super expensive for this matchup. In fact, he’s the highest priced hitter on this slate, carrying a $300 higher salary than Scooter Gennett ($5,400). Nonetheless, this is the matchup we target Bregman in consistently; facing a lefty. His numbers show why, as he sports a .411 wOBA against them with a .267 ISO and a 35 percent hard-hit rate. If you can afford him, this should be a no-brainer.

Other Option — Max Muncy ($4,900)

Value

Colin Moran, PIT at STL, $3,500 — Moran doesn’t sport much power, but good luck finding a viable and useable third baseman under $4,000 today. At least his wOBA isn’t horrible at .332 against righties, as his ISO leaves much to be desired at just .128. Look, I don’t know how else to put this, you’re going to have to pay up at third base, OK?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Moran is not in the starting lineup for today’s game.

Other Option — Jeimer Candelario ($3,300)


Shortstop

Stud

Chris Taylor, LAD at CIN, $4,500 — Shortstop can get quite tough to fill because of some of the guys we already have mentioned. You can’t roster Bregman twice, which is unfortunate. So I’m rolling with Taylor against DeSclafani. It’s not the best matchup, but Taylor does own a respectable .328 wOBA with a .180 ISO against righties and a 37 percent hard-hit rate. Depending on his spot in the lineup will dictate how much exposure I’ll have to him.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Taylor is not in the starting lineup for today’s game.

Other Option — Francisco Lindor ($4,900)

Value

Marwin Gonzalez, HOU at DET, $3,400 — Also eligible in the outfield, Gonzalez is a good way to pay down if you don’t feel comfortable with some of the bigger names. This is likely the way I’ll be handling shortstop in this slate, as none of the top guys have slam dunk matchups. Gonzalez against lefties owns a .300 wOBA with a .158 ISO and a 43 percent hard-hit rate. Again, not the best of numbers but I think this is a good spot to pay down.

Other Option — Paul DeJong ($4,000)


Outfield

Stud

Joc Pederson, LAD at CIN, $4,200 — This is most certainly a boom-or-bust play, but Pederson checks off a good amount of boxes for the boom category. We discussed the struggles for DeSclafani against lefties, so we can look at what Pederson is doing to righties. He’s tagged them for a .370 wOBA with a .281 ISO with all 20 of his home runs. Those numbers get even better on the road, where he owns a .417 wOBA and a .316 ISO.

Other Options — George Springer ($4,600), Scott Schebler ($4,800)

Value

Brandon Guyer, CLE at TB, $2,800 — If you REALLY want to save some salary and likely get super low ownership, Guyer could be the way. He has a daunting matchup against Blake Snell ($10,500), but Guyer sports some impressive numbers against lefties. On the year, Guyer has a .364 wOBA against them with a .232 ISO with five of his six home runs. If he gets something off of Snell, you won’t be in with the field on that one, so I wouldn’t mind him as a one-off play in the OF.

Other Options — Yasiel Puig ($4,200), Matt Adams ($4,100)


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