Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top MLB Targets, Values for September 23

Sunday afternoon brings us an 11-game slate of fantasy baseball starting at 1:05 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

Blake Snell – TB vs. TOR – $12,700 – At this point, when you see Snell on a slate, it’s already been decided that you’ll be paying up at pitcher today. He’ll be taking the hill against the Blue Jays for the second time this season, after throwing five shutout innings his first time last month, striking out six for 27.2 DKFP. Since that start against the Jays, Snell hasn’t scored less than 23.4 DKFP, a span of eight starts. Even with moving out of Tampa and it’s cozy pitcher-friendly conditions, Snell owns a .263 wOBA with a 3.15 FIP. Fire him up today.

Other Option – Aaron Nola ($10,900)

Value

Miles Mikolas – STL vs. SF – $8,700 – I’m always a bit leery to pay up a bit for Mikolas because his strikeouts are way too sporadic for my liking. Then again, that’s what a K/9 of 6.4 will do. Nonetheless, he draws one of the most strikeout-prone teams in the majors as of late, the San Francisco Giants. Over the past two weeks, the Giants sport a 26.3 K%, which during that span would rank them fourth in the league. Mix that in with a team .266 wOBA and a .086 ISO and you have quite the favorable matchup. $8,700 is borderline too expensive for Mikolas, but in this matchup, I’m more than willing to take the dive.

Other Option – Carlos Rodon ($8,200)


Catcher

Stud

Yadier Molina – STL vs. SF – $4,000 – I like this spot for the Cardinals against Andrew Suarez ($7,800). On the year, the lefty sports a .356 wOBA against righties with a 5.10 FIP and a 44% hard-hit rate. Molina has seen the majority of his power in these matchups, owner of a .190 IS with a .337 wOBA and a 47% hard-hit rate. Of the more expensive catcher options, Molina feels like a good place to start.

Other Option – Gary Sanchez ($4,300)

Value

Mike Zunino – SEA vs. TEX – $3,600 – Surprise! We got a start from ol’ friend Martin Perez ($5,200) who moves from the bullpen to the rotation for a spot start. Granted, it’s football season, but we can’t forget how much we liked to pick on our buddy Perez. Righties tagged him for a .415 wOBA with 13 of his 16 home runs and a 45% hard-hit rate. Zunino has plenty of pop but doesn’t get on base enough to warrant everyday rostering. Nonetheless, he owns a .183 ISO against lefties with six of his 20 home runs.

Other Option – Tucker Barnhart ($3,100)


First Base

Stud

Ryan Zimmerman – WAS vs. NYM – $4,400 – I could simply say, “this matchup features Zimmerman against a lefty” and I think it would resonate with the majority of you. If not, no worries, that’s what I’m here for. He’s crushed in these matchups, owner of a .472 wOBA with a .290 ISO and a 47% hard-hit rate. He’ll face Steve Matz ($7,300) who simply can’t be trusted on the mound. Allowing 24 home runs on the year, Matz has a .322 wOBA against righties with a 4.84 FIP.

Other Option – Joey Votto ($4,200)

Value

Ryon Healy – SEA vs. TEX – $3,700 – You’re crazy if you think you won’t see quite a few Mariners pop up in this article against Perez. Healy usually occupies a good spot in the Mariners order despite his cheap salary. Like Zunino though, his on-base abilities are lacking. Still, he’s a good option on the cheap to get some exposure to the Mariners lineup. Healy owns a .156 ISO and a 33% hard-hit rate against lefties.

Other Option- Peter O’Brien ($3,800)


Second Base

Stud

Whit Merrifield – KC vs. DET – $4,800 – Merrifield against a lefty is a matchup we all love to target. How could you not? He faces Daniel Norris ($5,500) who’s been average at best since returning this month. Through four September starts, Norris has allowed a .313 wOBA with a 3.98 FIP with three home runs in 19.1 innings. Honestly, all we care about is what Merrifield does against lefties, which is a .399 wOBA with a .176 ISO and a 40% hard-hit rate.

Other Option – Javier Baez ($5,600)

Value

Josh Harrison – PIT vs. MIL – $3,500 – I can’t say Harrison has made many of my lineups this season, but I don’t mind him in this spot against Wade Miley ($6,700). To be honest, I’m still waiting for Miley to crack, I’m having a hard time understanding how he hasn’t already. I’m on Harrison is because he’ll get you some low ownership and despite not getting on base a ton, he does spot some pop against lefties. With a .187 ISO I’d take a shot with him if you don’t want to pay up.

Other Option- Jonathan Villar ($4,100)


Third Base

Stud

Kris Bryant – CHC vs. CWS – $4,600 – It’s hard to like the Cubs overall in this matchup as the team hasn’t been hitting well at all lately. I mean, this is a club that owns a league-worst .241 wOBA over the past two weeks with a .109 ISO. Nonetheless, we do have a couple individual matchups I don’t mind targeting. Bryant has hit lefties well to the tune of a .448 wOBA with a .345 ISO, so I don’t mind paying up the $4,600 here.

Other Option- Alex Bregman ($4,700)

Value

Jedd Gyorko – STL vs. SF – $4,100 – I’m not really interested in going under the $4,000 range at this position, so Gyorko is likely the lowest I’d go. His matchup against Suarez is a good one, as Gyorko has done very well against left-handed pitching. On the year he owns a .408 wOBA with a .233 ISO and a 45% hard-hit rate.

Other Option- Mike Moustakas ($4,200)


Shortstop

Stud

Adalberto Mondesi – KC vs. DET – $4,900 – It feels like Mondesi has been one of the better stories over the last month or so with how well he’s been hitting. Through the month of September, he’s sporting a .372 wOBA with a .235 ISO with five home runs and four doubles. Now he gets a matchup against Norris and I’m finding myself getting him in my lineups once again. I wouldn’t think this one, if you’re paying up, grab Mondesi.

Other Option- Trea Turner ($4,400)

Value

Marwin Gonzalez – HOU vs. LAA – $3,800 – After a really bad first half, Gonzalez has really turned his season around in the second half. He’ll take on Tyler Skaggs ($7,600) who is making his second start since coming back from injury. Against lefties, Gonzalez has brought his numbers up to a .310 wOBA and a .163 ISO. Not great numbers, but believe me, MUCH better than they were just a month and a half ago.

Other Option- Elvis Andrus ($3,500)


Outfield

Stud

Nelson Cruz — SEA vs. TEX – $4,600 – You had to know this was coming with Perez on the mound. I mean cmon, how can you NOT get Cruz into your lineups in the matchup he smashes in? On the year against lefties, Cruz sports a .383 wOBA with a .286 ISO and a 47% hard-hit rate. Then, of course, for my BvP lovers, Cruz is 7-for-25 against Perez with three home runs, five runs knocked in and five walks.

Other Options – Mitch Haniger ($5,400) Rhys Hoskins ($4,400)

Value

Albert Almora – CHC vs. CWS – $3,500 – The concern here is that no one will be able to knock in Almora if he gets on base, but he’s just too cheap for someone who should be batting leadoff today. Almora against lefties has a .332 wOBA with a .350 OBP. He doesn’t hit for much power but he’s better against lefties than righties. In terms of a value play, he’s certainly a consideration.

Other Options – Curtis Granderson ($4,100), Pablo Reyes ($3,900)


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.