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Daily Games

MLB DFS Plays: Tuesday 9/21

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: September 21, 2021, 2:38 pm ET

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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.

Cincinnati has modest risk of mid-game storms.

PITCHER

Top Play: Brandon Woodruff – Brewers (vs Cardinals)

Woodruff is correctly the most expensive pitcher. Despite this, he’s very slightly underpriced. He projects for over six innings and seven strikeouts. The Cardinals are performing well of late. They’re a well-rounded club with no easy outs in their lineup. Woodruff could easily peel off a typical gem – that’s why he’s the top play. This also feels like a good day to fade him. For GPP purposes, our job today is to try to sense if the “fade Woodruff” mentality becomes widespread. Notably, the pool of usable pitchers is small for a 12-game slate.

Pivot: Jordan Montgomery – Yankees (vs Rangers)

Montgomery is less of a pivot than a bargain. He’s firmly in the mix for second-best projection in the slate along with Kevin Gausman at Joe Musgrove and Jose Urquidy at the Angels. Montgomery is the cheapest of these and faces the softest opponent. While there is a bit of all-or-nothing power in the Rangers lineup, it’s mostly comprised of low-impact hitters. Those guys who can deal damage are very strikeout prone. Monty has a decent chance to post the highest strikeout total.

If you want a deeper pivot, Griffin Jax is visiting Wrigley Field. The winds are blowing in from center at 20-mph.

Also Consider: Kevin Gausman, Alek Manoah, Jose Urquidy, Jose Musgrove, Marcus Stroman, Marco Gonzales, Eduardo Rodriguez, Alec Mills, Griffin Jax

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CATCHER

Top Play: Will Smith – Dodgers (at Antonio Senzatela)

With the exception of ultra-aggressive Salvador Perez, Smith is the top-performing catcher. He’s above average in virtually every facet of the game. His penchant for fly ball contact should serve him well at Coors Field against a sinker-slider pitcher like Senzatela. Smith does seem to have adjusted his profile somewhat this season. He’s effective against pitches down in the zone, but he’s doing the most damage on elevated offerings.

Pivot: Pedro Severino – Orioles (at Adonis Medina)

This is a bullpen game for the Phillies with Medina opening the way. The right-hander flopped in 17 Triple-A starts, posting a 5.05 ERA. We’re likely to see lesser-lights like Matt Moore and Ramón Rosso along the way too. Severino has impressive top-end exit velocities and a sufficiently elevated launch angle to rate as a predictable multi-homer threat. We’re still talking a very small chance for more than one home run. Even a single blast isn’t more than a one-in-five shot.

Also Consider: Daulton Varsho, J.T. Realmuto, Gary Sanchez, Carson Kelly, Alejandro Kirk, Willson Contreras, Luis Torrens, Tom Murphy, Cal Raleigh, Mitch Garver

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Freddie Freeman – Braves (at Luke Weaver)

The Braves burned through most of the DBacks long relievers yesterday. A fast start against Weaver could turn into a double-digit disaster. Weaver has pitched passably since returning from injury. Freeman doesn’t have wild home run potential, but he is among the leaders for projected multi-hit and run production.

Pivot: Pete Alonso – Mets (at Eduardo Rodriguez)

Again, I wouldn’t quite call this a true pivot. I do think he’ll be undersubscribed relative to his ceiling, but it’s hard to judge such things in the morning. This is mostly about Alonso’s fly ball profile sniping at the Green Monster. That said, he doesn’t pull many wall scrapers to left field. His fly balls are usually well-short or way out of the park. Rodriguez has struggled with throwing cookies this season.

Also Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Max Muncy, Kyle Schwarber, Ryan Mountcastle, C.J. Cron, Yuli Gurriel, Jared Walsh, Anthony Rizzo, Frank Schwindel, Trey Mancini, Brad Miller, Luke Voit

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Trea Turner – Dodgers (at Senzatela)

Turner’s profile is the one that benefits most from playing at altitude. There’s just so much room for him to dunk singles or drive triples to the wall. He tops the entire slate in multi-hit potential and has a decent power and run production potential too. His current role as the second or third hitter is more valuable than his former leadoff slot.

Pivot: Luis Arraez – Twins (at Mills)

When the Wrigley winds are this aggressive, it’s difficult to find decently-projected bats. That’s not to say somebody won’t have a big night – especially with the caliber of starting pitcher on the docket. Arraez’s main benefits are affordability and a line drive-oriented approach which should keep his batted balls out of the wind. He usually hits leadoff of late. While not on par with Freeman or the best Dodgers, Arraez is one of the best multi-hit plays.

Also Consider: Jose Altuve, Ozzie Albies, Brandon Lowe, Marcus Semien, Ketel Marte, Javier Baez, Jean Segura, DJ LeMahieu, Nick Solak

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Alex Bregman – Astros (at Packy Naughton)

Naughton is a soft-tossing southpaw who lacks a bat-missing offering. The Astros stack might not be quite as visible as the Dodgers at Coors Field, but they’re very likely to go ham. Bregman is underpriced for his talent and mid-lineup role. He’s not slumping either, having hit .333/.409/.481 since returning from injury in late-August. His power plays down away from Minute Maid Park.

Pivot: J.D. Davis – Mets (at Rodriguez)

Davis and Rodriguez have near-identical launch angles at just below 13 degrees. That makes it likely Davis delivers line drive contact. He’s nearly minimum-priced which is certainly attractive for a guy batting .295/.389/.451 on the season. The downside is he might be subbed after two or three plate appearances. He’s more likely to bang one of the Monster than to clear it.

Also Consider: Justin Turner, Rafael Devers, Matt Chapman, Josh Donaldson, Austin Riley, Josh Rojas, DJ LeMahieu, Luis Arraez, Phil Gosselin

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Corey Seager – Dodgers (at Senzatela)

Like Turner, this is more about multi-hit and run production upside than raw power. In fact, Seager’s relatively low launch angle is liable to produce ground balls against Senzatela. If he were priced like Turner, he wouldn’t be the top play. Fortunately, he has a mid-tier cost despite this desirable situation. One note to keep in mind: we’ve reached the time of year when temperatures start getting chilly at night in Colorado. By the time the bullpen shows up, it’ll be 65 degrees.

Pivot: Willy Adames – Brewers (vs Jake Woodford)

The Brewers don’t have the most obvious stack, but there are several fly ball hitters with a favorable matchup against Woodford. Adames happens to be the most affordable of the bunch, making a true stack tough to stomach compared to the alternatives. Since joining the Brewers, he’s batting .291/.371/.523 with 17 home runs in 369 plate appearances.

Also Consider: Fernando Tatis Jr., Bo Bichette, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Jake Cronenworth

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Mookie Betts – Dodgers (at Senzatela)
Bryce Harper – Phillies (vs Dillon Tate/Chris Ellis)

The pool of top plays in the outfield is ridiculously deep so let’s just quickly tag a couple guys before moving on to the cheaper pivots. Betts, like his teammates, has considerable multi-hit, run production, and power potential. Chris Taylor is a down-order alternative. A visit to Coors Field could help him to break his slump. Harper should go relatively ignored in GPPs. While Harper is overpriced, he’s also the lynchpin of a very affordable Phillies stack. They’re a good way to combine a five-stack with some of the top arms in the slate.

Pivots: Brett Gardner – Yankees (vs Dane Dunning)
Jose Siri – Astros (at Naughton)
Eddie Rosario – Braves (at Weaver)

Gardner continues to play with regularity. He’s an above average hitter priced like a schlub. He matches well against Dunning, especially at Yankee Stadium. He has stealthy home run potential. My standing recommendation for underpriced Astros outfielders… stands. Siri should enjoy Naughton’s relative inability to induce whiffs. It looks like there should be room for two of him, Chas McCormick, and Jake Meyers. They’re all values at their prices though Siri and McCormick are the better bargains.

Rosario is crushing over his last seven games. He’s known for streaky binges like this. He matches well against both Weaver and a mostly right-handed DBacks relief corps. Despite hitting four home runs over his last 28 plate appearances, he’s priced like a punt.

Also Consider: Fernando Tatis Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Bryce Harper, Starling Marte, Ketel Marte, Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, Giancarlo Stanton, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Jake Meyers, Chas McCormick, Kyle Schwarber, George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel, Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall, Chris Taylor, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays