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Daily Games

MLB DFS Plays: Wednesday 9/15

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: September 15, 2021, 4:40 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.

PITCHER

Top Play: Julio Urias – Dodgers (vs DBacks)

Urias has emerged as a true ace this season. The Dodgers hold him to around a 95-pitch count, but he’s efficient enough to finish seven innings on occasion. The Diamondbacks offense is highly susceptible to left-handed pitchers. He figures to offer six innings and a hair over six strikeouts.

Pivot: Ranger Suarez – Phillies (vs Cubs)

Shockingly, Suarez has put together a potent four-start streak against mostly weak opponents. Tonight, he faces baseball’s most strikeout prone offense. Suarez can be expected to deliver about five-and-two-thirds innings with as many strikeouts. He’s a ground ball pitcher who specifically could have trouble with Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom. There’s minor rain risk in Philly.

Also Consider: Jose Urquidy, Sean Manaea, Tylor Megill, Huascar Ynoa, Cal Quantrill, Nestor Cortes, Mike Minor, Dallas Keuchel

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CATCHER

Top Play: Will Smith – Dodgers (vs Merrill Kelly)

This isn’t an impressive slate for catchers. Kelly is a decent thinking-man’s pitcher. He doesn’t do anything flashy. I’m reminded of a comment attributed to a forgotten Marlin when facing Jamie Moyer. To paraphrase: facing Moyer led to a comfortable 0-for-4. Kelly has similar vibes. Hitters take their best swing and routinely get worst-swing results. That said, it’s not as if he’s some unhittable latter-day Greg Maddux. Smith has a goodly chance to drop a dinger or chip in with run production. Kelly has believable reverse-platoon splits driven by his changeup. Right-handed hitters are better off against him.

Pivot: Gary Sanchez – Yankees (at John Means)

Means’ changeup-forward, fly ball-based approach actually makes a brutal matchup for Sanchez. However, there will be opportunities against exploitable relievers later in the game, and we can’t rule out a mistake from Means. Camden Yards is forgiving to power hitters. A skied fly ball can sometimes clear a wall. Sanchez’s main advantage is his price tag. He’s the best dollar-for-dollar value at catcher – it’s just all tied to catching at least one home run.

Also Consider: Salvador Perez, Yasmani Grandal, Yohel Pozo, Austin Nola, Carson Kelly

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Pete Alonso – Mets (vs Jon Lester)

Honestly, I’m concerned this is one of those matchups that looks better on paper than reality. Alonso has serious home run potential against Lester – about a one-in-three chance. However, Lester is crafty enough to avoid throwing strikes to the most dangerous hitter in the lineup. Additionally, CitiField is tough on home runs. Worries aside, this projects as both a high ceiling and good value play.

Pivot: Brad Miller – Phillies (vs Alec Mills)

Miller remains affordable and continues to bat in mid-lineup role. He matches well against Mills for power outcomes. The Cubs bullpen, aside from Rex Brothers, is almost entirely right-handed. Most of their best relievers pitched yesterday so they’ll be less effective if called upon tonight. I like the Schwindel side of this matchup more, but I suspect he’ll be fairly popular.

Also Consider: Shohei Ohtani, Max Muncy, Freddie Freeman, Ryan Mountcastle, Yuli Gurriel, Anthony Rizzo, Luke Voit, Jose Abreu, Trey Mancini, Frank Schwindel

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Jose Altuve – Astros (at Kohei Arihara)

Altuve, Trea Turner, Ozzie Albies, and Javier Baez are crowded at the top of the second base pool. I like the value of Altuve slightly more than Turner and Albies. He’s a more consistent performer than Baez. Arihara doesn’t induce whiffs and only pitched a couple two-inning outings while on rehab. There must be a tandem pitcher lined up – probably Dane Dunning or Kolby Allard. No matter which Rangers pitchers appear, Altuve matches well against them.

Pivot: Nick Solak – Rangers (vs Urquidy)

Since returning to the Majors, Solak is batting a more typical .313/.360/.450. He doesn’t have much pop, but he does offer decent multi-hit and run production potential at an affordable price. Consider him a not-quite-punt. He’s a ground ball hitter which means he matches well against Urquidy’s fly ball tendencies.

Also Consider: Trea Turner, Ozzie Albies, Javier Baez, DJ LeMahieu, Whit Merrifield, Jed Lowrie

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Jose Ramirez – Indians (at Griffin Jax)

Jax is a former prospect turned sacrificial lamb. He’s a homer prone (2.52 HR/9) fly ball pitcher who doesn’t have an above average pitch. As a contact-oriented fly ball hitter, this isn’t an ideal matchup for Ramirez. He should draw at least two plate appearances against relievers. While the Twins bullpen has pitched well of late, it’s important to remember recent performance is not the same as talent. It’s a group against which Ramirez should be comfortable.

Pivot: Yoan Moncada – White Sox (vs Janson Junk)

After a successful stint in Double-A with the Yankees, Junk was traded to the Angels where he performed unevenly in five Triple-A starts. He has all the markings of a future middle reliever. Expect a short outing backed by a weak bullpen. He’s neither a fly ball nor ground ball pitcher. Moncada’s line drive-oriented approach is effective against such type-less pitchers. He’s a solid bet for a multi-hit game.

Also Consider: Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Adalberto Mondesi, Justin Turner, Alex Bregman, Patrick Wisdom

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Corey Seager – Dodgers (vs Kelly)

Often, pitchers like Kelly succeed when hitters try to do too much. That’s not Seager’s MO. While hitters leaguewide have fallen in love with taters, he stays within himself and tries to sting the ball. Even though Kelly has believable reverse platoon splits, Seager rates among the top shortstops and comes at an attractive value. Remember, the Dodgers could conceivably crack into this Arizona bullpen early.

Pivot: Gleyber Torres – Yankees (at Means)

Aside from whichever minimum-priced punts play, Torres is the best bargain at the position. That’s not to say it’s a great matchup. His elevated launch angle matches poorly with Means, and he’ll be susceptible to changeups. As with Sanchez, we can’t rule out the potential to pounce on a mistake.

Also Consider: Fernando Tatis Jr., Corey Seager, Adalberto Mondesi, Tim Anderson, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Amed Rosario, Didi Gregorius

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Bryce Harper – Phillies (vs Mills)
Aaron Judge – Yankees (at Means)
Giancarlo Stanton – Yankees (at Means)

Means’ changeup could be a problem for Judge and Stanton too. The rest of the matchup looks extremely favorable for Judge and Stanton. As they proved yet again yesterday, they love pitchers who work up in zone. Once again, they have better than a two-in-five chance to homer. The Harper recommendation rolls over too. He’s mashing everything for extra bases these days. He’s better than one-in-three for a dinger.

Pivots: Austin Hays – Orioles (vs Cortes)
Jose Siri – Astros (at Arihara)

The Astros stack is expensive, but they’ll help us out by starting at least one of Siri, Chas McCormick, or Jake Meyers. All three project as above average DFS players. The first two are minimum-priced while Meyers is merely cheap. Siri has all-around athleticism on his side, but that comes with a heaping helping of strikeouts. Arihara doesn’t induce those so we should be good to see batted balls. Hays is a league average hitter with a neutral launch angle and slightly better than average exit velocities. Facing Cortes should help his power odds. He usually has a mid-lineup role.

Also Consider: Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr., Mookie Betts, Starling Marte, Byron Buxton, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins, DJ Stewart,

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on NBC Sports Edge, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.