MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Thursday, Sept. 2

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·6 min read
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Thursday, Sept. 2
MLB DFS Picks, top stacks and pitchers for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups, including the Rays | Thursday, 9/2
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Thursday, Sept. 2, has a three-game afternoon slate followed by a five-game main slate. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Thursday, Sept. 2

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Tampa Bay Rays vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez — 4.5 implied runs

This has been a mercurial season for Eduardo Rodriguez, as he a career-worst 5.12 ERA in 25 starts. In 11 of those he has allowed at least four runs, and he surrendered two or fewer in 10. The interesting thing is that fellow lefties have had the most success, with a .351 wOBA and a .242 ISO in their last 100 plate appearances. Compared to facing Chris Sale on Wednesday night, this matchup with Rodriguez is going to seem like a picnic for the Rays.

Nelson Cruz ($15), Wander Franco ($19) and Randy Arozarena ($23) should be at the top of the order, and each has and ISO over .243 in the last season and change against southpaws. Mike Zunino has a .416 wOBA and a .434 ISO, and it is rare to see a power number higher than a weighted on-base. That goes to show that his all-or-nothing approach has been paying off. Zunino has 27 home runs this season, which is already a career best by two. It may be a stretch for Zunino to catch after a night game, but he could DH if Cruz takes another turn at first base. Manuel Margot or Jordan Luplow can be used to stretch things out to a full stack, though they are pinch-hit risks as soon as a righty comes in from the bullpen.

Afternoon Slate

Oakland Athletics at RHP Matt Manning — 5.0 implied runs

Including his time at Triple-A this season, Matt Manning has thrown 91.2 innings this season. Though Manning did not see game action last year, he was at Detroit’s alternate site during the abbreviated season. In 2019 he logged 133.2 innings for Double-A Erie, and in 2018 he had 117.2 innings across multiple lower levels. There is a chance he is experiencing the rookie wall; even with the Tigers spacing out his starts, in four August appearances he threw just 20.2 innings and posted a 5.23 ERA and 1.64 WHIP while striking out only 14. On the season Manning has an anemic 12.6% strikeout rate and just a 7% swinging-strike rate.

Matt Olson is the prime target on the early slate, with his .357 wOBA and .244 ISO in his last 514 lefty/righty matchups. Matt Chapman is seeing some positive regression all at once, with an eye-popping .361 wOBA and .236 ISO over his last 67 plate appearances against same-handed pitchers. Starling Marte has a whopping 19 steals and a robust .363/.387/.496 triple slash in August. After this trio, Jed Lowrie, Mark Canha and Josh Harrison can be mix-ins depending on salary and position availability.

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Late Slate

Atlanta Braves at RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez — 6.0 implied runs

Jon Gray is dealing with a sore forearm, so it looks like Chi Chi Gonzalez will be drawing the start on Thursday. Gonzalez landed in the bullpen after a bout with COVID-19, though he was likely headed there anyway after his abysmal performance this season. Across a career-high 94.2 innings he has a 6.08 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and is allowing 1.61 home runs per nine innings.

Joc Pederson has a strong history in Coors Field, and there is a decent chance he will be leading off. Freddie Freeman, Jorge Soler and Austin Riley become the primary targets, with Ozzie Albies dinged up after fouling a ball off his knee. There is a chance he may not play until this weekend even if he avoids a trip to the injured list. The thin Denver air should really benefit Soler and Adam Duvall, who both swing big bats. Finally, Dansby Swanson and whoever is behind the plate round things out. Everyone up to and including the bat boy is in play for Atlanta.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Triston McKenzie at Kansas City Royals — 4.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $8,800 | DraftKings $9,300

Triston McKenzie just finished a stint on the injured list for a sore right shoulder. In his four August games he had a 1.93 ERA and miniscule 0.50 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in as many innings. Kansas City got Adalberto Mondesi back after missing two months with an oblique injury. This has been a lost season for Mondesi, so it would not be a surprise to see him with regular rest days down the stretch. After myriad injuries this season, he is going to bat in the bottom half of the order to get his timing back. His return is a slight boost for the Royals but should not keep gamers away from rolling out McKenzie.

Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Keegan Thompson vs. Pittsburgh Pirates — 4.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $6,200 | DraftKings $5,600

This is a matchup of two poor offenses on a mild Chicago day with a 10 mph breeze coming in from right field. The salary is the most appealing thing for Keegan Thompson, as it will allow for loading up on bats in Coors Field. In his two most recent appearances, Thompson has six innings while allowing six runs and only two strikeouts. On the season he has been closer to a strikeout per inning, but expecting more than 70 to 75 pitches and double-digit fantasy points is folly.

Afternoon MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Frankie Montas at Detroit Tigers — 4.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel N/A | DraftKings $8,400

Detroit has the worst offense in the league over the last 30 days. Their current hitters have an 88 wRC+ against righties this year, and they are striking out 25.9% of the time while being in the bottom third by most standard and advanced power metrics. Over his last 10 starts, Frankie Montas has not allowed more than three runs and has given up only two home runs. In these 62.1 innings he has a 2.16 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

Final Thoughts for the Thursday, Sept. 2 MLB DFS Picks Slate

With five games being the maximum on any of the three slates today, do not be afraid to take a hitter or two against rostered pitcher. This will provide differentiation in the large-field tournaments, and there is always a chance the production comes against a reliever.

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