FOUR Hitters and TWO Value Plays for DFS 9/15 (Main Slate)

Ok, now that TNF is over you can focus your attention back on baseball for a couple of days, or at least one night if you plan on watching college football all day tomorrow. Below are some hitter targets to help keep your mind (and mine) off football for a little bit, just long enough to win some cash!

Matchups to Target

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Yordan Alvarez

There could be a lot of Astros with good days today going up against Zack Greinke. Greinke may make the Hall of Fame one day, but today he brings a 1-15 record and 5.47 ERA/1.29 WHIP into the matchup in Kansas City. Some Astros have more of a history of success against Greinke than Alvarez (Bregman, Altuve, et al), but Alvarez has the highest average of any Astros hitter of the last 7 days (.389), is batting .342 in September, and the last time he didn’t reach base at least once in a game was waaaay back on 8/19 (22 games ago!). He is 1-for-3 off Greinke in his career for what it’s worth, but the Royals also have one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball, so there should be additional opportunities once they chase the veteran righty from the game. Through 26 starts this season Greinke is averaging just 4.2 innings per start, and hasn’t pitched more than 6 innings in any start, so he shouldn’t last long tonight. Hitting conditions in KC are anticipated to be one of the better run-producing environments tonight, this game has one of the higher O/U totals on the slate at 10, and Houston are heavy favorites.

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Dansby Swanson

Dansby has been swinging a hot bat lately; he’s riding a 5-game hit streak during which time he has gone 10-for-21 (.476), with 2 2B, a 3B, a HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, and a SB. Friday night in the desert he’ll face the D-backs’ rookie RHP Brandon Pfaadt. The last time Pfaadt pitched was this past Sunday against these very same Cubs at Wrigley. He allowed 7 hits (THREE HR) and 4 ER in 6 innings of work. This could be a dog fight with both teams vying for playoff position and the D-backs need Pfaadt to step up, however, I expect more of the same tonight. Pfaadt brings a 6.35 ERA and 1.45 WHIP into the matchup, but looking closer at his splits he seems to be quite a bit worse at home (7.30 ERA vs 5.18 ERA on the road; .325 OBA at home vs .242 on the road). Swanson has had success off of the young righty as well, going 3-for-3 off of him with a HR and 0 K. This one has an O/U of 8.5 and the Cubs are the favorite.

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Josh Naylor

An early-season favorite of mine, I was recommending Naylor quite a bit – especially against right handed pitching, but a month-long stint on the IL that saw him miss all of August put him off of my radar for a while. The All-Star was having a terrific season and since coming back in early September, Naylor has recorded a hit in 8 of 10 games with 3 of those being multi-hit efforts. The bulky left-handed hitter is 11-for-36 (.306) in September with 2 2B and 2 HR to go along with 9 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB:3 K, and even 2 stolen bases. His splits show he can hit both lefties and righties well, but his average is about 30 points higher vs RHP and his OPS is about 60 points higher. He’ll face righty Jon Gray Friday night in the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), and Gray’s ERA has been steadily creeping higher since it got as low as 2.89 back on 6/24. It now stands at 3.96 (4.31 xFIP) and over his last four starts he’s allowed 22 H (4 HR) and 14 ER in 17.2 IP (10 BB:25 K). Naylor has had some success against Gray as well, going 3-for-9 (.333) with a 2B, a HR, FIVE walks and ZERO K’s against him.

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Mike Yastrzemski

I suppose Yaz could fall into the Value category as well, but regardless, he has the highest average in all of baseball over the last 7 days. This past week he’s 10-for-18 (.556) with 4 2B and a homer while driving in 4 and scoring 5. Friday night in the thin air of Colorado, he’ll face veteran righty Chase Anderson. Anderson has 6.49 ERA and 1.53 WHIP on the season and got roughed up by these Giants his last time out in San Francisco, lasting just 3.1 IP while giving up 6 H (1 HR) and 6 ER. In addition to swinging a hot bat, Yaz is 3-for-7 (.429) off of Anderson in his career, including 2 2B (0 BB:2 K). This game has the highest O/U on the entire slate at 10.5 and the Giants are heavy favorites. As usual the hitting conditions will be great in Colorado so we’re expecting the run total to live up to expectations. 

Value Plays

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Thairo Estrada

Sticking with this game, we’re taking another guy who is seeing the ball well right now. Over his last 6 games, Estrada has 3 multi-hit efforts and is 8-for-28 (.285), including a double, a triple, 2 HR, and 2 SB. He too has had success versus Anderson, going 2-for-5 (.400) with 2 HR off the veteran – which is impressive for a guy not known for his power (career-high 14 HR in 2022, 12 in 2023). He also bats near the top of the order so he could get an extra at-bat tonight as well, and that last at-bat should likely come against Colorado’s bottom-of-the-barrel bullpen.

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Nick Senzel

Senzel supposedly hits lefties well, yet every time I take him here he stinks. At some point the averages will work in our favor though, right? His splits look like this: .337/.594/.979 against LHP vs .172/.270/.518 against RHP. Yikes. But tonight he’s facing a lefty (David Robertson) and he’s 3-for-3 off of him with a double, a HR, and a walk (0 K). Hopefully that doesn’t mean Senzel is due for an out against him, but we shall see. Just make sure he’s in the lineup before you use him.

Betting Angle

Astros Cover Spread -1.5: in addition to Alvarez, many other hitters have had success of Greinke and should do some damage. Houston is averaging over 5 runs per game on the season but less than 3 the last three games, so we’re looking for some regression (progression?) to the mean here.

Giants Cover Spread -1.5: in addition to Yaz and Estrada, J.D. Davis has had success against Anderson, and I think others contribute tonight (Wilmer, Haniger, Crawford) while Logan Webb holds the Rockies’ bats in check.



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Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod is a long-time fantasy sports veteran, with over 20 years of experience using salary cap, season-long, best ball, and DFS formats - mainly centered around MLB and NFL. Ever since the "Sid Bream Slide" he has been a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. He also enjoys collecting trading cards and memorabilia from his favorite teams and players.

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