DraftKings MLB Picks – September 18th

The MLB regular season is winding down as today marks the start of the final two weeks of the season. It’s amazing how a 162-game schedule for each MLB club can pass so quickly, however the best is yet to come with plenty on tap over the course of the next couple of weeks leading up to October baseball. With that in mind, let’s get started in the right direction on the DFS front with tonight’s light seven-game slate!

P – Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – $13,700 vs. PHI

As is usually the case for seven-game slates, pitching is rather thin this evening as Kershaw clearly stands above the rest. He hasn’t been “vintage” Kershaw since returning from a notable DL stint, however he has still racked up well over a strikeout per inning since his return with 20 punchouts across 15.2 frames. The Phillies’ projected lineup has just a .298 wOBA and a 24% strikeout rate against the lefties over the last month and could be in for a tough outing against one of the best on the planet tonight.

P – Jameson Taillon (PIT) – $7,100 vs. MIL

Taillon hasn’t struck out more than four hitters in any start over the last month, but he gets a favorable opponent to end that streak tonight versus the Brewers. Last time Taillon faced Milwaukee, he struck out eight over 5.1 innings back in July, and a similar, albeit hopefully longer, outing could be in store tonight. He is coming off of a tough start against the Cubs, but had surrendered just one run over his previous two starts combined and faces the Brewers at home tonight, a good thing considering how unfriendly the confines of Miller Park in Milwaukee can be to pitchers.

C – J.T. Realmuto (MIA) – $4,200 vs. NYM

A one-off play, Realmuto makes sense today at a thin catcher’s position. Mets’ righty Matt Harvey has been worse to lefties this season, but still owns a 5.16 FIP to righties while giving up a .368 wOBA and a 1.50 HR/9 clip to them on the road. Realmuto has turned into one of the game’s top all around catchers and has clubbed 12 homers and stole five bases against them this season and is a career 6 for 15 (.400) against Harvey.

1B – Chris Davis (BAL) – $3,000 vs. BOS

Davis and the Orioles take on right-hander Doug Fister tonight, a pitcher who certainly sees most of his struggles come against lefties and also a pitcher coming off of one of the worst starts of his season. Fister was tagged for six earned runs across just four innings of work his last time out against the A’s. Davis has a massive strikeout rate this season, but also a .247 ISO and a 44.1% hard hit rate off of righties. He is also 6 for 18 (.333) with two homers in his career against Fister.

2B – Ian Kinsler (DET) – $3,900 vs. OAK

Kinsler and the Tigers are coming off of a 12-run performance yesterday afternoon and their offense could once again be in for a big night against right-hander Jharel Cotton. Cotton has simply been terrible this season and enters play tonight with a 5.85 FIP and has seen his FIP climb over 11 in two of his last three starts. Kinsler is a multi-category threat tonight with 12 homers and nine steals this season off of righties and is 3 for 8 with a double and a steal over his last two games.

3B – Jeimer Candelario (DET) – $3,300 vs. OAK

The former Cubs top prospect acquired in the Alex Avila/Justin Wilson trade, Candelario has not disappointed with the Tigers. The youngster has hit for a huge 1.061 OPS across 53 at-bats with the Tigers this season and is coming off of a three-hit, four-RBI day including a homer and two walks in yesterday’s route. This is a red-hot bat at a very cheap price tonight.

SS – Corey Seager (LAD) – $4,300 vs. PHI

Clayton Kershaw isn’t the only Dodger to be in a favorable spot tonight against the Phillies. Corey Seager hasn’t displayed a ton of power recently with just a .298 wOBA against righties the past month, but he homered off of a righty on Friday night and has hits in four straight games and in 9 of his last 11. Like a lot of positions, shortstop is rather thin tonight so let’s use Seager as part of a Dodgers’ stack tonight.

OF – Yasiel Puig (LAD) – $4,100 vs. PHI

Here is my favorite play on the entire slate tonight due to the double-reverse-splits situation we have on our hands. Puig is a reverse splits hitter who has mashed righties to the tune of a .270 ISO, .910 OPS and a .377 wOBA this season. Phils’ righty Nick Pivetta is a reverse-splits pitcher with a 6.32 FIP while allowing a .415 wOBA and 2.70 HR/9 to right-handed hitters this season. Lock Puig into your lineups tonight.

OF – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $3,500 vs. PHI

Taylor should likely lead off tonight for the Dodgers and Pivetta’s reverse splits. The righty-swinging Taylor has been better against lefties this season, but still owns an impressive .210 ISO, .846 OPS and a .360 wOBA this season against right-handed pitching. The fact he hits in the leadoff spot just increases his value as he comes with a solid price tag tonight.

OF – Seth Smith (BAL) – $2,600 vs. BOS

Smith and Chris Davis could form a nice little mini-stack tonight against Fister. Smith plays almost exclusively against right-handed pitchers, which makes sense considering his solid .172 ISO, .772 OPS and .332 wOBA against them this season. He has 12 homers this season against righties and while he is only 2 for 14 career against Fister, both of those hits were homers, something we are looking for tonight at what should be very low ownership.

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