DFS Army Full Count – MLB Game Breakdown, Advice, and Strategy for FanDuel and Draftkings – Sept. 21st, 2019

Welcome to the DFS Army MLB Full Count! You have to start your research somewhere, and oftentimes going game by game and breaking down every matchup and its key players is the first step in our process. My name is Michael aka @MadnessDFS on Twitter, make sure to give me a follow as I’ll occasionally make updates to the advice in the article out on Twitter as well as inside our coaching forums.  With that said, let’s get it started!

My Take on a Consistent Process – Looking at Pitchers

I always start a slate by looking at pitching, not only do you get a grasp on who the pitchers are that you want to target. But it also gives you an idea of what offenses are in good spots against bad/vulnerable pitchers. I start my research by going straight to the Nilly’s MLB Carnage Report, this is where we can analyze all the pitchers on the slate in a compact, yet detailed manner, but I’ll leave that for our VIP Members. Below are three pitchers that I find particularly interesting and are in good spots here on this slate.

  • Walker Beuhler – Similar to Kershaw yesterday, I’ll be targeting the Rockies again tonight with a top-end Dodgers pitcher. Kershaw ended up having a rougher outing, but I think we can go right back to the spot here and hope for ownership to be down. At their respective points in their careers there’s a real argument to be made that Beuhler is the better pitcher, so take that for what it’s worth. The Rockies have an implied run total of just 2.8 here and a strikeout rate of 25% while Beuhler has a k rate of 29.5% on the season. I love this spot for Beuhler against a Rockies team that struggles away from home.
  • Max Fried – Fried is coming off of a bad start against the Nationals in which he had a -6.2 Draftking point outing. However, I’m willing to go right back to the well here against the Giants who have an implied run total of 3.7 runs. Fried is striking out opposing batters at a 24.8% rate on the season while the Giants offense is striking out at a 15.8% rate which is one of the better rates in the league. I’m willing to look past that, however, this offense is not one that scares me and I really like Fried as a young talented pitcher.
  • Wade Miley – Oh how the mighty have fallen, Wade Miley, who was once at over $11k is now below $6k for this start against the Los Angeles Angels. I always like to provide a cheap punt option in order to jam in a high octane offense, but this is a nice spot for Miley. The Angels have an implied run total of just 3.4 runs here in Houston. Miley has a proven ceiling and floor this season and I would imagine they want to get him up to speed for the playoffs, I can imagine I’ll be getting to a lot of Miley here.

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Full Count Breakdown:

Toronto Blue Jays (+280) @ New York Yankees (-311)

James Paxton will take the mound for the Yankees as they are heavy favorites here. Paxton makes a lot of sense as an SP1 for the early slate against this Jays team that has just a 3.4 implied run total. TJ Zeuch will take the mound for the Jays against an elite Yankees offense that has an implied run total of 6.2 runs. The Yankees are one of the better offenses on the slate especially given the fact that they’re at home. This is a great spot to load up on both parts of the Yankees team.

NYY 5-star plays: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu, Didi Gregorius

4-star plays: Gleyber Torres, Edwin Encarnacion, Luke Voit

GPP Note: The Yankees are one of the better stacks on the day, let alone this slate, load up on anyone that cracks this lineup.

TOR 5-star plays: None

4-star plays:  Bo Bichette

GPP Note: Paxton is an elite pitching option on this slate, I don’t care that he’s in a small ballpark if you can get up to him, do it.


St. Louis Cardinals (+124) @ Chicago Cubs (-134)

It wouldn’t be September baseball if we didn’t get a Wrigley wind game in the middle of a pennant race. The wind looks like it will be blowing out at over 15 mph here as Jose Quintana and Dakota Hudson take the mound. Do not target pitchers in wind games in Wrigley just as a PSA. This game has a 12 run total which is massive for any game away from Coors, most batters in this game are viable and both teams can be stacked up, as fly-balls will quickly turn into home runs.

STL 5-star plays: Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Marcell Ozuna, Paul DeJong

4-star plays: Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler

GPP Note: As I said, stack up these wind games they have huge run totals and we saw this same situation last weekend when the Pirates/Cubs series went for a million runs.

CHC 5-star plays: Anthony Rizzo, Nick Castellanos, Kris Bryant, Nick Hoerner

4-star plays: Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist

GPP Note: Similar to the Cardinals, stack up anyone that is in the Cubs lineup.


New York Mets (-131) @ Cincinnati Reds (+121)

This game has a very nice pitching matchup as Anthony DeSclafani and Zach Wheeler take the mound. I just targeted the pitching here yesterday and I’ll likely do the same here again today. I’m willing to ignore the higher run totals that these teams have becasue these pitchers can shut down just about anyone. That said, DeSclafani can be targeted with left-handed hitters so if you really want to target him, go that route.

NYM 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil

GPP Note: Just the lefties here, I like the pitchers in this game.

CIN 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: None

GPP Note: I had a bunch of deGrom last night and it turned out well, I’ll go right back to this spot with Zach Wheeler.

The starting lineups page is a useful tool to get a quick view of all of the teams, and gives you a nice clean view of the DFSArmy grades as well!


Boston Red Sox (+182) @ Tampa Bay Rays (-198)

Tyler Glasnow is back in our lives after being injured for most of the season. The Red Sox have an implied run total of just 3.7 which is a real testament to the talent of Glasnow. That said, Glasnow is cheap for a reason, he is on a pitch count here and will be slowly worked back to health, so it’s too risky of a spot to go with him even at a cheap price tag. The Rays have an implied run total of 5.1 runs here and make sense as a secondary stack if you can’t get up to Wrigley or the Yankees.

BOS 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Rafael Devers, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts

GPP Note: Glasnow is a great pitcher, but probably won’t go all that long. I’m just sticking with one-offs here.

TBR 5-star plays: Austin Meadows, Tommy Pham

4-star plays: Ji-man Choi, Travis d’Arnaud

GPP Note: The Rays will make my list of teams as a secondary stack, this Red Sox pitching staff is not good.


Washington Nationals (-281) @ Miami Marlins (+255)

The Nationals took care of business as they should last night against this bad Marlins team. They will send their “ace” to the mound in Strasburg. I say ace carefully, as they have about three of them, but this is a great spot for Strasburg against a Marlins team that has an implied run total of just three runs. This game isn’t on the main slate otherwise Strasburg would be the mega chalk, but if you’re playing on some slate with this game on it, Stras is an elite option. I don’t stack teams in Miami because of the size of the ballpark, so no interest in the Nats for me.

WAS 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, Trea Turner

GPP Note: This offense has a ton of upside, but I hate the ballpark. I won’t talk you off of them if you like them for GPPs however.

MIA 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: None

GPP Note: Strasburg is one of the better pitching options on the slate.


Chicago White Sox (-123) @ Detroit Tigers (+113)

So..uh… my Jordan Zimmerman call didn’t turn out last night as he ended up with fewer fantasy points than I did sitting on my couch last night. I said it was a risky spot and a White Sox hedge stack was a must, so hopefully, you didn’t go too crazy with them. This is another game with two bad pitching options as Ivan Nova and Tyler Alexander take the mound. I don’t mind going back to the Sox here, but the Tigers are so bad, even an Ivan Nova matchup doesn’t encourage me.

CHW 5-star plays: Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu

4-star plays: Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson

GPP Note: The White Sox went off last night, let’s see if they can carry that over here.

DET 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Victor Reyes, Harold Castro

GPP Note: This offense is just so bad, no reason to go here on this slate.


Seattle Mariners (-104) @ Baltimore Orioles (-104)

Justus Sheffield and Asher Wojciechowski will draw the starts for this game, both of these pitchers are just good enough for me not to want to go with these bad offenses. I don’t mind getting to some Woj exposure actually, he’s proven some big upside this season, so if you fall on him, don’t reconstruct your lineup just to avoid him. Both teams have an implied run total of 5.3, so if you really want to go here in GPPs I won’t talk you off of it.

SEA 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Kyle Seager, Dan Vogelbach

GPP Note: I’ll actually have some interest in Woj here, so not a lot of Mariners for me.

BAL 5-star plays: Jonathan Villar, Trey Mancini

4-star plays: Anthony Santander, Renato Nunez

GPP Note: Justus Sheffield is a pretty decent young pitcher, but this Orioles team is pretty bad, just some one-offs for me.


Philadelphia Phillies (+146) @ Cleveland Indians (-159)

Yet another game with a massive total as Zach Plesac and Jason Vargas take the mound for these teams. Of the pitchers, I would prefer Plesac, but I don’t see myself getting to either, as these offenses have huge upsides. Similarly, of the two offenses, I like the Indians much better as they have the higher implied total and a much better matchup against Vargas. This team can beat up on lefties, the Indians are an elite stack on this slate.

PHI 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmuto, Jay Bruce

GPP Note: Plesac is a good young pitcher, but this is probably a stay away spot for me.

CLE 5-star plays: Francisco Lindor, Yasiel Puig, Oscar Mercado

4-star plays: Franmil Reyes, Jordan Luplow

GPP Note: Jason Vargas is not good, the Indians are great stack on this slate.

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Kansas City Royals (+298) @ Minnesota Twins (-331)

Glenn Sparkman will take the mound for the massive underdogs here, as the Twins draw an implied run total of seven runs which is a slate high. It’s really tough not to like them as the top overall stack here. They also send out one of the best pitchers on the slate with Jose Berrios. The Royals have an implied run total of just 3.7 and have a strikeout rate of 23.7% on the season. Berrios counters that with a 22.9% rate of his own, he’s priced up, but still a nice spot.

KCR 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, Adalberto Mondesi

GPP Note: I don’t hate some one-offs here, but I have a lot more interest in Jose Berrios here.

MIN 5-star plays: Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz, Miguel Sano

4-star plays: Marwin Gonzalez, Mitch Garver

GPP Note: Anyone that cracks the lineup is in play here against Sparkman, I like stacking up these right-handed power bats and hoping for one of those four home run games that the Twins have been great at getting this season.

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Pittsburgh Pirates (+207) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-226)

The Milwaukee Brewers are the hottest team in baseball and continue to steamroll over teams. They will send Zach Davies to the mound against this Pirates team that is missing their best hitters in Starling Marte and Josh Bell. You can go to Davies here, but the upside just isn’t there for GPPs as neither the Pirates or Davies have a high strikeout rate. James Marvel will start for the Pirates, as the Brewers have an implied run total of 5.5 runs here. I like this offense and they make sense as a secondary stacking option on this slate.

MIL 5-star plays: Keston Hiura, Ryan Braun, Mike Moustakas

4-star plays: Yasmani Grandal, Manny Pina

GPP Note: Marvel is not good, the Brewers are. I like the Brewers to stay hot here with a boost from the offense.

PIT 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Kevin Newmann

GPP Note: Without Marte and Bell in this lineup it is pretty bad, not a team I will be getting to.

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San Francisco Giants (+135) @ Atlanta Braves (-146)

Max Fried made my pitcher’s section as he is one of my favorite pitching options on the slate against this Giants team. I think I’ll be sticking with the pitchers in this game as Johnny Cueto takes the mound for the Giants. He’s more of a GPP option, however, given the upside of this Braves offense.

SFG 5-star plays: Mike Yastrzemski

4-star plays: Brandon Belt

GPP Note: Max Fried is in a great spot, just stick to one-offs here. Fried really doesn’t give up home runs, so maybe just go somewhere else altogether.

ATL 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, Josh Donaldson

GPP Note: Cueto has yet to give up a run since returning from injury, but this Braves offense is elite, I don’t hate some one-offs here.


Los Angeles Angels (+258) @ Houston Astros (-285)

I’ll be going pretty heavy on Wade Miley here considering his price tag and the fact that this Angels offense is without Mike Trout. He allows you to jam in a high priced pitching option and a good offense, load up on Miley here. The Astros are one of those high-upside offenses in this matchup against Patrick Sandoval. However, Sandoval is a great young pitcher, so although the Astros are good, I’ll likely go elsewhere.

LAA 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton

GPP Note: I will have a ton of Wade Miley here, no need to go with a whole lot of anything from the Angels.

HOU 5-star plays: George Springer, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve

4-star plays: Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa

GPP Note: Sandoval is good, but this Astros offense is better. I probably won’t stack, but a mini-stack is in play for sure.


Texas Rangers (-272) @ Oakland Athletics (+301)

Sean Manaea takes the mound for the Athletics and is a guy that I will likely get to here as he’s in a huge ballpark and faces a Rangers team that strikes out at a 24.6% clip against lefties to go along with Manaea’s 32.3% k rate on the season. This is an elite spot for him. The Athletics are a nice secondary stack against Brock Burke, but I don’t think it’s anything that I’ll go crazy with.

TEX 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: None

GPP Note: I love Sean Manea here, no rangers for me.

OAK 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien

GPP Note: Secondary stack at best, I don’t like stacking in this ballpark, the foul territory kills a lot of rally’s.


Colorado Rockies (+340) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-381)

Walker Beuhler made my pitcher’s section as one of my top overall plays on the slate. He is the biggest favorite on the slate so makes a lot of sense for FanDuel where you get the big quality start and win bonus. But I’ll be going with him everywhere with cheap options like Wade Miley out there to save some money. Chi Chi Gonzalez draws the start for the Rockies, as the Dodgers have an implied run total of 5.8 runs. I don’t mind getting to them for GPPs, but they’re risky as Dave Roberts has no issue pulling guys as they already have their postseason hopes wrapped up.

COL 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: None

GPP Note: Beuhler may be the best pitcher on the slate, don’t go here.

LAD 5-star plays: Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Gavin Lux

4-star plays: Joc Pederson, Corey Seager

GPP Note: I like the Dodgers quite a bit here, they will fall in my secondary stacks however because I can’t trust that they’ll get guaranteed at-bats at this point in the season with Dave Roberts running things.


Arizona Diamondbacks (-128) @ San Diego Padres (+118)

Luke Weaver is back into our lives and is a great young pitcher who gets a bad Padres offense. That said, he will likely be worked in slowly here, so his price tag doesn’t warrant the risk. Cal Quantrill will take the mound for the Padres and although he’s pretty bad, this is a similar situation to the Nationals, there are just better options than stacking in PetCo Park.

ARI 5-star plays: Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar

4-star plays: Christian Walker

GPP Note: Just one-offs here, mini-stack if you’re feeling dangerous.

SDP 5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado

GPP Note: One-offs here as well, pretty much a stay away spot for me.


As always I appreciate everyone who gave the article a read! Feel free to mix it up with me in our coaching forums as news breaks and lock approaches.

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The only thing you are missing at this point is the key to unlock the next level of your game.  Come inside and check us out!!  We have the experts sharing their secrets and experience on a daily basis.  Combine that with the actual ability to ask them questions and get quick answers in return, and you have a recipe for success that puts our army hats on leaderboards all over the face of DFS.

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