This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
And with that, another month is in the books for baseball. September is here, and it feels almost fitting it's a Sunday. Also, that it's the final Sunday before the NFL season begins. When football starts, it steals the day away from MLB, but that hasn't happened yet. There are actually 16 games Sunday, since the Reds and Cardinals are going to play a doubleheader. Or at least they are going to try. Rain has really hampered that series. To kick off the final month of the MLB regular season, here are my recommendations for your daily fantasy lineup.
It's a pretty good day for starting pitchers, but not always for matchups. That being said, several solid options still exist, at least at the higher end of the price pool. I'm starting with Patrick Corbin ($50). Last season for Arizona, he posted a 3.15 ERA. Then Corbin got a nice, big deal from the Nationals and he's rewarded them with a repeat performance with a 3.15 ERA this year - which decreases to 1.83 at home. If that wasn't enough, he's facing the Marlins who rank 29th in runs scored.
You've probably heard that Yu Darvish ($46) has been on fire. Over his last 10 starts, he has recorded a 3.19 ERA and has struck out 11.3 batters per nine innings with only three walks. Yes, Darvish has walked exactly three batters over his last 10 starts. You might think the Brewers are a scary matchup with Christian Yelich being in the lineup, but they actually sit in the bottom-half of the league in runs scored.
Let's say you want a cheaper option at pitcher. In that case, saying something like "Start Justin Verlander against the Blue Jays!" isn't very helpful. On the other hand, you can get Eric Lauer ($30) for a less gaudy price. Since entering the majors, he has registered a 3.58 ERA at home and a 5.35 mark on the road. Given Lauer's home park is Petco, that makes sense. He's on the road Sunday, but he's in San Francisco. That's almost as good of a ballpark for pitchers. Plus, the Giants rank in the bottom-seven in runs scored.
Over his last 12 starts, Michael Pineda ($43) has posted a 3.09 ERA. And in seven of those outings, he's allowed only a single run. Of course, all I really need to tell you is that Pineda is starting against the Tigers. Detroit owns the absolutely worst offense in baseball. The Motor City Kitties are terrible. Anytime you can get even a decent starter facing the Tigers, you should jump on it.
There's a game at Coors Field, so obviously that's where my eye goes first. Trevor Story ($25) is enjoying another stellar season, with 29 homers and 19 stolen bases. Not only is he great at home, naturally, but Story actually boasts a 1.023 OPA against left-handed pitchers since 2017. Steven Brault is a lefty, and he has managed a 4.50 ERA on the road.
George Springer ($21) missed a good chunk of the year with injury, which is a shame because he's having a career campaign. The outfielder has reached personal highs in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage. He's also managed to hit 29 homers in only 101 games. The Blue Jays are starting Wilmer Font, but he's likely to only be the opener. I don't really care who comes into the game afterward. There aren't any good, healthy pitchers really left on the Jays.
Sluggers can feel like they are a dime a dozen these days, but it's still not easy to hit 30 homers in a season. Renato Nunez ($13) of the Orioles isn't there just yet, but he's at 28 home runs over 128 games. The 25-year-old also has recorded a .853 OPS against lefties, thanks to a lot of power and a .272 batting average as Nunez doesn't walk much. Danny Duffy will be making his first start off the IL, and it may not last long. Not just because he's coming off an injury, but also because he's struggled with a 5.13 FIP this year.
With the rise of Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto ($21) has sort of gotten lost in the shuffle with the Mets. However, the lefty outfielder has slashed .264/.367/.503 with 28 homers. He's also excelled with a .950 OPS versus righties, which is good because Conforto struggles against lefties. Philadelphia's Zach Eflin comes in with a 4.50 ERA to go along with a 4.72 FIP. His ERA at home is 4.60, making this matchup even more appealing.
Athletics vs. J.A. Happ (Yankees)
When Happ joined the Yankees last season, he put up a 2.65 ERA in 11 starts. The Yankees may be regretting bringing him back for another year, as he's posted a 5.57 ERA in 2019. The problem? Happ has given up 2.15 homers per nine innings. Pitching in Yankees Stadium doesn't help on that front. This game is in New York, and that bodes well for an Athletics' team that boasts some big bats in their lineup.
Chapman's batting average has dropped 18 points from the .278 last season, but his OPS has still increased. That's because, and you'll never believe this, Chapman has seen his power tick up. He's hit 30 homers, even though Oakland's ballpark is usually not very hitter-friendly. Happ is also a lefty, so this is a nice lefty/righty matchup for Chapman.
Semien is also a righty, and he's also enjoying a career year. Unlike Chapman, Semien's numbers are boosted across the board. He's slashed .274/.357/.492 with 25 home runs, and he's even thrown in seven stolen bases. Semien may not reach double-digit homers and stolen bases for the fifth-straight year, but that's a minor quibble with the way he's hitting. It's hard to steal bases when you're hitting for this much power.
Eyebrows raise when a guy experiences a breakout campaign at 30, but that's the nature of the beast for Canha. He hasn't been bad over his career, as he did hit 17 home runs last year and 16 as a rookie in 2015. This year he has clubbed 23 home runs, but on top of that manages a .390 OBP and .544 slugging percentage. Canha also has a .304 BABIP, so he hasn't necessarily been super lucky. Maybe he isn't just a fluke, so he's certainly capable of mashing against Happ on Sunday.
Rangers vs. Yusei Kikuchi (Mariners)
It certainly took me by surprise when Kikuchi pitched a nine-inning shutout with eight strikeouts against the Blue Jays. Then, we all snapped back to reality when he allowed five runs in four innings against the Yankees. The Japanese pitcher's adventure in America hasn't been going great, as he's posted a 5.87 FIP and has given up 2.13 homers per nine innings. So yeah, let's forget about that random gem of a game Kikuchi pitched and focus on his overall numbers. Doing that, and you get excited about the Rangers' chances at home.
Andrus doesn't really walk and doesn't possess much power. That being said, even a guy without power has managed to hit 10 home runs this season. Also, he enters with a .275 batting average and has stolen 27 bases. It shouldn't be too hard for Andrus to get on base against Kikuchi, and if that happens there's a good chance he'll steal a bag. Or, you know, have somebody drive him across home plate.
You know who might drive Andrus in? Santana, who also doesn't walk but has a ton of power. In fact, at home he's registered a .654 slugging percentage and a .303 batting average. If that's not enough, Santana has also swiped 13 bases.
DeShields is similar to Andrus, in that he doesn't hit for power. However, he's stolen 20 bases in only 96 games. And the outfielder has looked way better against lefties - like Kikuchi - and also at home. That is to say, DeShields owns a .845 OPS at home and a .804 OPS versus southpaws. All three of his homers have come off lefties at home. Maybe he'll add one more to that total.