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MLB DFS Breakdown (Sunday, Sept. 27): Will Aaron Nola Pitch Philly to the Playoffs?

mlb-dfs-september 27 2020

Sunday features a 14-game main slate on DraftKings starting at 3:05 p.m. ET and a 15-game main slate on FanDuel starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.

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Tonight’s slate features one pitcher over the $10,000 mark on FanDuel:


  • Aaron Nola (R), $10,600, PHI @ TAM

Aaron Nola has had one of his best seasons to date for the Philadelphia Phillies, but he’s struggled recently, allowing eight earned runs and 11 hits in his last two starts. His 3.22 FIP and 11.97 K/9 on the season, however, are very strong.

He’ll have a chance to help the Phillies earn a playoff spot on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that has been around league-average against right-handed pitching, collectively hitting to a .319 wOBA and .201 ISO in such matchups on the season. The Phillies still have an outside chance at the playoffs if they win and the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers both lose, so Nola will have every incentive to elevate his game in this one.

His recent inconsistency makes him risky for cash games, but the matchup and price should keep ownership down and make him an intriguing guaranteed prize pool (GPP) target.


Austin Gomber was very effective in his last start, pitching six scoreless innings while allowing just four hits and striking out three batters. Prior to that start, he had primarily been serving as a relief pitcher and occasional opener for the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s been effective overall on the season, pitching to a solid 3.47 FIP and 8.6 K/9. At just $5,500, he tied for the least expensive pitcher on the entire slate. At such a reasonable price tag, you don’t need much for him to pay off, and he allows you to pay up substantially across the rest of your lineup for offense.

Rich Hill comes in at just $6,900 on FanDuel. Hill has been strong of late, allowing no more than two earned runs in each of his last five starts. On Sunday, he takes on a Cincinnati Reds team that has struggled against left-handed pitching with a.298 wOBA, .184 ISO and 24.2% strikeout rate. Hill will never win you a tournament on his own, but he has more than enough to pay off his low price tag in this one.


Sonny Gray’s final start of the regular season will come against a powerful Minnesota Twins lineup that has been strong against right-handed pitching with a .332 wOBA and .215 ISO on the season. Gray, meanwhile, has been inconsistent recently, posting FanDuel scores that range from -13 to 36 over his last five starts. At $9,900, he’s the second-most expensive pitcher on the FanDuel slate and one unlikely to hit value at his elevated price tag.

Brady Singer appears to have made a smooth transition to the majors during his rookie season, but his 4.36 FIP and 8.79 K/9 are nothing to write home about. His matchup on Sunday, however, is strong. He takes on a Detroit Tigers team that is the third-worst in all of baseball against right-handed pitching with a .278 wOBA and .147 ISO. He’s expensive at $9,500, but that will likely keep his ownership down in this one. He’s worthy of GPP consideration given the matchup.

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Notable Stacks

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. Today’s top five-man on DraftKings (per the Bales Model) belongs to the Houston Astros:
• 1. George Springer (R)
• 2. Jose Altuve (R)
• 3. Michael Brantley (L)
• 4. Alex Bregman(R)

  • 6. Yuli Gurriel (R)

Total Salary: $22,800

The Houston Astros take on righty Jordan Lyles, a pitcher who has struggled mightily to the tune of a 5.90 FIP and 1.81 HR/9 so far on the season. The Astros, meanwhile, have been strong at the top of their lineup against right-handed pitching and find themselves in an advantageous spot to close out the season.

George Springer has been particularly strong, collecting a .386 wOBA and .275 ISO against righties this year. Michael Brantley has been even better, hitting to a .397 wOBA himself in such situations. Alex Bregman has also been solid, collecting a .324 wOBA over 121 plate appearances.

Ownership should be more evenly spread than usual today given the large slate, so investing in a powerful Astros team in tournaments is a strong option.

The Cleveland Indians also rank highly as a four-man stack on FanDuel (per the Bales Model):
• 1. Francisco Lindor (S)
• 2. Cesar Hernandez (S)
• 3. Jose Ramirez (S)
• 4. Carlos Santana (S)

Total Salary: $13,700

The Indians also match up well against righty JT Brubaker to close out the regular season. Brubaker has been solid overall on the season (3.50 FIP, 0.85 HR/9), but the Indians have been on fire lately, winning six of their last seven and averaging 4.4 runs/game over that span.

Jose Ramirez has hit righties very well this season, collecting a .357 wOBA and .231 ISO over 184 plate appearances. Francisco Lindor has also found success with a .330 wOBA of his own on the year.

The Indians have a healthy 4.8 implied team total in this one, so Vegas agrees they should find success in this matchup. That said, their team total is well below some of the others on this slate, so they should come in relatively low-owned in tournaments.

Other Batters

Austin Hays is the top-ranked player in the Bales Model. At just $2,500, he’s projected to lead off for the Baltimore Orioles against righty Tanner Roark. Hays has been hitting the ball well of late, collecting nine hits — including a double and a home run — over his last 18 at-bats. He’s a strong one-off piece for either cash games or GPPs. 

Ronald Acuna Jr. has torched right-handed pitching to the tune of a .423 wOBA and .364 ISO this season. On Thursday, he takes on righty Nick Pivetta in a matchup he is poised to exploit. At $4,500 on FanDuel, Acuna Jr. registers as an 86% bargain rating in our model.