Welcome to the final month of this most unusual season. As we look at this first slate of September, it is clear Framber Valdez ($9,900) should be the ownership favorite on tonight’s FanDuel Main Slate. We want to be overweight on Valdez even with that knowledge. The Rangers have a respectable, middle-of-the-pack offense, but against left handed pitching they have the sixth highest strikeout rate and eighth worst wOBA in the majors. If he can maintain the exceptionally improved control we’ve seen thus far, Valdez should have no problem facing this lineup, and has the potential to post a monster line. If he loses some of the control he’s shown, however, the Rangers have the ability to cause problems on the basepaths. Even against lefties the Rangers have had success stealing bases, and the Valdez-Maldonado battery has looked vulnerable. That said, it’s a rock solid matchup, and we want to take full advantage.

Read on to see how the rest of the slate fills out.

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Though Valdez will likely be in nearly half my cash lineups and nearly 20 percent of GPP, we need to identify another option. Given Valdez’s high price tag, it’s good to have a cheaper option for lineups where we want to focus more of our salary on offense:

Julio Urias, P: $7,300 – The main issue with rostering Urias is the limited pitch count. It’s a deterrent, for certain. However, Arizona’s wOBA is next to last in the majors vs left handed pitching this season; we like Urias’s chances of going six in this one. Plus, Vegas says the Diamondbacks will be held to the fewest runs tonight, and we mostly trust what Vegas says. All signs point to this risk being one worth taking.

The sickest stack:

The Red Sox face Ian Anderson, or as Agent Smith would call him, Mister Anderson. He’s coming off the big league debut he had against the Yankees and must feel like he has cracked the Matrix and can take on all comers. However, the Red Sox are top 10 in the majors vs right handed pitching in most every meaningful way, and should fare better against Anderson than a depleted Yankees lineup. Here is how we prefer to roster them today, based on predicted value:

J.D. Martinez, OF: $3,200

Rafael Devers, 3B: $3,500

Alex Verdugo, OF: $3,000

Xander Bogaerts, SS: $3,600

Jackie Bradley Jr., OF: $2,300

Michael Chavis, 2B: $2,400

The best of the rest:

Michael Conforto, OF: $3,100 – There is nothing to fear rostering Conforto tonight. He gets the dual benefit of a favorable pitching matchup in a hitter-friendly park and has been nothing short of great this season. Roster with full confidence.

Brandon Nimmo, OF: $2,900 – Hitting leadoff against a struggling pitcher in a hitter friendly park. The potential for a big night is there, and the price is right for Nimmo to show up in a good chunk of lineups.

Trevor Story, SS: $4,400 – This will be Story’s second time facing Gausman at Coors this season and should have much better results than the first time around. Story has continued his run as one of the best hitters in the majors and remains a staple of DFS lineups when hitting at home.

Nolan Arenado, 3B: $4,100 – Though he has not been as dominant so far this season, Arenado homered off Gausman in their matchup on August 4th and we’d expect similar success today, as the Rockies face him for the second time in under a month.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Nothing to worry your little head.

Doing Lines In Vegas

It’s not part of the FanDuel Main Slate, but let’s go with the momentum and target over 8.5 at -110 in Cincinnati, where the Cardinals and Reds will have to face tougher pitching than we’d like to see taking the over, but our hope is the excellent hitting conditions and favorable ballpark will provide the boost we need.