8/17 MLB DFS Picks: Get Yourself a Kazmir Sweater
DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his 8/17 MLB DFS Picks. Check out where his mind is at today when it comes to roster construction at FantasyDraft – where they put players first – Daily fantasy baseball on a level playing field. Check them out tonight. Now, on to the the picks for tonight’s action.
Where to Focus?
Despite not having Coors Field in the late slate, the offensive responsibility belongs to a pair of familiar offenses. The Boston Red Sox will get a matchup with right-hander Dylan Bundy while the Texas Rangers square off at home with rookie left-hander Sean Manaea. In the case of the Red Sox, they’ll take the best wRC+ in the league against right-handed pitchers to Camden Yards. Bundy has found some recent success out of the rotation, but his matchup with the Red Sox should stifle some expectations. A flyball pitcher, Bundy has done a great job limiting hard contact in his last three starts but he’ll have his work cut out for him against the Sox. Despite an implied run total below five runs, the Red Sox are an enticing offensive option on this slate due to the value that has emerged from their starting lineup. Only David Ortiz ($10,200) and Mookie Betts ($10,500) will require a stretch in salary as the rest of the Sox bats around the top of the order are quite accessible. Xander Bogaerts ($6,800) has taken a dip well below the average salary spot and Dustin Pedroia ($8,100) is an easy fit as well. Furthermore, rookie outfield Andrew Benentendi ($4,800) has gotten minimum price treatment.
The Rangers sport the highest implied run total on the slate in their matchup with Sean Manaea. Since bolstering the lineup at the deadline, the Rangers have turned a formidable lineup against left-handed starters into an even more fearsome one. Ian Desmond ($9,300) and Adrian Beltre ($10,000) are notorious for their exploits against left-handers but newcomers Jonathon Lucroy ($9,200) and Carlos Beltran ($10,000) shouldn’t be overlooked. Manaea has shown flashes of brilliance, but his inability to limit hard contact (34.6%) and his home run allowing 1.47 HR/9 should get the Rangers bats salivating.
A separate trio of teams that also deserve attention are the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. The Diamondbacks draw a matchup with left-hander Jon Niese who won’t have a pitchers park to backup his ineptitude. Niese has been horrendous this season, pitching to an ERA over five while allowing 1.78 HR/9 and 32% hard contact. Paul Goldschmidt ($10,800) has terrorized left-handed pitching in his career, but the pricing algorithm certainly caught wind of that.
The Dodgers get a positive park shift in their move to Citizens Bank Park and the matchup with right-hander Jake Thompson only adds some extra fuel. The Dodgers have quietly built up a tie for the 6th highest wRC+ in the league against right-handers, but their prices reflect nothing of a subtle potency. You’ll have to pay for the rights to most of their services, but a few valuable spots can be filled with Chase Utley ($7,600) or Howie Kendrick ($7,600).
Last but not least, the Cinncinati Reds draw a matchup with Andrew Cashner. Cashner will get no favors at Great American Ball Park even though the Reds as a team have been an inferior team against right-handed starters. Cashner has built up a 4.54 xFIP this season while allowing 1.41 HR/9 on nearly 35% hard contact. The Reds are a less enticing stack then they were with outfielder Jay Bruce, but Joey Votto ($10,200), Billy Hamilton ($10,200) and Adam Duvall ($9,200) still hold a near unlimited upside in power and speed.
On the Bump…
Despite the plethora of offensive options, the mound is littered with potential arms tonight. Yu Darvish ($22,200) and Jon Lester ($21,600) are the only two options priced above $20,000 but they’ll be worth every single penny tonight. Darvish gets a matchup with a watered down Athletics team that has built a bottom third wRC+ against right-handed starters this season. While they aren’t incredibly strikeout prone, Darvish’s 32% strikeout rate will play against anyone. The Rangers are sizable home favorites (-205) and Darvish should be a favorite to find your lineups tonight.
Lester has a bit of an easier matchup at home with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers set up a bit better against left-handed starters, but they’re still incredibly strikeout prone having tied for the second highest strikeout percentage in the league against southpaws. Lester doesn’t carry the same strikeout upside that Darvish does, but what he lacks in upside he makes up for with an ability to work deep into games and prevent runs.
Aside from the aforementioned pair, the trio of Scott Kazmir ($15,200), Carlos Carrasco ($16,800) and David Price ($16,800) should be on your radar. Kazmir will be making his second straight start against the Philadelphia Phillies squad that has struck out the seventh most in the league and has built the worst wRC+ against southpaws. In his time in the National League this season, Kazmir has seen a spike in his strikeout rate while limiting his hard contact rate and inducing more soft contact. While the Phillies implied run total is still hovering around four runs, the Dodgers status as road favorites only gives a bigger boost to Kazmir’s value.
David Price will take the mound opposite of Dylan Bundy in Camden Yards. Price hasn’t been the picture of run prevention this season, but he’s been more than serviceable as a DFS commodity. The Orioles have been fantastic against right-handers, but this season against southpaws, they’ve posted the fifth worst wRC+ in the league. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the multitude of right-handed hitters in the Orioles lineup shouldn’t bother Price either. In the past few seasons, he’s had a higher strikeout rate against right-handed hitters by a notable margin.
Carlos Carrasco is the most volatile of the bunch, but his matchup with the Chicago White Sox is perhaps the safest. The White Sox have a bottom third wRC+ and the disadvantage of a negative park shift from their home park. In his last two starts, Carrasco has had to deal with some earned runs, but he’s managed to post K/9 values of over ten despite facing two of the least strikeout prone teams in the entire league in the Angels and Yankees. Most often it’s the strikeout rate that is his biggest allure, but tonight it might be his price.