8/18 MLB DFS Picks: The Tribe Has Spoken
DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his 8/18 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?
NO COORS FIELD. I was getting sick of forcing my attention on the Rockies and their opponents, but tonight, we’ll get to look elsewhere. Unfortunately though, that attention won’t be geared towards any incredibly enticing offenses tonight. The first place to look will be at the Washington Nationals in their matchup with Rob Whalen. In his first three starts in the majors, Whalen has not been welcomed kindly by big league hitters. He’s done fine with the strikeout, but other than that he’s pitched to an ERA above seven and an xFIP of 4.21 while allowing 2.25 HR/9. The Nationals are only middle of the pack in terms of wRC+ as a team against right-handers, but with Daniel Murphy ($10,200) and Bryce Harper ($9,900) in the middle, they are as formidable as it gets. Murphy and Harper are my favorite of the bunch thanks to their prowess against right-handed pitching, but any of the complementary options will be more than useful to own tonight.
The Indians, not the Nationals, actually have the highest implied team run total tonight. The Indians will square off at home against young lefty Carlos Rodon with an implied run total hovering around five runs. Rodon has been able to improve upon his command this season, but he’s hovering around the same peripherals as last year and has been much worse against right-handers, allowing a .365 wOBA to them this season. Furthermore, right-handers have been able to torch him for 1.68 HR/9 this season. The Indians have built up the 10th best wRC+ against southpaws this season and have reasonable price tags as well. From Rajai Davis ($10,000) all the way through Carlos Santana ($6,900) the Indians are worthy of exposure tonight.
Although the Dodgers and the Orioles are probably worthy of some exposure tonight, my third favorite team is actually the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have an implied run total of just over four runs, but their matchup with Dan Straily in Great American Ball Park is one of great potential. Straily is a flyball pitcher in an extreme hitters park and he’s already allowed 1.23 HR/9 this season. The Marlins are middle of the pack in terms of wRC+ against right-handers and they are now without Giancarlo Stanton, but they still pack a lot of punch at the top of order. Dee Gordon ($9,600) is back with unlimited speed upside at the top and Christian Yelich ($9,900) and Marcell Ozuna ($7,500) are still legitimate middle of the order hitters. Jose Fernandez will steal the show at Great American, but don’t let the Marlins offense go unnoticed.
On the Bump..
As previously stated, the showman of this slate is Jose Fernandez. Fernandez gets a matchup with the Cincinnati Reds and while he’s away from his home ballpark and won’t be getting any favors at Great American, he gets to face the Reds. The Reds are tied for the fifth worst wRC+ in the league against right-handers and they’ve built up a strikeout rate over 21%. Fernandez lives by the strikeout, building a strikeout rate of nearly 36% this season. His 2.37 xFIP is amongst the best in baseball and he’s not even the most expensive pitcher on the slate – use him.
The top priced pitching honor belongs to Madison Bumgarner ($26,400). Bumgarner is certainly worthy of his price, but on a slate that provides little to no value in terms of starting pitching, I’ll most often take the discount on Jose Fernandez. That doesn’t mean that Bum wouldn’t be a wise selection should you be able to fit him. His matchup with the watered down Mets brings the lowest opposing implied run total and he gets to pitch in his spacious home ball park, taking advantage of a huge negative park shift against the Mets.
The other side of that game will be pitched by right-hander Jacob deGrom ($21,600), but the Giants are a difficult bunch to pick on despite recent struggles. The Giants have the 11th best wRC+ in the league against right-handers, but of bigger concern is their second lowest strikeout percentage. The park will definitely help deGrom, but his upside is hampered by a contact heavy lineup.
Value is hard to come by, but Danny Salazar ($17,400) and Kevin Gausman ($16,800) are the complementary pieces I’d consider today. Salazar is coming off the disabled list, so there will be some precaution by the Indians, but his matchup with the White Sox is one to try and take advantage of. The White Sox have a wRC+ against right-handers in the bottom third of the league and they strikeout at nearly 21% of the time. Salazar has struggled mightily with his command this season, but lucky for him, the White Sox also have a bottom third walk rate against righties. His strikeouts will play tonight.
Gausman has a more difficult matchup with the Houston Astros, but one he’ll be able to exploit via the strikeout. He’s been a solid arm this year, pitching to a 3.83 xFIP while striking out just over a hitter per inning through 21 starts for the O’s. The Astros have just a middle of the pack offense against righties, ranking 17th in terms of wRC+ but the most important statistic for Gausman’s value is their strikeout rate. The ‘Stros strike out the third most against right-handed starters at 24.2% of the time. If you’re trying to build an offense around Jose and a value piece, Gausman is a viable option.