8/2 MLB DFS Picks: Happiness is Found with the Dahl-i Lama
DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his 8/2 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?
Much to our chagrin, baseball will be played at Coors Field tonight. Undoubtedly, that is where we should begin looking for offense. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies will square off in a matchup with two right-handed starters in the highest total of the day. Jon Gray has been solid this season, but his home park will do him no favors against the team that has built the 11th best wRC+ in the league against right-handers. However, due to Gray’s abilities on the mound, this shouldn’t be a move all-in with Dodgers bats. Instead, exercise caution and pick and choose the best values from a lineup getting the benefit of a huge positive park shift. Newly acquired Josh Reddick ($9,200) comes with a cheaper price and the platoon advantage while someone like Howie Kendrick ($6,600) can be a real steal at the right lineup spot.
The Rockies are a bit more intriguing against Brandon McCarthy. While McCarthy can shut down a team in the same breath as Jon Gray, his nature as a flyball pitcher doesn’t work with the thin air in Colorado. Freshly minted major leaguer David Dahl ($6,000) has been great in his short time in Colorado and his price represents perhaps the best value on the slate. Using Dahl allows you to reach up for any of the Colorado studs, or other bats that are pressing for usage tonight.
Aside from Coors Field, the Detroit Tigers have a matchup with right-hander James Shields in their home ballpark. Despite the matchup in Coors, the Tigers actually currently sport the highest implied run total on the slate and look to keep Shields from making two quality starts in a row. Shields hasn’t been great this season, but he’s certainly picked up his game in recent starts, lowering his xFIP to 4.91 for the season. Still though, Shields can be pummeled around as he’s allowed nearly 1.50 HR/9 this season, 1.71 HR/9 to right-handed hitters. The Tigers will get very right-handed and will look to exploit the home run machine that Shields has been in recent seasons. Miguel Cabrera ($10,500) has finally gotten the price increase that he deserves but the rest of his playing mates are priced below $9,000 on FantasyDraft. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced team to grab exposure to tonight, it’s the Tigers.
Last but not least, the Washington Nationals will look to once again capitalize of a solid positive park shift in their favor. The Nats pounded Archie Bradley into the dust last night and their matchup with Robbie Ray presents a similar opportunity tonight. Ray hasn’t been bad this season, but he’s allowed a massive difference between hard and soft contact (35.3% hard versus 16.1% soft) and in each of his last two starts he’s allowed more than 40% hard contact. Trea Turner ($6,600) is a steal at the top of the order and is a great complement to any other Nationals player that you can fit into your lineup while still paying for elite starting pitching.
On the Bump…
Dueling for the top pitching spot tonight are two of the game’s best starting pitchers, Jose Fernandez ($24,600) and Madison Bumgarner ($25,200). While Fernandez could surely claim the top spot on strikeouts alone, Bumgarner’s matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies is too difficult to ignore. The Phillies have been brutal against southpaws this year, ranking dead last in wRC+ while having the eighth highest strikeout percentage in the league. The park shift doesn’t do Bumgarner any favors, but with an opposing implied run total under three runs there is no reason to be frightened away from him.
Fernandez should draw heavy consideration as well, but his matchup with the Chicago Cubs isn’t as enticing as Bumgarner’s. Fernandez has crept into unheard of territory with a near 37% strikeout rate this season and given the Cubs strikeout prone nature against right-handers (6th highest in the league) there is no reason to think that he won’t be sitting down his fair share of hitters tonight. The issue is the Cubs depth and their ability to make pitchers work. In some of his down games this season, the issue for Fernandez has been command. The Cubs as a team lead the major leagues in walk rate and have shown a propensity for running up pitch counts early in games. While that isn’t a foolproof reason to ignore Fernandez and his ability tonight, it might just shuffle him down one spot in the rankings.
There are plenty of other arms to consider though if you’re bummed out about Fernandez’ matchup. Carlos Carrasco ($20,400) will attempt to redeem Danny Salazar‘s start last night in a matchup with the Minnesota Twins. Much like the rest of the Indians’ staff, Carrasco thrives at striking hitters out and he’ll get to face the league’s tenth most strikeout prone team against right-handed starters. The Twins hold an implied run total at just over three runs and should expect no carryover in terms of offensive explosiveness. If you’re looking for a complement to Bumgarner, Carrasco might be a bit pricey, but he’s got a good enough matchup to be SP1 tonight on his own.
Carrasco is flanked on the pricing spectrum by both Yu Darvish ($21,200) and Lance McCullers ($20,100), two high upside, high risk arms in their current matchups. Darvish will face a Baltimore Orioles team that is prone to the strikeout, but has also built up the fourth best wRC+ against right-handers this year. Consider the potential for some caution on Darvish from the Rangers perspective and you’ll probably throw him in the tournament-only category. McCullers will get the same ranking from me as his matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays is exploitable, but also risky. You’ll get him at low ownership against the ninth highest strikeout percentage team against right-handers, but you’ll also have to pay for him and the potential for a flop.
Down below the studs, David Price ($18,400) and Gerrit Cole ($17,600) are just chilling. Price draws the more difficult matchup with the Seattle Mariners, but he’s got the ability to rack up strikeouts and work deep into games. Look beyond his four plus ERA as he’s posted a 3.18 xFIP while still managing to strike out over one hitter per inning this season. The Mariners aren’t particularly strikeout prone but their implied run total rests in the low threes and Price is a notable road favorite tonight. He’s a fine complement to any starting pitcher above him.
Gerrit Cole too makes for a great complement to one of the top starting pitchers. Cole gets a solid matchup with the Atlanta Braves where he is also a sizable road favorite and faces an opposing implied run total in the low threes. Both the strikeout rate and his SwStr% have taken a hit this season, lowering his DFS value, but in a matchup with the Braves, the price and run prevention skills grab a bit more of my attention. The Braves, much like the Mariners with Price, are not going to strikeout a lot, hampering the upside that Cole brings to the table. However, rostering one of these last two arms allows for a high upside top arm and some more flexibility with the offense.