Welcome to August 12 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 11 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. Make sure you’re using our customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!
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August 12 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:18 Starting Pitcher
06:50 First Base
09:43 Second Base
11:52 Third Base
- In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
- In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.
August 12 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Max Scherzer (WAS) is a near lock in cash games on FD where he’s our clear-cut top projected value. Scherzer is extremely safe, both as a result of his K rate (35.5 K%) and facing a Giants team that ranks 29th in wRC+ against RHP. He’s also an excellent rock on DK. However, he’s priced more aggressively on that site, so it’s not necessarily a cash game lock to use Scherzer against a Giants team that is at least somewhat contact oriented.
UPDATE: It looks like Scherzer may be pushed back a day following the postponed game last night. If that’s the case, the relative values of Martinez and Ryu increase as opportunity cost decreases.
The alternative to using Scherzer with a cheaper SP2 on DK is to roll out Carlos Martinez (STL) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD). Martinez is a hefty -225 favorite at home against an Atlanta team with an IRT of just 3.6. We’re projecting Martinez with 6.4 Ks. The large savings from Scherzer to Martinez allows you to pay up for Ryu as your SP2. He’s coming off a phenomenal back to back starts in which he combined for 14 IP, 15 Ks, and 0 ERs. Now Ryu has an easy matchup against the Padres, who rank dead last in wRC+ against LHP with one of the higher K rates in that split as well. On FD, both Martinez and Ryu are viable tournament pivots.
If you do pay up for Scherzer on DK, it may be difficult to use Ryu or Martinez as your SP2, which leaves you sifting through some okay per dollar values, but as per usual they all come attached with a great deal of risk. At first glance, Sean Manaea (OAK) looks really underpriced at home against the Orioles, but his recent outings are a cause for concern. He’s completed just 6.1 IP combined over his last two starts and has struck out two or less in three of four outings. It’s a good buy low tag, but sometimes a wait and see approach makes more sense in these situations. If you subscribe to the latter methodology, Ian Kennedy (KC) faces a horrific White Sox lineup against RHP, but his fly ball tendencies in Chicago still lead to a 4.7 IRTA. Jeff Hoffman (COL) lags behind Manaea and Kennedy in our rankings, but he’s in a friendly pitching environment and has flashed big time upside (five starts with 7 or more Ks).
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) leads the way from a raw projection standpoint and is a top per dollar play on the slate. The Dodgers have essentially moved to a straight platoon and Grandal will get to hit from the left-side of the plate against Jhoulys Chacin. Since 2015, he’s posted a .226 ISO against RHP and his recent batted ball data is positive as well.
Depending on your starting pitcher selection, you might need to save a bit more than what Grandal is providing. Cameron Rupp (PHI) is $2,200 on FanDuel and has been more than serviceable against left-handed pitchers, posting a .236 ISO in his last 231 plate appearances. The lineup spot is not good, but it’ll be a necessary “save” in order to fit someone like Max Scherzer. On DraftKings, Rupp is $3,100, so your very cheap options are $2,300 players like Drew Butera (KC) or Bruce Maxwell (OAK). Butera is the worse player, but a park upgrade and a matchup with James Shields gives him a better chance than normal to accrue fantasy points.
Some great per dollar plays exist in different pricing tiers at first base on Saturday as Eric Hosmer (KC), Eric Thames (MIL), and Tommy Joseph (PHI) flood the per dollar rankings. Hosmer and the Royals are not only taking advantage of a big park shift in their favor, but they get the notorious matchup with gas can James Shields. Shields has an xFIP over six and is allowing nearly 2.5 home runs per nine innings. What else should we say?
Thames saw his price drop yet again and will be in his home park against Scott Feldman. Feldman has been serviceable this year, but will be making his first start back from injury. The allure with Thames aside from the park is the power upside and the price tag. He has fallen to $2,600 on FanDuel and now $4,000 on DraftKings. Joseph is the cheap bat available at first base, but the lineup spot has fluctuated recently in the 5-7 range. It will require a better lineup spot, but at $2,500 on DraftKings and $2,400 on FanDuel, he’s a great value with the platoon edge. Joseph’s teammate, Rhys Hoskins (PHI) hit fourth last night and is also $2,500 on DraftKings, but is $2,100 on FanDuel. Jose Abreu (CHW) is stupid cheap against a homer prone, fly ball oriented arm in Ian Kennedy as well, a secondary cash game value.
Rougned Odor (TEX) is one of the best per dollar plays available at second base on both sites, but otherwise you’ll be narrowing down your player pool depending on the site you are playing. He’s the high upside option, grabbing the platoon edge over Mike Fiers and his fly ball ways. On DraftKings, Ben Zobrist (CHC) holds 2B eligibility and will get a huge park upgrade as the Cubs are in Chase Field in Arizona. Zobrist has had a down year, but hit leadoff in the Cubs last game against a LHP (5th the game before that).
Daniel Murphy (WSH) is down to $3,300 on FanDuel, which is cheaper than he’s ever been. The batted ball data is positive, but the matchup with Jeff Samardzija is not one we’re looking to try and exploit. UPDATE: Murphy becomes an even better play now that it appears Chris Stratton will be pushed back to start on Saturday night.
That brings in Neil Walker (NYM) who hit second again last night for the Mets. The Mets don’t rate well as a team, but getting Walker in a good lineup spot and more importantly from the left side of the plate is important (particularly given Aaron Nola‘s struggles with LHB). Whit Merrifield (KC) has played at nearly his peak (.185 ISO, 19 SB), but we can try to take advantage again with a matchup with James Shields. It’s tough to rationalized $3,900 on FanDuel but at $4,200 on DraftKings, he’s in play. Robinson Cano (SEA) is just $3,600 on DraftKings. The park and matchup aren’t overly exciting, but he’s the best player at the position and is very accessible.
Kris Bryant (CHC) and Mike Moustakas (KC) are the clear cut top options at third base. Bryant and the Cubs are getting a massive park shift and he’ll get a meaningful platoon edge against Patrick Corbin. Corbin has been quietly very good this season (3.87 xFIP), but he’s struggled against RHB since 2015 (.190 ISO allowed to RHB). Moustakas is the most powerful of the Royals bats, and he too will join the crew getting the platoon edge on Shields. He projects at nearly a full point less than Bryant, but if you’re looking for a tiebreaker, the Royals have an implied run total of nearly a full run more.
Our strong preference is to try and make one of Bryant or Moustakas work, but if not there are some cheaper options available. Luis Valbuena (LAA) is $2,200 on DraftKings and $2,000 on FanDuel. He slid down to sixth in his last start, but given the price, it’s perfectly justifiable with his skills against RHP (.217 ISO since 2015). Eugenio Suarez (CIN) and Travis Shaw (MIL) will square off against each other and each will get the platoon edge. The park and context are suitable, but they lag behind and are priced in such a way that they don’t present a ton of per dollar value.
Adam Rosales (ARI) is the top per dollar play on DraftKings, a sad state for the shortstop position. In his last four starts against LHP, Rosales has hit 2nd twice, third once and sixth another. Jon Lester is certainly not a matchup we’re looking to try and take advantage of in a lot of instances, but at just $2,400 on DraftKings and $2,000 on FanDuel, Rosales opens up the door to spend at other positions. He is not good
It gets worse, as Tyler Saladino (CHW), Trevor Story (COL), and Alcides Escobar (KC) are the other “top” per dollar plays that lag behind Rosales. None of them is going to provide you any floor, and Story is the lone upside option (albeit coming with a horrible lineup spot).
The best spends at the position are Zack Cozart (CIN) and Corey Seager (LAD), but Cozart might be the only player you can actually afford for cash games. Cozart has been a quiet handful against LHP in his last 250 plate appearances (.384 wOBA, .263 ISO) and is affordable enough at $3,300 on FanDuel that you could consider rostering him.
Brandon Moss (KC), Josh Reddick (HOU), and a smattering of others make up the top ten per dollar plays in the outfield. Moss has been an extreme platoon option (.233 ISO against RHP since 2015) and draws James Shields in Guaranteed Rate Field, making him particularly valuable at $2,500 on FanDuel. Reddick and the Astros fly about under the radar in the positional analysis due to their price tags, but in the Texas heat they’re holding an implied run total of 5.4 runs against the returning Tyson Ross. Ross has been completely unable to command the zone this year (more than five walks per nine) and has paid dearly for it. More runners on for an Astros team is a disaster in the making.
Ben Zobrist (CHC), Eric Thames (MIL), Jarrett Parker (SF) and a whole host of others make up the middle tier of options. We’ve already touched on Thames and Zobrist, but Jarrett Parker will again try to make good of the matchup with Edwin Jackson (perhaps worst pitcher on the slate). Lorenzo Cain (KC) and Alex Gordon (KC) hold varying degrees of value in their matchup against James Shields, with veteran Denard Span (SF) holding a similar value as well against Edwin Jackson.
Shin Soo Choo (TEX) is less than $4,000 on DraftKings and will get to hit leadoff in his home park against Mike Fiers. Fiers has been a serviceable arm but has struggled with the long ball, allowing 1.89 HR/9 this season. George Springer (HOU) will lead off in the other side of this game and has still not properly adjusted as far as salary for his ability and upside. Of course Mike Trout (LAA) and Bryce Harper (WSH) are the top two plays from a raw projections standpoint and fitting either brings a huge boost to potential upside with likely not much ownership at their price tags.
1) Houston Astros
2) Kansas City Royals
The event oriented Astros with George Springer back get a positive park shift and guaranteed nine innings on the road in Texas against Tyson Ross, whose combination of wildness and homer issues has led to a 7.52 ERA.
The Royals get a massive park shift in their favor, but more importantly they face James Shields. He’s allowed a HR/FB rate around 17% for three consecutive season, and now he sports a career worst 35.9 GB rate as well.
3) Chicago Cubs
4) Milwaukee Brewers
5) Cincinnati Reds
6) St. Louis Cardinals
7) Los Angeles Dodgers
8) Washington Nationals
9) Texas Rangers
The Cardinals may go under owned given they share a 5.4 IRT, tied for the second highest on the slate (Nationals team total pending). Lucas Sims projects to have serious HR issues at the MLB level based on a combination of his Minor League fly ball and HR/FB rates.