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August 13 MLB DFS: Goldy Locks

Adam Hummell
August 13 MLB DFS: Goldy Locks
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Welcome to August 13 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for August 13 MLB DFS along with LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using the 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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Time Stamps
00:41 
Starting Pitcher
15:24  Catcher
17:41 First Base
21:28 Second Base
24:10 Third Base
28:39 Shortstop
32:37 Outfield
37:00 Stacks

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  • 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.

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Range of Outcome Projections

August 13 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Jacob deGrom (NYM), Clayton Kershaw (LAD), and Luis Severino (NYY) project as the top tier of options on this slate. Kershaw and Severino have friendly matchups with low implied totals against while deGrom is up against Severino and the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. While deGrom is the most skilled of this group and has held his performance all year the difficult matchup coupled with the highest price tag of the group make him a better target in tournaments on DraftKings. On FanDuel, he mixes into some of our optimals as all the top end options project pretty similarly.

The best price tags on each site among the studs belongs to Clayton Kershaw (LAD) on DraftKings and Luis Severino (NYY) on FanDuel. Neither pitcher has been in their best form of late.

Severino has allowed at least three earned runs in six straight starts and since the All Star Break he’s posted a 7.77 ERA as opponents have hit .340/.373/.598 against him. The Mets are not a difficult matchup with only two above average hitters against RHP (Conforto/Nimmo) and Severino’s velocity and pitch mixes have been fine in the second half. The recent struggles push us towards using him in tournaments rather than cash games but there isn’t much on the surface that suggests the drastic change in results. We have downgraded some of Severino’s baselines to account for the very recent poor performance.

Kershaw saw a small velocity dip bit last time out as he was unable to generate swinging strikes (4 percent) or chases outside the strike zone (15 percent) against the Athletics. The magnitude of the velocity dip is something he’s experienced at different points this year and was nothing close to the 2.5 mph dip he saw before landing on the DL in June. We don’t think there is anything physically wrong but Kershaw certainly hasn’t been as dominant this year as in years’ past. The matchup with the Giants is one he’s long dominated and they’re not a very good offense anyway (20th in wRC+ against LHP this season). Kershaw has the lowest implied total against and is relatively cheap on DraftKings ($10,000). He’s your strongest cash game target of the three aces by a wide margin on DraftKings. On FanDuel, the pricing distinctions are closer.

Andrew Heaney (LAA) is a step down in projection from the aces but also in price and that makes him a compelling target on both sites. Heaney gets the benefit of a league shift and he gets to face the Padres who rank 18th in wRC+ with the league’s third highest K Rate against LHP. On a slate with plenty of offense available, Heaney’s salary relief makes for a strong way to build lineups, even on DraftKings as your SP1.

Mike Clevinger (CLE) and Zack Greinke (ARI) project slightly behind Heaney as both are pitching in more difficult ballparks and come with higher implied totals. They’re also more expensive which keeps them from hitting any optimal lineups. Both are fine tournament targets, though Clevinger would serve as the preferred target as he’s getting a positive league shift while Greinke goes back into the AL.

Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) projects a bit further behind that group and is even more expensive. The matchup with the Marlins is a good one for run prevention but their lineup has only two players that project for a strikeout rate over 20 percent. Strikeouts are the foundation for pitcher scoring in DFS so an elevated price tag means Folty might be a fade in GPPs if user try to attack the weak-hitting Marlins. Foltynewicz is more reasonable as a GPP play on FanDuel where the price is more reasonable.

There are cheap SP2’s available on DraftKings that really fit the slate with so much offensive upside available. The most intriguing of the bunch is Sean Reid-Foley (TOR) who has been really good in AAA for the Blue Jays this season (3.50 ERA, 3.04 FIP, and 27.4 K Rate). Reid-Foley faces a Royals’ offense that ranks 27th in wRC+ against RHP. The Royals don’t strike out a ton but Reid-Foley seems to bring some of those to the table and the price tag is just $4,400. He’s a -132 favorite with a 4.2 implied total against which isn’t far off from most of the starters priced well above him. We view Reid-Foley as your likely SP2 on DraftKings in cash games.

Clayton Richard (SD) and Brad Keller (KC) are two ground-ball specialists that don’t strike out many guys. As a result, their projections fall short of Reid-Foley but both are cheap and thus fine pivots in MME. We have slightly more faith in Keller as Richard has been a nightmare over his last 10 starts allowing tons of hard contact.

Catcher

Yadier Molina (STL) and Salvador Perez (KC) form the top tier of catchers in this slate. They carry the highest projections but the projections are in the 7s on DK. Molina will have the platoon edge but the price tag ($4,300) pushes him towards tournament only consideration. Meanwhile, Perez is just $3,400 and has the second highest ISO baseline (.191) regardless of SP handedness in this slate. The Royals are awful, but Perez is one of the only power threats they have in their lineup. He’s a fine option in all formats.

The next in line option at the position is Kurt Suzuki (ATL). He’s also $3,400 on DK and usually hits fifth even against RHP. Suzuki gives you access to one of the higher IRTs in this slate as Atlanta will likely land with a total somewhere in the 5s.

J.T. Realmuto (MIA) is right behind Suzuki in projection but he’s priced fully ($4,100). Realmuto is one of the better hitting catchers in this slate though, which makes him an intriguing tournament target despite the difficult matchup against Mike Foltynewicz. The same thing applies to Mike Zunino (SEA), who’s in an awful park for power upside but has the highest ISO baseline (.221) of any catcher in this slate.

If John Ryan Murphy (ARI) cracks the Diamondbacks lineup, he can be considered as a punt option on DK. He’s not a good hitter by any means, particularly without the platoon edge, but we’re big fans of the park shift this offense is receiving tonight.

First Base

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) carries the top projection at first base and it’s not close. Goldy is clearly underpriced on both sites. He should have been priced at over $5k on DK and high $4ks on FD. His actual salaries are $4,700 on DK and $4,300 on FD. He’s getting a massive park shift in his favor going into Arlington, and has a matchup against Bartolo Colon, who’s allowed a .377 wOBA and a ridiculous .255 ISO to RHBs since 2017. Goldy has posted a .385 wOBA and .240 ISO vs. RHP since the start of last season. You’re playing him in cash games. There’s a good chance that he’s highly owned in GPPs, and that’s where you’ll have to decide whether you’d like to look for alternatives or simply jam him in.

The next in line option at the position is Freddie Freeman (ATL). Freeman will have the platoon edge and has the requisite upside to consider him as a strong alternative to Goldy in GPPs. Freeman has generated a .396 wOBA and .238 ISO vs. RHP since 2017. He’ll have a matchup against a below average rookie (Pablo Lopez or Merandy Gonzalez).

You could complement Goldy in cash games with Yonder Alonso (CLE) on FD. Alonso is another underpriced option with a $3,100 price tag. He’ll hit cleanup or fifth against Homer Bailey in Great American Ball Park. Bailey has surrendered a .356 wOBA and .198 ISO to LHBs since 2017.

Joey Votto (CIN), Justin Smoak (TOR), Jose Abreu (CHW) (44.4% HHR over the L15 days) and Lucas Duda (KC) (good price tags on both sites) are viable power upside options to consider in tournament formats.  

Second Base

Ozzie Albies (ATL) carries the top projection at the keystone position. Albies’ production has been a bit more muted for over a month now, and he’s only posted a 6.8% HHR over the L15 days. However, on the season he’s generated 20 HRs and 12 SBs in 496 PAs. We like the event upside and his price tags have calmed down a bit but he’s mostly a breakeven target. We like the matchup as the Marlins will throw out below average rookie SPs today, but if you don’t have the funds to fit Albies in cash games it’s fine to look elsewhere.

We don’t have any good price tags to attack at the position on DK. Brian Dozier (LAD) does have a good price tag ($4,300) but a poor matchup against Madison Bumgarner at home is keeping his projection in check. Daniel Descalso (ARI) is $4,200 on DK. We’re going to talk about him shortly on FD, but this is a difficult price tag to pay for an okay hitter that’s projected to hit seventh in cash games. Devon Travis (TOR) is $3,800 and has been swinging it well lately, generating a  26.5% HHR over the L15 days. We love the park shift for Jason Kipnis (CLE) as he goes into Great American Ball Park but he’s $4k on DK and projects to hit sixth. David Fletcher (LAA) is a source of salary relief with a $3,200 price tag. You’re filling out this position near last on DK and we’d prefer to do it with one of the targets above.

On FD, we have a clear cut option in cash games. Daniel Descalso (ARI) has posted a .349 wOBA and .179 ISO vs. RHP since 2017 and he’s just $2,400. That’s probably a fair price tag for Descalso if his context was more difficult, but it isn’t. Descalso is getting a huge park shift going into Arlington and the Diamondbacks offense gain more depth in an AL Park thanks to the addition of the DH.

If Yoan Moncada (CHW) got back into the leadoff spot, he’d be an intriguing value in all formats on both sites. As things stand right now, Moncada has hit sixth and eighth vs. RHP over the last couple of games and we’ve projected him to hit sixth. If that’s the case, he becomes a fringe GPP target.

Third Base

Jose Ramirez (CLE) is once again the top projected scorer in the hot corner. Ramirez is getting a tasty park shift as he goes into Great American Ball Park. The Indians are losing the DH in the NL, but they lost Edwin Encarnacion to the DL anyways. Ramirez has been incredible vs. RHP, posting a .427 wOBA and .315 ISO while walking more (13% BB rate) than striking out (10.9% K rate) since 2017. He’s very expensive but we’re pursuing him across all formats.

If you’re unable to fit Ramirez in cash games, we have some decent alternatives to consider. Eduardo Escobar (ARI) is overpriced on both sites but he carries the next in line projection after Ramirez. Jeimer Candelario (DET) is projected to hit cleanup and yesterday he was in the leadoff spot for the Tigers. We’re confident that Candelario ends up getting a favorable lineup spot and he’s $3,700 on DK and $2,800 on FD. Those aren’t exciting price tags but he’s viable. The cheapest option we’d consider is Yolmer Sanchez (CHW), who’s $3,300 on DK and $2,400 on FD. While Sanchez isn’t a very good hitter and he’s surrounded by a bad offense, he’s a switch hitter that hits second.

Matt Carpenter (STL) is overpriced vs. a LHP but the LHP he’ll be facing tonight is Tommy Milone, who’s allowed a .200 ISO to LHBs since 2016. The L/L matchup should keep Carpenter’s ownership at a very low level. We have some interest here in MME.

Shortstop

Francisco Lindor (CLE) represents the top projected scorer at the shortstop position. Lindor is leading off in Great American Ball Park. Homer Bailey‘s fastball velocity dipped back down to 93 MPH during his last start. Lindor has crushed RHP (.363 wOBA and .261 ISO since 2017) and he steals bases (19 SBs in 538 PAs this season). We love him in all formats.

The shortstop position is very thin in this slate, which makes us want to pursue Lindor even more in cash games. We have Manny Machado (LAD) in the slate but he’s facing Madison Bumgarner at home. There’s a place for Machado in this slate but it won’t be in cash games.

Eduardo Escobar (ARI) (on DK) and Marcus Semien (OAK) are overpriced but can be considered in GPPs. Semien won’t have any ownership in this slate given his context (at home facing Marco Gonzales, who’s pitched well this season).

Jose Iglesias (DET) is $2,200 on FD and $3,400 on DK and he’s been hitting second of late. He has some stolen base upside (14 SBs in 414 PAs this season) but he’s a terrible hitter (.288 wOBA, .097 ISO baselines vs. RHP).

We like Escobar the most from the group above when you consider his context and skills (.350 wOBA, .249 ISO vs. RHP since 2017) but his price tag is very appropriate on DK.

Outfield

A.J. Pollock (ARI) is the top projected scorer in the outfield. Pollock has posted a .350 wOBA and .198 ISO vs. RHP since 2017. Those don’t stand out when you compare him to some of the elite hitters at the position, but once you layer in his context (facing Bartolo Colon in Arlington) he starts to separate himself from the pack. Pollock also has stolen base upside. He’s stolen 10 bases in 289 PAs this season and last season he stole 20 in 466 PAs. He’s in nearly all of our optimals on both sites.

We don’t have any Red Sox or Coors Field in this slate and Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) has a matchup against Jacob deGrom. The next in line options tonight at the position are Steven Souza (ARI), Michael Brantley (CLE) and David Peralta (ARI). Souza has generated a .215 ISO vs. RHP since 2017 and is getting an incredible tonight in his favor tonight. Brantley is somewhat affordable on FD ($3,800) and he’s also getting a big park shift. Peralta has posted a slate leading 41.7% HHR over the L15 days. He’s very expensive but has our attention in GPPs. Of this group, Souza’s price tag stands out the most, particularly on FD where he’s just $3k. Ronald Acuna (ATL) is right behind these options in projections. He’s priced efficiently on both sites but if you have the room to get up to him that’s a fine route in cash games. Acuna has posted a 33% HHR this season and he’ll be the leadoff hitter for an offense with an IRT in the 5s.

If you want to fit Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor on FD, you’ll have to use some cheap options in the OF. Thankfully, FD keeps on giving us gifts on the cheap end. Jon Jay (ARI) doesn’t have much power upside but he’s a road leadoff hitter in Arlington and carries a $2,400 price tag. Nick Delmonico (CHW) has been leading off of late for the White Sox and he’s been a decent bat with the platoon edge (.334 wOBA, .176 ISO vs. RHP since 2017). Nicholas Castellanos (DET) is $2,900 on FD. That’s simply too cheap of a price tag for Castellanos, even in a R/R matchup. Delmonico and Castellanos are also affordable options to consider on DK. Mike Gerber (DET) is $2,100. If he’s leading off you can consider him in cash games. We have a .170 ISO baseline for him vs. RHP and he’s facing a below average one (Reynaldo Lopez) tonight.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Arizona Diamondbacks

The offense on this slate is not difficult to figure out. The Diamondbacks have an implied total that is nearly a half run higher than everyone else on the slate. They get to face Bartolo Colon in Texas. They get to add a DH to their lineup. They get nine guaranteed innings of plate appearances and they get to face one of the worst pens in baseball behind Colon. The Diamondbacks are clearly one of the top offenses to target and the lone concern here is simply ownership.

Tier Two

2) Cleveland Indians

Cleveland is the other offense that should come with lots of ownership. Cleveland loses the DH but gets to play in a bandbox in Cincinnati against Homer Bailey who has allowed a wOBA above .360 and an ISO above .160 to each side of the plate this season. In addition to Bailey’s struggles getting batters out, he’s also extremely vulnerable to stolen bases. Cleveland’s offense will run quite a bit which brings them more offensive upside than their implied total may suggest. We have Cleveland projecting very clearly as the second best offense to target.  

Tier Three

3) Atlanta Braves

4) Chicago White Sox

5) Toronto Blue Jays

6) St. Louis Cardinals

Atlanta has a 5.3 implied total as they get to face a Marlins spot starter who was posting a 4.98 FIP and 5.16 xFIP in AA this season. Merandy Gonzalez is the most inexperienced starter on the slate and he’s likely one of the worst. The reason the Braves don’t project quite as strongly as Cleveland is because 1) J.T. Realmuto is very good at controlling the running game and 2) they’re not guaranteed nine innings. If they come in much lower owned than Cleveland or Arizona we’ll take chances at leverage stacks in GPPs, but if the ownership is similar we’d rather go further overweight on Arizona and Cleveland.

The rest of the tier is almost guaranteed to come in low owned. The White Sox are a bit more potent against LHP than RHP but Artie Lewicki isn’t very good and won’t work deep leaving a bad bullpen behind him. The White Sox are a nice MME target. The Cardinals face homer-prone Tommy Milone as the Nats have to travel after a devastating loss on Sunday Night Baseball. The Nats pen is decimated by injuries without Doolittle/Herrera and they traded away Kintzler so the pen has gotten far worse. The Cardinals do have some intriguing RH power and strong hard hit rates of late.

The Blue Jays are the toughest team to get behind as Brad Keller doesn’t miss bats but also rarely allows aerial contact. The bullpen behind him is very bad but Keller’s pitch-to-contact ways allow him to work deep. They’re the offense we’re least excited about in this tier.

 

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