Welcome to August 15 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 15 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 15 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
13:29 First Base
17:23 Second Base
20:26 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 15 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Danny Salazar (CLE) and Alex Wood (LAD) kick off the top tier of starters on a deep slate for starting pitching. Salazar has been dominant since returning from his trip to the minors (1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 36 K in 25 ⅓ innings). The Twins are a rather neutral matchup for Salazar as they rank 13th in wRC+ against RHP with a strikeout rate slightly above the league average. Vegas is very much buying into the Salazar resurgence giving the Twins an implied total of just 3.9 despite neutral pitching conditions in Minnesota. The only knock on Salazar is on DraftKings where the price tag is hefty ($12,200) and the slate has plenty of value. On FanDuel, Salazar is priced right alongside Wood and possesses the stronger projection. Wood regained some velocity last start (92.3 mph average fastball after dipping to 90.2 in previous start) and draws a tremendous matchup against the weak White Sox lineup getting a huge park downgrade and losing the DH. Wood is a monstrous favorite (-335) with a 2.8 implied total against. Wood is also reasonably priced on DraftKings ($9,600) which makes him an excellent candidate for your SP1 slot. On FanDuel, we have a slight preference for the better recent form of Salazar in cash games.
The next tier of starters in projections are priced out of the cash game conversation. Madison Bumgarner (SF) has settled into better form despite middling velocity. In Miami is a fairly neutral matchup and he’s still priced way up. Jacob deGrom (NYM) draws a tougher matchup against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium and gets the same elevated price tag. We like deGrom a bit better in tournaments of the two as the Yankees have a few more swings and misses in their lineup than the Marlins.
Our favorite mid-tier starter is Dinelson Lamet (SD) who draws a favorable matchup with the Phillies (26th in wRC+ with an above average 23.4 K Rate against RHP) at home. Lamet has been dominant against RHBs early in his career (.225 wOBA and 34.5 K Rate). The Phillies are a pretty neutral platoon lineup, usually tossing out 4-5 LHBs, but they’re getting a big park downgrade and they’re not a very good offense to begin with. Lamet has an implied total against below four runs and is a modest favorite (-130). At the $8,500 price tag, Lamet is a very viable secondary SP target alongside Alex Wood and our preferred route on DraftKings. Lamet is also a fine tournament target on FanDuel.
On DraftKings, there are a few secondary cheap targets worth considering instead of Lamet. We prefer them in tournaments but they’re cheap enough to draw some mild cash game consideration. Dan Straily (MIA) is just $6,900 with a home matchup against the Giants rather punchless offense. Straily’s struggled mightily of late but the swinging strike rate and velocity are in line. Jason Hammel (KC) has been the opposite as Straily, getting good results despite lots of hard contact allowed. He gets a matchup against the strikeout prone Athletics lineup in great pitching conditions (low 60s). He’s also priced in the mid-$6,000s.
From there, we have more secondary tournament targets that have strikeout upside but run prevention risk. Luis Castillo (CIN) has flashed elite stuff but faces a Cubs’ lineup that has been much stronger in the second half. Marco Estrada (TOR) gets the free-swinging Rays’ who have given him problems this season but are in a rut of late. Mark Leiter Jr. (PHI) has flashed decent strikeout stuff in a relief role and gets a spot start after getting stretched out. The matchup with the Padres enhances projected K Rate and Leiter remains cheap.
Tyler Flowers (ATL) carries the top projection at the catcher position as he’s in Coors Field with the platoon edge and projected to hit cleanup. Flowers has accessible price tags around the industry and he’s viable across all formats.
Flowers isn’t a great hitter and a big reason why his projection is popping so much tonight is because of the context. Looking at other targets with better hitting skills, Yasmani Grandal (LAD) stands out as he’s in a matchup against a power prone pitcher (Miguel Gonzalez). Grandal’s power upside is excellent from the left side of the plate (.228 ISO vs. RHP since 2015) and his HHR is up to 29.4% over the L15. He’s viable across all formats on both sites, with FD giving a very friendly price tag of just $2,800.
Alex Avila (CHC) is $2,500 on FD and will have the platoon edge. He’s a fine cheap option but if possible we’d like to get to Grandal for a little bit more in cash games.
On DK, it’s possible to dip down all the way to Wilson Ramos (TB). Ramos is still free on that site ($2,200) and gets another friendly context – in Rogers Centre facing a pitcher that struggles to keep the ball in the park (Estrada).
Freddie Freeman (ATL) represents the top projected scorer at first base and he won’t have the platoon edge in his matchup. Freeman is in Coors and the ownership will likely be kept in check by a L/L matchup, which makes him an intriguing tournament target. If you were making a high end spend at the position in cash games, we’d side with Anthony Rizzo (CHC) as he will have the platoon edge. However, there’s too much opportunity cost to consider making a high end spend at this position in cash games.
Mark Reynolds (COL) gives you Coors Field exposure on FD at a reasonable price tag ($3,600) and he’ll be in the cleanup spot. On DK, you can still have exposure to the Rays’ 1B, Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison (TB), for sub $3,500 price tags. This is a massive park shift for this Rays’ offense (Rogers Centre). Duda and Morrison are also cheap on FD ($3,000 and $2,900 respectively) and Duda rates as a top three value at the position on that site. Miguel Cabrera (DET) is battling some injuries, but if he’s in the lineup the price tags are silly given the contextual factors (A.J. Griffin in Texas). Eric Thames (MIL) is starting to see his price tag get closer to where it should be, but it’s still decent enough ($4,400 on DK and $3,500 on FD) to use him in all formats against a pitcher that likes to keep the ball low in the zone (Nova).
Cody Bellinger (LAD) seems like an obvious pick in tournaments. His incredible power skills meets Miguel Gonzalez, who’s given up 1.34 HR/9 and a sub 40% GB rate this season. Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) is another strong choice in tournaments that can be stretched into cash games as well. Bartolo Colon has allowed a .201 ISO to the L250 RHBs he’s faced and he doesn’t miss bats.
DJ LeMahieu (COL) is the top projected scorer at second base and he has a nice mid-tier price tag on FD ($3,500). That price tag puts him in the cash game conversation, but Jason Kipnis (CLE) will be a tough fade in that format. Kipnis is too accessible around the industry ($3,000 on DK, $2,400 on FD) in a matchup against over the hill Bartolo Colon. It’s certainly a tough park for LHB as Target Field suppresses LH power considerably, but Kipnis is in the leadoff spot with a decent chance at five PAs.
The conversation in tournaments is more interesting at the position. Kipnis is clearly going to be chalky, but he’s had a pedestrian season and there are enough names to make it interesting in tournaments at the position. Jonathan Schoop (BAL) will have the platoon edge and his HHR is up to 34% over the L15, Ian Kinsler (DET) is in a great hitting environment and Eduardo Nunez (BOS), who also has some speed upside (21 SBs this season), is in Fenway Park. The aforementioned LeMahieu can be included in the tournament conversation as well given his friendly context. Rougned Odor (TEX) with the platoon edge in Texas makes him a viable tournament target and Brad Miller (TB) can be considered on DK where he’s really cheap.
Nolan Arenado (COL) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. Arenado is obviously expensive in Coors with the platoon edge, but he’s still accessible on both sites. The main issue surrounding Arenado right now is his availability. He was hit by a pitch on Sunday and didn’t crack the lineup last night. As long as he’s in the lineup, Arenado is clearly the big hitting spend we want to make in cash games.
If Arenado isn’t in the lineup, we’re inclined to pay for Josh Donaldson (TOR). Donaldson has been on a tear lately (36% HHR over the L15 – homered once again last night) and he’s generated a .406 wOBA and .284 ISO vs. LHP since 2015. He’s in Rogers Centre tonight facing Blake Snell.
There’s also an opportunity to go cheap at third base with Evan Longoria (TB) carrying a $3,200 price tag on DK and $2,900 on FD. Longoria has been battling a thumb issue lately, but these price tags are too cheap when you consider his friendly context. Also of note, Longoria has upside even when he doesn’t have the platoon edge – since 2015, he’s generated a .197 ISO vs. RHP.
Freddie Freeman (ATL) has 3B eligibility on DK, where you can consider him in tournaments. Jose Ramirez (CLE) carries a decent price tag on FD ($3,500) where he’s even usable in cash games as a splits the difference alternative.
Trevor Story (COL) has a chance to move up the lineup if Nolan Arenado ends up missing his second game in a row, and he’s already our top projected scorer at the position with a projected lineup spot outside the top five. Sean Newcomb does miss bats, but he has fly ball tendencies (40% GB rate this season, and in the minors his GB rates were usually hovering around 43%) and he’s very wild (12.6% BB rate this season, 13.3% at AAA). We love Story’s upside and the price tags are accessible everywhere.
If Jonathan Villar (MIL) sticks in the leadoff spot for the Brewers (a legitimate question since Neil Walker is a part of the team and could bump him out of the lineup), he would emerge as a viable pivot to Story on FD where he’s sub $3,000.
Story has been ice cold lately, so ideally we’d like to find alternatives to differentiate in tournaments. Corey Seager (LAD) stands out immediately. He’s a better, more consistent hitter than Story and draws a nice matchup for power upside (Miguel Gonzalez). Francisco Lindor (CLE) can be considered as well. He has 27 combined HR/SBs this season and has a great matchup tonight (Bartolo).
Mike Trout (LAA) is the clear cut option in the OF if making a big spend. He’s our top projected scorer at the position with the platoon edge. The challenge with Trout is simply an exorbitant price tag that makes it difficult to roster him in cash games if Arenado is in the lineup. Charlie Blackmon (COL) can be considered even in a L/L matchup, but we do prefer him in tournaments as we’re having to pay regular Coors price tags for him without the platoon edge.
We’d rather focus on cheaper targets at the position in cash games. On FD, you can make a splash on Justin Upton (DET) at a very reasonable price tag ($3,900). AJ Griffin is certainly more susceptible to LH power, but he’s allowed a .210 ISO to RHBs since 2016. He allows power to all hitters, and Upton has been on a tear of late (32.3% HHR over the L15 – homered last night again). Even on DK you can justify Upton as a viable high end spend though the price tag is more correct there ($5,000). Corey Dickerson (TB) (platoon edge in Rogers centre – really cheap price tags), Starling Marte (PIT) (just $3,600 on DK and he’s in a much better hitting environment in Milwaukee – he’s a leadoff hitter as well), Eric Thames (MIL) (OF eligibility on DK), Kyle Schwarber (CHC) ($2,900 on FD with the platoon edge) and Rhys Hoskins (PHI) (67 HRs in the minors over the L2 seasons – he’s just $2,200 on FD and we have a .227 ISO baseline for him vs. RHP) are some of our best point per dollar targets in the OF.
You might not need this sort of salary relief in the third OF spot on DK, but Joc Pederson (LAD) is just $2,900 with the platoon edge against Miguel Gonzalez. We love the upside here, and if Pederson gets bumped up to fifth that would improve his projection further. Teammate Cody Bellinger (LAD) has OF eligibility on DK, where he’s a pretty obvious candidate in tournaments in this matchup.
1) Colorado Rockies
The Rockies once again are a bit dependent on the health of Nolan Arenado but a pinch hit appearance last night gives some hope that he’ll be healthy enough to go on Tuesday. The Rockies are expensive but likely won’t carry heavy ownership outside of Arenado and perhaps Story or Valaika depending on lineup spot.
2) Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are slightly more affordable top tier stack and one we like targeting on this slate. The matchup with Miguel Gonzalez is a good one for home run upside and the expensive Coors Field bats along with the Cleveland bats will keep ownership largely in check.
3) Cleveland Indians
4) Atlanta Braves
5) Tampa Bay Rays
6) Chicago Cubs
7) Texas Rangers
8) Detroit Tigers
9) Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland should be pretty chalky on this slate, especially on FanDuel where they carry very cheap price tags thanks to Kipnis and Zimmer priced near punt plays. Bartolo Colon has pitched better of late but it won’t detract ownership. A road matchup earns nine guaranteed innings and the bullpen behind Colon is below average. It’s difficult to get away from Cleveland on this slate, but ownership should approach the twenties which will force you to take a stance. The Rays remain a nice cheap contrarian target with a matchup they’ve had success with this season against a fly ball prone pitcher in a park that inflates power. Pittsburgh is another cheap contrarian stack that can complement expensive SP. They get a big park upgrade and have more dynamic Fantasy contributors with Marte back atop the lineup.