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August 16 MLB DFS: Yu Know What to Do
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Welcome to August 16 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 16 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 16 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:12 Starting Pitcher
12:26 Catcher
15:31 First Base
20:38 Second Base
23:42 Third Base
26:57 Shortstop
28:58 Outfield
34:38 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • 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 16 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

In his first two starts in the NL, Yu Darvish (LAD) has struck out 10 batters in each outing and allowed a total of two earned runs. Even with an enormous price hike on DK, he’s a building block. Darvish will continue to benefit from the trade to the Dodgers, pitching at home in friendlier dimensions and temperatures (sub-70 degrees while it will be 100 in Texas). He’ll also face one of the worst lineups in the AL in the White Sox who will lose the DH and be forced to bat the pitcher. Darvish is an enormous -320 favorite with a slate low IRTA of 2.9. On FD he’s incredibly underpriced.

Darvish’s expensive DK price tag means you’ll have to look at mid-tier or cheap starting pitchers as a complement. The three that stick out to us are John Lackey (CHC), Charlie Morton (HOU), and Jaime Garcia (NYY). Lackey is our favorite of the group. Lackey probably has the best combination of upside and cap relief. He boasts the highest win probability of the group (largest favorite and highest outs baseline) and has struck out seven batters in two of his three starts. The issue is he’s been crushed by the long ball this year leading to a 4.82 ERA, which is mostly in line with ERA estimates. Morton projects for 1.6 more Ks than Lackey due his 25.4 K% and the Diamondbacks hefty 23.2 K% against RHP. The biggest issue there is price when the IRTA is similar to that of the rest of the group. Garcia has a measly 4.4 K projection, but is mid-sized favorite taking on a K heavy NL opponent in an NL park.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) is a high end tournament pivot off of Darvish. He’s best off used on DK where he’s closer to Darvish in value in a vacuum and the cap relief can get you a higher upside SP2 without crushing your offense (like Morton). Carrasco has four double-digit K games in his last 10 outings and brought a no hit bid into the eighth inning last time out.

Carlos Rodon (CHW) has pitched much better recently. The Vegas odds against him are horrific and driving that projection down but will likely also drive down ownership. He has legitimate upside among an SP pool that lacks much upside outside of Darvish/Carrasco/Morton. He’s our favorite SP2 tournament play on DK but pretty risky in cash games. Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) lags slightly behind Lackey/Morton/Garcia in our project SP2 value rankings, but he’s consistently generating 5-plus strikeouts.

Catcher

We’re looking to spend down at the catcher position in this slate since the position doesn’t carry any opportunity cost. You’ll feel better about the punts on FD. Alex Avila (CHC), Austin Barnes (LAD) and Robinson Chirinos (TEX) are priced like punt options on FD and they have upside. Avila will have the platoon edge against Homer prone Bailey, Barnes has the platoon edge vs. Carlos Rodon (1.74 HR/9 and a 20% hard minus soft hit rate allowed through eight starts) and Chirinos gets Anibal Sanchez in the Texas heat. Of the bunch, we expect Chirinos to get the worst lineup spot but the strong matchup in such a great hitting environment puts him in play.

On DK, we’re looking to punt with worse hitters like Juan Centeno (HOU) and Raffy Lopez (TOR) or a better hitter but in a terrible matchup, Wilson Ramos (TB) (facing Stroman).  

For upside, we always gravitate towards Gary Sanchez (NYY). He’s pricey, but he’s a better hitter (and with some of these names, a much better hitter) than any of the catchers we’ve mentioned and he’s in Yankee Stadium. We like him in tournaments.

First Base

Freddie Freeman (ATL) is pretty clearly the top target at first base if spending up. Freeman is in Coors with the platoon edge – he’s generated a .414 wOBA and a massive .296 ISO vs. RHP since 2016. Even with a big price tag around the industry, Freeman is a the top point per dollar value at the position on FD and top three on DK.

Freeman is a great play, but a cheap target like Miguel Cabrera (DET) with the platoon edge in mid 90s degree weather is hard to pass up in a cash game format.

If you wanted to go the Coors Field route but don’t have the funds for Freeman, Mark Reynolds (COL) is a viable splits the difference alternative on both sites. Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) has a $3,800 price tag on FD and he’s facing Kyle Gibson and the Twins’ awful bullpen.

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) deserves tournament consideration every night, and that’s especially the case when he faces a pitcher like Homer Bailey. Bailey has been unlucky this season, but even when you factor that in you’re looking at a pitcher with a 5.84 FIP/5.37 xFIP. Joey Gallo (TEX) has a 50% HHR over the L15 and this context is as good as it gets for power upside. We love him in tournaments, and if he hits fifth once again you can consider him in cash games on FD.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) represents the top projected scorer at second base. He doesn’t have the platoon edge, but Taijuan Walker is susceptible to the longball. He’s priced out for cash games but Altuve is a fine target in tournaments.

On FD, Jason Kipnis (CLE) continues to stand out as a punt, hitting second against Kyle Gibson (.383 wOBA, .185 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2016) for just $2,500. For upside, we’re going for Rougned Odor (TEX). Odor’s lineup spots have been terrible of late but he’s your best alternative on both sites in a matchup against Anibal Sanchez in perfect hitting conditions. Sanchez has allowed 2.51 HR/9 this season and while that mark seems surreal it is backed up by a 19% hard minus soft hit rate and a 40.7% FB rate. Ian Kinsler (DET) with the platoon edge in Texas puts him in the tournament conversation.

Third Base

Nolan Arenado (COL) is the top projected scorer at third base and top three regardless of position. It’s a good matchup for upside as Mike Foltynewicz is a fly ball, home run prone pitcher. Foltynewicz is more vulnerable to LHBs, which makes Blackmon our favorite spend on the hitting side of things in cash games. Arenado is a strong target in tournaments.

It’s tough to pass on Arenado in cash games or Freddie Freeman (ATL) on DK where he’s 3B eligible, but that’s likely a path you’ll need to take if Darvish and Blackmon are your priorities. If so, you’ll need salary relief. Logan Forsythe (LAD) is a fine target on DK where he’s $3,400 with the platoon edge. On FD, you might be able to squeeze in a mid-tier target like Jose Ramirez (CLE) who grinds out Fantasy Points. If you need to spend down on that site, Jedd Gyorko (STL) is $2,900 with the platoon edge in Fenway Park.

Kris Bryant (CHC), Josh Donaldson (TOR) and Jose Ramirez (CLE) are other names to consider in tournaments. The context for Bryant stands out the most as he’ll face Homer Bailey in decent hitting conditions.

Shortstop

We have no interest in paying up at the shortstop position. On FD, we do have a mid-tier target in Elvis Andrus (TEX) that stands out. Andrus has generated 15 HRs and 22 SBs this season, and the event upside he carries gets a perfect context (Texas heat and Anibal Sanchez). We’d like to get to his $3,600 price tag on that site.

On DK, Andrus is $5,400 and simply priced out for cash games. The challenge on that site is that there isn’t a clear target like Andrus on FD or decent alternatives. On FD, Trevor Story (COL) is $3,200. He strikes out a lot, but power upside in Coors Field for that price tag isn’t bad. On DK, Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) is the best value option below $4,000. Cabrera isn’t very good, but he’s a switch hitter that hits second with a $3,100 price tag. Kike Hernandez (LAD) could see a slight boost in projection if he hits sixth against vs. a LHP, and he’s been a very good hitter vs. LHP. The challenge with Kike is PH risk at a price tag that feels appropriate ($3,400). Dansby Swanson (ATL) is in Coors and he’s $2,900 on DK. He’s a fine alternative on that site.

Outfield

Charlie Blackmon (COL) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. He’s in Coors facing Mike Foltynewicz, who’s allowed a .365 wOBA and .214 ISO to LHBs since 2015. We’re treating Blackmon as a priority spend in cash games on DK and we’re trying to get up to him on FD though the price tag there is a bit more challenging to fit. Blackmon is projected to outscore our next highest projected score in the OF by nearly two Fantasy Points. On DK, you can have exposure to one more Rockies LHB as Carlos Gonzalez (COL) is affordable once again ($4,100).

Our next step in the OF is to save salary. We get a freebie in Josh Reddick (HOU) on DK where he’s just $3,800. He’s been a bit cold recently and the HHR reflects that, but just the other day we were playing Reddick at nearly $1,000 more. If you’re making an effort to fit Blackmon on FD, you’ll have to punt one of the OF spots with Kike Hernandez (LAD). He’s $2,100 and has generated a .390 wOBA and .278 ISO vs. LHP since 2015. If you’re not pursuing Blackmon, you can load up in the mid-tier with Reddick, Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Gomez (TEX). The later two are also accessible on DK. Kyle Schwarber (CHC) is $3,600 on DK and he’ll have the platoon edge in a good matchup for power upside. He’s a viable alternative to CarGo in all formats though he profiles better for tournaments since he’s been striking out so much.

Justin Upton (TEX) has a tougher matchup this time around (Cole Hamels, who’s been pitching better lately), but he does have the platoon edge in Texas and he’s been red hot lately (32.3% HHR over the L15). We continue to like him in tournaments.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

No surprise here as the Rockies carry a slate high 6.3 IRT at home against Mike Foltynewicz, whose 4.56 FIP is right in line with his career mark of 4.59.

Tier Two

2) Texas Rangers

Anibal Sanchez and his 2.51 HR/9 meet nearly 90 degree weather in Texas….this should end well.

Tier Three

3) Atlanta Braves

4) Cleveland Indians

5) Chicago Cubs

6) Boston Red Sox

7) Los Angeles Dodgers

Atlanta stacks on DK are pretty affordable given the Coors environment, and it likely won’t carry your typical road team in Coors ownership since people like Jon Gray and the Rockies/Rangers stacks should be so chalky.

Our stack tiers pretty closely resemble the IRTs for this slate so it’s tough to pinpoint a specific contrarian stack. The Dodgers continue to mash the heck out of the ball (one of the league’s best in both our 15-day Hard% and FanGraphs 14-day Hard%). Carlos Rodon has yielded a homer in six straight starts, but he’s also posted strong xFIPs in four consecutive outings.