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August 17 MLB DFS: Everything Is Bigger in Texas
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Welcome to August 17 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 17 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 17 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:12 Starting Pitcher
07:49 Catcher
09:47 First Base
12:22 Second Base
16:24 Third Base
19:32 Shortstop
22:11 Outfield
28:36 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.

August 17 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

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

It’s a three-horse race for the top SP on a short slate, but our projections view Luis Severino (NYY) and Jeff Samardzija (SF) ahead of Aaron Nola (PHI), the only underdog of the group (although he and Samardzija are close to a pick’em) and the highest IRTA. Our projections actually favor Samardzija the most. The absurd K rate to start the season has regressed some (declined each month since May), but even his July levels (22.3 K%, 3.77 xFIP). The control has been spectacular almost all season, and Samardzia’s ability to work deep into games makes up for less per batter dominance than Severino. Samardzija takes on a Phillies team ranked 26th in wRC+ against RHP with a high 23.5 K% in his friendly home park in San Francisco.

At the end of the day, it’s tempting to defer to Severino over Samardzija. Severino has had better surface results on the season (not a good reason to use him, but right or wrong it adds to comfort level) and is receiving positive park and league shifts, leading to him being pegged as the heaviest favorite (-187) with the lowest IRT (3.2). Severino’s high 28.1 K% has held pretty consistently throughout the season as well.

On FD, both are priced too low and easy to fit in. On DK, there are a few routes you can take. With the White Sox cheap and in a good context (in Texas against Tyson Ross), it’s possible to pair Severino and Samardzija together. If you aren’t doing that…

Jameson Taillon (PIT) is the best complement to Samardzija. If playing cash on both sites, one way to diversify is to use Severino on FD (where priced similarly) and then rolling the Samardzija (much cheaper than Severino on DK)/Taillon pairing over on DK. Taillon is a break-even mid-tier play, but relatively safe as a home favorite in PNC Park against a Cardinal team that represents a neutral matchup. Taillon has 15 Ks against 3 BBs his last two outings.

Steven Matz (NYM) is the complement to Severino. Matz rates favorably in our model from a per dollar perspective. Ironically, after getting by with a smoke and mirrors act for much of his first five starts, he’s been getting killed on the run prevention side recently when he’s actually pitched better, albeit inconsistently. Matz has put up GB rates of 47, 69, 35, and 54 percent in his last four outings while flashing some K upside (22% or greater in three of five outings). It does need to be noted, though, that the SwStr% is still discouraging. Basically, we’re seeing a very cheap Matz who is slowly pitching better, but it’s still tough to tell with confidence what pitcher is going to show up when.

Catcher

Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the top projected catcher with a high 41.7 Hard% over his last 15-days and the platoon edge against Steven Matz. A downtick in offensive environment and gaudy price tag makes him a tournament play only.

The next in line option is Robinson Chirinos (TEX), who is an easy way to get access to the Rangers slate high (by a mile) 6.1 IRT on FD. The tag is more aggressive on DK, where you can stay in this plus offensive environment and turn to Kevan Smith (CHW), who should have a top six lineup spot on the road for a White Sox offense that is in the unfamiliar position of having the second highest IRT on the slate. One drawback to using Chirinos on FD is you’re limited to four Ranger spots and may want to use those elsewhere.

First Base

As with most positions on this slate, the conversation is surrounded by Texas where temperatures are expected to be at 100 degrees for game time. Joey Gallo (TEX) (large positive 15-day delta in Hard%) and Jose Abreu (CHW) (positive 15-day Hard%) top the position from both a value and raw total perspective. Gallo takes on RHP Reynaldo Lopez, who came over via trade and is a strong prospect but one that projection systems expect to struggle in the present (both ZiPS and Steamer calling for nearly a 5 ERA and 1.5 HR/9). Abreu faces Tyson Ross, who has been a disaster this season (7.11 ERA), struggling with control and keeping the ball on the ground (a little bit better in regards to the latter recently).

Mike Napoli (TEX) (.234 ISO, 24 HRs) is a tournament pivot to give yourself lower owned exposure to the Rangers, but you’re sacrificing a lot of value to get it.

Tourney pivots outside of Arlington are Matt Carpenter (STL) and Wil Myers (SD).

Second Base

We get a small break from Texas at second base where Daniel Murphy (WAS) tops our rankings despite a negative park shift hitting in San Diego. Since 2015, Murphy has a .381 wOBA and .221 ISO against RHP, while opposing pitcher Jhoulys Chacin has allowed a .338 wOBA and .179 ISO to LHBs. As an additional bonus, Murphy has a hefty 15-day Hard% approaching 40%.

On FD, the tag on Murphy makes it the natural way to diversify off of Texas, but on Dk pricing may bring you right back to Texas anyways where Rougned Odor (TEX) makes up for a poor lineup spot with power upside, and Yoan Moncada/Tyler Saladino (CHW) provide cheap access to this hitting environment. Moncada hasn’t flashed much upside yet. His hefty K rate likely sticks, but we should see more of the event upside he displayed at AAA (12 HRs, 17 SBs in 361 PAs) along with it.

Third Base

While we’d like to pay up for Adrian Beltre (TEX) if possible, this is a pretty easy position to move off the Rangers in order to save some money without sacrificing much value.

On DK a couple of colder bats but ones that possess power upside are on our radar in Todd Frazier (CHW) and Jedd Gyorko (STL). Against a southpaw, Frazier should have a top five lineup spot against the volatile Steven Matz who has had issues missing bats this season. Gyorko is in a less desirable position lacking the platoon edge in PNC Park but is hitting cleanup while possessing a .198 ISO in this split since 2015.

Over on FD if you’re moving off Beltre, it makes sense to stay in the ballpark and go with Tyler Saladino (CHW) if he’s near the top of the lineup (although he’s mostly been playing against LHP recently). If Saladino is out of the lineup, you can spend a few hundred dollars more for Gyorko or full punt the position with Pablo Sandoval (SF), who is in a terrible macro spot but is a wide splits hitter against a wide splits pitcher.

Shortstop

Elvis Andrus (TEX) at a mid-tier price on DK is essentially a lock. He’s running at a higher rate than in recent seasons and a more aggressive approach (higher K% but also higher Hard%) is leading to power that we haven’t seen out of him before.

On DK, Andrus is just a break-even value. Wilmer Difo (WAS) is nearly $2,000 cheaper and should hit second on the road against Jhoulys Chacin. He’s a poor offensive player but it’s a good lineup spot against a bad pitcher, and he does possess some speed upside. Similarly rated sources of cap relief are also mostly all about lineup spot than anything else: Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) and Freddy Galvis (PHI). Dusty Coleman (SD) is a pure punt option but does possess some minor event upside while facing Edwin Jackson (ZiPS projected 5.44 ERA).

Outfield

Aaron Judge (NYM) is an excellent tournament pivot off the Texas bats, but at a much higher price, we’re looking at Shin-Soo Choo/Nomar Mazara/Carlos Gomez (TEX) in cash games. We prefer them in that order.

If you want to save money or diversify off the Rangers side of Arlington, Leury Garcia (CHW) is a reasonably priced leadoff hitter, posting a quietly strong season: .333 wOBA, .154 ISO. 7 HRs and 8 SBs in 265 PAs.

Adam Lind (WAS) is a strong industry wide value that may get lost in the shuffle on this slate. He’s remarkably almost punt priced on FD. We’re expecting him to hit fifth or sixth, and Lind has been a strong platoon player throughout his career, more recently posting a .351 wOBA and .207 ISO against RHP since 2015.

Starling Marte (PIT) makes for a nice one off tournament play with a mid-tier price tag. Marte possesses plenty of speed upside, and both ZiPS/Steamer are expecting a large turnaround in his ISO rest of season (in line with his career mark of .153). Opposing pitcher Adam Wainwright‘s game log has been volatile from a peripheral standpoint, and he’s put up an xFIP of 5.65 or worse on three of four starts, despite only allowing 9 combined runs over that span.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Texas Rangers

Tier Two

2) Chicago White Sox

Tier Three

3) Washington Nationals

4) New York Yankees

5) Pittsburgh Pirates

6) San Diego Padres

On such a small slate, the Rangers are going to be extremely chalky and should be stacked/mini stacked in cash games. The White Sox follow suit, as you’ve seen throughout the positional analysis.

Tourney strategy is a bit more difficult to figure. You have three options: eat the chalk, try to grab the lower owned pieces of these offenses (worse values due to high price tags or poor lineup spots), or make a tough fade.

If going the latter route, the Yankees make the most sense as a contrarian stack. There’s big time power upside in slate breakers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez while complementary pieces like Aaron Hicks and Todd Frazier provide power. Steven Matz is gradually pitching better, but he still lacks consistency and the swinging strike rate means we could see plenty of balls in play.