Welcome to August 19 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 19 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 19 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
13:02 First Base
16:13 Second Base
19:27 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 19 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Chris Sale (BOS) kicks off the starting pitcher rankings. Sale is like Kluber or Scherzer from the night before where the incredible strikeout projection (nearly 10) separates him from the rest of the pack. The Yankees have been vulnerable to LHP, ranking 22nd in wRC+ and posting an above average K Rate (23.5 percent). Sale has dominated them throughout his career and carries a fairly standard 3.2 implied run total against. Stephen Strasburg (WAS) follows Sale in a tier of his own with an elite matchup against the Padres. It’s Strasburg’s return from a short stint on the DL so there is some potential pitch count risk that we’ll have to monitor. The price tag gap between the two makes Strasburg a more viable dropdown on DraftKings where the price gap is substantial. On FanDuel the two are priced closer together which makes Sale a slightly easier reach in cash games. Either way we’d emphasize at least one of these options as your cash game anchor.
The two are difficult to pair in cash games due to the extreme cost and plenty of offense on the slate. Unfortunately, we don’t have a plethora of extremely cheap starters to choose from like we did on Friday. The better tactic is identifying a preferred value in the mid-tier where we have two candidates: Collin McHugh (HOU) and Kevin Gausman (BAL). McHugh has the better matchup against an Athletics’ offense that ranks fifth in wRC+ against RHP this season but has lost Yonder Alonso (by far their best hitter against RHP) and will likely have a lineup filled with strikeout rates above 25 percent against RHP. Gausman has been the better pitcher of late (3.69 ERA, 85 K in 70 ⅔ innings since June 16th) but has the more difficult matchup for strikeouts against an Angels’ offense that gets a big park upgrade and has the fifth lowest K Rate against RHP on the season. Both pitchers come with mid-$8,000s price tags that aren’t particularly difficult to squeeze in with Strasburg.
In tournaments, there are some cheaper options to consider. Rafael Montero (NYM) is just $5,700 and has flashed good strikeout stuff. The challenge is warm conditions, a bad umpire, and really poor defense behind him make him a volatile target. Our preferred GPP target is Jose Berrios (MIN) who comes with a cheap price tag and gets to face a predominantly RH heavy Diamondbacks lineup that also strikes out frequently (sixth most against RHP). Zack Greinke (ARI), a secondary stud target on this slate who is priced ahead of Strasburg, is also a fine GPP target. Finally, Julio Teheran (ATL) and Chad Bettis (COL) are secondary tournament targets due to affordable price tags and recent strong performance. On FanDuel, McHugh’s cheap tag makes him the best tournament target on the slate.
Robinson Chirinos (TEX) headlines the catcher position with the top projection, and we have him projected to hit ninth. The catcher position is awful in this slate. Chirinos with the platoon edge in Texas is certainly in play in cash games on a site like FD where he’s $2,700, but feels like you’re overpaying for him on DK at $3,700 given the awful lineup spot.
Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) is stone cold minimum on FD and $2,700 on DK and he draws another friendly matchup (Vance Worley). Kevan Smith (CWS) is sub $3,000 on DK with the platoon edge in Texas. These two represent our favorite cheap routes at the position.
Jonathan Lucroy (COL) and Tyler Flowers (ATL) are fine in tournaments but they’re too expensive to consider in cash games.
Eric Thames (MIL) and Freddie Freeman (ATL) are the top projected scorers at first base once again. Like last night, both will have the platoon edge in excellent hitting environments, and in Thames’ case, he’s either hitting leadoff or second in Coors Field. Freeman is without a doubt the better hitter, but Thames’ power upside in the best hitting environment in all of baseball makes him a strong play as well.
Joey Votto (CIN) is fully priced but gets a beautiful context (Teheran in SunTrust Park). He’s a great GPP target. Mark Reynolds (COL) once again is interesting in GPPs with a decent price tag around the industry. Rhys Hoskins (PHI) is simply too cheap on both sites and on DK he has 1b eligibility. Hoskins will have the platoon edge against Ty Blach (11.4% K rate) albeit in a terrible hitting environment. We prefer Hoskins in tournaments but the cheap price tags keep him in the cash game conversation. Jose Abreu (CWS) will have the platoon edge in Texas vs. Martin Perez. What Perez used to do well was generate ground balls – this season his GB rate has come down to 45.6% and he’s never shown an ability to miss bats. Hanley Ramirez (BOS) gets CC Sabathia in Fenway Park – there are plenty of ways to be different in tournaments at the position tonight.
Jonathan Villar (MIL) failed to crack the lineup for the Brewers last night, and he’s missed two games in a row. He’s not dealing with an injury but rather Neil Walker will likely eat into his playing time. IF he’s in the lineup and hitting leadoff he would represent the top projected scorer at second base and he has a nice price tag on DK ($4,400). Jose Altuve (HOU) carries the top projection at the position on FD where Villar isn’t 2B eligible. Altuve is pricey but he’s playable in tournaments.
Even if Villar was in the lineup and hitting leadoff, we’re trying to save funds at second base in this slate. Tyler Saladino (CWS) sucks but he allows you to do this on DK ($2,800) and his context is boosting his projection (likely hitting second with the platoon edge in Texas). On FD, Scooter Gennett (CIN) and Brandon Phillips (ATL) are two sub $3,000 options that are somewhat appealing. We do prefer Gennett even though he’ll hit in an inferior lineup spot – he gets Teheran in SunTrust Park and Teheran has been awful vs. LHBs (.357 wOBA, .209 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015).
The conversation is a bit more difficult on FD since DJ LeMahieu (COL) and Eduardo Nunez (BOS) carry decent mid-tier price tags in the $3,500 range. Ideally we’d prefer them in their contexts, but those price tags are a nuisance to fit on FD if you want to make bigger spends elsewhere.
Nolan Arenado (COL) is the top projected scorer at third base and second overall regardless of position. We prefer him in tournaments tonight as teammate Charlie Blackmon with the platoon edge is usually the priority in cash games. Freddie Freeman (ATL) with 3B eligibility on DK is the better value play. Freeman is $800 and he’ll have the platoon edge at home vs. Robert Stephenson. So far through 17 appearances this season, Stephenson has gotten tagged with a 25% hard minus soft hit rate (that’s ~2.5x higher than league average – and last season wasn’t much different).
Adrian Beltre (TEX) and Travis Shaw (MIL) are expensive but they’re in the tournament conversation tonight as they’re in the best hitting environments.
Tyler Saladino (CWS) is $2,100 on FD with 3B eligibility. He’s not a good hitter, but he opens up the ability of getting Sale + multiple big bats elsewhere. He’s viable in cash games. If he’s not in the lineup, Pablo Sandoval (SF) is an easy pivot at a similar price on that site. Anthony Rendon (WSH) is the splits the difference play there with a $3,300 price tag vs. Travis Wood. He’s a much better hitter than Saladino and Sandoval with a depressed price tag.
Elvis Andrus (TEX) is the top projected scorer at the shortstop position. The White Sox are once again throwing a gas can out there – this time it’ll be Derek Holland in the Texas heat. We like Andrus and his resurgent event upside but he’s a better fit on FD where the price tag seems fair ($3,800 vs. $5,200 on DK).
If you’re not going the Andrus route, it’s pretty clear to us that the next best route is simply to punt. Tyler Saladino (CWS) has SS eligibility on DK and Brandon Crawford (SF) once again projects decently vs. a RHP that struggles with lefty bats.
Trevor Story (COL) is always playable in tournaments given his power upside but when the price tag starts to become more appropriate we bow out in cash games and that’s the case tonight. If we get Jonathan Villar (MIL) out of the leadoff spot in Coors Field, he enters the cash game conversation on FD where he’s $200 cheaper than Andrus.
Charlie Blackmon (COL) in Coors Field with the platoon edge. He’s clearly the top projected scorer in the slate regardless of position and remains a reachable play on DK despite the hefty price tag. Brandon Woodruff has done a pretty decent job at generating soft contact and we’re expecting his K rate to be a little bit better than it currently is, but the Rockies have another big IRT at home (near seven runs). Blackmon’s teammate, Carlos Gonzalez (COL), remains a viable cash game target on DK where his price tag is reachable.
Eric Thames (MIL) has OF eligibility on DK and he’s the top point per dollar target with a chance of a projection boost if he hits leadoff. Delino DeShields (TEX) is priced more appropriately on DK ($4,400) where he’s still a top three OF value, but he’s $2,900 on FD and he’s criminally underpriced on that site. He’s leading off for a Rangers offense that has a slate high IRT of 7.1 runs. Josh Reddick (HOU), Billy Hamilton (CIN) and Christian Yelich (NYM) are other values hovering around $4,000 on DK that have good matchups. Rhys Hoskins (PHI) is $2,600 on FD with the platon edge. Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) has a L/L matchup but if he’s in there hitting second once again the $3,200 price tag on FD puts him in play. That’s what an IRT over seven runs will do.
Mookie Betts (BOS) has a very strong price tag on DK ($4,600) and he’ll have the platoon edge in Fenway Park. The price tag alone makes him relevant across all formats. It’s going to be hot and humid in Baltimore once again. We know Kevin Gausman has pitched well lately, but Mike Trout (LAA) is the best hitter in baseball and gets a massive park shift. We like Trout in tournaments.
1) Colorado Rockies
2) Texas Rangers
3) Milwaukee Brewers
This is one of the biggest disparities we’ve seen between tiers one and two all season long. On DraftKings, it will be difficult to stack any of these teams with top tier offenses without finding a few punts to latch onto, but given the disparity between these top three offenses and all the rest we recommend trying to find ways to get exposure in tournaments. The Rockies are ahead by a decent margin over the other two teams in this tier. On FanDuel, the Rangers are affordable and should represent the chalk.
4) Atlanta Braves
5) Miami Marlins
6) Cincinnati Reds
7) Arizona Diamondbacks
8) Houston Astros
Of the second tier options, the Braves are the most affordable stack on FanDuel, while the Marlins challenge them on DraftKings. The Marlins are particularly intriguing given the warm temperatures in Citi Field and a depleted Mets bullpen.