Welcome to August 20 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 20 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 20 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:54 Starting Pitcher
10:45 First Base
12:46 Second Base
16:28 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 20 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Two strikeout heavy SPs top Sunday’s main slate – Jacob deGrom (NYM) and Danny Salazar (CLE). deGrom edges Salazar in our overall projections, mostly due to a better overall context that leaves him at home in the NL as a slightly heavier favorite with an IRTA half a run lower than Salazar’s. deGrom’s huge 28.4 K% on the season is the rock of his DFS value, but as we’ve noted before – that K rate carries a lot of game to game volatility, which in theory makes him more appealing for tournaments. Salazar has been lights out since returning from injury, something Mike Podhorzer of FanGraphs delved into in this piece: http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/danny-salazar-is-back/. The cliff notes version – Salazar’s velocity is stronger since returning, and he’s generating ridiculously high SwStr percentages on most of his pitches. Salazar has now posted K rates of 30.8 percent or better in five starts since returning from the DL – a mean of 38%. In other words, there’s even more room to grow in the baselines we’ve assigned him. As a result, our personal preference for building is around a cheaper Salazar, but as noted above, deGrom finds himself in a safer context. Along those lines – keep in mind that Salazar will be pitching in nearly 100 degree heat with the wind blowing out to LC.
The best mid-tier value on the slate is Kyle Hendricks (CHC). He’s a secondary alternative to deGrom/Salazar on FD if you want to load up on bats, and a top value choice for one of your SP slots on DK. Hendricks’ velocity dip this year has been annoying, especially since he’s not making up for it in other departments – the GB rate is the same but the K rate, Hard%, and BB rate are all worse. Despite all the negativity around Hendricks’ peripherals, he’s still an average pitcher who finds himself in an excellent context. He’s actually a larger favorite (-195) with a lower IRTA (3.4) than either of deGrom or Salazar.
Hendricks is more of a floor player. If you’re looking for K upside in the mid-tier, you want to shift your eyes to Brad Peacock (HOU). Peacock definitely comes with some volatility as he’s wild and is liable for some short outings. However, he’s struck out 30.9% of batters faced this season and has only gradually dropped off as the season has worn on. Peacock is a large -205 favorite.
A couple of interesting options for tournaments are Justin Verlander (DET) and Luis Castillo (CIN). As an underdog with a high IRTA (5.2), Verlander will likely carry very low ownership as a second SP on DK. It’s important to note his K rate has been on the rise throughout the season, and he’s had three games with a 32-plus K% over his last six starts. Castillo is very risky, but the young fireballer pumps an average fastball at 97.5 mph leading to a 12.0 SwStr%.
Blake Snell (TB) always sucks us in as a cheap GPP flier, although he hasn’t generated the type of K upside we hoped to see. His cap relief as a second SP on DK could be beneficial since their main slate includes the high scoring offensive environments of Texas and Colorado.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) pops as the top per dollar play on both sites, with encouraging batted ball data and the positive platoon split, getting him from the left side of the plate. The matchup with Justin Verlander isn’t overly enticing, but he’s extremely fly ball oriented and the Dodgers are getting a positive park shift. The addition of Curtis Granderson bumped Grandal to sixth, which hurts his stock a bit, but he’s fairly priced on both sites.
After Grandal, the position breaks up a bit depending on your site of choice. Alex Avila (CHC) is $100 cheaper on FanDuel, and he’ll also get the platoon edge on a fly ball oriented arm in Marco Estrada. After struggling for a while, Avila too has posted good batted ball data (31.6% Hard% over L15) in recent weeks. On DraftKings, Jonathan Lucroy (COL), Manny Pina (MIL), or Robinson Chirinos (TEX) are all priced around the same tier and get you access to the best two park environments on the slate, unfortunately those are unavailable on FanDuel. Where the price is similar, we’d suggest siding with their context, particularly if they come away with good lineup spots. Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the belle of the ball, but he’ll also cost you a bit more than the other options at the position. Given the lack of depth, we’d prefer to make price a deciding factor and use Sanchez in tournaments.
Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) are the top two spends at first base on Sunday. Freeman will get the electric, yet power prone arm of young right-hander Luis Castillo. We’re not eager to pick on Castillo in bulk quantity, but Freeman’s season and recent performance (38.9% Hard%) warrant rostering against anyone. Goldy is perhaps better suited for cash games than Freeman, drawing the tireless arm of Bartolo Colon. He’s the top projected scorer at the position, and with enough value elsewhere is a reasonable spend on either site in cash games.
Our preference would be to utilize Goldschmidt on FanDuel, but if you’re paying up at starting pitcher and need salary relief, Albert Pujols (LAA) and Chris Davis (BAL) fit the bill. Pujols will be getting a massive park upgrade and the platoon edge against Wade Miley. Though he’s aged, he’s still posted a .198 ISO against LHP since 2015. Davis on the other hand has seen a sharp lineup spot demotion, but has posted a positive delta in recent batted ball data. His struggles are with the strikeout, but opposing arm Parker Bridwell is posting just a 15.2% K% this season.
The matchups weren’t touched on much in the catcher section, but the games in Denver and Arlington are going to be our top targets on DraftKings. With implied run totals for the Brewers, Rangers, and Rockies all sitting at six or above, Mark Reynolds (COL), Jesus Aguilar (MIL), Joey Gallo (TEX), and Eric Thames (MIL) will all creep into the picture on DraftKings. Aguilar will get the platoon edge on left-hander Kyle Freeland, and comes at the cheapest cost as well.
Jonathan Schoop (BAL) is among the top per dollar values available on both sites. We previously mentioned Parker Bridwell‘s inability to record the strikeout, but he’s also fly ball prone and is now getting a big negative park shift. Schoop has taken a big step forward this season, particularly in the power department (.236 ISO) and at $4,300 on DraftKings and $3,500 on FanDuel, he’s a reasonable spend.
After Schoop, the attention turns to Yoan Moncada (CHW) and Rougned Odor (TEX) on DraftKings, where they get the pleasant matchups of A.J Griffin and Miguel Gonzalez, respectively. Griffin is an extreme fly ball arm (28% GB%) and has been burned by the long ball this season (2.45 HR/9). It’s no surprise by the game total that Miguel Gonzalez fits the same mold (5.72 xFIP, 39.2% GB%). Odor has seen a fluctuating lineup spot, but comes with considerable power upside against RHP.
Brad Miller (TB) won’t come with the same park environment, but he too holds plenty of power upside against RHP. Yovani Gallardo has thrown more than 200 innings in a row with an xFIP north of five and Miller is $2,600 on FanDuel and $2,900 on DraftKings. Jose Ramirez (CLE) holds 2B eligibility on DraftKings as well, and though he’s getting a bad park shift, the weather in Kansas City will play positively for hitters.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) holds 3B eligibility on both sites, and is very attractive at $3,200 on FanDuel. Much like Jonathan Schoop, he’s seen a sharp rise in his power production (.226 ISO this year, versus .156 ISO last) and his power plays better from the left side of the plate. Jake Lamb (ARI) is only $500 more expensive than Ramirez on FanDuel, and represents a potential spend there in his matchup with Bartolo Colon. Evan Longoria (TB) remains the cheap option on both sites at $2,700 on FanDuel and $3,400 on DraftKings. Diminishing power numbers and woeful batted ball data aside, he gets a bad arm in Yovani Gallardo and a premier lineup spot.
On DraftKings, Joey Gallo (TEX) has monstrous home run upside and excellent batted ball data in the last fifteen days. Nolan Arenado (COL) will get the reverse splits tendencies of Chase Anderson in Coors Field, and though left on left, Travis Shaw (MIL) represents a potential low owned GPP play. Any of their services, along with Adrian Beltre (TEX) get you exposure to the best offensive environments on the slate.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) and Tim Beckham (BAL) fit the middle range shortstop game on a slate where you might not need to utilize the potential punts at shortstop. Lindor, much like some of his Indian counterparts, has swung the bat a bit more powerfully this season (.193 ISO). He’s $4,300 on DraftKings, a reasonable spend but might be a bit too expensive on FanDuel at $3,700. Beckham has done a 180 since being acquired by the Orioles and shifting to the top of the order. A 5.5 implied run total and a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days make him a reasonable spend at $3,400 on FanDuel. The Astros have an implied run total closing in on six runs against Jharel Cotton, and Marwin Gonzalez (HOU) is only $3,000 on FanDuel. The slight discount over the aforementioned duo might go a long way, and considering Cotton’s struggles (5.51 xFIP, 1.76 HR/9), you’re not losing much in the way of potential upside.
Even with Coors on the table, Mike Trout (LAA) is the top projected scoring hitter on the slate. Trout and the Angels are getting a huge park shift in their favor, and the matchup with Wade Miley provides the already intimidating Trout with the platoon advantage. You’ll need to find value in a variety of spots to make him fit, but he’s our preferred outfield spend if making one.
Of course right behind him, Charlie Blackmon (COL), and the rest of the Coors Field crew comes into play as Ryan Braun (MIL) and Domingo Santana (MIL) will also draw the platoon edge in Coors. Furthermore, on DraftKings you’ll have the ability to roster Shin Soo Choo (TEX) and Delino DeShields (TEX) as top of the order bats for $4,100 and $3,800 respectively. With all those options and more available to you for cheap on DraftKings, there is little reason to look elsewhere on the site. AJ Pollock (ARI) and Josh Reddick (HOU) are priced in the mid-tier on both sites and get you access to top matchups and explosive lineups in facing Bartolo Colon and Jharel Cotton, respectively.
Cameron Maybin (LAA) has missed a few games in a row, but should he be back in the lineup he’s just $2,200 on FanDuel and would lead off against Wade Miley, opening the floodgates offensively. Corey Dickerson (TB) has seen a small tick back in the right direction as far as batted ball data, and should lead off against the aforementioned troubles of Yovani Gallardo. He’s $2,900 on FD and $3,700 on DraftKings. Kyle Schwarber (CHC) has found himself in the second spot of the order a few times this week. Though he is now a pinch hit risk, his power will play at $4,100 on DK against the fly ball oriented Marco Estrada.
1) Colorado Rockies
2) Milwaukee Brewers
3) Texas Rangers
If you’re playing on DK, the game is changed quite a bit as the entire top two tiers are dominated by teams in the late two games only available on DK. And there’s a huge gap following these three teams. It might be a good slate to mix and match among these three teams in tournaments rather than force yourself on a single stack. All have a similar cost and IRTs.
4) Baltimore Orioles
5) Houston Astros
Whenever our top stack on a slate (for FD this is where the stack tiers start) isn’t going to be mega chalk, we’re firing in tournaments. With Houston holding a higher IRT than Baltimore and the Diamondbacks and Dodgers on their heels, we’re not expecting them to be too chalky. While certainly not low owned, the upside is massive against Parker Bridwell who has been one of the luckiest SPs in all of baseball. His ERA is two runs lower than his xFIP, and that can’t be explained away by good batted ball data as his Hard-Soft% on FanGraphs is more than double that of the typical SP.
6) Arizona Diamondbacks
7) Los Angeles Dodgers
8) Cincinnati Reds
9) Chicago Cubs
10) Cleveland Indians
Cleveland is a nice contrarian stack. They’re a road team (guaranteed nine innings) in an underrated offensive environment due to the heat and wind. Jason Hammel struggles with hard hit aerial contact.
The Rays are a very affordable stack that didn’t quite crack out rankings. Yovani Gallardo is terrible – 1.54 HR/9 en route to a 5.84 ERA and expected ERAs north of 5.