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August 23 MLB DFS: Tommy Boy
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Welcome to August 23 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 23 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 23 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:53 Starting Pitcher
11:43 Catcher
15:03 First Base
17:59 Second Base
20:31 Third Base
22:48 Shortstop
25:20 Outfield
29:18 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 23 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

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

Corey Kluber (CLE) tops the projections thanks to an exceptional skill advantage over the field, but a tough matchup with Boston at least opens the door for a potential fade. The Red Sox rank just 22nd in wRC+ against RHP but pose a problem for DFS-ers with the third lowest K Rate against RHP of any team. The primary alternative to Kluber is Luis Severino (NYY) who faces a Tigers’ offense that ranks 19th in wRC+ against RHP with a slightly above league average 22 percent K Rate against RHP. Severino has been exceptional away from the small ballpark in Yankee Stadium (2.40 ERA, 2.94 xFIP) as his biggest problem (homers) is substantially reduced. Our projections still view Kluber as the stronger target by a decent margin but the pricing gap on FanDuel makes it a legitimate conversation.

The next-in-line option after the top two starters is Zack Godley (ARI) who gets a big park upgrade and will face a watered down Mets’ lineup. The only knock on Godley is the price tag has caught up a bit to his performance this season and he doesn’t quite have the same high-end upside of Kluber and Severino. Once again, Godley gets a bit lost in the cash game conversation but is a viable pivot for salary relief off the top tier.

Finding a salary relief pairing for the expensive starters on DraftKings isn’t particularly hard. We have two fairly strong under-priced assets in favorable matchups with Luke Weaver (STL) and Andrew Heaney (LAA). Heaney is the cheaper of the bunch but comes with a few more question marks as he’s missed most of the season recovering from Tommy John Surgery. The rehab starts were good and the velocity has been fine but he is homer prone and the matchup is a little scarier than Luke Weaver getting the Padres. Weaver’s price tag requires a bit more but we also see higher upside with Weaver’s impressive K Rates (26.1 percent in limited big league experience, 24.9 percent in AAA this year). Our preference is for pairing Kluber with Weaver and maximizing strikeout upside for an affordable cost.

In tournaments, the list lengthens to include Jhoulys Chacin (SD) if the Cardinals end up extremely right-handed, Ian Kennedy (KC) who has flashed strikeout upside and gets the Rockies away from Coors in moderate temperatures in Kansas City, Mike Fiers (HOU) against a watered down Nats lineup, and Chris Flexen (NYM) against a strikeout prone Diamondbacks lineup.

Catcher

If Corey Kluber is in your plans, you’ll likely wish to find some savings at catcher. Luckily, Alex Avila (CHC) provides us salary relief, plus a great matchup and overall offensive environment. Avila has cemented himself in the sixth spot of the Cubs order, and will get a nice park upgrade moving to Great American Ball Park. For $2,800 on FanDuel and $3,700 on DraftKings, he is not “cheap” but he still grades as our top per dollar play on both sites. Avila is quickly followed by Mitch Garver (MIN), Jason Castro (MIN), and Gary Sanchez (NYY). The Twins backstops will get a nice overall park upgrade moving to Guaranteed Rate Field and will get James Shields. There is not much left to say about Shields, who continues to get mauled by the long ball. They come at a cheaper cost, and might better allow you to spend up at other positions while not skimping on overall context. Sanchez is the top projected raw scorer a the position, and is more of an option on FanDuel. Jordan Zimmermann has broken in a similar mold to Shields, and Sanchez has the most upside at the position.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) leads the way in raw projection and per dollar value at first base on Wednesday. The matchup with Asher Wojciechowski pits a fly ball oriented arm who has struggled with hard contact and the long ball against the .244 ISO of Rizzo, who is also drawing a significant park upgrade. This is David meeting Goliath, but David has no chance.

After some lineup fluidity, Tommy Joseph (PHI) has started in the fifth spot of the order the last two nights. In a matchup with left-hander Justin Nicolino, we’d expect him to stay there. Though Joseph is not frequently a DFS target, he grades out well tonight given his cheap salary ($2,500 on DK, $2,100 on FD) and his prowess against LHP (.255 ISO since 2015). Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) fit into the same cost tier as Rizzo, and come with slightly less enticing matchups or environments, but make for perfect GPP pivots alongside the likely popular Rizzo.

Joe Mauer (MIN) has posted a strong positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and the Twins have the highest implied run total on the slate (5.8) against James Shields. He is not sexy due to a lack of upside in the power department (.103 ISO), but if he were to ever homer, it would be in a park that is better for LHB power and in a matchup with homer prone James Shields. At his price, he makes for a fine cash game alternative. Matt Carpenter (STL), Kendrys Morales (TOR), and Rhys Hoskins (PHI) help fill out the rest of the top ten values at the position.

Second Base

Brian Dozier (MIN) would be our favorite spend at the second base position, but fitting him in might prove difficult with Corey Kluber on the slate. Dozier becomes the road leadoff hitter in a matchup with James Shields. Enough said.

The other dugout will house young stud Yoan Moncada (CHW). In each of his last four starts, Moncada has hit in the second spot of the lineup and assuming he’s back there again, he’ll be a great per dollar value at $3,200 on DK and $2,800 on FanDuel. Ervin Santana has been a difficult arm to pick on (career high strand rate, extremely low BABIP) but Moncada’s price tag and context make him a valuable option nonetheless. Daniel Murphy (WSH), Robinson Cano (SEA), and Jose Altuve (HOU) all follow just after Dozier and Moncada, but they are all caught in some pricing limbo. If spending up, we’d prefer to utilize Dozier’s fantastic matchup for cash games, and while Murphy and Cano are cheaper, they don’t offer quite the same value as Moncada.

Ian Happ (CHC) has struggled with the swing and miss, one of the bright spots in Asher Wojciechowski’s game, but he still brings a ton of upside to the plate in terms of power and speed. He’s a way to get exposure to the Cubs at a depressed ownership. Jonathan Schoop (BAL) could fly under the radar as well, but will draw the platoon edge on fly ball oriented Sean Manaea.

Third Base

Rizzo’s teammate, Kris Bryant (CHC) is the top dog at 3B. You’ll need to decide where you can make your spends, and though we prefer using Rizzo, there is less depth overall at 3B on this slate. Bryant has warned of his pinky injury stealing from him a bit at the plate, but he’s still posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days. Update: Kris Bryant was ruled out for Wednesday’s game.  Some differing site eligibilities will play a role in your other options at 3B. Freddie Freeman (ATL) has 3B eligibility on DK. Jose Ramirez (CLE) is eligible on both sites, but is particularly valuable on FanDuel at $2,900. The matchup with Drew Pomeranz isn’t drool worthy, but Ramirez has still been serviceable from the right side (.334 wOBA, .157 ISO against LHP since 2015). For $2,900, we’re more concerned with attacking a plus environment and lineup spot, which Ramirez provides. Eduardo Escobar (MIN) holds 3B eligibility on DraftKings, though we’re more inclined to use his dual positional eligibility at shortstop. Escobar has moved forward once again in the power department (.151 ISO) after a season at an ISO of just .102 last year. Maikel Franco (PHI) is only $3,000 on DraftKings and will get the platoon edge on Justin Nicolino. He’s posted a .215 ISO against LHP since 2015.

The aforementioned group makes up the bulk of the cash game conversation, but there are lots of options to consider for tournaments. Nolan Arenado (COL), Manny Machado (BAL), and Jake Lamb (ARI) are just a few names that litter our ranks.

Shortstop

Eduardo Escobar (MIN) holds SS eligibility on both sites and is one of our preferred cash game options at the position. He’s the top guy on FanDuel at just $2,800, but on DraftKings his $4,000 is a bit less valuable overall. Marcus Semien (OAK) is still taking advantage of a big park shift in his favor playing at Oriole Park in Camden Yards. He brings you a $500 discount, and even more power upside against Dylan Bundy, who has struggled allowing power and has a declining GB%. Tim Beckham (BAL) is tough to rationalize on DraftKings, but is still a middle of the pack spend on FanDuel should you be going the route of Lucas Weaver, or a cheaper starting pitcher. Jean Segura (SEA) is now a road leadoff hitter taking advantage of a park upgrade. At $4,100 on DraftKings and $3,200 on FanDuel, he’s a perfect alternative for just a bit more than Eduardo Escobar. The context isn’t quite as appealing overall, but he comes with more event upside. Didi Gregorius (NYY) is priced in a similar tier and despite unappealing batted ball data in recent weeks, he’ll come with the platoon edge (.171 ISO vs. RHP since 2015) on the deteriorating Jordan Zimmermann.

Outfield

Max Kepler (MIN), Kyle Schwarber (CHC), and Aaron Judge (NYY) are the top three per dollar outfielders on both sites. Kepler has missed two straight games due to a sickness, but should he be in the lineup against Shields, we expect him to return to the second spot in the order. At $3,300 on FanDuel and $3,800 on DraftKings, he’s one of our favorite OF plays.

Schwarber has moved himself back into the second spot of the lineup against RHP, and will get the fly ball oriented Wojciechowski. His struggles are with putting the ball in play, which Wojciechowski has a chance to exploit, but we love Schwarber’s upside and the overall context. Judge has seen his price drop thanks to struggles in the second half. Luckily, Zimmermann is not someone we’re afraid to use him against given a shrunken strikeout rate and ground ball rate.

Both Josh Reddick (HOU) and George Springer (HOU) rate as great per dollar plays in their matchup against Edwin Jackson. Jackson has outperformed a bit this season, but we still believe the Astros will be popular (5.4 implied run total) and Reddick and Springer are easy ways to get exposure to them, especially on FanDuel. Jose Bautista (TOR) is stupid cheap on DraftKings, having fallen to $3,100. He’s started in the cleanup spot in each of the last two games, and he’s getting a negative park shift, but the price is simply too cheap for the caliber hitter. Khris Davis (OAK) is cheaper on DraftKings ($4,000)  than he is on FanDuel ($4,200) making him an exceptional value there. Dylan Bundy has allowed a .172 ISO to RHB since 2015, and Davis is getting a big park shift. Jon Jay (CHC) is a potentially very cheap way to get exposure to the Cubs offense should he find himself in the leadoff spot. He doesn’t bring much upside to the plate, but he’s a way to get access to a great overall environment and a road leadoff hitter for cheap. Since his return, Aaron Hicks (NYY) has found himself in the second spot of the order, and he’s only $3,700 on DraftKings, another excellent per dollar play against Jordan Zimmermann.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

The Cubs once again rank at the top of the stack rankings with another matchup against a bad homer-prone RHP in Cincinnati. The Reds bullpen is worn out but with reasonable price tags on key hitters, the Cubs figure to be popular again – even on a slate with Kluber.

Tier Two

2) Minnesota Twins

3) Miami Marlins

4) New York Yankees

5) Houston Astros

6) Seattle Mariners

7) Arizona Diamondbacks

 

The Twins are a substantially weakened offense with the loss of Miguel Sano but a matchup with James Shields and the White Sox bullpen will float almost everyone to the top. We expect the Twins will carry some ownership but most of their middle of the order bats are at premium positions (1B and OF) that will keep ownership in check. The Marlins went on a power barrage in the double-header on Tuesday and get another plus matchup with the Phillies pen worn down. Stanton’s expensive price tag makes the Marlins a bit tougher to stack on this slate but there is some sneaky depth if Dietrich hits sixth. The Yankees rate well once again versus a soft Tigers’ bullpen and a below average starter in Zimmermann.

Contrarian Target:

The Phillies have some cheap options that profile well against LHP (Hoskins, Franco, Joseph, Rupp) as part of a mini-stack or a full stack. They also fit the slate pretty well with Kluber and Severino as expensive options up top.