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August 28 MLB DFS: Rollin’ with Nolan
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Welcome to August 28 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 28 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 28 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:31 Starting Pitcher
09:15 Catcher
11:35 First Base
15:13 Second Base
17:13 Third Base
21:07 Shortstop
23:43 Outfield
29:56 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 28 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

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

Monday’s slate features to elite options in the form of Max Scherzer (WAS) and Corey Kluber (CLE). Our model prefers Scherzer, which makes sense given a much easier matchup against the Marlins at home in comparison to Kluber facing the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. This is reflected in the odds: Scherzer (-210, 3.3 IRTA), Kluber (-102, 3.8). If paying up on FD (more on that in a bit), we’d go with Scherzer for just a few hundred bucks more.

One consideration, however, is that Scherzer is coming off the DL with a lingering neck issue. Meanwhile, Kluber keeps dominating, even against tough competition, coming off a 12 strikeout performance against Boston. These considerations might be enough to push you towards Kluber as your SP1 on DK and save the $1,000 on a slate where pricing is surprisingly tough and you’ll want Coors exposure.

To get that Coors exposure with an elite SP, you’re going to have to stomach some risk and go cheap with your second SP. The guy we’re looking at is, gulp, Andrew Heaney (LAA). Heaney has given up 7 HRs over two starts. That’s not a typo. We really meant HRs and not ERs. So this is definitely uncomfortable. However, he’s a surprisingly hefty -170 favorite with a tame 4.2 IRTA. In his spacious home park, hopefully, Heaney’s astronomical HR/FB% normalizes a bit. It’s a limited sample but the plate discipline data is actually strong, featuring a high SwStr% and high chase rate. Of course, the terrible Zone% is an indication of poor command, which could lead to some walks that haven’t been there and also explain the HR problem (mistake pitches). Oakland is 21st in wRC+ against LHP with a high 23.8 K% in that split.

The other cheap options cost more and seemingly carry just as much risk: Lucas Sims (ATL) (simply tolerable because Philadelphia is bad) and Ian Kennedy (KC) (some strikeout appeal against the Rays, although K rate has taken a step back).

We’ve bypassed the mid-tier because Jeff Samardzija (SF) deserves his own area of focus. He’s the best mid-tier value on both sites. There are absolutely concerns with Samardzija, most notably a severely declining K rate that’s backed up by reduced SwStr rates in recent games. The good news is the velocity is still there. The better news is he plays the San Diego Padres, meaning a woeful opponent that inflates Ks and a prime pitching environment. Now as far as roster construction goes, Samardzija is only in play on DK if going against our advised hi-lo approach in the SP spots. On FD, the conversation is really interesting. We wouldn’t advise simply locking in Scherzer and Kluber despite their massive value rankings and raw projected totals. Pricing is tight on FD, making it tough to fit Coors with those guys, and even eschewing Coors guys it’s tough to fill out a compelling hitting roster. That’s not to say you can’t do it, but you absolutely want to toy around with Samardzija-COL stacks for cash games as well.

Catcher

Jonathan Lucroy (COL) and Salvador Perez (KC) are the top two per dollar plays on both sites on Monday’s slate. Lucroy has been anything but an impressive offensive force this season, posting just a .100 ISO and a .292 ISO overall. While he doesn’t have us foaming at the mouth on account of his offensive potential, the overall context is enticing. The Rockies have the highest implied run total on the slate, and opposing pitcher Jordan Zimmermann has exhibited a strong dip in GB%, and more than a full point increase in xFIP this season. If anything can get Lucroy going (6.1% Hard% in L15), it might be Zimmermann.

Perez is the much better offensive weapon, but the context isn’t quite the same. Yet, for cheaper prices at $2,800 on FanDuel and $3,100 on DraftKings, you can live with the matchup with Austin Pruitt who projects well, but was badly beaten by the home run in his last start. Furthermore, Perez will bring you one of the better lineup spots for starting catchers. James McCann (DET) brings you access to the other side of the Coors Field game, and for $3,100 on DraftKings, he gives you access to Coors and a similar lineup spot to Perez at the same cost. Martin Maldonado (LAA) is one of your pure punt options at the position, at $2,200 on DraftKings and $2,100 on FanDuel.

First Base

Miguel Cabrera (DET) and Mark Reynolds (COL) are the darlings at the first base position. It should be noted, Cabrera is waiting on a suspension appeal that could leave him unavailable if ruled upon. If he is available, he’s a great per dollar value at $3,500 on FanDuel and $3,800 on DraftKings. A down year for the aging slugger has been turned around a bit of late, as he’s posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days. Senzatela has been serviceable, but ZiPS projects an ERA over five the rest of the way. Reynolds needs little justification given his matchup with Jordan Zimmermann. As an added bonus though, he’s posted a .204 ISO against RHP since 2015 and the Rockies implied run total has reached 7.

A pair of cheap Tampa Bay Rays in Lucas Duda (TB) and Logan Morrison (TB) fall in line behind the Coors Field duo from a per dollar perspective. Both Duda and Morrison have shown strong numbers against RHP since 2015 (.240 and .214 ISOs, respectively) and will now get fly ball oriented Ian Kennedy. Kennedy has struggled with the long ball in the past, but has been bitten worse than ever before this season (1.84 HR/9). Yonder Alonso (SEA) will likewise get a power prone arm in Chris Tillman, he’s $3,400 on DraftKings. Freddie Freeman (ATL) is likely just a tournament spend on FanDuel at $4,100, but on DraftKings is very reasonably priced at $4,500. The Braves sport just a 3.8 implied run total, but Aaron Nola‘s struggles with LHB are well documented and Freeman will be able to take advantage of a good park for offense in Philadelphia.

Second Base

Robinson Cano (SEA), D.J. LeMahieu (COL), and Ian Kinsler (DET) are the top trio at the second base position on Monday. LeMahieu and Kinsler’s matchups are already well documented, and they represent the best overall context on the slate. With less than restrictive price tags, it’s likely you’ll wind up using one or the other in cash games. Cano represents a fine alternative in his matchup with Chris Tillman. Tillman’s struggles with the home run ball have continued (2.04 HR/9), and Cano is now picking up a massive park shift in his favor, particularly for left-handed power. He fits into the same pricing tier as DJ and Kinsler, and is a perfectly suitable alternative for cash games or GPPs.

Daniel Murphy (WSH) is just $3,000 on FanDuel. He’s one of the lone options in the Nationals order now, and Jose Urena has struggled with power to LHB (.186 ISO allowed since 2015). He provides a sharp discount over the aforementioned trio on FanDuel, and is a fine drop down play. Jonathan Schoop (BAL) shouldn’t be left out of the conversation, especially at $4,600 on DraftKings. The O’s have an implied run total that rivals that of the Tigers, and Schoop will get the platoon edge on Marco Gonzales, an arm that has allowed seven home runs in just over 20 innings this season.

Third Base

Nolan Arenado (COL) is the most expensive third baseman on the slate, but is still the top per dollar play as well. He laps the position by almost two points in raw projection and is one of our preferred spends on the slate. It’s not just the matchup, but Arenado has been excellent of late, posting a 36.6% Hard% over the last fifteen days.

Manny Machado (BAL) brings a ton of upside to the table as well, and provides an $800 discount on FanDuel. If you felt compelled to spend on a top player at the position, but couldn’t get to Arenado, he would be an ok consolation prize.

Freddie Freeman (ATL) draws 3B eligibility on DraftKings and is the second best per dollar play on that site. Evan Longoria (TB) will also be able to take advantage of Ian Kennedy‘s struggles with the home run ball, and he comes at a much cheaper cost than those we’ve already mentioned. Nicholas Castellanos (DET) will be on the other side of the Coors Field game and is a reasonably priced alternative for tournaments, where he will likely draw miniscule ownership due to the depth of the position. Josh Donaldson (TOR) is always a threat with the platoon advantage (.408 wOBA, .290 ISO against LHP since 2015) and will get it against Drew Pomeranz.

Shortstop

Trevor Story (COL) has plenty of competition at a typically weakened position on Monday. Story will get Jordan Zimmermann, but a less than ideal lineup spot. Still though, his struggles are to make contact and Zimmermann’s 14.6% K% is not frightening. Jean Segura (SEA) is reasonably priced on both sites, and is the top per dollar play on FanDuel at $3,000. Chris Tillman‘s struggles have been noted, and Segura has posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days, plus he’s now a road leadoff hitter in an excellent offensive park.

Marcus Semien (OAK) will get the platoon edge on Andrew Heaney who has allowed seven home runs in 10 innings of play. The park is not great, but Semien provides one of the best natural power upsides at the position and is walking into a home run derby arm. We shouldn’t forget about Tim Beckham (BAL) who will lead off for the Orioles against Marco Gonzales. Beckham has been productive with the platoon edge, posting a .186 ISO against LHP since 2015. He’s the most expensive of the group, so we like him more for tournaments.

Outfield

Another day in Coors, another day with Charlie Blackmon (COL) at the top of the outfield rankings. There is nothing left to say about the matchup. We want to find a way to fit him into our cash game builds. It doesn’t take much for Carlos Gonzalez (COL) to post a positive delta in Hard%, but alas he has posted one! He’s $3,700 on DraftKings and $3,100 on FanDuel, one of the cheapest ways to get exposure to the Rockies.

The Rockies likely take up two of your outfield spots for cash games, but there are plenty of other options to consider. Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is cheap on both sites, and will get the platoon edge on Mike Montgomery. It’s not a matchup we’re overly excited to attack, especially with a good Cubs pen behind Montgomery, but Cutch is a reasonable fit. Gerardo Parra (COL) and Justin Upton (DET) are two more ways to attack the Coors outfields for reasonable costs. With high expected ownerships on Blackmon and Gonzalez, they should provide some lower owned options with the same context

Nelson Cruz (SEA) is taking advantage of a big park shift and has excellent batted ball data recently (35.7% Hard% in L15). He’s a tough spend for cash games, but presents a ton of upside given Chris Tillman‘s struggles with the home run ball (more than 2HR/9 allowed). Cameron Maybin (LAA) is a cheap leadoff hitter with stolen base upside, Khris Davis (OAK) gets a homer prone lefty (.225 ISO posted vs. LHP since 2015), and Adam Jones (BAL) will also draw the platoon edge on Marco Gonzales. Mike Trout (LAA) is in a fantastic spot with Daniel Gossett, and is an excellent tournament play as a pivot away from expected high ownerships on Coors Field bats. Rhys Hoskins (PHI) price has caught up to his production quickly, so he doesn’t rate as an exceptional per dollar play, but the dude won’t stop hitting homers. Lucas Sims is fly ball prone and doesn’t miss bats, another check mark for Hoskins. Sean Rodriguez (PIT) has OF eligibility on each site, and is a nice per dollar play. He’s been very solid against LHP, posting a .201 ISO against them since 2015. He also beat up a water cooler.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

The gap between the Rockies and everyone else is one of the largest we’ve ever had on a slate. They are priority one in cash games, which makes FD cash game construction difficult. In GPPs, the fade or play question is always tough in Coors. We don’t suggest a full fade – maybe try to get the lower owned parts of the stack, mini-stack them, or pair with low owned on-off/secondary stacks to try and be unique without foregoing the massive upside the Rockies offer.

Tier Two

2) Detroit Tigers

Tier Three

3) Seattle Mariners

4) Baltimore Orioles

Seattle is an excellent tournament stack as the top non-Coors stack generally is in GPPs. Chris Tillman has been an utter disaster all year long, and in his return to the rotation last start he walked six batters and gave up as many homers (2) as batters he struck out.

Tier Four

5) Chicago Cubs

6) Los Angeles Angels

7) Tampa Bay Rays

8) Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies aren’t a team that popped much in the positional analysis, but Lucas Sims is the type of pitcher we like to attack with stacks – he allows a ton of balls in play and hard hit aerial contact.

Additional Tournament Stack

-Oakland Athletics: As mentioned in the SP section, Andrew Heaney has yielded 7 HRs in two games. This is an Oakland team that has power. While the baselines and pitcher’s park hold some of those Oakland bats in check, it’s worth taking a chance on the power upside in case the elevated Heaney HR/FB rate is more than just bad luck.

 

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