Welcome to August 29 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for August 29 MLB DFS along with LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using the 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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00:41 Starting Pitcher
- 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.
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August 29 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Freddy Peralta (MIL) and Sean Newcomb (ATL) project as near equivalents on a slate starved for pitching. Peralta faces a Reds’ offense that projects as a friendlier matchup in the absence of Joey Votto but gets the matchup in a difficult park environment in Cincinnati. Newcomb gets a home matchup with the Rays who lose the DH and project as extremely vulnerable to strikeouts against LHP. Peralta projects for more strikeouts but Newcomb generally works deeper into games and comes with a lower implied total against (3.9 vs. 4.1). The price tags on DraftKings are fair, but on FanDuel both starters are quite affordable. In both cases, Newcomb is the cheaper option and with a plus umpire our projections have him as the better target.
Zack Godley (ARI) and CC Sabathia (NYY) project slightly behind the two above. Godley gets a nice park upgrade in San Francisco where the cooler conditions make it a substantially better pitchers park in the summer compared to the rest of the league. The challenge with the Giants is they don’t strikeout much but Godley has the second lowest implied total on the slate and comes at a price discount to Newcomb-Peralta that may be helpful in order to load up on offense. Sabathia is priced similarly and has a great matchup with the White Sox strikeout friendly offense that ranks 19th in wRC+ against LHP but has lost Jose Abreu. A terrible home plate umpire is holding Sabathia’s projection in check. We prefer Godley if choosing between the two though Sabathia certainly has higher strikeout upside. On FanDuel, the price tags are less compelling which makes Sabathia a tournament viable target and Godley a less compelling option.
Miles Mikolas (STL) actually has the lowest implied total on the slate but his inability to generate strikeouts coupled with a matchup against the Pirates (third lowest K Rate against RHP in all of baseball) really hurts the strikeout projection. Mikolas will likely be popular on both sites with a low price tag, a big favorite (-168), and the lowest implied total on the slate. Without strikeouts though, he’s really relying heavily on working deep into the game to generate Fantasy points. We view him as a relatively easy fade given the context of the slate in GPPs.
On DraftKings, the SP2 spot is calling for value given all of the elite offense on the slate. Ryan Borucki (TOR) and Adam Plutko (CLE) project the best of the cheap targets. Borucki is getting a boost from a favorable umpire while Plutko’s projection is getting docked. Both face offenses that were severely watered down via the trade deadline but Plutko is the bigger favorite (-180), has the lower implied total (4.1), and is cheaper. We expect a Mikolas-Godley pairing on DraftKings to be popular given the low implied totals against but our projections view a Newcomb-Borucki/Plutko pairing as a slightly stronger alternative that is also cheaper.
In tournaments, Alex Cobb‘s (BAL) recent performance makes him viable but the rising price tag and an inability to generate strikeouts limits the upside. Fortunately, this is a slate that shouldn’t have a ton of pitching upside to it. It should be Jalen Beeks (TB) turn for the Rays and he’s just $5,300. We’ll await confirmation from the Rays beats but Beeks would earn GPP consideration with a soft price tag.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) represents the top projected scorer at the catcher position. The context remains incredible for these Dodgers, but Grandal specifically takes a hit on the baselines side (.336 wOBA, .186 ISO) facing a LHP and he typically hits lower in the lineup against southpaws. In fact, it might be teammate Austin Barnes (LAD) who ends up in the lineup. We view Grandal as more of a tournament play in this slate.
You’re going to want to fill out the catcher position last in this slate. With Grandal overpriced and not a single positive value at the position, there’s not much opportunity cost to worry about at the position. Russell Martin (TOR) is $3,200 and he gets the benefit of hitting in 90 degree weather in Camden Yards. We don’t love the matchup against Alex Cobb but it’s worth noting that as good as Cobb has been of late, he’s still allowing plenty of contact. Martin is a fine cash game play.
Yadier Molina (STL), Kevan Smith (CHW) and Tucker Barnhart (CIN) are other options that have sneaked into optimal lineups. Neither is particularly attractive from a ceiling perspective but Molina has the benefit of hitting second, which gives him a leg up in terms of PA equity. Smith is the punt ($2,900) of the group. He’s a terrible hitter but he gets to take shots in Yankee Stadium where the average gametime temperature is 90 degrees.
Wilson Ramos (PHI) is an exciting tournament play at an unexciting catcher position. Ramos will have the platoon edge, and he’s crushed LHP (.368 wOBA, .200 ISO since 2017). He’s facing Gio Gonzalez, a pitcher that has some name value but the reality is he hasn’t been very good this season. Ramos is the most expensive catcher on the board but he should be a part of your tournament pool.
Greg Bird (NYY) and Yonder Alonso (CLE) carry the top projections at first base. We have a bit more certainty with Alonso because he consistently hits fifth. Bird hit seventh last night, but he’s hit fifth vs. RHP at times. Alonso has posted a .362 wOBA and .225 ISO vs. RHP since the start of last season. He’s facing Kohl Stewart, a pitcher that doesn’t project to miss bats. So far, he’s lived up to that billing, generating a 15% K rate through three starts. Alonso is a viable option across all formats on both sites.
Bird will project well no matter where he hits in the lineup, and he’ll stand out the most from a value perspective because he’s $3,700 on DK and $2,900 on FD. Bird will have the platoon edge against Reynaldo Lopez, who’s allowed a .190 ISO to LHBs since 2017. If teammate Luke Voit (NYY) ends up hitting fifth instead, he can be considered as well. The Yankees have a slate high IRT of 6.1.
We prefer the options above in cash games but there’s some nice tournament value at the position at well. Eric Thames (MIL) is always a standout against RHP no matter where he’s in the lineup. Tonight he gets a date with Matt Harvey, who’s allowed a .374 wOBA and .232 ISO to LHBs since 2017. Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) could be overlooked because of his high price tag around the industry. Justin Smoak (TOR) hasn’t performed well of late and game log watchers will likely be on the fade side against Alex Cobb. Smoak crushes RHP though (.371 wOBA, .261 ISO since 2017) and he’s in a phenomenal hitting environment. That trio stands out in tournaments, but you could also extend the list to include Matt Carpenter (STL) and Carlos Santana (PHI).
Brian Dozier (LAD) is the top projected scorer at second base. He’s the only option to consider in cash games. Dozier will have the platoon edge in Arlington, and he gets to lead off against LHP. Since the start of last season, Dozier has posted a .379 wOBA and .215 ISO against LHP. He’s getting 5+ PAs in this environment and he’s just $4,400 on DK and $3,300 on FD. Play him and move on.
Ownership should condense on Dozier in tournaments, and that’s where you’d like to look for some leverage options. Travis Shaw (MIL) is an immediate standout given the skills (.378 wOBA, .265 ISO vs. RHP since 2017) and contextual factors (facing Matt Harvey in Great American Ball Park). Gleyber Torres (NYY) could generate some attention as well since he’s part of a Yankees offense that carries the highest IRT in the slate, but he should still be way less owned than Dozier. Jonathan Villar (BAL) is another event upside target that makes some sense in tournaments. If you were in need of a cheaper play, Neil Walker (NYY) is a fine target. He gets to hit from the left side of the plate in Yankee Stadium.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) carries the top projection at third base. Ramirez is projecting as the second highest scorer in this slate regardless of position. It’s very simple – Ramirez crushes RHP (.422 wOBA, .311 ISO since 2017) and Kohl Stewart has baselines of .354 wOBA and .190 ISO vs. LHBs in our projections. He’s been routinely in play in tournaments, but we’d like to get up to him in cash games tonight.
If you can’t get up to Ramirez in cash games, there are some strong alternatives. Mike Moustakas (MIL) is the first one but that’s IF he hits third (hit sixth last night). Moustakas has an unbelievable context, just like the rest of his teammates that hit from the left side. Moustakas has posted a .347 wOBA and .246 ISO vs. RHP since the start of last season and he gets the benefit of facing Matt Harvey in Great American Ball Park.
Justin Turner (LAD) is just $400 more expensive than Moustakas on FD. If you have the room to make it work, we’d prefer him over Moustakas. Turner has posted a ridiculous .464 wOBA and .289 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season and he’s getting a massive park shift going into Arlington. The price tag on DK has peaked because he’s been on a tear of late but he’s still tournament viable on that site.
The trio above should be your starting and ending points as far as cash games are concerned. Travis Shaw (MIL) could emerge as a stronger value option on DK if he ends up hitting cleanup. If he doesn’t hit cleanup, we’d still consider him an exciting tournament target (more on him at second base). Miguel Andujar (NYY), Matt Carpenter (STL) and Adrian Beltre (TEX) (cheap on FD) are additional targets to consider in GPPs.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) represents the top projected scorer at the shortstop position. Lindor gives you both power (29 HRs) and speed (19 SBs) upside. That combination is a rare one for a shortstop, and Lindor tops it off by being a leadoff hitter.
You want Lindor or Manny Machado (LAD) in your cash game lineups tonight. Machado will have the platoon edge in Arlington where the average temperature during the game will be 90 degrees. Machado has posted a .368 wOBA and .232 ISO and he’s facing Mike Minor, who’s allowed a .190 ISO to RHBs since 2017.
Trea Turner (WSH) is a fine tournament target, but he’s not projecting anywhere near the Lindor-Machado tier of shortstops. He’d have to get significantly less ownership than the group above to consider him.
Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of hitting position. Stanton has generated a .367 wOBA and .268 since the start of last season. Reynaldo Lopez has a 5.50 xFIP and he’s allowed a 46% FB rate this season. Lopez has to pitch in 90 degree weather in Yankee Stadium. Stanton is projecting as if he was facing a LHP, and when that’s the case you want to jam him in your lineups.
With Stanton projecting this way, there’s a good chance that he’ll have big ownership in tournaments. When that’s the case, you want to look at alternatives in GPPs. Christian Yelich (MIL) is really pricey but his context is very exciting. He homered twice last night in this same context. Bryce Harper (WSH) and Michael Brantley (CLE) are other options with the platoon edge that are projecting well but won’t be as significantly owned as Stanton. Harper is particularly attractive because he can match Stanton on power upside. Since 2017, Harper has posted a massive .298 ISO vs. RHP.
There’s plenty of value in the outfield tonight. Brett Gardner (NYY) and Aaron Hicks (NYY) are other Yankees that are projecting very well at the top of their lineup given the context and big IRT. Matt Kemp (LAD) should be hitting cleanup or fifth vs. a LHP in Arlington and he has average price tags around the industry. Kemp has generated a .189 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. Scott Schebler (CIN) is too cheap on FD ($2,900) for the type of power upside he possesses in Great American Ball Park. We’d prefer if he was leading off but last night he hit fifth. We’ve seen Shane Robinson (NYY) enter some optimals on DK because he’s $2,700 and part of an offense with a slate high 6.1 IRT.
Lorenzo Cain (MIL), Eric Thames (MIL), Eddie Rosario (MIN) (on FD) and Rhys Hoskins (PHI) are additional plays to consider in tournaments. Hoskins has posted a .370 wOBA and .232 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season and Gio Gonzalez has a 4.76 SIERA on the season.
1) Cleveland Indians
2) New York Yankees
3) Los Angeles Dodgers
The top four offenses on this slate project as clearly superior than the rest of the slate and it starts with these three at the top who all have implied totals around 5.5 or better. Cleveland has the lowest implied total but the best stack score because their key players also run which adds some more Fantasy potential beyond the total. Cleveland is very expensive but the Ramirez/Lindor pairing has come down slightly in price – it’s mostly the secondary pieces that have risen up. They’re an interesting contrarian target among the top teams.
The Yankees are a bit cheaper and have the highest implied total on the slate. They should garner ownership as a public team with the highest implied total. The matchup with Lopez who struggles to miss bats (17.1 K Rate), is homer prone (1.39 HR/9), and is backed up by a weak bullpen is compelling for the Yankees power bats. We expect they’ll be the second highest owned offense on the slate.
The Dodgers should represent a chalky option once again in Texas. Their lineup projects well against LHP and the DH helps remove some of the pinch hit risk for guys like Hernandez. Dozier and Kemp are inexplicably cheap on both sites which will make them an attractive pair for cash games that carry over into high ownership in tournaments.
4) Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers are an intriguing contrarian option on a slate where the top three offenses should soak up tons of ownership. The Brewers are a road team in a good park for power and facing Matt Harvey who has allowed a 38.7 hit rate this season while only generating a 42.5 GB Rate. The Brewers have a ton of power to deploy against RHP and it’s a bit all-or-nothing at times but Harvey’s challenges missing bats make them an intriguing pivot from all the higher total teams.
5) Philadelphia Phillies
6) Washington Nationals
Philadelphia is another contrarian target given how much Gio Gonzalez has struggled down the stretch and the Phillies ability to get very RH heavy with power from the right side (Ramos, Hoskins, Franco, Santana, Cabrera). They should come with low ownership as Hoskins/Ramos are the only strong stand-alone plays and both are priced up.
The Nationals are a talented offense and almost always rate well in the stack rankings. Jake Arrieta is tough to get power off of but is very vulnerable to steals. Trea Turner is intriguing as a one-off target.
7) Toronto Blue Jays
8) Minnesota Twins
9) Texas Rangers
Toronto-Baltimore figures to be one of the contrarian game targets as neither starter misses bats and the park environment with warm temperatures really plays up the power.