Welcome to August 4 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 4 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 4 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
12:35 First Base
16:07 Second Base
18:07 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 4 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
The top tier of pitchers on this slate is relatively deep and pretty interesting. Our top projected starting pitcher is Jacob deGrom (NYM), but we prefer him in tournaments due to a combination of cost, volatility (K rates swing wildly from game to game), and matchup (Dodgers are third in wRC+ against RHP).
Following deGrom, it’s a close race between Madison Bumgarner (SF) and Yu Darvish (LAD). Our projections may be a bit optimistic on Bumgarner, who was better in his last start but has not looked very dominant since returning from the DL. He’s definitely in play as a -140 home favorite with a 3.5 IRTA and his long-term profile, but it should be noted he’s posted SwStr rates of just 4.9/5.2/2.5/8.1 since returning from the DL. Our slight lean then is towards Darvish, although it’s admittedly somewhat “feel” based. Darvish makes his first start since being traded to the Dodgers. He’ll benefit from the league shift and big park shift in his favor. On DK, it’s still very close between the two, but Darvish is $1,000 cheaper and the better value on FD.
Following Bumgarner and Darvish is a tight race between James Paxton (SEA) and Justin Verlander (DET) to round out the top tier. We prefer Paxton here. While our baselines may be aggressive on Bumgarner based on recent performance, the opposite may be true of Paxton who has been lights out. In six July starts, Paxton allowed just a .202 wOBA and struck out 31.1% of batters faced en route to a 1.49 FIP. He’ll face a tame, but contact oriented, Royals offense at home. Verlander is a tournament viable SP on DK where he’s much cheaper than the above options, but he carries considerable risk against an Orioles team with the highest two week FanGraphs Hard% and an IRT of 4.7.
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) is our favorite mid-tier value on both sites. He’s the largest favorite on the slate at -210 as he takes on a White Sox offense that is dipping in its statistics against LHP since it A) overachieved in this split to begin the year and B) has lost key personnel like Melky/Avisail/Frazier. Rodriguez does carry some volatility as his park isn’t forgiving of his fly ball oriented ways (and elevated Hard-Soft%). However, he’s consistently striking out over 20% of batters faced (26.3% on season, 20-plus in 12/13 starts).
If you want to double up on mid-tier pitching on DK to afford more expensive bats (a viable choice on a Coors slate), the best complements to Rodriguez are Ivan Nova (PIT) and Jacob Faria (TB). These are two very different types of pitchers. Both are in good pitching environments, but Nova is the less volatile (low BB rate, high RB rate but not a lot of Ks) option while Faria (high K rate but wild and fly ball oriented) is higher risk/reward. Nova faces a Padres team ranked 28th in wRC+ against RHP with a high 25.3 K%. Faria faces a Brewers team ranked 19th in wRC+ against RHP with a high 25.4 K%.
On FD, Brad Peacock (HOU) is priced closely to Rodriguez and tournament viable. We’ve had a tough time fully believing in Peacock who has come down to earth recently, but a 32.1 K% on the season will play in GPPs.
It’s most likely unnecessary and “value” on cheaper pitchers can be deceiving, but Troy Scribner (LAA) is so cheap that he rates as a usable value in tournaments if loading up on bats. The projections systems vary quite a bit on Scribner, but he will likely struggle with run prevention, albeit with a decent K rate. He’s home in a pitcher’s park against a K prone A’s team, so a handful of strikeouts and some run prevention luck and you’re happy.
The catcher position is dreadful in this slate. Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the top projected scorer, but he’s priced fully on both sites. We prefer him in tournaments tonight.
The key at the catcher position will be going cheap tonight and using those funds elsewhere. On DK, Jonathan Lucroy (COL) is usable across all formats. He gives you access to Coors at a cheap enough price tag ($3,100). If Francisco Cervelli (PIT) gets back to the lineup, he’d represent a nice way of saving funds. He’s just $2,400 and will have the platoon edge against Travis Wood (hint: he sucks).
On FD, Tyler Flowers (ATL) is a decent value at $2,700 with the platoon edge in SunTrust Park. Robinson Chirinos (TEX) has a terrible lineup spot but he has a punt price ($2,200) and a matchup against over the hill Bartolo Colon.
Hanley Ramirez (BOS) and the Red Sox paid off handsomely last night, and with the platoon edge in Fenway Hanley projects as a cash game lock for us once again. He’s still carrying cheap price tags ($3,200 on DK, $2,800 on FD) and we have a .386 wOBA and .252 ISO baselines for him in this split (vs. LHP).
The rest of the position is priced more appropriately in our eyes, with the exception of someone like Eric Thames (MIL) on DK. He’s $3,800 on that site, which is a light price tag relative to his power upside. However, he has some thorns in his context (steep negative park shift and facing a good young pitcher that misses bats). We prefer him as a pivot in tournaments. The better alternative in cash games is someone like Tommy Joseph (PHI) with the platoon edge in Coors and a good price tag, particularly on DK ($4,400).
Mark Reynolds (COL), Chris Davis (BAL), Miguel Cabrera (DET) (on DK), Yuli Gurriel (HOU) and Mike Napoli (TEX) are power upside bats to consider in tournaments and if paying up at the position Reynolds is viable in cash games as well. Reynolds’ HHR is up to 41% over the L15 and he’s in Coors facing a power prone pitcher.
Jose Altuve (HOU) is the top projected scorer at the position, but with an appropriate price tag around the industry we’d rather have exposure to Brian Dozier (MIN) in cash games. Dozier will have the platoon edge, which is meaningful for his projection. Since 2015, Dozier has generated a .364 wOBA and .248 ISO vs. LHP (our baselines are a lighter on the ISO, but it’s still hefty for a second baseman – a .213 ISO). We’re also fans of the matchup as Martin Perez is missing less bats this season and generating less ground balls. Dozier has discounted price tags around the industry.
If pursuing more salary relief, Josh Harrison (PIT) with the platoon edge against a bad pitcher qualifies as a cash game play on both sites. Cesar Hernandez (PHI) will be the road leadoff hitter in Coors and he’s just $3,000 on FD.
Rougned Odor (TEX) and Eduardo Nunez (BOS) (2B eligibility on FD) are other names to consider in tournaments. Their appropriate price tags should keep their ownership at low levels.
Nolan Arenado (COL) carries the top projection at third base and second overall regardless of position. Vince Velasquez has a home run problem (1.91 HR/9 this season, 1.44 mark last season), and that’s not a problem you want to have in Coors. Velasquez has also been more prone to RHBs lately – he’s surrendered a .356 wOBA and a massive .249 ISO to the L250 RHBs he’s faced. Arenado is a viable target in all formats and we think he’s going to be chalky on both sites since it’s not difficult to fit him.
Maikel Franco (PHI) will have the platoon edge (.240 ISO baseline in this split) in Coors and he’s just $3,800 on DK and $3,200 on FD. If you want to save some money and still hold some upside at the position, Franco is your target.
Other names with upside that we like in tournaments – Miguel Sano (MIN) vs. a subpar southpaw, Travis Shaw (MIL) just $3,300 on DK with the platoon edge, Manny Machado (BAL) with a decent price tag on DK and Evan Longoria (TB) facing a young SP who’s making his first career start (fine price on FD).
Like last night, the shortstop position is dreadful. Once again we’re drawn to Xander Bogaerts (BOS) on both sites. In this split (vs. LHP), we have Bogaerts with a little more power upside (.151 ISO baseline) though the actual production has been worse if you look at since 2015 data thanks to a .075 ISO vs. LHP this season. Nonetheless, Bogaerts is cheap and the Red Sox have a strong IRT once again (5.6 runs). Tyler Saladino (CWS) is a fine cheap target on DK as long as he hits second. Teammate Tim Anderson (CWS) is a decent value on FD where he’s $2,400 and projected to hit leadoff.
Trevor Story (COL) is the best upside target should you choose to pay up at the position on FD. On DK, he’s $3,900 and a viable alternative in all formats. He won’t hit better than sixth, but at least he’s in Coors and carries power upside (something Bogaerts lacks even with the platoon edge).
Charlie Blackmon (COL) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. The conversation surrounding Blackmon in Coors nowadays is whether you can fit him. In this slate, fitting him won’t be difficult on either site though it’s generally easier on DK where you can get some salary relief out of the SP2 spot.
Blackmon’s competition is Mookie Betts (BOS), who’s the next in line option at the position. Blackmon is certainly our preference, but on DK you have the opportunity to play them both since Mookie’s price tag is a little bit lighter than usual ($4,700).
After Blackmon (and potentially Mookie on DK), it’s time to focus on cheap values on teams with high IRTs. Derek Fisher (HOU) starts this conversation. Fisher is the Astros’ leadoff hitter (with event upside – HHR is up to 43% over the L15) and carries good price tags around the industry. He also has a phenomenal matchup. Cesar Valdez doesn’t have a lot of MLB data behind him, but the data we see isn’t good (wretched run prevention, not much of a GB pitcher and doesn’t miss bats). Fisher’s teammate, Josh Reddick (HOU), has a solid price tag on FD ($3,400) as well. Starling Marte (PIT) will have the platoon edge against Travis Wood and he’s just $3,000 on FD and $3,900 on DK. Marte has event upside out of the leadoff spot. Jose Bautista (TOR) has been cold lately and he’s not part of a stack we like but he’s free on DK now ($2,900). Chris Young (BOS) might hit fifth given Bogaerts struggles and he’s cheap on both sites. Kole Calhoun (LAA) is free on DK ($2,700) and he will have the platoon edge. His return to the lineup is imminent as he was able to avoid the DL.
Mike Trout (LAA) facing a pitcher that struggles to keep the ball in the park qualifies as a strong tournament play in a slate where other expensive hitters will likely carry at least 2-2.5x his ownership.
1) Colorado Rockies
In Coors with the highest IRT by over half a run – it’s an obvious stack, but there’s tremendous upside that separates the Rockies from every other team on the slate.
2) Philadelphia Phillies
3) Texas Rangers
The Rangers top our non-Coors stacks. Temperatures are warmer in Minnesota with the wind blowing out to RF. Opposing SP Bartolo Colon has survived on fringe stuff the past several years, but it’s all come crumbling down this year as his K-BB% has fallen to 7.3% while his FanGraphs Hard-Soft% sits at 13.7%.
4) Boston Red Sox
5) Houston Astros
6) Miami Marlins
7) Pittsburgh Pirates
Despite the losses of Carlos Correa and George Springer, the Astros are an event oriented team. Jose Altuve is the rock, and guys like Derek Fisher (21-16 in HR-SB at AAA) and Alex Bregman (positive Hard% delta) have been filling in nicely.
The Pirates are one of our favorite contrarian stacks. The park alone on a large slate should deflate ownership, but they’re set up nicely against LHP (well better than against RHP), and Travis Wood is a fly ball oriented pitcher with a 5.40 xFIP.