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August 8 MLB DFS: Have a Brew with your Ace
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Welcome to August 8 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 8 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 8 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
11:18 Catcher
14:35 First Base
18:15 Second Base
21:38 Third Base
25:18 Shortstop
28:35 Outfield
34:47 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 8 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

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

We’re provided with two absolute studs on today’s slate in the form of Chris Sale (BOS) and Corey Kluber (CLE). While our projections prefer Sale, it’s a toss up. Both pitchers have been extraordinarily dominant this season. Sale has a 2.07 FIP an 36.1 K%. Kluber hasn’t posted a K% less than 30.8% since returning from the DL and his average K% over his last 10 starts is an absurd 41% (low of 34.5%). In 9 of those 10 starts he’s had an xFIP of 2.48 or lower. Also, both pitchers have good contextual factors in their favor. Sale gets a positive park shift pitching in Tampa Bay against a Rays team that strikes out a ton against LHP (25.6%). Kluber faces a Rockies team that is dead last in wRC+ against RHP. Our projections give Sale the nod because of the emphasis on those Rays’ Ks, but Kluber’s absurd recent performance might make him the safer choice. It’s tough to go wrong here, but you definitely want to anchor your team with a stud here. On DK, there’s enough value, believe it or not, to pay up for both Sale and Kluber in cash games.

The next tier is made up of Jose Quintana (CHC) and Dallas Keuchel (HOU). They’re better tournament pivots on FD than on DK due to pricing (sub-$9k). Our preference here is for Quintana in the NL in the best pitcher’s park in all of baseball. However, Keuchel is a larger favorite (-255) and facing a White Sox offense that’s just putrid right now. The biggest tiebreaker here is two straight mediocre starts that didn’t last long for Keuchel since being activated off of the DL.

It’s difficult to find on obvious SP2 on DK if you’re unwilling to make the massive spend on both Kluber and Sale. It likely doesn’t make sense to pay up for Keuchel/Quintana (likely just double up on Sale/Kluber at that point, although Quintana will save you $2,000). In the mid-tier or cheap we have several usable options but none make us feel that comfortable. In Arizona, Zack Godley (ARI) is a run prevention risk (4.7 IRTA) and underdog against a good Dodgers lineup but underpriced for the skills he has flashed. Godley has a 26 K% on the season and a 2.98 FIP, and he’s only improved as the season has wore on. He’ll face Kenta Maeda (LAD) who has more preferable Vegas odds and a better matchup (similar K upside but closer to neutral in terms of wRC+). The issue with Maeda has been short hooks and mediocre run prevention (4.04 FIP).

If you want to go sub-$7k, Julio Teheran (ATL) and Chad Kuhl (PIT) are options. Teheran has been a mess all season. There’s not much in his recent performance to indicate a turnaround, although his K% has been trending slowly upwards. This is more about a cheap price as a favorite against a bad Phillies team (IRTA is lower than that of Godley or Maeda). Meanwhile Kuhl actually has the most favorable Vegas odds of these four (-175, 3.9 IRTA) at home in friendly PNC Park against a Tigers team losing the DH. Kuhl is pretty meh across the board, but his high velocity means we could see a higher K% moving forward, as we did last game (22.2%).

The full punt option is Chris Flexen (NYM) who is just $4,500. Flexen may be a GPP only play given that in his first two MLB starts he’s pitched just three innings in each of them with a four combined strikeouts. The good news for Flexen is that he missed a lot of bats at AA prior to his call up while posting sub-3 run prevention metrics. There’s some hope against a K heavy Rangers team without the DH that he can claw through five innings and rack up close to a K an inning.

Catcher

Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the top projected scorer at the catcher position. He’s facing a pretty good pitcher (J.A. Happ), but the price tag on DK puts him squarely in the cash game conversation as it feels a little light ($4,000). There’s no denying Sanchez’s power. He’s generated a .304 ISO in 133 career PAs vs. LHP. Our baseline is certainly accounting for regression as that sample grows, but it’s still a hefty .234 ISO in this split.

Sanchez is also in the conversation on FD where he’s $3,300, but on that site it’ll be more challenging to include him in your cash game plans with our sights on expensive pitching and Jose Altuve. That’s where options like Yasmani Grandal (LAD) and Manny Pina (MIL) come into play. These are sub $3,000 options, and in Pina’s case his price is in the punt range ($2,400). We’re more comfortable with Grandal given that he’s a better hitter than Pina, but you’ll have to pay a little more to get to him. Grandal is also battling some back spasms, so we’ll need to confirm that he’s in the lineup before deploying. These two are also your best cash game alternatives on DK. You can throw Russell Martin (TOR) in the mix as well since he’ll have the platoon edge, but the price tags are more appropriate on him around the industry.

Willson Contreras (CHC) is in the worst hitting environment in all of baseball (AT&T Park), but that might not matter right now given the way he’s swinging the lumber (32.4% HHR over the L15 – hit two more HRs this past Sunday). He’ll also have a sweet matchup against southpaw Ty Blach, who sucks (11.9 K rate, 5.09 SIERA). We continue to love him in tournaments.

First Base

Freddie Freeman (ATL) represents the top projected scorer at first base and third overall in this slate regardless of position. Freeman’s matchup is perfect. Zach Eflin has surrendered a .381 wOBA and 2.63 HR/9 to the 242 LHBs he’s faced and he doesn’t miss bats (10.7% K rate vs. LHBs). The challenge with Freeman is one of opportunity cost in a slate where Astros RHBs have the platoon edge and pricey SPs carry by far the best projections at their position. If you’re unable to play him in cash games, use him with confidence in tournaments.

Jesus Aguilar (MIL) might be the cash game play of the slate. Aguilar has been smashing the ball (41% HHR over the L15) and we have a .212 ISO baseline for him in this split (vs. LHP). He’s no Freddie Freeman, but you’re also not paying much for this play, particularly on FD where he’s just $2,300.

On DK, Aguilar is a good value at $3,700 but you also have Chris Davis (BAL) with the platoon edge albeit in a tougher hitting environment in Anaheim, Wil Myers (SD) in Cincinnati and Albert Pujols (LAA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson. These options will cost you less than $4,000 on that site, with Davis and Myers carrying similar projections to Aguilar.

Joey Votto (CIN) is a strong tournament target vs. Luis Perdomo (.373 wOBA, .182 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015). The full price tag might keep Votto’s ownership at very reasonable levels in GPPs.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. Altuve’s awesome skills vs. LHP are reachable on both sites though you’re certainly paying appropriate price tags. Altuve has generated a .409 wOBA and .193 ISO vs. LHP since 2015, and the LHP he’s facing isn’t any good. Derek Holland has surrendered a .373 wOBA and .228 ISO to RHBs since 2015. This matchup is also in Chicago, which has much better temperatures during the summer for hitters. We’re inclined to pay for Altuve on both sites.

Neil Walker (NYM) is the best salary relief play at second base, but he’s actually less necessary on FD where reaching for Altuve doesn’t seem like a challenge even with a pricey SP as your anchor. Walker, however, is a piece that could help you get up to Kluber-Sale on DK and that’s a route that’s viable in this slate given that those two SPs are by far the top projected scorers at their position. Walker’s matchup isn’t too shabby either, as Andrew Cashner is more vulnerable to LHBs (.364 wOBA, .200 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015).

In tournaments, you can include names like Brian Dozier (MIN), Scooter Gennett (CIN) (really cheap price tag on FD), Jason Kipnis (CLE) and Daniel Murphy (WSH). These players will come with depressed ownership as Altuve should soak up most of the ownership at the position followed by a cheap Neil Walker (especially if he hits fifth).

Third Base

In an ideal world, we’d love to pay for Alex Bregman (HOU) if he hit second. Bregman has been on fire, and the HHR lately (28.6% over the L15) backs those results up (averaging 12.9 DK points over his L10 games). Thankfully, Bregman is reachable on both sites but on DK you have some choices to make with light price tags on the Yankees studs and Bregman at $4,400.

Josh Donaldson (TOR) is $100 more than Bregman on both sites and he has the platoon edge as well. Donaldson is a lefty smasher (we have a .387 wOBA, .267 baseline in this split for him) and he’s been heating up of late, generating a 33.3% HHR over the L15. He’s a viable alternative around the industry. Freddie Freeman (ATL) is 3B eligible on DK, where he’s viable across all formats with a projection that’s only behind Altuve’s and Trout’s in a 15 game slate.

If you need salary relief, Jedd Gyorko (STL) has very cheap price tags around the industry, but the one on DK ($2,700) stands out the most. Gyorko will have the platoon edge and hit in a good lineup spot, but he’s been ice cold of late (4% HHR over the L15).

Miguel Sano (MIN) is a name to consider in tournaments. He has the upside to match or outscore any hitter in this slate and has a price tag that might go under since he’s priced right around Bregman and Donaldson. The only challenge with Sano is that he’s been out of the lineup for a few games, so we’ll have to confirm his status before deploying. We also like Kris Bryant (CHC) and the Cubs power RHBs in this slate given the matchup, but he has a full price tag. He’ll be low owned in the worst hitting environment in all of baseball.

Shortstop

Saving resources at the shortstop position is a priority in this slate. On DK, options like Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) and Marcus Semien (OAK) are in the mid $3,000 and represent our best values. Cabrera will hit from the left side of the plate vs. Andrew Cashner, and Semien will have the platoon edge (his ISO improves in this split).That’s a viable approach if you have that sort of salary leftover at the position, but don’t be afraid to punt with someone like Tyler Saladino (CWS) or Ozzie Albies (ATL). Albies has a much better context thanks to a matchup vs. Zach Eflin in SunTrust Park. He won’t have a better lineup spot than Saladino, who will hit second but the latter faces Dallas Keuchel.

On FD, Freddy Galvis (PHI) will hit from the left side of the plate vs. Julio Teheran and he’s $2,700. Teheran is a great matchup for LHBs, as he’s very susceptible to them (.356 wOBA, .208 ISO surrendered to LHBs since 2015). If you had enough salary to pay a mid-tier price tag, Marwin Gonzalez (HOU) is accessible at $3,300. Gonzalez is due for a nice dose of regression (.347 BABIP, 24% HR/FB rate – that’s double his career rate), but this is probably not the context where it’ll happen.

Outfield

Mike Trout (LAA) is the top projected scorer in the OF, which is no surprise. The matchup against the contact oriented Jeremy Hellickson makes Trout an awesome play, but a full price tag makes him a better target in tournaments. That’s not a knock on him either – you’re likely going to get Trout at lower ownership than usual in a 15 game slate.

Ryan Braun (MIL) is just $3,900 on DK, which makes him a priority spend in a matchup where he’ll have the platoon edge. Since 2015, Braun has generated a .415 wOBA and .251 ISO vs. LHP. His HHR over the L15 is nearly the same as his season long mark, and he has a matchup against Adalberto Mejia (.171 ISO allowed to RHBs). We’re not sure why Braun is priced so cheap, but we’ll happily take it on that site. Domingo Santana (MIL) is also reachable on both sites, and he’ll leadoff for this Brewers offense with the platoon edge. He’s a strong target in all formats. You also have Aaron Judge (NYY) at $4,600 on DK, which is the lightest price tag we’ve seen for Judge in a while. It’s a tough price tag to pass up in cash games given Judge’s mammoth upside. He’s certainly experienced some regression over the second half, but that’s not something we’d worry about while paying what feels like peanuts for him.

The discounts don’t stop there. Max Kepler (MIN) is really cheap on both sites as well (platoon edge against Matt Garza), Hernan Perez (MIL) gives you access to a Brewer RHB for just $2,500 on FD and Matt Adams (ATL) gives you a lefty bat vs. Zach Eflin at $2,700 on FD. Billy Hamilton (CIN) can be thrown in there with his unique speed upside. He’s sub $4,000 on DK and $3,000 on FD.  

The Mets LHBs, Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce (NYM) are excellent tournament targets against Andrew Cashner. Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is another strong target in tournaments with the platoon edge. Matt Boyd has issues with the long ball and giving up hard hit contact in general, so the matchup is great for upside. Bryce Harper (WSH) has a matchup against Vance Worley. Hint: play him in tournaments.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Houston Astros

The Astros will be chalky despite a 15 game slate as they carry a 5.8 IRT, nearly half a run higher than any other team in action. They’re in a plus hitter’s park against Derek Holland (6.18 FIP) and an event oriented team. It’s possible George Springer will return, which would only enhance their stock.

Tier Two

2) Milwaukee Brewers

3) Cincinnati Reds

4) Miami Marlins

5) Washington Nationals

6) Texas Rangers

7) Los Angeles Dodgers

Our model has a difficult time both comprehending 1) the Brewers event oriented offense and 2) a Twins SP due regression. Yep, it’s deja vu from last night. The Brewers are probably rated too aggressively here but do make for a viable contrarian stack.

The Dodgers are low key a really fun tournament stack. They’re a road team guaranteed nine innings and receiving as massive park shift and Zach Godley’s effectiveness this season should keep ownership in check. However, the Dodgers are first in our 15-day average Hard% across projected lineups and third in wRC+ against RHP.

An additional low ownership stack that narrowly misses our top two tiers is the Chicago Cubs – a deep lineup that is finally starting to put the bats together top to bottom. The poor park should deflate ownership on a full slate, but Ty Blach isn’t missing any bats.

Any time Zach Eflin pitches we’re obligated to mention stacks against him as he allows so much power (1.88 HR/9) and tons of balls in play (in more than 80% of plate appearances).