Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/14/18
Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB optimizer and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.
First time with MLB? Be sure to read our free MLB Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.
Verlander is coming off his worst outing of the season going just two innings and allowing six earned runs but don't let it bother you as he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. Despite allowing five or more earned runs in three separate starts, he still sits with an elite 2.50 ERA backed up by a 3.27 xFIP and has also provided big upside with a 33.3% K rate and 13.8% swinging strike rate. While the matchup doesn't look great as the Rockies have some big bats, they have struggled in the second half ranking 25th in runs scored with a 23% K rate and have been much worse on the road this season rank 24th in wOBA(.299) and wRC+(84) away from Coors with a 24% K rate. He is expensive but the top arm on the slate and safe to roll out in all formats.
If you are looking for a discounted option to help load up on bats, consider Happ who gets a much better matchup. He will face a Rays team that ranks in the bottom third of the league in runs scored on the season and have been worse against right-handed pitching with a .310 wOBA and 97 wRC+ on the season. Happ missed a start due to an illness but returned and looked good against the Rangers allowing three earned runs and just four hits on 94 pitches while striking out nine and walking just one. From a PTS/$ perspective, he is right there with Verlander tonight and allows a ton of extra room to load up on bats. He is a great play in all formats.
Rookie Ryan Borucki has looked good in his first eight starts in the bigs holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in six of those starts for a 2.81 ERA. His only two hiccups were both against the Red Sox which comes as no surprise for any team as they are the #1 offense in baseball this season. He doesn't have a ton of upside with a low 6.00 K/9 rate but really limits the power giving up just one home run in those eight starts and a low 28% hard contact rate. The Royals present a nice matchup as they sit with a league-low 428 runs on the season and strike out 23% of the time vs. left-handed pitching. He makes a nice SP2 option to pair with Verlander on DraftKings or punt GPP option on FanDuel stack any team you wish.
Paul Goldschmidt FD 4300 DK 5200
Opponent - TEX (Yovani Gallardo) Park - TEX
FD - 14.78 DK - 11.04
The Diamondbacks currently sit with the highest implied runs(5.7) on the slate and that is where I will start the position player targets tonight. They get a terrific matchup against Yovani Gallardo who has struggled overall as a starter this season as he sits with a 4.97 ERA and equally bad 5.00 xFIP while barely striking out over five batters per nine and walking almost four. Goldy's numbers may be slightly down this season but are still in the elite conversation as he enters with a .282/.388/.532 slash line with 26 home runs and 64 RBI while also scoring 73 runs. Another reason he is at the top of my list tonight is Gallardo struggles much more against righties with a .376 wOBA, .509 SLG, and 35% hard contact against. Goldy is an elite play in all formats tonight.
Jose Martinez FD 3000 DK 4400
Opponent - WSH (Gio Gonzalez) Park - STL
FD - 11.67 DK - 8.93
Going a little bit cheaper at the position tonight, I will be going with Jose Martinez of the Cardinals. While you wouldn't put him and Goldy in the same conversation for safety or upside it is a lot closer than one would think. While Goldy leads in OBP, SLG and home runs, Martinez has the edge with a .299 average and 69 RBI on the season in six fewer games played. He has also been consistent with an above average .365 OBP and has been better against left-handed pitching over the last two seasons with a .419 wOBA, 165 wRC+, and .250 ISO. Gio has been up and down this season with a 3.89 ERA but has a slightly worse xFIP(4.26) and understandably has been much worse against righties giving up a .340 wOBA with 4.71 xFIP(.263 wOBA/2.66 xFIP to LH).
Catcher Consideration: Matt Wieters(WSH)
Dozier made the big move from Minnesota to Los Angeles at the trade deadline and appears to be enjoying his time so far. Through 11 games with the Dodgers, he has a .286 average with three home runs and four multi-RBI games. He has also posted an elite .444 on-base percentage which has earned him a big jump up to the leadoff spot in the lineup which really boosts his value with hitters like Machado, Bellinger, and Turner hitting behind him. Tonight he gets a plus matchup vs. Andrew Suarez who started out hot in his rookie season but has stumbled big time lately allowing 22 earned runs over his last five starts and multiple home runs in three straight. Dozier has been a lefty killer throughout his career and is a fantastic option to pay for in all formats at second base tonight.
**Update - Dozier was removed from Monday's game with an irregular heartbeat and will undergo more tests on Tuesday and will most liekly not play Tuesday.**
If you are looking for some value at the position, especially on FanDuel, consider Devon Travis. He has dealt with a ton of injuries early in his career and this season has been no different but he is getting back to the form the Jays are expecting lately. Since the start of July, he is hitting a cool .304 with a .360 on-base percentage and quickly made his way up to the top of the lineup where he has hit out of the two-hole for almost all of August. The Jays are a Top 5 team when looking at implied runs tonight against Heath Fillmyer who is walking(4.10 BB/9) almost as many batters as he is striking out(5.06 K/9) and explains why the xFIP(4.93) is almost two runs higher than the ERA(3.13). On top of that, he is giving up a whopping 46% hard contact to right-handed batters.
Also consider Daniel Murphy(WSH) who went into Monday night with hits in 10 of his last 12 games
Didi Gregorius FD 3900 DK 4800
Opponent - TB (Undecided) Park - NYY
FD - 10.43 DK - 8.03
The Yankees are at home tonight as they start a series with the Rays in Yankee Stadium and Didi Gregorius is right near the top of my list at the shortstop position. It has been an up and down season overall as he started out hot, hit a brutal cold streak but now appears to be back on track. Since the start of July, he is hitting .300 with a .355 on-base percentage with 25 RBI and 25 runs scored while striking out just 10% of the time and with an injury to Aaron Judge has moved back up to the top half of the lineup. You never know what you are going to get with the Rays when they throw their bullpen approach out there but I still trust Gregorius in all formats tonight at a discount from Lindor and Machado(FanDuel).
Diaz hits down in the order for the Jays but has been one of the best shortstop plays from a PTS/$ perspective since the All-Star break and deserves our attention tonight. He has not only been extremely consistent with a .344 average and .358 on-base percentage but has also added a ton of power with seven home runs in the second half with 12 RBI and a .750 Slugging %. The price is getting up there on DraftKings for a seven/eight hitter in the lineup leaving him as a GPP only option for me tonight but on FanDuel at $3K, he is in play in all formats.
Also consider Francisco Lindor(CLE) if you have the salary to pay all the way up as he easily has the highest floor and ceiling of any player at the position and also gets an elite matchup
Eduardo Escobar FD 4000 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Yovani Gallardo) Park - TEX
FD - 13.27 DK - 10.17
The top of the Diamondbacks order is absolutely stuffed with top plays tonight in a terrific matchup vs. Yovani Gallardo. When it comes to the third base position, Jose Ramirez definitely tops things when it comes to upside but for the $1,000 discount on both sites, I will side with Escobar in cash games. Like his ex-teammate Brian Dozier, Escobar is cruising with his new team since being traded with a .326/.358/.565 slash line in 13 games going into Monday night. He is a switch hitter but the splits are pretty glaring this season as he has crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .384 wOBA, 143 wRC+, .316 ISO, and .980 OPS. All things considered, I think we can eat the chalk and use him in all formats.
I have yet to talk about the Braves even though they are a top projected team tonight and have been one of the best offenses in baseball this season but will do so with a value play at third base. Camargo is hitting just .259 for the season but has been consistent lately with hits in 18 of his last 21 games and sits with a .345 on-base percentage for the season. That consistency makes him a nice option in cash games and hitting down in the order has him frequently overlooked which also makes him a nice pivot for GPP formats.
I talked about the Diamondbacks elite matchup vs. Yovani Gallardo to open the article's position players and their outfield is also a terrific place to load up tonight. I will start with David Peralta who has been slightly more consistent hitting over .300 for the season with a .359 on-base percentage and has also added to his power profile this season with already a career-high 21 home runs and 60 RBI. He has alternated from the leadoff spot and third in the order and is a great value either way. Pollock has been limited to just 73 games due to some injuries this season and has been a little more hit and miss since his return in early July(.265/.328/410 slash line) but has been hitting mostly out of the cleanup spot and provides some power on a night where the D-Backs are projected to score a ton of runs and he comes at a bit of a discount on both sites.
Ronald Acuna FD 4000 DK 4900
Opponent - MIA (Trevor Richards) Park - ATL
FD - 12.37 DK - 9.66
I am not sure how you fade Ronald Acuna right now. He is arguably the hottest player in baseball as he comes in with not just hits in seven straight games but has multi-hit efforts in four and home runs in six of those. He has pushed his average up to .282 for his rookie campaign and gets the pleasure of hitting leadoff for one of the best offenses in baseball. He still strikes out at a high 29% rate but the upside more than makes up for it and if you are looking to spend up for just one bat in cash games his name is definitely in the conversation in the outfield.
Marcell Ozuna FD 3600 DK 3800
Opponent - WSH (Gio Gonzalez) Park - WSH
FD - 11.23 DK - 8.58
From a PTS/$ value perspective, Marcell Ozuna is most definitely on the radar tonight under $4K on both sites. Everything in my model hits as he not only has strong splits vs. left-handed pitching with a .354 wOBA, 124 wRC+, and .175 ISO but Gio Gonzalez also struggles much more against righties giving up a .340 wOBA and .420 SLG(.263 wOBA, .347 SLG to RH). On top of that, Ozuna comes in hot with three straight multi-hit games and at least one hit in seven of his last eight. At these prices, he is in play in all formats.
GRAB A FREE TRIAL OF OUR PROJECTION SYSTEM, AND CHECK OUT DFSR PRO!
- Paul Goldschmidt: AP Photo/Matt York