Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/24/18
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The pitching options are definitely not as appealing as the last couple days but one that stands out above the rest is Mike Clevinger. He has been consistent all season and even better since the All-Star break holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in five of his six starts lowering his ERA on the season to 3.25 with a supporting 4.01 xFIP. The only thing holding him back from even more success is the walks(3.03 BB/9) but considering he is coming off back to back seasons walking over four per nine I would say he is on the right track. Clevinger doesn't have a ceiling like the elites in the game but is still striking out around a batter per inning and has an above average 11.7% swinging strike rate. He and the Indians get a terrific matchup against a Royals team that sits with a league-low 460 runs on the season and also rank in the bottom five when looking at wOBA(.298), wRC+(85), and ISO(.141) against right-handed pitching. All things considered, Clevinger is my top pitcher on the slate and a great option in all formats.
Another option I will strongly consider in all formats tonight is Mike Foltynewicz who is having the best season of his career. He currently sits with 10 wins which tie his career-high from last season but where he has really improved is the underlying numbers. He came into this season with a 4.87 ERA/4.48 xFIP over his first four seasons but has blown that away in 2018 as he comes into tonight with an impressive 2.72 ERA and 3.61 xFIP. The other big difference is the upside as he sits with a 10.42 K/9 and 10.3% swinging strike rate. He struggled in two starts out of the All-Star break allowing four earned runs in each but has rebounded in a big way allowing just four total in his last four starts. Now he gets an elite matchup against the Marlins who are as comparably bad as the Royals ranking second last in runs scored on the season and also rank bottom five when looking at wOBA(.294), wRC+(84), and ISO(.123) against right-handed pitching.
Miley continues to wow everyone with his consistent pitching with the Brewers this season and while I don't think it is completely sustainable, he comes at a terrific value price on a slate with few pitching options. After posting a 5.00+ ERA over the last two season with the Orioles and Red Sox, he sits with a 2.18 ERA through nine starts this season despite walking almost four per nine and striking out just under six per nine. What he is doing well is creating a ton of ground balls(50%) with his curveball which he is using over 17% of the time(no more than 11.5% in any other season in his career). The Pirates sit middle of the pack when facing left-handed pitching but have really struggled overall in the last 14 days ranking second to last in runs scored and sit with a .290 wOBA, 80 wRC+, and 116 ISO in that time. Given the price and lack of other options tonight, Mile makes an excellent SP2 option DraftKings or deep GPP target on FanDuel.
The Rockies and Cardinals bats will be popular tonight as they meet in Coors Field but one bat I just can't get away from is Matt Carpenter. He is the highest projected player at the position and third highest at any position tonight and after struggling in the first month of the season has been one of the more consistent bats in all of baseball. Since May 1, he has posted a .296/.403/.645 slash line with 32 home runs, 59 RBI, and 74 runs scored while hitting primarily out of the leadoff position. Antonio Senzatela started the season out of the bullpen where he posted a 6.23 ERA/4.47 xFIP before heading to Triple-A to be stretched out for starting role. He has been better since jumping into the rotation in early July with a 3.60 ERA but is due for some regression, especially at home, with a low .257 BABIP and high 4.77 xFIP. If you are paying up for just one bat tonight, Matt Carpenter is right near the top of the list in all formats.
If you are looking to go the value route at the position tonight consider Tyler White. He is earning his spot in the lineup with his preparation off the field and play on the field. Since being called up in mid-June, White has been tearing the cover off the ball with a .306/.387/.633 slash line with eight long balls and 17 RBI. Most of that production has come in the month of August as he has hits in 12 of his 15 starts with five home runs and 13 RBI with a gaudy .400 ISO. He has also been slightly better against lefties with a .460 wOBA, 201 wRC and 1.113 OPS on a limited sample size and faces Andrew Heaney who has struggled since his first start out of the All-Star break with a 5.68 ERA while giving up 45.5% hard contact. All things considered, White is a top PTS/$ option in all formats.
Catcher Consideration: Mitch Garver(MIN)
After picking up his first career hit at Triple-A (was also his first career game at that level), Altuve was activated this week and while he went hitless in his first game back, picked up two hits Wednesday. The 2017 AL MVP isn't having quite the season in 2018, especially in the power department but he is still an elite hitter who comes in with a .328 average and .391 on-base percentage. I already talked about how Heaney has struggled lately and if Altuve really starts to heat, this could be the last time this season we can get him at these prices.
Dozier is definitely not someone I will look to in cash games as he is hitting just .228 on the season with a less than impressive .318 on-base percentage but he makes a terrific pivot for GPP's. One positive is that since joining the Dodgers he has been getting on base at high .372 rate and has spent about half his games in the leadoff role because of it. He does have a ton of upside against left-handed pitching and faces a struggling Clayton Richard who has been a tire fire since the All-Star break giving up 27 earned runs in 31 innings(7.84 ERA/4.81 xFIP) along with six home runs(24% HR/FB rate). Altuve is the obvious choice for just $200 more on DraftKings which will make Dozier much less owned but on FanDuel the gap is a little bigger($400) making the decision a little tougher.
Not a day goes by where the system doesn't like Trea Turner but tonight is one of those nights I am totally on board. While the average(.268) has dipped a bit this season the on-base percentage(.335) is still there comparing it to last season but being healthy in 2018 has helped him reach career-highs in home runs(15), RBI(52), and runs scored (78). He also provides tremendous speed when on the base paths as he has 30+ stolen bases in three straight season which adds to his overall upside. To top it off, he is much better against lefties with .348 wOBA, 116 wRC+, and .808 OPS and faces Jason Vargas who has been a below average option on the mound as he enters with a 7.67 ERA, 4.99 xFIP and 18.7% HR/FB rate. Turner is at the top of my list of shortstop options I would consider in all formats tonight.
The value option I am turning to tonight is Gleyber Torres who comes in the sub $4K range on both sites. He has been up and down all season which is to be expected for a 21-year-old player but he is getting added opportunity to contribute for the Yankees with all their injuries. He has been hitting fifth or sixth in the order after spending most of the season in the nine hole and comes in with five of his last six games including three multi-hit efforts and has 53 RBI on the season. The matchup may not look tremendous as Alex Cobb has actually looked good in his last four starts but is still striking out under six per nine and sits with a 5.09 ERA/4.44 xFIP. At these prices, I would consider Torres in all formats.
Also Consider: Marcus Semien(OAK)
I am going back to the Nats to kick off the third base picks as Jason Vargas just hasn't been good this season allowing multiple earned runs in 12 of his 14 starts for a 7.67 ERA/4.99 xFIP and has also allowed 14 total home runs(18.7%) and 36% hard contact. Rendon isn't producing at the same elite level as last season but has still been very solid with a .292/.354/.500 slash line and once again has crushed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .382 wOBA, 139 wRC+, and .932 OPS. The Nats currently sit middle of the pack in implied runs and could be lowered owned but have a great shot being one of the more productive teams tonight putting Rendon squarely in the conversation for an all formats play.
Candelario and the Tigers currently sit just outside the Top 5 in implied runs and from a PTS/$ perspective, Candelario is right near the top at the position tonight on both sites. He has not been very consistent in his first full season with a .229 average but has shown some power upside with 15 home runs while driving in 45 and scoring 61 runs. He and the Tigers also get a terrific matchup against Reynaldo Lopez who continues to struggle in the big leagues with a 4.72 ERA and even worse 5.61 xFIP while striking out just 6.5 per nine and walking just under four per nine. While I prefer Candelario in GPP formats, especially on DraftKings at just $600 cheaper than Rendon, I think the case can be made for him as a cash play on FanDuel.
Also Consider: Eduardo Escobar(ARI)
When we have a slate with few top pitching options that only means one thing. Multiple teams with great matchups for their bats and the Braves, once again, stand out. They will be facing Dan Straily who gets himself into trouble over and over as he walks nearly 4.5 batters per nine and sits with 4.60 ERA and even worse 5.02 xFIP on the season. Not only that but he has also given up 19 home runs in 20 starts(16% HR/FB rate) with a career-high 44% hard contact rate. For the Braves, you would be doing a disservice if you didn't start your exposure with superstar Ronald Acuna who is doing things a 19-year-old should not be doing. Through his first 76 games in the big leagues, he has hit 21 home runs with 45 RBI, and 54 runs scored while posting a .286 average and .354 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot. He is expensive but what makes it much easier to get him into cash games is that Ender Inciarte has been moved to the two hole behind him and has been red-hot with hits in six straight and 10 of his last 11 games. Get these hot hitters into your lineups in all formats tonight.
As long as Martini remains in the leadoff spot for the red-hot Athletics you will continue to see him near the top of the PTS/$ rankings, especially on FanDuel where he is still in the sub $3K range. Despite going hitless in three of his last four games, he sits with an on-base percentage just under .400 for the season and average hovering around .290 through his first 34 games in the big leagues. Tonight the A's will face Jake Odorizzi who does have some K upside(9.37 K/9) but also has an issue with free passes(3.65 BB/9) which have got him into trouble as displayed by his less than appealing 4.55 ERA and 4.65 xFIP. The A's sit inside the Top 3 in implied runs at the moment and Martini gives us some cheap exposure to help pay up at other positions in all formats.