Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/28/18
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From a fan perspective, we have a tremendous rematch tonight between two of the front-runners for the National League CY Young award. Aaron Nola got the best of the Nationals in their last matchup in a 2-0 win but the system still favors Max tonight and I tend to agree for a couple reasons. They are actually tied with elite 2.13 ERA's on the season but Scherzer has provided much more upside striking out over 12 per nine with a crazy 16.2% swinging strike rate. The Nats have also been the slightly hotter team lately ranking inside the Top 10 in runs scored and have been much better against right-handed pitching on the season as the Phillies sit 20th in wOBA(.313) in the split with the third highest K rate at 25.2%. All things considered, I am willing to pay the higher price for Max in all formats but also think Nola makes an excellent GPP pivot.
I get how spending over $12K can make lineup construction very difficult so a case can most definitely be made for Jack Flaherty who sits at the top of the second tier on this loaded pitching slate. He has been red-hot for the Cardinals lately allowing two or fewer earned runs in four straight and six of his last eight starts pushing his season ERA down below 3.00 with a supporting 3.33 xFIP. On top of that, he has also provided a ton of upside with an 11.24 K/9 and 13.4% swinging strike rate. The Cardinals open as -155 favorites in a plus matchup at home vs. the Pirates who have been ice cold lately ranking dead last in runs scored(32) over the last 14 days with a .291 wOBA and 82 wRC+. Flaherty deserves our attention in all formats tonight.
After three terrific starts to begin his Yankee tenure, Lynn has struggled giving up five earned runs in back to back starts to the Jays and Marlins. It is somewhat of a concern but the price has come back down and he gets a plus matchup vs. a White Sox team, who despite running hot lately, rank in the bottom 10 in runs scoring for the season and also rank in the bottom 10 in wOBA(.309) and wRC+(95) against right-handed pitching with a very high 25.5%(2nd worst) K rate in the split. At these prices, Lynn can be considered in cash games as an SP2 on DraftKings and a nice GPP option on Fanduel that allows for a huge upgrade in bats.
Luke Voit FD 2300 DK 3700
Opponent - CHW (James Shields) Park - NYY
FD - 11.23 DK - 8.57
With all the injuries to the Yankees lately, they called Luke Voit back up from the minors at the start of August and he has provided a nice boost for the offense. During the month of May, he has hits in seven of 10 games good for a .379 average and whopping .438 on-base percentage. This has earned him a steady move up the lineup and he is currently hitting cleanup on Monday night. He and the Yankees are in a great spot again on Tuesday facing James Shields who sits with a 5.04 xFIP in the second half while giving up 11 home runs in just seven starts. If Voit remains in the top half of the lineups, he makes an excellent value play on both sites, especially on FanDuel where he is just slightly above the minimum price.
The Dodgers currently lead all teams in implied runs(6.2) tonight and it makes perfect sense as they get a huge park shift going into Texas and rookie Ariel Jurado has really struggled in his debut. He has struck out just 12 batters and walked 10 through six starts while allowing 23 earned runs for a 6.40 ERA and 5.02 xFIP. He also gives up the long ball with six home runs(18.2%) and has been much worse against lefties with a .453 wOBA, .630 SLG, and 42.9% hard contact against. Enter Max Muncy who is striking out 27% of the time and has a low .259 average but is getting on base at a high .382 rate and has provided a ton of power with 30 home runs on the season. He has been getting a little less playing time with all the trades and has been pushed down the lineup leaving him a better option in GPP lineups unless he gets a shot higher up the lineup in which case could be considered in cash games.
Catcher Consideration: Kurt Suzuki(ATL) who enters tonight with a nine-game hit streak
Most of the top players at the second base position are in less than appealing matchups so it makes sense to pay up for Whit Merrifield tonight. He may not be providing the power he did in 2017 but he has become a much more consistent hitter as he sits with a career-high .307 average and .374 on-base percentage and also adds the speed element with 28 stolen bases on the season. Despite the overall lack of offense for the Royals, Merrifield gets a ton of opportunities hitting leadoff and destroys left-handed pitching to the tune of a .403 wOBA, 157 wRC+, and .949 OPS. He can be considered in all formats on both sites but his best value comes on FanDuel as the seventh most expensive option at the position.
With so many top pitchers on the slate, we are going to need a value play two to make it all work. Enter David Fletcher who isn't going to provide us with a ton of upside but has been steady since his call-up with a .271 average and a .314 on-base percentage which is likely going climb over time as he is only striking out 12% of the time. Even with Mike Trout back in the lineup, the Angels have kept him near the top of the order as he has been a constant in the two-hole since mid-August. He is a better cash play but at these prices, it makes sense to also get him in GPP as a punt play to get a top pitcher and some top bats in your lineup.
Also Consider: Joey Wendle(TB)
We haven't touched on the Red Sox yet and will start with Xander Bogaerts. He isn't going score 90+ runs like the last two seasons but he is getting more opportunities to drive in runs hitting behind a trio of Benintendi, Betts, and Martinez and with 19 home runs and 84 RBI, he is very close to setting career-highs in those categories. Tonight he and the American League-leading Red Sox will face Jose Urena who will return from suspension and has been nothing more than an average arm this season with a 4.50 ERA/4.12 xFIP and is striking out just seven batters per nine. The Red Sox are a Top 3 team when looking at implied runs which puts Bogaerts in the conversation for a play in all formats.
I do like Lance Lynn as a value pitching option tonight but the White Sox have been hot and a catalyst for the streak has been Tim Anderson. He comes into tonight with hits in six straight and 10 of his last 12 games(.326 avg/.362 OBP) with four doubles, a triple and two home runs. He has hit all over the order but would see a nice boost in value should he once again make his way towards to the top in this matchup in Yankee Stadium making him a terrific option, especially in GPP formats.
Also Consider: Amed Rosario(NYM) as a value play
The Dodgers come at a high price tonight but like I mentioned with Muncy, have a whopping 6+ implied runs in a near perfect matchup against struggling rookie Ariel Jurado in a great hitting environment. The first Dodger bat that comes to mind is Justin Turner. He checks all the boxes hitting .308 with a very impressive .398 on-base percentage and has also provides power with as he sits with a career-high 43.3% hard contact rate. He is better against lefties but has still been good against righties with a .356 wOBA, 127 wRC+, and .820 OPS. All things considered, Turner is in play in all formats.
Seager is definitely not the safest choice tonight but comes cheap on both sites with a terrific matchup makes an excellent PTS/$ value play. He is having his worst season as a major leaguer with a career-low .221 average and .270 on-base percentage but the good news is that he is still providing power and driving in runs with his seventh straight season with 20+ home runs and 70+ RBI. While you might think the park is a downgrade for the Mariners going into Petco, it is actually an upgrade when breaking down the numbers and to top it off Seager will face Jacob Nix who, after a nice debut, has struggled allowing eight earned runs in his last two starts with just three strikeouts.
Also Consider: Miguel Andujar(NYY)
There are always a ton of options at the top of the outfield position and I don't think you can go wrong with almost any of them tonight(Trout, Martinez, Betts, Acuna, Stanton) but for me tonight, it's a pair of Brewers. They have both been very consistent producers all season and have alternated leadoff duties. Yelich, in his first season with the Brewers, is checking all the boxes and putting up a career-best .309/.372/.533 slash line with 23 home runs, 67 RBI, and 89 RBI with 14 stolen bases. Cain also came over in the offseason and is having a career year with a .307 average and elite .398 on-base percentage. He doesn't provide the same power upside with just nine home runs but has more speed and already has 24 steals on the season. Anthony DeScaflini has been up and down all year but overall has not been anything special with a 4.26 ERA and 4.03 xFIP and the thing that stands out the most is that he has given up 17 home runs in 14 starts(19.3% HR/FB) with a 41.3% hard contact rate against. He has also been much worse against lefties(.360 wOBA) so for cash games, I will be leaning on Yelich and for a GPP stack I will be adding Cain into the mix as well.
I already talked about the matchup against struggling rookie Jacob Nix who has allowed eight earned runs in his last two starts so let's go back to the Mariners bats. Mitch Haniger has been consistent in his first full season in the big leagues and is having a heck of an August run as he enters tonight with hits in eight straight and 20 of his last 24 games for a .360/.414/.590 slash line. He is also getting added opportunities for fantasy as he has been moved up into the leadoff role. He is a terrific play in all formats tonight and could be overlooked in GPP's with so many other options in the outfield.
I list Jankowski for the sole purpose of those playing on FanDuel as he is minimum price tonight. He has bounced around the lineup but a nice punt play if back in the leadoff spot tonight facing Felix Hernandez who is on the downhill portion of his career and striking out just over seven per nine while seeing his fastball velocity dip below 90 mph on the season. Jankowski doesn't provide any power and has a less than intriguing .260 average but gets on base(.336 OBP) and also has speed already stealing 21 bases on the season. To get a top pitcher and some top bats in your lineup you will need a punt or two and Jankowski is definitely on my radar tonight.
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- Max Scherzer: AP Photo - Eric Risberg