Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 8/5/21 - Main Slate

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Sonny GraySonny Gray FD - P 9300 DK - SP 9300
Opponent - PIT (Wil Crowe) Park - CIN
FD - 34.63 DK - 18.69

After two ugly starts out of the break, Gray rebounded in a big way in his last start limiting the Mets to one earned run while striking out seven and walking just one. That is much more on par with what we have seen from him all season and he comes in with an xFIP(3.32) that is nearly a full run lower than his ERA(4.26) telling me there are more good starts on the horizon. Great spot tonight as he and the Reds are big -225 favorites facing a Pirates team that is a bottom 5-10 offense in every category. Lock and load in all formats.

Framber ValdezFramber Valdez FD - P 9700 DK - RP 9900
Opponent - MIN (Griffin Jax) Park - HOU
FD - 29.32 DK - 15.34

Valdez is a little more expensive than Gray on both sites but still under $10K and has an equally good matchup as the biggest favorite(-275) on the slate. He faces a Twins team that has been mid-pack since the All-Star break and has dropped seven of their last 10 games and could be without Josh Donaldson for a sixth straight game. For Valdez, he got a late start to the season but has made up for lost time with a 7-2 record, 3.01 ERA, and 3.66 xFIP in 12 starts. Like Gray, he is in play in all formats and I personally love pairing them together on DraftKings which keeps us below $20 combined.


Catcher/First Base

Joey VottoJoey Votto FD 4400 DK 5700
Opponent - PIT (Wil Crowe) Park - PIT
FD - 12.03 DK - 9.03

First base is loaded and I wouldn't blame you for going either of them tonight but I lean Votto as that $500 discount Vladdy could easily come into play on DraftKings. While Votto isn't on the same MVP trajectory, he has been arguably the hottest bat since the ASB hitting .328 with a .511 wOBA and nearly set an MLB record with home runs in seven straight. Combine the red-hot form with a great matchup vs. the Pirates and Wil Crowe(5.40 ERA/4.85 XFIP) and you have a core play for all formats.

Andrew VaughnAndrew Vaughn FD 2800 DK 2900
Opponent - KC (Daniel Lynch) Park - KC
FD - 9.88 DK - 7.5

This play is for FanDuel as Vaughn gives us multiple positon eligibility there along with a value price. Not only that but the former 3rd overall pick(2019) has started to come into his own with the White Sox hitting over .300 since the ASB with a .366 wOBA and 136 wRC+. He mostly hits down in the lineup but as long as the price stays suppressed I am not concerned about the batting order. He is in play in all formats as a top value for me on FanDuel and is also in play in the outfield on DraftKings if stacking the WHite Sox.

Second Base

Jonathan IndiaJonathan India FD 3600 DK 4700
Opponent - PIT (Wil Crowe) Park - PIT
FD - 12.51 DK - 9.58

In terms of odds when looking at the NL Rookie of the Year race, India is trailing slightly but I have no doubt he will eventually take home the hardware. He has been tremendous all season but even better since the ASB with hits in 14 of 17 games, good for a .315 average and .436 wOBA to go along with 17 runs scored. On the season, he ranks 5th overall in on-base percentage which, at these prices, gives him a very high floor and an elite play in all formats in this plus matchup.

Cesar HernándezCesar Hernández FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - KC (Daniel Lynch) Park - KC
FD - 11.78 DK - 9.09

Hernandez was traded at the deadline from one AL Central team to another and while the overall numbers are nothing to write home about, he is cheap and brings a ton of opportunity. That is right, since joining the White Sox he has hit 2nd in the lineup and has hits in three of five games. For cash games, with the White Sox struggling as of late, I am more into the value plays tonight in this plus matchup aginst Daniel Lynch so fire up Hernandez in all formats.


Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 4100 DK 5000
Opponent - CLE (Triston McKenzie) Park - CLE
FD - 12.64 DK - 9.58

When looking at the two Jays shortstops it really depends what site you are playing. On FanDuel, where they are the same price, I lean Bichette who has been slightly better since the ASB but on DraftKings I lean Semien with the $700 discount. He has been one of the most underrated offseason pickups and has been great for the Jays with 25 home runs and 79 runs scored. While he has cooled off some, he is never really going to kill your lineups as he comes in with hits in 11 of his last 12 games, gets an elite matchup, and hits third in arguably the most powerful lineup in baseball. Lock and load.

Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - MIN (Griffin Jax) Park - MIN
FD - 12.83 DK - 9.65

It honestly feels like Correa is having a down season but I realize a lot of that is my fantasy mindset and his constant position in the bottom half of the lineup making him slightly overpriced. First, he is not having a down-season hitting .275 with .363 wOBA and 137 wRC+ and more good news as he has been hitting out of the three-hole over the last couple of games. The price is fair on FanDuel but what stands out the most tonight is the price tag on DraftKings that is slowly going back up but still in a great buy-low spot.

Third Base

Abraham ToroAbraham Toro FD 2500 DK 3500
Opponent - NYY (Nestor Cortes) Park - NYY
FD - 8.41 DK - 6.35

You can most definitely pay up for Jose Ramirez or Nolan Arenado tonight but for me, this is a value position and it starts with Abraham Toro. He has been a welcome surprise tallying a hit in seven of eight games since joining the Mariners including three long balls. He is also a switch hitter who has been slightly better vs. lefties with a .364 wOBA and 137 wRC+. At these prices, he is in play for me in all formats.

Also Consider: Jose Ramirez(CLE) if paying up or Austin Riley(ATL) as a nice mid-tier option having himself a career-year


George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 4200 DK 5500
Opponent - CLE (Triston McKenzie) Park - CLE
FD - 14.64 DK - 11
Corey DickersonCorey Dickerson FD 2000 DK 3200
Opponent - CLE (Triston McKenzie) Park - CLE
FD - 10.69 DK - 8.25

Hard to ignore the Jays right now as they are one of just five teams to score 100 or more runs since the All-Star break and they lead all of them with a lofty 127 wRC+ and .235 ISO(isolated power). There are four options in the outfield depending on how the lineup unfolds but George Springer is easily at the top of the list. He got a late start to the season but is making up for lost time as he is hitting .400 with eight home runs since the break and is arguably the best leadoff man in baseball.

For value, I am fine punting Corey Dickerson who has finally made his debut since being traded as he was out with a foot injury. He isn't a consistent option but comes with a ton of extra-base hit and power upside. If punting a player, I always like to look at the top projected scoring teams first and Dickerson is ear the top of that list tonight.

Michael BrantleyMichael Brantley FD 3300 DK 3100
Opponent - MIN (Griffin Jax) Park - MIN
FD - 13.06 DK - 10

The Astros offense has not let up all season and they get another plus matchup tonight so there is no way we can't mention Brantley.  I mean, he leads the major leagues in batting average(.332) yet comes to us at near punt prices on DraftKings. Don't overthink it. Lock him into one of your outfield positions as a one-off value or key piece in a Houston stack.





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