Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Sunday, 8/15/21

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This is a bizarre slate. There really aren't many pitchers that we're completely comfortable with, but there's a couple of five-figure guys you can ride. The rest of the options are downright ugly, though, and it's going to lead to some chalky lineups. What's also going to be chalky is the Boston Red Sox stack. They're projected for more than six runs, and rightfully so. Sometimes it's a good idea to fade chalk, but Boston feels like a lock today. With that in mind, let's kick things off with some of those pitchers we mentioned before.


Eduardo RodriguezEduardo Rodriguez FD 8000 DK 9800
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 27.97 DK - 15.15

This game has a high run total, but E-Rod is a big favorite at -280 at home against the Orioles. Again, you do not like the 10.5 over/under coming in, but the win odds are really in his favor if he can get through five innings. And the strikeout potential is definitely there against Baltimore. Rodriguez is putting down batters almost 30% of the time this season and has the lowest walk rate of his career.

Sean ManaeaSean Manaea FD 9600 DK 10400
Opponent - TEX (Kolby Allard) Park - TEX
FD - 32.58 DK - 16.88

Manaea was a guy we used to fade because of his lack of strikeouts, but something has changed. Over his last 14 starts, Manaea has a 2.82 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9 rate. Those are some shocking numbers, but it makes him one of the best options on the board. What really adds to his intrigue here is this tasty matchup with Texas. The Rangers currently rank dead-last in OBP and OPS, freefalling down the standings. The Rangers ballpark used to be a tough cookie to crack, but it's actually developed into one of the most pitcher-friendly parks once they moved to Globe Life Field.


Catcher/First Base

Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 3400 DK 4700
Opponent - KC (Kris Bubic) Park - KC
FD - 13.1 DK - 9.85

We absolutely love the Cardinals in this spot. Guys like Nolan Arenado and Tyler O'Neill are fantastic options, but Goldy is the guy we want to use. We say that because he's killed left-handers throughout his career, posting an OPS just shy of .950 against them. That alone makes him a good option, but Goldy is absolutely rolling right now. Over his last nine games, Goldschmidt is hitting .353 en route to a .439 OBP and .910 OPS. It's not like we're worried about him facing Bubic either, with the Royals lefty tallying an ugly 1.44 WHIP this year.

José AbreuJosé Abreu FD 3900 DK 5200
Opponent - NYY (Nestor Cortes) Park - NYY
FD - 12.82 DK - 9.7

If Goldy's not the hottest first baseman in baseball right now, Abreu surely is. In his current 11-game hitting streak, Jose is hitting .370 while providing a .826 SLG and 1.222 OPS. That's the guy we saw win AL MVP last season, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him do this for the final two months. What adds to his intrigue here is the fact that he gets to face a lefty. Since 2019, Abreu has a .372 OBP, .597 SLG, and .970 OPS, with the platoon advantage in his favor.

Salvador Perez is leading all catchers in homers and is obviously a good play against a weak lefty.

Second Base

José AltuveJosé Altuve FD 3800 DK 5100
Opponent - LAA (Reid Detmers) Park - LAA
FD - 14.64 DK - 11.2

Who is Reid Detmers? I honestly don't know, but a 10.61 ERA and 1.82 WHIP certainly won't get it done. Those terrifying numbers are terrible news against a lineup like this, with the Astros projected for six runs. That means we have to love their best hitter, which happens to be Altuve. He's actually been terrible over the last few weeks, but it's lowered his price to some numbers we can't overlook. We're still talking about a perennial All-Star that collected a .872 OPS through July of this year, and it just feels like a matter of time before he gets hot again.

Whit MerrifieldWhit Merrifield FD 3600 DK 3700
Opponent - STL (J.A. Happ) Park - STL
FD - 12.47 DK - 9.71

This dude is one of the most underrated players in baseball. Merrifield continues to rake atop this Royals lineup and is actually leading the league in steals. A lot of that production has come recently, with Whit generating a .293 AVG and .370 OBP over his last 10 games. He's also got six steals in that span as well, and as long as he's getting on base at a 40 percent clip, he should swipe a bag more often than not. We like him today because he gets to face a lefty, totaling a .813 OPS against them since 2019. We certainly don't expect Happ to keep him off the bases behind his 6.34 ERA and 1.51 WHIP.


Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3900 DK 5200
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 17.23 DK - 13.05

We haven't gotten into any of the Red Sox, but we're going to get them rolling here. Bogey is easily one of the key pieces to our Boston stack, hitting in the heart of this order. It's easy to see why he's one of the star hitters in this star-studded lineup, accumulating a .309 AVG, .376 OBP, .520 SLG, and .896 OPS this season. Those are some amazing numbers, and it makes him an easy choice in this spectacular matchup. Boston gets a matchup with Keegan Akin, who owns an 8.23 ERA and 1.79 WHIP. It also gives Bogey the platoon advantage from the right side, making him even more enticing.

Brendan RodgersBrendan Rodgers FD 2800 DK 4100
Opponent - SF (Alex Wood) Park - SF
FD - 8.32 DK - 6.4

Many people outside of Colorado might not realize this, but Rodgers is in the midst of a breakout season. Since the beginning of June, Rodgers has a .311 AVG, .368 OBP, .536 SLG, and .904 OPS. That's a lengthy 53-game span, and it's earned him a spot in the heart of this order. We don't really like that he has to hit in AT&T Park against a tough pitcher, but he does get to face a struggling lefty. That gives Rodgers the platoon advantage from the right side, and Wood has been sliding a bit recently, amassing a 5.67 ERA since the end of June.

Third Base

José RamírezJosé Ramírez FD 4000 DK 6000
Opponent - DET (Drew Hutchison) Park - DET
FD - 13 DK - 9.78

Ramirez is one of the highest-priced players on this slate, but he's earned every bit of that. After another gem on Saturday, J-Ram has a .603 SLG over his last 20 games played. Not many players can match that power, and, amazingly, he's got five steals in that span too. That's one of the best power-speed combos in the game, and it's actually made him the highest-scoring third baseman for the season. Getting to face a guy who hasn't pitched this season is simply the cherry on top, with Hutchison hurling a 5.10 ERA for his career.

Matt ChapmanMatt Chapman FD 3300 DK 4600
Opponent - TEX (Kolby Allard) Park - TEX
FD - 11.78 DK - 8.8

Chapman was downright terrible for the first three months of the season, but he's showing signs of crawling out of it, posting a .714 OBP and 2.000 OPS over his last three games played. That's obviously a ridiculously small sample size, but it's hard to argue when you're talking about a guy who's received MVP votes at times in the past. What really adds to his value here is that he gets to face a crappy lefty, with Chap posting an OPS north of .800 against southpaws throughout his career. Not to mention Allard has an ERA just shy of 5.00.


J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD 4000 DK 5000
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 17.73 DK - 13.33

To say Martinez is the best bat of the day would be a drastic understatement. This guy has returned to his All-Star form this year, and a lot of it has to do with his abuse of left-handed pitching. Since 2019, JD has a .399 OBP, .628 SLG, and 1.027 OPS, with the platoon advantage in his favor. That's got to be a nightmare for a gas can like Akin, especially with Martinez compiling a 1.331 OPS over his last five fixtures. That means a hot hitter is facing a terrible pitcher in the best situation possible. If you can find a better option, I'd love to know who.

Yordan AlvarezYordan Alvarez FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - LAA (Reid Detmers) Park - LAA
FD - 14.54 DK - 10.84

Alvarez has been underpriced on these sites all season long, and it's tough to understand why. This dude has been crushing baseballs ever since his call-up, providing an OPS north of .900 since 2019. That's an incredible run in a long period of time, and it looks like this guy could be on his way to a Miguel Cabrera-like career. We love him today because he gets to face Detmers, with the unknown arm posting an ERA north of 10.00 this season. That means Houston and Boston are the two best stacks of the day, and it'd be wise to get as many of these guys in there as possible.

Mark CanhaMark Canha FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - TEX (Kolby Allard) Park - TEX
FD - 13.45 DK - 10.06

We just discussed two of our favorite stacks of the day, and Oakland is right there with them. This club continues to churn out wins at ease, averaging nearly nine runs per game over their last 10 outings. A big reason for that success is Canha, getting on base a ton atop this lineup. He's got an OBP just shy of .390 since joining this club, and he's quietly been a monster fantasy producer. In 97 games this season, MC has 11 homers, 10 steals and 69 runs scored. That might not sound special, but it tells you that he's producing nearly every day with his .400 OBP. We already talked about how Allard is a tremendous matchup, too, and it should be beneficial for Canha to bat from the right side against him.





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