Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Wednesday, 8/25/21

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Yours truly was very tilted yesterday. I had a gem of a lineup going, but then German Marquez picked up a big fat 0 in my lineup because of a postponement. That was definitely an amateur move on my part, but it happens to all of us at some point. It's just a good reminder that we always need to check weather before submitting lineups. Playing on the safe side is obviously the best way to go, but we luckily don't have many weather issues here. That has me excited to have a big day, so let's get into it!


Walker BuehlerWalker Buehler FD - P 11300 DK - SP 9700
Opponent - SD (Blake Snell) Park - SD
FD - 36.47 DK - 19.93

If you want a guaranteed quality start, Buehler is your guy. We say that because he has thrown at least five innings in all 25 starts he's made, reaching six innings in 24 of those. That absurd consistency has allowed Buehler to score at least 28 FanDuel points in all 24 of those starts, leading to a 2.11 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. All of that has him as the clubhouse leader for NL Cy Young, and it makes him one of the best options in DFS. It's not like the Padres lineup is scary right now either, losing 10 of their last 12 games while scoring fewer than three runs a night in those losses. Walker has been amazing in his two starts against them, too, posting a 2.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.

Shohei OhtaniShohei Ohtani FD - P 11600 DK - SP 8700
Opponent - BAL (Undecided) Park - BAL
FD - 36.8 DK - 19.62

This guy might be the best hitter in baseball right now, and we have him in here for his pitching. If that's not a good indicator of how special this dude is, then some of these numbers should sway you. Since struggling on the final day of June, Shohei has slung a 1.57 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 8.3 K/9 rate. It's certainly no flukey stretch either, with Ohtani obtaining a 2.58 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 12.4 K/9 rate before that Yankees The NY start is the outlier here, with Ohtani scoring at least 23 FD points in every other start this year. That should be easy to duplicate against Baltimore, with the Orioles ranked 27th in runs scored and 29th in OBP.

If you're looking for a cheaper pitcher, Tyler Gilbert threw a no-hitter last week and gets to face a 29th-ranked Pirates offense here.


Catcher/First Base

Pete AlonsoPete Alonso FD - 1B 3700 DK - 1B 5200
Opponent - SF (Johnny Cueto) Park - NYM
FD - 12.51 DK - 9.29

Big Pete is clearly one of the best power hitters in baseball, and it just feels like he's a bit too cheap on both of these sites. We're talking about a guy who has a .541 SLG and .888 OPS for his career. Those are obviously some of the best power numbers you'll see, and it's strange to see a handful of guys at his position priced above him. What really makes him enticing is the fact that he's rolling, generating a .327 AVG, .672 SLG, and 1.070 OPS over his last 13 games played. That's got to be worrisome for a guy like Johnny Cueto, with the righty registering a 4.38 ERA and 1.30 WHIP since the beginning of July.

Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera FD - 1B 2800 DK - 1B 3000
Opponent - STL (Jon Lester) Park - STL
FD - 9.75 DK - 7.43

Is it 2013? It feels weird to write up someone as unproductive as Cabrera, but something needs to be said about having that 500-homer mark off of his shoulders. He actually went deep just three at-bats after that historic dinger, and it's a good pointer that he's got some of that weight off of his shoulders. Over his last five games played, Miggy has two dingers and five RBI, getting on base three times on Tuesday. We believe he can do that again here, totaling a .404 OBP and .906 OPS against lefties since 2019. This southpaw is struggling mightily, too, with Lester compiling a 5.46 ERA and 1.64 WHIP.

If you need a catcher, Christian Vasquez is way too cheap on both sites in a good spot.

Second Base

Jorge PolancoJorge Polanco FD - 2B 3500 DK - 2B 3600
Opponent - BOS (Nick Pivetta) Park - BOS
FD - 10.14 DK - 7.79

Talk about some mispricing. Polanco has been one of the best middle infielders in baseball for a month now, and it makes no sense why he remains so affordable on both sites. Since July 10, Polanco has provided seven doubles, 13 homers, and 39 RBI en route to a .329 BA, .651 SLG, and 1.030 OPS. That's an utterly brilliant 37-game sample size, and it makes it mind-boggling that he's priced around a bunch of platoon players. Getting to face Nick Pivetta is a nice bonus, too, with Polanco doing most of his damage from the left side. That's no good for Pivetta's 4.43 ERA.

Jeff McNeilJeff McNeil FD - 2B 2500 DK - 2B 4000
Opponent - SF (Johnny Cueto) Park - NYM
FD - 10.58 DK - 8.14

It feels like McNeil finds his way into this article a lot. The simple fact is, McNeil is a better player than this price would indicate. An oft-injured 2021 season is the thing that's kept his price tag so low, but we're still talking about a dominant hitter. For his career, McNeil is hitting .302 while providing a .368 OBP and .837 OPS. That's really all you can ask for from someone this cheap, especially with McNeil getting the platoon advantage from the left side. In that same span, McNeil's OPS is 126 points higher against righties than it is against left-handers; And, it's not like Cueto is a guy we need to fear.


Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD - SS 4400 DK - 2B 5300
Opponent - SD (Blake Snell) Park - SD
FD - 12.01 DK - 9.24

Turner just did another one of his sexy slides on Tuesday, and he's truly becoming a household name in LA. He was actually doing those aesthetically pleasing slides for years in Washington, but no one noticed until he put on the white and blue. In any case, Turner is one of the best assets in fantasy baseball, leading all second baseman on this slate with nearly 10 DK points per game. That makes him an obvious choice, but it's even scarier when you see that TT has a .500 OBP and 1.214 OPS over his last eight games played. The matchup against Blake Snell sounds scary, but this is a southpaw slinging a 4.82 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in the worst season of his career.

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD - SS 4200 DK - SS 5600
Opponent - MIN (Bailey Ober) Park - BOS
FD - 14.94 DK - 11.31

Good Ol' Xander! This guy is just a consistency monster, providing elite numbers year after year. Since 2018, Bogey's lowest OPS is .862, generating a .301 AVG, .373 BA, .531 SLG and .903 OPS in that span. That makes him one of the best hitters in baseball, but no one treats him as such. In any case, that always makes him a good value for DFS purposes, particularly in a matchup like this. Boston is projected for six runs against Bailey Ober, and it's far from surprising when you see Bailey boasting his 4.79 FIP. Not to mention, Xander has a .418 OBP and 1.043 OPS since the first week of August.

Third Base

José RamírezJosé Ramírez FD - 3B 4500 DK - 3B 5700
Opponent - TEX (Jake Latz) Park - CLE
FD - 13.12 DK - 9.86

We've been bringing out the big dogs for this article. Jose is just that, ranked third among all hitters with 9.8 DK points per game. The only two ahead of him are Fernando Tatis and Vlad Guerrero, and you know that story. That means this dude has been a stud all season, but he's been an absolute beast recently. In fact, J-Ram has a .664 SLG, 1.005 OPS, and seven steals since the end of July. That's a super rare power-speed combo, and it makes him a majestic play against an unknown pitcher like Jake Latz. The Texas lefty never pitched above A-Ball before this season and certainly didn't impress with his 4.98 ERA and 1.40 WHIP at the minors this year.

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD - 3B 2900 DK - 3B 3600
Opponent - BOS (Nick Pivetta) Park - BOS
FD - 10.92 DK - 8.09

There wasn't much value on this slate, but a sneaky Minnesota stack might be an excellent approach. We say that because many of these guys are cheap, and they definitely have the capability of adding to Pivetta's unspectacular numbers. Donaldson and Polanco would have to be the heart of that stack batting second, third or fourth in the lineup. It's easy to see why Donaldson has such a prominent spot in the order, collecting two homers and three RBI over the last three games. That's a small sample size, but a .367 OBP and .904 OPS in nearly 5,000 plate appearances certainly is not.


Juan SotoJuan Soto FD - OF 4400 DK - OF 5400
Opponent - MIA (Edward Cabrera) Park - MIA
FD - 13.21 DK - 9.89

Who is Edward Cabrera? I honestly don't know anything about him, and that's terrifying that he has to match up with Juan Soto. It's easy to see why we haven't really heard of him, with Cabrera making his MLB debut here after collecting a 1.41 WHIP at the minors this season. It's hard to understand how they expect someone with a 1.41 WHIP at Double-A to be successful, and it makes Soto one of the most sensational plays on the board. Not only does Juan get the platoon advantage from the left side, but he's also accruing a .542 OBP and 1.233 OPS over his last 39 games played. Yes, I had to double-check, but this dude has a .542 OBP in a 40-game span.

Franmil ReyesFranmil Reyes FD - OF 3200 DK - OF 5400
Opponent - TEX (Jake Latz) Park - CLE
FD - 11.48 DK - 8.61

We already discussed how we want to use hitters against Latz, and The Franimal might be the best option of the bunch. It's crazy but he's just $3,200 on FanDuel. That's probably the worst price of any player on this slate, and it makes him a lock over there. We certainly love Reyes is a monster from the right side and gets the platoon advantage against an unproven Latz in this spot. The splits are pretty much on par, but we adore that Reyes gets to see a subpar southpaw with the way he's been swinging the bat, amassing a .529 SLG and .848 OPS this year.

Kyle SchwarberKyle Schwarber FD - OF 3500 DK - OF 4700
Opponent - MIN (Bailey Ober) Park - BOS
FD - 14.23 DK - 10.53

Schwarber isn't mashing home runs every day like he was early in the season, but he's quietly been really productive since coming off the IL. In fact, Schwarber has sustained a .538 OBP since his return, earning a prominent spot in this potent lineup. That's horrifying for Ober, with Schwarbs swatting 23 dingers in a 50-game stretch before his injury. That eye and power combination is hard to overlook from someone in this price range, especially with Kyle compiling a .897 OPS against right-handers since 2019.





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