Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 8/26/21
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It feels like Chris Sale's return is going a bit under the radar which seems crazy considering he has put up 21+ DK/36+ FD points in each of his first two starts back after missing nearly two years. Even more impressive is that he has put up those numbers while being limited to 89 and 71 pitches, getting through five innings in both starts and picking up the win. The price continues to rise but so should the pitch count and the Red Sox are huge -300 favorites giving him excellent win equity once again. Sale is my top pitcher in all formats on Thursday.
This is a situation where the price and performance are going in the opposite direction leading to a buy-low situation. After nearly hitting $10K on DraftKings two weeks ago, his price starting falling after a couple of bad performances. The good news is that he has bounced back nicely posting 21+ DK/36+ FD points in two straight starts and now faces a Mets team that has dropped 10 of 12 while scoring just 3.2 runs per game and striking out 27% of the time. I will have exposure in all formats.
If you are looking to load up on bats, we get another buy-low with Mile Mikolas is only one start removed from missing nearly three months with a forearm injury. While limited to 84 pitches in his return, he looked good allowing just two hits with two runs(both unearned) while striking out five. He will be facing the same Pirates team in a plus matchup as they rank 2nd to last in both wOBA and wRC+ since the All-Star Break. With a pitch count that is likely to rise plus the low price, Mikolas is my favorite PTS/$ SP2 on this slate.
Targeting bad pitchers is the name of the game and that puts the Cardinals right near the top of the list tonight. They will face one of the worst pitchers on the slate in Mitch Keller who is giving up an average of 7.6 walks+hits per start and enters with a 6.35 ERA/4.91 xFIP and 49% hard contact against. While Goldy is still searching for that monster power upside, has been great lately posting a .329/.393/.532 slash line with 150 wRC+ since July 1. With this matchup and his price which remains under $5K on DraftKings, he is easily my top play at first tonight.
First base is kind of a mess tonight so I have no problem taking a big discount and no better place than the team projected to score the most runs. Shaw, in no way, provides safety with an average(.196) below the Mendoza line but the good news is that he does come in with hits in three straight including home runs in two of them. I do prefer Goldy in cash games but one of my favorite things to do in GPP formats to avoid some chalk is to stack the top team but go further down the lineup and Shaw fits this build.
Hard not to like the Cards offense tonight as they get one of the best matchups on the board and hard to ignore Tommy Edman who checks almost every single box. He hits leadoff in front of the red-hot Paul Goldschmidt and has been red-hot himself with hits in 11 of his last 12 games with six multi-hit efforts. The only knock here would be the splits as he has been better against lefties as a switch hitter but the matchup, form, and value prices on both sites still have him as my top PTS/$ play at second base.
Kike Hernández FD 3400 DK 4700
Opponent - MIN (John Gant) Park - MIN
FD - 11.57 DK - 8.73
It appeared as if Hernandez was going to let us down last night going hitless through his first three at-bats but that was not the case. From the 7th inning on, he picked up three hits and ended up a triple shy of the cycle. No matter what happened last night, the Red Sox are in a great spot again and Kike hits leadoff and has an affordable price tag on both sites. I am back on him in all formats tonight.
Rosario was a core play for me last night that did let me down with an 0 for 3 but I won't be letting one game cloud his consistency over a much larger sample size. He got moved up to the two spot in the lineup in late May and has since hit .312 and has been even better in the second half hitting .345 with a .381 wOBA and 142 wRC+. He is better against lefties but I will overlook that tonight given the situation, plus matchup, and very affordable price tag on both sites. In play for me in all formats.
Also Consider: Xander Bogaerts(BOS) if you have the salary and want to extend the top-of-the-order stack for the Red Sox or Yonny Hernandez(TEX) who is near min price on both sites and is projected to hit leadoff in a plus matchup
José Ramírez FD 4400 DK 5900
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - TEX
FD - 14.47 DK - 10.88
Third base is absolutely loaded tonight and my favorite spot to pay up for a top bat. All three of JRam, Arenado, and Devers are in tremendous matchups but I lean Ramirez who has been, by far, the better of the three in the second half and more specifically in the month of August. He is only hitting .253 but it's what he is doing with those hits that stands out as he has seven home runs and 17 RBI good for a .384 wOBA and 143 wRC+. All things considered, JRam is my favorite top-priced bat on this slate.
On the value side of things, I have been on France for a while now as his price never seems to ever leave this mid-tire range. He hits in the top third of the lineup for the Mariners and has been consistent all year with a .291/.360/.464 slash line and comes in with hits in seven straight games including four home runs. From a PTS/$ perspective, France is right near the top of the list for me tonight.
As you can probably already tell, I will be very heavy on three teams tonight, and making it much easier is all the value on these teams. This brings me right back to the Red Sox and Cardinals in the outfield who have a great combination of value and opportunity. Let's start with Schwarber who has quickly worked his way up the lineup and now has hits in seven of nine games and also picked up his first home run since coming over to Boston. If this keeps up, he will quickly be in the $5K range on DraftKings so this is also a bit of a buy-low.
For Carlson, there is a little more risk as he is two games removed from an IL stint due to a wrist injury but I am not overly concerned. Mainly as he hits in the top third of the lineup surrounded by good hitters and is underpriced on DraftKings in the low $3K range. The STL 1-2-3 stack is my favorite on this slate for cash games.