Welcome to the MLB DFS Strategy for Friday August 21st. We will go over some of my favorite pitchers and stacks to target for your FanDuel and DraftKings GPP Lineups. MLB season is starting to wide down and this is one of the last few nights before everyone’s attention will turn to NFL and College Football. So lets get on the money train and get some bankrolls growing before those seasons kick off.
Braves @ Cubs(-192) 8.5
Giants(-123) @ Pirates 7
Brewers @ Nationals(-151) 7
D’Backs(-126) @ Reds 8.5
Phillies @ Marlins(-130) 8
Mets(-111) @ Rockies 11
Cardinals(-125) @ Padres 6.5
Twins @ Orioles(-160) 8.5
Indians @ Yankees(-146) 7.5
Rangers @ Tigers(-125) 8.5
Royals(-148) @ Red Sox 8.5
Rays @ Athletics(-120) 7
Blue Jays(-146) @ Angels 7
White Sox(-107) @ Mariners 6
Dodgers @ Astros(-122) 8
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox (FD $12,200, DK $13,200) – Sale and the White Sox are a very small -107 favorite as they head to Seattle to take on King Felix and the Mariners. The game has a minuscule over/under as it sits at 6 runs as of right now. I could have gone with either Sale or King Felix in this spot, ultimately I chose Sale as his strikeout numbers are just too elite to ignore. The match-up has some tough components to it as I expect King Felix to try to right his rough ship of late and the fact that the Mariners have a couple of guys in Cruz and Gutierrez who absolutely crush left handed pitching. While Sale’s ERA jumps nearly a full run while pitching on the road, his HR rate drops significantly and his K rate actually jumps to nearly 1.5/inning. If he can avoid Cruz and Trumbo (10 for 21 combined, with 4 extra base hits), I think he can rack up another double digit K game.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants (FD $12,800, DK $12,200) – Bumgarner and the Giants travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in a game that has them as a -123 favorite and an over/under of 7 runs. Bumgarner is coming off of a complete game shut-out with 14 K’s. He has been nasty in August as evidenced by the 2 runs allowed in 25.1 innings along with 35 strike outs. Bumgarner’s road numbers have been pretty bad this season as his road ERA is over 2 runs higher than his home ERA. With that said, the Pirates have scored the 4th fewest runs against left handed pitching in 2015. The Pirates are in the bottom half of the majors in terms of slugging against left handed pitching as well.
David Price, Toronto Blue Jays (FD $11,700, DK $12,300) – Price and the Blue Jays are a -146 favorite as they head on the road to Los Angeles. Price has made one start against the Angels in 2015 and took the loss after going 7.2 innings and allowing 4 runs (2 earned) while striking out 6. Price has a tendency to bounce back really strongly against a team that he had a rough start against and I think that is the case tonight as he has been pitching dominantly since joining the Blue Jays at the trade deadline. The Angels are in the bottom third of the majors in terms of slugging against left handed pitching and are in the bottom quarter in terms of OPS against left handed pitching.
Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres (FD $7000, DK $6000) – Cashner is a home underdog in a game with an over/under of just 6.5 runs tonight as he faces Lackey and the Cardinals. Cashner takes on a Cardinals team that is actually in the bottom 20% in terms of runs scored against right handed pitching, which somewhat baffles as they have a decent amount of solid left handed hitters. They are in the middle of the pack in terms of slugging and OPS against right handed pitching. Cashner has made one start against the Cardinals this season and was brilliant going 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits to go along with 3 K’s. Cashner has been a ton better at home as his strikeout numbers jump considerably to over 9 per 9.
Chris Bassitt, Oakland Athletics (FD $7600, DK $6900) – Bassitt and the A’s are a -120 home favorite in a game with an over/under of just 7 runs tonight as they take on Smyly and the Rays. The Rays have scored the fewest runs in baseball against right handed pitching so far in 2015 and its really not all that close considering the next lowest (Mariners) is 16 runs ahead of them. Bassitt has been dominant at home so far this season as he has allowed an average of .194 to go with an ERA of 1.91 and nearly a strikeout per inning. In August, Bassitt has allowed just 4 runs in 21.1 innings to go with 23 strikeouts and an average against of .176.
Johnny Cueto, Kansas City Royals (FD $11,000, DK $10,000) – Cueto and the Royals head to Boston to take on the hottest offense in the majors right now in the Boston Red Sox. This game has an over/under of 8.5 and the Royals are a -148 favorite. Cueto has been excellent in August as he has an ERA of just 1.13 to go with an average against .202 as he has allowed just 3 runs in 24 innings. Over the last 7 days the Red Sox have an OPS of 1.054 to go with a .638 slugging and 14 home runs and 66 runs scored. Cueto has the ability to shut anybody down and that is why he is a solid GPP option in my eyes as I think he is going to be very under owned.
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners (FD $11,000, DK $9900) – Hernandez has had a pretty rough go of it lately and his last start was a complete joke as the Red Sox lit him up for 10 runs in just 2.1 innings. I think he bounces back against a weaker Chicago White Sox lineup tonight. The big question is will he be able to pull out a win as he is up against Chris Sale. He has pitched a ton better at home as evidenced by his .213 average against compared to the road average of .293. I don’t think we will ever see his DK price this low again and for that, I think we have to be willing to jump on him tonight as he offers such value on DK for just 9.9K.
Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon (FD $4500, DK $4500), Jose Reyes (FD $3600, DK $4700), Carlos Gonzalez (FD $5000, DK $5400), Nolan Arenado (FD $5000, DK $5100) – The Rockies get to face the fastball happy Bartolo Colon in Coors tonight and I feel like that is a bad idea for the Mets as Colon relies on his fastball movement which should be neutralized by the conditions and when you straighten out an 88 mph fastball, it tends to go a long ways. I certainly would not mind a full 6 man stack on DK as I think this whole lineup can put up runs against Colon tonight.
Toronto Blue Jays: Troy Tulowitzki (FD $3800, DK $4200), Josh Donaldson (FD $5700, DK $5500), Jose Bautista (FD $4800, DK $4800), Edwin Encarnacion (FD $4800, DK $4200) – This stack is more of a gut feeling to go along with the fact that its hard to not stack them every night that they are on the slate. Santiago really shut them down earlier this season and he has great career numbers against this roster as they have just a .213 average against him over 61 at bats. With that said, this offense is extremely dangerous, especially against left handed pitching. Colabello, Smoak, Martin and even Navarro make excellent additions.
New York Mets: Curtis Granderson (FD $4700, DK $4800), Daniel Murphy (FD $4000, DK $4400), Yoenis Cespedes (FD $4900, DK $5300), Lucas Duda (FD $4600, DK $5000) – I will start this out by saying that I am a big fan of Jonathan Gray as his stuff is awesome and he should be an excellent major league pitcher. The negatives for him tonight are the fact that he is pitching in Coors field and that he is a rookie who just does not get to go deep into a game either. I know we have seen a couple of excellently pitched games in Coors lately and Gray does have the stuff to shut guys down, but I just think this Mets offense is playing too well to not be able to take advantage of the settings. Gray did recently shut down the Mets as he allowed just 1 hit in 6 innings against them. I would include anybody in this lineup tonight for the Mets.
Arizona Diamondbacks: A.J. Pollock (FD $4200, DK $5300), Paul Goldschmidt (FD $4400, DK $5600), Wellington Castillo (FD $3400, DK $3500) – And we find ourselves finishing with the Diamondbacks yet again. They are facing yet another left handed starter tonight as the Reds will run out Holmberg. Righties have done a lot of work against Holmberg so far and I expect that to continue tonight as the D’Backs generally mash left handed pitching. The D’Backs offense has been pretty cold recently but I expect them to bust out at any time and tonight could certainly be the night in a park that is very similar to their home field. I think Hill, Tomas and even Owings or Ahmed make interesting inclusions to a stack.
There are plenty of GPP options for tonight’s slate as there are a handful of offenses that could be sneaky stack options as well as plenty of mid tier pitchers who could be excellent GPP options. I feel like tonight is going to be a night where you don’t see any insane ownership %’s across the board. Obviously with the game in Coors, there will be some popular plays, however I feel like there is enough out there in other spots that you won’t see that game sky rocket in ownership. Tonight might be one of the only times you didn’t see me writing about the Twins going up against a lefty. I think they are in a great spot tonight, however I worry that they blew their load last night as they put up 15 against the Orioles. I think the Giants, Astros, Orioles, Rangers and Royals are all in excellent spots to put up some runs and I think a team like the Brewers could be a sneaky option.