We have a short slate to discuss our MLB DFS Strategy for August 24th. 9 games with no real high over unders and no games in Coors means this is the perfect slate to try some qualifiers into bigger events. DraftKings has a final big buyin GPP this Friday with qualifiers running this week. Also this is the perfect time to try to get some cheap entries into the big NFL Sunday fields. Lets take a quick look at the game lines and then go over my favorite pitchers and stacks to target.
Mets(-200) @ Phillies 7
Rockies @ Braves(-125) 7
Pirates(-140) @ Marlins 8
Astros @ Yankees(-140) 8
Orioles @ Royals(-130) 8
Red Sox @ White Sox(-135) 8.5
Athletics @ Mariners(-160) 7
Tigers @ Reds(-130) 9
Indians @ Cubs(-130)
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (FD $11,700, DK $12,000) – deGrom and the Mets are a -200 road favorite as they take on the Phillies tonight. deGrom has made 2 starts against the Phillies this season and has 12 K’s in 13.2 innings and he has an ERA of 1.32. The Phillies are running out a very young lineup and generally that’s a great thing for opposing pitchers. This Phillies offense has been playing a ton better in the second half, however deGrom’s season ERA has dropped below the 2.00 mark and he seems to be getting stronger as the season goes on.
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians (FD NA, DK $11,600) – I wanted to include the one day game for you because of the pitching match-up as Kluber takes on Lester and the Cubs in Wrigley. With Lester hitting, that is 2+ K’s for Kluber right there and add in the fact that the Cubs strike out more than any team not named the Houston Astros and you have an intriguing match-up. As of writing this, it appears they are expecting plenty of wind at this game so you will want to see which way it is blowing. The Cubs are actually a -130 favorite, however I chose Kluber as the stud because of his K upside and the fact that Lester looked rough his last time out.
Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners (FD $9000, DK $10,200) – Iwakuma and the Mariners are a -160 favorite as the A’s head to Seattle and this game is tied for the lowest over/under at 7 runs. Iwakuma followed up his no-hitter with another excellent start as he went 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs and striking out 6. His August numbers are exceptional as he has thrown 31.2 innings and K’d 27 while allowing just 14 hits and 6 runs to go with a .132 average against and an ERA of 1.71. I was shocked to see him priced up so much, however I think he is definitely worth it and could be a sneaky option to use in place of deGrom for the savings or to pair with him and go big at the pitcher spot on DK.
Kris Medlen, Kansas City Royals (FD $6600, DK $5200) – I’ve been waiting for this day since Medlen was activated from the 60 Day DL as he seems to have replaced Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation for the Royals. The Royals are a -130 favorite in this one and I think Medlen makes an interesting option. On one hand, he was on his way to becoming one of the better young starter in baseball prior to having to undergo another tommy john surgery. On the other hand, he has been pitching out of the bullpen since returning from the DL and may not be stretched out much. In his last appearance on the 20th, he threw 3 innings (48 pitches) and I would guess he has a goal of 5-6 innings (6 tops would be my guess). Should I learn of a pitch count number, I certainly will get that added here or tweeted out.
J.A. Happ, Pittsburgh Pirates (FD $6600, DK $5800) – Happ and the Pirates are a -140 road favorite as they head to Miami tonight. Happ has made 2 excellent starts in the 3 starts that he has made for the Pirates since being acquired from the Mariners. Happ has 16 K’s in 15.2 innings since joining the Pirates and I think Happ makes an awesome choice to pair with deGrom in order to be able to afford some quality bats. I am very intrigued by using Happ on FD at his price because of how much it will help to get big bats.
Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs (FD NA, DK $9600) – As I said under Kluber, I wanted to get this game added as I think it is very intriguing from a pitching standpoint and should the wind be howling out, this becomes an interesting spot of some bats for those of you who are playing the full slate. Lester was lit up in his last start against the Tigers, who lit him up the first time they faced him this year and I had suggested him as a play with total failure. The Indians have a lineup that Lester should be able to have success against in this game.
Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves (FD $8500, DK $8100) – Teheran and the Braves are a -125 home favorite as they take on the Rockies in a game with an over/under of just 7 runs. Teheran has an ERA of just 2.45 in August and a home ERA on the season of just 2.44. He has 24 strikeouts in 25.2 August innings as he has K’d 7 in 3 of his last 4 starts. The Rockies offense can certainly be dangerous, especially from the left side, however they tend to struggle away from home. Teheran can certainly get hit hard by left handed hitters as he is giving up a .298 average and an OPS of .858 to lefties. I think I will be using both sides of this match-up as the Rockies lefties are too good to ignore and the home numbers for Teheran are as well.
Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Phillips (FD $3000, DK $4000), Joey Votto (FD $4500, DK $5600), Todd Frazier (FD $2900, DK $4900), Jay Bruce (FD $2800, DK $4100) – Farmer has given up 6 home runs in 24.2 innings this year and is allowing an average of .346 in those 24.2 innings. Left handed hitters are hitting .385 against him and Votto should be one of the highest owned hitters of the night. I think you can include Suarez and Pena should they be in the lineup as well as whoever they stick in the outfield.
New York Mets: Juan Lagaras (FD $2500, DK $3100), Curtis Granderson (FD $3300, DK $4500), Yoenis Cespedes (FD $4000, DK $5100), Juan Uribe (FD $2800, DK $3200) – The Mets are taking on yet another left handed pitcher and I really like to target them when they do face a lefty. Even with the game having an over/under of just 7 runs, I think the Mets score a majority of those runs. I would look to include guys like Cuddyer, Flores and d’Arnaud.
Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz (FD $5000, DK $5300), Robinson Cano (FD $3500, DK $4200), Franklin Gutierrez (FD $3100, DK $3600), Mark Trumbo (FD $2500, DK $3600) – The Mariners get to face another left handed starter and they provide a ton of power upside against a lefty and may go as an under owned stack outside of Cruz (who should be very popular). I think Marte, Jackson and even Seager are usable options in a stack, depending on your roster construction preferences.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco (FD $2900, DK $3500), Starling Marte (FD $3600, DK $4700), Andrew McCutchen (FD $4500, DK $4500), Jung-Ho Kang (FD $3700, DK $3800) – Koehler has been getting lit up in August and I think the Pirates make an intriguing stack as they may be lesser owned than the teams above. I would pay attention to the lineup as Harrison has returned from the DL and they seem to be giving random guys days off each day of the week. I think you can include Ramirez, Harrison, Walker and Alvarez in any stack you run out there.
We have a smaller slate than we have had over the last few days and we don’t have our Blue Jays or a game in Coors tonight which could make things a lot more interesting and could spread out some ownership percentages. The evening slate is also without the Cubs as well, which takes away a very hot offense right now. The Tigers-Reds game is the highest projected game of the night at 9 runs and the Red Sox-White Sox game is second with an over/under at 8.5. I have not mentioned pitchers such as Lance Lynn, Nathan Eovaldi, Robbie Ray and even Jorge De La Rosa who are in positive spots as they can be very sneaky but they are in tougher match-ups. Lynn is one that could be the perfect GPP option as the D’Backs offense has turned it on a little bit and they have some guys that can catch up to the heat. With that said, I think the D’Backs offense could be a sneaky stack option as well as I think most will look the other way on this game. Ray, who is pitching for the D’Backs, could be in a great spot against a generally left handed Cardinals lineup that woke up on Sunday, however had been really struggling.
(Nelson Cruz owns Doubrant and makes a great choice as well)