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FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo! MLB DFS Deep Dive – Wednesday 5/15Premium content

Dave Loughran



DraftKings MLB picks for August 19th MLB DFS fantasy baseball lineups based on projections and ownership from the number 1 DFS player.


Justin Verlander [R – HOU] is a a behemoth -337 ML favorite against the Tigers tonight, who own a 3.4-run implied total at home. Gregory Soto will start for Detroit, a Double-A lefty whose only major-league start featured seven earned runs and four innings against the Twins last week. Verlander isn’t just a massive favorite with a high probability of earning unlimited run support; he’s facing a team that leads the entire league in strikeouts vs. right-handed arms (25.9%). Detroit’s 81 wRC+ vs. RHP ranks 26th in baseball, while their .150 ISO is equally underwhelming. It’s hard to deem any pitcher “safe” from a daily fantasy standpoint, but if we were inclined to do so, there wouldn’t be a safer matchup than the one Verlander draws tonight.

Patrick Corbin [L – WAS] is significantly discounted on FanDuel, where he weighs in at only $9,400. Corbin is $2,600 less expensive than Verlander, and while he isn’t as much of a sure thing, the Nationals’ southpaw boasts a 36.7 percent K-rate vs. lefties and a 24.5 percent K-rate vs. opposite-handed bats. Corbin owns a 12.4 percent swinging strike rate and a 31.4 percent CSW rate (called + swinging strikes) through his first eight starts, and has lasted six-plus innings in all but one of those outings this season. Corbin offers elite upside against the Mets, who have hit left-handed pitching well this season (117 wRC+), but are striking out at a massive 28.3 percent clip. New York owns a paltry 3.6-run implied total on Wednesday night.

Kenta Maeda [R – LAD] gets a mouthwatering matchup with the Padres, who are striking out at a league-high 25.9 percent clip vs. right-handed pitching, and own an unimposing 85 wRC+ across 1034 plate appearances in 2019. Maeda has always excelled against same-handed bats, and he should face six of them tonight. Almost all of San Diego’s power comes from the right side of the plate, and Maeda is holding righties to a .264 wOBA, 0.97 HR/9 and a 0.98 WHIP for his career. Maeda boasts a career 31.1 percent K-rate vs. RHH to accompany a sterling 2.98 xFIP and 28.8 percent hard hit rate. It’s no surprise the Padres own the third lowest implied total (3.4) on Wednesday’s eight-game slate.

Maeda is a steal on Yahoo! ($37) and FanDuel ($8,300), but is perfectly viable at $9,200 on DraftKings. The only downside to rostering him over many of the other top pitching options is his presumed pitch count; Maeda is averaging only 87 pitches per start this season, but is also averaging an efficient 15 pitches per inning.

Eduardo Rodriguez [L – BOS] is producing a career-high 12.8 percent swinging strike rate this season thanks to an elite 25 percent whiff rate on his changeup. Rodriguez has leaned on his changeup and cutter to set down right-handed hitters, and is holding them to a .292 wOBA, .101 ISO and 0.23 HR/9 across 164 batters faced.

Rodriguez will face a Rockies team that owns a robust 27.7 percent K-rate vs. left-handed pitchers, and struck out an eye-popping 17 times against Chris Sale last night. Sale struck out 17 lefties across 24 batters faced (70.8 K%) struck out the side four times and three times in order. Rodriguez is no Chris Sale, but he has the arsenal to quiet opposite-handed hitters, and the off-speed stuff to miss plenty of bats. He’s also priced very affordably across the board, sitting at $8,200 on DraftKings, $8,400 on FanDuel and $39 on Yahoo!.

Mike Minor [L – TEX] has been brilliant this season, sporting a 25.2 percent K-rate, 11.5 percent K-rate, 30.7 percent CSW rate and 1.05 WHIP through 53.2 innings of work. He’ll face a Royals team that has struggled mightily vs. left-handed arms, producing a dismal 80 wRC+ and 24.2 percent K-rate across 418 plate appearances. Kansas City’s 6,5 speed rating is the highest in baseball, but Minor hasn’t allowed a single stolen base this season, and has done an excellent job of holding runners over his career. The retooled southpaw is projected to have minimal ownership tonight, making him a very interesting tournament play at $9,400 on DraftKings, $8,800 on FanDuel and $47 on Yahoo!. The Royals’ 4.5-run implied total and warm weather at Kauffman Stadium will likely keep the field away from Minor tonight.

Jalen Beeks [L – MIA] is the latest major-league player to win the pitching lottery, as he’ll work as Tampa Bay’s primary long reliever tonight against the worst offense in baseball. Beeks has been impressive out of the bullpen this year, sporting an 11.8 percent swinging strike rate and a 25.5 percent K-rate vs. right-handed bats. He’s holding righties to a .293 wOBA and has allowed only one home run across 29 innings pitched. Miami, meanwhile, ranks bottom five in wOBA (.285), ISO (.096) and wRC+ (80) vs. left-handed arms. The Marlins are not striking out vs. southpaws, though, and Beeks’ pitch count is a huge unknown.

Beeks shouldn’t be in consideration at $7,600 on DraftKings, but he is minimum salary ($25) on Yahoo!, which mitigates much of our concerns. Beeks is $5,500 on FanDuel, but rostering him on a single-pitcher site seems ill-advised. Nevertheless, Miami own a slate-low 3.2-run implied total, and Beeks is a -160 ML favorite inside the pitcher-friendly Marlins Park.

Jose Urena [R – MIA] is dirt cheap on DraftKings ($5,300), which is the only reason we might consider deploying him in tournaments. The Rays’ 4.4-run implied total isn’t overwhelming, and Urena has the luxury of pitching inside one of the league’s most spacious parks. There isn’t much upside here, as Urena owns a paltry 7.6 percent swinging strike rate and 15.8 percent K-rate on the season, so we’d be hoping he could work through six or seven run-free innings in order to provide value. Urena has, in fact, pitched six-plus innings in five straight starts, and is averaging 6.2 innings pitched per game over that span. He isn’t going to get the job done with strikeouts, so we’ll need him to last deep into tonight’s start if we have any chance of being rewarded.


Robinson Chirinos [R – HOU] and the Astros boast a ridiculous slate-high 6.7-run implied total tonight against Gregory Soto, a Double-A southpaw who has pitched four career innings at the major-league level. Chirinos is unsurprisingly crushing lefties to the tune of a .407 wOBA, .238 ISO and 162 wRC+ this season, with career splits of .364, .227 and 126, respectively. He is without question the best available backstop tonight despite the hefty price tag.

Martin Maldonado [R – KC] has actually seen his salary decline, and at $2,200 he is now only $200 above minimum salary on DraftKings. Maldonado is far from impressive at the dish, but he’s dirt cheap, doesn’t risk being pinch hit for, and fills a catcher position that is entirely devoid of talent. If you aren’t paying a premium for Chirinos or J.T. Realmuto [R – PHI], or rolling the dice on Wilson Ramos [R – NYM] (DK: $3,200, Y! $7) against Patrick Corbin, there’s nothing wrong with taking the savings on Maldonado and moving on to first base.

HONORABLE MENTION: J.T. Realmuto [R – PHI] vs. Gonzalez [LHP]; Wilson Ramos [R – NYM] @ Corbin [LHP]


Tyler White [R – HOU] has been embarrassingly bad this season, having yet to hit a home run across 87 plate appearances. He owns excellent career splits vs. left-handed pitching, though, and could finally get off the schneid in a premier matchup with Gregory Soto. White is producing an elite .239 ISO across 217 career plate appearances with the platoon advantage, and the Astros own a astronomical 6.7-run implied total tonight in Detroit. I’ll continue rostering White at $3,300 on DraftKings, $2,300 on FanDuel and $11 on Yahoo!, as there’s simply too much power upside to avoid him at this cost.

Yuli Gurriel [R – HOU] doesn’t offer much power vs. left-handed arms (.161 ISO), but has done an excellent job of getting on base (.405 OBP), and hasn’t struck out a single time with the platoon advantage this season. He’s batting fifth in Houston’s order, has a 6.7-run total against a minor-league southpaw in Gregory Soto, and should see ample opportunity to knock in runs on Wednesday night. Gurriel will always put the ball in play, which is a huge advantage against Soto, who projects to strike out only 6.68 batters per nine.

Rhys Hoskins [R – PHI] is producing a .404 wOBA, .281 ISO and 155 wRC+ vs. lefties this season, and draws an exploitable matchup with Gio Gonzalez tonight. Gonzalez was on the streets up until only a few weeks ago, and will have to pitch inside the homer-happy Citizens Bank Park tonight. I’m more inclined to focus on Houston bats at the first base position (and mostly every other position), but Hoskins makes for a nice pivot at low ownership on Wednesday. Temperatures will be hovering around 70 degrees in south Philly.

HONORABLE MENTION: Freddie Freeman [L – ATL] vs. Wacha [RHP]; Ji-Man Choi [L – TB] @ Urena [RHP]


Aledmys Diaz [R – HOU] has been on a torrid run of late, recording three home runs, four extra-base hits, ten RBI and three multi-hit efforts over his last four starts. He remains very affordable across the board, and should continue to hit in the middle of Houston’s order with Jose Altuve on the shelf. Diaz is a top option across all formats tonight, and should continue to be rostered in these premier matchups until his salary begins to reflect his value.

Kike Hernandez [R – LAD] comes at a nice discount across the board (DK: $3,600, FD: $2,800, Y!: $9) on a night where he should lead off against a rookie southpaw. Matt Strahm is undoubtedly a talented young pitcher, but Hernandez is also an extremely talented hitter with the platoon advantage. Hernandez boasts a .384 wOBA, .229 ISO and 146 wRC+ vs. lefties this season, and a .362/.227 wOBA/ISO split for his career. All four of Strahm’s home runs allowed have come against opposite-handed hitters, of whom he’s allowing 45 percent fly balls and 44 percent hard contact in 2019.

HONORABLE MENTION: Whit Merrifield [R – KC] vs. Minor [LHP]; Rougned Odor [L – TEX] @ Lopez [RHP]; Mike Moustakas [L – MIL] @ Arrieta [RHP]


Alex Bregman [R – HOU] is unsurprisingly the top third baseman on Wednesday night, facing Gregory Soto in a game where Houston owns a silly 6.7-run total. Bregman boasts a career .384 wOBA, .232 ISO and 148 wRC+ vs. lefties, while striking out at a negligible 13.8 percent clip. It’s hard to fathom a way in which Detroit’s young southpaw will make it off the mound with a pulse tonight. It’s also worth noting that the Tigers’ bullpen ranks 26th in xFIP (4.50) and 29th in K/9 (7.92), so Houston should see favorable matchups throughout the night.

Josh Donaldson [R – ATL] is producing a strong .373 wOBA, .245 ISO and 133 wRC+ across 123 plate appearances vs. same-handed pitchers this season. Meanwhile, Michael Wacha has been blasted by right-handed bats, surrendering a .374 wOBA, .229 ISO and 2.08 HR/9. He’s striking righties out at only 19.4 percent, owns a miserable 7.2 percent K-BB rate, and is inducing only 9.4 percent swinging strikes. Atlanta’s 5.2-run implied total is the second highest mark on Wednesday’s slate, behind only the Astros and their Goliath 6.7 expected runs.

HONORABLE MENTION: Matt Carpenter [L – STL] @ Soroka [RHP]; Anthony Rendon [R – WAS] vs. Font [RHP]


Carlos Correa [SS – HOU], surprise, surprise, is the top shortstop on Wednesday night. Correa has seen only 41 plate appearances vs. left-handed pitching this season, but he’s made the most of them, producing a .447 wOBA, .333 ISO and 189 wRC+, while producing a mammoth 64.3 percent hard contact on batted balls. Correa won’t come cheap, but he isn’t egregiously overpriced, either, weighing in at $4,800 on DraftKings, $3,900 on FanDuel and $19 on Yahoo!. Gregory Soto is the worst pitcher going on Wednesday night, and the Astros should remind him of that early and often.

Dansby Swanson [R – ATL] is producing power against right-handed pitching for the first time in his career, having already recorded four home runs, seven doubles and two triples for a .207 ISO across 127 plate appearances. He’s batting second in the Braves order, and boasts a 5.2-run total against Michael Wacha, who has hemorrhaged fantasy points to same-handed hitters in 2019. Wacha is coughing up 2.08 HR/9 and a .229 ISO to righties, while striking them out at a sub-20 percent clip. Swanson can be had at a mid-range price point across the board (DK: $4,200, FD: $,3,200, Y!: $14).

HONORABLE MENTION: Jean Segura [R – PHI] vs. Gonzalez [LHP]


George Springer [R – HOU] is good at baseball, and especially good against left-handed pitchers. On the season, Springer is churning out a ridiculous .509/.447 wOBA/ISO split with a 231 wRC+ and 17 percent walk rate. Springer’s career splits vs. southpaws are equally sexy (.394 wOBA, .247 ISO, 155 wRC+), and he should bolster them on Wednesday when Gregory Soto toes the rubber for Detroit. I wish I didn’t have to be so repetitive in today’s Deep Dive, but I simply don’t see logical reason to fade Houston bats at any position. Their 6.7-run implied total is 1.5 runs higher than the next best team, and they rank atop the league in wOBA (.369), ISO (.231) and wRC+ (137) vs. left-handed pitching this season. Springer, like the rest of them, is a clear top option at his position.

Andrew McCutchen [R- PHI] hasn’t been swinging the hottest bat of late, but he’s still leading off for a power-laden Phillies team on a night where they’ll face an aging southpaw inside the homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park. McCutchen is striking out only 16.2 percent of the time with the platoon advantage, and shouldn’t have much trouble putting balls in play against Gonzalez. Since 2017, Gonzalez owns a very modest 10 percent swinging strike rate vs. right-handed bats, and the Phillies own a respectable 4.6-run implied total inside a friendly venue. $4,000 on DraftKings and $14 on Yahoo! make for reasonable asking prices on McCutchen.

Nomar Mazara [L – TEX] is a phenomenal value tonight, particularly on FanDuel where he’s fallen below $3,000 ($2,800). He’ll face a struggling right-hander in Jorge Lopez, who has been absolutely bludgeoned by opposite-handed bats. Across 79 batters faced, Lopez has already allowed six home runs and 12 extra-base hits, with a .432 wOBA, .348 ISO and 3.24 HR/9 against him. His .348 BABIP suggests a small amount of bad luck could be in play, but home runs are home runs, and he’s allowing them by the bunches. Moreover, Lopez is inducing only 33 percent ground balls vs. lefties, which shouldn’t do him any favors on Wednesday when he’ll have to navigate around a lefty-heavy Rangers lineup.

Joey Gallo [L – TEX] is expensive, but still makes for a fantastic outfield play if you’re willing to pay the premium. The same applies to Shin-Soo Choo [L – TEX] in the leadoff spot. Texas is a very appealing tournament stack that boasts a 5.1-run implied total at Kauffman Stadium.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ronald Acuna Jr. [R – ATL] vs. Wacha [RHP]; Christian Yelich [L – MIL] @ Arrieta [RHP]; Michael Brantley [L – HOU] @ Soto [LHP]; Juan Soto [L – WAS] vs. Font [RHP]; Jake Marisnick [R – HOU] @ Soto [LHP]



NOTE: According to Awesemo’s Stack Tool, Texas has the second highest top stack probability at 10.4 percent, behind Houston, who has an unfathomable 22.4 percent probability of finishing as Wednesday’s top-producing stack. The Rangers, however, are projected to have much lower ownership (6.2%) than the Astros (17.6%) (DraftKings).

Houston Astros @ Soto [LHP]

Texas Rangers @ Lopez [RHP]

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Gonzalez [LHP]

Atlanta Braves vs. Wacha [RHP]

Dave "Loughy" Loughran has been a fixture in the daily fantasy community since not long after its inception, quitting his career as a Drug and Alcohol therapist to become a full-time DFS analyst, player and media personality in 2014. Loughy is the host of "Awesemo Radio" on SiriusXM Fantasy, qualified for the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championship, and was featured in the Washington Post and other publications for his success as a player. You can find him on Twitter at @Loughy_D where he'll likely be ranting about the miserable life of a Philadelphia sports fan, using "fella" in almost every tweet, or via email at