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The Deep Dive: MLB DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | Wednesday, 8/18

Adam Scherer



The MLB DFS Deep Dive is back! This article is intended to give you an in depth look into the top MLB DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on the day’s fantasy baseball slate. It is recommended that you use this article in conjunction with Awesemo’s MLB projections, ownership projections and the Top Stack tool.

MLB DFS Deep Dive: DraftKings + FanDuel Picks | Aug. 18

Top Pitchers

Freddy Peralta’s ($10,200 DraftKings/$9,800 FanDuel) 34% strikeout rate leads the slate tonight. He has also done a good job of limiting power, holding hitters to just 0.77 home runs per nine innings. Peralta’s 10.5% walk rate is high, but other than that, he has been excellent this season. The Brewers unexpectedly limited Peralta’s pitch count in a couple of starts last month, but he has thrown 98 and 89 pitches in his two starts since then. The Cardinals’ active roster has the sixth-lowest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season, but they also have been below average in terms of production, with a 90 wRC+ and .152 ISO.

Lance Lynn ($10,000 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) has a difficult matchup against the Athletics. Oakland’s active roster has only struck out 21.3% of the time against right-handed pitching this season, which is the fourth lowest rate in the league. They also have a 106 wRC+ and they are getting a positive park shift hitting in Chicago instead of Oakland. That said, Lynn has been struck out 28.1% of hitters and has a 3.87 xFIP. He has also limited power with only 0.90 home runs per nine innings. Oakland’s projected lineup also has six right-handed hitters and Lynn has struck out 33.8% of righties this season while holding them to a .199 xwOBA compared to a 23.4% strikeout rate and .292 xwOBA against left-handed hitters. Lynn does not project as well as most of the other expensive pitchers tonight, but he is also likely to be the lowest owned of the group. That makes him appealing in tournaments because he still has a very high ceiling despite the difficult matchup.

Charlie Morton ($9,700 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel) will be one of the most popular pitchers on tonight’s slate, and it is deserved. Morton is in the midst of a very good season, as he has struck out 28% of hitters, has a 3.42 xFIP and allowed 0.81 home runs per nine innings. He gets a favorable park shift pitching in Miami. The Marlins’ active roster has the ninth-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season and has only produced an 84 wRC+.

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Jack Flaherty ($9,100 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) threw 81 pitches in his return from a prolonged stay on the injured list, and he can throw more pitches tonight against the Brewers. Milwaukee’s active roster is tied for the 10th-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season at 24.2%, and they have a 94 wRC+. Flaherty has struck out 26.3% of hitters and has a 3.96 xFIP. He is especially favorably priced on DraftKings.

Shohei Ohtani ($8,600 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel) is another pitcher who is more favorably priced on DraftKings than FanDuel. He is a viable option on either site, but he is likely to be much more popular on DraftKings because of the discounted salary. Ohtani has the second-highest strikeout rate on the slate at 29.7%, and he has a 3.69 xFIP this season. Like Peralta, his only real issue has been an elevated 10.3% walk rate. He has a strong matchup against the Tigers, who have an active roster with the highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season and a 90 wRC+.

Marco Gonzales ($7,600 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) has struggled overall this season but he has started to turn things around lately. For the season, Gonzales has a 4.91 xFIP and has allowed 1.82 home runs per nine innings while striking out 20% of hitters. Over his last five starts, Gonzales has a similar 20.3% strikeout rate, but he has only allowed 0.8 home runs per nine innings and has a 4.68 xFIP. Gonzales is inconsistent, as he does not have overpowering stuff and if he isn’t locating well his night will get ugly in a hurry. He has a great matchup against the Rangers tonight, who he held to two hits and one run with 9 strikeouts in a complete game win in his last start. Texas’s active roster has just a 21.6% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season, but they have a 75 wRC+ which is the second worst mark in baseball.

Tarik Skubal ($7,400 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) is a boom or bust lefty at an affordable price tag. Skubal is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and he has shown why this season with a 26% strikeout rate and respectable 4.16 xFIP. He has had issues with power, however, as he has allowed 1.95 home runs per nine innings. Right-handed hitters in particular have done damage against Skubal as they have a .245 xISO and .266 xwOBA. The Angels’ lineup does not have the best right-handed hitters, but it does have a lot of them. Skubal has the ability to rack up strikeouts against this team if he is on top of his game, but if he is not, there are likely to be eight right-handed hitters in the lineup that can do damage.

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Mitch White ($6,000 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel) has not officially been listed as the Dodgers’ starter but reports are that he is expected to pitch the bulk of the innings tonight. White has made 16 appearances for the Dodgers this season, including two starts. He has struck out 23.6% of hitters and has a 4.46 xFIP. White threw 59 and 58 pitches in his last two appearances, and Los Angeles could get five innings out of him tonight. He has a great matchup against the Pirates and is an inexpensive SP2 option.

Ranger Suarez ($5,700 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) is similar to White except that he has gone a bit deeper recently. Suarez was moved from the closer role to the starting rotation when the Phillies acquired Ian Kennedy at the trade deadline. Since then, Suarez has been ramping up his pitch count with 33, 61 and then 82 pitches over his last three starts. In those three starts, Suarez has struck out 23.7% of hitters. It remains to be seen exactly how well he is able to maintain his stuff as he works deeper into games, but he has held right-handed hitters to a .257 xwOBA and .096 xISO overall this season

Top Hitters

Travis d’Arnaud ($3,500 DraftKings/$2,800 FanDuel) boasts a .212 ISO against left-handed pitching since the start of the 2019 season and he will face Jesus Luzardo tonight in Miami. Luzardo has struggled all season long, including in the bullpen and at AAA for the Athletics. Overall this season, Luzardo has allowed a .360 xwOBA and .231 xISO to right-handed hitters while striking out just 20.5%. D’Arnaud is hitting sixth for Atlanta tonight and projects as one of the best catcher options.

Max Muncy ($5,700 DraftKings/$3,900 FanDuel) is having a phenomenal season for the Dodgers. He has a .407 wOBA, 159 wRC+ and .284 ISO in 430 plate appearances. Since the start of 2019, Muncy has a .367 wOBA and .260 ISO in 877 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. He will face JT Brubaker tonight in Los Angeles. Brubaker has been a solid pitcher this season, striking out 23.3% of hitters and has a 4.02 xFIP. He has had issues with power, however, allowing two home runs per nine innings. Left-handed hitters have a .223 ISO and .187 xISO against Brubaker this season.

Ozzie Albies ($5,000 DraftKings/$4,400 FanDuel) is another right-handed power bat against Luzardo. Albies has a .414 wOBA and .269 ISO in 319 plate appearances as a right-handed hitter since the start of the 2019 season. He is one of the highest-upside second basemen on tonight’s slate.

Aledmys Diaz ($3,400 DraftKings/$2,700 FanDuel) will most likely be hitting fifth or sixth for the Astros tonight. He will be facing Brady Singer, who is one of Kansas City’s top pitching prospects. Singer has had a decent season, striking out 22.1% of hitters and has a 4.24 xFIP and 0.79 home runs per nine innings. The Astros’ 5.2 implied run total is one of the highest on the slate, however, and Diaz is very inexpensive for a hitter in the middle of their lineup. He projects as a strong point-per-dollar option and deserves consideration as a value bat in cash games.

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J.P. Crawford ($3,500 DraftKings/$2,700 FanDuel) is inexpensive and likely to lead off tonight against Mike Foltynewicz. Foltynewicz has been objectively terrible this season, with a 5.18 xFIP and 2.4 home runs per nine innings allowed. He has also only struck out 16.3% of hitters. Left-handed hitters have a .390 xwOBA and .276 xISO against Foltynewicz. While Crawford is not a great hitter, posting only a .317 wOBA and .137 ISO against right-handed pitching over the last three seasons, he is too cheap for a leadoff hitter in this offensive environment.

Nelson Cruz ($5,300 DraftKings/$3,600 FanDuel) is one of the best bets to hit a home run tonight as he faces Spenser Watkins and the Orioles. Watkins does not have many redeeming qualities as a pitcher, but he continues to get starts for the Orioles. He has only struck out 11.8% of right-handed hitters this season while allowing a .390 xwOBA and .300 xISO. Cruz enters tonight’s game with a .347 xwOBA and .221 xISO against right-handed pitching this season.

Michael Brantley ($3,900 DraftKings/$3,200 FanDuel) is another value bat from the Astros’ lineup. Singer has been relatively good against left-handed hitters this season, with a .331 xwOBA and .151 xISO allowed, but Brantley is underpriced for a hitter with a .389 xwOBA against right-handed pitching this season.

Hunter Renfroe ($4,100 DraftKings/$3,500 FanDuel) is facing a home run prone pitcher, which often leads to Renfroe hitting a home run. He faces Andrew Heaney tonight in New York. Heaney has struck out 30.3% of right-handed hitters this season, but he has also allowed a .240 xISO. Since the start of the 2019 season, Renfroe has a .367 xwOBA and .276 xISO in 336 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.

Top Stacks

Note: Be sure to check out the Top Stacks Tool to compare a team’s chances of success to their aggregate ownership.

  1. Philadelphia Phillies
  2. Houston Astros
  3. Tampa Bay Rays

Top Under-owned Stacks: Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox

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Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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