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MLB

MLB DFS Quick Hits: HRs, Stacks and Ownership Plays DraftKings + FanDuel | August 7

Terry McBride

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Daily fantasy baseball advice. MLB DFS Picks on Deeper Dive & Live Before Lock. DraftKings + FanDuel picks for 9/28 w/ Paul Goldschmidt.

It looks like we’re coming up a bit short on the Royals ownership to get over the top on a good night, but with a little time left, we’ll see what happens in the late innings of the later games. The Royals mashed their way to 13 runs, and their slate-breaking bats included Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler, while starter Brad Keller put up an unexpectedly high total. The top pitcher on the night was the Braves’ young Touki Toussaint, who went 6.2 and struck out nine Blue Jays hitters in a gem of a start.

The main slate tomorrow is nice and juicy with 13 games and a bunch of teams returning to action that we haven’t been able to deploy in seemingly a week. The Cardinals and Tigers rejoin the slate after losing their entire series earlier in the week to COVID-19. MLB released the schedule for some of the teams who have to make up a week’s worth of games. The end of the season is going to be bananas for a team like the Marlins who will now have to play a series of double-headers with the Orioles and Nationals that will create a dramatic sprint to the finish. For now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed everyone can stay on the field from this point.


MLB DFS Quick Hits: Top HR Options, Stacks and Pitchers

Home Run Ratings

Home runs are our holy grail when making MLB DFS picks. Finding the right combination of sluggers who will knock one, or better two, out of the park to drive in the teammates you stack with them is critical to winning GPPs. Identifying the likely home run hitters is trickier than just looking at the big names. Using a model of my own design, based on a blend of several predictive statistics for the batter-pitcher matchup, I’m going to give one of the top choices from each team.

Scale: 5-10 Average; 10-20 Good; 20-25 Very Good; 25+ Great

Arizona Diamondbacks: Kole Calhoun – 6.34

Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman – 13.05

Baltimore Orioles: n/a

Boston Red Sox: Rafael Devers – 10.27

Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo – 7.80

Chicago White Sox: Edwin Encarnacion – 4.61

Cincinnati Reds: Eugenio Suarez – 8.70

Cleveland Indians: Jose Ramirez – 11.78

Colorado Rockies: Nolan Arenado – 14.89

Detroit Tigers: C.J. Cron – 12.14

Houston Astros: Carlos Correa – 8.00

Kansas City Royals: Jorge Soler – 11.13

Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani – 11.02

Los Angeles Dodgers: Joc Pederson – 12.51

Miami Marlins: Corey Dickerson – 8.79

Milwaukee Brewers: Christian Yelich – 10.20

Minnesota Twins: Eddie Rosario – 9.24

New York Mets: Michael Conforto – 6.79

New York Yankees: n/a

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Oakland Athletics: Matt Olson – 7.81

Philadelphia Phillies: Bryce Harper – 13.75

Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Bell – 11.11

San Diego Padres: Manny Machado – 6.85

San Francisco Giants: Wilmer Flores – 4.06

Seattle Mariners: Kyle Seager – 6.60

St. Louis Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt – 7.89

Tampa Bay Rays: n/a

Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo – 11.68

Toronto Blue Jays: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.– 6.37

Washington Nationals: n/a

MLB DFS Picks: Stacks & Ownership Plays

(Quick note: if it says 1-5 it means hitters 1-2-3-4-5, otherwise I’ll specify spots)

We’re picking a few standout spots and teams to look at for potential plays here. Make sure to check out the ownership projections for critical updates and monitor the top stacks tool throughout the day for changes.

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

This one looks like a great spot to me. The Braves are chewing up my home run model, but my ol’ pal EMac beat me to it, so I’m just calling that out, dropping this link to his always on-point Spotlight Hitters for you and moving on.

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals – Cardinals – 2-6 – Edman – Goldschmidt – Carpenter – O’Neill – Fowler

The Cards are back in action after a long layoff, and I like the spot for them against veteran lefty Jon Lester. The southpaw has made two effective starts so far in 2020, but I think he’s someone these Cardinals bats can get to. Lester has been in the mid-fours in xFIP the last two seasons, exposing his somewhat better ERA numbers as helped by some luck and defense factors. The HR/9 of 1.28 over the last three years is something we can target here as well.

The real quality for MLB DFS in this Cardinals stack is in the value they present on both sites. Paul Goldschmidt is the only Cardinals hitter priced over $3,000 on FanDuel tomorrow. He and Tommy Edman are the only hitters priced above $4,000 on DraftKings. This is a stack that will help us get to a lot of interesting builds whether we deploy it as a full stack or as a three-man. The value it provides will allow us to access the top bats from the other team we’re stacking with or utilize a high-end pitcher on a slate where we actually have a few to choose from. Unlike the Thursday slate, pricing should actually matter for Friday’s contests.

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Goldschmidt and Edman are both mandatory pieces of this stack for me, at least for a single lineup build. If we want to get different, leaving one of those two out will be a point of differentiation but probably isn’t necessary unless the Cardinals get more popular than I’m expecting. As always, keep an eye on the top stacks tool. Matt Carpenter gets more of his quality on the other side of his split, but against same-handed pitching, the lefty bat has still produced a career WRC+ 12% above league average. I like using him in a spot where people may skip him for handedness. The same does not apply to Kolten Wong, however. Wong has been unable to produce against lefties and is someone in the projected batting order that I would probably skip over up top. Dexter Fowler did just barely enough to remain relevant last season, but as a very low-owned inexpensive play toward the back of this stack, he’s not a terrible option, for his career Fowler has a .284/.376/.425 slash with a WRC+ 15% above league average against lefties, though most of his power comes from the left side.

The late bat I like for some pop is Tyler O’Neill. In his 17 plate appearances so far in 2020, O’Neill has three hits, two of them home runs, but surprisingly he has only struck out once. That pattern probably won’t hold for long, the power is very real, but O’Neill is a 30% strikeout guy, so your expectation needs to be several strikeouts, but there’s two home run upside in this bat. O’Neill has 16 home runs and a .206 ISO in his 310 major league plate appearances to this point in his career. For just $2,500 on FanDuel and $3,000 on DraftKings, that’s power upside I’d like to buy into here. Matt Wieters could make an interesting catcher play depending on his spot in the batting order, assuming he’s in the lineup at all.

 


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Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox – Red Sox – 8-1-2-4-5 – Bradley – Benintendi – Devers – Bogaerts – Moreland

The Red Sox are probably going to be pretty chalky tomorrow in the spot against Tanner Roark. I don’t currently have a run total on this game, but I’m expecting Boston to be among the higher implied team totals on the slate. In 165.1 innings in 2019, Roark posted a 1.40 WHIP and a 4.67 FIP, which is far too much opportunity to allow an offense like this Red Sox team.

Boston is likely to have Andrew Benintendi in the leadoff spot here. The 26-year-old outfielder has yet to put things back together after a down year in 2019, but this is a good spot for him, and he only costs $2,600 on FanDuel. His $4,000 on DraftKings is a bit tougher to swallow, but I think it’s necessary for what should be a key piece of this offense tomorrow. Fellow lefty Rafael Devers is an all-world ballplayer who is going to give a pitcher like Roark fits. In 483 plate appearances against right-handed pitching in 2019, Devers posted an outstanding .330/.388/.608 slash with 25 home runs, a .278 ISO and a WRC+ 53% above league average. J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are similarly obvious names atop this lineup that should be in most Red Sox stacks across MLB DFS. We can get different by dropping one of these last three hitters from the stack. For me, it might be Martinez. I like the idea of getting Bogaerts’ bat in at shortstop here and then making a play in the stack like Mitch Moreland. While he’s not exactly a secret, Moreland provides a ton of quality on this side of his split. One hundred forty-eight of Moreland’s 169 career home runs have come against right-handed pitching, which tells us everything we ever needed to know about him.

Christian Vazquez has started the season on fire and even saw some DH plate appearances recently when he was getting a rest from catching. I can get behind the idea if you want to deploy him as a catcher on DraftKings or as an oddball combination at both catcher-first base and utility on FanDuel along with Moreland to get to some unique builds. I also like the idea of getting to either Alex Verdugo or Jackie Bradley Jr. at the bottom of the order to pick up yet another left-handed bat. Jose Peraza works as a wrap-around option as well if he’s hitting ninth. There are clearly numerous combinations to work with here. Several of the later hitters should be unpopular enough to help us differentiate Red Sox stacks while offering quality at a discount.

HR Call: Jorge Soler (Royals)


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Terry used to do other things, now he writes words on the internet. He hopes his more than 20 years’ experience in season-long and daily fantasy sports and his custom models for MLB, NBA, and NFL don't steer you too wrong when he writes columns and makes picks on Awesemo.com. A lifetime of experience keeping odd hours make Terry ideal to cover KBO baseball overnight until the world returns to normal. Most of those late night hours have been spent on the couch watching sports, T.V., and movies; just try to shut him up about any of the above. You can find his pop-culture ramblings and more on Sideaction.

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