Saturday, Aug. 21, brings a staggered slate with four game sets culminating in a five-game main slate. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Saturday, Aug. 21
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Boston Red Sox vs. RHP Jordan Lyles — 6.3 implied runs
This has been a rough season for Jordan Lyles, who is second in the league with 31 home runs allowed — only three behind teammate Michael Foltynewicz. Surprisingly, it has been same handed-hurlers doing the bulk of the damage with 21 home runs compared to 10 by lefties. These numbers will likely flip as Lyles has ceded a .227 ISO to lefties and a .202 ISO to righties over his last 1,500 matchups.
Kyle Schwarber ($26) was a nice trade-deadline snag for the Red Sox, as he should nestle right into the heart of the order. Adding him to J.D. Martinez ($18), Rafael Devers ($22) and Xander Bogaerts ($21) just does not seem fair. Over the last three seasons, this quartet all boasts .200+ ISOs against right-handed hurlers. When healthy, Alex Verdugo ($17) has been an underrated hitter and his production has only been a whisker behind his aforementioned teammates. The one nice thing about this stack is that the Yahoo salary algorithm has done a solid job of taking into account their cupcake matchup.
Jarren Duran ($10), Bobby Dalbeck ($14) and Christian Vazquez ($11) can provide some much needed salary relief. The other benefit of these secondary Boston bats is that they will be less popular with The Masses, which will enable us ways to differentiate our full stacks from the rest of the field in the giant tournaments.
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Cleveland Indians vs. LHP Reid Detmers — 4.5 implied runs
There is no doubt that 22-year-old Reid Detmers does have some talent when it comes to strikeouts. However, as with most lefties, he is going to need some seasoning as he learns how to consistently pitch with his above average skillset. In the meantime, we can look to target him with some opposite-handed hitters as they are best equipped to punish his mistakes.
The main DFS sites have done a nice job with goosing the salary for Jose Ramirez. The switch-hitter has been a stalwart in the middle of the Cleveland lineup with power and, of course, contributing with speed as well. Depending on your DFS site of choice however, there are bargains available with some of his teammates.
Cleveland does not have a particularly deep batting order, however, it can still produce. Additionally, with its 4.5 implied run total among the lowest of the afternoon slate, the majority of MLB DFS players are likely to be congregating elsewhere.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Texas Rangers — 3.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $9,800 | DraftKings $9,500
This has been an up-and-down year for Eduardo Rodriguez as he heads towards the end of his sixth MLB campaign. Over his last three starts, he has been dialed in with 16.1 innings producing 24 strikeouts while allowing only two runs against the Rays, Tigers and Orioles. Tonight, the Rangers are playing the part of the sacrificial lamb with their depleted lineup. The projected batting order has a woeful 79 wRC+ against southpaws, which indicates they are scoring 21% less efficiently than league average.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: Joe Musgrove vs. Philadelphia Phillies — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $9,400 | DraftKings $9,100
Aside from a misstep against the Diamondbacks in his last start, Joe Musgrove had found his way back into the groove. Currently, his 3.11 ERA and 1.03 WHIP are both top-12 marks among quality starters. There is a chance tonight that Rhys Hoskins is able to return from his groin injury, which, of course, would give a boost to the Phillies lineup.
Philadelphia is in the middle of the pack against right-handed pitching with its strikeouts and power, though overall it is creating runs 12% below league average. With the ballpark downgrade for its offense and only 10 options at this position on Saturday’s main slate, Musgrove is on the short list for our pitchers to target. This being baseball, we will want to embrace the variance and make a Philadelphia stack or two if we are rolling with more than six lineups tonight.
Afternoon MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Max Scherzer vs. New York Metropolitans — 3.5 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $10,900
Max Scherzer is, once again, one of the best pitchers in the league, which is impressive considering this is his age-37 season. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is on the short list this season to add to his impressive collection of accolades. Currently, his 2.69 ERA ranks sixth and he leads the league with his 0.90 WHIP. Once again, he is elite with 12 strikeouts per nine innings, which is the third-best rate in the league.
New York has a solid lineup, but outside of Pete Alonso, it is missing a second big bat. Of course, it was not for lack of trying, however, they have been struck with misfortune as untimely injuries have landed both Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor on the injured list.
Final Thoughts for the Saturday, Aug. 21 MLB DFS Picks Slate
Saturday has wall-to-wall baseball with four different slates providing tournament action throughout the day. There are some weather spots to watch across the Midwest and East Coast. Keep an eye on the games in Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Boston and New York.
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