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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Sunday, August 22

Eric MacPherson



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Sunday, Aug. 22, has a loaded slate with no true ace and plenty of offenses poised to launch fireworks. 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, Sunday, Aug. 22

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Drew Hutchison — 6.3 implied runs

Drew Hutchison has made only 26 appearances in the majors since 2015 and none between 2018 and last Sunday. He allowed six runs (only two earned) on five hits and three walks in 1.2 innings in that one start.

Even without George Springer and Cavan Biggio, the Blue Jays are a loaded lineup with very few soft spots. The Yahoo salary algorithm recognizes this, though there is still room for upside with Sunday’s salaries. Teoscar Hernandez somehow is one of the most expensive batters on the entire slate at $27, so feel free to skip over him. The rest of the lineup has salaries that are comparable to those in the Coors Field game, which should keep their popularity in check.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($20) is a bargain in this matchup, even at that salary. Marcus Semien ($22) is fairly spendy, but that means most gamers will be skipping over him in their stacks. Bo Bichette ($18), Corey Dickerson ($16) and Lourdes Gurriel ($17) are underrated hitters by casual fans, but they have been outstanding as a group this season. And at the bottom of the order, Randal Grichuk ($13), Santiago Espinal ($11) and whoever is behind the plate will provide access to this excellent offensive environment without breaking the bank.

Mid-afternoon Slate

Milwaukee Brewers vs. LHP Sean Nolin — 5.4 implied runs

Prior to last week’s start, the last time Sean Nolin was in the majors was all the way back in 2015 when he had a cup of coffee with Oakland. All told he has a scant 34.1 MLB innings under his belt. Gamers should take advantage of Nolin’s propensity for allowing power and his lack of strikeouts.

While this has been a lost season for Christian Yelich, he does have hits in eight of his last nine games and hit two home runs on Saturday. By no means does this mean he is back, as he has just eight home runs on the season, but it is hopefully a sign of a strong finish. Manny Pina quietly continues to rake against opposite-handed pitchers, and with Omar Narvaez getting work against the last couple righties, Pina should get the nod. Over his last 100 plate appearances against southpaws the veteran backstop has a .190 ISO.

Avisail Garcia has a .400 wOBA and a .220 ISO in his last 150 opportunities against lefties, and he may draw the nod as the cleanup hitter. Willy Adames has been on a tear after leaving the Rays, and he has said in interviews he was not comfortable with the batter’s eye in Tropicana Field.

Rounding things out, Luis Urias and switch-hitting Eduardo Escobar profile well against Nolin. Additionally, the Nationals bullpen is pretty dreadful after dealing away closer Brad Hand. Though they are right-hand heavy, that should not dissuade anyone from rolling with the Brewers on Sunday.

Late Slate

New York Mets at LHP David Price — 3.8 implied runs

The three-game late slate is loaded with solid pitchers, making it tougher to find a team worthy of being a full stack. Frankie Montas does a good job limiting power, having allowed only two home runs in his last eight starts. Kyle Gibson is 13th with his 3.18 ERA on the season, and Marcus Stroman is ninth with his 2.84 ERA. Though Logan Webb does not have enough innings to qualify, his 2.92 ERA would be a tick outside the top 10. That leaves David Price and whoever is taking the mound for the Padres as the weakest pitchers on this slate.

The Dodgers have brought Price along slowly, knowing they will likely need him in the playoffs at some point. Typically he has been going around four innings, but he has done a nice job of limiting baserunners and power. However, Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis both profile well against Price, which makes them intriguing options for synergy or even as the key part of a mini stack. This should be a fun sub-slate, as any one of the pitchers taking the mound could have a bad day.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Adam Wainwright vs. Pittsburgh Pirates — 3.5 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $49 | FanDuel $9,600 | DraftKings $9,300

Adam Wainwright has produced a 3.26 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, which are both top-15 marks among qualified starters. Both figures are also better than his career average, as is his strikeout production. This will be the third time Wainwright is facing the Pirates this season, and he has held them to a single run across 15 innings over the first two outings. Pittsburgh traded away most of their key talent, and the bottom half of their order drops off quickly. Wainwright is expensive, but there will be enough discount bats popping up in Sunday lineups that should make this a feasible starting point.

Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: Framber Valdez vs. Seattle Mariners — 3.9 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $42 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $9,800

Framber Valdez has put together a solid season after missing the first several weeks with a fractured finger. He has nearly a strikeout per inning, and he has allowed more than three runs in a start only twice in his 15 starts. Having the Houston offense behind him is also a bonus, as he has racked up an 8-4 record in his limited action. This will be the first time he has squared off against Seattle this season. The Mariners’ anemic offense should play right into the strengths of Valdez.

Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Carlos Hernandez at Chicago Cubs — 4.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $30 | FanDuel $7,100 | DraftKings $5,900

Unless there is a surprise starter at a low salary, Carlos Hernandez looks to be an interesting option as a second pitcher on Yahoo and DraftKings. While Hernandez is not a great pitcher, he is not a tomato can either. Plus, he gets the bonus of taking on an anemic Cubs lineup that traded away everyone at the deadline. It looks like there will be a 10 mph breeze coming in from left field, which should keep Chicago’s implied run total around four or lower. The Cubs are a bottom-five team against right-handed pitching by most traditional and advanced metrics.

Final Thoughts for the Sunday, Aug. 22 MLB DFS Picks Slate

Today will be fun as one of the last big MLB tournament Sundays before the NFL takes over. There should be enough rookies and veteran reserves stepping in that salary cap flexibility will not be an issue.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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