Wednesday, Aug. 18, has every team in action with five early games and a 10-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, Wednesday, Aug. 18
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Tampa Bay Rays vs. RHP Spenser Watkins — 5.8 implied runs
Rookie Spenser Watkins is no stranger to this article series, as he has a 5.25 ERA with just 5.9 strikeouts per nine innings. The opposing Rays are second in the league with 627 runs, behind only the Astros, and they are five games up on the Red Sox and Yankees for the division lead. Tampa is particularly adept against right-handed pitchers, with top-three marks for walks, power and scoring efficiency.
There is a trio of lefties to target at the top of the order in Brandon Lowe ($23), Austin Meadows ($15) and Ji-Man Choi ($15). The Orioles have three lefties in the bullpen, but two of the three have thrown twice since Sunday, so they are unlikely to be used today. Nelson Cruz continues to mash, hitting his 25th and 26th home runs last night. Catcher Mike Zunino also hit his 26th of the season yesterday, and he now has home runs in each of his last five games. Joey Wendle ($9), Kevin Kiermaier ($12) and Randy Arozarena ($22) are fine differentiation options in the back half of the order.
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San Diego Padres at RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez — 7.2 implied runs
Rarely will Coors Field games make this column since that is typically the most obvious place to start the search for offense. However, today is one of those rare times, with game-time temperatures in the lower 90s and a 14-run game total that is steadily rising.
Chi Chi Gonzalez is back from his bout with COVID-19. He was placed on the reserve list at the end of July, and he made one start in the minors. Prior to his illness he had a 6.86 ERA through four July starts, and he was even worse in five June starts, posting a 7.71 ERA. Anyone who makes the starting lineup for the Padres should be in DFS lineups as well.
Colorado Rockies vs. RHP Jake Arrieta — 6.8 implied runs
Jake Arrieta has latched on with the Padres after being released by the Cubs. In two appearances for San Diego Arrieta has a pair of four-inning outings culminating in a 13.50 ERA. Similar to the Padres, gamers can feel comfortable loading up on the Rockies in this amazing offensive environment.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. LHP J.T. Brubaker — 5.5 implied runs
While the Dodgers seem to have left their offense on the East Coast, with only six runs in two games at home this week, they still have scored the third-most runs in the league this season and easily could be at the top of this category by the weekend. Rookie J.T. Brubaker has struggled with power this season, allowing multiple home runs in six of his last eight starts. To his credit, he has a strikeout per inning, though his 25 home runs allowed are among the league leaders. The damage has been evenly inflicted by batters from both sides of the plate, so any Los Angeles hitter with power is desirable.
Cody Bellinger has struggled with injuries and timing this season, but he does have hits in 11 of 13 games this month and extra-base hits in eight. Max Muncy had Tuesday off, though he came in for defensive purposes in the eighth inning. This season some could argue that he and Chris Taylor have been the most reliable Dodgers. When healthy Justin Turner can still get it done, and he should be in the heart of the order, as should catcher Will Smith. Leadoff man Trea Turner should be a priority pretty much every day he is at the top of this potent offense. On the late slate whoever else makes the lineup among A.J. Pollock, Gavin Lux, Albert Pujols and Matt Beaty can also be mix-ins.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Charlie Morton at Miami Marlins — 3.1 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $9,200 | DraftKings $9,700
Charlie Morton keeps chugging along with a 3.49 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 155 strikeouts, which are all in the top 20 among qualified starters. The depleted Marlins are in the bottom third of the league for strikeouts, power and scoring, which makes Morton an easy top-shelf option.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Freddy Peralta at St. Louis Cardinals — 3.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $9,800 | DraftKings $10,200
Though he does not have enough innings to qualify for the leaderboards, Freddy Peralta is posting top-five marks across the board. Over 22 appearances, Peralta has a career-best 2.26 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings. The Cardinals are much better against lefties, while they are below average against right-handed pitchers, with a 90 wRC+.
Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: LHP Marco Gonzales at Texas Rangers — 3.9 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $39 | FanDuel $8,200 | DraftKings $7,600
While Marco Gonzales does not have the consistent strikeout upside to be considered a fantasy ace, he is solid enough to warrant consideration as the second pitcher on Yahoo and DraftKings. The Texas offense is abysmal against southpaws, and their active roster is creating runs 25% less frequently than league average. Pittsburgh is the only team more anemic, which makes Gonzales an interesting salary-saving play, particularly if the roof is closed in Arlington tonight.
Final Thoughts for the Wednesday, Aug. 18 MLB DFS Picks Slate
Today should be a fun one with wall-to-wall baseball. There are some outstanding offensive and pitching options on both the early and main slates. Keep an eye on a few weather spots, but most games look safe from postponement.
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