Thursday, Aug. 26, has nine games on the 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, Thursday, Aug. 26
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Miami Marlins vs. LHP Patrick Corbin — 4.0 implied runs
Since June, Patrick Corbin has allowed at least four runs in seven of nine starts. Even more disastrous has been his 14 home runs across those 50.1 innings. All told he has been tattooed with a 6.61 ERA, 1.430 WHIP and a very low 6.97 strikeouts per nine innings, along with the concerning 2.5 home run rate.
This recommendation for the Marlins is about the flexibility they will provide and looking for duos and trios who have the potential to provide synergy without going to full stack. On the whole they set up better as a team against southpaws, but they are still in the bottom third of the league and lacking power.
Look at two or three hitters from the top of the order, with Jesus Aguilar ($18) and Lewis Brinson ($16) being the primary targets. This pair both performs well against lefties, with ISOs over .215 ISOs over their last two seasons. When given a chance, Jazz Chisholm ($17) has performed better against fellow lefties than against opposite-handed pitchers. He also is a threat on the base paths, with five stolen bases in his last five games and three in this homestand against the Nationals. This is a weakness of Washington he should continue to exploit today. The salaries for Miami are going to keep most gamers away, which will provide plenty of differentiation in large-field tournaments.
Seattle Mariners vs. RHP Brad Keller — 4.5 implied runs
Keep in mind that with the inherent variance built into MLB DFS the strategy is as much about leveraging against the masses as it is about finding the best plays. Even amazing players like Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Juan Soto are going to go hitless more often than not. Conversely, replacement-level talent will have good days throughout the season.
The top half of the Seattle lineup has good hitters, and though they are not household name, they can get the job done against substandard talent. Brad Keller has a reputation for not allowing a lot of power, but that has been slipping this season. While he still has below-average strikeout results and allows too many walks, he is also ceding more extra-base hits.
Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager are going to be the core recommendations from Seattle more often than not, and over the last two seasons they have each produced ISOs over .220 from their respective side of the plate. Switch-hitting Abraham Toro has been a nice addition to the middle of the order, and he has decent power upside. Finally, Ty France is often eschewed by gamers, but he is quietly becoming a regular contributor. With just three games on the late slate, the Dodgers, Yankees and Athletics are all likely to be more popular than the Mariners, making them an excellent complementary stack in tournaments and a viable mini stack on the main slate.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Max Scherzer at San Diego Padres — 3.5 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $54 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $10,400
Once again Max Scherzer is getting it done against all comers. He leads MLB with his 0.91 WHIP, is sixth with his 2.65 ERA and is second with his 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings. By no means are the Padres a pushover, and they are one of the top six offenses in the league. However, this is a reasonable salary for Scherzer for this matchup. The only concern is that the Padres are the one team that has had his number this season, and they plated 11 runs in 10.2 innings against Scherzer in back-to-back starts when he was with the Nationals earlier this season.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: LHP Chris Sale vs. Minnesota Twins — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $10,700 | DraftKings $10,200
The only concern here is how far Chris Sale will go in this game. He went five innings in each of his first two starts, throwing 71 pitches in Texas and striking out five without allowing a run. In his season debut he threw 89 pitches against Baltimore, allowing two solo home runs and striking out eight. It looks like Sale should be good for 90 to 95 pitches tonight, though it will be a bit of a surprise if the Red Sox push him beyond the fifth inning unless he is extremely efficient. Boston is nearly a 3-to-1 favorite to garner the win, which gives Sale access to a decent outing, even if he is unlikely to go more than six innings. The Red Sox are looking at the postseason and in need of an ace if they can hang on to the second Wild Card berth.
Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Miles Mikolas at Pittsburgh Pirates — 3.7 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $36 | FanDuel $7,500 | DraftKings $7,100
Tonight Miles Mikolas is making his second start after missing quite a bit of time with shoulder and forearm issues. There is no need to consider Mikolas on FanDuel, as he is unlikely to clear the six innings needed to qualify for a quality start. However, his salary on Yahoo and DraftKings is appealing for the savings it provides. Pittsburgh is a bottom-three offense against righties, and though they do not strike out a lot, they have one of the lowest power marks in the league.
Final Thoughts for the Thursday, Aug. 26 MLB DFS Picks Slate
There should not be any weather issues tonight which eliminates one variable. Tonight the final three games start two hours after the first six. That should not drive pre-lock decisions, but if early players are not performing well, then this gap will allow for pivoting to some less popular options in search of a minimum cash.
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