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MLB DFS: Yahoo MLB Picks, Strategy, Lineups, Sleepers: August 23 (FREE)

Eric MacPherson



Dan and Loughy break down some of their favorite MLB picks for tonight's MLB DFS slate on DraftKings and FanDuel, including Jose Berrios.

MLB DFS: Welcome to the Friday Yahoo Fantasy Picks and Strategy guide. As we head into another weekend of DFS baseball do not forget all the fantastic Awesemo content, so before you lock in your baseball lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s Yahoo MLB rankings and projections. Not a member? Sign up HERE.

For Friday’s free Spotlight Hitters and Stacks article click here 

Don’t forget to check back in the hour before lock (6ET) for the aptly named Live Before Lock with Chris Spags and Jake Hari.

Greetings Gamers! Let’s see what sort of fun we have on tap today!

Act fast as Yahoo is running a $1,500 prize pool contest with just a 10.4% management fee (compared to 15.9% at the other sites) for just $3 per lineup with a maximum of ten that is rapidly filling up – they also have their marquee $15,000 with $2,000 top prize for Friday as well!

Click this link and use the promo code Awesemo when making your first deposit and you will be eligible for $30 of “free play” which Yahoo matches the first $30 of your deposit (Yahoo Sports Rewards Points, aka YSRP which can be used to enter any paid contest immediately).

We will utilize this series to point out the different nuances, tips and tricks to building a solid Yahoo! tournament lineup.

Salary Cap

Yahoo! has a similar roster setup as most of the two-pitcher formats, but their salary cap is quite a unique puzzle to tackle each day.  It’s worthwhile to spend some time trying out different roster combinations – playing with how much of the salary cap you are allocating to pitching and hitting. The savvy gamer will be able to find some gems among the hitters in the $7-10 range which is crucial to working in some top-shelf talent.

Scoring System

For those of you new to the site, please note that the scoring has been tweaked since last season. When compared to the other popular scoring formats it’s more punitive for pitchers allowing base runners and is less rewarding for “team stacking” (i.e. taking three or more hitters from the same team in adjacent or nearly adjacent spots in the batting order). Yahoo offers discounts for runs and RBI, compared to individual batter scoring of slightly more points proportionally for extra base hits, walks and hit by pitch categories.

Yahoo Fantasy Basic Strategy

In the past, I’ve found that even though the Yahoo! format allows us to roster as many as six players from the same team, their unique pricing and two-pitcher format have somewhat muted the need for team stacking and as detailed above, the slight changes to their scoring system will continue to encourage that trend.

Target Pitchers

For those of you new to Yahoo!, learning how to read into the pitcher pricing is key to building competitive lineups. The minimum price for pitchers is $25 while we can see some of the top-shelf aces like Chris Sale, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander crest just over $60 depending on their recent performance and matchup.

RHP Jose Berrios vs Detroit Tigers ($47) – 3.5 implied runs

After going through the ringer with the Houston Astros, the Motor City Kitties now have to deal with RHP Jose Berrios.  In their only other meeting this season back in mid-April when the Tigers were much better, Berrios still handled them with 6.2 innings allowing just two runs. No guarantees tonight, though we are all well aware of how feeble the Detroit offense is these days. Berrios should be in line for 93-97 pitches and we could see the magic number 15 reached (combination of innings and strikeouts) which is gold for his reasonable price tag.

LHP Matt Boyd at Minnesota Twins ($33) – 5.1 implied runs

Update Please Note: Matt Boyd is slated to start on Sunday, RHP Drew VerHagen will be starting again and we do note want to roll with him. The price is fair for this daunting matchup against the Twins and there most definitely is a lot of risk involved for LHP Matt Boyd. Keep an eye on the news as he is currently on the paternity list, but likely to make this start. Boyd has been phenomenal this season with a 29.9 K% to lefties and a 31.8 K% to righties. The Twins are vying with the Astros as the best team against southpaws this season and have a lot of power and plate discipline. This choice is not for the faint of heart.

RHP Vincent Velasquez at Miami Marlins ($36) – 3.9 implied runs

Back unto the breach once more… This is the second Friday in a row where RHP Vincent Velasquez has been a recommendation and his price is up $3 from last week’s matchup with San Diego. This will be the fourth time the Marlins have seen Velasquez who has compiled a 3.52 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 15 strikeouts across 15.1 innings. He should once again top 100 pitches, but with his inefficient ways that may only be enough to get him through the fifth inning.

Discount Dandies

As mentioned above, it is important to know how to find discounted hitters in solid situations and also understand what the “opportunity” cost may be by giving up a key power hitting position like 1B/3B for a discounted option who may not have a lot of power. For this purpose we will target the $7-$11 salary range wherever possible.

C – Omar Narvaez vs RHP Trent Thornton ($7)

We should see Omar Narvaez in the heart of the order for Seattle against RHP Trent Thornton. Yadier Molina – $7 who recently returned from injury is also at the Yahoo minimum price and he too has an excellent matchup with the platoon advantage and is an easy pivot if you are not a fan of rolling out a Mariners brigade.

1B – Daniel Vogelbach vs RHP Trent Thornton ($8)

Yes, I do have an unhealthy level of love for the Mariners tonight, but they are just sooooooo darn cheap. We may be better off using them as one-offs, pairs or trios – but with just three or four of them we can really open things up at pitcher or deluxe hitters.

2B – Dee Gordon vs RHP Trent Thornton ($7)

It looks like a night to just cover the keystone position with a player in your stack, reach to the top of the pricing sheet for Jose Altuve – $26 or play an extreme punt. Dee Gordon does have some stolen base upside and is in play if Danny Jansen is behind the dish for the Blue Jays. This season in 81 starts at catcher, Jansen has allowed 36 of 52 baserunners to steal on him.

3B – Colin Moran vs RHP Anthony DeSclafani ($9)

RHP Anthony DeSclafani has a major weakness against batters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate allowing a 2.53 HR/9, .386 wOBA and .277 ISO since the beginning of last season. Though he has not been as fierce in years past, this is a nice price and matchup for Moran. We can combine him with teammates Adam Frazier – $9 and Josh Bell – $16 for a nice trio of lefties who have extra base hit upside.

SS – J.P. Crawford at RHP Trent Thornton ($12)

There is no problem going back to J.P. Crawford for another Friday as he continues to do well against opposite-handed pitchers with a .210 ISO. RHP Trent Thornton has allowed a .217 ISO and a 1.56 HR/9 to lefties this season and we can combined Crawford with some of his teammates for a late night mini-stack on the cheap.

OF – Franmil Reyes vs RHP Jakob Junis ($9)

This is a great matchup for Franmil Reyes who has tallied a .243 ISO in his last 515 righty/righty matchups. As a bonus, RHP Jakob Junis has allowed 25 home runs this season and is on pace to top the 32 he allowed last year. Those 57 home runs are the fourth most allowed in that timeframe with 25 to lefties and 32 to righties.

OF – Hunter Renfroe and Wil Myers vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez ($10)

Franmil Reyes’ former outfield-mates have the platoon advantage on Friday night against LHP Eduardo Rodriguez. While Rodriguez does a decent job in opposite-handed matchups, both Myers (.230 ISO) and Renfroe (.310 ISO) have light tower power. They can also be combined with Manny Machado – $11 for a synergistic trio.

The talented rookie should be in the middle-of-the-lineup and he is an option on both the main and late game sets for his reasonable price point and platoon advantage matchup against fellow youngster LHP Patrick Sandoval.

OF – Josh Reddick vs LHP Jose Suarez ($7)

Most gamers will skip this play as it is a lefty/lefty matchup for Josh Reddick and he is likely to be at the bottom of the batting order. The savvy gamer will realize that over his last 232 lefty/lefty matchups Reddick has posted a .199 ISO and that he can be used in a “wrap-around” stack. This will provide differentiation in tournaments and also help average down the cost of the other key Astros who are all $20+ on Friday.

As always, you can reach out to me in Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.
Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac

Awesemo YouTube

Of course, please do stop by our Awesemo YouTube channel for loads of FREE MLB DFS content, including fantasy MLB lineup advice on The Strategy Show with Josh Engleman and Loughy, as well as MLB picks on Four Corners with Chris Spags, and the MLB Deep Dive with Awesemo, Loughy and ShipMyMoney, where they’ll discuss Awesemo’s MLB rankings.

Awesemo’s MLB Projections

In addition to our MLB Projections, Awesemo’s ownership projections come out every day before lineup lock, as well as in the lead-up to night slate games. We also release a daily Top Stack projection, which takes a look at how likely each MLB stack is to be the highest scoring unit on the slate, relative to our projected ownership and value. Want a more in-depth look? Check out Data Central page, which tallies up every single bit of data we’ve collected over the course of the day, including chance of postponement.

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

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