Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 14th.
Today we have a full 15 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 4:10 p.m. As always, make sure to check your lineup prior to game time for any last minute scratches, and be sure to check the weather forecast which could result in a potential cancellation. As of right now, the weather looks pretty fantastic for tonight with the possible exception of the Braves/Diamondbacks game.
Stay tuned to Fantasy Assembly for DFS football advice (written by yours truly) along with some great weekly contests from DraftKings. I am very excited to get started with my NFL work which should get going in the next couple of weeks.
A sport that I don’t write about, but that I have come to love in DFS is golf. The PGA Championship is taking place at the moment and my father-in-law and I have taken to teaming up for the golf majors and submitting a lineup in the Millionaire Maker tournaments. At the moment, after round 1, our lineup of Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Bubba Watson, Paul Casey, Jason Dufner and Camillo Villegas is sitting in 18,509th place out of 188,000 entrants, which would net us $30. I am a big fan of DFS golf.
Oh – and did I mention there is some baseball on the slate tonight? Max Scherzer, David Price, Dallas Keuchel and my favorite pitcher of the night Corey Kluber are all pitching. Let’s get to today’s winning picks:
1. Corey Kluber, SP, Cleveland Indians ($10,600)
Kluber faces off against the Minnesota Twins, who, you might remember couldn’t touch him a short 5 days ago. In that game, Kluber tossed a complete game and almost completed the shutout if not for a meaningless run in the 9th inning. All in all, he allowed only 3 hits and struck out 10. This is not the only time that Kluber has dominated the Twins this season. In his other start against them this year, he also allowed only 3 hits, this time over 8 innings while striking out 8. I don’t see why tonight will be any different and Kluber is the ace of my DraftKings staff.
2. Jamie Garcia, SP, St. Louis Cardinals ($9,800)
Garcia has been quietly dominant this season with a 1.77 ERA and 0.909 WHIP. Today, he battles the Miami Marlins who as a collective have only hit .213/.238/.348 against him. In his last start against Miami, Garcia scattered 5 hits over 7 innings and allowed only 1 run in a 6-1 Cardinals victory. Garcia likely won’t strike out more than 6 batters, but he probably won’t allow many runs either. I would have loved this price to be a tick lower, but I am still rolling with the Cardinals southpaw.
3. Welington Castillo, C, Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,500)
Can I first mention that Catillo’s nickname is “Beef”, as in Beef Welington? Is there any better nickname than that? But apart from his amazing moniker, anyone who has been paying attention knows that Welington has been mashing this season. On the year he has a .563 slugging percentage, and since he got traded to Arizona his slugging percentage is an amazing .624. Since the all-star break, Beef has mashed to an almost unbelievable slash line of .292/.365/.738 with 8 second half homers. All of this alone would be enough to grab Castillo at this bargain basement price, but there’s even better news. He is facing Julio Tehran tonight, who is a nice pitcher but has also allowed 18 longballs on the season which is 8th in the National League. I’m eating beef tonight.
4. Kendrys Morales, 1B, Kansas City Royals ($4,000)
While we have learned that RBIs are not a great measuring stick for player effectiveness, they still count for 2 points in DraftKings. And Morales, the Royals’ unheralded slugger, is 3rd in the American League with 81 RBI – more than Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Apart from being an RBI machine, Morales has torched the Angels’ Jered Weaver in his career going 8/12 with 2 walks over 14 plate appearances including a homer for an OPS of 1.714. This is a nice price for Kendrys.
5. Odubel Herrera, OF/2B, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,300)
The former Rule 5 pick goes up against Wily Peralta today, who has allowed a .281/.329/.536 line to left-handed hitters. Herrera much prefers to face right-handed pitching, hitting a respectable .293/.321/.432 against them on the year, good for an above average wRC+ of 108. Of late, Herrera has been even better, smacking an impressive .342/.373/.494 in the 2nd half. He comes cheap and allows me to play some top flight pitching. I am rolling with Odubel.
6. Marlon Byrd, OF, Cincinnati Reds ($3,200)
The simplest way to becoming a profitable DFS player (in my opinion) is to pick good pitchers with good match-ups, regardless of price and supplement your lineup with cheap guys who do well with a platoon advantage. Marlon Byrd is the best example of employing such a strategy. Tonight, Byrd is priced at only $3,200, mainly because he has an abysmal .242 BA and a sub .300 OBP on the season. But against lefties, like the Dodgers’ Alex Wood, Byrd mashes to the tune of .293/.361/.533. To put that into context, people will often pay salaries around $5,000 for Josh Donaldson against RHP and against RHP, Donaldson hits .284/.353/.543, just about the same as Byrd against lefties. There are no guarantees in DFS, but playing guys like Byrd against lefties every single time is how you get big points out of small salaries.
7. Pedro Alvarez, 1B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,400)
Apart from platoon splits, another (less effective) way to derive value out of low salaries is looking at BvP stats. In his career against Bartolo Colon, Alvarez is 4/9 with a homer. But apart from those impressive, small sample size laden numbers, Alvarez is also slugging a respectable .454 on the season against righties. Colon has allowed a .451 slugging percentage to lefties. I put Alvarez in the Wild Card spot because I am playing a hunch, but I think he homers tonight.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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