Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 24th.
Today we have 10 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 2:05 p.m with the Indians and Cubs. 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 for any potential cancellations.
I was thinking about how I have been bringing you all DFS advice this season, and I have come to the conclusion that I could have been doing better. What I have been doing for most of the season is giving you 78% of my line-up on any given day and then justifying my selections. But what I have come to realize is that you are not coming here to read my lineup. Nay – you are coming here to get advice. As an example, let’s say you have already slotted in 9 of your 10 players and now you have only $3,000 left and want to know who I would advise selecting as your 2B. In the format that we have been using, you may not know because it is possible that I like a pricy 2B that day, in which case I have not helped you.
So I have decided to change things up. My analysis will be shorter, but I will be talking about more players. Many more players. What I have decided to do is for each position to give you a “stud who will be studly” or a high-priced player who I think justifies his price tag; a “bang for the buck” which is a mid-priced player who I think will perform like a star; and a “hail Mary” which is a boom or bust play that might just pay off if you need a cheapie in your lineup. I like this new format, but let me know what you think. You can comment in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @nschnurbach. Enjoy!
Studs: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets ($12,000), Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians ($11,600)
deGrom faces the Phillies, against whom he is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 4 career starts. He has also gone at least 6 innings and not allowed more than 2 runs in any of his last 7 starts. This is as safe a pick as you will find. Kluber squares off against the Cubs, which portends good things for his fantasy value. While the Cubs are a good hitting team, they whiff a ton; their 1110 Ks leads MLB. Kluber has struck out 202 batters already this year, good for 3rd in the AL. Even if Klubot struggles, he will get Ks and DK points.
Bang for Your Buck: Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves ($8,100), Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles ($7,800)
Teheran has gotten hot with a 2.45 ERA and .264 wOBA against in August. He also faces the Rockies who he has held to a .185/.235/.272 line in his career. Jimenez is up and down as always, but he has always succeeded against the Royals batch of current hitters holding them to a .215/.305/.343 line.
Hail Mary: Joe Kelly, Boston Red Sox ($5,900), Buck Farmer, Detroit Tigers ($4,000)
Kelly has a 3.22 ERA and 22 Ks in 22.1 innings in August, including a terrific start his last time out where he didn’t allow an earned run versus Cleveland over 6 innings. He is cheap and could score a bunch of points. Farmer really has not shown anything at the major league level, but he has struck out about a batter an inning in the minors over his career. The Reds are really struggling and Farmer may score in the 12-15 range for minimal price.
Studs: Brian McCann, New York Yankees ($4,100)
McCann has a .926 home OPS and has really enjoyed the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Scott Feldman has struggled against righties to a .298/.338/.487 line.
Bang for your buck: JT Realmuto, Miami Marlins ($3,300)
Realmuto hits .311/.346/.541 against left-handed pitching and faces off against J.A. Happ and the Pittsburgh Pirates today. Good value play.
Hail Mary: Steve Clevenger, Baltimore Orioles ($2,600)
Always check the line-up if you are going to use a Hail Mary, but Clevenger has been raking and he has been playing. He has only played 11 games but has a .963 OPS. For a bargain basement price, he might score you double digits.
Studs: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox ($4,600)
Big Papi has hit Jeff Samardzija well in his career, going 3/6 with 2 BB and 2 XBH in 8 plate appearances. He has also been scorching hot in the 2nd half with a .461 wOBA and 198 wRC+. In Papi I trust.
Bang for your buck: Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers ($3,600)
Lefties are smoking Reds’ right-handed Keyvius Sampson to the tune of .316/.395/.568. V-Mart is weaker from the left side but has been knocking in runs in August with 17 in 19 games. At this price, let’s see if he can hit this hittable righty.
Hail Mary: Ben Paulsen, Colorado Rockies ($2,900)
Paulsen will likely hit in the middle of the Rockies’ line-up today and, despite the fact that he is not in Coors Field, he still slugs a respectable .429 on the road against righties. If you need a cheap flyer at 1st, Ben is your man.
Studs: Ben Zobrist, Kansas City Royals ($4,300)
I think Zobrist is the safest play among the high-priced 2B. Zobrist still has a remarkable eye with a .372 OBP, and he faces Ubaldo Jimenez who has amazingly been in the top 10 in walks allowed each of the last 8 years. Ubaldo is actually on pace to finally end that streak, but Zobrist should still get on base a couple of times tonight.
Bang for your buck: Wilmer Flores, New York Mets ($3,500)
Flores is an excellent hitter against lefties with a .306/.352/.529 line against southpaws. This is good value against lefty Adam Morgan of the Phillies.
Hail Mary: Stephen Drew, New York Yankees ($3,000)
Drew is an excellent play today as he has owned Scott Feldman with a .462/.588/1.231 line over 17 plate appearances including 4 extra-base hits and 2 homers. As I chronicled above, Feldman struggles against lefties and Drew has bashed him. Solid play today.
Studs: Hanley Ramirez, Boston Red Sox ($3,700)
Hanley has faced Samardzija a bunch of times and is 10/23 against the big White Sox righty. There aren’t too many shortstops that I like today, and Hanley is one who I think will do well.
- I am going to cop-out a bit on my “Bang for your buck” and “Hail Mary” picks. The aforementioned Drew and Flores qualify at both 2B and SS and they are my favorite picks in this category for both positions.
Studs: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds ($4,900)
While I threw Buck Farmer’s name out as a Hail Mary pitcher pick, there is no denying that he has been rocked around at the major league level thus far in his career with a slugging percentage allowed over .600 thus far this year. Frazier has struggled in the 2nd half, but is a massive power hitter who could annihilate a pitcher of Farmer’s ilk.
Bank for your buck: Chase Headley, New York Yankees ($3,600)
Headley has picked it up in the 2nd half with a .369 wOBA and 136 wRC+. Moreover, I may have mentioned Scott Feldman’s struggles against lefties. I support a lefty Yankee stack today.
Hail Mary: Juan Uribe, New York Mets ($3,200)
Uribe is an excellent .270/.349/.541 hitter against left-handed pitching and gets to face a southpaw today in the Phillies Adam Morgan. This is an excellent play at this price.
Studs: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners ($5,300), Brett Gardner, New York Yankees ($4,700), Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees ($4,400)
Cruz faces lefty Felix Doubront which is always a recipe for success for the Mariners slugger. Cruz is hitting a ridiculous .370/.444/.709 on the year against lefties. On top of that he is 5/11 with 2 BB in his career against Doubront. With respect to Gardner and Ellsbury, I have already said that I support a Yankees’ lefty stack. Gardner hits .318/.406/.535 at home versus righty pitching which bodes well for him. Ellsbury is above average at home versus righties as well with a .325 wOBA and 106 wRC+.
Bang for your buck: Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees ($4,000), Stephen Piscotty, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,800), Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox ($3,500)
Beltran has hit .301/.389/.591 since the all-star break. And have I mentioned that I like a Yankees lefty stack? Piscotty had his first multi-homer game of his major league career yesterday and gets to face lefty Robbie Ray today. Piscotty has enjoyed facing lefties thus far as he boasts a .458 wOBA and 198 wRC+ to go along with a 1.092 OPS against them. JBJ has been among the hottest hitters on the planet over the last few weeks and went 3/4 against yesterday with 2 2B. He has hit .389/.436/.889 over the last 2 weeks. He is a steal at this price.
Hail Mary: Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins ($3,100), Nick Swisher, Atlanta Braves ($2,800), Jonny Gomes, Atlanta Braves ($2,200)
It has been a bad year for Ozuna, but he has still hit lefties well with a .354 wOBA and 125 wRC+. He should have success against JA Happ. Swisher has always been stronger hitting right-handed and he faces lefty Jorge de la Rosa today. He has finally started hitting as well with an .867 OPS in August. A good flyer for a cheap price. Gomes is 3/6 with a homer and a walk in his career against de la Rosa. And he has been his usual stellar self against lefties with a .355 wOBA.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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