Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 26th.
Today we have a full 15 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 1:05 p.m with the Astros and Yankees. 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.
The beauty of our new format is that some of you probably think I am a genius while others think I am the village idiot. As an example, if you used my advice on Monday and submitted a lineup of Tehran, Kluber, McCann, Paulsen, Zobrist, Flores, Frazier, Ozuna, Gomes and Piscotty, you scored an impressive 178.35 points on DraftKings and cashed in your 50/50 games and your tournaments. However, if you used my picks of Jimenez, deGrom, Realmuto, V Martinez, Drew, H Ramirez, Uribe, Bradley Jr., Swisher and Beltran you scored an abysmal 14.55 points and are wondering why Fantasy Assembly gives me a platform to write on. (In my defense, if you used the latter picks, you didn’t check line-ups because V-Mart, Uribe, Bradley and Swisher didn’t start).
Let’s see if I can bat 1.000 for you all today. Here are my studs, value plays and Hail Marys:
Studs: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals ($11,900), Jonny Cueto, Kansas City Royals ($10,400)
- As a collective, the Padres are hitting a paltry .106/.181/.212 against the Nationals’ ace. Moreover, the Padres are the 2nd most strikeout prone team in the National League and Scherzer is 2nd in the NL in strikeouts. This is a sure a bet as you can get to score some valuable points.
- Cueto also has a great chance to score some strikeouts. The Orioles strike out the 3rd most in the American League and while Cueto’s K/9 are down to 7.78 this season, he should be able to K at least 7 and go deep into the game,
Bang for Your Buck: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers ($8,200), Hector Santiago, Los Angeles Angels ($7,300)
- Don’t look now but all of a sudden Verlander has recaptured some of his form. He has a 2.80 FIP and 8.49 K/9 since the all-star break. The Angels are going in the opposite direction with the lowest post all-star break OPS in the American League at .663.
- I also like the opposing pitcher in this game as Hector Santiago has had good success against the Tigers, holding them to a collective .167/.302/.245. I would not use both if I was playing in a tournament, but look for a good pitchers duel in this game tomorrow.
Hail Mary: Cody Anderson, Cleveland Indians ($5,000), Jerad Eickhoff, Philadelphia Phillies ($4,100)
- I would only be playing the opponent in the case of Anderson as the Brewers are not an offensive juggernaut as they are 23rd in MLB in runs scored and 24th in OPS since the all-star break.
- I don’t know much about Eickhoff, but he was great against the Marlins in his major league debut, going 6 scoreless innings. And in the minors this year he had a nice K/9 of 8.5 and a WHIP of 1.185. For this price he is worth a flyer, even against the hard charging Mets.
Studs: Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,600)
Chris Narveson of the Marlins has a .449 slugging percentage allowed against righties over his career. And Cervelli has absolutely destroyed lefties this year with a .368/.413/.574 line.
Bang for your buck: Stephen Vogt, Oakland A’s ($3,100)
Vogt has dominated Felix Hernandez in his career with a .600/.647/1.000 line over 17 career plate appearances. Felix has been struggling and won’t be happy to see Vogt facing him today.
Hail Mary: John Jaso, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,100)
Alright, I’m cheating a bit here – Vogt and Jaso are the same price. But it’s my column and I’ll do what I want! Jaso has a .354 wOBA and 131 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and faces the unheralded Tyler Duffey today.
Studs: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox ($4,900)
Abreu is hitting a robust .294/.374/.580 in the 2nd half with an ISO of .287. He faces off against the human pinata named Rick Porcello. Abreu could have a monster day.
Bang for your buck: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,600)
Bartolo Colon has allowed a .481 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters this season. And Ryan Howard can still hit against righties with a .517 slugging percentage and .354 wOBA.
Hail Mary: Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays ($2,500)
Smoak has hit Colby Lewis well in his career with a 1.379 OPS over 15 plate appearances. He will likely be hitting in the middle of the Jays order and is a steal at this low price.
Studs: Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians ($4,200)
I am a fan of Jimmy Nelson, but he has really struggled against lefties, allowing a .368 wOBA on the season. Kipnis is dynamite against righties with a .357/.442/.515 line.
Bang for your buck: Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies ($2,900)
Hernandez is facing Bartolo Colon, who I think will struggle against the Phillies’ resurgent offense. Hernandez is has a respectable .327 wOBA and 106 wRC+ at home. He also qualifies at SS.
Hail Mary: Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox ($2,000)
Beckham loves facing Rick Porcello and has an amazing .469/.486/.750 line over 34 plate appearances. He is a great play at the minimum price and also qualifies at 3B.
Studs: Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,800)
Patrick Corbin is one of my favorite pitchers but he has been very up and down since his return from Tommy John surgery allowing a .478 slugging percentage and .346 wOBA to righties. Peralta has slugged .504 against lefties this season.
Bang for your buck: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians ($3,700)
Lindor has a .453 slugging percentage and 112 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. As I mentioned already, Jimmy Nelson has trouble against left-handed hitting. Lindor could be a money play today.
Hail Mary: Kike Hernandez, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,600)
This is one of my favorite plays of the day. The Dodgers face David Holmberg of the Reds who has allowed a .329/.422/.639 line to right-handed hitting with a .449 wOBA. Kike Hernandez has been absolutely dominant against left-handed pitching with a tremendous .381/.444/.730 line with a .487 wOBA and 219 wRC+. He also qualifies at 2B. Get him in your lineups.
Studs: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds ($4,400)
Frazier has a .667 slugging percentage, .403 wOBA and 156 wRC+ against lefties. Brett Anderson, the opposing pitcher, is a lefty. Bet on Frazier.
Bank for your buck: Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland Indians ($3,000)
As I mentioned, Jimmy Nelson struggles against lefties. And Lonnie Chisenhall has been on fire with a 1.022 OPS, .442 wOBA and 190 wRC+ in the 2nd half.
Hail Mary: Cody Asche, Philadelphia Phillies ($2,800)
I really feel like the Phillies, especially the left-handed Phillies are going to do some damage against Bartolo Colon today. Asche has picked it up in August with a .302/.362/.528 line.
Studs: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,400), Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,900), Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians ($4,600)
- Joey Bats has a 1.389 OPS in his career over 18 plate appearances against Colby Lewis.
- McCutchen is 5/16 in his career against Narveson with a homer and also has a .394 wOBA and 156 wRC+ against lefties this year.
- I like an Indians lefty stack today against Jimmy Nelson and Brantley is smoking righties with a .378 wOBA and 145 wRC+.
Bang for your buck: Cameron Maybin, Atlanta Braves ($4,400), Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,600), Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox ($3,400)
- Maybin faces Yohan Flande who has allowed a .321/.357/.635 line to righties on the road. Maybin has a .377 wOBA and 142 wRC+ at home and .367 wOBA and 134 wRC+ against lefties. And at home versus lefties he is hitting .357/.466/.548.
- Puig goes against the awful Holmberg whose horrific numbers against righties I have already outlined. Yasiel has a .376 wOBA and 143 wRC+ against lefties and should mash today.
- Melky has dominated Porcello in his career with a .545/.583/.818 line over 24 plate ppearances
Hail Mary: Odubel Herrera ($3,300), Grady Sizemore, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,600), Jonny Gomes, Atlanta Braves ($2,400)
- Herrera could be part of a nice Phillies left-handed hitting stack. He is solid versus righties with a .303/.336/.441 line.
- Sizemore has been a really nice hitter at home with a .355 wOBA and 130 wRC+. He faces the mediocre Tyler Duffey and will likely hit near the top of the order.
- Gomes against a lefty is always a good play and he goes against Flande today. He has a .368 wOBA and 135 wRC+ against southpaws this year.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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