Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 28th.
Today we have a full 15 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 7:05 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 for any potential cancellations.
I have a brilliant name for the new format of our DFS column. Since we are selecting “Studs”, “Bang for your buck” and “Hail Mary”, I think we should call the column Studs Bang Mary. What’s that Jim and Paul? I can’t say that? You guys don’t like this idea? OK – then forget I ever said anything.
In all seriousness, Wednesday is a day that I hope you all listened to my advice. A line-up of Verlander, Eickhoff, Jaso, Smoak, Kipnis, Lindor, Chisenhall, McCutchen, Puig and Gomes would have scored you over 208 points. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t use that exact combination, but all of my lineups were winners on Wednesday, and I hope I can do the same for you today. Here are your Studs Bang Mary! (Fine Jim and Paul – I’ll stop now.)
Studs: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals ($12,500), Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers ($14,400)
- Scherzer faces the abysmal Marlins who are 28th in MLB in runs scored with 471 and 29th in OPS at .692. Scherzer has not been as dominant in the 2nd half, but I expect him to get his groove back against the Marlins.
- Kershaw is expensive, but he has a career high 11.29 K/9 this season and faces the most strikeout prone team in MLB in the Cubs who have whiffed 1145 times. And did I mention that Kershaw has a tidy 2nd half ERA of 1.00?
Bang for Your Buck: Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds ($7,700), Henry Owens, Boston Red Sox ($7,800)
- Iglesias is heavily underpriced and I expect him to be in many lineups along with either Kershaw or Scherzer. The Cuban right-hander has a K/9 of 9.5 and a FIP of 3.41 and struck out a career high 15 his last time out. He also faces the offensively challenged Brewers.
- Owens had the best start of his young career his last time out allowing only 1 run in 8 innings. The start before, he got hit around but struck out a career high 10 batters. The Mets have been bashing the ball, but I expect Owens to be up to the challenge.
Hail Mary: RA Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,800), Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles ($5,600)
- Dickey has been pitching much better recently, except for a hiccup in his last start. His 2nd half ERA is a solid 2.92. I am also confident that the Blue Jays will win this game as I believe that they will knock Tigers’ lefty Matt Boyd around.
- Gausman is underrated and I love him at this price. Granted, the Rangers are a tough opponent, but Gausman’s season FIP is 3.87 and K/9 are 8.1. He has been even better in August with a 3.31 xFIP and 8.82 K/9.
Studs: Brian McCann, New York Yankees ($4,000)
McCann faces off against Williams Perez who has gotten owned by lefties with a .375 wOBA allowed. McCann is solid against righties with a .336 wOBA and 113 wRC+.
Bang for your buck: John Jaso, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,900)
Jaso hits lead-off or clean-up against right-handed pitching. For that fact alone he is worth it at this price. He is also an on-base machine with a .394 OBP on the season while Volquez has a propensity to walk batters with a BB/9 of 3.23.
Hail Mary: Tony Cruz, St. Louis Cardinals ($2,000)
Yadi Molina will likely be in the line-up and not Cruz. But in case Cruz is slotted in, he is 5/9 with a BB and a homer in his career against Giants’ starter Mike Leake.
Studs: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,300)
The Blue Jays will likely be a popular stack, and you can’t blame people for using them. They destroy lefties and Matt Boyd has a 7+ ERA. Encarnacion has gotten hot in the 2nd half with a 1.115 OPS, .459 wOBA and 199 wRC+.
Bang for your buck: Evan Gattis, Houston Astros ($4,500)
Gattis has a .536 slugging percentage in August and has gotten hot. Kyle Gibson is the opposite with a 7.22 2nd half ERA and has allowed a season wOBA to RHB of .330.
Hail Mary: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,600)
Howard has become underrated against right-handed pitching as he still mashes them with a .522 slugging percentage. Ian Kennedy allows lefties to slug .510 against him. A homer is very possible here.
Studs: Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers ($4,600)
While RA Dickey is a Hail Mary play of mine, I still expect Kinsler to have a nice game. In his career against Dickey in 18 plate appearances he has a 1.194 OPS and 2 homers.
Bang for your buck: Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,500)
Walker faces Jon Gray of the Rockies, who has looked fairly stellar thus far, with the exception of one bad game his last time out. Nonetheless, Walker is solid against righties with a .340 wOBA and 119 wRC+ and he is cheap today.
Hail Mary: Jace Peterson, Atlanta Braves ($2,800)
Peterson has multi-hit games his last couple of times out and should hit at the top of the Braves line-up. He faces Masahiro Tanaka, who is a stud, but Peterson has a chance for double-digit points.
Studs: Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays ($4,300)
This is actually a really nice price for Tulowitzki against a very hittable lefty. Tulo has a .923 OPS and .388 wOBA against southpaws this year and should continue to do damage today.
Bang for your buck: Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals ($3,600)
The Nationals face the Marlins and left-hander Adam Conley. Desmond has gotten hot (finally) in the 2nd half with a .360 wOBA and 129 wRC+. Good price today.
Hail Mary: Kelby Tomlinson, San Francisco Giants ($2,100)
He hit a grand slam yesterday, is hitting well over .300 over his last 10 games and he is going to play. Michael Wacha will be a steep challenge for Tomlinson but I think he has a chance for a good game.
Studs: Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,700)
Donaldson has a 1.117 OPS, .464 wOBA and 202 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this year. Matt Boyd is left-handed and is not all that good. Donaldson can put up 25+ today.
Bank for your buck: Jung Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,800)
I find many of the Pirates to be underpriced against Jon Gray, as I think they will score some runs tonight. Kang has been a monster in the 2nd half with a .323/.392/.579 line. Also qualifies at SS.
Hail Mary: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,200)
Alvarez is another member of the Pirates who has gotten hot. He homered again last night and has a .371 wOBA and 141 wRC+ in the 2nd half. Also qualifies at 1B.
Studs: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners ($5,600), Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,300), Brett Gardner, New York Yankees ($4,600)
- John Danks has allowed a .366 wOBA to right-handed hitters and Cruz has a .565 career slugging percentage against Danks in 24 plate appearances. And Cruz has a crazy .485 wOBA and 222 wRC+ versus lefties.
- Bautista faces Matt Boyd, and I like him as well as his hot hitting teammates. Joey Bats has a 1.021 OPS, .428 wOBA and 177 wRC+ in August.
- Williams Perez struggles against lefties. Gardner does not have pronounced splits, but he is still solid against righties with a .340 wOBA and 119 wRC+.
Bang for your buck: Franklin Gutierrez, Seattle Mariners ($3,800), Mark Trumbo, Seattle Mariners ($3,800), Austin Jackson, Seattle Mariners ($3,700)
- Yup – I am going to take the whole Mariners outfield plus DH. Gutierrez smokes lefties with a .997 OPS, .420 wOBA and 177 wRC+. He should handle Danks today.
- Trumbo also hits lefties well with a .504 slugging percentage and .350 wOBA.
- Austin Jackson has owned Danks in his career with a 1.164 OPS over a very representative 57 plate appearances with 3 homers.
Hail Mary: Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies ($3,200), Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox ($3,000), Ryan Raburn, Cleveland Indians ($2,200)
- Herrera is solid versus righties with a .300/.331/.434 line. Ian Kennedy gives up a lot of hits to lefties.
- At this price, Bradley is a steal – even against Matt Harvey. JBJ is hitting great in August with a 1.119 OPS.
- Always a great play against lefties with .383 wOBA and he faces lefty Andrew Heaney today. The only caveat is that as soon as the Angels go to the bullpen and summon a righty, Raburn will likely be lifted so he won’t get a full slate of at-bats.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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