DFS August 31 – Go with your gut

DFS Baseball LogoNeil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 31st.

Today we have 12 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.


It was a good day for me yesterday but it could have been even better.  I was very enthusiastic about Derek Holland versus the Orioles and Ervin Santana versus the Astros prior to setting my lineups.  The Orioles had been struggling and the Astros are a whiff-prone team.  But then I looked at the DraftKings salaries and Ervin Santana’s price was low – really low.  I felt like the DraftKings analytics team knew something that I didn’t and I didn’t pull the trigger on Santana, instead opting for Strasburg.  I still slotted Holland into my lineup though.  In the end, I cashed in my 50/50 game and with 1 of my Moonshot entries, but I could have done even better if I had gone with my gut and taken Santana (who struck out 10 Astros in 7 scoreless innings).

Today, I’ll be trusting my instinct more and we’ll see how it goes.  Here is today’s edition of Studs Bang Mary:

Starting Pitchers

Studs: David Price, Toronto Blue Jays ($12,000), John Lackey, St. Louis Cardinals ($8,900)

  • Price has started 3 games versus the Indians this year and is 2-0 with a 0.42 ERA and 21 Ks over 21.1 innings.  Price has been on fire for the Jays and his streak should continue against this team he owns.
  • Lackey is 8-3 with a 1.91 ERA at home.  The Nationals have really been struggling recently and cannot be excited about seeing the Cardinals and Lackey.

Bang for Your Buck: Hector Santiago, Los Angeles Angels ($7,700), Jake Peavy, San Francisco Giants ($6,200)

  • Santiago is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA and 10.8 K/9 in 2 starts versus Oakland this year.  The A’s are scuffling and this is a nice price for the Angels lefty.
  • Peavy has had good success against this Dodgers lineup as he has held them to a .190/.265/.331 line.  The Dodgers have not been hitting the ball recently as Mike Fiers no-hit them last week and Jake Arrieta no-hit them last night.  I don’t think Peavy throws a no-hitter but he could put up some zeroes.

Hail Mary: Jerad Eickhoff, Philadelphia Phillies ($5,000), Felix Doubront, Oakland A’s ($4,900)

  • Eickhoff has been pretty good in his first two major league starts, including in his last one against the Mets who he is facing today.  Last week, he held the New Yorkers to 3 ER in 6 IP with 6 strikeouts, good for 15.3 DraftKings points.  A repeat performance is not out of the question and would be great at this price.
  • Doubront has been solid with the A’s with a 2.41 ERA and 8.2 K/9.  He faces the Angels who have been abysmal with the lowest team OPS in August at .621.  They are also the 27th best team in baseball in OPS against lefties on the year at .664.


Studs: Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs ($4,800)

Reds starter Michael Lorenzen allows a putrid .326/.446/.594 line to left-handed hitters.  Schwarber has a 1.064 OPS .445 wOBA and 187 wRC+ against righties.  Schwarber is pricy but worth it today.

Bang for your buck: Blake Swihart, Boston Red Sox ($3,500)

Nova has allowed lefties to hit him at a .298/.358/.463 clip good for a .357 wOBA.  Swihart has quietly been a machine in August with a .406 wOBA and 158 wRC+.

Hail Mary: Chris Iannetta, Los Angeles Angels ($2,900)

While I like Doubront today, righties hit him to the tune of .291/.343/.429.  Iannetta has been solid against lefties with a .323 wOBA and 110 wRC+.

First Base

Studs: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs ($5,300)

As I mentioned, Michael Lorenzen can’t get lefties out and Rizzo is as good a lefty as they come.  He is slugging .535 with a .264 ISO against right-handed pitching.

Bang for your buck: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox ($4,300)

This is my pick of the day.  Ortiz has been on fire in the 2nd half with a .442 wOBA and 184 wRC+.  He has been a monster at home versus righties all year with a 1.064 OPS, .436 wOBA and 180 wRC+.  And he has destroyed Nova in his career with a .364/.462/.591 line.

Hail Mary: Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers ($3,500)

Can a legitimate MVP candidate really be classified as a “Hail Mary”?  I don’t understand this price at all.  Prince faces off against Tyson Ross who has allowed a .374 OBP to left-handed hitting.  Fielder has a .409 OBP versus righties to go along with a .383 wOBA and 141 wRC+.  Love the value here.

Second Base

Studs: DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies ($4,400)

This is a somewhat reasonable price for LeMahieu at home against a lefty in Arizona’s Robbie Ray.  On the year LeMahieu gets on base at a tremendous .417 clip versus southpaws at home.

Bang for your buck: Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,600)

Another one of my picks of the day.  Wei-Yin Chen is a good pitcher but has struggled against righties, allowing a .478 slugging percentage.  Forsythe is dynamite against lefties with a .406 wOBA and 167 wRC+.  And he has also owned Chen in his career with a .318/.400/.773 line.

Hail Mary: Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,200)

Much like Prince Fielder, I don’t understand why I have found a legitimate All-Star when shopping in the discount bin.  Granted, Turner has been scuffling but he still has a .454 wOBA and 196 wRC+ at home versus right-handed pitching.  At this price, let’s see if he can turn things around against Peavy.


Studs: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros ($4,800)

Warning! Warning!  Before slotting in Correa, please check Houston’s lineup to make sure that he is playing as he has missed a couple of games with a minor boo-boo.  If Correa does play he faces off against lefty Vidal Nuno and against southpaws this year, Correa has a .395 wOBA and 155 wRC+.

Bang for your buck: Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds ($3,600)

Suarez is a solid player with a .332 wOBA and 108 wRC+ on the season.  Shortstop is a wasteland this season, and an above average offensive player is worth a look every time.

Hail Mary: Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,600)

Again, study your lineups before slotting this guy in, but if Beckham plays, he is solid against lefties with a .341 wOBA and 121 wRC+.  Worth a look at this price.

Third Base

Studs: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies ($4,800)

Coors Field against a hittable lefty at a relatively reasonable price.  He hits .311/.373/.476 at home versus lefties.

Bank for your buck: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,300)

Another really underpriced player today.  Longoria slams lefties with a .403 wOBA and 165 wRC+.  He has also had success against Wei-Yin Chen with a .290/.395/.484 line over 37 successful plate appearances.

Hail Mary: Derek Dietrich, Miami Marlins ($3,000)

This guy is a solid hitter and gets to face off against awful Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz.  Against righties, Dietrich is hitting .279/.373/.551.  Foltynewicz allows lefties to hit .320/.368/.582 against him.  Note that I also like Justin Bour in this match-up as another Hail Mary first baseman.


Studs: AJ Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks ($6,000), Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels ($4,700), Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees ($4,500)

  • Pollock is in Coors where Rockies starter Chad Bettis has reverse splits, allowing righties to hit .304/.379/.538 against him.  Pollock has a .406 wOBA and 157 wRC+ in the 2nd half.  Could be a big game.  Better be at this price.
  • This is just about as low as you’ll get as a price for Mike Trout against a lefty.  Yes, Trout has been scuffling but he has a .412 wOBA and 172 wRC+ against lefties on the year.
  • Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez has weird reverse splits as lefties have a .613 slugging percentage and .388 wOBA against him.  Ellsbury has enjoyed facing Rodriguez so far as he is 4/7 with 2 homers.

Bang for your buck: Cameron Maybin, Atlanta Braves ($4,100), Mark Trumbo, Seattle Mariners ($3,600), Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers ($3,700)

  • Righties are hitting .318/.375/.682 (!!) against Marlins starter Chris Narveson.  At home versus lefties, Maybin owns a .403 wOBA and 159 wRC+.
  • Trumbo hits lefties well with a .504 slugging percentage and .350 wOBA and has had a lot of success against Dallas Keuchel.  I love Keuchel, but Trumbo is 5/10 with 5 extra-base hits in his career against the Astros southpaw including 2 homers.
  • If you want to guarantee yourself a few points, Choo is a good option.  Tyson Ross has trouble finding the plate and Choo is an extremely disciplined hitter with a .371 OBP versus righties along with a .372 wOBA and 134 wRC+.

Hail Mary: Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals ($3,200), Jonny Gomes, Atlanta Braves ($2,400), Shane Victorino, Los Angeles Angels ($2,300)

  • Werth has hit well against Lackey in his career going 6/12 with 4 extra-base hits.
  • I just mentioned Narveson cannot get righties out.  And Gomes loves hitting lefties, especially in Atlanta where he owns a .469 wOBA and 204 wRC+ against southpaws.
  • Victorino faces his old teammate Doubront and he can still hit lefties.  On the road against left-handed pitching Victornio has a .333 wOBA and 112 wRC+.

For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach


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Written by 

Neil has been an avid fantasy sports player since 1991 and a profitable low stakes DFS grinder since 2014. Neil is ranked in the top 20% of DFS players in 3 sports and in the top 10% of DFS players for his stakes per RotoGrinders rankings. As a native Montrealer Neil hopes to get a Major League Baseball team back to his hometown some day soon.