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Scouting the MLB DFS - Monday, August 22

We've got an 8-game slate of MLB action tonight and the Daily DFS Breakdown has you covered with the top plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: The Braves are giving some of their top prospects a chance to show what they can do in the Majors, including Dansby Swanson, who logged multiple hits in 2 of his first 3 MLB appearances and earned a chance to lead off yesterday. The rookie SS will face a vulnerable young RHP in Zack Godley at hitter-friendly Chase Field and could serve as a cheap option on either main DFS site.

Fade: Something might be wrong with Stephen Strasburg, aka “The Orchid” because he’s a SP that needs utterly perfect conditions to thrive. He’ll face a red-hot Orioles team tonight that leads the Majors in HR while playing at home and badly needs a win to stay in the hunt for the A.L. East crown.

Weather Report

    No real weather concerns tonight.

Stackable Menu

  1. Brewers hosting RHP Chad Bettis
  2. Indians visiting RHP Andrew Triggs
  3. Yankees visiting RHP Cody Martin
  4. Cubs visiting RHP Edwin Jackson
  5. Diamondbacks hosting RHP Mike Foltynewicz

Longshot Stack: Red Sox visiting LHP Blake Snell


Pitchers

Two Studs

Jon Lester: (CHC) @ SD DK:$12,500/FD:$11,000

He’s put together impressive starts in 5 of his last 6 outings since struggling for a bit in early July and Lester clearly draws an appealing matchup tonight. The Padres are sporting the lowest collective batting average (.224) with the 2nd highest K-Rate (24.1%) in the Majors over the last 30 days and current Padres are just 19-for-91 (.209) with 19 strikeouts in their careers against Lester. The Cubs LHP has been slightly more vulnerable on the road this year, but pitching at massive Petco Park is never really a bad consideration, as Lester prepares for his first career start at that pitcher-friendly ballpark.

Carlos Carrasco: (CLE) at OAK DK:$11,500/FD:$10,300

I’d have no problem going with Carrasco over Lester if you need to save some salary tonight, as he’s another capable pitcher that will face a weak offensive team in a spacious ballpark. The Indians secondary ace has been elite over his last three starts with 27 strikeouts during that span and while he’s given up a homer in each of those outings, Oakland Coliseum has the third lowest HR Factor in the Majors and the A’s have logged the 2nd fewest homers (59) at their home stadium amongst A.L. teams. Carrasco has also been lights out on the road with a 1.97 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and .180 BAA and he’s a fantastic DFS option when he has the strikeout working along with his efficient approach that allows him to go deep into ball games.

Value Play:

Jameson Taillon: (PIT) vs. HOU DK:$9,100/FD:$7,500

The Pirates top prospect has been as advertised for the most part this year, posting a solid 3.00 ERA with a 3.22 xFIP and 53.9% Ground Ball Rate this season. Since returning to the Majors after getting designated for assignment in late June, Taillon is sporting a 2.37 ERA with a .228 BAA and 0.97 WHIP while posting six consecutive Quality Starts. Tonight represents a tough test for the rookie RHP against an Astros team that can certainly rake, but Houston is also sporting the 3rd highest K-Rate (23.8%) in the Majors against RHP this season. That makes Taillon a solid option in any format at this mid-tier price tag.

Longshot Pitcher:

Jimmy Nelson: (MIL) vs. COL DK:$5,100/FD:$6,400

The circumstances are certainly right for Nelson to find success tonight since he's at home against a Rockies team that is obviously less dangerous away from Coors Field and faces a weak SP on the other side of the ball. Rockies RHP Chad Bettis is struggling just as much with a 5.20 ERA and 1.45 WHIP away from Coors this year and he's actually coughing up a higher 1.33 HR/9 ratio in road starts. Nelson has been up and down during his third MLB campaign, but he's much more consistent with a 2.79 ERA and .237 BAA over 13 home starts this season. The big righty is capable of putting up great numbers if he can find his rhythm in this matchup and it won't take much for him to meet value at this price tag.

Batters

Catcher:

Sandy Leon: (BOS) @ TB DK: $3,300/FD: $3,000

Leon is still relatively cheap on DK despite producing as consistently as any catcher in the game over the past month. He's hitting .377 during the month of August and slashing .457/.537/.857 with 3 XBH and 3 HR to average 12.2 DK PPG over his last 10 appearances. Tonight the Red Sox will look to maintain their league-leading .282 batting average against LHP with Rays southpaw Blake Snell taking the bump. The rookie was touched up in Toronto before handling a weak Padres lineup in his last start, but facing the Red Sox is an entirely different challenge. While Leon is a LHB, he's hitting .435 with a .535 wOBA against LHP this season and is yet another dangerous bat that should make life tough for Snell this evening.

Potential Value

Martin Maldonado ($2900/$2400) is a solid option to consider with upside as part of a Brewers stack tonight.

Longshot

Willson Contreras ($4000/$3000) is worth a look in tournament formats against Padres inconsistent RHP Edwin Jackson.

First Base:

Anthony Rizzo: (CHC) @ SD DK:$5,300/FD:$4,200

Even at Petco Park, Rizzo is an elite option when he’s swinging a hot bat. The Cubs superstar has logged multiple hits in 4 straight appearances and he’s batting .385 over his last 9 starts. He’ll have the platoon advantage tonight against Padres RHP Edwin Jackson, who had a nice stretch of performances snapped when he was lit up for 8 ER by the lowly Rays offense in his last outing. Jackson has allowed LHB to hit .276 with a .344 wOBA throughout his lengthy MLB career and he frequently struggles against elite offensive teams such as the Cubs, who will have his number after he spent two seasons with the club in 2013 and 2014.

Potential Value

Chris Carter ($4200/$3400) is a value play with some upside as part of a Brewers stack against vulnerable RHP Chad Bettis

Longshot

While David Ortiz ($4700/$4500) might not do too much damage against LH starter Blake Snell, he’s still worth a look at this relative discount on DK given his ability to come up clutch late in games.

Second Base:

Jean Segura: (ARI) vs. ATL DK:$5,200/FD:$3,500

While he put up a goose egg on Sunday, Segura has still posted some eye-popping numbers with a .395 batting average, 6 XBH and 5 SB to average 12.6 DK PPG over his last 10 appearances. He’s still relatively cheap on FanDuel given his upside, demonstrated by a 5-hit, 3-SB performance on Saturday night against the Padres. Tonight he’ll face a RHP in Mike Foltynewicz, who is struggling with a 5.04 ERA and .305 BAA and might have trouble at hitter-friendly Chase Field. Segura is hitting .328 at home this season and faring better against RHP with a .326 batting average and .366 wOBA in RvR matchups.

Potential Value

Josh Harrison ($3700/$3300) is a solid cash game option on DraftKings against inconsistent Astros RHP Doug Fister.

Longshot

If Red Sox LHP David Price struggles again, you can bet that Logan Forsythe ($4800/$3500) will be one of the Rays RHB to tag him for a big hit tonight.

Third Base:

Jonathan Villar: (MIL) vs. COL DK:$4,600 as SS/FD:$3,900

Clearly we’re advising for a Brewers stack tonight at home against Chad Bettis, and Villar stands out as an obvious addition from the leadoff spot. The speedster is heating up at the plate and on the base paths once again with 6 hits and 2 SB over his last 4 appearances and he has one of the best floor/ceiling combos of any DFS option out there. Villar has moved around the Brewers lineup a bit over the past couple of weeks, but he’s always going to bat towards the top of the order and can always blow up with power and speed numbers to justify his lofty price tag.

Potential Value

Alex Bregman ($3800/$3300) is worth a look as a cheap play on DK tonight, while Yulieski Gurriel ($2400/$3000) could serve as a true punt play if he’s able to battle through a hamstring pull.

Longshot

Nolan Arenado ($4600/$4000) broke out of his slump with a huge two-HR performance yesterday and he has plenty of upside against Brewers RHP Jimmy Nelson tonight.

Shortstop:

Dansby Swanson: (ATL) @ ARI DK:$3,400/FD:$2,500

This is not a play with tremendous upside, but the Braves offense could surprise by producing this evening due to the heightened Run Factor at Arizona’s Chase Field. They’ll face D’Backs RHP Zack Godley, who is sporting a 5.27 ERA over his last 10 appearances and is allowing RHB to hit .270 with a .318 wOBA on the season. The Braves are quite clearly in rebuilding mode after a dreadful season and they're giving some of their top prospects a chance to show what they can do in the Majors. Swanson logged multiple hits in 2 of his first 3 MLB appearances and earned a chance to lead off yesterday with the platoon advantage against Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez, so perhaps he bats in favorable position again tonight.

Potential Value

Xander Bogaerts ($4100/$3400) is a very strong cash game option with the platoon advantage against LHP Blake Snell.

Longshot

Consider Didi Gregorious ($4200/$2900) as a GPP play to use against Mariners rookie RHP Cody Martin.

Outfielders:

Bryce Harper: (WAS) @ BAL DK:$5,400/FD:$4,000

It’s time consider Harper as a staple in DFS lineups once again. Last year’s MVP is finally coming around with a .333 batting average and .425 wOBA during the month of August, as he’s walking more often than he’s striking out while providing plenty of pop. Harper homered on Sunday and has stolen a base in consecutive games, so he’s clearly worth paying up for in a solid matchup against Orioles rookie Dylan Bundy. The young RHP had success over his past few starts by keeping the ball down and pounding the strike zone, but the Red Sox tagged him for 9 H and 5 ER in his most recent start and these Nationals are certainly capable of doing some damage at Camden Yards, which happens to have the highest HR Factor for a LHB in the Majors.

Ryan Braun: (MIL) vs. COL DK:$4,800/FD:$4,200

You can hardly construct a Brewers stack without their most dangerous all-around hitter in Braun, who is priced appropriately at the top of the board on FanDuel. Rockies SP Chad Bettis has been generally awful this year and is hardly more effective away from Coors Field, while Braun was on an absolute tear before slowing down a little bit this week. He’s still hitting .333 with a .436 wOBA and 6 SB since the break and is more dangerous with a .324 batting average and .402 wOBA at Miller Life Park this season.

Keon Broxton: (MIL) vs. COL DK:$4,300/FD:$3,100

The Brewers speedster turned some heads with a multi-homer game on Sunday, but he's mostly a premier option because of his ability to leg out singles and steal bases without much contention. Broxton is 18-for-20 on SB attempts this season and he has a great chance to reach base against RHP Chad Bettis, who is allowing RHB to hit .293 with a .353 wOBA this year and is giving up a 35% Hard Contact Rate to righties. He's not great in terms of holding runners on first base and none of the Rockies trio of catchers are particularly adept at throwing out runners either.

Potential Values

Nick Markakis ($4400/$2800) is a great value on FD with the platoon advantage tonight against Zack Godley.

Aaron Judge ($4000/$3100) and fellow Yankees rookie Tyler Austin ($2600/$2300 as 1B on FD) are worth a look in a plus matchup against RHP Cody Martin.

Jason Heyward ($2800/$2900) is certainly struggling for the Cubs lately, but he could break out of it if the offense starts rolling against Edwin Jackson this evening.


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