As the dog days of summer roll on, Major League Baseball has another jam-packed Saturday night of fantasy baseball on tap, providing a dozen games on the schedule for the main slate on DraftKings. The Braves and Marlins are playing a doubleheader, which concludes on the main slate as one of the eight divisional matchups. Since many teams play again Sunday afternoon, the majority of the games start shortly after the 7:05 p.m. ET entry lock, with just a couple of games on the West Coast getting underway after 9:00 p.m. ET.
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Jacob deGrom, New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($10,600) – In what should be a nice pitchers’ duel, deGrom will take on Aaron Nola ($10,100) in this NL East matchup. Even though he’s only made two starts, deGrom has shown excellent form, striking out 18 in 10 2/3 innings and producing 19.5 and 35.6 DKFP. He was dominant in his recent 5 2/3-inning outing, striking out 12 vs. the Braves and not allowing a hit until Dansby Swanson ($4,800) got him for a two-run homer on his 76th and final pitch of the day. He’ll most likely be able to go a little deeper in this outing as he continues to ramp up after his shoulder injury, and he has already shown he’s in strong enough shape to post huge fantasy numbers. His velocity and stuff bring him so much strikeout potential that he has an extremely high ceiling and is worth paying up for even though he’s not fully stretched out.
Other Options – Corbin Burnes ($10,300), Yu Darvish ($9,800)
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers ($7,500) – Earlier this season, Giolito would have been priced near the top of the SP in this player pool, but he has been struggling, going just 4-4 with a 5.94 ERA and 4.14 FIP over his past 10 starts. While the metrics indicate he has been unlucky, he has also been struggling with control, issuing 10 walks over his past three starts. There are signs that he’s finding his rhythm, though, and he has 16 strikeouts in 15 innings over those three starts, in which he’s posted a 3.60 ERA. He managed to post over 17 DKFP in each of his two most recent outings and still has a solid 10.16 K/9 on the season. The Tigers are a great matchup for him since they rank last in baseball with a .271 wOBA, .105 ISO and 74 wRC+ on the season. Since the All-Star break, they have been even worse with only a 64 wRC+ and a .257 wOBA. They also have had the highest K% of any team since the break, striking out in 27.4% of their at-bats. This should be a favorable spot for Giolito to continue to return to form.
Other Options – Dylan Bundy ($7,300), Matt Manning ($6,000)
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals ($5,400) – The Padres season took a dramatic turn with the suspension of Fernando Tatis Jr., but even though the Friars’ “Big Three” won’t be a thing this season, Machado is still a good play on Saturday’s slate. He has a favorable matchup against Aníbal Sánchez ($5,500), who he is 7-for-15 (.467) against in his career with three home runs. Machado has multiple hits in three straight games and has gone 14-for-38 (.368) with six doubles, two homers and a .454 wOBA over his past nine. He, Juan Soto ($6,000) and Brandon Drury ($5,300) will have to carry the offense, but Machado has definitely proven he’s up to the task so far this season.
Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,300) – It’s not surprising at all, but Rodgers’ splits are dramatically skewed towards his time at Coors Field. In his 57 home games, he has 10 of his 11 homers and is hitting .321 with a .397 wOBA and .195 ISO. The righty had four straight double-digit-DKFP performances before going 0-for-4 in the series opener vs. Arizona. It was just his fourth hitless contest in his past 27 games, and during that span, he is hitting .367 with six doubles, three home runs and a .389 wOBA.
Other Options – Pete Alonso ($5,900), Jose Altuve ($5,500)
David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels vs. Minnesota Twins ($3,300) – If you’re looking for an affordable middle infielder who can contribute consistent production, Fletcher is a solid play even though he doesn’t bring elite power potential. He has regularly hit leadoff for the Angels since returning from a hip injury that landed him on the 60-day IL. In his 12 games since returning, he has gone 14-for-42 (.333) with three doubles, two home runs and a .393 wOBA. He has hit safely in six straight games and has at least eight DKFP in five of his past nine starts.
Elehuris Montero, Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,800) – The 23-year-old rookie has made a splash since returning to the Rockies on August 2 and is remarkably affordable given his form and matchup. Originally acquired in the Nolan Arenado ($5,800) trade, he has been crushing it in his 10 games in the Majors this month, going 10-for-38 (.368) with five doubles, a home run and a .414 wOBA. Montero has at least eight DKFP in six of his past seven games, which includes four matchups vs. Arizona, who he’ll look to terrorize again in this Saturday night matchup at Coors.
Other Options – Aledmys Díaz ($3,600), Seth Brown ($3,500)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox ($6,400) – If the Yankees are on the slate and you’re paying up for an outfielder, Judge is almost always the right verdict. He homered again on Friday to bring his total to 46 long balls on the season with a ridiculous .450 wOBA and .383 ISO. He has now homered in three of his past four games and is 28-for-66 (.424) with 12 home runs, a .634 wOBA and a 332 wRC+ over his past 18 games. He’s locked in and putting up huge points, so there’s no need to overthink your top-dollar OF selection.
Tommy Pham, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees ($5,200) – On the other side of the AL East rivalry, Pham has been a nice addition for Boston, producing nine RBIs, four doubles, three homers and the walk-off hit Friday night despite being just 10-for-44 (.227) in 10 games. He has averaged 14.8 DKFP per contest over his past five games and has stabilized the leadoff spot for the Red Sox. He is 2-for-6 with a homer in his career against Yankees starter Frankie Montas ($8,300).
Other Options – Julio Rodríguez ($5,200), Charlie Blackmon ($5,000)
Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers ($3,800) – Since returning from a stint on the 60-day IL due to a sprained ankle, all Haniger has done is hit. He picked up three more hits on Friday and is now 10-for-22 (.455) with a double, a home run and a .499 wOBA in his six games since returning. He should be back in the heart of the Mariners lineup again on Saturday for a good matchup against Dane Dunning ($6,100).
Joey Meneses, Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres ($3,100) – Meneses isn’t a hot young prospect, but the 30-year-old is still a rookie after a prolonged journey through the minors. He has made the most of his opportunity, going 10-for-27 (.370) with four home runs and a .521 wOBA in his first eight games with Washington. He’s shown good power in the minors, as well, so there is definite value potential in playing him from the middle of a depleted Nats lineup.
Other Options – Alex Verdugo ($3,000), Leody Taveras ($2,700)
TEAMS TO STACK
Los Angeles Dodgers at Kansas City Royals – The Dodgers have won 11 straight and scored at least eight runs in five of their past six games. No team in the Majors has scored more runs (135) or had a better wOBA (.362) since the All-Star break, and they have a good matchup against Brad Keller ($6,900). Keller did shut down the Red Sox in his most recent start but had dropped three straight before that allowing 16 runs in 15 2⁄3 innings on 23 hits. Mookie Betts ($5,700) and Trea Turner ($5,400) have been hot at the top of the lineup for L.A. while Max Muncy ($4,400), Justin Turner ($4,300) and Will Smith ($4,800) are all pretty affordable given their recent production. You can also usually grab a bargain with Joey Gallo ($3,400) or Trayce Thompson ($3,100), depending on who draws the start.
San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals – As highlighted above, Machado has good numbers against Aníbal Sánchez, but pretty much everyone has been hitting the veteran righty hard this season, so the Padres are a strong stack to consider. In his five starts, Sánchez is 0-5 with 22 runs allowed in 25 innings. He has surrendered eight homers in those five starts, five of which have come to right-handed batters, who have a .473 wOBA against him. Even sans Tatis, the Padres’ lineup is formidable with Soto, Drury and Machado in the middle along with switch-hitting, former-National Josh Bell ($4,700) and left-handed hitting Jake Cronenworth ($4,500). Jurickson Profar ($4,400) has developed into a nice leadoff option as well, and Austin Nola ($3,500) and Ha-Seong Kim ($3,900) can provide nice affordable options at the bottom of the lineup to round out the stack vs. Sánchez.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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