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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 4

Nick Friar gives his top studs and value plays for Thursday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

We’ve got a tricky MLB slate on Thursday. Here are my favorite plays from DraftKings’ main slate.

For additional picks across all MLB games, find me on Twitter @Nick_Friar.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]



Justin Verlander, Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Guardians ($10,400) – Thursday’s high-end pitchers don’t exactly have ideal matchups. Of the four priced above $9K, Verlander’s is by far the best — and the pitchers in the $8K range are hit or miss. Although the strikeout potential isn’t there, the Guardians also have the lowest hard-contact rate against right-handed pitching since July 1. That’s led to them ranking just outside the bottom 10 in ISO during that stretch.

During that same span, Verlander has posted a 30.5% strikeout rate, helping lead to his 1.77 FIP and 1.01 ERA over his last four starts. What’s wilder is he’s managed this success while opponents have posted a .313 BABIP.

Other Option - Johnny Cueto ($8,700)


Jose Quintana, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs ($6,700) – Now a member of the Cardinals, Quintana gets a crack at one of his old teams in his first start where Busch Stadium will be his home park. The left-hander was in the midst of a strong stretch before making the move within the NL Central, logging at least 17 DKFP in five of his last seven outings. Although the Cubs have a .194 against lefties since the start of July, they also have a 48% ground-ball rate in those matchups. Chicago also has a 27.5% strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers during that same stretch.

Other Option - Cole Ragans ($5,100)



Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals ($5,200) – Devers returned from the injured list in a big way on Tuesday, and he’s in a spot to do even more damage on Thursday. Devers does better against right-handed pitching, but he has put the hurting on lefties this season, too. In his last 51 plate appearances against left-handers, he has a .239 ISO despite his .250 BABIP. He has a 34.3% hard-contact rate against lefties during that span, and that should play well against Kris Bubic ($6,100), who gave up a 52.2% fly-ball rate and 41.7% hard-contact rate to lefties last season.


Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox ($5,000) – Salvy has done some serious damage following his extended absence. In six games, he has three home runs and a double, the latter of which was part of a multi-hit performance. On the season, he has a .232 ISO vs. right-handed pitchers, but his BABIP is only .195 — thus his .182 average. However, his 49.2% fly-ball rate and 33.1% hard-contact rate should play well against Nick Pivetta ($8,200), who has a 42.4% fly-ball rate and 36.1% hard-contact rate against righties this season.


Michael Massey, Minnesota Twins at San Diego Padres ($3,300) – Over the last month, lefties have put a hurting on Pivetta. They produced a 23.5% line-drive rate, 35.3% fly-ball rate and 38.2% hard-contact rate, leading to a .519 wOBA during that stretch. Massey hasn’t gotten many opportunities, but the lefty has produced against right-handers. Given the results Pivetta churns out against lefties, KC’s second baseman is in a comfortable spot to provide value at the minimum price.


Darick Hall, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals ($3,000) – Hall isn’t setting the world on fire like he was when he first got called up, but he’s still a quality value play whenever facing a pitcher who gives up a lot of flies to lefty bats. Since mid-July, Hall has a 38.5% fly-ball rate, 30.8% line-drive rate and 42.3% hard-contact rate against righties, leading to a .257 ISO. On top of all that, Paolo Espino ($5,800) fits the ideal mold for Hall. Washington’s right-hander has a 60.6% fly-ball rate and 44.1% hard-contact rate against lefty bats since the start of July.



Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians ($5,900) – Although he’s yet to do much in his limited chances against Zach Plesac ($7,200), the right-hander is a dream matchup for Alvarez. The Cleveland right-hander has surrendered a sizable 40% fly-ball rate to left-handed hitters since July 1, leading to four doubles, two home runs and a .382 wOBA. Alvarez can obviously handle any right-hander, but this is a particularly favorable matchup.


Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals ($5,300) – As good of a matchup as Espino presents for Hall, he’s even better for Schwarber. The lefty has a 58.1% fly-ball rate and a 44.2% hard-contact rate against right-handed pitching in his last 83 plate appearances. That’s turned into a .373 ISO, nine home runs and a double. Episona is a fly-ball machine, which could lead to a lot of Philly runs on Thursday.


Victor Robles, Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies ($2,300) – Robles has struggled against right-handed pitching since July 1, but his .216 BABIP partly explains why that’s been the case. Still, he posted a 42.1% fly-ball rate and 32.5% hard-contact rate against righties during this stretch. That should play against Noah Syndergaard ($7,600), who gave up a 50% fly-ball rate and 38.5% hard-contact rate against righties last month. Also, Robles has taken Syndergaard deep three times in just 12 chances.


Aledmys Diaz, Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians ($3,400) – Plesac has more favorable splits against right-handed hitters, but that doesn’t matter. Diaz has destroyed righties, posting a .412 ISO and .539 wOBA in his last 56 plate appearances. His power surge has been the result of a 22.7% line-drive rate and 38.6% hard-contact rate. And with Diaz in a run-producing spot in the order, he makes for a quality value option Thursday.


Red Sox at Kansas City Royals – Devers vs. Bubic is one of my favorite matchup of the slate, in part because it could be easily overlooked due to it being a lefty-on-lefty matchup. But Bubic gives up a lot of fly balls and hard contact to lefty bats, and Devers punishes lefty arms. The same can’t be said for Jarren Duran ($2,900) and Alex Verdugo ($3,000), but they’re good salary-saving options because of Bubic’s struggles vs. left-handed hitting.

Bobby Dalbec ($3,100) makes for a good value plate from the right side, having posted a 25% line-drive rate and 37.5% hard-contact rate against righties since July 1. J.D. Martinez ($4,300) is also a good mid-range play vs. KC. He has a 28.6% line-drive rate, 47.6% fly-ball rate and 38.1% hard-contact rate against lefties since July 1.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is dk-nfriar) 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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