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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 1

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 1:05 p.m. ET.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday features a 10-game main slate starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.


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PITCHER

Stud

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($10,200) – It’s a relatively thin pitching slate at the top on Sunday. Morton is the most expensive pitcher at $10,200, and he stands out as the top option if you’re paying up. He’s taking on the Brewers, who have been a strikeout machine against right-handed pitchers this season. They own the sixth-highest strikeout rate in that split, and they also rank just 20th in wRC+. Morton has also improved after a slow start to the season, posting a 3.21 FIP since June 1.

Other Options – Adam Wainwright ($9,600), Jose Berrios ($8,600)

Value

Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees @ Miami Marlins ($7,400) – Montgomery checks in with the strongest Vegas data on today’s slate. He’s taking on the Marlins, whose implied team total of 3.3 runs is the lowest mark on the slate. He’s also a sizable -155 favorite, so he has significant win equity as well. Montgomery also has more strikeout upside than usual. He isn’t normally a big strikeout pitcher, but the Marlins rank first in the league in strikeout rate against southpaws.

Other Options – Kyle Gibson ($6,900), Marco Gonzales ($6,500)


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


CATCHER

Stud

J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies @ Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,500) – Realmuto is just a quality baseball player. He’s slumped a bit since the All-Star break, but he’s still posted a 110 wRC+ this season. He should be able to turn things around Sunday in an exploitable matchup vs. Mitch Keller ($6,200). He’s been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season, limping to a 7.04 ERA through 12 starts.

Other Options – Willson Contreras ($5,200), Salvador Perez ($4,800)

Value

Cal Raleigh, Seattle Mariners @ Texas Rangers ($2,600) – Raleigh was only recently called up to the big leagues, but he has an excellent pedigree. He entered the season as the No. 92 prospect in baseball per FanGraphs, and he has plenty of power. He went yard nine times over 44 games in Triple-A this season, and he’s homered once through 37 plate appearances in the majors. He’ll have a chance to add to that total Sunday vs. Mike Foltynewicz ($6,700), who has allowed an average of 2.63 homers per nine innings this season.

Other Options – Yadier Molina ($3,600), Kevan Smith ($2,000)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Pete Alonso, New York Mets vs. Cincinnati Reds ($5,600) – Alonso has been red-hot since winning the Home Run Derby, posting a 167 wRC+ over the second half of the season. He’s also increased his ISO to .317 over that time frame thanks to six homers over 70 plate appearances. Alonso and the Mets should be able to score plenty of runs Sunday vs. right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez ($7,700). He’s struggled to a 5.88 FIP this season, and they’re currently implied for 5.2 runs.

Other Options – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($6,300), Trey Mancini ($5,000)

Value

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,500) – Believe it or not, the second-highest implied team total on the slate belongs to the Tigers. They’re implied for 5.4 runs vs. the Orioles, who will send right-hander Spenser Watkins ($5,500) to the mound. Watkins has survived in his first 20 1/3 innings in the majors, pitching to a 3.10 ERA, but his advanced metrics suggest regression is coming. He’s been particularly lucky from a home run perspective, resulting in a 5.54 xFIP.

Cabrera is obviously not the same hitter that he was in his prime, but he’s still a roughly league-average hitter. He’s also slotted in to bat cleanup, which gives him a prime lineup spot for a team that could score plenty of runs. That makes him a viable option.

Other Options – Luis Torrens ($3,700), Ryan Mountcastle ($3,400)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Jonathan Schoop, Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4,800) – Schoop is the most appealing option for the Tigers on Sunday. He was reportedly on the trade block before the deadline, but the Tigers decided to hang on to the slugging infielder. He’s been red hot over the summer, posting a 145 wRC+ since June 1. He’s underpriced at $4,800 in the same matchup as Cabrera.

Other Options – Ozzie Albies ($5,100), Jeff McNeil ($4,900)

Value

Cesar Hernandez, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians ($3,500) – Hernandez was a quality addition for the White Sox at the trade deadline, and he’s been occupying the second spot in their lineup. Hernandez is having one of his best seasons at the dish, and he’s already slugged a career-best 18 homers. His batting average is down, but the increased power makes him a better fantasy asset.

Other Options – Ty France ($4,400), Tommy Edman ($3,100)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,400) – Riley was a highly-touted prospect, and he has transformed into a star for the Braves this season. He’s posted a 136 wRC+ in his second full season in the big leagues, and he’s already slugged 22 homers. He’s taken another step forward during the month of July, increasing his wRC+ to 181. He’s taking on Brewers left-hander Brett Anderson ($8,300), who has struggled to a 6.09 xERA through 15 starts this season. Riley has been significantly better against right-handers than left-handers this season, but he can still do plenty of damage in this matchup.

Other Options – Yoan Moncada ($4,800), Kyle Seager ($4,600)

Value

Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($3,700) Kyle Gibson ($6,900) was the Phillies’ big trade acquisition at the deadline, and he will make his first start for his new team on Sunday. The only problem is he’s not really that good. He had an outlier first-half with the Rangers this season, pitching to a 2.29 ERA, but he’s posted an ERA of at least 4.84 in four of the past five seasons. He’s already started to show signs of regression in the second half, posting a dreadful 8.18 ERA over two starts.

Hayes took the league by storm as a 23-year-old rookie in 2020, and he’s held his own in 2021. I think he’s a future star for the Pirates, so I have no problem backing him at just $3,700.

Other Options – David Bote ($2,800), Charlie Culberson ($2,200)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals ($5,600) – I’ve waited long enough to talk about the Blue Jays. They have one of the best offenses in baseball, and the top of their lineup is particularly potent. They’re currently implied for 6.0 runs on Sunday, which is the top mark on the slate by a sizable margin.

Bichette enters this contest in excellent recent form, posting a 146 wRC+ since the All-Star break. He’s scored at least 11.0 DKFP in six of his past eight games, so he’s well worth the $5,600 price tag.

Other Options – Tim Anderson ($5,900), J.P. Crawford ($4,600)

Value

Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,300) – Swanson has quietly launched 20 homers already this season, which means he’s already set a new career-high in that department. He’s displayed his most power against left-handed pitchers, posting a .256 ISO in those matchups. He’ll be facing a lefty on Sunday in Anderson, so he’s a solid option.

Other Options – Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($4,200), Ramon Urias ($2,900)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Juan Soto, Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs ($6,000) – It feels like Soto has had a disappointing season, but his numbers would be career-highs for most of the players in baseball. He hasn’t been able to duplicate his insane 201 wRC+ from last season, but he’s still posted an elite 149 wRC+ in 2021. He continues to absolutely destroy right-handed pitching, posting a 160 wRC+ in those matchups. The one big problem with Soto this season has been a lack of power, but he’s increased his ISO to .444 since the All-Star break. Overall, Soto remains one of the best pure hitters in the league.

He’s taking on Adbert Alzolay ($9,200) on Sunday, but don’t let his high price tag fool you: Alzolay is not a good pitcher. He’s pitched to a 4.73 ERA and 5.32 FIP this season, and he’s allowed a ridiculous 2.22 homers per nine innings. Left-handed batters have teed off on him, posting a .422 wOBA, so Soto has a massive advantage in this matchup.

Other Options – Mitch Haniger ($5,600), George Springer ($5,400)

Value

Austin Hays, Baltimore Orioles @ Detroit Tigers ($2,700) – The Orioles have been sneaky-good against left-handed pitchers this season, and Hays is a big reason why. He’s posted a 134 wRC+ in those matchups this year, which makes him underpriced for Sunday’s matchup vs. Tyler Alexander ($5,000). There are plenty of strong value options to consider in the outfield on Sunday, but Hays is arguably the best.

Other Options – Dominic Smith ($3,600), Jorge Soler ($3,400), Dylan Carlson ($2,900), Myles Straw ($2,000)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


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