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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 17

Stan Son gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Tuesday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

It’s an interesting slate for Tuesday as there’s something for everyone. Granted, it helps that there are 15 games. Do you want stud pitching? There are plenty of options. Stacks against gas can pitchers? Yup. Hey, Coors Field is on the slate, too.

Both the Yankees and Red Sox are projected for 3.5 runs. When’s the last time that happened? Josh Beckett vs. Roger Clemens, perhaps? Fine, I cheated. It’s the second game of a doubleheader. Eight teams are projected for more than five runs, with the two teams in Colorado projected for over six. There are nine teams with run totals below four.

As of this writing, weather doesn’t look to be a factor anywhere but check with your favorite weather person as the day progresses. Let’s dig in a little deeper to isolate some of my favorite plays today.


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PITCHER

Stud

Nathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees ($9,700) — This game is the second leg of a doubleheader. That puts into play the Complete Game bonus of 2.5 DKFP and Complete Game Shutout bonus of 2.5 DKFP. Not saying that it happens, but the pendulum swings slightly in that direction. That’s not why I like Eovaldi today, although it’s a nice bonus. Eovaldi has just been good this season. His FIP is 2.77 and his swinging strike rate is 12.3%. His HR/9 is only 0.61, his BB/9 is 1.69, while he’s striking out 9.07 batters per nine innings. The Yankees are seventh in strikeouts against right-handed pitching and, in four meetings this season, Eovaldi has put up 24.7 DKFP, 27.1 DKFP, 20.3 DKFP and 25.1 DKFP. He’s also coming off a 35.4 DKFP performance against Tampa Bay.

Other Option: Corbin Burnes ($10,200)

Value

Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers ($6,000) — I’m either getting fired for this recommendation tomorrow or... Well, I’m probably getting fired regardless, so I might as well go out in a flame of glory. Bundy has been putrid since the sticky stuff was banned. To begin the season, his swinging strike rate was in the 12% range. Now, it fluctuates wildly, with three games where he’s even sat below 5%. He’s scored fewer than 10.0 DKFP in 10 of his last 11 games. But there’s a modicum of hope. Two starts ago, he went for 27.25 DKFP against the Rangers and today he gets to face the Tigers, who just happen own the second-highest strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching. Could things go horribly wrong? Absolutely, but at $6K the risk/reward ratio seems favorable to me.

Other Option: Vladimir Gutierrez ($7,000)


CATCHER

Stud

Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,800) — The analysis for this one is easy peasy. Smith will likely bat fifth in the order and he crushes right-handed pitching. He’s slashing .298/.416/.591 with a .293 ISO within the split. Will Crowe ($6,200) has allowed 2.7 HR/9 to righties.

Other Option: J.T. Realmuto ($4,900)

Value

Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians ($3,900) — Garver has a ton of swing-and-miss to his game (28.9% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching). That said, he has a ton of power and actually has reverse splits, as he’s slashing .281/.395/.594 against righties compared to .182/.267/.455 against lefties. His ISO is robust against both, but it’s .313 against righties. He gets to face Eli Morgan ($6,800) tonight, who has allowed 2.51 HR/9 to righties.

Other Option: Mike Zunino ($3,700)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers ($6,500) — San Diego Studios should just rename their flagship game The Sho. It’s absolutely ridiculous what he’s doing this year. So ridiculous that he’d break fantasy baseball if sites accounted for all of his endeavors. He has both programmers and upper management running around like headless chickens. Now, his strikeout rate is high at 30.8%, but his walk rate is 11.9% and he’s slashing .269/.360/.647. His ISO is .378! He has 39 home runs, 78 runs, 86 RBI and 17 stolen bases. Ridiculous. He mashes both lefties and righties, but his OPS is 1.034 against RHPs. He gets to face Casey Mize ($6,400), who has allowed 2.67 HR/9 to lefties with a 6.44 FIP. The Tigers bullpen also has the sixth-highest FIP and has served up the 10th-most home runs per nine innings.

Other Option: Max Muncy ($5,400), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($6,400)

Value

Connor Joe, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres ($2,800) — He bats leadoff, costs less than $3K and will be in Coors Field. What else do you need? Fine, you are a demanding lot. In 142 plate appearances this season, Joe has seven home runs and 25 RBI. The walk rate is 9.9% while the strikeout rate is only 19.0%. Joe is slashing .291/.359/.496 with a .205 ISO. Against left-handed pitching, his ISO jumps to .286. He will face Matt Strahm ($4,000), who is a lefty, at least once, as Strahm will likely be an opener tonight in a bullpen game.

Other Option: Jesus Aguilar ($3,200), Asdrubal Cabrera ($2,700)


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SECOND BASE

Stud

Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres ($4,600) — Rodgers has been batting second in the Rockies’ lineup and should get at least one at-bat against Strahm. Against left-handed pitching, Rodgers has a .299/.347/.627 slash line with a .328 ISO. In his career, Strahm has allowed a respectable 1.3 HR/9 to righties with a 4.04 FIP, but this game is in Coors Field and will be a bullpen game.

Other Option: Trea Turner ($5,000)

Value

Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians ($3,500) — Polanco is the Rodney Dangerfield of fantasy baseball. What’s a guy gotta do to get some respect in these streets? On the season, he has 21 home runs, 72 runs, 64 RBI and nine stolen bases. His strikeout rate is only 16.5%, his ISO is .214 and he generally bats third in the Twins’ lineup. Against right-handed pitching, he has a .230 ISO. I mentioned earlier how Morgan serves it up to righties. Well, he’s just as generous to lefties (1.83 HR/9).

Other Option: Yonny Hernandez ($2,500)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins ($5,700) — Bailey Ober ($6,900) can miss bats but his big bugaboo is the long ball. He’s allowed 2.03 HR/9 so far this season. Ramirez crushes righties to the tune of a .327 ISO, as opposed to a .190 ISO against lefties. The Twins’ bullpen has allowed the fifth-most HR/9 and has the 10th-highest FIP.

Other Option: Justin Turner ($5,200), Chris Taylor ($4,500)

Value

Josh Donaldson, Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians ($3,500) — I guess it’s a stack the Twins and Indians kind of day. Got it. I mentioned earlier that Morgan serves up long balls to righties. Donaldson bats clean-up for the Twins and has a .209 ISO against right-handed pitching.


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($5,900) — Shohei and Tatis are two players who I will likely write up in the studs section every single freaking time. I don’t care about price. I don’t care about matchups. Okay, fine. I do care about those things, but I’m willing to overlook them with these two. That’s how good they are. Tatis has 33 home runs, 83 runs, 74 RBI and 23 stolen bases on the season. He’s slashing .298/.377/.669 with a ridiculous .371 ISO. And he’s been injured for portions of this season.

Other Option: Trevor Story ($5,300), Wander Franco ($5,000)

Value

Amed Rosario, Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins ($4,200) — I’m not crazy about the value options at the position, so Rosario it is. He bats second in Cleveland’s lineup, in front of Ramirez, so there could be some correlation there. Rosario isn’t a power hitter, but he does have six home runs and a .121 ISO, so he’s not a zero in the department. He also has 12 stolen bases and 56 runs scored.


OUTFIELD

Stud

Editor’s Note: Cleveland OF Franmil Reyes is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Twins.

Franmil Reyes, Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins ($5,300) — Well, add the Indians stack to the festivities. There’s a reason they call him “the Franimal” because he has 20 home runs in 307 plate appearances. FanGraphs has him rated at 70/70 for raw power. His strikeout rate is high at 32.2%, but his ISO is .272. Ober does serve up the long ball and against right-handed pitching, Reyes has a .297 ISO.

Other Option: Nelson Cruz ($4,700), Randy Arozarena ($4,200)

Value

Lewis Brinson, Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves ($2,200) — Since Aug. 1, Brinson has a .345/.400/.655 slash line with a .309 ISO in 60 plate appearances. The strikeout rate is only 18.3%, while the walk rate is 8.3%. That’s translated into four home runs and 17 RBI. The BABIP is .375, though, so regression is going to come. It’s just a matter of how much. Has he learned and developed or is he the Brinson that we know and despise (29% strikeout rate and .203/.254/.334 career slash line)? We’ve all been hurt by Brinson in the past, but he’s batting cleanup for the Marlins and is only $200 above the minimum. Huascar Ynoa ($7,300) is a decent pitcher who can miss bats, but he’s allowed 2.52 HR/9 and has a 5.58 FIP to righties.

Other Option: Justin Upton ($3,100), Robbie Grossman ($3,300), Tyler Naquin ($2,300), Adolis Garcia ($3,500), Myles Straw ($2,500)

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


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