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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 18

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

Wednesday features a 10-game MLB main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.


PITCHER

Stud

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins ($9,700) — Over Morton’s last nine starts, his baseline is 20.7 DKFP. On Wednesday evening, he’ll face the Marlins at Miami — one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball. The park isn’t much help for Morton because he limits fly balls (28%) and hard contact (29%), but the Marlins lineup is — 90 wRC+, .300 wOBA, .143 ISO, 31 % hard contact rate and a 25% K rate against right-handed pitching. At home, the Marlins have the fourth-lowest ISO (.138) and seventh-lowest wOBA (.300). Not only is the Marlins’ contact weak, but their 29.3% CSW (called strike and swinging strike rate) is the second-worst in baseball. Morton’s 30.9% CSW is the fifth-best in baseball. This is a no-brainer.

Other Option: Freddy Peralta ($10,200)

Value

Mitch White, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($6,000) — How many innings does White have to pitch to work in DFS? He lasted four innings against Philly in his last start, but he surrendered too many walks, hits and runs to the top of the order (9.4 DKFP). In his first start, his lone mistake was a home run to Kole Calhoun. Manager Dave Roberts stated that White will handle the bulk of the innings against the Pirates. Five innings against a Pittsburgh team that struggles mightily with right-handed pitchers — 83 wRC+, .294 wOBA, .129 ISO and a 29% K rate — should be more than enough work to score 18 DKFP.

Other Option: Ranger Suárez ($5,700)


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CATCHER

Stud

Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,200) — The Dodgers’ lineup is stacked, but Will Smith might be their best hitter against right-handed pitching — 0.418 wOBA, .289 ISO and a 166 wRC+. JT Brubaker ($6,800) struggles with right-handed batters (.320 wOBA, .224 ISO, 36% hard contact rate and 1.9 HR/9) and so does the Pirates bullpen (4.36 xFIP ranks 22nd).

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

Value

Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4,100) — His traditional numbers aren’t great — .215 AVG — they’re awful, but the advanced metrics tell a different story. Zunino has the second-highest WAR on the team and with fellow catcher, Francisco Mejía ($3,200), the Rays have the most productive backstop combination in baseball. Zunino might not make contact enough, but when he does, it’s contact that impacts a game — .270 ISO and a 45% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching. Spenser Watkins ($5,500) has struggled with right-handed batters (.375 wOBA, .240 ISO, 41% hard contact rate, 1.9 HR/9 and a 12% K rate) and so does the Orioles bullpen (4.78 xFIP ranks dead last). That sentence sounds familiar.

Other Option: Cal Raleigh ($2,600)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,700) — Most of the top tier first baseman are in poor spots today except for Muncy. JT Brubaker’s stats are listed above, but let’s throw out one more for good measure — Brubaker has allowed 25 home runs this season, that’s tied for the fourth-most. What is more impressive is that he accomplished this notorious feat in fewer innings than other league leaders while pitching half of his game in a pitcher’s park. His 2.0 HR/9 is the third-worst and ranks behind 2021 DFS favorites: Jordan Lyles and Mike Foltynewicz. Muncy has a .396 wOBA, .282 ISO, 152 wRC+ and a 39% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.

Other Option: José Abreu ($5,600)

Value

Ty France, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers ($4,000) — Speaking of Mike Foltynewicz ($5,100), he’s taking the mound tonight, so Mariners stacks should be popular. Folty has surrendered a .340 wOBA, .248 ISO, 35% hard contact rate, 2.2 HR/9 and an 18 % K rate against right-handed batters. France isn’t great, but he’s above average against right-handed pitching (.340 wOBA, .131 ISO, 120 wRC+, 34% hard contact rate and a 16% K rate), and that’s more than enough in this matchup.

Other Option: Ji-Man Choi ($3,900), Bobby Dalbec ($3,100)


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SECOND BASE

Stud

Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,300) — Spenser Watkins has limited left-handed batters to a .301 wOBA and a .125 ISO, but something does not add up. The righty’s strikeout rate is 18% and his xFIP is 4.63, so the only explanation is that the numbers are a product of a small sample size of 17 innings. Lefties will likely start hitting Watkins, and Lowe and the Rays’ lefty-heavy lineup should start that regression. Lowe has a .392 wOBA, .297 ISO, 156 wRC+ and a 41% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.

Other Option: David Fletcher ($4,700)

Value

Abraham Toro, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers ($4,100) — Mike Foltynewicz leads the league in giving up home runs — 33 home runs (most) and 2.4 HR/9 (most). Toro is a switch hitter that is more consistent as a right-handed batter (.315 AVG), but all of his power comes as a left-handed batter — his nine home runs have all come against right-handed pitching (.334 wOBA, .244 ISO, 117 wRC+ and a 14% K rate).

Other Option: Jean Segura ($4,300)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers ($4,700) — There are some great top tier plays at third base on Wednesday night, but Seager offers a little bit of savings with just as much upside. Against right-handed pitching, Seager has a .209 ISO and 40% hard contact rate, and Mike Foltynewicz has been awful against left-handed batters — .394 wOBA, .312 ISO, 42% hard contact rate, 47% fly ball rate, 2.7 HR/9 and a 14% K rate. How does he still have a job?

Other Option: Justin Turner ($5,600), Rafael Devers ($5,400)

Value

Jack Mayfield, Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers ($3,200) — He’s on a modest four-game hit streak, but more importantly, he’s facing Tarik Skubal ($7,400) — .335 wOBA, .243 ISO, 38% hard contact rate, 47% fly ball rate and 2.3 HR/9 to right-handed batters. When a fly ball pitcher faces a fly ball hitter (17.9-degree average launch angle) good things can happen, and Mayfield has some pop against lefties (.245 ISO).

Other Option: Joey Wendle ($4,200)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees ($5,200) — Anyone with half of a brain knew that the Yankees made a mistake trading for Andrew Heaney ($7,900). The lefty has good stuff and can strike batters out, but he allows too many fly balls and too much hard contact. He had home runs problems in LA, so of course those problems would only be exacerbated playing in all of the hitter friendly ball parks in the AL East. In his three games with the Yankees, Heaney has allowed eight home runs. Bogaerts exceptional stats do no matter, just stack the Red Sox.

Other Option: Trea Turner ($5,400)

Value

Ronald Torreyes, Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,800) — Madison Bumgarner ($7,100) has allowed a 42% hard contact rate and a 47% fly ball rate to right-handed batters. It’s unbelievable that he has only surrendered a .312 wOBA and .186 ISO despite a 4.81 xFIP. Against left-handed pitching, Torreyes has a .348 wOBA, .130 ISO, 116 wRC+ and a 13% K rate. It’s unlikely that he’ll homer (18% hard contact rate), but he doesn't have to do much to pay off this price tag. Also, the Diamondbacks bullpen is the third-worst against right-handed batters (4.69 xFIP).

Other Option: Jose Iglesias ($3,900)


OUTFIELD

Stud

J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees ($4,800) — Over the last week, Martinez has a .489 wOBA and a .381 ISO. Against left-handed pitching, he has a .349 wOBA, .205 ISO, 118 wRC+ and a 19% K rate. Andrew Heaney can dial up some strikeouts against right-handed batters (30% K rate), but when contact is made, he’s in trouble — .337 wOBA, .239 ISO, 39% hard contact rate, 47% flyball rate and 2.2 HR/9.

Other Option: Nelson Cruz ($5,300), Mitch Haniger ($5,000)

Value

Kyle Schwarber, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees ($4,200) — Stack the Red Sox. This one is easy — Schwarber hits home runs and Andrew Heaney is more than willing to give them up. The lefty-on-lefty matchup is not appealing, but one slight mistake pitch and Schwarber can hit a fly ball out in this hitter friendly ball park.

Other Option: Hunter Renfroe ($4,100), Michael Brantley ($3,900), Jake Fraley ($3,400)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Check Swing [$100K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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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