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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Angels vs. Indians Showdown on August 22

Pearce Dietrich gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Angels and Indians, which starts at 7:08 p.m. ET.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Sunday Night Baseball producers that scheduled this game are betting that Shohei Ohtani is such a dynamic player that fans will tune in just to watch him bat, and they’re probably right. Cleveland will start a future ace that is progressing every time he steps on the bump, but that’s not the story here. All eyes are on Ohtani.

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Los Angeles Angels vs. Cleveland Indians

Captain’s Picks

Cal Quantrill ($16,200 CP) — The Angels are an average offense against right-handed pitching, but there could be seven hitters in this lineup with strikeout rates north of 25% against right-handed pitching. Quantrill's 66.8% first pitch strike rate is the 11th best, and he has a 25% K rate over the last five starts. In 2018, he was San Diego’s No. 11 prospect and in his rookie season in 2019, he pitched 103 innings in the majors to the tune of a 4.51 xFIP. He was traded to Cleveland in the Mike Clevinger deal last season, and he’s starting to look like a big piece of Cleveland’s future. The development of a major league player is not linear — there will be good and bad games and good and bad months. This month has been good for Quantrill, as was May. June and July were not. So far the difference has been Quantrill’s ability to strike out batters (14.2% K rate during June and July vs. 26.4% K rate during May and August). This isn’t the easiest matchup for Quantrill and on a normal slate it would not be a popular target, but on a Sunday Night Showdown Slate — notorious for sleepy bats — Quantrill is firmly in play despite numbers that are only slightly above average.

Shohei Ohtani ($15,900 CP) — It’s hard to imagine one of the best hitters in baseball not being in the winning Showdown lineup. If it’s so obvious that he will produce then why not make him the captain? If the money is available, playing Quantrill along with Ohtani is not a terrible idea, but that would require a very specific scenario. If Ohtani is the most productive Captain’s Pick, then he’ll likely ruin Quantrill’s day — so it’s one or other, or you refuse to make the hard choice and play both outside of the Captain’s slot and hope a value player comes through as captain. Ohtani will likely be the highest owned player based on his brand name appeal and the fact that there aren’t many stars in this game. His numbers don’t hurt either — against right-handed pitching, he has a .420 wOBA (seventh), .370 ISO (second), 172 wRC+ (sixth) and a 47% hard contact rate (sixth).

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Sunday Night Showdown [$50K to 1st] (LAA vs CLE)

Value Plays

Jared Walsh ($7,800) — Since retuning form the IL on aug. 11, Walsh has a .316 wOBA and .030 ISO, but before his injury he was having a monster season — .351 wOBA, .250 ISO and a 125 wRC+. Against right-handed pitching, Walsh has a .403 wOBA, .258 ISO, 160 wRC+ and a 41% hard contact rate. Quantrill has been a solid pitcher this season and has not struggled with lefties (.302 wOBA and .162 ISO), but he’s not perfect. His 32% hard contact rate is average but he’s a fly ball pitcher (41%), and that could lead to a solo shot from one of the Angles left-handed power bats.

Editor’s Note: Angels 1B/3B Phil Gosselin is not in the lineup tonight vs. the Indians.

Phil Gosselin ($6,400) — The low-end value plays on this Showdown slate will be foreign to most DFS players. The Angels and Indians are not common offensive targets in DFS, so thinking Phil Gosselin is a golfer instead of a 1B/3B for the Angels is not the biggest mistake in the world. Over the last two weeks, Gosselin has been one of the Angels best hitters — .386 wOBA and a .205 ISO. Justin Upton ($9,000) will likely draw more attention and ownership, but statistically Upton has not been much better than Gosselin.


David Fletcher ($12,600 CP; $8,400) — This is not a hot take, but the fade pick doesn’t always have to be. Is it even possible to have a hot take on this slate? Fading Ohtani or José Ramírez ($15,000 CP; $10,000) is silly. It’s understandable if DFS players cannot afford them, but no one should outright fade two of the best batters in baseball. Fletcher is a fairly well known Angel and he’s having a good season as far as scrappy players go. He had a 26-game hit streak earlier this season and his batting average is .298 with an 8.9% K rate. Unfortunately for DFS players, Fletcher’s approach is anachronistic — he might as well have a handlebar mustache. He’s a relic of the past, a species on the verge of extinction. Fletcher’s jersey is covered in dirt before the game starts, but his grittiness doesn’t change the fact that he has a .306 wOBA and a .071 ISO. He’s a team player and Angels fans probably love him, but he doesn’t produce from a DFS standpoint.

The Outcome

Cal Quantrill will steal the show on Sunday night. Ohtani will do his thing during his at-bats, but the rest of the evening will belong to Cal Quantrill. The Sunday Night Showdown Slate is not known for offensive explosions, and when two below-average offenses square off on Sunday night, the pitchers look like Cy Young.

Final Score: Indians 3, Angels 2

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Sunday Night Showdown [$50K to 1st] (LAA vs CLE)

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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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