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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 3

Garion Thorne 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 Tuesday. You all know what that means: A massive 15-game MLB slate on DraftKings. It should legitimately be 15 games, too, as there appears to be very little risk of inclement weather on tonight’s schedule.

So, let’s break the whole thing down with everything you’ll need to know, position-by-position.


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PITCHER

Stud

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals, $9,700 - The raw results haven’t been quite as good for Wheeler the past month, but the advanced stats in July were still impressive. The right-hander posted a 2.47 FIP and a 5.00 K/BB ratio in 33.1 innings, yet a 67.2% strand rate was able to undercut some of Wheeler’s success. I wouldn’t worry too much about stranding runners against what’s left of this Nationals roster. After trading essentially everyone not named Juan Soto ($5,800), Washington should be one of baseball’s weaker lineups the final two months of the season. That means Wheeler should be able to take advantage of a $500 decrease in salary since we last saw him on July 29.

Value

Jose Suarez, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers, $6,000 - I’ll be honest, I don’t really have all that much to say about Suarez, who has struggled since moving from Los Angeles’ bullpen to its rotation. However, Suarez is left-handed, and that’s pretty much all it takes to be viable against the Rangers. Texas comes into Tuesday ranking dead-last in the American League in OPS (.656), wOBA (.288) and wRC+ (82) against southpaws, while they haven’t really hit anyone of any handedness since the All-Star break, posting a 52 wRC+ within that span of time. Suarez is pretty unremarkable, but I’ll give any asset this inexpensive a shot in a matchup with the Rangers.



CATCHER

Stud

Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies, $5,100 - Contreras is basically the last man standing in Chicago, but the DFS concerns of hitting in a weak lineup will be mitigated this evening with the Cubs playing in the altitude. Contreras has hit left-handed pitching well all season long, registering a .898 OPS and a 138 wRC+ in 108 plate appearances within the split. Likely batting in a top-two spot on Tuesday, look for the backstop to have a big night against Kyle Freeland ($6,200).

Value

Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners, $4,100 - While Yusei Kikuchi ($8,800) seemed to find a nice rhythm in June, it all fell apart in July. In the left-hander’s past four starts, opponents have managed 2.6 home runs per nine and a massive .426 wOBA. That’s not ideal. As for Zunino, he’s happy to face a southpaw on any night, as the catcher has posted a .473 ISO and a 213 wRC+ in his opportunities against LHPs in 2021. It’s why the former first-round pick was an All-Star a few weeks back.


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FIRST BASE

Stud

Pete Alonso, New York Mets at Miami Marlins, $5,700 - Few players have hit left-handed pitching as well as Alonso in 2021. In fact, almost no one has. Coming into today’s matchup with Braxton Garrett ($6,000), no National League hitter with at least 100 at-bats against LHPs has an expected wOBA within the split as high as Alonso’s mark of .441. Those are the kind of insane numbers that 13 home runs in just 122 plate appearances will produce.

Value

Darin Ruf, San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,900 - Remember how I literally just said “no National League hitter with at least 100 at-bats against LHPs” has been as good as Alonso within the split? Well, Ruf only has 70 at-bats and 88 plate appearances versus southpaws in 2021, but he’s surely taken advantage of them. To wit, Ruf’s posted an eye-popping .464 xwOBA to go along with a 171 wRC+. The veteran was a potent platoon specialist even before heading to the KBO and it’s very likely he’ll be hitting clean-up this evening in a matchup with Madison Bumgarner ($8,200).


SECOND BASE

Stud

Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals, $4,700 - If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s a ton of left-handed starters on today’s slate, and that includes Jon Lester ($6,600). Lester was underwhelming while pitching for Washington in 2021, surrendering 2.09 home runs per nine to RHBs and pitching to an ugly .423 wOBA away from Nationals Park. That should mean good things for the Braves, particularly the switch-hitting Albies. The All-Star is slashing .333/.349/.608 with a 150 wRC+ versus southpaws so far this season.

Value

Cesar Hernandez, Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals, $3,700 - Hernandez has been inserted into the two-spot in the White Sox lineup since being acquired from Cleveland last week, and that should create some real value this evening when Kris Bubic ($5,800) takes the mound for Kansas City. Hernandez has registered some crazy power numbers against LHPs so far in 2021, with 11 home runs and a .295 ISO in his 146 plate appearances within the split. Considering Bubic’s 7.16 ERA when pitching away from Kauffman Stadium, Hernandez could be in for a huge performance.


THIRD BASE

Stud

Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers, $5,700 - Devers has been on an absolute tear since the All-Star break, slashing .333/.431/.708 with a 199 wRC+ in his 58 plate appearances within that span. He’s a huge reason why the Red Sox are implied to score well over five runs this evening. The other reason? Wily Peralta ($4,900), who has conceded four long balls and 11 earned runs over his last nine innings of work. Yuck.

Value

Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals, $4,100 - Riley’s preferred split is right-on-right, but handedness hasn’t really mattered for the young third baseman going back to the beginning of July. Riley has taken 118 plate appearances in that span of time and he’s slashed a ridiculous .316/.415/.673 with a .357 ISO and a 181 wRC+. Considering the aforementioned Lester and his pronounced struggles, Riley is looking like one of the better value options on the entire slate.


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners, $4,800 - While Franco’s price tag is still a little high given his general lack of MLB production, tonight is setting up as a good spot to use the rookie. Not only does Franco have multiple hits in each of his past three games, but he’ll draw a left-handed opponent in the form of the aforementioned Kikuchi. A switch-hitter, Franco has done all his damage as a righty so far in 2021, sporting a .304 ISO and a 164 wRC+ in 52 plate appearances within the split.

Value

Amed Rosario, Cleveland Guardians at Toronto Blue Jays, $4,000 - Rosario has been a different hitter when getting the opportunity to face an LHP in 2021, as he’s slashing .314/.362/.504 with a 135 wRC+ within the split. It’s also worth noting that Rosario stole a pair of bases in Monday’s contest against the Jays. Hyun Jin Ryu ($8,700) is difficult to get a jump against, but it’s possible Cleveland has picked up something against Toronto’s catchers.


OUTFIELD

Stud

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles, $4,800 - The Yankees really haven’t scored many runs since making a pair of huge deadline acquisitions, but Tuesday is the night that all changes. Alexander Wells ($5,400) has struggled with RHBs in his brief MLB career, allowing 2.79 home runs per nine within the split and striking out just 10.2% of the righties he’s faced in four appearances. Well, Judge’s batted ball events tend to be loud, especially against southpaws. In fact, Judge’s .480 expected wOBA versus LHPs in 2021 is the highest mark in all of baseball.

Value

Frank Schwindel, Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies, $2,000 - I’m making a point here with Schwindel, who actually did have some really nice numbers in Triple-A for the Athletics earlier this season. There is going to be some serious value available in the Cubs’ lineup on Tuesday, and I have next to no idea what that lineup is actually going to look like. I assume the right-handed Schwindel will be in there, possibly hitting in the top-half of the order. If that’s the case, fire away at the minimum.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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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