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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 8

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: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Jason Getz-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

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets ($10,400) – The Mets are in a tailspin at the moment. Their lack of offense has been a major problem all season, and they’ve now fallen 1.5 games behind the Phillies in the NL East standings.

Things don’t figure to get any easier for them Sunday vs. Wheeler. He’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, pitching to a 2.57 ERA and 10.41 K/9, and the Mets rank just 26th in wRC+ vs. right-handers over the past 14 days. They’re currently implied for just 3.6 runs, which is the second-lowest mark on the slate.

Other Options – Lance McCullers ($10,000), Tyler Mahle ($9,800)

Value

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals ($8,800) – Fried dominated to the tune of a 2.25 ERA in 2020, but he hasn’t been able to reach those same heights this season. That said, he has started to turn things around. He’s pitched to a 2.16 ERA since the All-Star break, and he’s also increased his K/9 to 10.44.

He’s in a great spot on Sunday vs. the Nationals, who completely gutted their team before the trade deadline. They’re currently implied for just 3.4 runs, which is the lowest mark on the slate.

Other Options – Zach Plesac ($8,400), Kenta Maeda ($7,200)


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


CATCHER

Stud

Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals @ St. Louis Cardinals ($5,000) – The Royals rewarded Perez with the largest contract in franchise history during the offseason, and he’s put together another strong year at the dish. He’s already hit 27 homers this season, which ties his career-high. His 116 wRC+ is also one of the best marks in the league at the catcher position.

He’ll be on the positive side of his splits Sunday vs. Jon Lester ($6,100), and Perez has absolutely tattooed left-handers so far this season. He’s posted a 181 wRC+ and a .354 ISO in those matchups. Lester has also struggled against right-handed batters – they’ve posted a .393 wOBA against him – so this is a match made in heaven.

Other Options – J.T. Realmuto ($5,300), Omar Narvaez ($4,300)

Value

Editor’s Note: Reds C Tucker Barnhart is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Pirates.

Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,900) – The Reds’ offense has been rolling recently. They’ve scored at least seven runs in each of their first three games in this series, including at least 10 in each of their past two. They lead the slate with an implied team total of 6.2 runs on Sunday, so they have the potential for another offensive outburst.

Barnhart is expected to bat near the bottom of the order, but he’s cheap and is a solid hitter for a catcher. He’s posted a 105 wRC+ vs. right-handers this season.

Other Options – Curt Casali ($2,500), Austin Hedges ($2,300)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox ($6,200) – The Blue Jays are going to be in play any time they’re on the slate. They possess one of the strongest lineups in baseball, and it all starts with Vladdy Jr. He’s been arguably the best hitter in baseball this season, posting a 178 wRC+ with 34 homers and 85 RBIs. He’s been at his best against right-handed pitchers, posting a 191 wRC+ in those matchups, and he’ll be facing a right-hander on Sunday in Garrett Richards ($6,700). Richards has surrendered a .400 wOBA to right-handed batters this season, so Vlad has a clear edge in this matchup.

Other Options – Freddie Freeman ($5,400; questionable), Paul Goldschmidt ($5,200)

Value

Ji-Man Choi, Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles ($4,300) – Choi isn’t as cheap as the typical “value” option, but he’s in an elite spot on Sunday. The Rays are currently implied for 6.1 runs against right-hander Jorge Lopez ($5,200), so their offense has plenty of upside. Choi has also posted a 148 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, while Lopez has pitched to a 5.44 FIP against left-handed batters.

Other Options – Carlos Santana ($3,400), Darin Ruf ($3,300)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals ($4,900) – Patrick Corbin ($7,000) has regressed from an All-Star caliber pitcher to an absolute gas can this season. His strikeouts are way down while his homers are way up, resulting in a 5.75 ERA. His 5.48 FIP suggests he hasn’t been particularly unlucky, either.

Albies is a switch hitter who has historically feasted on left-handed pitching, and Corbin’s biggest struggles have come against right-handed batters. They’ve posted a .382 wOBA against him this season, resulting in a 6.30 FIP.

Other Options – Marcus Semien ($5,200), Jonathan India ($4,800)

Value

Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals ($3,200) – Edman is expected to bat leadoff for the Cardinals on Sunday, which makes him too cheap at $3,200. He doesn’t have a ton of power, but he makes up for it with his ability on the bases. He’s recorded 19 stolen bases this season, which is tied for the sixth-highest mark in the league.

Edman will also be on the positive side of his batting splits on Sunday. He’s taking on left-hander Kris Bubic ($5,700), and Edman has posted a 131 wRC+ against southpaws this season.

Other Options – Whit Merrifield ($4,000), Jonathan Schoop ($4,000)


THIRD BASE

Stud

José Ramírez, Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers ($5,900) – Ramirez is having another excellent season for Cleveland, and he’s in an interesting spot Sunday vs. Wily Peralta ($5,500). Peralta’s 3.47 ERA is solid, but it’s fair to say he’s been one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball. He’s posted a minuscule 5.21 K/9, but he’s survived thanks to a .212 BABIP. His luck has started to turn over the second half of the season, and he’s pitched to a 5.23 ERA since the All-Star break.

Cleveland is currently implied for 5.3 runs, so they can do a bit of damage in this matchup.

Other Options – Nolan Arenado ($5,200), Austin Riley ($5,100)

Value

Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals @ St. Louis Cardinals ($2,600) – Dozier had a disastrous first half of the season, but he’s been better since the All-Star break. He’s posted a 111 wRC+ over the second half, which is more in line with his numbers from 2019 and 2020. He’s expected to bat cleanup Sunday vs. Lester, so $2,600 is a nice price tag.

Other Options – Eugenio Suárez ($4,000), Wilmer Flores ($3,900)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Editor’s Note: Blue Jays SS bo Bichette is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Red Sox.

Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox ($6,000) – Bichette is another righty bat who should feast against Richards on Sunday. He hasn’t been quite as good as Guerrero in those matchups, but he does make up for it with his ability on the bases. He has 17 steals to go along with 20 homers this season, which gives him an outside shot at a 30-30 season.

Other Options – Xander Bogaerts ($5,400), Amed Rosario ($4,300)

Value

Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners ($4,000) – Are the Yankees officially back? Their fans certainly seem to think so, and Torres’ play has been part of the reason. He’s posted a 113 wRC+ since the All-Star break, including a scorching-hot 186 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitchers. He’ll be facing a tough left-hander Sunday in Yusei Kikuchi ($8,600), but Kikuchi has been vulnerable against right-handed batters. He’s surrendered an otherworldly .172 wOBA against left-handed batters, but that number nearly doubles to .341 against right-handers.

Other Options – Kyle Farmer ($3,900), Ramón Urias ($2,700)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,000) – Getting Castellanos at just $4,000 should be considered larceny in all 50 states. He’s been one of the best hitters in baseball this season, posting a 149 wRC+, and he’s actually been better against right-handers than left-handers. He’s played just five games since the All-Star break due to a wrist injury, but there’s no reason to fade him in this matchup.

Other Options – Jesse Winker ($5,900), Nelson Cruz ($5,200)

Value

Myles Straw, Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers ($2,400) – Straw was acquired by Cleveland before the trade deadline, and he’s served as their leadoff hitter recently. That makes him a nice option at $2,400. He’s another player who has some ability on the bases given his 19 steals this season, and he’s competent with the bat as well.

Other Options – Michael Brantley ($3,200), Dylan Carlson ($3,100)

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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