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DraftKings DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Saturday (8/29)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Aug 29, 2020

Tonight’s slate includes five-star matchups abound for the value hitters. Having said that, the studs worth their salary section is loaded with super pricey stars in dreamy matchups. Thankfully, the value pitching options are extremely affordable and palatable. Given the potential for explosive offense and good starts from the bargain-bin starting pitchers, I expect tonight’s top GPP lineups to post enormous numbers even by GPP-winning lineup standards.

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Value Plays

Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Justus Sheffield (SEA) @ LAA $7,300 ⭐⭐ Medium
Brett Anderson (MIL) vs. PIT $6,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Trevor Cahill (SF) @ ARI $5,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Sheffield has settled into a groove. He’s pitched exactly six innings in each of his last three starts, allowed one earned run or less in each of those starts, and amassed a 1.00 ERA, 3.67 SIERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2.7 BB%, and 21.6 K% in those turns, per FanGraphs. Despite the tough matchup, he’s a solid option.

Anderson and Cahill are a pair of former teammates and a couple of grizzled vets. In Andrson’s case, he has a five-star matchup tonight. He’s back to elite ground-ball inducing form with a 62.5 GB%, has a respectable 3.52 ERA, and his secondary pitches have missed just enough bats to help him punch out 17.5% of batters he’s faced. Sure, that strikeout number’s low, but it’s up 5.4% from last year for the veteran southpaw. He’s not a high-ceiling option or an exciting one, but he’s a bargain one who frees up salary to spend on the big boppers.

Cahill’s enjoying a modest rebound from a dreadful 2019 campaign. His 1.64 ERA in three starts spanning 11.0 innings while he gets stretched out overstates how good he’s been, but his 4.54 SIERA isn’t a total mess for a sub-$6,000 starter. He threw 88 pitches in his last start and should have the leash to reach triple-digit pitches if he’s sharp and pitches well. His last start was against these Diamondbacks, and he held them to only one run on one hit, two walks, and eight strikeouts. His 24.2 DraftKings fantasy points against this same opponent could create a slight bump in ownership from recency bias, but he’s worth a look at this salary.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Eric Thames (WAS) @ BOS $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Brandon Belt (SF) @ ARI $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Justin Smoak (MIL) vs. PIT $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Among the bargain first base options, Belt is the head-turner. His season got off to a slow start upon his activation from the injured list, but he’s been a man on fire of late. Since August 16, he has a .579 OBP, .471 ISO, and 320 wRC+. Among qualified hitters this year, he ranks sixth in barrels per plate appearance, according to Baseball Savant.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jake Cronenworth (SD) @ COL $4,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Luis Garcia (WAS) @ BOS $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Brendan Rodgers (COL) vs. SD $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Two hitters from Coors Field in the table above. Even with the five-star matchup, Rodgers is nearly entirely a Coors FIeld driven inclusion. It’s far and away the most hitter-friendly park, as you can see on our MLB Park Factors page. As for Cronenworth, he has a five-star matchup, the tantalizing park factors of Coors Field, and an absurd .417 OBP, .308 ISO, and 188 wRC+ against righties in his rookie season.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Asdrubal Cabrera (WAS) @ BOS $4,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Evan Longoria (SF) @ ARI $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐ High

Really, my favorite option at the hot corner is found below. Having said that, Cabrera and Longoria both have stacking appeal with their teammates. Cabrera’s the better standalone play if you simply don’t have the salary available for my preferred option at third base.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
J.P. Crawford (SEA) @ LAA $3.700 High
Andrelton Simmons (LAA) vs. SEA $3,600 ⭐⭐ High
Kevin Newman (PIT) @ MIL $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

While I’m somewhat open to pivoting off of my top option at third base tonight, I won’t sell you a false bill of goods and pretend anyone other than my top option at shortstop is in the mix. Spoiler alert, my favorite option at shortstop is playing at Coors Field and the big-ticket hitter to pay up for if your roster build only awards you enough salary to pay up for one stud hitter.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Wil Myers (SD) @ COL $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Adam Eaton (WAS) @ BOS $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Alex Dickerson (SF) @ ARI $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) vs. LAD $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Matt Kemp (COL) vs. SD $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

The outfield is overflowing with options tonight ranging from forthcoming studs worth their salaries to sub-$3,500 options in the table above. This is the position with my widest range of players to consider and mix and match for usage. Myers and Kemp are treated to the Coors Field park factors noted above. Eaton has a five-star matchup, and with a .383 OBP against righties since 2017, he’s a tailor-made table-setter in a lineup that could hang runs in a bunches again tonight.

Since 2017, Choo has a .376 OBP, .200 ISO, and 120 wRC+ against righties. Opposing righty Ross Stripling has face planted as a starter after excelling in a swing role previously. Toss in Choo’s lineup spot atop the order, and he’s a steal.

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5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Dylan Bundy (LAA) $10,300: Bundy’s taken to a change of scenery this year like a fish takes to water. He’s sporting a 2.58 ERA, 3.44 SIERA, 0.89 WHIP, 5.3 BB%, and 28.9 K%. He’s worth his five-figure salary tonight.
  • Charlie Blackmon (COL) $5,800: In 372 plate appearances against lefties at home since 2017, Blackmon has a .433 OBP, .285 ISO, and 159 wRC+.
  • Trevor Story (COL) $5,700: In 282 plate appearances against lefties at home since 2017,Story has a .397 OBP, .427 ISO, and 164 wRC+.
  • Juan Soto (WAS) $5,700: Among hitters with a minimum of 80 plate appearances this year, no one’s been better than Soto and his MLB-leading 226 wRC+. He’s 20 points better than the next-closest hitter.
  • Nolan Arenado (COL) $5,500: In 287 plate appearances against lefties at home since 2017, Arenado has a .460 OBP, .412 ISO, and 199 wRC+.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Luke Weaver (ARI) $7,600): The Giants are a favorable matchup for Weaver, but he simply hasn’t recaptured last year’s early-season form prior to going on the injured list that season.
  • Mookie Betts (LAD) $6,000
  • Cody Bellinger (LAD) $5,500
  • Corey Seager (LAD) $5,200: While I’m not going out of my way to use Lance Lynn against the Dodgers, I’m also not going out of my way to use the Dodgers against him. He has a 1.59 ERA and 3.83 SIERA this year, and he’s been tough on lefties and righties alike since last year holding lefties to a .290 wOBA and righties to a .275 wOBA. I’ll gladly fade Betts, Bellinger, and Seager.
  • Kyle Lewis (SEA) $4,900: Even including Bundy’s underwhelming work in his last season with the Orioles last year, he’s held righties to a .302 wOBA and struck out 29.8% of them he’s faced. This is a bad matchup for the breakout outfielder with a 172 wRC+ thus far this year.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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