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DraftKings DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Saturday (8/1)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Aug 1, 2020

Colin Moran’s priced like a dud, but he’s off to a great start to the season after hitting his fourth homer of the year last night.

Tonight’s DraftKings top plays feature-heavy exposure to Coors Field. Some of those players appear among the value plays while others are the studs worth paying up for. A top-price hurler headlines the studs worth their salaries and the value arms are a risky collection of pitchers who provide enough salary relief to get ample shares of players in Colorado tonight.

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Editor’s Note: Today’s Cardinals/Brewers game has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Value Plays


Jordan Lyles (TEX) @ SF $7,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Drew Smyly (SF) vs. TEX $7,300 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Yusei Kikuchi (SEA) vs. OAK $5,100 High

Lyles started all 28 games he pitched in last year after starting eight and appearing in relief in 27 games in 2018. In his 36 starts over the last two years spanning 188.0 innings, he’s recorded a 4.31 ERA, 4.42 SIERA, 1.33 WHIP, 8.3 BB%, and 23.3 K%, according to FanGraphs. Those aren’t world-beater numbers, but they’re respectable. Add in that he’s pitching at pitcher-friendly Oracle Park — albeit with revamped dimensions — in a plus matchup against the unimposing lineup of the Giants, and he’s a worthy SP2 option.

Smyly will be toeing the slab in the same park, though, against a more potent lineup. That potent lineup also features plenty of swing-and-miss that elevates Smyly’s ceiling. He was a mess in 51.1 innings for the Rangers last year, but he flashed a bit in a dozen starts spanning 62.2 innings for the Phillies down the stretch. His 4.45 ERA and 4.22 SIERA with the Phillies are run of the mill, but his 25.9 K% and 12.2 SwStr% with them are attention-grabbing stats. He’s worth a GPP dart throw.

Kikuchi was erratic in his first start of the year after a poor showing in his first year transitioning from NPB to MLB. He’s a GPP only option until he shows signs of turning the corner, but a massive uptick in velocity you can see on his Brooks Baseball PITCHf/x player card following working with Driveline Baseball in the offseason provides some reason for optimism. He has a tough draw tonight, but if his uptick in velo helps him miss more bats, he’ll have an opportunity to crush his low salary. Getting ahead of him turning the corner can be a difference-maker in GPPs.

Catcher/First Base

Carson Kelly (ARI) vs. LAD $3,300 Medium
Paul Goldschmidt (STL) @ MIL $4,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Colin Moran (PIT) @ CHC $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Moran’s priced like a dud, but he’s off to a great start to the season after hitting his fourth homer of the year last night. Further, he owns a solid if unspectacular 109 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers since 2017, and Tyler Chatwood’s .357 wOBA coughed up to left-handed batters last year is worth attacking with Moran on the cheap.

Second Base

Ty France (SD) @ COL $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Robinson Cano (NYM) @ ATL $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Jason Kipnis (CHC) vs. PIT $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

France is the play here. Coors Field is a runaway leader for the most hitter-friendly park with a 1.335 park factor for runs and 1.249 for homers, per our MLB Park Factors page. The right-handed-hitting second base option takes aim at Kyle Freeland’s bananas .455 wOBA coughed up to right-handed pitchers at Coors Field last year.

Third Base

Matt Chapman (OAK) @ SEA $4,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Yoan Moncada (CHW) @ KC $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Todd Frazier (TEX) @ SF $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Two stud third basemen appear in the studs worth their salaries below — yes, they’re who you’re guessing they are. If you’re fading them, you better be nabbing another option at the hot corner with significant power potential. All three of the above third basemen fit that bill with each boasting an ISO north of .215 against the handedness of pitcher they’re facing tonight since 2017.


Gleyber Torres (NYY) vs. BOS $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Francisco Lindor (CLE) @ MIN $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Nick Ahmed (ARI) vs. LAD $3,300 High

Shortstop’s another position I’m inclined to pay up for one of the premium options at the position, but it’s hard to ignore Torres and Lindor both being priced under $4,500 given their elite hitting skills. In 383 plate appearances against righties at home in his career, Torres has slugged 22 homers with a .335 OBP, .229 ISO, and 125 wRC+. Picking between Torres and Lindor if fading the two studs playing at Coors Field tonight, give me Torres.


Wil Myers (SD) @ COL $4,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Aaron Judge (NYY) vs. BOS $4,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Alex Dickerson (SF) vs. TEX $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Bryan Reynolds (PIT) @ CHC $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Matt Kemp (COL) vs. SD $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

In addition to using Torres, you can hook him with Judge at a bargain price. Judge hit his third homer of the year last night, and in 634 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers at home in his career, he owns a .419 OBP, .352 ISO, and 185 wRC+. Does that sound like a guy who should be priced under $5,000? Nope, it doesn’t.

Myers and Kemp are the other top plays I’m especially intrigued by, but Reynolds is also a nifty option to hook with the aforementioned Moran. Myers and Kemp both have above-average thump and the platoon advantage tonight. Further, and most importantly, they get the value boost from Coors Field’s unmatched park factors helping offense.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Tyler Glasnow, TB ($9,300): Glasnow was excellent in 2019, and he was sharp in his first start of the year punching out nine and allowing only one earned run on a solo homer and a couple walks. He threw 72 pitches in his first start spanning four innings, and I suspect he’ll be allowed to surpass that pitch total this go-round.
  • Trevor Story, COL ($5,900): Story homered last night, and he’s obliterated lefties in his home digs in his career. He’s worth the salary, though, I’m not opposed to mixing in some Fernando Tatis Jr. at a couple hundred dollars more — even though he’s not included among the three forthcoming studs worth their salaries.
  • Nolan Arenado, COL ($5,500): Like Story, Arenado’s torched lefties at home in his career. As an added bonus, he’s $400 cheaper than Story.
  • Manny Machado, SD ($5,200): Machado’s a stellar pivot from Arenado (and you can enhance your GPP upside by also flipping from Story to Tatis Jr. for the correlation they provide in scoring). Machado’s .271 ISO and 141 wRC+ against lefties since 2017 will play quite well at Coors Field tonight.
  • Tommy Pham, SD ($5,100): Speaking of excellent numbers against lefties, Pham has a .436 OBP, .180 ISO, and 154 wRC+ against southpaws since 2017. Yup, I’m expecting fireworks at Coors Field tonight.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Zack Greinke, HOU ($10,800): Greinke’s mediocre strikeout rate frequently makes him an option I’ll fade when he’s priced over five figures. Tonight’s no exception.
  • Christian Yelich, MIL ($5,900): Yelich is at home against a righty tonight, so there’s a case to use him as a pivot from the Coors Field studs, but I’m fading him in favor of those Coors Field studs.
  • Giancarlo Stanton, NYY ($5,800): Stanton’s mashing to start the year, but I’m not paying nearly $6,000 for him in a righty-righty matchup. If he was facing a below-average lefty, I’d consider him. That’s not the case tonight.
  • Corey Seager, LAD ($4,100)
  • Josh Donaldson, MIN ($3,800): I’m lumping the analysis for Seager and Donaldson together. Simply put, while they’re fantastic players and their salaries are enticing, spinning down from Story/Tatis Jr. and/or Arenado/Machado isn’t in the cards for me tonight.

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