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DraftKings DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Wednesday (8/26)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Aug 26, 2020

It’s Hump Day! As we’re halfway through the week, only two value pitchers can be found in the table below, and one is slightly pricey by value play standards. However, a couple of aces make the cut for studs worth their salary, and all of the top-priced pitchers can be mixed and matched tonight thanks to value plays abound among hitters.

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Value Plays: Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Dinelson Lamet (SD) vs. SEA $8,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kevin Gausman (SF) vs. LAD $6,400 High

If you’re enamored with the expensive hitters or pricey stacks, Gausman is the only extremely cheap pitcher who stands out as worth using. His daily fantasy utility is driven by an impressive 31.6 K% that’s largely supported by a 14.8 SwStr%, per FanGraphs. A matchup with the Dodgers’ loaded offense makes him risky, though.

Lamet has a fantastic matchup and drool-inducing numbers this year. In a half-dozen starts spanning 33.1 innings, he has a 1.89 ERA, 3.33 SIERA, 0.84 WHIP, 34.1 K%, and 14.7 SwStr%. He and the Friars are massive -225 moneyline favorites, according to the BettingPros consensus line.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Eric Hosmer (SD) vs. SEA $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Dominic Smith (NYM) vs. MIA $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Miguel Cabrera (DET) vs. CHC $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

Hosmer smacked his sixth homer of the year last night, and his decision to finally loft the ball is paying dividends. Cabrera’s not finishing his career gracefully, but he remains a problem for lefties. Smith is my favorite option at the position, though. The universal designated hitter has opened the door to a full-blown breakout for the bat-first Smith. He’s socked six homers and has a .412 ISO, .415 OBP, and 200 wRC+ this year.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jonathan Schoop (DET) vs. CHC $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Robinson Cano (NYM) vs. MIA $3,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jake Cronenworth (SD) vs. SEA $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

Weird, these three hitters are from the same three teams the first basemen play for. It’s almost as if the Tigers, Mets, and Padres are facing below-average pitchers. Actually, they are. Schoop’s probably a tick overpriced, but the wheels are falling off for Jon Lester, and Schoop’s .229 ISO against lefties since 2017 plays well against Lester’s extreme pitch-to-contact approach in 2020.

While Schoop’s probably a bit overpriced, both Cano and Cronenworth are underpriced. The latter is also eligible at shortstop, and, spoiler alert, he’ll be in that value table as well. As for Cano, he’s in the midst of a resurgence and posting numbers reminiscent of his peak years.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jeff McNeil (NYM) vs. MIA $4,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
J.D. Davis (NYM) vs. MIA $3,800 ⭐⭐ Medium
Isaac Paredes (DET) vs. CHC $2,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Two more Mets, and that means it’s worth mentioning that Elieser Hernandez tallied a 5.03 ERA and 4.43 SIERA in 2019. He’s been excellent this year, but his 3.14 SIERA, while good, is nearly a full run higher than his 2.29 ERA. I’m not yet buying what he’s selling.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Niko Goodrum (DET) vs. CHC $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jake Cronenworth (SD) vs. SEA $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

In 269 plate appearances against lefties since 2017, Goodrum has totaled a .387 OBP and 133 wRC+. That’ll play. As for Cronenworth, he’s going bonkers in his age-26 rookie season. He has a .410 OBP, .280 ISO, and 177 wRC+ in 83 plate appearances.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Ian Happ (CHC) @ DET $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Michael Conforto (NYM) vs. MIA $4,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jesse Winker (CIN) @ MIL $4,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Brandon Nimmo (NYM) vs. MIA $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
JaCoby Jones (DET) vs. CHC $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Two more Mets — both Conforto and Nimmo are grossly underpriced. Since 2017, Conforto has a 140 wRC+, and Nimmo has a 143 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. Winker is the other outfielder in this table I’m completely infatuated with tonight. He has a .401 OBP, .212 ISO, and 141 wRC+ against righties since 2017. Also, he’s ripping the cover off of the ball this year with a .286 ISO, .426 OBP, and 169 wRC+.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Jacob deGrom (NYM) $11,000: deGrom is his usual superb self this year with a 1.93 ERA, 2.92 SIERA, and 32.1 K%. He’s worth every penny tonight.
  • Clayton Kershaw (LAD) $10,200: Kershaw’s not far behind deGrom with a 2.25 ERA, 2.64 SIERA, and 32.2 K%. In fact, Kershaw’s bested deGrom in two of the three highlighted categories. Interestingly, you can use the duo together tonight by mixing and matching the value hitters above.
  • Trevor Story (COL) $5,300: Robbie Ray has been awful this year, and Story’s actually quite good against lefties on the road.
  • Joey Gallo (TEX) $5,100: Gallo faces Mike Fiers tonight, and Fiers has struck out only 16.5% of the lefties he’s faced since last year. Failing to avoid Gallo’s bat has the potential to allow him to show off his elite power. This is just the type of matchup I want when ponying up for Gallo.
  • Nolan Arenado (COL) $4,900: Arenado was a below-average hitter against southpaws on the road early in his career, but he’s turned it around over the last few years. He benefits from the same tasty matchup with Ray noted in Story’s write-up.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Jon Lester (CHC) $9,000: Even when Lester was riding great luck through his first few starts, tonight’s salary would be a joke. Now that regression has hit, and he’s sporting an ERA north of 5.00 with a tiny 15.2 K%, it’s laughable that he’s $9,000.
  • Nick Castellanos (CIN) $5,200: In a plus matchup against a lefty, Castellanos would be worth tonight’s salary. Against a righty, Adrian Houser, who’s held right-handed batters to just a .247 wOBA since last year, he’s overpriced and not worth rostering tonight.
  • Jorge Polanco (MIN) $5,200: Polanco is priced like he’s facing a scrub hurler. He’s facing Mike Clevinger. Easy fade.
  • Willson Contreras ICHC) $5,100: Tonight’s a punt-at-catcher night, and Contreras doesn’t fit that team build.
  • Kyle Lewis (SEA) $4,600: Lewis is mashing this year, but Lamet is a terror for right-handed hitters with just a .285 wOBA allowed to them since last 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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