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MLB DFS Picks Friday 8/5: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Today

Eric MacPherson



Friday, Aug. 5, welcomes the end of the work week with a healthy 13-game main slate locking at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks today for pitchers and stacks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

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DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (8/5)

Main Slate: Mets vs. RHP Ian Anderson — 4.7 implied runs

Tonight it is going to be warm and humid in New York with a 7 to 10 mph breeze out to straightaway center field. Ian Anderson has been disappointing this season, and while he has been slightly better in July, he should still be targeted by opposing offenses. The Mets strengthened their offense with a couple of trades, bringing in lefties Tyler Naquin and Dan Vogelbach. Those are exactly the type of hitters that give Anderson fits, and they are also strong options in the betting market for home runs tonight.

Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo are the clear trio to target at the top of the order. If their popularity picks up traction, then Naquin, Vogelbach and Jeff McNeil are a nice countermove in tournaments while also maintaining access to this tremendous matchup.

Evening Slate: White Sox at RHP Glenn Otto — 4.7 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool is flagging the Chicago hitters as one of the best full stacks on Friday. This is the third consecutive day they have graced this article, and this is by far their best matchup during this timeframe. Glenn Otto has been a mess since Memorial Day, suffering a 6.63 ERA in 36.2 innings spanning eight appearances. The 20 walks against 28 strikeouts are doing him zero favors, and it appears that crooked numbers are in the forecast for the White Sox.

Across his last 400 batters faced, Otto has a sub-20% strikeout rate and a near double-digit walk rate. Though he has done a decent job of limiting power, his 78%-plus contact rate can facilitate a conga line of baserunners, leading to plenty of runs for the opposition. Look to Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and Gavin Sheets as the core four tonight in this matchup.

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Late Slate: Diamondbacks vs. RHP German Marquez — 4.6 implied runs

This has been a rough season for German Marquez, who is posting his worst marks in ERA, strikeout rate, WHIP and home runs since his rookie campaign back in 2016. While he has been better away from Coors Field, the dramatic drop in strikeouts make him someone we should target, as opposed to him being a “sneaky” pitcher to roster in road matchups.

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The Stokastic Top Batters Tool is granting strong marks to Alek Thomas, Dalton Varsho and Christian Walker. Though Ketel Marte is lower on the DraftKings list at the keystone position due to his lofty $5,100 salary, he too is a solid play in this matchup as the best hitter on the Arizona roster.

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Primary Target: RHP Dylan Cease at Rangers — 3.5 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,400 | FanDuel $10,900

Dylan Cease has been stellar this season, with his 2.01 ERA and 161 strikeouts both ranking third among all starting pitchers. Even more impressive are the four earned runs the 26-year-old has allowed over his last 12 starts. Yes, there are nine unearned runs that are not appearing in his ERA during this stretch, but his 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings during this span offset that pesky detail. The Rangers have been a tick above league average this season when facing right-handed hurlers, though with the roof scheduled to be closed in Arlington tonight, we should not shy away from this matchup.

Secondary Target: LHP Robbie Ray vs. Angels — 3.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,900 | FanDuel $9,400

The pucker factor will be high in this matchup as the reigning American League Cy Young winner squares off against an Angels squad that saw six different players launch solo shots on Thursday. Chalk that up to baseball being baseball, as the Anaheim offense is not overly daunting without Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon.

On the other hand, Robbie Ray is coming off back-to-back negative-fantasy-point performances at the hands of the Astros. Heading into the All-Star Break, Ray was on a roll, though it seems like his command is still on vacation after he issued four walks in Houston last Saturday. The salary on both DraftKings and FanDuel mitigates some of the downside risk for Ray, but he is also lining up to be incredibly popular. Don’t put all of your eggs in this basket; instead, let your personal risk tolerance be your guide as you craft lineups for tonight.

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Wild Card Target: LHP Framber Valdez at Guardians — 3.6 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,900 | FanDuel $10,400

Framber Valdez is the pivot away from Ray tonight, and while his upside is not as high, he has been a far steadier option. Since the start of last season, Valdez has faced 1,134 opposing hitters, coaxing them into a ridiculous 69.2% ground ball rate. Even more absurd is his negative-4.9-degree launch angle, which limits extra-base hits and suppresses crooked numbers. Valdez and Cease looks like a strong pairing for those of you still dabbling in cash games on the two-pitcher sites.

Additional Opportunities

Corey Kluber is an interesting option on sportsbooks, with heavy juice on his 4.5 over and also on his 5.5 under strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Projections have him nestled right in the middle with 4.9 strikeouts. This provides a nice opportunity to look at the “alternate” lines that are offered by various operators. Since there seems to be strong consensus that Kluber is going to be right around five strikeouts, if you have a personal lean one way or the other, you could be handsomely rewarded if you find the right number.

Detroit has been dreadful against right-handed pitching this season, and the projected lineup is loaded with strikeouts at the top of the order in Riley Greene (29.3%), Victor Reyes (26.4%) and Javier Baez (30.5%). On the flipside, Tampa Bay has tight reins on Kluber’s workload, keeping him just under 90 pitches in most starts. My preference is to look to the alternate lines for a 5+ or 5.5 over with plus money and hope that the two-time American League Cy Young Award recipient has a resurgent performance.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Corey Kluber at Detroit Tigers (Main)
  2. RHP Kyle Gibson vs. Washington Nationals (Main SP2, weather risk)
  3. LHP Eric Lauer vs. Cincinnati Reds (Evening)
  4. LHP Madison Bumgarner vs. Colorado Rockies (Late)
  5. LHP Patrick Sandoval at Seattle Mariners (Late)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Kyle Schwarber vs. RHP Josiah Gray (Main, weather concern)
  2. Matt Olson at RHP Taijuan Walker (Main)
  3. Rafael Devers at RHP Zack Greinke (Evening)
  4. Eugenio Suarez vs. LHP Patrick Sandoval (Late)
  5. Trayce Thompson vs. LHP Sean Manaea (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

There are several trouble spots on Friday in the Midwest and East Coast. Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit all have chances for in-game delays, though the overall risk is fortunately low. Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia have elevated chances of precipitation. Baltimore could see late-afternoon storms that extend into the game window, and with this being the first act of a three-game series, it would not be a complete surprise to see this game pushed to Saturday.

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As we saw last night, the storms arrived a little earlier than expected in the City of Brotherly Love, which led to the Phillies – Nationals game being called after five innings. Tonight looks like there could be a similar situation brewing, so be sure to monitor the forecasts throughout the day leading up to first pitch for these various venues.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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