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MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Play Dylan Cease vs. Royals & Cubs vs. Reds Field of Dreams Game (August 11)

Eric MacPherson

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DraftKings MLB DFS Picks today FanDuel DFS baseball lineup optimizer projections Dylan Cease Cubs Reds Field of Dreams Game

Thursday, Aug. 11, brings a frontloaded day of baseball beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET. The featured slate locking at 7:10 p.m. ET is just a two-gamer, but it also boasts the second installment of the “Field of Dreams” game. 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 (8/11)

“Field of Dreams” Slate: Reds vs. Chicago Cubs — 9.7 implied runs

Tonight’s featured slate is a unique one, as there are only two matchups and one of the tilts is taking place in Dyersville, Iowa, at the Field of Dreams. This is the second installment of a fun MLB effort to connect with new fans, while also honoring the history of the game. Cincinnati has been tabbed as the home team, and both the Reds and opposing Cubs will be wearing special throwback uniforms with colors schemes and logos from a century ago.

While there was a plethora of scoring last year as the Yankees and White Sox combined for 17 runs, those were two offenses firing on all cylinders. The venue holds 8,000 spectators and the field is comparable to typical standards, with center field being 400 feet away, the right and left field lines extending 335 feet and the alleys at 380 feet.

There are a pair of lefties taking the mound, and both are susceptible to crooked numbers. Veteran Drew Smyly has allowed a .200-plus ISO to batters swinging the stick from both sides of the plate, and his 75% contact rate combined with a substandard 20.5% strikeout rate bodes well for right-handers such as Kyle Farmer, Aristides Aquino and young shortstop Jose Barrero.

On the other side, rookie Nick Lodolo boasts an impressive 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings heading into the 10th start of his MLB career. There will be opportunities for the Cubbies batsmen, as the rookie is allowing nearly three extra-base hits per nine innings, with half of those being home runs. The Northsiders will likely be rolling out as many right-handed batsmen as possible, with Willson Contreras, Patrick Wisdom and recent waiver claim Franmil Reyes being the most intriguing selections.

The second game on this slate also has an implied run total approaching double digits, with Dean Kremer and the Orioles taking on Josh Winckowski and the Red Sox in Boston. In this matchup, we should also look to the power bats, and aside from risky pitching all the way around, this is shaping up to be a fun slate with well over a dozen hitters in positive positions.


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Early Slate: Diamondbacks vs. RHP JT Brubaker — 4.8 implied runs

To his credit, JT Brubaker has gone from allowing same-handed hitters a .221 ISO last season all the way down to a .111 ISO this year. Unfortunately, lefties are his Achilles heel, and they have tallied a .210-plus ISO for the second straight season. Brubaker also has a marginal 40.2% ground ball rate, though he is able to work from ahead in the count 56.2% of the time.

Arizona has a capable left-handed quartet at the top of their lineup. Dalton Varsho, Alec Thomas and switch-hitting Ketel Marte all provide above-average power when they hold the platoon advantage. Josh Rojas should be in his customary spot at the top of the lineup and should be all but assured of at least five plate appearances.

There is also a Coors Field Extravaganza with an implied run total cresting over 12 and a pair of struggling pitchers on the mound. It is going to be in the low-90s during this game, and we have already seen 35 runs cross the plate in the first two games of this series.

Best MLB DFS Pitchers

For the “Field of Dreams” featured slate, the best strategy looks to be mixing and matching pitchers in the hopes of dodging any meltdowns, while hitting on the proper combination of hitters.

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

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

Dylan Cease has been stellar this season, with his 1.98 ERA ranking second, 166 strikeouts third and 12-4 record being the sixth best among starting pitchers. Tonight, the 26-year-old hurler is putting his 13-game streak of one or fewer earned runs allowed on the line. That is, of course, not sustainable by any stretch of the imagination, but his 11th quality start of the season is certainly on the table.

Despite dealing Anthony Benintendi and Whit Merrifield, Kansas City still does have some pesky hitters populating the top half of its lineup. Additionally, today’s projected lineup has a 25.1% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching over the last season and change, which does play into Cease’s strength of a 32.3% combined strikeout rate across his last two campaigns.


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Secondary Target: LHP Framber Valdez vs. Rangers — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,800 | FanDuel $10,400

This will be the third time the Rangers have faced Framber Valdez, who continues to grow the legend of his ground ball artistry. Over his last 1,162 batters faced, the 29-year-old southpaw has a 69.4% ground ball rate, courtesy of his negative-4.9-degree launch angle. All of these worm burners have kept the extra-base hits to a minimum, with a combined .104 ISO during this span. While it is no guarantee of today’s performance, Valdez did limit Texas to one earned run with a very solid 12 strikeouts over 13 innings in the other two meetings this season.

Additional Opportunities

Framber Valdez is recommended as one of the best DFS pitching options in action today, though we can hedge a little on his downside by taking the under on his 6.5 strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Player Props Tool has him for 6.2 strikeouts and a 56% chance of staying under this benchmark. Valdez has recorded seven or more strikeouts five times in his last 11 starts, so this will be a nip-and-tuck adventure, though we are currently seeing plus money at +110 for the under.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Edward Cabrera at Philadelphia Phillies (Early)
  2. RHP Merrill Kelly vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Early, Afternoon)
  3. LHP Nick Lodolo vs. Chicago Cubs (Main)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Jose Ramirez at RHP Garrett Hill (Early)
  2. Jose Abreu at RHP Zack Greinke (Afternoon)
  3. Coors Field Extravaganza — Both Sides (All Available Slates)
  4. Alex Verdugo vs. RHP Dean Kremer (Main)
  5. Cedric Mullins at RHP Josh Winckowski (Main)

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Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

The weather looks good on Thursday. Enjoy the Field of Dreams game, with pregame coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET on FOX.

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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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