Monday, Aug. 15, jumpstarts the week with a stellar 10-game main slate and a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch. There are half a dozen decent pitching matchups, which should help spread things out in tournaments. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks today for pitchers and stacks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (8/15)
Main Slate: Blue Jays vs. RHP Kyle Bradish — 5.1 implied runs
Toronto will be a wildly popular offense against rookie Kyle Bradish, who has had a rough season. Same-handed batsmen have had the most success, which bodes well for the Blue Jays, who are loaded with right-handed power. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, Bo Bichette and Alejandro Kirk are the core four to target. The one nice thing about the loaded Toronto lineup is that we can easily differentiate by going to the back half of the order. Matt Chapman, Whit Merrifield and Cavan Biggio are the trio that looks most appealing, and they are available at a discount when compared to their peers at the top of the lineup.
Staying in this same game, Baltimore looks solid against southpaw Yusei Kikuchi, who has struggled mightily after leaving the Mariners. Unfortunately, Ryan Mountcastle was hit on the hand with a pitch in the final inning on Saturday and may not be in the lineup today. Cedric Mullins got Saturday off against lefty Shane McClanahan, but he usually plays against same-handed pitchers and should be in the lineup tonight.
Evening Slate: Rangers vs. RHP James Kaprielian — 4.6 implied runs
The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool is highlighting Texas as an interesting stack that could be overlooked by the field. James Kaprielian has managed to put together a string of nine successful starts, allowing three or fewer runs in each, including two matchups against the Rangers. However, Kaprielian’s underlying metrics point to some lucky breaks that have gone in his favor, and that could change in a hurry. He has recorded more than four strikeouts in only four of his 18 starts, and with his below-average strikeouts (20.6%) and above-average walks (9.1%), there are crooked numbers lurking on the periphery that are going to benefit some offense soon.
After struggling for the first half of the season, Marcus Semien has been on pace for 30 home runs and 100 RBIs over his last 210 at-bats while also contributing eight stolen bases. FanDuel has assigned him an insulting $2,400 salary, which is beyond egregious. Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia continue to be a formidable lefty-righty combination in the heart of the order, and a full stack can be completed with either Nate Lowe or switch-hitting catcher Jonah Heim.
Late Slate: Giants vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner — 4.7 implied runs
There is no need to go to any of the late-slate offenses for the main tournaments. However, San Francisco does stand out as the best option for those of you playing the West Coast sub-slate. Over his last five starts, Madison Bumgarner has been a whole lotta meh, compiling a 5.58 ERA while allowing 1.56 baserunners per inning and notching just 22 strikeouts. The primary targets should be Wilmer Flores and Evan Longoria, who both thrive with the platoon advantage. Austin Slater will likely lead off, and J.D. Davis is available at a rock-bottom salary. However, it should be noted that this duo carries an above-average pinch-hit risk if one of the two lefty relievers comes in from the Arizona bullpen.
Best MLB DFS Pitchers
Primary Target: RHP Gerrit Cole vs. Rays — 3.2 implied runs
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,100 | FanDuel $11,000
The Rays has been slightly above average against right-handed pitching this season, posting a 105 wRC+, though they are striking out 24.4% 0f the time, which is the fifth-highest mark in the league. Monday’s Tampa Bay lineup has a two-year-trailing strikeout rate of 26.0% against righties, which bodes well for Gerrit Cole. The veteran of 10 MLB campaigns continues piling up the strikeouts, with 11.6 per nine innings — the second-best total in the league. Over his last 1,100 batters faced, Cole has a superb 33.6% strikeout rate, along with a 3.19 xFIP. Though he is in the five-figure club on both DraftKings and FanDuel, he should be the building block for rosters tonight.
Secondary Target: RHP Luis Castillo at Angels — 3.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,200 | FanDuel $11,200
Luis Castillo has been sublime in two starts since joining Seattle, with 14.2 innings, one home run, 15 strikeouts, a 1.84 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Even more impressive is that this pair of appearances was against the Yankees juggernaut and the Mariners ended up winning both tilts.
Tonight, the matchup is far easier against a depleted Angels squad that leads the league with a 27.1% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers. Walks can sometimes be an issue for Castillo, and while he is good for 100 to 110 pitches per start, that typically has him exiting the game after the sixth or seventh inning. This season, the 29-year-old has allowed four runs once, three runs six times and two or fewer in the other dozen starts.
Wild Card Target: RHP Alex Cobb vs. Diamondbacks — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,000 | FanDuel $9,200
After missing part of April with a sore back and then the first half of June with a neck strain, Alex Cobb has put together 10 solid starts. Unfortunately, the San Francisco offense tends to disappear in his starts, leaving him with an 0-4 record and the team winning only two of these outings. During this stretch, Cobb has averaged 89 pitches per start across 55.2 innings, allowing just four home runs and striking out a very solid 53. The Diamondbacks are not particularly daunting on offense, plus they will be at an additional disadvantage, having just spent the weekend in Coors Field and tonight playing at sea level.
Alex Cobb has a very attainable 4.5 strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Player Props Tool has him for 6.1 strikeouts and a 73% of getting the five punchouts needed to cash in with this wager. Though it is not any guarantee for tonight’s performance, it is comforting to see that Cobb has half a dozen or more strikeouts in each of his last four starts.
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Other Pitching Options
- RHP Joe Musgrove at Miami Marlins (Early)
- RHP Josiah Gray at Chicago Cubs (Main SP2)
- RHP Marcus Stroman vs. Washington Nationals (Main SP2)
- LHP Luis Urias at Milwaukee Brewers (Evening)
- RHP Shohei Ohtani vs. Seattle Mariners (Late)
Other Hitting Options
- Alec Bohm at LHP Mike Minor (Early)
- Matt Olson vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (Main)
- Byron Buxton vs. LHP Kris Bubic (Main)
- Seth Brown at RHP Glenn Otto (Evening)
- Christian Walker at RHP Alex Cobb (Late)
Latest MLB DFS Content
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- MLB DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Picks Today 10/4
- MLB DFS Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball Picks Today 10/4
- MLB Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy Show for DraftKings and FanDuel | 10/4
- Awesemo DFS on Youtube
Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes
There are a couple of weather spots to monitor today, starting with the doubleheader in Cleveland, where there could be afternoon showers. It is cooler in the nation’s capital, and there is an above-average probability of light rain this evening. Atlanta once again has roving thunderstorms, though it is too early to tell if they will impact the game.
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