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MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Value on Padres, Blue Jays Stack Low Owned & deGrom SP1 (Saturday August 13)

Eric MacPherson

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Saturday, Aug. 13, brings a robust 12-game main slate starting 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 (8/13)

Main Slate: San Diego Padres at RHP Anibal Sanchez — 5.6 implied runs

In 25 innings this season across five starts, 38-year-old Anibal Sanchez has allowed eight home runs, while issuing 11 walks and recording a paltry 18 strikeouts. Heck, half of his hits allowed have been for extra bases. This is quite the departure for the former ace who has been around long enough to play with and against both Mike Stantons. Let’s fondly remember better days such as that 2006 early September day when Sanchez authored a no-hitter in his rookie season against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tonight, Sanchez will be throwing batting practice, unfortunately for Nationals fans it is going to be in an actual game. Though he will not have to face Fernando Tatis Jr. (who was just suspended for violating MLB’s PED policy), this is still a daunting matchup. The Friars of course boast a middle of the order with former Nationals Juan Soto and Josh Bell, as well as the superb Manny Machado. Brandon Drury has been a revelation this season after retooling his swing and that still leaves Jurickson Profar, Jake Cronenworth and Trent Grisham. Sorry, Nats fans, this is not going to get better any time soon.

Late Slate: San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Tyler Beede — 4.7 implied runs

There are only two games on the late slate, which is going to lead to a lot of attention for the Giants in their matchup the Pirates. A former San Francisco hurler will be starting things off for Pittsburgh in what is essentially going to be a bullpen game. This matchup can be skipped on the main slate as the Giants swinging the stick from the left side of the plate are likely to be lifted for pinch-hitters when either of the two southpaw relievers enter the game for the Bucs. That means LaMonte Wade, Joc Pederson, Tommy LaStella and Luis Gonzalez are risky options, even on the short slate. On Friday, we saw Wade and Pederson lifted for pinch-hitters and combining for just three at-bats. The better strategy will be to take three or four of the best hitters going against rookie Reid Detmers or Logan Webb and look to get some heavy leverage against the field. There is no reason to be tentative or risk averse when it comes to short-slate baseball.


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Early Slate: Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Triston McKenzie — 4.3 implied runs

Triston McKenzie is the epitome of mercurial pitching performances. In 14 of his 21 appearances, he has allowed two or fewer runs, however he has allowed four in two of his last three starts and we simply cannot ignore his disastrous month of June where he ceded multiple home runs in four of his five starts. The danger today, of course, is facing a loaded Toronto squad.

It has been same-handed hitters that have given McKenzie trouble while compiling a .201 ISO in the last 546 plate appearances. This bodes well for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, Bo Bichette and catcher eligible Alejandro Kirk. For differentiation on the short slate, do not be afraid to look toward the bottom of the order with the slumping, though pedigreed Cavan Biggo or another catcher eligible batter in Danny Jansen. It would make sense that these hitters may see better pitches than their far more accomplished teammates.

Best MLB DFS Pitchers

Primary Target: RHP Jacob deGrom vs. Philadelphia Phillies — 2.8 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,600 | FanDuel $10,800

Last weekend, Philadelphia tallied two dozen runs against Washington, yet here we are looking to target it with Jacob deGrom. Of course, it helps that Bryce Harper is still out with his thumb injury and Kyle Schwarber is dealing with a sore calf that kept him in the dugout last night.

Tonight marks the third start of the season for deGrom, who missed the first four months with a shoulder issue. In two starts against Washington and Atlanta, the 34-year-old ace threw 59 and 76 pitches logging 5 and 5.2 innings, respectively. All told, he allowed two earned runs with an eye-popping 18 strikeouts. The slider is as nasty as ever and he even touched 101 mph with a couple of fastballs. There is not a lot of margin for error in tonight’s salary, though with yet another game in Coors Field with a projected run total creeping over 12, gamers may not be inclined to earmark a large portion of their salary cap to deGrom.


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Secondary Target: RHP Yu Darvish at Washington Nationals — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,800 | FanDuel $10,100

Yu Darvish continues to chug along with a string of steady performances. The 35-year-old is posting the lowest strikeout rate of his career, but the tradeoff has been increased efficiency with his pitch-per-inning count and he also has 17 quality starts, which is tied for the second most in the league. Tonight, he gets an excellent matchup against a watered down Washington lineup that is just begging to be no-hit at some point over the final weeks of the season. The Padres are 3-to-1 favorites to garner a victory tonight and Darvish should be the pitcher of record if he continues along his typical path.

Wild Card Target: RHP Lucas Giolito vs. Detroit Tigers — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,500 | FanDuel $8,500

This has been a rough year for Lucas Giolito as the 28-year-old erstwhile ace has given up all of the gains and progress he made over the last three years. The strikeouts are still there for Giolito and his 10.3 per nine innings would put him in the top 10 if he had enough innings to qualify. Detroit has been epically bad this season and the current collection of hitters has an anemic 68 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes various factors to create a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100 — which means that the Tigers are creating runs 32% less efficiently than league average and well behind the Reds, who are the next-worst squad with a 78 wRC+. The Motor City Kitties also have the fourth-highest strikeout rate at 24.6% and a league worst .105 ISO.

Additional Opportunities

Jacob deGrom is going to be someone we can pick in DFS and pick against in the player prop market. Tonight, we should consider the under on his 9.5 strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Player Props Tool has him for 8.0 strikeouts and a 70% chance of staying under this benchmark. Yes, he has been phenomenal in his two starts this season, but he needs to reach 10 strikeouts for this wager to fail.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. LHP Shane McClanahan vs. Baltimore Orioles (Early)
  2. RHP Corbin Burnes at St. Louis Cardinals (Main)
  3. RHP Aaron Nola at New York Mets (Main)
  4. LHP Reid Detmers vs. Minnesota Twins (Late)
  5. RHP Logan Webb vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Late)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Luke Voit vs. RHP Yu Darvish (Main)
  2. Joey Gallo at RHP Brad Keller (Main)
  3. Alex Bregman vs LHP Zach Logue (Main)
  4. Mike Yastrzemski vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Late)
  5. Jose Miranda at LHP Reid Detmers (Late)

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Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

Chicago is the only potential precipitation risk on Saturday and even if it does rain it is unlikely to cause anything more substantial than a delay. Kansas City should see temperatures in the mid-90s with an 8-to-10 mph breeze out to centerfield. It is also warm in St. Louis, though with a couple of aces on the mound we can skip those offenses. It will be in the upper-80s as the Coors Field Extravaganza gets underway, so you know the drill.

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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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