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MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Target Yankees Power Bats vs. Berrios & Yu Darvish at SP1 (August 18)

Eric MacPherson



MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Use the Yankees to Expose a Fraudulent Berrios + The Lances as SP1s (Sept 27)

Thursday, Aug. 18, is another day filled with afternoon action, wrapping up with a five-game featured slate 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 (8/18)

Main Slate: Yankees vs. RHP Jose Berrios — 4.7 implied runs

It should be no surprise that the Stokastic Top Stacks Tool is giving high marks to the Yankees offense. Of course, anyone can see that this is setting up as a solid situation for crooked numbers, so creating lineups while also keeping an eye on player popularity will be key.

Jose Berrios has been abysmal this season, with a career-low 5.61 ERA, while his 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.39 WHIP are the worst since his rookie campaign in 2016. Giancarlo Stanton is still out with his Achilles injury and D.J. LeMahieu has been dealing with a sore toe, though he did pinch-hit last night in the Yankees’ extra-innings comeback victory.

Andrew Benintendi, Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo all profile well against Berrios. Then there is Aaron Judge, who is leading the league in home runs, and then there is Josh Donaldson, fresh off a walk-off grand slam. Even with New York being wildly popular, there are still many ways that we can differentiate our lineups, even on this “smaller-than-usual” featured slate.

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Afternoon Slate: Orioles vs. RHP Adrian Sampson — 5.1 implied runs

It is cooler in Baltimore, though game-time temperatures will still be in the low-80s for the first half of the game. The Stokastic Top Batters Tool is highlighting Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander in this matchup with Adrian Sampson, even with their $5,000 salaries on DraftKings.

Sampson has been steady this season, but his 4.83 xFIP is nearly a full run higher than his ERA, indicating he has been the recipient of good fortune. The 30-year-old journeyman has had home run issues in the past, and though it has not been prevalent this season, the Orioles have enough power up and down the lineup that could lead to crooked numbers this afternoon. Rookie backstop Adley Rutschman and first baseman Ryan Mountcastle can be used to round out full stacks.

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Primary Target: RHP Yu Darvish vs. Nationals — 3.1 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,000 | FanDuel $10,600

In his last start on Saturday in Washington, the Nationals got to Yu Darvish for a pair of sixth inning home runs that marred an otherwise excellent outing. We get a rematch tonight, with Darvish now at home and carrying an easy-to-manage salary, particularly on DraftKings. After dealing Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres, Washington is trying to get by with smoke and mirrors for the rest of the season. The Nationals are a bottom-tier offense, and anything less than a quality start with half a dozen strikeouts from Darvish should be considered a disappointment.

Secondary Target: RHP Jacob deGrom at Braves — 3.1 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,300 | FanDuel $12,000

Since returning from his shoulder issue, Jacob deGrom has put together three otherworldly games. In 16.2 innings against Washington, Atlanta and Philadelphia, he has a sterling 1.62 ERA, seven total baserunners and only three earned runs ceded. The fastball has been over 100 mph and the slider is biting, which has resulted in 28 whiffs. Two cautionary items: 1) deGrom has yet to top 76 pitches, and 2) despite racking up a dozen strikeouts against the Braves 11 days ago, they are not an offense to be taken lightly.

Early Target: RHP Logan Webb vs. Diamondbacks — 3.3 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,800 | FanDuel $10,300

Game-time temperatures are in the upper-50s today in San Francisco for this 12:45 p.m. local time matchup. This season, Arizona has been right around league average against right-handed pitching, though if Ketel Marte (hamstring) misses another game as expected, that leaves a major hole in their lineup. The projected lineup without Marte has a 24.1% strikeout rate over the last two seasons against right-handed hurlers.

While Logan Webb has seen his strikeouts drop from a career-high 9.6 per nine innings last year to a career-low 7.4 this season, he is averaging a career-best 95.0 pitches per appearance and has 17 quality starts, which is tied for the fourth most in the league. Pairing Webb with a discounted Dane Dunning, who is facing an anemic Athletics lineup, looks like the way to go on the two-pitcher sites for the early slate.

Additional Opportunities

Yu Darvish should be a mainstay of our DFS lineups, and he also has some favorable numbers on his early-posted 6.5 strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Player Props Tool has him for 7.1 strikeouts and a 60% of surpassing the over. Currently, this is also at plus money on a couple sportsbooks at +105 and +110 for the over, which does provide a 20% expected ROI. This is right around the break point, so if this wager feels a bit risky, you can still navigate things at an advantage with a RISK FREE BET up to $1,000 on BetMGM.

Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Dane Dunning vs. Oakland Athletics (Early)
  2. RHP Zac Gallen at San Francisco Giants (Afternoon)
  3. RHP Josh Winckowski at Pittsburgh Pirates (Main SP2)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Andrew McCutchen vs. LHP Andrew Heaney (Early)
  2. Ian Happ at RHP Spenser Watkins (Afternoon)
  3. Alex Verdugo at RHP J.T. Brubaker (Main)
  4. Vincent Pasquantino at RHP Luis Patino (Main)
  5. Juan Soto vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (Main)

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Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

There are showers once again in Atlanta, though it is too early to tell if they will impact the game at Truist Park. Otherwise, the rest of the games look like they will not be dealing with any precipitation risks.

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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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