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MLB DFS Picks, Top Stacks & Pitchers: Rangers Value & Carlos Rodon Perfect Lineup Today (Wednesday, August 17)

Eric MacPherson



Wednesday, Aug. 17, brings an afternoon full of baseball, culminating in a nine-game featured slate beginning 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 (8/17)

Main Slate: Guardians vs. LHP Daniel Norris — 4.6 implied runs

Daniel Norris is back in Detroit after they dealt him to Milwaukee last season. Far from a prospect, the 29-year-old ended up pitching out of the Cubs bullpen this season before landing back “home” with the Tigers. This will be his second start after getting stretched out a bit in the minors, and he should be good for around 75 pitches — potentially more, but we are hoping that the Guardians send him to the showers by the end of the fourth inning.

Norris has always been exploited by right-handed power, allowing a .233 ISO in his last 229 opposite-handed matchups. Though he does have a 25.1% strikeout rate over his last 380 combined batters faced, he also has a dreadful 13.8% walk rate.

Jose Ramirez, Ahmed Rosario and Oscar Gonzalez are the trio to target. If this stack surges in popularity, skip either Gonzalez or Oscar Miller and work in Andres Gimenez, who can more than hold his own in lefty-lefty matchups. Ramirez will be a popular one-off, so this will also appear to inflate the popularity of the Cleveland stack. Use the Stokastic Top Stacks Tool in concert with the individual player roster projections to aid your in-stack differentiation.

Late Slate: Rangers vs. RHP Adam Oller — 5.1 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Batters Tool is coming back to this matchup for a second consecutive day, though the team to target has flipped over to Texas. It has been a rough season for Adam Oller, who had three years in college, six in the minors for four different clubs and a stint in the Australian Baseball League.

The well-travelled righty will be 28 in two months, and there is a good chance this will be his one and only season in The Show. Pretty much everything has warning signs, from his 27 walks (11.8% rate) against 31 strikeouts (13.5% rate) in 48.1 innings, to the 5.9 extra-base hits per nine innings. Most insulting is his negative-1.2 wins above replacement (WAR) rating, though looking at his 7.26 ERA and 1.78 baserunners allowed per inning, this should not be a surprise.

Tonight, the core four to target are a nice quartet of alternating righties and lefties. Marcus Semien has been stellar over his last 220 plate appearances and is hitting at an All-Star level. Corey Seager was an All-Star this year, and he has been a stalwart throughout his career when holding the platoon advantage. While we love Adolis Garcia against southpaws, he does have a .210 ISO against same-handed hurlers in his last 722 plate appearances, though he still strikes out 28.4% of the time.

Nate Lowe is only $3,000 on DraftKings and $2,900 on FanDuel, which is a steal for a cleanup hitter. Brad Miller is an extreme punt at the minimum salary on both sites, though he is definitely a pinch-hit risk after one or two at-bats, with the Athletics rolling out a trio of lefties in their bullpen.

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Afternoon Slate: Mariners at RHP Touki Toussaint — 5.1 implied runs

It is going to be in the mid-80s with an 8 to 12 mph breeze blowing out to centerfield for this 1 o’clock local start in Anaheim. This afternoon, Touki Toussaint will be drawing the start for his new squad after coming over from Atlanta in a deal for cash considerations. The 26-year-old was the 16th overall selection out of high school in the 2014 MLB Draft by Arizona before being dealt the next season to Atlanta along with an injured Bronson Arroyo in a salary dump as the Braves picked up the remaining $10 million on his contract.

Toussaint was a hyped prospect for a couple of seasons before getting his chance in The Show. Unfortunately, in four of his five seasons in the majors, he still ended up spending time in the minors, as he never was able to sustain any success.

Seattle is far from an intimidating lineup, but it contains very few easy outs. Rookie Julio Rodriguez has been amazing, and now that Mitch Haniger and Ty France are healthy, the top of the order is strong. Former Reds Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez round out the heart of the order, with veteran switch-hitter Carlos Santana providing a smooth and cool presence. That still leaves young shortstop J.P. Crawford, who is effectively pesky, and second-year catcher Cal Raleigh, who boasts 16 home runs against only 24 strikeouts in 265 at-bats this season. Do not worry about the lack of household names — stack the M’s and continue to ride the wave!

Best MLB DFS Pitchers

Primary Target: LHP Carlos Rodon vs. Diamondbacks — 3.1 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,800 | FanDuel $10,700

There are enough mispriced hitters that it is not any challenge at all to create lineups with Carlos Rodon as the ace and then a stack of any desired offense. Arizona has been adequate against southpaws, though their current lineup has a couple of zeros at the end with Gerardo Perdomo and Sergio Alcantara. Rodon is in the top 20 among qualified starters with his 2.95 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 11-6 record. He also has been racking up the strikeouts at an 11.3-per-nine clip, which is among the best handful of hurlers in the league.

Wild Card Target: RHP Cal Quantrill vs. Tigers — 3.1 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,000 | FanDuel $8,300

Yes, for a third day we can look to a mediocre Cleveland pitcher going against the epically abysmal Detroit offense. It has been documented time and time again in this space just how bad the Tigers are against right-handed hurlers. Rarely would Cal Quantrill be more than a 5-percenter, yet on this slate he will be rostered at multiples of that rate. Only three times in their last 22 games have the Tigers scored more than four runs. There really is not much additional analysis to add.

Early Target: RHP Tyler Mahle vs. Royals — 3.1 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,700 | FanDuel $9,500

This is a good matchup for Tyler Mahle, who has to be thrilled to no long be pitching his home games in Great American Ballpark. Today, he has a favorable matchup against the Royals, who have been playing a bit above their heads after moving Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi in trades. The back half of the Royals roster is basically cannon fodder and below-replacement-level hitters. The Twins are -200 moneyline favorites to garner the victory today, which bodes well for Mahle’s fantasy prospects.

Additional Opportunities

Framber Valdez is going against a right-handed-heavy White Sox lineup that has a two-year-trailing strikeout rate of just 20.3% against southpaws. Tonight, Valdez has a 5.5 strikeout prop, and Stokastic MLB Player Props Tool has him for 5.2 strikeouts and a 56% of falling below the six strikeouts needed for the over. Though the win rate is lower than what we normally target, the +105 currently listed for the under projects out to a 20% 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. LHP Drew Smyly at Washington Nationals (Early)
  2. RHP George Kirby at Los Angeles Angels (Afternoon)
  3. RHP Max Scherzer at Atlanta Braves (Main)
  4. LHP Jordan Montgomery vs. Colorado Rockies (Main)
  5. LHP Framber Valdez at Chicago White Sox (Late)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Joey Meneses vs. LHP Drew Smyly (Early)
  2. Teoscar Hernandez vs. RHP Austin Voth (Afternoon)
  3. Bryan Reynolds vs. LHP Rich Hill (Main)
  4. Nolan Arenado vs. RHP German Marquez (Main)
  5. Sean Murphy at LHP Cole Ragans (Late)

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Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

There are showers in the Mid-Atlantic region, with Washington playing in the early afternoon and New York and Pittsburgh hosting evening games. Atlanta once again has roving thundershowers, though it is still too far out to have an accurate assessment of any pending implications.

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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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