Early Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top MLB Targets, Values for August 9

Thursday afternoon brings a three-game slate of fantasy baseball starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. With a clean slate of weather, we have no issues building our lineups for these games.

Let’s jump right into the all the information you’ll need and be sure you follow @DKLive for the latest news and lineups. Don’t forget, as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine at @SBuchanan24.

Pitcher

Stud

Corey Kluber, CLE vs. MIN, $10,900 — Kluber enters this game with a fair salary in his matchup against the Twins. This will be the third time these two clubs meet this season, as he’s gone 11 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits with a 9:3 K:BB ratio for an average of 15.5 DKFP. Kluber also is coming off one of his best performance of the year, scoring 40.25 DKFP against the Angels in a complete-game shutout with seven strikeouts. While he’s been shaky at times this season, he’s by far the superior option for today against a Twins team with a .314 wOBA and a .164 ISO on the year.

Value

Junior Guerra, MIL vs. SD, $7,300 — The Brewers will take on the Padres, sending Guerra to the mound. He’s put together a very good season for himself as he gets set to face this club for the first time this year. He’s been his best at home, posting a .289 wOBA allowed with a 4.20 FIP. As we all know, this Padres team continues to struggle offensively and its 24.4 K% ranks fourth highest in the league. With Guerra sporting a K/9 of 8.6, he has a legitimate chance of doing well in this spot.

Other Option — Anibal Sanchez ($8,100)


Catcher

Stud

Tyler Flowers, ATL at WAS, $3,400 — When it comes to the Braves’ catcher position, both Flowers and Kurt Suzuki ($3,500) started slumping at the same time. At least in the case of Flowers, he’s been showing some signs of life lately. Going against lefty Gio Gonzalez ($6,200), Flowers brings a .560 wOBA with a .302 ISO and a 50 percent hard-hit rate to this southpaw matchup.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Suzuki is in the starting lineup over Flowers.

Other Option — Kurt Suzuki ($3,500)

Value

Matt Wieters, WAS vs. ATL, $3,100 — I’m not exactly a huge fan of taking Wieters in this spot, but if you’re looking to save as much as you can at catcher, this will do the trick. Wieters won’t blow you away with his offense, and he only is averaging 6.7 DKFP over his past 10 games. However, he’s a cheap option in an offense projected for 4.9 runs — the highest on the slate. Facing Anibal Sanchez ($8,100), Wieters owns a .274 wOBA with a .126 ISO on the year.

Other Option — Manny Pina ($3,200)


First Base

Stud

Jesus Aguilar, MIL vs. SD, $5,300 — Aguilar is expensive, but I love the numbers he brings against left-handed pitching. On the season, he sports a .396 wOBA in these matchups with a .300 ISO and a 39 percent hard-hit rate on the year. He’ll be taking on Robbie Erlin ($4,600) of the Padres, who is making his fourth start of the year after 27 appearances out of the bullpen. While his numbers look good on the surface, Erlin owns a .403 wOBA as a starter, allowing 13 runs in 12 innings. Other Option — Yonder Alonso ($4,000)

Value

Logan Morrison, MIN at CLE, $3,500 — If you’re looking for a potential low-ownership play at first base, Morrison will do the trick against Kluber. While I’m not fully on board with Kluber being back to form, he looked that way in his last start. However, he does have issues with the home run ball and has given up 11 of his 20 dingers on the year to lefties. It’s home run or nothing with Morrison, so choose wisely here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Morrison and Mauer are not in the lineup for today’s game.

Other Option — Joe Mauer ($3,200)


Second Base

Stud

Ozzie Albies, ATL at WAS, $4,600 — It was a disappointing night for Albies on Wednesday, as he only contributed a double in the Braves’ 8-3 win. Nonetheless, I’ll be going right back to him today against Gonzalez. Facing lefties his been his strong point this season, as he owns a .363 wOBA with a .216 ISO and a 39 percent hard-hit rate in the split. Other Option — Daniel Murphy ($4,200)

Value

Jason Kipnis, CLE vs. MIN, $3,500 — I’m not a huge fan of Jose Berrios ($9,000) against the Indians this afternoon, so it would make sense to grab a few of the Indians’ bats. While Kipnis is a having his typical low batting average season, his power still has been there near the bottom of the Indians’ order. Thus far in August, he owns a .200 ISO with a .310 wOBA and a 44 percent hard-hit rate.

Other Option — Jonathan Schoop ($3,900)


Third Base

Stud

Jose Ramirez CLE vs. MIN, $5,700 — If you don’t feel great about Berrios, then you should be paying up for Ramirez. He likely will give you trouble to fit in, as he’s $1,300 more than Travis Shaw ($4,400). But Ramirez continues to crush right-handed pitching to the tune of a .451 wOBA with a .365 ISO and a 40 percent hard-hit rate. Other Option — Anthony Rendon ($4,100)

Value

Johan Camargo, ATL at WAS, $3,900 — Camargo continues to impress, especially against left-handed pitching. In these matchups, Camargo is sporting a .382 wOBA with a .283 ISO and a 39 percent hard-hit rate. While he’s been struggling at the plate a bit as of late, his sneaky power for just a $3,900 salary almost makes him a lock for my lineup today.

Other Option — Cory Spangenberg ($3,900)


Shortstop

Stud

Francisco Lindor, CLE vs. MIN, $5,400 — Ah yes, another expensive Indians bat to contemplate. Admittedly, Lindor has been much more productive against left-handed pitching, but we have to put that into perspective. While righties have held him in check a bit more, he still sports a .386 wOBA with a .297 ISO on the year with 24 of his 29 home runs in the split. If you’re going against Berrios, you have to consider Lindor. Other Option — Trea Turner ($5,300)

Value

Dansby Swanson, ATL at WAS, $3,100 — With the selection of value shortstop we have to choose from, Swanson isn’t necessary if you don’t have to. This slate almost forces you to pay up at shortstop, but Swanson would be a way to differentiate yourself. His numbers aren’t great, but he does have a respectable .173 ISO against lefties while his wOBA leaves plenty to be desired at .258.

Other Option — Johan Camargo ($3,900)


Outfield

Stud

Lorenzo Cain, MIL vs. SD, $4,700 — I always squeeze Cain into my lineup whenever I get him against a left-handed pitcher — and today is no exception. Cain has a .436 wOBA in these matchups to go with a .218 ISO and a 46 percent hard-hit rate on the year. The Brew Crew has the second highest run total on this slate at 4.8 runs, and Cain is going to be one of the anchors of my lineups because of that. Other Options — Bryce Harper ($5,200), Ronald Acuna Jr. ($4,500)

Value

Max Kepler, MIN at CLE, $3,800 — This is another play if you want to grab a power bat with expected low ownership against Kluber. As I mentioned, Kluber has been having some issues with the home run ball, especially against lefties. Kepler has nine of his 14 home runs off of righties to go with a .182 ISO and a 39 percent hard-hit rate.

Other Options — Adam Duvall ($3,800), Adam Eaton ($4,200)


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.