Tonight is a monumental slate for DFS. We have the return of Edwin Jackson ($4,400) as an MLB starting pitcher. I am not sure how he keeps getting chances to pitch, but I am not complaining about the opportunity to roster hitters against him. As a member of the Blue Jays, Jackson averaged -0.3 DKFP and had an 11.12 ERA. After getting cut by Toronto, the Tigers decided his numbers were something that interested them. After making two AAA starts with a 5.87 ERA, Detroit called him up for another big league start. To put it lightly, Jackson represents a favorable matchup for the Royals.
StudWalker Buehler, LAD vs. ARI, $11,500 — For the salaries, I don’t like any of the high priced pitchers all that much tonight. I prefer spending up for bats tonight although Buehler makes for the safest option if you have the flexibility for an expensive pitcher. At home, he has a 2.54 ERA and is coming off a 51.8 DKFP outing against the Padres. The Diamondbacks offense is below-average against right-handed pitching with a 91 wRC+.
Other Options — Stephen Strasburg ($11,000), Trevor Bauer ($10,200)
ValueGio Gonzalez, MIL vs. TEX, $7,300 — This is a strong spot for Gio. The Rangers have the fourth-highest strikeout rate in the MLB against left-handed pitching and they lose the benefit of the DH playing in a National League park. Gonzalez has been great at home this season for the Brewers. In Milwaukee, he has a 3.24 ERA and averages 19.3 DKFP per start.
Other Options — Brad Keller ($8,000), Drew Smyly ($5,800)
StudYasmani Grandal, MIL vs. TEX, $4,200 — Not only is this a good spot for Gio Gonzalez, but it’s also a nice situation for the Brewers’ offense. Kolby Allard ($6,800) is making his first start of the season in the MLB even though he hasn’t looked great in the minors. He has a 4.17 ERA in AAA and Grandal has been a better hitter from the right side of the plate. He has a 130 wRC+ hitting as a righty.
Other Options — Robinson Chirinos ($4,000)
ValueRoberto Perez, CLE at MIN, $3,600 — For his entire career, Perez has been thought of as a defense only backup catcher. Tasked with being the Indians everyday catcher for the first time in his career, his bat has come alive. Perez has already paid off with a career-high in games and the regular reps seem to have had a huge benefit to his hitting ability. He’s been especially effective against left-handed pitching with a 119 wRC+.
Other Options — Buster Posey ($3,800), Pedro Severino ($3,600)
FIRST BASEYui Gurriel, HOU at BAL, $5,000 — This season has been a coming-out party for the Gurriel brothers. Both have been on fire and Yuli has turned in some huge performances lately. In his last two games, he’s totaled 11 RBI, three homers and an average of 36 DKFP. The Astros have the second-highest implied run total on the slate behind the Red Sox.
Other Options — Carlos Santana ($4,700)
ValuePaul Goldschmidt, STL vs. PIT, $4,000 — Early in the season, it was fair to question if the Cardinals had buyer’s remorse with Goldy. After trading for him and signing him to a big extension, he showed signs of decline in the early going. Since the All-Star break, he’s showed signs of becoming a great power hitter again. After hitting 16 homers in the first 88 games of the season, he has nine homers in 24 games post-break.
Other Options — Joey Votto ($3,900), Jesus Aguilar ($3,500)
StudWhit Merrifield, KC at DET, $4,500 — If my favorite offense is the Royals, it stands to reason I have to write up some of their players. I won’t harp anymore on how awful Edwin Jackson has been and instead, I’ll focus on Merrifield. He’s actually been better on the road this season with a 127 wRC+ and he is coming into tonight with three straight multi-hit games. Merrifield has started August with a .355 batting average.
Other Options — Jose Altuve ($5,300), DJ LeMahieu ($4,700)
ValueIan Happ, CHC at CIN, $4,000 — The matchup against Trevor Bauer is far from ideal for Happ. Even though it’s a tough spot, Bauer has been prone to blowing up this season and Happ has been on fire since returning to the big leagues. He’s homered in three of his last four games and is playing in a hitter-friendly park tonight.
Other Options —
Gleyber Torres ($4,100), Tommy Edman ($3,800)
StudAlex Bregman, HOU at BAL, $5,400 — Bregman comes into tonight with at least 12 DKFP in five of his last six games. He also has multiple hits in four straight games. The Orioles’ pitching staff doesn’t instill much fear into hitters and this is especially true at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy ($6,600) has a 5.89 ERA at home.
Other Options — Rafael Devers ($5,300), DJ LeMahieu ($4,700)
ValueGio Urshela, NYY at TOR, $4,500 — The Yankees’ hitting coaches are performing some kind of wizardry. Much like how every pitcher the Astros’ picks up becomes a stud, New York is turning every utility player into a Silver Slugger. Urshela has five homers in his last three games and his 142 wRC+ is second amongst all American League third baseman.
Other Options — Hunter Dozier ($4,400), Matt Carpenter ($3,700)
StudFernando Tatis, SD vs. COL, $5,600 — The only reason Kyle Freeland ($4,800) isn’t thought of as the worst pitcher on the slate is because Edwin Jackson laps the field in the category. With a 7.24 ERA, Freeland has struggled in his own right, putting the Padres in a good spot. From San Diego, nobody is hitting the ball better than their young star shortstop. Tatis has homered in three straight games.
Other Options — Xander Bogaerts ($5,000), Francisco Lindor ($4,900)
ValueDidi Gregorius, NYY at TOR, $4,000 — The Yankees’ pricing seems a bit odd at first glance. The cheapest hitters are the guys who we would have thought as the most established coming into this season. Even though he’s cheap, Didi has still been having good success at the plate. He’s reached base in eight consecutive games.
Other Options — Manny Machado ($4,400), David Fletcher ($3,900)
StudMookie Betts, BOS vs. LAA, $5,000 — The Red Sox have a 6.7 implied run total, the highest on the slate. This makes Boston a team to target and Betts is the top expensive target. Even though he’s facing a righty, this isn’t a bad thing for Mookie He’s been a reverse splits hitter this season, hitting well against righties and struggling against southpaws. He has a 138 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
Other Options — Mike Trout ($5,800), J.D. Martinez ($5,000)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Judge is not in the starting lineup for tonight’s game.
Other Options — Wil Myers ($4,100), Justin Upton ($3,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.