Leave it to the Cubs to screw up a perfectly good Friday night schedule by being the only afternoon game of the day. We’ll focus on the 14 night games for today’s daily fantasy sports article. There are a lot of aces on the mound today. Chris Sale, David Price, Madison Bumgarner, Carlos Carrasco, Johnny Cueto, Felix Hernandez, and Masahiro Tanaka are all in action. Finding value in the pitching and hitting markets will be essential if you want to buy these big-ticket items for Friday night.
As you know, this DFS article is a lot different from others, because we’re not projecting the best hitters and pitchers to take, rather trying to seek out the best values to add to your lineup. Keep that in mind as you peruse today’s suggestions looking for the magic formula to cash a big winner.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for August 21:
Baltimore – Tommy Milone is on the mound for the Twins on Friday night against Baltimore at Camden Yards. Milone has allowed 14 home runs in 86.1 innings of work this season. Milone had the luxury of pitching in Oakland for the first few years of his career and then moved to Minnesota, a park that suppresses home runs to right field. Camden Yards doesn’t suppress home runs anywhere. He owns a 4.30 ERA away from his home ballpark with a .271/.320/.451 slash. The Orioles should get a lot of good swings on Friday.
Colorado – Colorado is a very expensive stack. The Rockies are taking on Bartolo Colon, who will throw a lot of fastballs and has shown some serious command issues this season. He’s given up 19 home runs and 162 hits in 141.1 innings of work this season and owns a 4.58 ERA because he hasn’t been able to get out of innings. Colorado’s park-adjusted offensive numbers are down this season, but Colorado’s .460 slash against righties leads the league by a large margin.
Cincinnati – Rubby de la Rosa has traded in control problems for command problems and Great American Ball Park can be a bit of a launching pad. Lefties are batting .306/.366/.563 off of de la Rosa this season, so, if nothing else, Joey Votto should be at the top of your list, no matter the price tonight. RLDR has given up 15 home runs in 73.1 road innings, so it’s not like Chase Field has been the only contributing factor to his struggles.
Here are the best value hitters for August 21:
Marcell Ozuna ($3,100) – Ozuna’s 2015 got off to a rough start, with a slow beginning to the year and a trip to Triple-A. Ozuna has homered in back-to-back games now as he seems to be getting his swing back on track. There’s lightning in that bad and Jared Eickhoff, who is making his MLB debut for the Phillies, is sure to make a few mistakes. Young pitchers seem to struggle with their command during their first couple of starts because nerves do crazy things. Look for Ozuna to take advantage.
Ben Paulsen ($3,200) – Ben Paulsen isn’t really hitting right now, but it’s Coors Field and it’s a platoon advantage. Lefties are batting .296/.314/.456 against Bartolo Colon on the season and that’s while making half of his starts in a pretty good pitcher’s park. Paulsen owns a .287/.342/.489 slash on the year against righties and a .304/.367/.536 slash at home against righties. This is a good situation to grab some low-cost value at Coors Field.
Welington Castillo ($3,500) – Welington Castillo has been a “three true outcomes” guy against lefties this season. He has five home runs, nine walks, and 27 strikeouts in 74 plate appearances. All in all, it boils down to a .250/.338/.516 slash. In a good hitter’s park in Cincinnati, Castillo definitely has some upside at the catching position. With good power and a talented lineup around him, he’s a good source of value at the position.
Here are the best value pitchers for August 21:
Justin Verlander ($7,300) – Is Justin Verlander coming around? Maybe. He’s averaged better than a strikeout per inning over his last several starts and seems to be figuring out how to pitch with his decline in velocity. Verlander has become more extreme of a fly ball pitcher, which can work in Comerica Park’s spacious outfield. If the recent strikeout bump is legit, you could very easily get a strikeout per inning over seven innings from Verlander.
Gio Gonzalez ($8,500) – The worst offense in baseball against lefties has been a battle between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox throughout the season. The Brewers are actually up to 28th now, tied with the Rockies. Milwaukee has a .281 wOBA with a 72 wRC+ on the year. Gio Gonzalez is a pretty good lefty that keeps hitters off balance and the Brewers own the league’s worst OBP against southpaws on the season.
Jerad Eickhoff ($4,300) – Any right-handed pitcher with a pulse has a chance to succeed against the Miami Marlins. Eickhoff has shown good command in the minor leagues and has the ability to sneak up on a bad team like the Marlins and wind up throwing six innings with five or six strikeouts. That would more than validate this price. The Marlins are dead last against righties in offense with a .292 wOBA and the league’s worst SLG.