August 18 should be one of the top DFS days in recent memory. There are only three pitchers priced north of $10,000 on DraftKings and all 15 games will be played at night, so the entire league is at your disposal. Nights like tonight make this article really beneficial because it’s not designed to look for the top players, but to look for the best value for your DFS dollar. Those are the players that can give you an edge, especially with a lot of players to pick from on a full 15-game slate.
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 18:
Boston – Trevor Bauer’s command issues really worry me entering a very small ballpark like Fenway. Bauer is already a fly ball pitcher by nature because he (correctly) believes that fly balls go for hits less often than ground balls, so he actively works up in the zone with the fastball and tries to change eye level with his secondaries. Unfortunately, too many of those fastball have been fat and Bauer has allowed 23 home runs in 140.2 innings of work. The Red Sox were one of the unluckiest offenses in the first half and some of their bad BABIP luck with RISP has turned around of late.
St. Louis – Mike Leake has been scratched again for the San Francisco Giants, so Ryan Vogelsong will enter the fray on the road. Vogelsong was solid in his last start against Washington, but he allowed three earned on six hits over four at Wrigley Field on August 7. On the season, Vogey has a 5.19 ERA with a .274/.346/.492 slash allowed. With a 5.10, .278/.357/.494 last season and a 6.42, .310/.372/.544 the season before, it’s safe to say that this is more than just a one-year anomaly for Vogelsong.
Chicago Cubs – I think that both teams have a chance to score some runs on Tuesday night in the Cubs vs. Tigers game, but I’ll give the higher likelihood to the Cubs with Anibal Sanchez on the bump for the Tigers. Sanchez has allowed 28 dongs in 154.2 innings of work this season to obliterate his past career-worst of 20 home runs allowed in a season. Sanchez has allowed four runs or more in seven of his last nine starts. The command profile is just so bad right now that it’s impossible to ignore. He has allowed 16 home runs in his last 10 starts.
Here are the best value hitters for August 18:
Travis Shaw ($2,100) – Why not? Let’s do it again. Yesterday, I selected Travis Shaw as a good value play and he homered and scored 19 points at a low salary of $2,000 on DraftKings. The same logic applies for tonight, as Shaw, a guy with good power, is taking on a pitcher with far worse command than Danny Salazar. Salazar threw the ball really well outside of that one mistake. Shaw now has five homers in just 58 at bats at the big league level and has shown good raw power throughout his minor league career.
Kike Hernandez ($2,800) – Enrique “Kike” Hernandez has made it tough for Don Mattingly to keep him out of the lineup. Hernandez owns a .414/.478/.793 slash in 67 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers this season and he draws one in Felix Doubront. It’s a small sample to be sure, but the Dodgers have been playing much better against southpaws of late and the Athletics are in a really bad spot here. It’s bad enough that Doubront is on the hill, but they’re a poor defensive team that got in late last night after a game in Baltimore. There are a lot of reasons to take guys like Hernandez and maybe even stack the Dodgers. Park factor is why I stayed away.
Yonder Alonso ($3,000) – Yonder Alonso and Matt Wisler were together in the San Diego organization, but they rarely crossed paths because of different development curves. Alonso may be familiar with Wisler and his stuff, but the bigger reason to play Alonso is that he provides great platoon value at a low cost. Alonso has a .276/.357/.391 slash against righties and Wisler has allowed a .336/.418/.606 slash against lefties in the big leagues. As one of the few everyday lefties in the Padres lineup, Alonso has a juicy matchup here.
Here are the best value pitchers for August 18:
Jake Odorizzi ($8,300) – I really like this matchup for Jake Odorizzi. The Astros are in one of their funks right now that young teams experience throughout the season and Odorizzi’s ability to change speeds and mix pitches is a good fit for the right-hander. Odorizzi has a great split-change that he’ll throw in any count and double-digit strikeouts are a possibility because of how his arsenal matches up against a lineup with a lot of swing and miss.
R.A Dickey ($7,000) – I don’t like to use batter vs. pitcher stats, but they carry more value someone like RA Dickey. The Phillies have 113 career PA against Dickey and not a whole lot of success. Knuckleballers are a rare breed in baseball and most of the Phillies don’t have a big sample size against them. The guys that can really hurt Dickey, like Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco have four combined plate appearances. Dickey should be very comfortable going against a NL lineup and he’s been a lot better during Toronto’s hot run.
Raisel Iglesias ($6,800) – This one is a gut intuition play given the state of the Royals. The Royals had Monday off after a big series win over the Angels and this seems like a game that they could sleepwalk through. The Royals have never seen Iglesias, who has shown great upside with more than a strikeout per inning on the season. The Royals will be down a hitter by playing in a NL park. Iglesias has a 4.70 ERA with a 3.53 FIP and a 3.65 xFIP, so there’s some room for growth there with some better sequencing luck. The Royals probably won’t be very invested in this game and I think that provides value with a pitcher that won’t be used in many lineups.