DFS Plays of the Day – August 17

Rich Holman previews the top DFS plays for August 17th's slate.

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Hope you had a great weekend! We have 11-game slates on both DraftKings and FanDuel to start the week. The pitching slate is thin towards the top, with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zac Gallen, and Chris Bassitt facing very hot offenses. Those are three of the four highest priced pitchers on DraftKings, with the fourth being Matt Boyd—hard pass. So, we’ll head down to the next tier of pitchers. However, poor pitchers mean fun times for hitting and bonus, we don’t have Coors to worry about. FTN’s Lineup Optimizer has 10 teams with a projected run total over 5 runs, with two teams sitting over the 6 run mark. Let’s start your week off right with a breakdown of today’s DFS slate brought to you by our friends over at Fade The Noise.


Top SP: Zach Davies, SD ($8,200 DK, $7,800 FD) at TEX


If it makes you feel better, this feels weird to me too. Like when your step-mother says she loves you for the first time and you’re not sure how to respond. Zach Davies has changed up his pitch mix to fade his sinker while increasing the usage of his cutter. The results have been good to start the year, posting a 2.78 ERA and a 3.5% walk rate. Those stats include a game against the Dodgers and one in Coors. Davies gets the Rangers in the new Globe Life Park. Even a trip to Coors couldn’t right the ship for the Rangers, who averaged five runs per game against the Rockies. Not terrible, but not what you expect in Coors. For the year, the Rangers have posted a .279 wOBA against right-handed pitchers. That number does not top .300 over the last 7 or 14 days despite that series in Coors. As long as the roof is closed in Arlington, I’m comfortable with Davies as a high floor/low upside play.

Just a quick note on the higher-priced pitchers on today’s slate. Hyun-Jin Ryu gets a matchup in Baltimore with an Orioles team that leads the league in all of the meaningful categories against lefties: wOBA, ISO, wRC+, OPS—you name it, they lead it. I love Zac Gallen just as much as you do, but there’s no way I’m running out a pitcher against the Athletics right now. The A’s have been absolutely mashing of late, posting a .361 wOBA against right-handed pitching over the last 14 days. On the other side of the mound is Chris Bassitt, who gets a hot Diamondbacks team that has put up a .376 wOBA against righties over the last 7 days. While I understand those last two are somewhat small samples, I buy into hot streaks and those teams are going streaking!

Honorable Mentions: Griffin Canning, LAA ($8,200 DK, $7,800 FD) vs. SF


Value SP: Jordan Montgomery, NYY ($7,800 DK, $7,000 FD) vs. BOS


You know the pitching is thin when we’re actively playing a lefty against the Red Sox. Granted, the Red Sox are a shell of their former selves. For the year, Boston has posted a .329 wOBA against lefties which is around league average. However, if we zoom in a little bit, that number dwindles to .294 over the last 14 days. The Sox face Jordan Montgomery to close out their four-game set with the Yankees. JorMont hasn’t exactly hit his stride as he’s put up a 5.17 ERA while striking out just 15.4% of the batters he’s faced. To be fair, Montgomery hasn’t had the easiest of schedules to start the year, facing the Red Sox, Phillies, and Braves to open the season. He pitched well against the Red Sox, going 5.2 IP while allowing one earned run and striking out four. What I really like about Montgomery is that he’s keeping the ball on the ground, while limiting the hard contact (33.3%). He’s also limited the free passes he’s issued, walking just three batters over his first three starts.

Honorable Mentions: Ross Stripling, LAD ($7,900 DK, $8,100 FD) vs. SEA


OF Mookie Betts, LAD ($6,100 DK, $4,300 FD) vs. SEA


Is this cheating? I feel like this is cheating. Other than Mike Trout, Mookie Betts is FTN’s Lineup Optimizer’s top projected outfielder. That same optimizer has the Dodgers projected for a slate topping 6.3 runs total, so I wanted to highlight the Dodgers bats somewhere in here. Mookie has been on a tear, reaching base safely in every game over the past week while going 11/32 with four HRs, eight Runs, nine RBI, and a stolen base. Today the Dodgers take on the Mariners who are tossing Justin Dunn to the wolves. Dunn currently sports a -3.3 K-BB% and I think that’s all you’re going to need to know about the Mariners’ starter. The bullpen hasn’t been much better for Seattle, who have posted a 6.28 ERA for the season.

Honorable Mentions: Nelson Cruz, OF ($5,700 DK, $4,100 FD) vs. KC; Marcell Ozuna, OF ($4,700 DK, $3,200 FD) vs. WAS; Willie Calhoun, OF ($4,200 DK, $3,300 FD) at COL; Shin-Soo Choo, OF ($4,700 DK, $3,800 FD) at COL.


1B Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5,300 DK, $3,900 FD) vs. WAS


The Braves are one of my favorite stacks on today’s slate as they face Anibal Sanchez and his 9.69 ERA. If all goes the way we expect it, they’ll then get the bad side of the Nats bullpen—aka everyone not named Daniel Hudson. The Braves as a team have raked against right-handed pitching, putting up a .340 wOBA on the year. That’s good for third-best in the league. Freddie Freeman has mashed righties to open the year to the tune of a .306 ISO and .411 wOBA while walking 18.3% of the time. With Acuña on the IL, the Braves will look to the lefty slugger to put the team on his shoulders and carry them to the promised land.

Honorable Mentions: Luke Voit, 1B ($4,500 DK, $3,400 FD) vs. BOS; Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF ($5,100 DK, $4,200 FD) vs. SEA; Tim Anderson, SS ($4,500 DK, $3,200 FD) vs. DET; Alex Bregman, 3B ($5,200 DK, $3,900 FD) vs. COL


Value Batter: C Travis d’Arnaud, ATL ($2,500 DK, $3,300 FD) vs. WAS


Sorry, I know I just touched on the Braves, but to be fair, that was before I realized Travis d’Arnaud was so cheap on DK. Obviously, you’ll have to check FTN’s Lineup Page to make sure he’s in the lineup, but d’Arnaud has been mashing to start the year. On the year, d’Arnaud is batting .333 with seven extra-base hits. He’s hit righties particularly hard, posting a .406 ISO and .555 wOBA in the early going. If he is in the lineup, he’s likely to be chalk on DK, but this is essentially a punt price on a catcher anyway, making this good chalk.

Honorable Mentions: Byron Buxton, OF ($3,800 DK, $3,000 FD) vs. KC; JaCoby Jones, OF ($3,400 DK; $2,900 FD) at CHW; Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B ($3,400 DK, 2,200 FD) at CHW; Dominic Smith, 1B/OF ($4,000 DK; $3,300 FD) at MIA


Lineup Stack: Tigers at White Sox (LHP Gio Gonzalez)


The Yankees and Dodgers are both super expensive, so I figured I’d highlight my favorite way to be able to afford them – the Tigers! Not impressed yet? You will be. On the year, the Tigers have posted a .393 wOBA against southpaws. That’s good for second-best in the league and better than the Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, Braves, etc. They’ve also posted a .278 team ISO against lefties; also second-best in the league. The cherry on top is they’re super cheap. The most expensive bat in this stack is Jonathan Schoop ($4,300 DK, $2,900 FD). My favorites from this team are Miguel Cabrera ($3,600 DK, $2,600 FD), Jeimer Candelario ($3,400 DK, $2,200 FD), Austin Romine ($3,400 DK, $2,200 FD), and JaCoby Jones ($3,400 DK, $2,900 FD). The Tigers’ righties should have their way with Gio Gonzalez and then they’ll get a White Sox bullpen that has posted a 4.47 ERA over the past 14 days. Good luck today!

Honorable Mentions: Yankees vs. Red Sox; Twins vs. Royals; Dodgers vs. Mariners; Braves vs. Nationals; White Sox vs. Tigers; Astros vs. Rockies

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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Rich Holman

Tax Auditor by day (I promise I'm not the devil), dad to twin velociraptors by night. Complete sports junkie. Philly fan that only boos occasionally.

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