DraftKings Plays of the Day—8/17

Rich Holman previews the Aug. 17 slate on DraftKings with his must-plays and best values of the day.

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Top Play SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($11,600) at KCR


Jacob deGrom is the no-brainer on today’s slate and will consequently most likely be the chalk in cash games. However, in cash games, I’m eating this chalk, as the matchup is too good compared to the alternatives. deGrom combines the best strikeout rate (31.6%) on the slate with the best pCRA (2.93) and gets a matchup with the Royals, who are still without Adalberto Mondesi. Since Mondesi went down on July 16th, the Royals have just a 76 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, which is fourth-worst in the league.

Honorable mention: Jon Lester, CHC ($8,600) at PIT.


Value SP: Taylor Clarke, ARI ($4,800) vs. SFG


Unlike my children, I am not proud of this decision, but the coupon clipper in me saw that price and was like, “Okay, I can work with that.” Don’t get me wrong, Taylor Clarke is not a fantastic pitcher. His 17.4% strikeout rate and 5.19 pCRA do not strike fear into anyone (except me worrying about a blowup). Just when I thought I was gonna bail on this writeup, I’m pushing on with the good news. Good news part one the roof is closed in Arizona, so the park will play as a pitcher’s park. Good news part two, his opponent, the Giants, has been just as not fantastic (I’m aware the grammar on this is not fantastic, but it relates to above). For the season, the Giants have an 86 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, fifth-worst in the league. As I said, I’m well aware that this is a dice roll, but clickity-clack, scared money don’t make money.

Honorable mention: Zach Eflin, PHI ($6,800) vs. SDP.


Top Play: OF Juan Soto, WAS ($5,000) vs. MIL


Jordan Lyles has struggled all year with left-handed-hitting, allowing a .263 ISO and .399 wOBA to southpaws this year. That spells good news for Juan Soto, who has crushed right-handed pitching all year. Soto has a 42.2% hard-hit rate against righties, which has led to a .274 ISO and .422 wOBA. The Nationals are also one of my favorite stacks on today’s slate.

Honorable mention: OF Austin Meadows, TBR ($5,000) vs. DET; OF Andrew Benintendi, BOS ($4,500) vs. BAL; OF Nick Castellanos, CHC ($4,400) at PIT.


Top Play: SS Jorge Polanco, MIN ($4,900) at TEX


The Twins have a smash-spot in Texas against Ariel Jurado, so I’m turning to my boy, Jorge Polanco to get my exposure. Polanco has been excellent against right-handed pitching, putting up a .216 ISO and .382 wOBA, while striking out just 14.9% of the time. He’s projected to hit in the two-hole when he faces Jurado. Jurado has struggled against both sides of the plate, allowing a 44.0% hard-hit rate to go along with his 4.96 SIERA. The Twins are one of my favorite stacks on today’s slate, but their price is really restricting.

Honorable mention: 1B/2B Max Muncy, LAD ($4,900) at ATL; 1B Mitch Moreland, BOS ($4,300) vs. BAL.


Value: OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($3,900) vs. CLE


Today’s the day; the day when Aaron Judge bursts out of his slump and clobbers three bombs. Okay, maybe I should reel it in a little. Today’s the day when Aaron Judge is too much of a value that I don’t care how bad of a slump he’s been in! Looking at the matchup, Zach Plesac has been good through 14 starts, sporting a 3.27 ERA. But wait, there’s more in the form of a 17.8% strikeout rate and 5.30 SIERA. The cherry on top is Plesac has reverse splits, allowing a .212 ISO to right-handed hitters. Today’s the day!

Honorable mention: OF Trent Grisham, MIL ($2,900) at WAS; 2B/3B Hanser Alberto, BAL ($3,700) at BOS; 1B Daniel Murphy, COL ($4,100) vs. MIA. 


Top Stack: Red Sox vs. Orioles (RHP Asher Wojciechowski)


We’re going to have to get creative with a Red Sox stack, but they have a 7.0 implied run total, so it’ll be worth it. The Sox face Asher Wojciechowski, who’s been mediocre in his eight starts. Wojciechowski has a 27.5% strikeout rate, which is supported by his 13.3% swinging-strike rate but has a tendency to give up the long-ball. Bombs have been hit in seven of his eight starts, with 11 taters being allowed in total. The top four in the Red Sox lineup, Mookie Betts ($5,200), Rafael Devers ($5,600), Xander Bogaerts ($5,100), and J.D. Martinez ($5,200), are really expensive, so I think the start of our stack would be in picking your two favorites. Step two of our stack building process is to lock in Andrew Benintendi ($4,500) and Mitch Moreland ($4,300). Then, if you want to make it a full five-man stack, you have your choice of the two cheaper bats at the bottom of the lineup in Jackie Bradley, Jr. ($3,700) and Marco Hernandez ($3,700). Good luck today!

Honorable mention: Twins at Rangers (RHP Ariel Jurado); Rockies vs. Marlins (RHP Hector Noesi); Nationals vs. Brewers (RHP Jordan Lyles); Brewers at Nationals (RHP Anibal Sanchez).


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. 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 nonpublic information.      

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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