DraftKings Plays of the Day—8/18

Ryan Amore details his DraftKings plays for this afternoon's 9-game slate.

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Top Play SP: Jack Flaherty, STL ($9,700) at CIN

Mike Clevinger is today’s top arm with an astronomical 35.5% K rate (27.2% K-BB%). Needless to say he has the ability to post a tremendous score, but given his high price ($11,100) and tough draw against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium I’m tempted to take the discount with Jack Flaherty (20.9% K-BB%). Over his last five starts, Flaherty has been sublime with a 29.4% K-BB% rate and 0.77 WHIP. Today he’ll get the Reds who have been a below-average offense this year against RHP (.314 wOBA; 89 wRC+). They are also dealing with some injuries of late to Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, and Joey Votto which could potentially give Flaherty a boost here. The Cardinals are sizeable road favorites (-155) while the Reds have an implied total just barely over four runs.

Honorable mention: Clevinger, CLE ($11,100) at NYY (C.C. Sabathia)

Value SP: Max Fried, ATL ($8,100) vs. LAD

This looks like a really tough slate for value pitching as there aren’t too many decent options. We’ll go with Max Fried. Unlike most of the other options at or below this price range, Fried has shown some legitimate ability with a 23.3% K rate and 4.04 SIERA. And he’s shown some big upside too. Case in point? His start against the Twins where he punched out ten across five and a third innings of work. He gets a tough opponent in the visiting Dodgers. Thankfully for Fried the Dodgers have been a much better offense against RHP. Against Lefties they’ve been just slightly above average with a .329 team wOBA (13th) and 104 wRC+. He’ll at the very least hold the platoon advantage against some of their tougher hitters in Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, and Corey Seager.

If you are looking to completely punt at SP 2, Thomas Pannone could be worth a look. He’ll follow the opener Wilmer Font for the Blue Jays. He hasn’t been too good with just 21.8% K rate and 4.75 SIERA but at his $4,600 salary he doesn’t need to do too much to return value.

Honorable mention: Pannone ($4,600) vs SEA (Kikuchi)

Top Play: SS Bo Bichette, TOR ($4,800) vs. SEA

The hype for Bo Bichette has been justified in the early going. Through his first 85 plate appearances he’s rocking a .432 wOBA, 174 wRC+, and 1.075 OPS. He’ll cool down, probably, but there’s no reason to expect that to happen today as the Blue Jays get a great matchup against the lefty Yusei Kikuchi who has been awful this year with a 16.9% K rate and 5.12 SIERA. The Blue Jays also boast a huge implied total just under six runs.

The Mets are another team with an exploitable matchup against Glenn Sparkman (6.9% K-BB%, 5.49 SIERA). He’s allowed a .372 wOBA against lefties this year. This would appear to set up nicely for Michael Conforto.

Honorable mentions: OF Andrew Benintendi ($4,900) vs BAL (Blach); OF Marcell Ozuna ($4,900) at CIN (Wood); OF Michael Conforto ($4,700) at KC (Sparkman); OF Yasiel Puig ($4,600) at NYY (Sabathia); 3B Josh Donaldson ($4,900) vs LAD (Gonsolin).

Top Play: OF Mookie Betts, BOS ($5,300) vs. BAL

The Red Sox are in another likely eruption spot as they close out their three-game set against the Orioles today. Lefty Ty Blach (0% K-BB%, 6.29 SIERA) will be asked to eat some innings for the Orioles today. For his career he’s allowed a .342 wOBA to RHB. This lines up really well for the leadoff man Mookie Betts whose Red Sox hold the top implied total of the slate at just under a whopping eight runs.

I’d be remiss to not at least mention Christian Yelich at this point. He’s amazing. After yet another huge game in last night’s extra inning affair today he gets another fantastic opportunity against the righty Erick Fedde who has been dreadful with a 3.2% K-BB% and 5.59 SIERA. Lefties have also tagged him for a .378 wOBA this year.

Honorable mentions: OF J.D. Martinez ($5,300) vs BAL (Blach); SS Xander Bogaerts ($5,400) vs. BAL (Blach); OF Christian Yelich ($5,600) at MIL (Fedde); 1B Peter Alonso ($5,100) at KC (Sparkman); 3B Anthony Rendon ($5,400) vs. MIL (Anderson); 1B Freddie Freeman ($5,100) vs LAD (Gonsolin)

Value: 3B/SS Manny Machado, SD ($4,100) at PHI

This is just too good of a price to pass up for Manny Machado who gets a favorable park shift and a plus matchup against the lefty Jason Vargas. Vargas has performed admirably this year with an ERA of 4.03 but there is plenty of reason to be suspicious here with just an 8.9% K-BB% and 5.39 SIERA.

At a near identical price is Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200) who has killed lefties to the tune of a .423 wOBA for his career. This looks like a good time to jump aboard against the lefty Alex Wood (14.5% K-BB%, 4.60 SIERA).

Honorable mentions: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.($4,000) vs SEA (Kikuchi); OF Tommy Pham ($3,900) vs DET (Boyd); OF Wil Myers ($3,900) at PHI (Vargas); 2B Joe Panik ($3,300) at KC (Sparkman); 1B Paul Goldschmidt ($4,100) at CIN (Wood); 2B/3B Mike Moustakas ($4,100) at WAS (Fedde), OF Trent Grisham ($3,500) at WAS (Fedde), OF Teoscar Hernandez ($4,100) vs SEA (Kikuchi), 1B Rhys Hoskins ($3,900) vs SD (Lucchesi).

Top Stack: BOS vs. BAL (Blach)

The Red Sox figure to be the popular target today for bats. And it’s hard to argue given the circumstances, most especially their implied total which is sitting at just under eight runs. Ty Blach hasn’t been good this year (6.29 SIERA, 0% K-BB%) and has shown next to no bat-missing ability with just a 12.5% K rate for his career. He’s struggled more against RHB (.342 wOBA allowed to RHB for his career) and now he’ll be asked to tame one of the best offenses in baseball at a park that amplifies righty power. Given the matchup to start, you have to give the edge to the big righty bats but this whole lineup top to bottom is fair game. Keep in mind that Blach has topped out at 76 pitches this year so we will certainly be seeing a fair bit of the O’s pen today. Orioles relievers have combined for a 6.30 ERA this year. The Nationals are a comparatively distant 2nd at 5.98. Provided the Red Sox run out their full lineup this afternoon, there is a ton of upside here.

Speaking of the Nationals and their bullpen. They’ll be starting Erick Fedde who has really struggled this year with just a 3.2% K-BB% rate and 5.59 SIERA. Last night the Nationals had to dig deep into their pen as Anibal Sanchez only lasted four innings. There is some good upside for the Brewers today especially if they able to chase Fedde early.

Honorable mentions: TOR vs SEA (Kikuchi); MIL at WAS (Fedde); CLE at NYY (Sabathia)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sammybaugh) 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.

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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