FantasyDraft DFS Plays for August 19

Scott looks at the best DFS hitters and pitchers in today's ace-less early action.

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Note that in FantasyDraft’s contests today, the 4:05pm and 8:00pm start times are excluded, which explains the following lack of conversation about the aces that will be featured in those games.

Must Play SP: Mike Clevinger, CLE ($19,700) vs BAL

A good pitcher with high strikeout upside on a good team against a bad pitcher on a bad team that strikes out a lot? That’s exactly what a DFS player looks for, especially when there are no true aces taking the mound. Clevinger is by no means perfect — he’s given up 4+ walks twice and 2+ home runs twice in his last 5 outings — but against an offense that ranks in the bottom third of the league in strikeout rate, walk rate, wOBA, and wRC+, I’m not too concerned. Even if he allows a few walks or runs, his ability to strike out plenty of Orioles (and to come away with a W) should more than make up for it.

Honorable Mentions: J.A. Happ, NYY ($20,400) vs TOR, German Marquez, COL (18,000) @ ATL

Value SP: Jake Odorizzi, MIN($12,900) vs DET

When an already bad team loses their Hall-of-Fame slugger to injury and tries to trade away anything that isn’t nailed down, you get the Tigers. Over the lats 30 days, they have a 68 wRC+, meaning they are 32% below an average offense, the 2nd worst mark in baseball. Against righties on the season, the Tigers rank in the bottom 3 in virtually every offensive metric (except for strikeout rate, where they are perfectly average). Odorizzi hasn’t thrown more than 6.0 innings in any start this season, but he’s tallied 8+ strikeouts in 4 of his last 9. He’ll be a popular play today, but in such a favorable match up at such a favorable price, he’s probably worth it anyway.

Honorable Mentions: Luis Castillo, CIN ($14,500) vs SF, Anibal Sanchez, ATL ($15,100) vs COL

IF: Elias Diaz, PIT ($8,300) vs CHC (Jose Quintana)

The backup backstop has slugged his way into an amazing 167 wRC+ against lefties in his 71 plate appearances against them, and the hit parade should keep coming against the perplexing Jose Quintana, who has allowed 5+ runs in 3 of his last 4 outings and a .344 wOBA to righties. He should bat right in the middle of the order (probably in the 5 or 6 hole), hopefully behind fellow righty Josh Bell, who has also found success against southpaws.

Honorable Mention: Josh Bell, PIT ($7,500) vs CHC (Jose Quintana)

OF: Shohei Ohtani, LAA ($7,900) vs TEX (Bartolo Colon)

Wow. Just wow. A .627 SLG, .419 wOBA, 172 wRC+, and .323 ISO against right-handed pitching. Shohei Ohtani has been much more exciting at the plate than we ever could have hoped for. His match up tonight isn’t against a guy with massive platoon splits for his career (and trust me, sample size is NOT the issue), but knowing that Big Fat Bartolo is coming after him with heaters, and knowing that Ohtani has also crushed fastballs (.448 wOBA against the fourseamer), we can feel pretty comfortable that Ohtani is going to get a few looks at some pitches he really likes. This game is in Arlington, where the ball absolutely flies out of the park, so there’s that, too.

Honorable Mention: Kole Calhoun, LAA ($9,200) vs TEX (Bartolo Colon)

Value Hitter: IF Yandy Diaz, CLE ($7,200) vs (Yefry Ramirez)

Yandy has been talked about for quite some time now due to his elite power, massive arms, and his tendency to put the ball straight into the ground. This pick is less about Yandy himself — though he has gone 9/19 against righties this season — and more about his lineup spot and opportunity. He’s been plugged into the 3/4 spot in the lineup for two straight days, and if that continues, I like his chances to put up plenty of points against an extremely average right-hander, especially if Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor also find their way into the lineup.

Honorable Mention: Adeiny Hechavarria, PIT ($6,600) vs CHC (Jose Quintana)

Stack: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs (Jose Quintana)

I talked about him earlier, but Jose Quintana has been prone to bad outings all season long and has been noticably vulnerable to righties (allowing 38.3% hard contact and a 1.60 HR/9) and the Pirates feature several bats from the right side that can take advantage. Five Pirate regular sport a wOBA above .340 against southpaws this season, including the previously mentioned Elias DiazJosh Bell, and Adeiny Hechavarria, and also Francisco Cervelli, and David Freese.

Honorable Mention: Cleveland Indians vs Baltimore Orioles (Yefry Ramirez)

Pitcher List is excited to be partnering with FantasyDraft, featuring advice articles every morning through the entirety of the 2018 season. Signup and play for free at FantasyDraft.

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here bat Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor and mascot for Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and a 3x FSWA Award Finalist. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, cartoon connoisseur, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

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