FantasyDraft DFS Plays for August 2nd

Scott looks at both the early and late slates for the best places to spend your DFS dollars.

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Must Play SP: Max Scherzer, WAS ($25,000) vs CIN

Whoa, that’s a lot of dollars. How do you justify using 25% of your salary on a single slot? You start by realizing that in 22 starts, he’s averaging 26.63 points per outing. In fact, Mad Max has never given up more than 4 ER in any outing, and he’s allowed 2 or fewer ER in 82.6% of his starts this season. He’s struck out at least 7 batters 19 times and pitched at least 6 innings in all but one start (which was back on April 4th). $25,000 is a lot for a pitcher, but that’s because he’s the best. The Reds are a slightly above-average lineup against right-handers, ranking 10th in wOBA and 13th in wRC+, but don’t have a lot of power. They don’t scare me in the slightest against baseball’s best pitcher.

Honorable Mentions: Clayton Kershaw, LAD ($22,300) vs MIL, Andrew Heaney, LAA ($18,800) @ TB (early)

Value SP: Nick Pivetta, PHI ($16,200) vs MIA

He has broken our hearts on several occasions, but his strikeout upside and tantalizing stuff keep drawing us back in. He’s given up 9 ER over his last two starts, which might hurt your ratios in a season-long league, but all that matters in DFS is that he averaged 19.95 points in those two outings even with poor results thanks to those 21 strikeouts in just 11.2 innings. None of the other pitchers in the lower price tiers have Pivetta’s ability or upside, and though he’s been prone to blow-ups, you should roll with him in this favorable match-up against the Marlins, who rank among the 10 worst offenses against righties.

Honorable Mention: Mike Montgomery, CHC ($13,700) vs SD, Reynaldo Lopez, CWS ($12,800) vs KC (early)

IF/OF Adam Duvall, ATL ($7,800) @ NYM (LHP Jason Vargas)

The Braves brought in Duvall to platoon against left-handers, and tonight provides them with their first opportunity to see what they’ve got in their new slugger. Duvall has a .212 ISO against lefties so far this season and should find a spot in the lineup against Vargas, who over the past calendar year has given up a triple-slash of .296/.366/.554 to righties and has allowed 4+ runs in half of his starts this season. Duvall stands out as the only true power hitter from the right side in this lineup, so he’s my favorite choice to chase after the points Vargas will give up to hitters.

Honorable Mention: Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL ($9,200) @ NYM (LHP Jason Vargas)

IF Rougned Odor, TEX ($8,700) vs BAL (RHP Andrew Cashner)

Since July 1st, Odor has exactly 100 plate appearances. In that time, he’s hit 6 home runs, stolen 6 bases, and has a 45.5 hard contact rate. Additionally, 69 of those PA have come against righties, and he’s slugged a .333 ISO and a 1.165 OPS against them. Tonight’s game is in Arlington, which is consistently one of the best hitting environments in baseball, and features the routinely unimpressive Andrew Cashner, who is in the midst of his third consecutive season sporting a SIERA above 4.50 (currently 4.92). As long as Odor is hot, you’ve got to keep rolling with him — especially against weak righties like Cashner.

Honorable Mention: IF Joey Gallo, TEX ($9,300) vs BAL (RHP Andrew Cashner)

Value: IF Kendrys Morales, TOR ($7,200) @ SEA (RHP Felix Hernandez)

The old guy may not get to the 28+ dingers he hit in each of the past two seasons, but he’s still managing to hit right-handers hard as evidenced by his .351 wOBA against them so far this season. While he may not be an exciting name, he continues to bat in the heart of the Blue Jays order and should find success against Felix, who has just been entirely too hittable this season. Felix is coming off the worst start of the season after giving up 7 ER to the Angels last Saturday and his manager has indicated that his spot in the rotation may be in jeopardy. You hate to kick a (former) King while he’s down, but this looks like a good spot to throw the 35-year-old into your lineup, especially if you splurged on one of the expensive starters.

Honorable Mention: IF/OF Nicky Delmonico, CWS ($7,600) vs KC (RHP Brad Keller) (early)

Top Stack: Rangers vs Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner)

As mentioned earlier, Cashner is a very mediocre starter and plays on a very mediocre team. The Rangers primary weakness against righties has been the strikeout, and fortunately for them, Cashner has never been all that good at generating 3rd strikes (career 18.2% strikeout rate). Several lefties should be considered for your lineup, including the ageless Shin-Soo Choo, slugger Joey Gallo, the previously discussed Rougned Odor, and the switch-hitting Jurickson Profar.

Honorable Mentions: Braves @ Mets (LHP Jason Vargas), White Sox vs Royals (RHP Brad Keller) (early)

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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