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Daily DraftKings Picks: Friday, Aug 8

A sub-30 point effort on Wednesday gave way to a nice pair of showings for me yesterday. My Official Lineup scored 141.35 points thanks to a big performance by Jon Lester and some late-game homer heroics from both Kyle Seager and Giancarlo Stanton. In retrospect I wish I’d kept Russell Martin and Gregory Polanco in the lineup to complete my Pirates stack rather than make the swap for John Jaso and Melky Cabrera, who left the game early, but hindsight is always 20/20!

In my other lineup I kept Lester as well but mixed in the higher-priced Collin McHugh. Spending more on pitchers forced me to get a little more creative with my offensive spending, but Caleb Joseph paid off as he homered yet again, and Khris Negron held his own in the outfield for under $3K.

In my Official Lineup, my three hidden players were Gaby Sanchez (5.00 points), Stanton (16.00 points), and Lester (42.25 points).

August 7

My Official Lineup (left) and my other lineup (right)

For Friday we have a relatively straightforward day of games. Weather could potentially be an issue in the WAS@ATL game, but I don’t expect much trouble there — just something to keep an eye on. On the mound we have a pair of aces in Stephen Strasburg and Madison Bumgarner plus a few other reliable starters and then the usual high-risk dreck at the bottom.

Tonight’s $100,000 contest pays $20,000 to first place!

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Friday’s Official DraftKings Lineup

Note: Lineup subject to change due to weather and released MLB lineups. Check back before contest lineups lock for our final lineup.

  • C: Brian McCann (NYY) vs. T. Bauer (CLE) — $3,800
  • 1B: Adam LaRoche (WAS) @ E. Santana (ATL) — $4,100
  • 2B: Jason Kipnis (CLE) @ E. Rogers (NYY) — $4,400
  • 3B: Hidden
  • SS: Matt Duffy (SF) @ J. Vargas (KC) — $1,900
  • OF: Denard Span (WAS) @ E. Santana (ATL) — $4,400
  • OF: Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) vs. T. Bauer (CLE) — $4,300
  • OF: Hidden
  • SP: Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) vs. J. Quintana (CHW) — $9,500
  • SP: Hidden

I don’t want to spend for Strasburg or Bumgarner tonight because I’m not exactly convinced they’re guaranteed to do much/any better than Iwakuma, who has a 2.94 ERA and 0.99 WHIP on the season. Pitching in Safeco is always nice, and the White Sox are an opponent you can dominate for a 30+ point outing. In terms of recent production, Iwakuma has topped 30 points twice in his last six starts (vs. OAK, vs. MIN) and has been over 23 two other times (@BAL, @CLE). For the most part, those are tough matchups. His upside is high and his floor is high. That makes him worthy of a premium price tag.

There’s the potential for some big fireworks in New York tonight as Trevor Bauer and Esmil Rogers face off in Yankee Stadium. Consider all left-handed batters great plays this evening. I managed to sneak three players from this game into my lineup: McCann, Ellsbury, and Kipnis. All of them have affordable price points, averaging $4.16K, and all of them are capable of 15+ point efforts.

LaRoche and Span draw Ervin Santana, who’s had a fall from grace after his outstanding start. On the season left-handed batters have torched Santana, posting a .346 wOBA against him (.261 wOBA vs. RHB). LaRoche has been on fire of late with five runs, six hits, and two homers in his last three games. Span has owned Santana, going 10-for-27 (.379) with just one strikeout against Atlanta’s starter. Plus, Span has averaged 10.4 points over his last 10 games and is currently working on an 11-game hitting streak.

Duffy is today’s (un)hidden gem. Joe Panik has been getting regular playing time at second base for the Giants recently, but the right-handed Duffy has a great shot at starting against the left-handed Jason Vargas. And should Duffy start, there’s a good chance he bats second. Really, any player batting second is worthy of a $1,900 price tag, but Duffy actually has some upside. Honestly, I don’t know a ton about him and his development, but his minor league profile indicates this 6’2, 170 pound kid (hey, he’s only 24) could have some exciting upside. He’s stolen 20+ bases with OBPs pushing .400 in each of the last two seasons. There isn’t a ton of power to speak of, but that’s more than you can ask for from a guy with his cost to acquire.

Thoughts on Friday’s Action

Because I’ll be on the road today from 4:00-7:00 pm EST, it’s tough for me to fill out a Best Values section I feel comfortable endorsing (I won’t have a chance to see released lineups). In lieu of my normal late-day section, here are some thoughts I have on Friday’s matchups.

Most Popular Stacks

Yankees vs. T. Bauer (CLE), Indians @ E. Rogers (NYY), Angels vs. A. Webster (BOS)

Bauer is a fly ball pitcher so any Yankee batter is a good play, but left-handers are especially good in that park. Seriously, any Yankee left-hander gets a thumbs up from me tonight. … Pretty much the same thing goes for Indians batters against Esmil Rogers. … Allen Webster has more career walks than strikeouts and hasn’t flashed anything remotely resembling good stuff in his 30+ innings in the majors. Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Howie Kendrick — you name it. They’re all good options.

Mid-Range Stacks

Rangers @ B. Oberholtzer (HOU), Phillies vs. B. Colon (NYM), Dodgers @ K. Lohse (MIL), Giants @ J. Vargas (KC)

I’m not sure how popular a Rangers stack will be tonight, primarily because they’re not a good offensive team, but Oberholtzer is a fly ball LHP. … Colon is a slight fly ball pitcher who gets into trouble every now and again. He has a 5.19 FIP against the Phillies, Ben Revere has been hot, Ryan Howard has hit some homers recently, and Chase Utley is, well, solid. … Lohse is a fly ball pitcher going against a team that hits RHP well in an extreme hitter’s park. … Vargas is a fly ball pitcher so a stack including Duffy (see: Official Lineup), Hunter Pence, Buster Posey, and Michael Morse could be rewarding.

Risky Stacks To Set You Apart

Padres @ V. Worley (PIT), Nationals @ E. Santana (ATL), Red Sox @ J. Weaver (LAA)

Don’t look now, but the Padres have the 2nd-best wOBA in baseball over the last two weeks! Worley is masquerading as an effective starter (2.43 ERA, 3.99 SIERA) and he doesn’t have enough strikeout punch to be scary. … I have a couple Nationals in my Official Lineup above, but stacking a few others could be a smart strategy that I don’t think many people will employ. … Weaver has a career 3.27 ERA and 3.97 SIERA, and his current 4.24 SIERA is his highest since 2009 (4.25). Trade deadline sellers or not, make no mistake about the makeup of Boston’s roster. They have some bats. And those bats can hit. It’s just that they usually don’t hit, and that’s why they’re in last place. Avoid Brock Holt at all costs, but if you’re feeling lucky try a Dustin Pedroia-Yoenis Cespedes-Mike Napoli-Xander Bogaerts-Will Middlebrooks stack. And if Mookie Betts cracks the starting lineup, consider him, too.

Pitchers I Like

These are the guys I feel comfortable building a lineup around.

  • Stephen Strasburg (WAS) @ E. Santana (ATL) — $9,900
  • Madison Bumgarner (SF) @ J. Vargas (KC) — $9,700
  • Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) vs. J. Quintana (CHW) — $9,500
  • Scott Kazmir (OAK) vs. K. Gibson (MIN) — $8,800
  • Mike Leake (CIN) vs. N. Eovaldi (MIA) — $7,700

Pitchers Who Intrigue Me

These are the guys who have upside but also question marks.

Pitchers Meant for GPPs

These are the guys that few people will pick but who could be worth every penny…and then some!

Pitchers I’m Avoiding

These are the guys who I have little faith in or who’s price tag makes them unpickable.

  • Kyle Lohse (MIL) vs. R. Hernandez (LAD) — $8,100
  • R.A. Dickey (TOR) vs. A. Sanchez (DET) — $7,700
  • Justin Masterson (STL) @ C. Tillman (BAL) — $5,700
  • Allen Webster (BOS) @ J. Weaver (LAA) — $5,400
  • Esmil Rogers (NYY) vs. T. Bauer (CLE) — $5,000

Do you like this new section with stacks and pitcher grouping or do you prefer the old Best Values section? I want to do what’s most helpful for you, the reader, so let me know which style you prefer and I’ll try to make that my default!


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  • Jecarl2

    Wow-Caleb Joseph again!! What are your thoughts on d’ Arnaud tonight? He has had Burnett’s number this year and comes in at $2800 I believe.

    I didn’t play last night so out of curiosity-what was Josephs % owned? Thks!

    • Joseph was 14% owned in the $4K Flare last night (920 entries).

      Regarding d’Arnaud, I suppose for the price it’s not a bad risk but I wouldn’t put too much stock into a guy’s performance in 6 PA against a pitcher. He does have a homer, but he also has a 33.0 K%! (2 Ks in 6 PA — sounds funny when you look at it like that). But again while I don’t ever consider him a good chance at points, his price can make him worthy of selecting and he could succeed on any given day.

  • gerg

    How about an Astros stack against Mikolas tonight? Altuve, Singelton, Castro, and maybe Marwin Gonzalez or Dominguez?

    • To be honest, there’s something about Mikolas that makes me wonder if we’re underrating him and he’s actually a deceptively average pitcher. Houston can erupt any night and they tend to be on the more affordable side so that’s nice. I also feel like any Houston stack right now needs to include Carter.

  • gerg

    Also any thoughts on my outfield of Trumbo, Brantley, And Trout? Thanks prof!!

    • Premier players in good matchups so nothing to complain about there.

  • loyalanlee3

    Last night’s contests were much better! 149.00 and 168.00.
    Looking forward to tonight as well, feeling Brantley and Hamilton for big numbers!

  • gerg

    Ya last night was sweet. Scored 185 in the 27 dollar gpp. How I went from 14 points the night before to 185 kinda boggles my mind!

    • loyalanlee3


  • loyalanlee3

    What are your thoughts on Leake tonight? He got the fins for 21.3 points last time against them. Think he can fool them twice or do hitters usually perform better the second time against a pitcher?
    Also, I live in Atlanta and it’s raining pretty good here right now…

    • I very much like Leake tonight. I haven’t done analysis on that personally, but I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that when a pitcher faces a team twice within like 10 days then the pitcher has the advantage. Outside of 10 days I haven’t heard anything either way.

      Edit: Regarding the weather, the doppler radar is unconvincing but I feel like they’ll get the game in, though there will likely be one or more delays.

  • Brendan

    I much prefer the “Best Values” section. I like how it gives me some players to consider at every position and makes it easier selecting a lineup, especially if I want to deviate a lot from your official lineup.

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