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Daily DraftKings Picks: Thursday, Aug 21

Yesterday was my worst day in a little while as my lineup scored just 76.30 points and barely squeezed into the top half of the $2 Moonshot. Things that went right: Lance Lynn, Stephen Drew, Nolan Arenado, and Rymer Liriano. Things that went wrong: Garrett Richards and my other Yankees. Lasting just 1.2 IP in his start at Fenway, Richards exited early with a serious looking knee injury that required he be carted off the field. I feel terrible for the kid who was having such a great season. My team was hurt, too!

My three hidden players were Jedd Gyorko (5.00 points), Liriano (14.00 points), and Richards (-3.85 points).

August 20

Wednesday’s Official Lineup (click to enlarge)

As if Thursday didn’t have few enough options to choose from, the day’s eight games are split across an early-late schedule. Ugh! Weather also appears to be a factor in the SF@CHC game with a reported 60% chance of heavy thunderstorms, and ATL@CIN has a chance at rain as well. I’ll be avoiding the SF@CHC game to the best of my ability (definitely not picking any pitchers), but I can’t avoid the ATL@CIN game. We’ll just have to play it by ear. This is a day where I will only submit my one Official Lineup. There are too few games for any edge I have in skill to manifest itself.

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Thursday’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.

With only four pitchers to choose from (I’m not picking the SF@CHC game), we’re going to see a lot of Clayton Kershaw — but not from me. I’m avoiding him all together. I tried to build a Kershaw lineup I liked, but it had so few offensive options that I felt risking it with a cheaper pitcher to save $5K-$7K would allow me to build an offense that would score more points than I lose by not choosing Kershaw. Gimme Ross here for the simple fact that of the three remaining pitchers, I had to choose two!

And clearly I didn’t select David Holmberg. Be prepared for about 80% of all entrants to select a ton of Braves, so I went a step further and selected ALL OF THE BRAVES. OK, not quite, but I have at least five in the lineup you see above, and I may even have included another in one of my hidden spots (hint: I did). There’s little explanation required here, particularly for Gattis, Freeman, Johnson, and Upton — they’re every day starters who can rake. Gosselin should get the start over Tommy La Stella facing the left-handed Holmberg.

Then there’s Trout. I have Trout because I had a ton of money left and if I don’t spend the dough it goes to waste. Here’s to hoping he lights up my Red Sox.

Thoughts on Thursday’s Games

I don’t see much point in building a Best Values section today because many of your selections will be motivated by avoiding certain batter-vs-pitcher matchups, cost, or, frankly, lack of other options. Here are some thoughts and a few players I like tonight.

Weather in Chicago Looks Good

Right now it looks bad, but the doppler radar seems to indicate after a short-to-moderate delay things could get underway and stay underway. I think it’s worth risking it on all players, both batters and pitchers, in this matchup.

Stack Against Kershaw in GPPs

If you’re looking for the contrarian play tonight in GPPs, stack some Padres. This strategy likely will blow up in your face, but if you have the bankroll to weather a potential throwaway $2 entry for a big reward (more akin to a lottery ticket than anything else), then go for it. Tommy Medica ($2,800) will probably be in there as will Jedd Gyorko ($3,500), Yangervis Solarte ($3,300), and probably some outfielders. Look, San Diego’s lineup is bad as it is, and the losses of Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley have left them completely unable to handle left-handed pitchers, but there’s always that chance. You’ll probably have a lot of money left over, too, so you can get Trout and Upton in there easily.

Select Holmberg in GPPs

Everyone will have Kershaw and stack Braves. How do you counter that? Don’t do one of those things. The Padres stack above will give you a longshot chance should Kershaw implode, and if Holmberg has a solid outing you’ll get cheap points while watching Braves stackers struggle.

Select Kershaw and Ross in Double-Ups

You don’t need to go for broke in 50/50 contests, so get the best pitcher and the second-best pitcher. It’s also OK to select a couple offensive players facing these pitchers (you’re guaranteed some points each time they face off) but don’t overdo it.

Players I Like

Finally, here are a couple players I like tonight (that aren’t on the Braves)

  • C: Christian Vazquez (BOS) vs. M. Shoemaker (LAA) — $2,700
  • C: Brayan Pena (CIN) vs. J. Teheran (ATL) — $2,600
  • 1B: David Ortiz (BOS) vs. M. Shoemaker (LAA) — $5,500
  • 1B: Albert Pujols (LAA) @ R. de la Rosa (BOS) — $5,300
  • 2B: None
  • 3B: Todd Frazier (CIN) vs. J. Teheran (ATL) — $4,400
  • SS: Andrelton Simmons (ATL) @ D. Holmberg (CIN) — $3,500
  • SS: Erick Aybar (LAA) @ R. de la Rosa (BOS) — $4,100
  • OF: B.J. Upton (ATL) @ D. Holmberg (CIN) — $3,400
  • OF: Jay Bruce (CIN) vs. J. Teheran (ATL) — $4,300
  • OF: Hunter Pence (SF) @ T. Wood (CHC) — $4,700
  • OF: Mike Morse (SF) @ T. Wood (CHC) — $4,300
  • OF: Mookie Betts (BOS) vs. M. Shoemaker (LAA) — $2,600
  • SP: Madison Bumgarner (SF) @ T. Wood (CHC) — $9,500
  • SP: Clayton Kershaw (LAD) vs. T. Ross (SD) — $14,400
  • SP: Matt Shoemaker (LAA) @ R. de la Rosa (BOS) — $7,300
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About the author: Bryan is the co-founder of Baseball Professor and works as a consultant specializing in operational metrics and efficiency analysis. When he’s not working, blogging, or tending to basic human needs, he enjoys pondering the vastness of the universe, rewatching episodes of Breaking Bad, and avoiding snakes. (@BaseballProf)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • gerg

    Well that pretty much leaves Shoemaker, Billy Hamilton, and B. J. Upton as your 3 hidden players?

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Don’t copy me.

      • gerg

        I will not.

  • Jecarl2

    Sitting today out, I’m disappointed they split the schedule in half. If this trend continues I will be finding another place to play. The trend has already seeped into the CFB leagues, next thing you know we will have split NFL game sets where you can’t use the players in the 4 pm games with the players in the noon games. smh

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Yeah I’m sitting out today, too, but there’s nothing greedy or scammy about this. There’s 4 1pm games and 4 7pm games. In the 1pm contests you can pick from all 8 games. Didn’t get a lineup made in time or don’t like playing early contests? Join the late one! It’s hard to build a DFS schedule on a day like today and you can’t NOT offer any contests. This is the best they could have done.

      • Jecarl2

        Bryan,

        I didn’t see any 1 pm contest that included the 7 pm games. That’s why I’m so frustrated. There’s a thread up on RotoGrinders about it also. You were forced to play an early set with 4 games or a late set with 4 games. No early sets with 8 games. Why have the late swap feature?

        They did it with the CFB for Saturday also. I was really looking forward to CFB but not so much anymore. I was a DK member before the DS acquisition so changes like these are concerning.

        • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

          Ah well I take it all back then! I’m hesitant to label that negative in terms of malicious intent — not sure what they’d have to gain from it. But it absolutely could be in response to user requests. Some people like me don’t play early contests because late-game lineups don’t come out until after the contests lock (even though you can make lineup switches) but admittedly I haven’t done enough research on this subject to know any more intricate pros and cons.

        • gerg

          Wait how can you tell they did that split for college football on saturday already?

          • Jecarl2

            I created a roster using the create roster tool. They do have Saturday leagues up as well, they are just mixed in with the Thurs games.

  • loyalanlee3

    I really don’t mind the split slates… So far this afternoon, I’ve cashed in in all my 50/50 games and expect to do the same this evening.
    Braves are going to be so popular it’s just silly! Basically pitching and a few role players will separate us from the pack.