DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

All player prices are as of Friday, August 14

Pitchers

Corey Kluber, CLE (Fri. at MIN), $10,600 – The reigning Cy Young winner was dominant against the Twins on Sunday, striking out 10 batters in a one-run, three-hit complete game. Though they aren't an awful offensive team on the whole, the Twins have a righty-dependent lineup that matches up terribly with Kluber, who has limited right-handed batters to a .227 wOBA this season, ranking fourth among all qualified starters. The Twins rank in the bottom third of the league in most key categories against right-handed pitching, including 23rd in strikeout rate (20.7 percent) and 24th in wOBA (.302). Best of all, Kluber comes at a surprisingly affordable price for a pitcher of his caliber, partially because he's been up-and-down over the last couple weeks.

Jose Quintana, CWS (Sat. vs. CHC) – Quintana gave up four runs in Kansas City his last time out but has mostly been fantastic since struggling through a rough April. Despite the slow start, he owns a 3.59 ERA, 3.45 xFIP and 127:31 K:BB ratio in 148 innings this season, further supported by career-best marks in swinging-strike (9.7 percent) and ground-ball (47.5 percent) rate. He pitches like a No. 2 starter but is usually priced like a No. 3 on DraftKings, and he could turn in an ace-like performance against the Cubs' whiff-happy lineup. The North Siders rank dead last in strikeout rate for the season (23.9 percent) and 29th in strikeout rate over the last 30 days (23.2 percent).

Mike Fiers, HOU (Sun. vs. DET) – There are some enticing high-end pitching options on the Sunday slate, led by strikeout artists Carlos Carrasco and Chris Sale. Fiers obviously isn't anywhere near their caliber, but with 131 strikeouts in 129.2 innings he does bring quite a bit of upside to the table for his price range. He'll also draw a sneakily favorable matchup, as things get pretty ugly at the bottom of the Tigers' injury and trade-depleted lineup. Consistently one of the top hitting teams over the past few seasons, the Tigers rank 19th in strikeout rate (21.4 percent) and 20th in wOBA (.307) over the last 30 days. They should still fare alright versus lefties but will likely struggle badly against right-handers the rest of the season.

Other options:Robbie Ray, ARI (Fri. at ATL), $7500; Julio Teheran, ATL (Fri. vs. ARI), $7000; Jimmy Nelson, MIL (Sat. vs. PHI); Justin Verlander, DET (Sat. at HOU); Jake Peavy, SF (Sat. vs. WAS); Carlos Carrasco, CLE (Sun. at MIN); Chris Sale, CWS (Sun. vs. CHC)

Batters

C Derek Norris, SD (at COL), $4200 – I'll happily pay the price premium for these ideal circumstances, as Norris not only escapes Petco Park for Coors Field, but also gets to face weak lefties both Friday (Yohan Flande) and Sunday (Chris Rusin). While his splits may be surprisingly modest this season, the Padres' backstop still owns an .833 career OPS against left-handers, compared to a .643 mark versus righties. He's not worth using on Saturday against right-handed Jon Gray, but Norris is a top choice for the other two days this weekend.

1B Chris Davis, BAL (vs. OAK), $5000 – Arguably the hottest hitter in all of baseball, Davis has six home runs in his last 10 games, averaging 14.9 DraftKings points over that span. His price is at its highest point in quite some time, but with Davis swinging like the 2013 version of himself, the potential for a multi-homer game is well worth $5000 of your budget. The matchups are also working in his favor, with Oakland's Friday starter likely coming up from Triple-A Nashville, followed by Chris Bassitt on Saturday and Kendall Graveman on Sunday.

2B/SS Wilmer Flores, NYM (vs. PIT), $3300 – Flores only has 77 at-bats against left-handed pitchers this season, but he's at least managed to make the most of them, posting a .299/.349/.532 slash line. While he isn't a good enough hitter to maintain that production over a larger sample size, Flores has plus power for a middle infielder and should at least be decent against lefties in the long run. He'll face two very hittable southpaws this weekend, with J.A. Happ (Friday) and Jeff Locke (Sunday) sandwiched around right-handed Charlie Morton (Saturday). Also, the Mets make for an underrated and very cheap stacking option against both of those lefties.

OF Ryan Braun, MIL (vs. PHI), $4700 – Braun will likely have a high ownership rate throughout the weekend, but the value here is just too good to pass up. Coming off consecutive showings of 20-plus DraftKings points, Milwaukee's star slugger gets to face the hideous Philadelphia pitching staff, starting with Friday's matchup against left-handed Adam Morgan. The Brewers may not be as fun to stack as they used to be, but Braun, Khris Davis, Jonathan Lucroy and Adam Lind could all be in for big weekends.

OF Yoenis Cespedes, NYM (vs. PIT), $4300 – Cespedes draws the same favorable matchups as Wilmer Flores, with the Mets luckily avoiding both Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano in their upcoming series against the Pirates. The Mets may not seem like an attractive stacking option, but if you look at the prices on their right-handed bats, there are quite a few that jump out as bargains. Cespedes is the crown jewel of the bunch, but $4300 is far still far from a king's ransom.

Other options:C Jonathan Lucroy, MIL (vs. PHI), $3300; 1B/OF Michael Cuddyer, NYM (vs. PIT), $3200; 2B Chase Utley, PHI (at MIL), $2800; 3B Evan Longoria, TB (at TEX), $4100; 3B/SS Xander Bogaerts, BOS (vs. SEA), $3900; OF Justin Upton, SD (at COL), $5700; OF Adam Jones, BAL (vs. OAK), $4200; OF Preston Tucker, HOU (vs. DET), $3300

Lineup Stacks

Friday

Rays at TEX's Martin Perez
Blue Jays vs. NYY's Ivan Nova
Mets vs. PIT's J.A. Happ
Red Sox vs. SEA's Mike Montgomery
Cardinals vs. MIA's Tom Koehler
Astros vs. DET's Alfredo Simon
Brewers vs. PHI's Adam Morgan
Padres at COL's Yohan Flande

Saturday night

Brewers vs. PHI's Jerome Williams
Mets vs. PIT's Charlie Morton
Pirates at NYM's Jon Niese
Cardinals vs. MIA's Brad Hand
Rockies vs. SD's Andrew Cashner
Dodgers vs. CIN's David Holmberg

Sunday

Mets vs. PIT's Jeff Locke
Orioles vs. OAK's Kendall Graveman
Red Sox vs. SEA's Vidal Nuno
White Sox vs. CHC's Dan Haren
Cardinals vs. MIA's Justin Nicolino
Padres at COL's Chris Rusin
Angels at KC's Yordano Ventura

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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