MLB Daily Plays: Friday 8/16

David “headChopper” Kaplen
Rotoworld

Friday night MLB DFS is here, and that means a full slate of games to choose from.

As always, be sure to remember the heavy variance that comes with baseball and to be very aware of your bankroll management. Additionally, the RotoGrinders MLB lineups page and push notifications are the best way to get all team lineups in a timely manner.

Now, let’s dig in to find some top FanDuel and DraftKings daily fantasy baseball picks. 

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Pitcher

Charlie Morton (vs. Detroit Tigers)                

Overall this season we are dealing with a pitcher in Charlie Morton that struck out 30.5% of the batters he faces. That is an elite number. He’s turned himself into one of the best fantasy pitchers in the game, and despite some early career injuries, has managed to maintain his health and become very reliable this season. So, our pitcher pedigree is on point and now we need to take a look at the matchup. The Detroit Tigers represent an elite matchup for any pitcher these days. The most recognizable name is, a very past his prime, Miguel Cabrera. Their projected lineup has four hitters in it that strikeout more than 30% of the time against right-handers. It’s going to be difficult for this team to produce runs against this pitcher and they should strikeout at a pretty good rate tonight. If you want to save money then check out the two guys I have listed below, but pound for pound I think Charlie Morton is my highest projected pitcher on the night.            

Others to Consider: Jon Gray, Patrick Sandoval

Catcher/ First Base                

Daniel Murphy (vs. Miami Marlins)                            

Daniel Murphy certainly has underperformed this year in Colorado, but he still should draw the cleanup spot in the order tonight against a right-handed pitcher that is going to struggle in this environment. The key here is that Murphy represents a way to get exposure to this slate high 7.7 implied run total of Colorado without breaking the bank. He clocks in at $4,100 on DraftKings and only $3,000 on Fanduel. Despite a bit of a disappointing season, Murphy is still only striking out 13.4% of the time while this opposing pitcher is only striking out 13.6% of the left-handed batters he faces. Of Murphy’s contact, 51% is of the medium hit variety, so he should have opportunities to find gaps in Coors Field tonight.          

Others to Consider: Pete Alonso, Jesus Aguilar

Second Base  

Rougned Odor (vs. Minnesota Twins)                        

It seems like Odor finds his way into this write-up quite often and it’s mainly because his price never seems to increase over a certain point. So, he’s always affordable and he is a second baseman that offers homerun upside. He strikes out a ton, but he has delivered a .211 ISO and 41.6% hard-hit rate this season against right-handed pitchers. This game is being played in Texas, where it will be incredibly hot and hitter friendly weather, against a pitcher that has been prone to give up home runs. I’ll take my chances with an affordable second base home run threat over some of the higher priced guys at this position.           

Others to Consider: Cavan Biggio, Jose Altuve

Third Base      

Manny Machado (vs. Philadelphia Phillies)                

I’m looking for some power at third base and some of the solid options are too far out of the price range that I want to stick with for my hitters tonight. Manny Machado offers big power but clocks in with a great price on both sites. Opposing pitcher, Vincent Velasquez, will strike guys out but he will also give up a ton of hard hits. In fact, against right-handed batters this season he’s allowed a whopping 54.1% hard-hit rate. Machado has the benefit of playing this game in Philadelphia tonight, which is a huge upgrade over his home stadium out in San Diego. 

Others to Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Todd Frazier

Shortstop       

J.P. Crawford (vs. Toronto Blue Jays)                          

In general Seattle is a terrible offense but this game takes place in an extreme hitter’s park against a right-handed pitcher that has been terrible this year. Toronto starter Jacob Waguespack has a 5.14 xFIP, 40.2% hard-hit rate allowed and a measly 17.6% strikeout rate this season. As bad as Seattle is, they are highly unlikely to get shut out tonight and Vegas even has them creeping up around that 5 run team total. Against right-handed pitching this season, Crawford has, arguably, been there second-best hitter behind Daniel Vogelbach. Crawford has a .220 ISO, .355 wOBA and 41.4% flyball rate against right-handers in 2019. The main reason he jumps to the top of the charts for me is salary, where he clocks in as one of the best values at this position on the board. If you’re looking for raw points and you should find a way to squeeze Trevor Story in your lineup. However, in my builds I really want Charlie Morton so I’m looking for cheaper options at some of these thin positions and JP Crawford fits that description.             

Others to Consider: Trevor Story, Javier Baez

Outfield          

Randal Grichuk (vs. Seattle Mariners)           

Toronto is at home tonight with a nice 5.4 implied run total against a Seattle team that should employ a long reliever and a short opener in this game. There’s a good chance that that long reliever is left-hander Wade LeBlanc, so I’m going to be looking for the split platoon in this Toronto lineup. There are several candidates, but Randal Grichuk is a hitter that has always had a favorable advantage over left-handed pitching. Over the last two seasons he’s amassed a .214 ISO and 90.4 average exit velocity against left-handed pitching. He has a solid price tag for our roster and should land in that cleanup spot tonight.          

Tommy Pham (vs. Detroit Tigers)                   

I love to get some right-handed exposure in this Tampa Bay lineup tonight. They are at home taking on a left-hander that has struggled this year. Daniel Norris comes into this game with a 4.52 xFIP and has allowed 43.5% of the contact against him to reach 95 mph plus. Tommy Pham has always been thought of as a solid hitter and, in 2019, has clocked a .401 wOBA and 18.9% walk rate against left-handed pitching. There are several candidates in this lineup that I think it have good games, but the price tag on Pham is too intriguing for me to pass up on.              

Others to Consider: J.D. Martinez, Kyle Schwarber

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