MLB DFS Plays: Saturday 8/17

Brad Johnson
Rotoworld

This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We will take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups with our DFS Toolkit!

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We have a nine-game evening slate.

PITCHER

Eduardo RodriguezBoston Red Sox (vs Orioles)

There’s no question Jacob deGrom carries the top projection for the slate opposite the lowly Royals. However, Rodriguez isn’t too far from deGrom. The Red Sox southpaw has his own friendly matchup complete with an easy path to the win bonus. Among pitchers, he features the best combination of safe floor, massive ceiling, and value. The Orioles have the fifth-worst offense against left-handed pitching and carry a bloated 26.3 percent strikeout rate. Rodriguez typically records a strikeout per inning. He’s averaging just under six innings per start.

Also Consider: Jacob deGrom, Jose Suarez (value)

CATCHER / FIRST BASE

Yasmani GrandalMilwaukee Brewers (at Anibal Sanchez)

There’s really no shortage of high ceiling, high value first basemen tonight. For a change, let’s use this space to talk about a catcher. Grandal is in the midst of a career season largely because he’s erased his former platoon splits. That bears some small relevance tonight. The Nationals will be tempted to bring in a lefty reliever to face the trio of Trent Grisham, Grandal, and Christian Yelich atop the lineup. Since Matt Grace, their lone lefty specialist, is especially terrible against right-handed hitters, this almost ensures one very high value plate appearance late in the game. As for his matchup against Sanchez, it’s between neutral to moderately favorable for Grandal. He has a one-in-four chance for a home run. He’s also consistently the best bet for a multi-homer game among catchers.

Also Consider: Jorge Alfaro (value), Max Muncy, Daniel Murphy (value), Freddie Freeman, Joc Pederson (value), Rhys Hoskins (value), Matt Adams (value), Edwin Rios (value)

SECOND BASE

Isan Diaz – Miami Marlins (at German Marquez)

Marquez is on a roll lately, making him a stealthy pitching target similar in value to Jon Gray last night. Gray turned out to be the most valuable pitcher in a slate full of huge names (Charlie Morton matched Gray but cost nearly twice as much). In any case, I digress. The point is that the Marlins aren’t automatically a stack to use just because they’re visiting Coors Field. There’s a good chance Marquez turns in a tidy outing.

Individually though, Marlins like Diaz offer an intriguing combination of park-fueled upside and bargain basement pricing. The lefty-swinging second baseman has greater than 20 home run power to go with a reputation for hard line drive contact in the minors. He’s looked a little overmatched in the majors (36.2 percent strikeout rate) through 47 plate appearances. He projects for around a one-in-three chance to homer. Remember, even if Marquez pitches well, the Rockies bullpen is a disaster zone – especially at Coors Field.

Also Consider: Muncy, Ryan McMahon, Keston Hiura (value), Mike Moustakas (value), Starlin Castro (value), Luis Urias (value)

THIRD BASE

Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies (vs Hector Noesi)

While I have reservations about Marlins hitters, there should no such restriction for using Rockies. In fact, the only drawback to a fat Colorado stack is their excessive prices and popularity. Although he’s one of the most expensive players in the contest, Arenado is still a good dollar-for-dollar value. Noesi hasn’t made a useful major league appearance since 2017. Even at his best, he was never anything more than a spot starter. The Miami bullpen is equally exploitable. There’s potential for double-digit runs from the Rockies.

Also Consider: Rafael Devers, Jon Berti (value), Brian Anderson (value), Moustakas (value), Ty France (value), Rios (value)

SHORTSTOP

Manny Machado – San Diego Padres (at Zach Eflin)

Machado is visiting the Phillies and their ridiculously power friendly ballpark. Eflin is making his return to the rotation. He’s spent the last three weeks in the bullpen after a performance-based demotion in late-July. Like many pitchers his velocity played up in relief. That sometimes carries over to the next few starts before normalizing. In short, Eflin carries a wide range of outcomes today. Machado exists in a sweet spot of moderate price and lofty projection. He has around a one-in-four chance to homer. While Trevor Story is a better play if you have the cash, he costs over 40 percent more than Machado.

Also Consider: Trevor Story, Berti (value), Corey Seager, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner

OUTFIELD

Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies (vs Hector Noesi)

Blackmon is the top-projected hitter in the slate by more than a point. He features the most extreme home/road splits in the league, batting .408/.457/.796 at Coors Field. He also has a long reputation of mashing right-handed pitchers. The only way Blackmon could be more attractive tonight is if he were batting cleanup.

Trent Grisham – Milwaukee Brewers (at Anibal Sanchez)

Assuming he’s batting leadoff, Grisham is the top value play in the slate. He projects around the fringes of the top 10 outfielders, yet he’s priced like a deep bargain play. Grisham offers the full package. He’s a patient hitter with enough power, speed, and contact skills to contribute in myriad ways. He’ll have the platoon advantage against Sanchez and most of the Nationals bullpen.

Also Consider: Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario

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