MLB DFS Main Slate Advice | Picks, Stacks, Strategy Projections Today August 17th | Fanduel Draftkings

Hello again everybody, and welcome to today’s MLB Full Count breakdown! I’m nilly and I run the carnage report and DraftKings tiers tools. I also coach NASCAR, so be sure to check us out every weekend over there, too. We have a split-slate day today: 6 early games with 9 coming in for the main slate. Though the slates look fairly similar when you average everything out, I think we’ll see the early games come in a little behind on the offensive excitement. Pitching matchups aside, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get to it!

A look at pitchers

As I was eluding to above, even though the early games get a slight advantage in totals from Vegas, the matchups for the pitchers seem to be more favorable in these early games. For starters, the early pitchers have an average KSCORE of 467 and an overall xwOBA of .287. In comparison, the main slate pitchers have an average KSCORE of 406 with an xwOBA of .317. To round things out, we get an average carnage rating of 4.37 (early) against an average of 5.32 (main). So, what can we do with that? Well, one suggestion is to be a little more creative with your early slate pitching, as perhaps the “top end” arms might not be that far ahead of the “lower end” ones, so spending down might be the answer. Then, for the main slate, you could go back to spending up on pitchers and leave the gas cans for somebody else. Either way you go, be sure to check out the coach’s notes page to see who they are most interested in, as there will certainly be some creative strategy at play today.


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Early slate

Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds

We’ll kick things off with the Phillies and Reds, with Suarez and Lodolo on the mound. We get a modest 8.5 total here, though with two solid starters, we may not quite reach that target. I for one would not be against betting the lower here.

Phillies 5 star plays – none
Phillies 4 star plays – Realmuto/Hoskins/Castellanos, Schwarber/Bohm
GPP note – Lodolo has some decent reverse splits against him, so be sure to grab a lefty or two to go with any righties you take here.

Reds 5 star plays – none
Reds 3.5 star plays
– Votto
GPP note
– Suarez has been solid and hasn’t been allowing much power to either side, so large stacks are probably not the best choice here.


Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals

Next up we have Smyly and the Cubs taking on Abbott and the Nationals. We get a bump to a 9.0 total here, and while I see the Cubs having some action of their own, I’m not sure the Nationals will be able to carry their weight in this one. I guess we’ll see how it goes, but I have a good feeling about Smyly and co.

Cubs 5 star plays – Contreras
Cubs 4 star plays – Happ/Madrigal
GPP note – Abbott is allowing lots of power to both sides of the plate, so you can attack him however you see fit. These guys have been scoring a consistent chunk of runs lately, and I don’t see that changing in this matchup.

Nationals 5 star plays – none
Nationals 4 star plays
– Voit/Cruz
GPP note
– Smyly has been performing well above his salary, and I could see this being an underwhelming matchup for the Nats’ offense. I think one-offs or mini-stacks could be useful, but would be hesitant to suggest full stacks here.


Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins

Moving on we have Lynch and my Royals taking on Mahle and the Twins. Hopefully it won’t be as nasty as yesterday’s slaughter, but I don’t think today’s bout will go a whole lot differently for my guys.

Royals 5 star plays – none
Royals 3.5 star plays – Perez/Melendez
GPP note – Mahle has shown some RvR weakness, so you could take a bat or two against him there, but otherwise I think he’ll hold these guys down for 5-6 innings.

Twins 5 star plays – none
Twins 4 star plays
– Buxton/Correa, Arraez/Miranda/Urshela/Sanchez
GPP note
– Lynch has some reverse splits working against him too, so be sure to try a lefty or two here as well.


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Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays

Next up we have Voth and the Orioles taking on Stripling and the Blue Jays. A solid 9.0 total, the Blue Jays will likely have to carry the load here if we hope to see the over. Stripling is priced a little low for the occasion, so we’ll see if he can get back to form and shake off his last two starts.

Orioles 5 star plays – none
Orioles 3.5 star plays – Mullins/Santander/Rutschman, Mateo
GPP note – A mostly bad matchup against Stripling, but he does allow modest power to lefties. A one-off or mini-stack of lefties could be useful in large tournaments.

Blue Jays 5 star plays – none
Blue Jays 4 star plays
– Guerrero/Springer, Hernandez/Chapman
GPP note
– Voth has solid numbers against righties, so he might be able to navigate a few innings without getting blown up. He has weak LvR numbers though, so consider pivoting to any lefties that start (or using them along with any righties you take).


Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels

Kirby and the Mariners take on Toussaint and the Angels next. I suppose it’s too early in the morning for Vegas to have made up their mind about this one, but what I do know is that both pitchers are capable of a solid outing, so we’ll see which version of them show up. Perhaps they will be a couple more mid-ranged options with higher-than-advertised ceilings?

Mariners 5 star plays – none
Mariners 3.5 star plays – Santana, Haniger/France
GPP note – Toussaint can get a decent number of strikeouts and is tough against righties, but has been fairly soft to lefties. You could try a couple of them against him, but I’d probably hedge since he does have some upside in him.

Angels 5 star plays – none
Angels 4 star plays
– Ohtani, Ward
GPP note
– Kirby is probably going to be tough on these guys, so aside from Ohtani, it’s hard to get overly excited about them. He does allow some decent wOBA to righties, but that’s about it.


San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins

We’ll round out the early games with the Padres and Marlins, with Clevinger and Lopez to start. A 7.0 total, I can certainly see this one going the under, even with that San Diego offense. That will most likely depend on which Lopez shows up, but if the good one does, we could see a decent little pitching duel here.

Padres 5 star plays – none
Padres 4 star plays – Soto/Machado, Bell/Profar/Drury
GPP note – Lopez has looked a bit hit-or-miss lately, so this could be another good spot to hedge if you can’t pick a side. He’s allowed more power to lefties over the past month or so.

Marlins 5 star plays – none
Marlins 3.5 star plays
– Aguilar/Stallings
GPP note
– Not a great spot here, certainly not with a low 3.x IRT. Stallings makes a decent cheap punt, but outside of him and maybe Aguilar, things don’t look too great for us here.


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Main slate

Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees

We’ll switch over to the main slate now, starting with the Rays and Yankees. Kluber and German will get the start, and with them an 8.0 total. My gut says they’ll either be really close to that or go slightly over, as both pitchers have some weaknesses that the opposing offense could take advantage of. We’ll see how that goes, but it should be a good start to the slate.

Rays 5 star plays – none
Rays 3.5 star plays – Arozarena/Lowe, Diaz/Peralta
GPP note – German is allowing plenty of power to both sides, but actually much more to righties recently. The implied total here is pretty low, so I think this could be a good place to run a few stacks.

Yankees 5 star plays – none
Yankees 4 star plays
– Judge/Rizzo, LeMahieu
GPP note
– Kluber has his upside as always, but has been allowing plenty of hits as of late, and lots of power to lefties. Don’t be afraid to attack him here, even if just with some mini-stacks.


Boston Red Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates

Next up we have Hill and the Red Sox taking on Contreras and the Pirates. An 8.5 total, Hill has been dreadful as of late and this will be Roansy’s first game back since early July. The total for this one seems fair enough, but hitting the over might not be too hard.

Red Sox 5 star plays – none
Red Sox 4 star plays – Devers/Verdugo, Martinez/Hosmer/Duran/Pham
GPP note – Contreras hasn’t pitched in over a month, so it’s hard to know where he might be right now, but several of these bats are hitting for power against righties, so stacks of any size are worth a look here.

Pirates 5 star plays – none
Pirates 4 star plays
– Cruz/Chavis
GPP note
– It’s a small sample size and was against two much better teams, but Hill has struggled in his August return. You could try a few bats against him here in hopes that he’s still having some issues (or consider going the other way if too many people are talking them up, since this team is not quite the same as his last two opponents).


Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Guardians

Norris and the Tigers are set to take on Quantrill and the Guardians next, this one with another modest 8.0 total. Quantrill feels a little underpriced here, so even though I think overall the cheaper pitchers might be better on the early slate, I think we have our exception here.

Tigers 5 star plays – none
Tigers 3.5 star plays – Baez, Schoop
GPP note – Quantrill allows modest power to righties, but aside from Baez and maybe Schoop, there’s not much to love here.

Guardians 5 star plays – Ramirez
Guardians 4 star plays
– Rosario
GPP note
– These guys aren’t hitting lefties very well, but Norris is allowing plenty of contact and isn’t getting very many strikeouts. This could be a great spot for them to get those numbers going the other way, and Vegas seems to agree, so stacks of any size are in play here.


New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

We’ll head down south for our next game, this one between the Mets and Braves. I’ve always liked games like this where we have quality pitching and strong offenses, as it’s fun to see which side can come out on top. However, it looks like we might have some weather concerns here, so keep an eye on the sky as the day progresses, and let’s hope for the best.

Mets 5 star plays – none
Mets 3.5 star plays – Lindor/Alonso, McNeil/Vogelbach/Marte/Naquin
GPP note – Sort of a coin-flip matchup, Odorizzi has reverse splits working against him, so consider taking some power righties here since people will certainly give the lefties more attention.

Braves 5 star plays – none
Braves 3.5 star plays
– Acuna/Riley/Harris
GPP note
– It’s Scherzer, so hedging with some power bats is always in play, even if just with a one-off or mini-stack. Otherwise, be cautious as usual. On the flip side, if the weather looks like it might cause a long enough delay early on, consider taking bigger stacks here as they could avoid Scherzer in that scenario.


Colorado Rockies at St Louis Cardinals

Marquez and the Rockies take on Montgomery and the Cardinals next, this game with the same 7.5 total as the previous one. The catch here is that both pitchers can be a bit volatile, so this game could easily go either way. I’m leaning more towards the over, but we’ll see things shake out.

Rockies 5 star plays – none
Rockies 4 star plays – Cron/Rodgers/Grichuk
GPP note – Not the best matchup on the day, but Montgomery does allow decent power to righties, so taking a few against him here isn’t a bad idea.

Cardinals 5 star plays – none
Cardinals 4 star plays
– Goldschmidt/Arenado, Gorman
GPP note
– A solid spot for the lefties, the main righties here are smashing right-handed pitchers, so you can mix and match different handed bats here with confidence.



Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers

Our next game moves up to a 9.0 total, complete with two bottom-dollar pitchers. That would be Oller of the Athletics set to take on Ragans of the Rangers. It’ll be interesting to see how much attention this game gets, as both offenses look to have a good chance of going off here. It’s been a little while since either team has, but hey, maybe today will be the day.

Athletics 5 star plays – none
Athletics 4 star plays – Murphy, Pinder
GPP note – Ragans didn’t look too good against Houston, and while that’s not a fair comparison to this team, you could go right back to attacking him in case he still has some jitters.

Rangers 5 star plays – Seager
Rangers 4 star plays
– Semien/Garcia/Lowe
GPP note
– A solid spot for these guys, Oller allows plenty of power to both sides and has a below-average strikeout rate. Consider taking some wrap-around stacks if they look to be a bit too chalky.


Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox

Valdez and the Astros will take on Kopech and the White Sox next, this game sliding down to an 8.0 total. I think that’s going to mostly depend on which Kopech shows up, as Valdez is bound to be solid either way. Correlating bets between the over/under and Kopech’s performance might not be a bad idea, as that very well could be the deciding factor.

Astros 5 star plays – none
Astros 4 star plays – Alvarez/Altuve, Bregman
GPP note – Kopech has been up-and-down since he last saw these guys, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stack big here in case he has another bad outing. I don’t know that hedging is the play here, as these guys carry a fairly low strikeout rate overall. Either way, righties have the power advantage.

White Sox 5 star plays – none
White Sox 3.5 star plays
– Robert/Abreu/Pollock
GPP note
– This is a tough matchup against Valdez, who doesn’t really have a glaring weakness that this team can exploit, at least not on paper. You can throw some stacks against him just in case, but I think we’d be better off looking elsewhere for anything more than a mini-stack or two.


Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers

We have the Dodgers and Brewers up next, with Gonsolin and Lauer getting the start. In what looks to be the highest total/starting pitcher salary ratio on the day, we’ll see if these two are up to the task of paying off against one another. Gonsolin will certainly have the easier path, though I doubt Lauer will see much ownership.

Dodgers 4 star plays – Betts/Freeman
Dodgers 3.5 star plays – Turner/Turner
GPP note – It’s the Dodgers, so it’s business as usual. Righties have the power advantage, while lefties have the xwOBA advantage, so either hand is worth looking at here.

Brewers 5 star plays – none
Brewers 3.5 star plays
– Tellez/Yelich/Wong, Renfroe/Taylor
GPP note
– Gonsolin allows a good chunk of power to righties, so consider attacking him from that side, should you decide to go here.


Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants

And finally, we’ll wrap up the day with Davies and the Diamondbacks taking on Rodon and the Giants. Another 7.5 total game, I don’t see the Diamondbacks doing a whole lot here, but with how bad Davies has been, perhaps the Giants can push the over all by themselves.

Diamondbacks 5 star plays – none
Diamondbacks 3.5 star plays – Rojas/Varsho
GPP note – It’s a bad spot for these guys, but Rodon has allowed some power to lefties. If you run a contrarian stack or two, consider some LvL bats to go in them.

Giants 5 star plays – none
Giants 4 star plays
– Yastrzemski, Pederson/Belt/Wade
GPP note
– Davies just hasn’t been in a good place since June, so there’s going back to the well against him here is certainly in play. Righties have the power advantage against him.



 And that’s going to do it for this one.  Thanks for joining me, and be sure to check out the coach’s notes page to see who they are most interested in.  Best of luck today!

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