This Thursday, the MLB closes out August with a limited but still intriguing three-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Spencer Strider ($11,500) Atlanta Braves (-140) at Los Angeles Dodgers
Spencer Strider stands out in almost any group of starting pitchers, and especially with just six starters on this limited slate, he clearly brings the highest ceiling. He leads the MLB in strikeouts and strikeout rate by wide margins, which gives him an incredibly high ceiling every time he takes the mound. He has at least nine strikeouts in 10 of his past 12 outings.
Along with his prodigious punchout production, Strider is tied for the MLB lead with 15 wins and still has a chance to reach the 20-win plateau if things go his way over the next month. Eight of those wins have come in his 12 most recent outings, during which he compiled a 2.77 ERA, 2.33 FIP, and 0.98 WHIP. He averaged 27.15 DraftKings points and 47.2 FanDuel points per start over that stretch.
In each of his two most recent starts, he shut down the Giants, allowing just one total run over 14 innings with 19 strikeouts. On this slate, he’s in a much tougher matchup against the Dodgers. Even if he gives up a few runs in the tougher matchup, Strider should be able to get enough strikeouts to keep his high ceiling and stay the top stud on the slate.
MLB DFS Value Picks
Joan Adon ($5,400) Washington Nationals (+138) vs. Miami Marlins
The Nationals and Marlins start a four-game set in D.C. on Thursday night, and Washington will give the ball to Joan Adon for his fifth start of the season. The 25-year-old has gone 2-0 in his six MLB games this season with a 5.25 ERA, 4.64 FIP, and 0.96 WHIP. He totaled 20 strikeouts in his 24 innings in the majors after posting 80 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings at Triple-A.
The models point to Adon as one of the best values on this limited slate as he makes his second straight start against the Marlins. Last Friday, Adon held the Marlins to just two hits in six scoreless innings while striking out three and issuing no walks. He finished with 21.1 DraftKings points and 37 FanDuel points in that outing and will look to pick up where he left off with another strong start Thursday night.
Using the PlateIQ tool, you can see how the Marlins have been slumping lately. They have the lowest run total of any team in the MLB, averaging just 3.5 runs per contest. Jorge Soler (hip) was out of the lineup Wednesday, and if he’s sidelined again, the Marlins become an even better matchup for Adon, who brings the second-highest projected Plus/Minus of Thursday’s scheduled starters, according to THE BAT X projections.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Pedro Avila ($6,300) San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants
Pedro Avila showed much more promise in his last start than the final box score shows, so he should come with low enough ownership to be a strong GPP play on this limited slate. In his start last Saturday against Milwaukee, Avila went four scoreless innings before things unraveled in the fifth inning and he ended up charged with five earned runs and a loss.
Avila has worked mostly out of the bullpen this season, but he has pitched at least four innings in five of his eight MLB contests. He has a 2.63 ERA, 2.94 FIP, and 1.24 WHIP in his 27 1/3 innings with the Padres, dating back to his MLB debut on July 2.
The main thing that boosts Avila’s ceiling is his strikeout potential. In those 27 1/3 innings, he had 32 strikeouts. THE BAT X projections give him the highest projected Plus/Minus of any SP on this slate, and he should be in a favorable spot against the Giants at home at Petco Park, where he has a 1.59 ERA, 3.36 FIP, and 1.24 WHIP in his limited sample size this season.
MLB DFS Hitters and Stacks
With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS rosters.
Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can use our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups.
The top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Model when generated by projected points belongs to the Miami Marlins:
The Marlins are desperately trying to hang into the NL Wild Card race and start the day three games behind the Giants, who hold the third and final playoff spot. They’ll look to break out against Adon after totaling just 10 runs over their past six games.
They have the highest iimplied run total on this limited slate and should benefit from getting out of a tough two-game set in Tampa Bay to start the week. The main part of this suggested stack is in the outfield, where Jorge Soler and Jazz Chisholm Jr. are the two big options with salaries of at least $5K. Soler’s status will be key pregame news to monitor since he has brought good power to the Marlins order with 10 home runs in his 23 games this month while averaging 9.26 DraftKings points and 12.3 FanDuel points per game. Chisholm hasn’t been quite as hot, but he always brings a high ceiling due to his electric blend of power and speed.
New Marlin Josh Bell is also a good option to consider in this stack. Since taking his talents to South Beach at the MLB Trade Deadline, he has hit .275 (25-for-91) with eight homers and a .387 wOBA. Using the blended projections described below, Bell has the highest projected Plus/Minus of any hitter on this slate.
You can also target a down day for Freeland with his under-strikeouts prop on Sleeper Fantasy. Be sure to check out all the pick’ems Sleeper has to offer with Sleeper Fantasy promo code LABS1 for a $100 deposit match.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
For this example, we created a 50/50 blend with THE BAT X and the FantasyLabs projections to pinpoint some hitters who stand out.
Ronald Acuña Jr. ($6,700 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel) Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers (Lance Lynn)
On any slate in any matchup, Ronald Acuña Jr. is hard to overlook. If you have the salary to spend, he brings an extremely high ceiling since he can produce big games with either power or speed. He has the second-highest ceiling of any batter on the slate on DraftKings using the aggregate projections
He started his series this week in Colorado with a monster game that earned him 51 DraftKings points and 69.3 FanDuel points. While the hit didn’t come up totally empty, he didn’t go off in either of the final two games in the series. He has 29 home runs and 61 stolen bases on the season and has averaged an impressive 12.6 DraftKings points and 16.3 FanDuel points per contest. He leads the MLB in hits, runs, and stolen bases while also posting an impressive .420 wOBA.
The Braves face a rejuvenated Lance Lynn, who has been much better since joining the Dodgers at the Trade Deadline. Even though his 4-0 record and 2.03 ERA in five starts for L.A. are impressive, he has still given up six home runs in those five starts and a 39.1% hard-hit rate that is almost on par with what he posted during his struggles with the White Sox. Some of his better results may be luck-based, so the Braves aren’t a situation you have to avoid on this small slate.
Joey Meneses ($4,400 DraftKings, $2,700 FanDuel) Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins (Braxton Garrett)
Joey Meneses has the second-highest ceiling projection of all 1B using the 50/50 projections and the third-highest of all players priced under $5K on DraftKings and $3K on FanDuel.
Coming into this series, Meneses has a six-game hitting streak. Over his last 20 games, Meneses has nine multi-hit games and has hit .306 with seven doubles, two home runs, and a .359 wOBA.
Meneses has hit .292 so far this season against left-handed pitchers like Braxton Garrett, with two homers and a .333 wOBA. He also has hit .302 at home with six homers and a .341 home wOBA. On the strong side of both those splits, he’s a solid way to grab a middle-of-the-order bat at an affordable price tag.
Michael Busch ($2,400 DraftKings, $2,500 FanDuel) Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves (Spencer Strider)
Michael Busch has the highest Bargain Rating of the day on DraftKings, so if you need to go cheap at 3B, he’s a play that makes sense even in his tough matchup with Strider and the Braves.
The 25-year-old lefty was just called up back up on August 22 and has had limited opportunities, slotting in at DH in a few contests. He has only gone 2-for-18 (.111) in this stint in the majors, but one of those hits was his first MLB home run. Busch showed good potential in 88 games at Triple-A this season. He hit .323 with 24 homers, 82 RBI, and a .447 wOBA. The upside is there with Busch, and his ownership should be low due to a tough matchup.
He’s a solid bargain option to look at if you spend up in other spots.