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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (8/25/21)

Welcome to the MLB DFS Slate Breakdown! In this article, I’ll offer my favorite cash and GPP plays to go along with the top stacks on our slate. You can find all of our Core Plays throughout MLB Premium Package, or you can click here to join our free Discord!

 

Vegas Overview – Below is an excerpt from our sister site, Bet Karma. It has daily player props, live trends (below), and much more! Access all odds, trends, and line movement for all sports here: BetKarma Live MLB Trends

Projections will be updated throughout the day. You can stay up to date on all of our latest projections by utilizing our FREE projections portal at DFS Karma.

NOTE: Tables are embedded in the breakdown and update LIVE. The various tables will update with starting lineups confirmation, when projections are edited in the projections portal(s), and every hour. If a table is showing an error message or is blank, please wait a moment and refresh the page and it should re-populate correctly. Thanks!

Pitching

MLB DK Pitcher Table

Brandon Woodruff

Woodruff’s been struggling in recent starts, although he still boasts elite metrics on the season. Through 24 starts, he’s posted a 2.48 ERA with a 3.10 xFIP and a 29.3% strikeout rate. Although posting single-digit DK points in each of his last 2 starts, he possesses as much upside as any pitcher on this slate. Woodruff gets a tough matchup against the Cincinnati Reds, who have found plenty of offensive success in recent games. They do own one of the higher team strikeout rates over the last 14 days, though. Woodruff is a -175 favorite in a game set at 7.5 runs, and he’s an elite option in all leagues, especially if he goes under-owned because of recent struggles.

Zack Wheeler

Wheeler’s another potential Cy Young candidate, who’s found tremendous success throughout the season. He boasts a 2.77 ERA with a 2.82 xFIP and a 29.1% strikeout rate through 25 starts. Similar to Woodruff, Wheeler’s struggled a bit in recent starts, although he posted 49.5 DK points only 3 starts ago against the New York Mets. He gets a matchup against a hot-hitting Tampa Bay Rays lineup, but they also strikeout at an extremely high rate this season. Wheeler’s a -131 favorite in a game set at 8 runs tonight, and he is another outstanding option at the top of this position.

Josiah Gray

Gray’s seen mixed through 6 games (5 starts) this season. He owns a 3.90 ERA with a 4.59 xFIP and a 28% strikeout rate. He’s a cheaper option that comes with tremendous strikeout upside. Gray also gets a plus matchup against the Miami Marlins, who a .300 team wOBA and a slate-high 27.7% strikeout rate over the last 14 days. He’s a -107 favorite in a game set at 7.5 runs, and he’s the best pitcher under $8k on this slate tonight.

Other GPP Targets: Robbie Ray, Walker Buehler, Shohei Ohtani, Zach Plesac, Edward Cabrera

Top DraftKings Batters

MLB Top Batters

Top FanDuel Batters

FD MLB Top Batters

Batters

C

JT Realmuto

Realmuto’s been struggling a bit in recent games, posting a .212 average with a .424 slugging percentage and a .740 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts 4 extra-base hits (1 home run), 4 RBIs, and 1 stolen base over that span. Realmuto gets a plus matchup against Ryan Yarbrough, and he enters this game with a .365 wOBA and a .202 ISO against left-handed pitching. Realmuto’s expected to hit second in the Philadelphia Phillies lineup, and he’s the best high-priced option at this position.

Austin Hedges

Hedges’ seen mixed results in recent games. He’s hitting for a .206 average with 3 extra-base hits and 5 RBIs over his last 10 contests. Texas hasn’t announced a starter this point, although I’m not overly concerned, as anyone they throw out at this point will be a. great matchup for Hedges and company. He’s expected to hit eighth in the Cleveland lineup, and he’s a great punt option, assuming he’s in the starting lineup tonight.

1B

Jared Walsh

Walsh continues to deal with some struggles, posting a .242 average with a .273 slugging percentage and a .677 OPS over his last 10 games. He’s recorded only 1 extra-base hit with 3 RBIs over that span. Although Walsh’s struggled with power in recent games, he is expected to get a plus matchup against Dean Kremer, although a starter hasn’t been named yet. He boasts a .397 wOBA and a .249 ISO against right-handed pitching, and he’s an elite option at this position, assuming the Baltimore Orioles utilize a righty on the mound tonight.

NOTE: Chris Ellis will draw the start for Baltimore.

Travis Shaw

Shaw’s an interesting option for the Boston Red Sox tonight. He’s recorded 36 DK points over his last 2 games, recording a pair of home runs with 5 RBIs in those games. Shaw gets a great matchup against Bailey Ober, who’s struggled mightily against left-handed batters this season. Throughout his career, Shaw’s recorded a .337 wOBA and a .215 ISO against right-handed pitching. He’s expected to hit eighth in the Boston Red Sox lineup, and he’s an intriguing way to get a piece of their offense.

2B

Jorge Polanco

As Ben and I discussed in our daily MLB Podcast, Polanco is one of the most underpriced players on the slate. He’s hitting for a .279 average with a .465 slugging percentage and a .798 OPS over his last 10 games. In those contests, he boasts 4 extra-base hits (2 home runs), 12 RBIs, and 1 stolen base. He’s scored double-digit DK points in 7 of his last 8 games. Polanco gets a great matchup against Nick Pivetta tonight, and he’s expected to hit third in the Minnesota Twins lineup. He’s an elite option in all leagues on this slate.

Michael Chavis

Chavis makes an interesting option for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s only hitting for a .192 average with 3 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 3 RBIs over his last 10 games. He’s a cheap option that boasts upside, though. Chavis also gets a great matchup against Tyler Gilbert tonight, and he brings a .305 wOBA and a .343 ISO against left-handed pitching into this game. He’s expected to lead off for Pittsburgh, as well. Chavis isn’t necessarily a safe option, but he’s a great salary relief play if you’re looking to spend up on two pitchers.

3B

Rafael Devers

Once again, the best two options at this position are two of the most expensive on the slate. Devers owns a .184 average with 4 extra-base hits (1 home run) and 6 RBIs over his last 10 games. With that being said, he gets an elite matchup against Bailey Ober, and he enters this game with a .392 wOBA and a .339 ISO against right-handed pitching this season. Devers is hitting in the heart of the Boston Red Sox lineup, and he’s the ideal high-priced option at this position, specifically in cash games.

Jose Ramirez

If Devers is the best cash game play, Ramirez makes an elite pivot off of him tonight. He’s been playing at an elite level, recording a .326 average with a .767 slugging percentage and a 1.163 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts 10 extra-base hits (4 home runs), 11 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases over that span. In other words, Ramirez is playing as well as virtually anyone in the MLB right now. Texas hasn’t announced a starter, but there isn’t anyone on their staff that will scare me away from Ramirez. He’s an elite option in all leagues.

Editor’s Note: Remember, you can sign up for all of our Core Plays here, or join our free Discord here.

SS

Xander Bogaerts

If you can get up to Bogaerts tonight, he’s the top option at shortstop. He’s hitting for a .278 average with a .556 slugging percentage and a .921 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts 4 extra-base hits (3 home runs) and 9 RBIs in those contests. Bogaerts gets a great matchup against Bailey Ober in Boston tonight. Although Ober’s struggled more against lefties, Bogaerts is averaging 9.4 DK points per game at home this season. The Boston Red Sox feature the best offense on this slate, and he’s expected to hit third. He’s the top option.

Amed Rosario

Rosario continues to make a great option if you need to save a bit of salary at this position. He’s been playing at an extremely high level, posting a .409 average with a .682 slugging percentage and a 1.129 OPS over his last 10 games. He’s quietly recorded 7 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 9 RBIs over that span. As mentioned above, the Texas Rangers pitcher hasn’t been announced at the moment, but they aren’t going to throw anyone that moves me off of this play. Rosario can be used against any starter they choose tonight.

OF

Myles Straw

As is the case basically nightly, Straw is entirely too cheap for this slate. He recorded a .310 average with a .452 slugging percentage and a .848 OPS over his last 10 games. In those contests, he posted 6 extra-base hits, 4 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases. Straw comes with tremendous speed, and he’s expected to lead off for Cleveland tonight. As I’ve said throughout this article, I don’t particularly care who’s on the mound for the Texas Rangers, as Straw is underpriced regardless of the matchup.

Boston Red Sox

Once again, we have a great spot for the entire Boston outfield. They have four elite options on this slate, as they could all find success in a plus matchup against Bailey Ober. This is how I would rank them tonight: Kyle Schwarber, JD Martinez, Alex Verdugo, Hunter Renfroe.

Justin Upton

Upton’s day-to-day with a calf issue, so check his status before the games start. He’s also been struggling a bit in recent games, posting a .139 average with 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, and 1 stolen base over his last 10 contests. He’s a high upside option, who gets a great matchup against Chris Ellis and the Baltimore Orioles bullpen tonight. He’s expected to hit third in the Los Angeles Angels lineup, and he can be considered in all leagues. 

Ketel Marte

Marte is another high-priced option that can be considered in all leagues on this slate. He’s been playing at a high level, recording a .378 average with a .811 slugging percentage and a 1.263 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he owns 9 extra-base hits (3 home runs) and 9 RBIs. Marte gets a great matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates, although there’s confusion on whether Mitch Keller or Bryse Wilson will start. Regardless, he can be used in all leagues against either starter.

 

Stacks

“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen

Team Batting vs. Opp. Pitch

DraftKings Team Stacks

DK MLB Stacks

FanDuel Team Stacks

FD MLB Stacks

“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)

Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo home runs, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.

When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.

We have a sizeable 10 game slate tonight, although there are several great arms. Still, my five favorite stacks are listed below.

DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas

BOS – Hernandez/Devers/Bogaerts/Schwarber/Martinez

CLE – Straw/Rosario/Ramirez/Reyes/Mercado

LAA – Fletcher/Upton/Walsh/Iglesias/Stassi

ARI – Rojas/Marte/Smith/Walker/Peralta

MIN – Kepler/Rooker/Polanco/Donaldson/Sano

DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas

BOS – Devers/Bogaerts/Schwarber

CLE – Straw/Ramirez/Reyes

ARI – Rojas/Marte/Smith

MIN – Kepler/Polanco/Donaldson

LAA – Fletcher/Upton/Walsh

 

Written by Justin Bales (Follow @BalesSJustin on Twitter)

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