DraftKings Plays of the Day—8/26

Rich Holman previews the Aug. 26 slate on DraftKings with his must-plays and best values of the day.

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Top Play SP: Sonny Gray, CIN ($11,200) at MIA

 

The Sonny Gray comeback tour continues on, this week in Miami. Gray has been excellent all year, striking out a career-best 29.2% of the batters he’s faced. Over his past three starts, Gray has gone 17 innings of one-run ball while striking out 27 batters.

Now that the Marlins are done spanking the Phillies (25 runs in three games), they’ll go back to the meh offense that they are. Against right-handed pitchers, the Marlins rank 26th in wRC+ in the second half of the year. The Marlins’ projected lineup has a collective .127 ISO and .305 wOBA.

Honorable Mention: Dustin May, LAD ($8,500) at SD.

 

Value SP: Alex Young, ARI ($7,500) at SF

 

I originally had Jason Vargas in this spot and hated myself so much. I keep expecting him to get blown up, and it just doesn’t happen. To avoid the self-hate, we’ll look to pick on the Giants with Alex Young. Young faced the Giants in Oracle Park in his first start, throwing five 0ne-run innings and striking out five. The Giants have put up the 24th-best wRC+ against left-handed pitching at home for the season. While this is a safer pick, the Giants’ 18.2% strikeout rate limits Young’s upside some.

Honorable mention: Vargas, PHI ($7,900) vs. PIT.

 

Top Play: OF Bryce Harper, WAS ($5,200) vs. PIT

 

Keep an eye on the lineup because Bryce Harper has been out on the lineup since Saturday for paternity leave, but if he plays, he’s one of my favorite plays on the slate. Harper’s had a decent August, putting up a .414 wOBA with nine bombs, his most homers and highest wOBA in a month while wearing red pinstripes.

The Phillies face Joe Musgrove, whose season has not gone how any of us has wanted it to. Musgrove has alternated moments of brilliance with stretches of frustration, putting up a 1.54 ERA in March/April before imploding for an 8.10 ERA in May. August has proven to be a bad month, with Musgrove allowing 18 earned runs in 21 innings over four starts.

Honorable mentions: OF A.J. Pollock, LAD ($4,400) at SD; OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($4,600) at SEA.

 

Top Play: 1B Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($4,500) at MIL

 

Like 2018, Paul Goldschmidt has finally hit his stride in the second half this year. In 40 games since the All-Star break, Goldy has put up 13 bombs (.299 ISO) and a .365 wOBA. He’s crushed lefties this year, putting up a .305 ISO against southpaws.

Speaking of southpaws, the Brewers will roll out Gio Gonzalez, who has been decent this year, allowing a 3.64 ERA. However, his 4.88 SIERA tells another story of regression. The regression has started to rear its ugly head in the second half, as Gonzalez has a 4.13 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched, with the 27 strikeouts versus 15 walks being particularly disturbing. Goldschmidt has hit Gonzalez well for his career, going 10-20 in 21 plate appearances.

Honorable mention: 1B Matt Olson, OAK ($4,700) at KC; 1B/2B Austin Nola, SEA ($4,500) vs. NYY.

 

Value: 2B Cesar Hernandez, PHI ($3,800) vs. PIT

 

The Phillies have one of my favorite matchups of the day with Musgrove (see Harper’s writeup for more details), so I’ll look to pick on him with some value as well. Cesar Hernandez is a switch-hitter who is much better from the left side of the plate than the right. For the year, Hernandez has a .289 average as a lefty with just a 14.2% strikeout rate. Hernandez has had a decent month, putting up 22 runs+RBI in the 22 games he’s played in August, making him my favorite value on today’s slate.

Honorable mention: 2B/OF John VanMeter, CIN ($3,600) at MIA; 2B/SS Donovan Solano, SF ($3,900) vs. ARI. 

 

Top Stack: Dodgers at Padres (LHP Eric Lauer)

 

The Dodgers are my top stack of the night, but they’re really my 1A with the Cardinals being 1B. The Dodgers take on the Padres and Eric Lauer (LOLer), who’s really struggled in the second half. Lauer has allowed 18 runs in his last 27.1 innings pitched while allowing batters to hit .327 against him. He’s also struggled with the long ball of late, giving up six taters over those 27.1 innings after allowing just nine in his previous 91.1 innings pitched.

The struggling Lauer runs into the buzzsaw of the Dodgers, whose projected lineup has the second-highest team wOBA of the night at .370. We might run into an issue with cost, as the middle of the lineup is quite pricy, but there are some value bats to offset that. The bats I’m definitely locking in are Pollock ($4,400), Chris Taylor ($4,200), and Kike Hernandez ($4,200). I’m then hoping I can afford one of Will Smith ($5,400) or Cody Bellinger ($5,700), and perhaps the value of Jedd Gyorko ($3,200) will help me get there. Good luck today!

Honorable mention: Cardinals at Brewers (LHP Gonzalez); Phillies vs. Pirates (RHP Musgrove); Yankees at Mariners (LHP Tommy Milone).

 

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.

Rich Holman

Tax Auditor by day (I promise I'm not the devil), dad to twin velociraptors by night. Complete sports junkie. Philly fan that only boos occasionally.

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