DraftKings Plays of the Day – August 20

Andrew Gould previews the August 20 slate on DraftKings with his must-plays and best values of the day.

Pitcher List is proud to partner with DraftKings for the 2019 season. We’ll be featuring our top picks for every daily slate through the season.

Tuesday night’s full slate features five aces with a five-figure cost. DraftKings contestants don’t need to play any of them. Instead, pivot to an underpriced ace available just below that salary threshold.

 

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Top SP: Sonny Gray, CIN ($9,700) vs. SD

 

He’s not priced like one, but Gray is an ace. In his last eight starts, the righty has posted a 1.43 ERA with 63 strikeouts. He has yet to allow a run in August, accruing 24 punchouts over 18 frames. Although Great American Ball Park may mitigate his cost, he wields a 3.15 ERA and 3.23 FIP at home with help from a 52.3% ground-ball rate. Gray also gets a better matchups than his pricier peers, as the Padres rank 23rd in wOBA (.308) and 28th in strikeout rate (26.2%) against righties as of Monday. It’s much easier to fade Clayton Kershaw at $12,000 when another reliable stud is $2,300 cheaper.

Honorable Mentions: Stephen Strasburg ($10,400) at PIT; Michael Pineda ($8,900) vs. CWS.

 

Value SP: Aaron Sanchez, HOU ($6,800) vs. DET

 

How much would Sanchez cost if he hadn’t allowed four home runs in his last start? Probably at least $8,600 considering he notched 21-22 DraftKings points in each of his three previous turns. Despite the six-run shelling by Oakland, the 27-year-old still has a 3.86 ERA in three starts with the Astros, who are considerable home favorites against the lowly Tigers. Detroit is last in strikeout rate (26.5%) against righties and only avoids the same fate in wOBA by residing one point above Miami. The tremendous matchup offsets Sanchez’s volatility risk enough to ride as a low-cost SP2.

Honorable Mention: Dylan Bundy ($7,400) vs. KC; Alex Young ($5,800) vs. COL; Elieser Hernandez ($5,500) at ATL.

 

1B Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($4,300) vs. MIL (LHP Gio Gonzalez)

 

Even in an underwhelming season, Goldschmidt is hitting .273/.378/.597 with a .401 wOBA against lefties. Just as he was starting to cool down from a scorching July, the first baseman has collected two homers and doubles apiece over his last four contests. Gonzalez has settled back into a serviceable starter, but he has permitted four home runs with as many walks as strikeouts (seven) in his last two starts. He has also relinquished a .343 wOBA to opposing righties. Just beware a high ownership rate due to Goldschmidt’s singles-fueled success (10-for-17) in a small sample size. Playing him because of the BVP data could be an example of a flawed process yielding the right result.

Honorable Mentions: 1B Matt Adams ($4,000) at PIT (RHP Chris Archer); OF Tommy Pham ($4,300) vs. SEA (RHP Matt Wisler/LHP Tommy Milone); OF Aaron Judge ($4,000) at OAK (RHP Homer Bailey).

 

2B/3B Luis Arraez ($4,100) vs. CHW (RHP Reynaldo Lopez

 

Arraez doesn’t provide the power or speed GPP players seek, but he’s an on-base machine batting .348 with a 10.4% walk rate. After momentarily putting the puzzle pieces together last month, Lopez has allowed a 4.24 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in three August starts. Opposing lefties are hitting .302/.385/.504 against the erratic hurler, making Arraez a high-floor play. He’s an especially strong option if Max Kepler misses another game due to heat illness, as the slugger’s absence led to Arraez leading off Monday night.

Honorable Mentions: SS Jean Segura ($4,200) at BOS (LHP Brian Johnson); 3B/SS David Fletcher at TEX (LHP Joe Palumbo; 3B Evan Longoria ($3,900) at CHC (LHP Cole Hamels).

 

Value Batter: OF Trent Grisham ($2,800) at STL (RHP Michael Wacha)

 

Since his promotion, Grisham has started and led off for the Brewers in each of their last eight games against righties. He hasn’t quite run away with the opportunity, going 10-for-42 with three walks, two doubles and two home runs. Still, he’s a leadoff hitter available for $2,800. Perhaps DraftKings believes the Brewers will change course and play Ryan Braun because of Wacha’s .398 wOBA against fellow righties. That’s less of a risk, however, if Lorenzo Cain doesn’t return to the starting lineup from an oblique issue. Grisham hasn’t quite shown game-changing upside thus far, but he’s far too cheap to fade at this microscopic cost if starting. The money spent on him also gives gamers the flexibility to attack Wacha’s reverse splits with Keston Hiura for $5,300.

Honorable Mentions: OF Franmil Reyes ($3,600) at NYM (LHP Steven Matz); OF Jake Cave ($3,400) vs. CWS (Lopez); 1B Jesus Aguilar ($3,300) vs. SEA (RHP Wisler/Milone).

 

Lineup Stack: Dodgers vs. Blue Jays (RHP Sean Reid-Foley)

 

Don’t be fooled by Reid-Foley’s 3.00 ERA. He has surrendered five unearned runs in 30 innings while submitting 26 strikeouts, 19 walks, a 4.89 FIP, and 5.76 SIERA. The 23-year-old will have his hands full against the Dodgers, who are reasonably priced against a beatable opponent.

Despite a prolonged power slump, Joc Pederson still possesses a .272 ISO and .354 wOBA against right-handed pitchers. He’s a great value at $3,800 if fulfilling his usual leadoff duties. Justin Turner, meanwhile, isn’t priced like someone slashing .362/.431/.707 this month. Boasting a .383 wOBA versus righties in 2019, the third baseman doesn’t need the platoon advantage in his favor to make a priority play at $4,400. Season-long investors are undoubtedly disappointed in Corey Seager’s season, but DFS gamers can simply focus on his .282/.354/.521 slash line against lefties and 10 extra-base hits (seven doubles, three home runs) over his last 12 games. He’s another solid bargain at $4,000. In the midst of another heater, Cody Bellinger ($5,300) can headline a Dodgers stack for anyone uninterested in paying the extra $200 for Mike Trout.

Honorable Mentions: Rays vs. Mariners (Wisler/Milone); Yankees at A’s (Bailey); Twins vs. White Sox (Lopez).

 

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is akgould4) 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.

Graphic by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter).

Andrew Gould

Andrew is Pitcher List's DFS Manager who also covers MLB and NFL for FantasyPros and Bleacher Report. He placed second in FantasyPros' MLB accuracy ratings in 2016 and fifth in 2018.

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