We’re rolling into the second half of the month of August, and we have two weeks until rosters expand Sept. 1. That’s when the challenges of Daily Fantasy Baseball really kick into high gear, as there are a lot more options to choose from, players with nagging injuries getting the day off, and veteran players on non-contenders often get the day off in favor of younger players as teams try to evaluate for the future.
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FantasyAces.com salaries included below where applicable. (*** salaries subject to change ***)
PROBABLE PITCHERS TO START
MONDAY (10 games)
Gerrit Cole, SP, Pittsburgh ($7,700 vs. ARI): Cole has been money at home, going 8-2 with a 2.76 ERA over 11 outings at PNC Park, striking out 68 batters over 71 2/3 innings while serving up just six homers. The opposition is hitting just .240 against him at home, and overall he has 149 strikeouts in 148 2/3 innings on the season. He is a must-start most nights, but especially when the matchup is a favorable one and he is home.
Danny Salazar, SP, Cleveland ($6,900 at BOS): Salazar has been a friend to DFS players all season due to the fact he ranks fifth in the majors with a 10.24 K/9 (strikeouts to nine innings) ratio. He also has dazzled with his 1.08 WHIP, 3.26 ERA and 13 quality starts.
TUESDAY (15 games)
Mark Buehrle, SP, Toronto (at PHI): Buehrle hits the road for Philadelphia, facing a very favorable matchup. He isn’t a high strikeout pitcher, but he is worth using in DFS since he has a favorable matchup against the team with the worst run differential in the majors. He has allowed just seven homers over 82 2/3 innings in 12 road starts with all four of his complete games coming away from Rogers Centre.
Jacob deGrom, SP, N.Y. Mets (at BAL): deGrom heads into this game with six consecutive quality starts and three wins during the span, last losing July 2. Not only have the wins and lack of runs allowed been nice, but he has seven or more strikeouts in six straight appearances. Dating back to May 11, deGrom has quality starts in 14 of his past 15. He has been automatic for DFS players.
WEDNESDAY (15 games – 10 after 7pm ET)
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Baltimore (vs. NYM): Jimenez has picked up six of his nine victories at home this season, going 6-2 with a 3.20 ERA over 10 starts with 58 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings. He has a .233 opponent batting average at Camden Yards making him a must-start play in a favorable spot.
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Houston (vs. TB): There is no good reason to leave Keuchel out of your DFS lineup when he is toeing the slab at Minute Maid Park. He is 11-0 with a 1.26 ERA in 13 home starts with two complete games and 98 strikeouts over 92 2/3 innings. The opposition is hitting just .182 against him at home, and the Rays offense hasn’t exactly lit the world afire this season.
THURSDAY (11 games)
Wade Miley, SP, Boston (vs. KC): Miley has turned it around lately at home, going 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his past two home starts, striking out 12 batters over 13 2/3 innings. He has a favorable matchup against Royals SP Danny Duffy, so look for Miley to continue to be a wrecking ball for DFS owners. Yeah, really. And sorry.
Max Scherzer, SP, Washington (at COL): Scherzer has been a little uneven lately, allowing 13 earned runs over 15 innings in three starts during the month of August, and he is winless in each of the outings. That includes a no-decision Aug. 9 against the Rockies at home. However, he did post 10 strikeouts against Colorado, his most since mid-June. Look for Scherzer to get on track for DFS players, especially in a favorable matchup against SP Yohan Flande.
FRIDAY (15 games – 14 after 7:05 pm ET)
Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle (vs. CHW): King Felix was knocked around in Boston last time out, giving up 10 runs and 12 hits in just 2 1/3 innings. It was a rare shabby outing for Hernandez. His DFS price tag should be down and plenty of Fantasy owners will be scared away after his recent cold streak, so target him Friday. The ownership percentage should be way down, and he is still a steal at home. He is 9-4 with a 3.00 ERA in 13 starts with 87 strikeouts over 90 innings at Safeco Field.
Alex Wood, SP, L.A. Dodgers (at HOU): Wood heads into this game with a quality start against Cincinnati in his last appearance, and he has 16 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings in three starts since donning Dodger Blue. The Astros are one of just two teams in the majors to strike out more than 1,000 times, and they’re the worst in the American League. Look for Wood to get plenty of DFS points, win or lose.
SATURDAY (15 games – 12 after 7:05pm ET)
Carlos Martinez, SP, St. Louis (at SD): Martinez is a high strikeout pitcher, and he will be facing a Padres offense which ranks third in the majors in whiffs. It’s a prime matchup for Martinez, even though he is on the road. The last time he faced the Padres he allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts in a no-decision July 4. Look for a similar stat line in this one.
Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox ($5,750 at LAA): Rodon hits the road looking to carry over momentum after his most recent outing, a win over seven scoreless innings with four hits and a walk against these same Angels. He also struck out a career-high 11 batters. The Angels aren’t really a high strikeout team, but when Rodon brings his ‘A’ game he is a DFS stud.
SUNDAY (15 games)
Jason Hammel, SP, Chicago Cubs (vs. ATL): Hammel heads into Sunday’s start with a 2.79 ERA over his past two outings at Wrigley Field, and he is facing a young RHP Matt Wisler, who is good at home and atrocious on the road. Look for Hammel to take care of business against the Braves.
HITTERS TO START
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS-3B, Miami ($4,700 at MIL): Hechavarria rolls into Cream City with a 10-game hitting streak in tow. He is 13-for-38 (.342) with six runs scored and four RBIs on the road. At this price level he is a must-have DFS option.
Matt Kemp, OF, San Diego ($5,100 vs. ATL): Kemp has been on fire in August, entering the new week hitting .321 with a double, triple, two home runs and 12 RBI in 15 starts. It’s too little, too late for the Padres, who banked on this happening before they were essentially eliminated from the playoffs, but it is great news for DFS owners at a cut-rate price.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh ($5,550 vs. ARI): McCutchen has tuned up opposing pitchers at home, hitting .340 with 19 doubles, 10 home runs and 37 RBI with a 1.040 OPS in 194 at-bats. He is also a stud against right-handed starting pitchers, posting a .293 average with 24 doubles, 15 home runs, 63 RBI and a .919 OPS, and his home OPS of 1.040 ranks seventh in the majors.
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas ($5,050 vs. SEA): Beltre gets a crack at his former team, and he has enjoyed a measure of success against Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma. Over the years, Beltre is 11-for-33 (.333) with a double, three homers, five RBI and a 1.008 OPS against the Mariners righty.
Torii Hunter, OF, Minnesota ($4,850 at NYY): Hunter has owned Yankees LHP CC Sabathia over the years, going 22-for-79 (.278) with eight doubles, four homers, 20 RBI and an .876 OPS against the veteran lefty.
Nori Aoki, OF, San Francisco ($4,800 at STL): Aoki (concussion) could be ready to return from the 7-day disabled list mid-week. The Giants are on the road all week, and that’s where Aoki is at his best. He ranks second in the majors with a .368 batting average, posting five doubles, a triple, three homers and 16 RBI with an impressive .914 OPS.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit (at CHC): Miggy has rolled up big numbers in his career against Cubs LHP Jon Lester, going 14-for-25 (.560) with four doubles, a homer, four RBI and a 1.507 OPS. Cabrera is back after a lengthy hamstring injury and making up for lost time.
Rajai Davis, OF, Detroit (at CHC): If you want to do a little one-stop shopping Wednesday, Davis is worth a look if he is included in the starting nine. He is 14-for-44 (.318) with three doubles, three triples, a homer, six RBI and a .979 OPS all-time against Lester.
Freddy Galvis, SS, Philadelphia (at MIA): Galvis will be facing Marlins LHP Brad Hand, and that’s good news for DFS owners. Galvis is hitting .351 with three doubles, six RBI and a .751 OPS. His batting average against southpaws ranks seventh in the majors.
Mike Trout, OF, L.A. Angels (vs. CHW): Trout enters the new week without a homer since Aug. 7. The power drought isn’t expected to last long, and his DFS salary could dip slightly due to the lack of production. That makes him an even stronger play. In Thursday’s game, he is facing a left-handed pitcher, and he is hitting .307 with six doubles, eight homers, 15 RBI and a 1.001 OPS against LHP.
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas ($5,050 at DET): Beltre has a respectable .310 (13-for-42) average with two doubles, a homer, five RBI and a .769 OPS against Tigers RHP Justin Verlander. Beltre enters the week with 21 extra-base hits against right-handed pitching, and he’ll add to that total.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh (vs. SF): Cutch is hitting just .250 (16-for-64) in his career against Giants RHP Mike Leake with all of the damage coming when the righty was in Cincinnati. He also has two homers and six RBIs against Leake. Familiarity will lead to many DFS points from McCutchen.
San Francisco at St. Louis (ESPN, 8:09 p.m.)
Detroit at Chicago Cubs – OR – Tampa Bay at Houston (MLB Network, 8:05 p.m.)
Minnesota at N.Y. Yankees (MLB Network, 1:05 p.m.)
Seattle at Texas (MLB Network, 2:05 p.m.)
Detroit at Chicago Cubs (ESPN, 8:05 p.m.)
Minnesota at Baltimore – OR – San Francisco at Pittsburgh (MLB Network, 7:05 p.m.)
Atlanta at Chicago Cubs (MLB Network, 4:05 p.m.)
L.A. Dodgers at Houston (MLB Network, 8:10 p.m.)
N.Y. Mets at Colorado (MLB Network, 8:40 p.m.)
Cleveland at N.Y. Yankees (MLB Network. 1:05 p.m.)
San Francisco at Pittsburgh (FOX Sports 1, 4:05 p.m.)
Texas at Detroit (FOX Sports 1, 7:08 p.m.)
Tampa Bay at Oakland – OR – Toronto at L.A. Angels (MLB Network, 9:05 p.m.)
L.A. Dodgers at Houston (TBS, 2:10 p.m.)
San Francisco at Pittsburgh (ESPN, 8:08 p.m.)