Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Late-Season Pickups August 7 – Bleacher Report

Nothing complicates a decision quite like an abundance of high-quality choices.

When perusing Friday’s starting pitchers, the same anxiety will torture DraftKings contestants that pours over anyone scrolling through a crowded Netflix queue. Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole, Jose Fernandez, Jacob deGrom, Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel all take the mound on a loaded evening.

By the way, that list didn’t even mention Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, Lance Lynn, Jake Odorizzi and James Shields.

Among the bevy of aces, a trio stands out as top studs with great matchups. Have at least one lead the way on Friday night.


The Aces

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Take your pick between Kershaw, Fernandez and/or deGrom. All three are costly stars worth the money.

Top Friday SP Options
Player OPP DK Price IP ERA K/9 BB/9 Last 4 Games
Clayton Kershaw @ PIT $15,000 148.0 2.37 11.68 1.70 34 IP, 0.00 ERA, 35 K, 1 BB
Jose Fernandez @ ATL $13,000 38.0 2.13 11.13 2.13 25 IP, 2.16 ERA, 30 K, 8 BB
Jacob deGrom @ TB $12,100 133.1 2.09 9.11 1.62 27.2 IP, 1.30 ERA, 33 K, 4 BB

FanGraphs.com; Prices via DraftKings.com

Kershaw hasn’t relinquished a run since July 3, and he’s gone eight or nine innings over his last four scoreless gems. Against lefties, the Pittsburgh Pirates plunder with a 23.4 strikeout percentage and .305 weighted on-base average (wOBA). 

In six starts back from Tommy John surgery, Fernandez has authored a 1.75 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) while fanning 47 batters through 36 innings. Although the righty registers a 3.87 career road ERA, the reeling Atlanta Braves will now go to battle without their biggest offensive threat, Freddie Freeman.

Alan Diaz/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays have recorded a .296 wOBA against righties, and deGrom is a darn good one. He has buried split concerns with a 2.69 ERA and .185 opposing average on the road, and the New York Mets ace has limited the opposition to two or fewer runs in 12 of his last 13 starts.

Kershaw is the best pick in a vacuum, but he also costs 30 percent ($15,000) of users’ budget. Fading him while he’s this hot is risky, especially in cash contests. 


SP Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies ($6,000) at San Diego

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

He’s still cheap, so keep riding Aaron Nola. The 22-year-old rookie has notched a 3.38 ERA and 0.96 WHIP through three starts, and the formerly light-hitting Philadelphia Phillies woke up to score double-digit runs in each of his past two outings.

While the newcomer hasn’t faced the roughest competition (Rays, Chicago Cubs, Braves), he’ll continue that trend by facing the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. They match Tampa Bay’s futility against righties with a .296 wOBA and 21.9 strikeout percentage.

Anyone playing Kershaw will appreciate a discounted running mate who should hold his own and leave some money left over for hitters. 


OF Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals ($4,700) vs. White Sox 

Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

An expensive option after salivating over five-figure hurlers, but the splits are too mouthwatering to ignore Lorenzo Cain. The breakout star is hitting .352/.423/.582 against lefties, and opposing righties have pegged southpaw John Danks to a .308/.364/.513 line.

Danks twirled six scoreless innings during his last encounter with the Kansas City Royals, but he still carries a 4.80 ERA on the season, and that mark shoots up to 6.29 on the road. Cain has opened August on a swoon, but that keeps his tag below $5,000.


1B Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels ($3,800) vs. Baltimore

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Kevin Gausman ($5,400) is another sleeper starting pitcher to pair with an exorbitantly priced ace. He has yielded two runs in three home starts and finally has a deserved spot in the Baltimore Orioles rotation locked down.

But Albert Pujols for $3,800 is a great deal against a right-handed pitcher still working his way up the ranks. The first baseman has belted 25 of his 30 home runs against righties this year, giving him a .549 slugging percentage. Most of the power popped up in June, but it hasn’t vanished since with six July dingers

While it wouldn’t be a matchup to love if normally appraised, Pujols comes at a notable bargain.


3B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals ($3,400) vs. Colorado

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

A .213/.272/.369 hitter isn’t the best bet, and Jorge De La Rosa ($6,500) represents another potential bargain away from Coors Field. Oh well, let’s roll the dice on Ryan Zimmerman anyway.

The 30-year-old is a career .307/.389/.497 hitter against lefties who has a .724 OPS against them during a disastrous, injury-riddled campaign. Although the results haven’t manifested yet, he has generated a 38.6 hard-hit percentage versus southpaws. 


OF Nolan Reimold, Baltimore Orioles ($2,200) at Angels

Gail Burton/Associated Press

A minimally priced punt will come in handy on Friday night, and outfield is usually the place to find a low-cost platoon weapon. Nolan Reimold wields a .366 wOBA in a limited sample size (47 plate appearances) against southpaws.

Gerardo Parra’s arrival pushed him down the batting order during his last start, but some gamers will only have half of their budget allotted for position players. 


Note: All advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

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