MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Sunday, August 15

Sunday, Aug. 15, has a 10-game main slate followed by an intriguing four-game late-afternoon set. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Sunday, Aug. 15

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Boston Red Sox vs. LHP Keegan Akin — 6.7 implied runs

Keegan Akin has been bouncing between the bullpen and the starting rotation, and the Orioles have run out of places to hide him. The good news is that this is just the second time in his career that he has faced Boston. The bad news is that the Red Sox feast on southpaws. While Akin has not allowed a home run in his last 13.2 innings, he still has a 10.53 ERA during this stretch. Over his last 240 lefty/righty matchups, Akin has allowed a .376 wOBA and .206 ISO, which basically turns every opposing lineup into Xander Bogaerts.

Speaking of Bogaerts, he is coming in at a reasonable $19 on Yahoo today. The salary algorithm has goosed the salaries for most of the Red Sox bats, which should help keep their popularity in check. Since it is Sunday, there should be enough discount dandies with single-digit salaries drawing spot starts today. That will allow for loading up with J.D. Martinez ($22), Hunter Renfroe ($23), Enrique Hernandez ($22) and Bobby Dalbec ($17). If Christian Vazquez ($11) is in the lineup, he is a great way to take care of the catcher requirement.

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Mid-Afternoon Slate

Oakland Athletics at LHP Kolby Allard — 5.4 implied runs

There is no shortage of offense in the second wave of games, with the Cardinals taking on Kris Bubic, the White Sox facing Nestor Cortez and the Rays squaring off against Charlie Barnes. This should keep things spread out, and gamers can look to target against Kolby Allard. While Allard has allowed only four runs in his last 12 innings, he ceded three home runs. He has allowed 2.97 home runs per nine innings over the last six starts, culminating in an 8.01 ERA.

Yan Gomes is likely to be behind the dish this afternoon, and he has a long track record of success in righty/lefty matchups. Josh Harrison (quad) has missed the last couple games, and his absence means a boost in the batting order for Matt Chapman. While Chapman has struggled to make contact this season and is striking out nearly a third of the time against lefties, he still has a .211 ISO and a 12.5% walk rate. Mark Canha and Starling Marte have a great chance at seeing five plate appearances at the top of the order, and Stephen Piscotty can be a salary saver since he is typically in the lineup against lefties.

The crown jewel is Matt Olson, who continues to be underrepresented in tournaments when he is in lefty/lefty matchups. In his last 161 opportunities against same-handed pitchers he has produced a .423 wOBA with a .384 ISO.

Late Slate

Houston Astros at LHP Reid Detmers — 5.8 implied runs

It is going to be warm and humid in Anaheim today, with game-time temperatures in the low 80s with 60% humidity. Reid Detmers will be making his third appearance this season, and the first two have been pretty awful. He comes into this game with a 10.61 ERA while allowing nearly two baserunners per inning. Running the gauntlet of the Dodgers and Athletics is likely to seem like a picnic against the Astros, who are the best top-to-bottom offense against southpaws in MLB.

Kyle Tucker was moved to the COVID-19 reserve list yesterday and is unlikely to be available. Yuli Gurriel (neck) was activated from the injured reserve and back in the lineup last night in a corresponding move. Gurriel has a .411 wOBA and a .274 ISO over his last 135 righty/lefty matchups. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are core options for any Houston stack, and Yordan Alvarez and Michael Brantley are in play as well since the Angels used two of their three lefty relivers yesterday. Righties Austin Warren and Steve Cishek are likely to pick up the slack once Detmers hits the showers. There is a chance that the Angels will bring up someone from Triple-A, with their bullpen seeing heavy use over the last 72 hours and their starting rotation thinned out by the trade of Andrew Heaney and the injury to Alex Cobb.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Aaron Nola vs. Cincinnati Reds — 4.0 implied runs

In his last start Aaron Nola was dealing against the Dodgers before a rain delay ended his night after just four innings. The Reds offense can be formidable, but Nola is a great deal on Yahoo and FanDuel as a result. Strikeouts are currency in MLB DFS, and Nola is an artist in that regard. The downside is that this iteration of the Cincinnati lineup is good at making contact, so he will have his work cut out for him.

Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Lucas Giolito vs. New York Yankees — 3.5 implied runs

Facing the Yankees is always a daunting task, particularly with the addition of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo. While Rizzo is on the shelf, Luke Voit is back in the mix and swings a big bat. There is still the trio of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and D.J. LeMahieu to contend with as well. Fortunately, this inherent risk is already factored into Lucas Giolito’s DFS salary, which keeps him in play as a top tournament option.

There are strikeouts to be had when going against New York, and today’s projected lineup features six hitters with a 26.4% or higher strikeout rate. Across his last 800 batters faced, Giolito is just shy of a 30% strikeout rate while keep opposing power hitters in check. In this timeframe Giolito has started with an 0-1 count against nearly two-thirds of the batters he has faced, aided by his 65.5% first-strike rate and 15.4% swinging-strike rate.

Wild Card: RHP Elieser Hernandez vs. Chicago Cubs — 3.6 implied runs

FanDuel and Yahoo missed the boat here, and Elieser Hernandez is at a great discount coming off the 60-day injured list. Hernandez has made three rehabilitation starts in the minors, and he was up to 62 pitches in his last start. He likely could have gone more but had 10 strikeouts while facing just 16 batters, so there was no need to push him. Today something in the 75- to 80-pitch range seems appropriate, and as long as he does not labor in any single inning, there is a decent chance he will go five frames this afternoon.

Final Thoughts for the Sunday, Aug. 15 MLB DFS Picks Slate

There are plenty of quality offensive matchups today, which should make things interesting in tournaments. Do not be afraid to roll the dice with some of the mid-tier pitching in order to bulk up with premium double-stack lineups.

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