Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (8/31/17): MLB DFS Advice for FanDuel and DraftKings

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Thursday's main slate is an ugly one. Two of the most intriguing pitching options in Gio Gonzalez and Zach Davies will square off against one another and Madison Bumgarner will go up against one of the hottest hitting teams in baseball. Meanwhile, bargain hitting options don't jump off the page on the slate either. All of that makes this slate a tricky one. Give that, let's dig right in.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on 8/31/17. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @DanMarcus3.

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DFS Starting Pitchers to Consider

Madison Bumgarner, SFG vs. STL (DK - $12,100, FD - $9,800)

Mad Bum is back in form, which is clear from him posting six consecutive starts having completed six or more innings.  Unfortunately, the Giants offense doesn’t give him much win upside as despite pitching both effectively and deep into games, he has only two wins in those six starts. Beyond that, this matchup is a bit troubling as the Cardinals have a 124 wRC+ as a team over the past 30 days, second best in the league. That makes Bumgarner harder to trust, but there are few solid cash game options on Thursday’s main slate keeping Bumgarner in consideration.

Zach Davies, MIL vs. WAS (DK - $8,500, FD - $8,000)

Both of the pitchers are intriguing on Thursday’s main slate. However, it is worth elaborating on Davies mostly due to his matchup as the Nationals have the worst wRC+ in baseball over the past 30 days. Thus, one of the most feared teams from early in the season is no longer so fierce. Of course, Trea Turner has made his return to the lineup, however, they still have a depleted outfield. Given Davies’ recent string of strong performances, he is worth a shot in tournaments.

 

DFS Infielders to Consider

Welington Castillo - C, BAL vs. TOR (DK - $3,300, FD - $3,300)

Everything points to good things for Welington Castillo on Thursday as he has a .620 slugging percentage post All-Star Break and that hot streak has carried over to the short term as well as he has five home runs in August and two in the past week. Meanwhile, Marco Estrada continues to surrender home runs, as he has allowed 1.48 HR/9 innings in 30 innings pitched in August.

Jesus Aguilar - 1B, MIL vs. WAS (DK - $3,600, FD - $2,500)

Jesus Aguilar now mans the short side of the platoon for the Brewers at first base, so he should find himself in the starting lineup on Thursday against Gio Gonzalez. While Gonzalez has been a tough matchup this season, Aguilar has posted a .538 slugging percentage and a 131 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season. He offers a nice GPP/salary relief play on Thursday’s main slate.

Eduardo Nunez - 2B, BOS @ NYY (DK - $4,500, FD - $3,300)

The second base options on the main slate are unattractive unless you plan to pay all the way up for Jonathan Schoop. That said, the splits are against Nunez in that he hits righties better than lefties but he continues to hit the ball well and is at a playable price. That makes him one of the better options in a weak second base player pool on this slate.

Josh Donaldson - 3B, TOR @ BAL (DK - $4,800, FD - $3,400)

Donaldson has roared back to his old form in August, posting a .421 ISO and 186 wRC+. Meanwhile, Jeremy Hellickson has allowed 1.84 HR/9 on the season and 2.04 HR/9 since the All-Star Break. That makes Donaldson an elite play at third base with slight discount baked in.

Javier Baez - SS, CHC vs. ATL (DK - $3,400, FD - $3,200)

Javier Baez has turned his season around since becoming an everyday player, but he has always mashed left-handed pitching. On the season, he has an excellent .302 ISO against them. He will have an opportunity to build on that on Thursday when Sean Newcomb will take the hill for the Braves, a left-hander who has surrendered 1.57 HR/9 and carries a 5.33 xFIP against right handed hitters into the matchup on Thursday.

 

DFS Outfielders to Consider

Christian Yelich - OF, MIA vs. PHI (DK - $4,600, FD - $3,800)

Yelich is far from the best option on the Marlins as far as recent production, he is the third best option in his own outfield, but that makes him a nice pivot play. Splits also indicate that Yelich may be the sharp play on Thursday as Ben Lively has allowed 1.71 HR/9 to left-handed hitters on the year. It’s never a bad idea to pay up for Giancarlo Stanton, but Yelich does offer significant savings and has some enticing splits in his favor.

Nick Williams - OF, PHI @ MIA (DK - $3,100, FD - $3,400)

Staying with the Miami-Philadelphia matchup, Nick Williams has been overshadowed by Rhys Hoskins but has been very solid in his own right. He has posted a .567 slugging percentage on the road and has reverse platoon splits, so his matchup against Odrisamer Despaigne gives him a great opportunity to produce.

Trey Mancini - OF, BAL vs. TOR (DK - $3,400, FD - $3,100)

The matchup of Trey Mancini versus Marco Estrada features two players with reverse platoon splits, making Mancini a player to target on Thursday. The game features the highest total on the main slate and Mancini’s 145 wRC+ when facing righties comes at a reasonable price on both DK and FanDuel.

 

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