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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (8/18/21): MLB DFS Lineups

Shohei Ohtani - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Happy Wednesday, Rotoballers! There are five afternoon contests on tap, and it leaves us with a 10-game evening slate. The greatest rivalry in baseball starts the proceedings as the Red Sox wraps up their series versus the New York Yankees. Then, we get baseball the entire night until the Pirates and Dodgers begin the final game of the night at 10:10 pm ET. Recently, the weather has played ball, and the postponements are rare. The only game to watch out for is the Blue Jays at Nationals, where there's a 35 percent chance of rain. 

You could choose any of the top six arms and be in a good spot when it comes to pitching. The only one I'm wary of is Nick Pivetta versus the Yankees. With so many other high-priced options, I'll be fading him against a Yankees lineup capable of ruining any DFS pitcher's evening with a couple of swings. Zack Greinke, Marco Gonzales, and Tarik Skubal make up the value pitchers I'm looking to pair with one of the expensive hurlers. However, it could be a night to go big on the mound and grab two of those top-six arms.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 8/18/2021. The lineup will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also check out today's FanDuel MLB DFS lineup picks and read more DFS advice and lineup picks for other sports too. It’s also important to monitor injury news and today's MLB starting lineups. If you have any questions or comments, find me on Twitter and ask away.


DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Shohei Ohtani - P, LAA at DET ($8,600)

Shohei Ohtani is the least expensive of the "big six" pitchers I've identified on this slate. However, while he'll cost us the least amount of capital, he will be in the running for the most-rostered arm among tonight's contests. I think the two-way phenom is a must-start in cash games, but it will open the door for Tarik Skubal ($7,400) to become an intriguing contrarian play in tournaments. As for Ohtani, he's started the second half on a tear. In his four starts since the Mid-Summer Classic, the righty is throwing a 1.44 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 25 strikeouts in 25 innings. He's 3-0 in the four starts, and his 22.3 percent strikeout minus walk rate (K-BB%) is trailing only Freddy Peralta (23.5 percent) amongst tonight's starters. Plus, the Tigers sport a 23.7 percent strikeout rate and an 88 wRC+ versus righties since the break, and Ohtani is primed for another big DFS evening.

Marco Gonzales - P, SEA at TEX ($7,600)

I suggested grabbing two of the top-six arms in the intro if you want to go big at pitching. However, the current stretch from Marco Gonzales combined with the matchup against Texas is too good to gloss over. The Mariners southpaw is coming off a nine-inning gem against this same Rangers lineup where he allowed two hits, a walk, and a run while striking out nine lost Rangers. Since the second half kicked off, Gonzales has thrown a 1.67 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and is 3-0 in five starts. A look at the advanced metrics would scare us a bit, but a rematch with Texas is too tempting. The Rangers are already making tee time reservations for October at this point in the season, and their .186/.229/.295 slash line versus lefties since the break illustrates why this is such an excellent spot for Gonzales.

Other options: Freddy Peralta at STL ($10,200), Charlie Morton at MIA ($9,700), Zack Greinke at KC ($8,100)


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DraftKings DFS Infielders

Will Smith - C, LAD vs. JT Brubaker ($5,200)

Sometimes catcher is the easiest spot in a lineup to roster a punt play, but let's turn this weakness into strength tonight by rostering Will Smith. The Dodger's primary backstop is in splendid form at the moment after a monster weekend series versus the Mets. In the three-game set between the two playoff contenders, Smith accumulated three runs, seven RBI, and three home runs to continue his recent run since the All-Star break. He leads all qualified catchers with 27 RBI, a 1.116 OPS, and a .459 weighted On-Base Average and is a great pick to lead your teams to DFS success on Wednesday.

Ty France - 1B, SEA at Mike Foltynewicz ($4,000)

A run of four straight games versus left-handed starters will end for Seattle tonight against Mike Foltynewicz. This means Ty France should slide back from the three-hole to the fourth spot on the lineup card for the Mariners. The infielder has six multi-hit games in his last 11 contests, and his .345 batting average only trails Freddie Freeman among qualified first basemen since the All-Star break. His extreme plate discipline (.363 OBP this year) and recent power surge (.553 SLG in last 10 games) makes France an excellent choice at first base when you factor in his discounted $4,000 price point.

Brandon Lowe - 2B, TB vs. Spenser Watkins ($5,300)

Tampa Bay is surging towards another AL East crown, and Brandon Lowe is one of the catalysts. Over the last month, Tampa Bay's second baseman is one of the premier offensive options at the position. In his previous 29 games, he's compiled 22 runs (fourth at the position), 20 RBI (fourth), seven home runs (third), and owns a .413 wOBA. His 170 wRC+ is dominant, and it will continue to shine versus Spenser Watkins' 5.33 xFIP and 14.5 percent strikeout rate on Wednesday.

Austin Riley - 3B, ATL at Jesus Luzardo ($4,600)

I always like to include a home run-hunting pick in my DFS picks article, and today's nominee is Austin Riley. I'll confess it's not an out-of-left-field kind of pick as Riley's 11 home runs in the second half tie him with George Springer for the second-most in baseball. However, over the last three years, the slugger has shown us just how dominant of a power hitter he can be when he's seeing the ball like he is now. Over his last 10 games, Riley has a .293/.356/.610 slash line with nine runs, six RBI, four doubles, and three home runs. The third baseman added another long ball to his season total last night, and I'm betting on him smacking his 27th of the year off Jesus Luzardo tonight.

Nick Ahmed - SS, ARI vs. Ranger Suarez ($3,000)

One of the few value picks I'll make in today's column is Nick Ahmed. While his teammate, Josh Rojas ($4,900), is knocking the ball all over the park, Ahmed has an opportunity to be a sneaky value play against a lefty. Ahmed should slot in as the leadoff hitter for the Diamondbacks versus Ranger Suarez, and it's a role where the shortstop excels in 2021. When he bats at the top of the lineup, the right-handed bat slashes .297/.357/.486 compared to .224/.263/.303 when he occupies the eight-hole on the manager's card. He's been better since the All-Star break (.739 OPS), and I'll grab this discounted table-setter while it allows me to fit in the bigger hitters on the schedule.


DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Eloy Jimenez - OF, CWS vs. Cole Irvin ($5,200)

After being (almost) left for dead with an injury at the start of the year, Eloy Jimenez has returned to the White Sox lineup and is making up for the lost time. In the 17 games since his return, Jimenez has an even 1.000 OPS with four doubles, six home runs, nine runs, and a whopping 20 RBI. Plus, over his last 10 games, he's recorded a hit in nine of them and multiple hits in seven. His massive returns have DFS managers jumping for joy despite the high salary. Additionally, I like the righty on lefty advantage he will have on Cole Irvin tonight, where his opponent is fighting off the regression bug (3.07 ERA compared to 5.07 SIERA since the All-Star break). If you can afford it, Jimenez is a perfect building block piece for your offense.

J.D. Martinez - OF, BOS at Andrew Heaney ($4,800)

While J.D. Martinez only has two home runs in his last 10 games, he's putting a lot of bat on the ball, and it will likely result in a positive outcome versus Andrew Heaney. In the same stretch, the four-time All-Star is slashing .333/.381/.590 with 11 RBI, seven runs, four doubles, and two long balls. There's not a lot to break down here, unfortunately. I like a slugger like Martinez in a small ballpark like Yankee Stadium versus a home-run prone pitcher like Andrew Heaney. The recent acquisition from the Angels has seen eight home runs clear the fence in his last three starts combined.

Jake Meyers - OF, HOU at Brady Singer ($2,200)

With Kyle Tucker (undisclosed) out for the week and Yordan Alvarez (stomach) possibly sitting out another contest, Jake Meyers should find his name in the starting lineup for the fifth game in a row. He's anchored to the bottom-third of this impressive Astros lineup, but it's always worth having a piece of an offense that can put up double digits runs any night it takes the field. Meyers is putting forth his contribution, however. Over his last six games, the rookie is 7-for-21 with six runs, five RBI, two doubles, and two home runs.


DraftKings DFS Stacks

  • Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles (Spenser Watkins, RHP)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (JT Brubaker, RHP)
  • Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins (Jesus Luzardo, LHP)


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