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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 26

Nick Friar gives his top studs and value plays for Friday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

There are some compelling high-priced pitching options on Friday, but there are even more big bats in appealing matchups. Here are my favorite DraftKings plays for Friday’s MLB main slate.

For additional picks across all MLB games, find me on Twitter @Nick_Friar.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: $250K Relay Throw [$100K to 1st]



Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres at Kansas City Royals ($9,300) – Although Gerrit Cole ($10,700) has the highest ceiling of the day, he hasn’t been living up to his price tag of late. Musgrove hasn’t exactly lived up to his tag this month either, but he’s coming off a strong start and facing another soft lineup. The Royals have a 23.8% strikeout rate and .136 ISO against right-handed pitching since the deadline, presenting the San Diego right-hander with a chance to go off in KC.

Other Option - Alex Wood ($8,300)


Mike Minor, Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals ($5,900) – The one thing about Minor on Friday is the weather might be a bit spotty in DC. Keep close tabs on this. If it looks too dicey, you’ve got two more good salary-saving options listed below.

As for what makes Minor most appealing, it sure isn’t his recent form. This is all about his opponent.

Since the deadline, the Nats have seen their share of left-handed pitching, and those meetings have not gone well. Throughout those matchups, they’ve posted a .132 ISO and 26% strikeout rate. Minor has been brutal this month, but that means he’s due. He’s taken advantage of opportunities against the right opponents — like Washington — and he allows you to pay up big-time elsewhere while still providing a good chance at covering his salary.

Other Option - Justin Steele ($7,600), Glenn Otto ($6,200)



Pete Alonso, New York Mets vs. Colorado Rockies ($5,300) – Although his 30.2% hard-contact rate against left-handers in August isn’t mind-blowing, Alonso enters Friday’s game with a .200 ISO and 46% fly-ball rate against them this month. That’ll play well against Chad Kuhl ($5,600), who has allowed right-handed hitters to post a 41.9% hard-contact rate, 54.8% fly-ball rate and .530 wOBA in his last five outings away from Coors.


Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals ($5,400) – There’s no doubt Jose Quintana ($7,400) has been good this season and was a strong acquisition by the Cardinals at the deadline. But, Riley is just too good against left-handed pitching. Since the break, he has an absurd .519 ISO against lefties, which is thanks to the fact he’s barely hitting the ball on the ground (eight percent) and making loads of hard contact (40%).


Bryson Stott, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,000) – There aren’t a whole lot of ways to save at short on Friday. Stott is on the pricier end of the value options, but he’s worth it in this matchup against Bryse Wilson ($5,800).

Throughout August, left-handed hitters have posted a 44.4% fly-ball rate and 56.8% hard-contact rate against Wilson. Somehow, they’ve only registered a .212 BABIP during that span, so he’s due for more struggles against lefties. That works perfectly for Stott. The Philly shortstop has a 42% fly-ball rate and 38% hard-contact rate against right-handed pitching this month, and he’s logged an extra-base hit or multiple hits in seven consecutive games.


Christian Arroyo, Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($2,500) – Arroyo has been cooking with gas lately, posting double-digit DKFP in four of his last seven starts. On the month, he’s hitting .342 off the back of a 39.4% hard-contact rate. He’s hit for more power against right-handed pitching, but he’s making better contact against left-handed pitching. His ability to handle righties and lefties will play well against the Rays on Friday, given they’re set to open with right-hander JT Chargois ($4,000) then stretch out Ryan Yarbrough ($6,500).

Other Option - Jose Trevino ($3,000)



Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics ($6,200) – Why isn’t Judge the most expensive hitter on the slate like he usually is? Well, he’s slowed down a bit, and he’s playing in Oakland on Friday.

But Judge is facing a left-handed pitcher the Yankees know well in JP Sears ($6,700). And if there’s one thing to note about Sears, it’s that he gives up a lot of fly balls. That’s a recipe for disaster against Judge, who has a career .702 slugging percentage at the Coliseum.


Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,800) – Somehow, Schwarber only has a .167 ISO against right-handed pitching this month. That’s a huge dip from his season-long .315 ISO. It’s even more shocking when considering the type of contact he’s made against righties throughout August, which is what makes him so appealing against Wilson. Schwarber has a 32.1% line-drive rate, 46.4% fly-ball rate and 37.9% hard-contact rate against righties this month.

Other Option - Bryce Harper ($5,700)


Robbie Grossman, Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals ($2,000) – Grossman has hit Quintana well throughout his career, which is why he jumps out in this left-on-lefty matchup. As you look deeper at the numbers, on the back of a 41.9% line-drive rate and 32.3% fly-ball rate, Grossman has posted a .372 average in his last 53 plate appearances against lefties. Considering left-handed hitters have a 30.6% line-drive rate against Quintana this season, Grossman is in position to continue his success against the St. Louis lefty.


Trey Mancini, Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles ($3,900) – There’s a bit of an intangible at play here with Mancini getting a shot at his old team. Plus, he’s entering this game in good form, having launched home runs in back-to-back games. Mancini also has a .340 ISO, 54.8% fly-ball rate and 35.5% hard-contact rate against right-handed pitching since the deadline. That’ll play against Kyle Bradish ($6,100), who has allowed righties to post a 40.9% hard-contact rate despite generating a 39.5% ground-ball rate across his last four outings.


Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Left-handed Phillies against Wilson is a recipe for success. As discussed when highlighting Stott, Wilson gives up a lot of fly balls and hard contact to left-handed hitters. That puts Stott, Schwarber and the returning Bryce Harper ($5,700) in play. Nick Maton ($3,100) isn’t typically a power-hitting option, but he’s making a lot of quality contact against righties this month.

Other Option - Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: $250K Relay Throw [$100K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is dk-nfriar) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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