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Fantasy Baseball Picks Today: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 19

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

It should be a spectacular Saturday night of fantasy baseball with 10 games on the main featured slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:10 p.m. ET. Three of the games are divisional matchups and two are interleague contests. One of those interleague games takes place at Coors Field, but the offenses in that matchup have been struggling, which sets up an interesting scenario.

As always when playing DFS fantasy baseball, be sure to monitor for updates before game time that should impact your lineup. You can keep up with all the latest injury, weather and lineup news by installing the DK Live app and following DraftKings Network on X (@DKNetwork). I’m also on X (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the regular season races play out and we get geared up for what should be an outstanding postseason.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]



PITCHER

Stud

Sonny Gray, Minnesota Twins vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($8,700) – There are several strong options on the mound Saturday night, but Gray is remarkably affordable for the upside he brings in this favorable matchup at home against the Pirates. Since the All-Star break, the Pirates are hitting only .227 as a team, which is the third-lowest team batting average over that span, and they are averaging just 3.96 runs per game. The Pirates also have a 25.9% K% over that span, the sixth-highest in the majors.

Gray comes into the favorable spot after five straight strong outings. In each of those starts, he allowed three earned runs or fewer while pitching at least six innings. He went 2-1 in those five starts and racked up 34 strikeouts in 31 innings. In his last three starts, he has been especially sharp, with 25 strikeouts in 19 innings. Gray had over 25 DKFP in each of those three games. Throughout this season, Gray has pitched well at home. In 63 home innings, Gray has a 3.00 ERA, 2.45 FIP and 1.21 WHIP. With good form and a favorable matchup, Gray has a ceiling much higher than his salary indicates at under $9K.

Other Options – Kodai Senga ($9,700), Julio Urias ($9,200), Merrill Kelly ($8,300)

Value

Cole Irvin, Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics ($5,500) – Irvin is another player with a higher ceiling than other pitchers in the same salary range. Irvin gets a good matchup against his former team, the Athletics, who have been one of the worst offenses in the majors this season. Oakland traded Irvin to the Orioles this past offseason, and the 29-year-old lefty has just recently rejoined the team’s rotation as it expanded to six starting pitchers.

Irvin had worked out of the bullpen since early July but started last Saturday in Seattle. In that outing, he went five shutout innings allowing only two hits and totaling six strikeouts. Despite getting a no-decision, he still posted 21.5 DKFP. He only has a single win on the year, but with 50 strikeouts in 53 innings, there is a lot of upside to rolling with Irvin as a value play at SP, which allows you to stack up big bats across the rest of your roster.

Other Options – Yu Darvish ($8,000), Yonny Chirinos ($5,800)


INFIELD

Stud

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners ($6,300) – Altuve and the Astros are hosting the Mariners in an important divisional series that has major Wild Card implications for both teams. Altuve has battled injuries but has been very productive since returning on July 26. In his 20 games since then, he went 31-for-77 (.403) with five doubles, three homers, seven stolen bases and a .470 wOBA. In those 20 games, he averaged 12.5 DKFP. Altuve should be in a good spot to keep rolling as he faces Logan Gilbert ($8,800). In their previous meetings, Altuve went 8-for-19 (.421) with six extra-base hits, including a home run.

Stud

Ezequiel Tovar, Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago White Sox ($4,900) – Tovar has emerged as one of the Rockies' promising young players in what has been a very difficult season for Colorado. Tovar just turned 22 on August 1, but he has established himself as a strong contributor from the first or second spot in the lineup for the Rockies since the All-Star break. Tovar has multiple hits in six of his 14 most recent games and went 18-for-55 (.327) during that span with four doubles, four homers and a pair of stolen bases. He opened the series against the White Sox with 27 DKFP on Friday and has double-digit DKFP in seven of his past 11 contests. He’s a good way to get a piece of the action at Coors Field with a high ceiling and reasonable salary under $5K.

Other Options – Matt Olson ($6,500), Alex Bregman ($5,500), Spencer Torkelson ($4,200)

Value

Elvis Andrus, Chicago White Sox at Colorado Rockies ($3,400) – Andrus has moved back to the leadoff spot for the White Sox and has been on a very nice roll lately. He can fit at either 2B or SS and comes at a surprisingly affordable salary, given the fact that he’s leading off at Coors Field, where there should be plenty of runs. Andrus went 3-for-4 with 20 DKFP in the series opener and went 18-for-45 (.400) over his last 11 games with two homers, four doubles and three stolen bases. In those 11 contests, Andrus averaged 11.9 DKFP. The veteran righty will face lefty Kyle Freeland ($5,100) in a good spot on Saturday night.

Value

Nolan Schanuel, Los Angeles Angels vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($2,700) – Schanuel made his MLB debut on Friday night, only 40 days after being drafted with the 11th overall pick by the Angels. The 21-year-old hit leadoff and went 1-for-4 with two runs scored and 9 DKFP. If he continues to hit in front of Shohei Ohtani ($6,700) and the heart of the Angels order, he should be able to return good value at such a cheap salary. During his lightning-quick climb through the minors, Schanuel hit .370 in 21 games with four doubles, a home run and a pair of stolen bases. His first stay in the majors may be short-lived since he’s filling in for C.J. Cron (back), but he brings a ton of upside and excitement to the top of the Angels’ order.

Other Options – Royce Lewis ($3,700), Kole Calhoun ($2,600), Masyn Winn ($2,500)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros ($5,700) – The Julio hype train is back in business, and I’m thrilled to be back on board! Rodriguez has smashed out of his sophomore slump and re-emerged as an elite fantasy option over the past few weeks and has been virtually impossible to get out over his past few games. On Thursday, he went 5-for-5 with a pivotal home run, five RBI and 36 DKFP against the Royals, and he followed that up with another huge game on Friday, going 4-for-5 with another home run, two stolen bases and 33 DKFP. He has been almost all of Seattle’s offense in their past two games, and the Mariners have climbed into the third and final Wild Card spot coming into the day on Saturday.

Rodriguez has at least 23 DKFP in five of his past eight games and multiple hits in nine of his past 13 games. Over those 13 games, he averaged 17.5 DKFP with a .467 batting average, .333 ISO and .543 wOBA. Rodriguez has hit lefties well all season and should be in a good spot to keep smashing against Framber Valdez ($10,200).

Jorge Soler, Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers ($5,200) – Soler has also been thriving in recent games and has actually taken over as the Marlins’ leadoff hitter in six of their last seven games. Soler homered twice on Friday night in the Marlins’ rout of the Dodgers and has six home runs in his last eight games to bring his total to 32 dingers on the season. He has smashed 13 of those homers against left-handed pitchers, who he has hit .301 against this season with a robust .472 wOBA. He will look to continue his power surge against lefty Julio Urias ($9,200) on Saturday night in the late game.

Other Options – Shoehei Ohtani ($6,700), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,100), Nolan Jones ($4,600)

Value

Harold Ramirez, Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels ($3,300) – The Rays season has come apart at the seams, but Ramirez has continued to produce when given a chance and especially excels against lefties like Patrick Sandoval ($7,200), who is scheduled to start Saturday for the Angles. Ramirez had multiple hits in three of his past four games and hit .420 (21-for-50) over his 16 most recent games with a double and a triple. He doesn’t have elite power production, with just nine homers on the season, but he does bring some pop and great contact skills to the middle of the lineup as an affordable outfield bat. Against lefties, Ramirez has a .388 batting average, four homers and a .431 wOBA on the season.

Value

Rafael Ortega, New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals ($2,300) – Ortega bounced around this year before signing with the Mets on June 18 and making his debut with the team on August 1. Over his past 14 games, the veteran lefty has been very productive with a .333 batting average, two doubles, eight runs scored and three stolen bases. He started 12 of those games, and in those contests, he averaged 7.75 DKFP per contest. He’s a solid cheap option in the outfield once again, especially against Miles Mikolas ($6,600), who usually gives up plenty of contact.

Other Options – Max Kepler ($3,600), Hunter Renfroe ($3,200), Wade Meckler ($2,100)


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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 skills 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.