clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Baseball Picks Today: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for August 21

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

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Another great week of fantasy baseball gets started with an eight-game slate on DraftKings this Monday. The action gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET and includes two early divisional matchups from the National League. There are two interleague matchups later in the evening along with some very important contests that will impact Wild Card races.

As always when playing DFS fantasy baseball, be sure to monitor for pregame updates 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 $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]



Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox ($10,300) – The White Sox offense couldn’t even get going at Coors Field in Colorado, and now they’ll come home to take on the Mariners, who have won six straight and just swept the Astros in Houston. The two teams trending in opposite directions set up well for Castillo to produce plenty of fantasy points.

He has gone 4-1 in his past eight starts with a 3.60 ERA, a 3.87 FIP and 52 strikeouts in 50 innings. He only had three strikeouts in his most recent outing but had at least seven strikeouts in four of his six previous outings with a high point of 11 Ks against the Twins just after the All-Star break. Over that eight-start span, Castillo averaged 20.2 DKFP with over 22 DKFP in five of those starts. This will be his first start of the year against the White Sox, who rank third-worst in the majors in runs scored over the last 30 days while hitting .233 with a .283 team wOBA. Although they rallied to win on Sunday, they’re still just 2-6 over their past eight games. They should be a good matchup for Castillo, as he tries to help the Mariners keep rolling.

Other Options – Blake Snell ($10,600), Jordan Montgomery ($9,800)


Allan Winans, Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets ($7,500) – The Braves recalled Winans from Triple-A to start on Monday when they open their home series against the Mets. Winans has spent the year in Triple-A playing for the Gwinnett Stripers. He went 8-3 in 20 games with a 2.79 ERA, 3.92 FIP and 8.04 K/9 rate. He isn’t considered an elite prospect since he’s already 28 years old and doesn’t have dominant velocity, but he was just ranked the No. 30 prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline.

Winans showed his high ceiling in his last call-up, which also came against the Mets. On August 12, Winans threw seven shutout innings in a doubleheader against New York, allowing four hits and striking out nine on his way to 33.6 DKFP. He had plenty of run support in that contest since the Braves won, 21-3. While that’s a tough act to follow, it does help that he’ll be at home and still have the high-powered Atlanta lineup backing him up. Even if he doesn’t get all the way to 30 DKFP, he should be a good value consideration under $8K on this slate. If he puts together another strong start or two, he could earn a more long-term spot on the team as well since Yonny Chirinos has been struggling.

Other Options – James Paxton ($8,300), Paul Blackburn ($7,000), Drew Rom ($4,000)



Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros ($5,700) – Devers had three hits in each of the three games as the Red Sox swept the Yankees in New York this weekend, going 9-for-13 (.692) with a double, two home runs, a .804 wOBA and an average of 22.3 DKFP per contest. While that kind of roll is unsustainable, he has been excellent since the All-Star break and has hit .336 in his 30 games in that span with nine home runs, seven doubles and a .440 wOBA. He and the Red Sox open an important Wild Card series in Houston by taking on Cristian Javier ($7,100), who allowed five home runs in his last four starts and given up multiple runs in each of those outings with a 5.31 ERA and 6.46 FIP. On the season, 10 of Javier’s 19 homers allowed have been to left-handed hitters, who have a .354 wOBA against him. The Red Sox lefties should be set up for success, and Devers is in a good spot to stay scorching hot.


Zack Gelof, Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals ($5,400) – Another infielder on a fantasy tear lately is Athletics 2B Zack Gelof. The 23-year-old rookie has multiple hits in eight of his past 20 games and hit .350 over that span with seven homers, seven doubles and four stolen bases. Gelof averaged 11.95 DKFP per contest during that stretch and is a strong play to check out against lefty Tucker Davidson ($7,100), who will be making his first start of the season as an opener in front of Alec Marsh ($5,800), who is 0-6 with a 5.58 ERA and 6.82 FIP in nine games this season.

Other Options – Bobby Witt Jr. ($6,200), Paul Goldschmidt ($5,800), Spencer Steer ($5,000)


Masyn Winn, St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,500) – Winn is also getting his first taste of the majors and is actually a month younger than Schanuel even though he was drafted back in 2020 as an 18-year-old. Winn had a strong season in Memphis, where he hit .288 with 18 home runs and 17 stolen bases. He is the Cardinals' No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, which ranks him No. 32 in all of baseball. Winn picked up his first MLB hit on Friday and added two more hits Sunday. He has gone 3-for-11 and not looked at all overmatched. He should be ready to continue contributing on Monday when the Cardinals face lefty Bailey Falter ($6,300) in their series opener in Pittsburgh.

Other Options – Andrew Vaughn ($3,300), Michael Massey ($3,000), Noelvi Marte ($2,600)



Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox ($5,900) – Rodriguez has been historically hot over the past few days and quickly erased a sophomore slump that he has been stuck in much of this season. He set the record for most hits in a four-game span with 17 hits from Wednesday to Saturday of last week and then went 1-for-5 with a double on Sunday. Julio’s production has been solid since the All-Star break, but it has gone to a new level over his last 15 games. In those 15 contests, Rodriguez had 10 multi-hit games and went 33-for-71 (.465) with seven stolen bases, nine doubles, four homers, a .527 wOBA and an average of 17.1 DKFP per contest. Rodriguez has been so hot that it doesn’t matter who he faces, but Touki Toussaint ($7,500) should be a fine matchup for him to again return elite value while his salary remains just under $6K.

Jorge Soler, Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres ($5,100) – Soler has seized the job as the Marlins' leadoff hitter over the past few weeks and brings plenty of power potential to his spot atop the lineup. He is up to 32 homers on the season, eight of which have come in his last 17 games. In those 17 contests, he went 17-for-65 (.262) with a .414 wOBA and .385 ISO. He and the Marlins will have to take on Michael Wacha ($9,800) in their series opener in San Diego.

Other Options – Ronald Acuna Jr. ($6,800), Luis Robert Jr. ($5,200)


Tommy Pham, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers ($4,000) – Pham has been a fixture in the middle of Arizona’s batting order since being picked up at the Trade Deadline and has caught fire after a slow start with his new club. He comes into this week riding an 11-game hitting streak. In those 11 games, he has gone 14-for-45 (.311) with four doubles, a triple and three home runs, boosting him to a .333 ISO and .401 wOBA over that span. He put up double-digit DKFP in six of his past nine games while averaging 13.0 DKFP per game.


MJ Melendez, Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics ($3,400) – Melendez doesn’t have catcher eligibility anymore but he does still bring good value under $3.5K. He moved back to the leadoff spot for the Royals in their last two games with Maikel Garcia ($4,100; ribs) day-to-day. If Garcia is out again, Melendez should be at the top of the order again, but even if he drops back into the heart of the order, he’s a solid play against Paul Blackburn ($7,000) and the A’s. Melendez has hit safely in 13 of his past 14 games and went 21-for-56 (.375) during that stretch with five doubles, four home runs and a .448 wOBA.

Other Options – Tyler O’Neill ($3,700), Dominic Canzone ($3,000), Jesus Sanchez ($2,800)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

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.