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

Zach Thompson provides his top studs and value plays at each position for Wednesday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Major League Baseball has a very solid 11-game slate on tap for Wednesday night made up of four divisional games and seven interleague contests. The featured contests on DraftKings lock at 7:05 p.m. ET, when the first two games of the night get started in New York and Pittsburgh. Four of these games also start after 9:00 p.m. ET, so there are some later options to consider as well. Not only is there a nice variety of start times, there are also some games that look like they’ll be pitchers duels while others could be slugfests, including of course the game scheduled for Coors Field between the Astros and Rockies as their series shifts from Houston to Denver.

As you get your DraftKings MLB lineups ready, there are some key matchups to make sure to focus on. Based on form, matchup and expected opportunity, I’ve selected my favorite value plays and studs at each position. Make sure to stay locked in to @DKLive on Twitter throughout the day and check the latest news in the DK Live app for any breaking news that may impact your roster.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: MLB $300K Gyroball [$100K to 1st]

Starting Pitcher


Gerrit Cole, NYY vs. TB, $11,000 — While the Rays have been surging a bit lately, the Yankees will turn to their new ace to get the momentum back in the AL East. Cole has been excellent since signing his mega deal this past offseason and has produced at least 19.9 DKFP in each of his five starts while going 4-0 with a 2.76 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. He has continued his strong strikeout rate with 34 in his first 29.1 innings and had his only 10-strikeout performance of the season when he faced the Rays two weeks ago. He’ll take on Tampa Bay again in this matchup, but this time he’ll be in his new home at Yankee Stadium, where he has a 1.38 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 13 innings this season.

Other Options — Jacob deGrom ($11,800), Merrill Kelly ($9,500), Lance Lynn ($9,200)


Dane Dunning, CWS vs. DET, $4,500 — The White Sox and Tigers will each be starting young pitchers in their MLB debut in their AL Central matchup in Chicago. While Casey Mize ($6,900) comes with more fanfare and pedigree since he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, I actually think Dunning is the better play here and also saves a ton of salary to spend up and build a stacked lineup behind him. Before we get to his specific numbers, he gets a better matchup than Mize and should have a good shot at a win since he’s backed by the young-but-impressive White Sox lineup. Dunning also has the advantage over Mize in another critical category: strikeouts. Dunning struck out 100 in 86 1/3 innings in 2018 before missing all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery. While neither youngster has pitched in Triple-A, Mize had 120 strikeouts in his 123 innings last season. Long-term Mize is definitely the better prospect, but Dunning is so cheap and in a better matchup, so I think he’s a great value option with decent upside in his MLB debut.

Other Option — Chris Paddack ($7,700), Pablo López ($7,200)

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James McCann, CWS vs. DET, $4,300 — McCann should get a chance to face his former team again on Wednesday since Yasmani Grandal (back) is expected to be sidelined for a few more days. McCann has made the most of his limited opportunities this season, going 13-for-40 (.325) with three home runs, five RBI and a .936 OPS.

Other Options — Gary Sánchez ($4,800), Jason Castro ($4,000)


Austin Barnes, LAD at SEA, $2,800 — Barnes has been filling in for Will Smith (neck) and has produced multiple hits in each of the Dodgers’ first two games against the Mariners. He is now 14-for-46 (.304) with a double, a home run, a stolen base and a .738 OPS in his first 15 contests this season. He has at least six DKFP in six of his past seven games and is a great way to get an affordable piece of the Dodgers lineup in a favorable matchup against Taijuan Walker ($7,000) as the series shifts to Seattle. If the Dodgers choose to give Barnes the day off, Keibert Ruiz ($3,000) would be a solid option as well.

Other Options — Travis d’Arnaud ($3,200), Carson Kelly ($2,900)

First Base


Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. WAS, $5,300 — Freeman is heating up and enters this game with a nice five-game hitting streak after connecting on his fourth home run of the season on Tuesday against the Nationals. Freeman has gone 15-for-37 (.405) with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and a 1.218 OPS over his past 10 games. When he gets hot, he can carry the whole Atlanta offense, so take advantage of this nice run of production and pay up for Freeman if you can on this slate.

Other Options — Luke Voit ($4,600), José Abreu ($4,400)


Jesús Aguilar, MIA vs. NYM, $3,900 — Aguilar has started the season strong with Miami, hitting .277 (18-for-65) with four home runs and 16 RBI. He has a tough matchup against deGrom and the Mets, but he has actually gone 3-for-6 with a double and a home run against the Mets’ ace in his previous meetings with him. Aguilar has been an anchor in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup so far, and he’ll look to keep producing and help keep the Marlins in the middle of the playoff race.

Other Options — Todd Frazier ($3,500), Jake Cronenworth ($2,600)

Second Base


Donovan Solano, SF vs. LAA, $4,800 — It hasn’t been a great start to the season for the Giants, but they have had one bright spot in the unexpected emergence of Solano as a solid middle-of-the-order bat. He has gone 31-for-79 (.392) to start the year with nine doubles, a home run, 15 RBI and a .975 OPS. He has been especially good at home with a 1.036 home OPS and has always hit lefties well throughout his career. Solano probably won’t keep this up for the whole season, but he’s been red-hot so far this year and is in a good matchup to target in this contest.

Other Option — Brandon Lowe ($5,100), Garrett Hampson ($4,700)


Luis García, WAS at ATL, $2,300 — Don’t sleep on the 20-year-old Nats rookie, who has started his MLB career 6-for-17 (.353) with a double, home run and 10.8 DKFP per contest. García became the first player born in the 2000s to homer in the MLB when he hit his home run Monday, and he’ll look to wrap up his historic series with another big game against Kyle Wright ($6,700) and the Braves. Wright has struggled against left-handed hitters throughout his career, giving up a 1.021 OPS to them last season and a 1.092 OPS to them so far this year. He’s 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA, so you’ll definitely want to try and get exposure to the Nats in this contest, especially from the left-hand side like García, who could become a fixture at 2B with Starlin Castro (wrist) likely out for the rest of the season. Get him at this affordable salary while you still can.

Other Options — Ketel Marte ($3,800), Wilmer Flores ($3,700)

Third Base


Nolan Arenado, COL vs. HOU, $5,700 — Like in almost every area of life, there are some fantasy baseball rules to live by, and one of them definitely has to do with playing Arenado at home when facing lefties. Despite a disappointing .233 average so far this season, he has six home runs on the year and a 1.008 OPS. He is still hitting .296 (8-for-27) against southpaws early in the season after hitting .315 off them last year with a 1.027 OPS.

Other Options — José Ramírez ($5,300), Justin Turner ($4,900)


Evan Longoria, SF vs. LAA, $3,600 — Longoria has at least seven DFKP in four straight starts after producing 17 DKFP and scoring three runs on Tuesday against the Angels. He has an extra-base hit in each of those contests and has raised his OPS to .714 on the season. While he isn’t the fantasy star he was in his prime, he can still heat up a bit and be worth a look in favorable matchups like against lefty Patrick Sandoval ($7,100) in this contest.

Other Option — Marwin Gonzalez ($3,500), Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($2,900)



Trevor Story, COL vs. HOU, $5,400 — Story has been more productive than Arenado so far this season with a .309 batting average, seven home runs and a .987 OPS. He’s almost always worth a look at home, where he has started the season hitting .370 with a 1.146 OPS. Four of his seven home runs have come against lefties, and he sports a 1.330 OPS against southpaws. He has at least 15 DKFP in six of his past eight games coming in to this matchup and should continue to keep crushing against Framber Valdez ($8,300).

Other Options — Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,800), Dansby Swanson ($4,400)


Nick Ahmed, ARI at OAK, $2,800 — While he’s usually known more for his glove, Ahmed can go on fantasy-relevant runs during the season and comes into this matchup in Oakland swinging a hot stick. He has gone 16-32 (.500) over his past nine games with four doubles, two home runs, two stolen bases, 14 RBI and an average of 15.5 DKFP per game. He and Arizona have piled up six straight wins and will look to make it seven in a row as they go up against Jesús Luzardo ($8,200) in Oakland.

Other Option — David Fletcher ($3,900), Jon Berti ($3,500)



Juan Soto, WAS at ATL, $5,700 — As mentioned in the Luis García section above, Braves starter Kyle Wright struggles with lefties, and Soto should be ready to take advantage of the mismatch in Atlanta in this one. The NL Player of the Week has homered seven times in his 13 games this season, going 20-for-48 (.417) with a 1.438 OPS. He has been even hotter lately and comes in with a seven-game hitting streak and at least 14 DKFP in each of those games. Given Wright’s numbers, Soto would be a good play regardless of current form, but when you add in the fact that he has been mashing lately, he becomes a must-play if you can find the salary to spend up for him.

Other Options — Mike Trout ($6,100), Clint Frazier ($4,600), Joc Pederson ($4,300)


Michael Conforto, NYM at MIA, $4,200 — While the Mets’ offense has struggled, Conforto continues to produce solid numbers from the middle of the order. He has gone 28-for-89 (.315) on the season with five doubles, three home runs and a .907 OPS. He has produced 11 DKFP in each of the first two games of this series in Miami and has a good history against López, going 4-for-8 with a home run against the Marlins’ SP.

Danny Santana, TEX at SD, $3,100 — Santana was much, much more expensive than this for most of last season as he put together a great year in Texas. However, he started the season slow and landed on the injured list for three weeks. He is still limited in what he can do defensively, but he has looked ready to contribute on offense with a hit and a walk in each of his first three games since being activated. He usually hits second in the order and will be in a good spot against Chris Paddack ($7,700).

Other Options — Mike Tauchman ($3,700), Domingo Santana ($3,600), Adam Eaton ($3,000)

Set your DraftKings lineups here: MLB $300K Gyroball [$100K 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 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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