Monday night’s MLB DFS main slate is highlighted by a few decent pitching options followed by some truly horrific/unknown options on the mound. But apart from teams facing a the top couple of pitchers, that means there should be plenty of offenses in cash games and tournaments that we can target. At first glance, the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Texas Rangers appear to have the early lead on the offenses to stack Monday night.
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MLB DFS Picks and Plays for August 21
Today’s analysis covers the eight-game main slate that begins at 7:05 PM ET.
- At the time of writing, there do not appear to be any significant weather concerns.
- As of Sunday night, Tropical Storm Hilary was not projected to impact the game against the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Angels.
Best Hitter’s Parks:
- Truist Park – Atlanta
- Angel Stadium – Los Angeles
Best Pitcher’s Parks:
- Oakland Coliseum
- Petco Park – San Diego
DraftKings Top Plays
Luis Castillo ($10,300) vs. Chicago White Sox – Depending on how you fill about Cristian Javier or Jordan Montgomery, the only reasonable option up top on Monday is Luis Castillo. He has an uncharacteristic two of his last three starts with 9+ hits. Those are his only starts that have reached that number all season, so I wouldn’t read too much into it. Instead, we can focus on the fact that he has seven or more strikeouts in four of his last six starts. More importantly, he has not thrown more than two walks in any of those starts resulting in four of them with more than 24 DraftKings points. More on the elite matchup with the White Sox is below.
Drew Rom ($4,000) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – You may have never heard of Drew Rom before today, but the important thing is the $4,000 tag and not his name. Hardly ever do we get a starting pitching projected to go at least four or five innings for just $4,000. One of the top prospects the Cardinals received from the Orioles in the Jack Flaherty deal, Rom has 18 strikeouts and just one walk in his last two starts at Triple-A. Facing a Pirates offense ranked 23rd in wRC+ (91), this is a nice soft landing spot for Rom.
Paul Goldschmidt ($5,800) vs. Bailey Falter – Bailey Falter should be the long man after Thomas Hatch for the Pirates, which is great news for Goldschmidt. Goldy is hitting .292 with a .362 on-base percentage against left-handers this season. Goldschmidt finally broke out of a mini-slump with a 26-point performance on Sunday afternoon.
Masyn Winn ($2,500) vs. Baily Falter – Winn is 3-for-11 since his call-up three games ago and should bat ninth at this incredibly low salary on Monday night. Falter allows a .282 batting average and a .446 slugging percentage to righties this season, even in his roll as long-man after Hatch.
Julio Rodriguez ($5,900) vs. Touki Toussaint – Rodriguez just set the record with 17 hits in a four-game streak this weekend before going “only” 1-for-5 on Sunday. Over the last 14 days, Julio Rodriguez is fourth in the majors in wRC+ including a very low 14% strikeout rate. With all of his on-base accolades lately, he is not getting enough credit for diminishing his strikeout rate as well.
Tyler O’Neill ($3,700) vs. Baily Falter – Even in a year marred by injuries and inefficiency, O’Neill is still slaughtering left-handed pitchers. He is slashing .273/.407/.568 against that handedness this season. He will bat top five in this lineup considering all the playing time the Cardinals are giving to the prospects these days.
Best DraftKings Stack
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Bailey Falter – The Cardinals are projected for one of the top team totals on the main slate Monday night as they line up against Thomas Hatch and Bailey Falter. The best news on DK is that after Goldschmidt ($5,800) and Nolan Arendao ($5,600), all of their projected regular cost $4,300 or less. The projected bottom three in the lineup – Masyn Winn, Luken Baker, and Taylor Motter combine for just $7,000. You can stack this team any way you want, add their starting pitcher, and then have enough room for the biggest bats on the slate.
FanDuel Top Plays
Luis Castillo ($10,700) vs. Chicago White Sox – There is no getting around the fact that Castillo is the best option on the top of the salary range for FanDuel as well. Chicago is such a good matchup for his skill set on Monday. In the second half of 2023, the White Sox have the ninth-highest strikeout rate against right-handers (24.4%) and are 28th on wRC+ (80). If you are uninitiated with wRC+, that means their offense as a whole is 20% worse than the league average when they face righties.
Paul Blackburn ($7,800) vs. Kansas City Royals – No one likes rostering an Oakland Athletics pitcher, but Paul Blackburn’s performance warrants it lately. Three of his last four starts have produced 43 or more FanDuel points plus at least seven strikeouts. Blackburn has only given up a total of seven earned runs in his last five starts and the Royals are 27th in runs scored in 2023.
Corey Seager ($4,400) vs. Slade Cecconi – I thought about going with Matt Olson here and making it a Braves clean sweep but will mix it up with Corey Seager against someone named Slade Cecconi. I honestly thought Slade Cecconi was some kind of henchman in Gotham City but apparently, he pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The rookie has not gotten out of the fourth inning in any of his first three starts this year and now gets a lefty like Seager who is on a year-long heater. Seager is just destroying right-handed pitching this year with a .351/.430/.683 line.
Vaughn Grissom ($2,000) vs. David Peterson – The minimum of $2,000 and facing a weak lefty in David Peterson in a home game? Sign me up! This should be Grissom’s first start since getting the call back up to the big leagues two days ago and it could not come at a better time. The Braves are projected to score more than 5.8 runs and Peterson is allowing a .388 OBP to the 241 right-handers he has faced this year.
Ronald Acuna ($4,800) vs. David Peterson – He is the most expensive hitter on the slate, but that is too be expected in this no-worries matchup against Peterson. Acuna is batting .338/.437/.568 in August and has a 22.7% HR/FB rate against left-handers this year. It’s been more than two weeks since Acuna had zero fantasy points in a game.
Michael Harris II ($3,100) vs. David Peterson – Michael Harris looks to have avoided any kind of injury with a foot contusion he suffered over the weekend and expects to be in the lineup on Monday night. He should slot right back into the number two spot in the order against the vulnerable David Peterson. Despite a year up and down between the minors and the big club, Harris is slashing .295/.337/.462 against left-handers this season.
Best FanDuel Stack
Atlanta Braves vs. David Peterson – Acuna ($4,800) and Matt Olson ($4,300) are going to cost you an arm and a leg, but there is no one else over $3,900 who is projected to start for this team and four of the nine players in the lineup cost $3,000 or less. Atlanta has the highest team slugging percentage against left-handers this year (.535) and that number is 70 points higher than any other team in Major League Baseball. They are worth every penny.