DraftKings Main MLB Picks August 22: Who is the elite arm?

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 03: Starting pitcher Jack Flaherty #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 3, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 03: Starting pitcher Jack Flaherty #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 3, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 22: A general view of the game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers during their game at Citi Field on June 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

DraftKings Main MLB Picks August 22: Who is the elite arm?

There are ten games in prime time tonight, giving us a pretty good sized main slate on DraftKings. The pitchers are mostly lacking in star power, but as with the afternoon slate, there are a few interesting options out there. Who am I investing in? Is Strasburg worth it in his return? Let’s go exploring!

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We should have a clean weather night finally. There is a decent crosswind at CitiField, but they are the two worst offenses in the National League right now anyway. You weren’t planning on hitters there anyway, right? RIGHT? To make up for that, the wind is blowing out to right in Pittsburgh at the same speed. There wind is blowing in from right for the new look Nationals tonight.

We will provide you with several options to build your lineup here. Want to spend all your money on pitchers and play bargain bats? We will highlight who is worth the money. Want to punt arms and pay up for the big boppers? We can help you with that as well, and everything in between!

These tips are based mostly on past performance. This is a nice tool for building a lineup, but should not be the only pieces of information you use. We have plenty of writers on here who give you relevant information no matter which site you play on!

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 17: Starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 17, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

Noah Syndergaard ($10,200): Thor has not been so God-like lately, surrendering three or four runs in every August start. If he is going to get back on track this season, you can bet it will be against the Giants. The Giants are only hitting .222 against Thor in 45 at bats with one homer, four runs, and 11 strikeouts. We could be in for an elite score, but Syndergaard is struggling almost as much as the Giants offense is. The Mets have shown a willingness to let Syndergaard go beyond 100 pitches, which only adds to the upside. Can he get back to his dominant self?

Clay Buchholz ($10,000): Who would have thought that come August we would not only see Clay Buchholz priced in five figures, but also consider him a viable option at that price? Such is the case of 2018, where Buchholz has turned back the clock to his Red Sox days. Buchholz has a 2.47 ERA in 12 starts for Arizona so far. He has been marginally less effective at home, but I’m still not going to complain about a 3.57 ERA at home against the Trout-less Angels. Add in the fact that Upton is out as well, and you can see the clear upside here.

Middle Tier:

Jon Gray ($7,800): Only the Dodgers have touched Gray for more than three runs since he got back from his exile to Colorado Springs. Gray has racked up 70.5 DraftKings points in three starts against the Padres this year, so they have had trouble hitting him anyway, even before the demotion. Playing any pitcher at Coors is a risky proposition like Tyler Anderson was last night, but I definitely trust Gray here. I’m surprised his price isn’t higher, but I’m glad it’s not.

Trevor Williams ($6,800): Williams has average numbers on the season, average strikeout numbers, average numbers against the Braves. So he’s, uh, average. There is nothing wrong with that for this price. Williams lacks the upside that is other places on this slate, but he also wont get knocked around. That is probably better for cash games, but it is also a decent option for saving money in GPP formats. What is not average is Williams’ 0.75 ERA in his last six starts. Yes, I buried the lead hoping that some of you will lay off the average and keep ownership low. 🙂

Bargain Pitchers:

Trevor Richards ($5,800): I was all set up to stack Yankees against Richards here, but then Didi went down. Judge, Sanchez, and Gregorius are now all on the shelf. Richards has a 3.27 ERA in eight home starts this year. With this depleted Yankees offense, I see quite a bit of potential here now. I’ll call it now: Stanton hits his 300th home run, but Richards still puts up a quality start.

Yonny Chirinos ($5,300): This would appear to be the day that Chirinos gets the bulk of the innings, so there is some potential here. The Royals offense is among the weakest in the majors, and they strike out quite a bit. Chirinos has done well in long relief with the exception of an outing against Boston, but that can be forgiven. We liked what we saw against Baltimore and the White Sox. The unifying factor is that both of those games were at home, as is this one. There are plenty of solid, cheap options tonight, so take your pick!

Casey Kelly ($5,000): Kelly will get another start in the depleted Giants rotation. He was reasonably competent against the Reds last week, but Kelly still didn’t go deep enough for the win. Can he against the Mets? It is certainly possible. After all, the struggling Chris Stratton held the Mets to just two runs last night. There is quite a bit of potential for Kelly here. Just don’t expect a huge score because I will be surprised if he gets past the fifth inning.

Francisco Liriano ($4,900): Liriano is kind of a wreck right now, but the Cubs have scored just one run in each of the last five games. If ever there was a time to use Liriano, it would appear to be now. However, this is a huge risk. Anytime you use a pitcher this cheap, that can be expected. How brave are you?

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 17: Nolan Arenado #28 and Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies celebrate scoring during the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 17, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox vs. Carlos Carrasco:

Carrasco’s price just baffles me. The Red Sox are hitting .285 with seven homers and 29 runs in just 144 at bats against Carrasco. Carrasco has long struggled against good offenses, and that likely will be the case again tonight. Mitch Moreland is 5-14 with three homers and nine RBI against Carrasco already. I’m definitely starting the stack there! Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt have also homered against Carrasco, and provide salary relief. If you want to pay up, go for J.D. He has two homers and eight RBi against Carrasco in his career.

Colorado Rockies vs. Jacob Nix:

This is not going to end well for Nix. He was obliterated by Arizona at home in his last start, lasting just .2 innings and giving up five runs. There is a strong likelihood that happens again at Coors. Charlie Blackmon is the elite play here, but no Colorado starter is a bad pick. Carlos Gonzalez, David Dahl, Arenado, and Story are all great plays, and we have the bargains at pitcher to pay for this stack. It’s chalk, but that may be the price we have to pay tonight. The separation will come from pitching.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Odrisamer Despaigne:

Despaigne got tuned up a bit by the Rangers in his Angels debut. The Diamondbacks are at least as dangerous, if not more. The red hot David Peralta starts this stack off with Goldy not far behind. Eduardo Escobar, A.J. Pollock and either Souza or Jon Jay to finish this off. Any of those can be replaced with the catch(er) of the day or Daniel Descalso. There really isn’t a wrong pick here either.

DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 13: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers hits a RBI double in the fifth inning in front of Omar Narvaez #38 of the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on August 13, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

Eflin gave up four runs to the Mets in his last start, so excuse me if I’m a little nervous paying that asking price. The Nationals shed some salary last night, but the really didn’t weaken the offense that much. Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and Adam Eaton are still there. I’m leaning more towards Soto, but I couldn’t fault you for using any of them.

I was tempted to use Brian Johnson against Cleveland until I noticed his ERA is 1.60 runs worse at home. Jose Martinez is in play yet again, but cheap bats like Brandon Guyer and Yan Gomes are in play with a lefty on the mound. I also like Greg Allen here with the way he is hitting.

No, I don’t trust Jon Lester. Not even against Detroit. Nick Castellanos is a huge reason why. Castellanos is 5-9 with three homers and a staggering eight RBI off of Lester already. Victor Martinez is cheap, and he is 8-19(.421) with a homer and four RBI against Lester. Any Tigers righty is in play here.

Giancarlo Stanton is really the only Yankee that we have to play. They hold three slots on the all-DL team now. You can take a poke with Hicks or Andujar here, but I think Stanton is about the only one that gets anything meaningful here.

Jack Flaherty has been really good this year, but he should not be the highest priced pitcher on a slate when facing an offense like the Dodgers. The Dodgers, despite their all or nothing output of late, are still arguably the most dangerous offense in the majors. Manny Machado is hitting absolutely everything right now, but I think he is the only Dodger I would even consider tonight.

Matt Carpenter is an absolute beast right now, and is an alternative to any Coors bat. Yes, even against Walker Buehler. Just like with Flaherty, there is too much downside to using Buehler right now against the suddenly hot Cardinals. Just like Machado is the only Dodger I would consider, I think the only Cardinal I’m interested in is Carpenter.

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Middle Tier:

I suppose you could use Wil Myers or Spangerberg to go after Jon Gray, but I would much rather spend on the other side of the stack. Comparatively speaking, Blackmon, Dahl, and CarGo are pretty cheap.

The only Met I can play with any confidence right now is Michael Conforto. That said, you are essentially pitting Mets against the Giants bullpen once Kelly gets out of the game. That opens up Amed Rosario and possibly Jose Bautista as well.

Jake Junis has been pretty solid lately, but Tampa is pretty good at home. I like Jake Bauers and Willy Adames for the power potential here. You could use C.J. Cron as well, but Junis hasn’t given up a homer in his last three starts. I tend to think we can do better.

It will be up to Shohei Ohtani and Albert Pujols to carry the offense with Trout and Upton sidelined. I’m not sure I trust either of them to do it. Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons are worth a look on price alone, but I’m not all that thrilled about any Angels here.

Bargain Shoppers:

The Phillies are priced like Strasburg will be his normal dominant self, which is fine by me. First, it looks like the Nats have thrown in the towel for this year, so if you think Strasburg is going more than five innings, forget it. All three players that have homered against Strasburg – Asdrubal Cabrera (twice), Maikel Franco, and Justin Bour – are all less than $4,000. Hello cheap mini stack!

Lance Lynn has struggled against the Marlins, particularly in Marlins Park. Starlin Castro has six RBI off of Lynn already. Believe me, if I knew which Marlins to target, I would go with a full stack. Dietrich seems safe as well, but beyond those two, it gets murky. J.T. Riddle is starting to hit, and Realmuto is always in play. This is a solid place for one-offs or a contrarian stack tonight.

Julio Teheran may have a perfectly good game in Pittsburgh, but his road ERA is over a run worse than his home mark. Huh? At any rate, Corey Dickerson and Adam Frazier are a combined 5-9 with a homer and seven RBI against Teheran. They will also cost you a combined $7,900.

David Bote and Willson Contreras are both reasonably priced and have both homered off of Liriano. I also like Albert Almora here, and Javier Baez could be a monster if you’re willing to pay for him.

I’m not really sure I want to go after a pitcher that is pitching like Trevor Williams is. If I do, it will be with a catcher or the hot Dansby Swanson.

Next. MLB Game by Game breakdown August 22. dark

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