Yes, there is preseason football on tonight, but it’s the kind of football that will impact your Fantasy draft. In other words, stay focused on the diamond, follow the words and numbers below and be ready to make DFS money off the usual 15-game slate. Caring isn’t sharing here, so if there’s a sore pooh or two upset about not getting all 30 teams equally covered, well…um…tough. Them’s the breaks.
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Opposite Day rules apply: we’ll find our bargains at each position before the glorious task of stacking (mmm…stacking) lineups.
8/9 DFS Hitting C
Francisco Mejia, SD vs. COL
DK ($3,200), FD ($2,300)
Hey, if he keeps hitting, then why not keep him in the lineup? Mejia had his third straight multi-hit game on Thursday night and fourth in his last five, pushing his batting average above .260. His slugging percentage barely hovers above .400, but if there’s anything you need to know about catchers is that the pop sometimes is the last thing that develops. What will make Mejia — and his DFS users — smile in glee is that the Rockies are throwing the extended batting practice pitcher that is known as Kyle Freeland, who has given up as many homers as the number of batters he’s struck out (five) in his last two starts (Bonus smile: Right-handed hitters have gone .292/.362/.603 this season against Freeland).
8/9 DFS Hitting 1B
Jose Abreu, CWS vs. OAK
DK ($4,000), FD ($3,800)
Abreu has rewarded FanDuel users with games of 37.70 and 25.40 points this week as his August OPS of 1.008 is light years from July’s tepid mark of .608. He’s cheap in either format and you’ll also take comfort in knowing his .804 OPS at Guaranteed Rate Field is better than his .782 away from ChiTown. Abreu’s .211 Isolated Power is slightly higher than last season’s, and his current stretch gives him a better than outside chance to finish with 35+ homers. Mike Fiers isn’t pitching in Oakland, which is a very good thing considering his ERA away from the City that M.C. Hammer Built is 4.62. Don’t hurt ’em, Jose (at least not too much).
8/9 DFS Hitting 2B
Jason Kipnis, CLE at MIN
DK ($4,300), FD ($3,300)
Since July 31, Kipnis has five multi-hit games along with three homers and 11 RBI. He’s been banging it over the past two weeks to the tune of .348./.423/.696, harkening back to the good ‘ol days when he was actually a must-own player in that other kind of Fantasy baseball. After a pair of dogs in 2017-18, Kipnis has found some fortune with his BABIP, which stands at .284. His current run is keyed by his hard contact rate of 38.7%, the best of his career. Rookie hurler Devin Smeltzer has been a revelation of sorts for the Twins’ staff, but Indians batters showed him hellfire and brimstone when they jacked four homers off him in a win on June 4.
8/9 DFS Hitting SS
Bo Bichette, TOR vs. NYY
DK ($4,300), FD ($3,900)
Like the aforementioned Mejia, if it ain’t broke… Bichette made big league history on Thursday when he doubled for a ninth straight game along with taking Domingo German deep in the 12-6 loss to the Yankees. No one should pull Bichette aside and tell him it can’t be that easy, especially when he’s gone .408/.453/.837 in his first 11 games. Obviously, he’s not getting cheated out of his at-bats as Bichette has made either medium or hard contact 91.2% of the time. And yes, please throw lefty J.A. Happ in front of Bichette, who has hit lefties with a 1.476 OPS.
8/9 DFS Hitting 3B
Jose Ramirez, CLE at MIN
DK ($4,300), FD ($3,300)
Uh, oh. Perhaps I’ve tipped my hand on a stack? Maybe, but Ramirez has been a one-man stack over the past week by hitting .400 with a pair of homers, seven RBI and six runs scored. As bad as his numbers looked earlier in the season, this newfound version of Ramirez is well on his way to another 20-20 season. Ramirez has a 47.8% fly ball rate to go along with a 39.1% hard contact rate. You’ll take that combination to the bank against a hurler like Smeltzer.
8/9 DFS Hitting OF
Yordan Alvarez, HOU at BAL
DK ($5,700), FD ($4,300)
Hell yes, I’m paying steep for the right to have Alvarez in my lineup. A longtime friend of mine was witness to Alvarez’s homer on Wednesday and told me he had never heard the ball come off a bat the way that blast did. Considering I’ve known this guy since first grade, I’ll trust him. You really, really want him in FanDuel, where he’s recorded at least 12.50 points in five of his last six games, including a 27.90 and 22.20 performances. Any hitter with a .404 BABIP and 50.4% hard contact rate going against Orioles pitching, in tonight’s case Dylan “Me and 24 homers Allowed and 5.89 ERA at Home” Bundy, is worth every penny.
8/9 DFS Hitting OF
Mike Tauchman, NYY at TOR
DK ($4,900), FD ($3,400)
With a homer on Thursday, Tauchman has four dingers and 13 RBI this month. He’s not an all or nothing hitter, having recorded four multi-hit games in the same span. One would think Tauchman would have a blistering hard contact rate like Alvarez, but his is a surprising 31.7%. Couple that with a 32% fly ball rate, and you’re seeing a hitter making the most of his opportunities. The Blue Jays are starting Sean Reid-Foley, who is beginning to be stretched out as a starter. Reid-Foley has held opponents to a .229 batting average but has walked 14 in 21.2 innings. Seriously, do you really want that kind of a walk rate when facing the Yankees?
8/9 DFS Hitting OF
Aristides Aquino, CIN vs. CHC
DK ($3,700), FD ($3,000)
Aquino’s homer off Cole Hamels on Thursday night jumped the fence at 118.3 mph, tying him with Pete Alonso and Gary Sanchez for the hardest-hit homer this season. He’s fanned once every three at-bats, but Aquino has produced a .905 OPS in his first 21 at-bats to go along with three homers (and a throw on Thursday that looked Jose Guillen-like with its velocity). Yu Darvish gets the opportunity to deal against the freakish Aquino and while his 71 strikeouts over his past 59.2 innings is a sign the old Darvish is back, all he has to do is ask Hamels what’s it like when you leave one up there for Aquino to lean into.
Let’s take it home and stack ’em up, shall we?
Top 8/9 MLB DFS Stack: Houston Astros: We touched on Dylan Bundy and his hitter-friendly numbers, which means get your Astros in where you can fit them it. Obviously, Yordan Alvarez will take a good grip of your salary, but that could be countered by going cheap on a speculative pitcher. George Springer ($4,400 at FanDuel) is hitting .368 with a homer and four RBI over the past week, while Yuli Gurriel ($3,500) scored a combined 102.30 FanDuel points in two games against the Rockies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Michael Brantley ($4,100) hasn’t homered in the past week but still hit .348 with nine RBI. As hot as Houston’s bats have been, you’ll sacrifice at a position or two in order to make this stack work.
Chicago White Sox 8/9 MLB DFS Stack: As mentioned earlier, A’s starter Mike Fiers is suspect on the road, and the White Sox have enough hot bats to strongly consider stacking against him. Start with Jose Abreu (see his work at 1B) and follow up with Eloy Jimenez ($3,100 FanDuel) who looks overdue for a breakout since his return from the DL. James McCann ($2,800) has had a good week with 21.90 and 22.50 points sandwiched between a 15.70 outing. Tim Anderson ($3,000) comes into Friday having put up at least 15.20 points in four of his last six games.
New York Yankees 8/9 MLB DFS Stack: The Yankees have hit 19 homers in four games this week and I’d bet on world peace coming before betting against the Yankees going homerless on Friday. Go with Mike Tauchman (see OF) and make room for Gio Urshela ($4,600 Draft Kings), who had two homers and four RBI on Thursday night. If you want to spend a bit more, then go with D.J. LeMahieu ($5,100), who has gone .370-2-6 in the past week. Even Cameron Maybin ($4,600), who racked up three hits on Thursday, is worth throwing into the fray.
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Brandon C. Williams has covered Fantasy Sports since 2013 when he was selected as a finalist for the FSWA Newcomer of the Year. He is an award-winning writer/editor who has been in sports media for 30 years, having worked with likes of the Houston Chronicle, Fox Sports Net, CBSSports.com, Rivals.com and RotoExperts.com. Brandon is a Fantasy Content writer for the Canadian Football League and will begin his second season as a Fantasy Football Columnist for the Associated Press.