MLB DFS Plays: Wednesday 8/21

Spencer Limbach

This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We’ll take a comprehensive look across the DFS industry to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups with our DFS Toolkit!

We will be looking at the 11-game main slate starting at 7:05 ET.

PITCHER

Yu Darvish - Chicago Cubs (vs. San Francisco) 

It was a viable strategy to pick on Darvish early in the season, but the Cubs’ righty has seemingly regained his All-Star (4x) form by allowing seven earned runs with 36 strikeouts across 24 innings over his past four starts. A gem against the Phillies (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 10 K) last Thursday was particularly impressive. Darvish will have an excellent chance to keep that momentum against a San Francisco offense that ranks 27th in wRC+ this season. The wind is slightly blowing in at Wrigley Field as well. 

Also Consider: Justin Verlander, Walker Buehler, Julio Teheran

CATCHER / FIRST BASE

Sam Travis - Boston (vs. Philadelphia) 

You can’t help but love Travis as a moderately-priced platoon bat in the hitter-friendly dimensions of Fenway Park. Philadelphia LHP Drew Smyly looked decent in a few starts with his new team, but he has regressed after allowing 14 earned runs across 15.2 innings over his past three appearances. That balloons Smyly’s ERA to 7.09 on the season. Taking that into consideration, it’s no surprise that Boston checks in with one of the highest run-scoring projections on this slate. Travis makes for a solid lift within that. 

Also Consider: Matt Adams, Eric Thames

SECOND BASE

Joe Panik - NY Mets (vs. Cleveland) 

Panik has made a home in New York, and he’s seeing regular playing time with Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil injured. On top of that, he usually holds a premium lineup spot against right-handed pitching, which should be the case while facing Cleveland RHP Adam Plutko’s inflated .401 wOBA split to left-handed bats. Panik has collected five hits alongside four runs over his past three starts, and he could be in line for more this evening. 

Also Consider: Cesar Hernandez, Whit Merrifield

THIRD BASE

Asdrubal Cabrera - Washington (at Pittsburgh) 

Cabrera signed a deal with the Nationals earlier this month, effectively serving as a utility infielder. Washington will need him to fill in for second baseman Brian Dozier, who is on paternity leave. Cabrera has been swinging a confident bat with eight hits, five doubles, one homer, and 10 RBIs over his past five starts, and I like his chances as a switch-hitter against Pittsburgh RHP Joe Musgrove’s .343 wOBA split to lefties. 

Also consider: Alex Bregman, Logan Forsythe

SHORTSTOP

Marcus Semien - Oakland (vs. NY Yankees) 

Yankee LHP J.A. Happ isn’t someone to fear this season, as his ERA has climbed to 5.40 after yielding 21 earned runs across 25 innings over his last five starts. I’m not expecting those numbers to improve while facing a righty-heavy A’s club on the road. Semien checks in as a solid shortstop who doesn’t break the bank, profiling as an appealing DFS lift through all formats. 

Also Consider: Jean Segura, Elvis Andrus

OUTFIELD

J.D. Martinez - Boston (vs. Philadelphia) 

There’s a good chance you saw this coming after reading the analysis for Boston first baseman Sam Travis. Martinez checks in as the best hitter against left-handed pitching in all of baseball, and he has a tasty matchup against the recent struggles of Philly LHP Smyly. Throw in the ideal layout of Fenway Park along with plenty of RBI situations, and Martinez makes for one of the best overall bats on this slate. 

A.J. Pollock - LA Dodgers (vs. Toronto) 

We can’t forget about the Dodgers while hosting a non-imposing Toronto pitching staff. Blue Jays’ starter RHP Jacob Waguespack holds a generous .391 wOBA split to right-handed bats through limited MLB innings, which directly feeds into Pollock’s wheelhouse. The LAD outfielder is coming off a strong showing yesterday (2-4, 2B, HR), and this is a great spot to keep him going. 

Also consider: Mookie Betts, George Springer, Hunter Pence, Jorge Soler, Michael Conforto, Trent Grisham