With an 11-game Main Slate on FanDuel this afternoon we should have plenty of options from which to choose, yet one play stands out above the others. His name is Aaron. Aaron Nola, SP: $10,700. King of the wild frontier. As good as he has been and can be, Nola as our top play today is far more about his opponent than him.

Nola goes for the Phillies in Miami today, against the historically bad Marlins lineup. We usually want to start any pitcher facing the Marlins because, as hitters, the Marlins are a unique combination of bad this game has not seen in a very long time. They strike often. They do not walk often. They do not hit for power. They do not like green eggs and ham. All told, they are a dream matchup for opposing pitchers. Today is no exception with a far better than average Nola on the mound. We want to take full advantage of this ideal matchup.

I will personally have Nola in about half of my lineups, knowing full well it means giving up exposure to the more expensive stacks today. I’ll take my chances.

May the winds blow your hit balls out and keep your pitched balls in. Best of luck today, and keep reading below for additional picks of the day.

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Shane Bieber, SP: $11,400. The only reason Nola isn’t a virtual lock and play today is Bieber. And even Bieber, who is on fire right now, gives us reason to doubt his value, compared to the opportunity we have with Nola. Bieber has had quality starts and scored at least 37 points in all but two of his starts since June 9th. Both the starts in which he did not accomplish either feat were games he started at home against the Kansas City Royals. Today he is also starting at home against the Kansas City Royals. So, it may or may not come to pass that history will yet again repeat itself, baseball is rather unpredictable. But, when facing the same team in the same ballpark for the third time in two months, when the results of each of the previous times were his worst of the stretch…it does offer reason to question Bieber today. That said, a complete game shutout happens more often here than an implosion, so he is worth a look when pivoting away from chalky Nola.

Reynoldo Lopez, SP: $7,400. If we insist on expensive hitters – say we want to stack the Astros, they’re so hot right now – we need a less expensive pitcher than Nola or Bieber, so let’s look to Lopez, who holds great value potential against the Rangers today. The wind is blowing in at 11 mph today, the temperature is in the upper 70’s – not hot at all for an August afternoon game in Chicago – so the conditions are about as favorable for pitching here as it gets this time of year. Take advantage, knowing we’ll have to embrace the volatility. Lopez could equally likely go for fewer than 10 as more than 50 *shoulder shrug emoji*.

Let us have some stacks:

Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks face Zach Davies in Miller Park this afternoon. Last month Davies managed a win and quality start against these same Diamondbacks in Arizona, but Davies has been struggling lately, so we are hoping to see a more favorable outcome today. The relatively low salaries and likelihood of hitting value make this the preferred stack to pair with one of our premium pitcher options.

Josh Rojas, OF: $2,100

Wilmer Flores, 2B: $2,600

Ildemaro Vargas, 2B: $2,000

Jarrod Dyson, OF: $2,700

Tim Locastro, OF: $2,200

Eduardo Escobar, 3B: $3,900

Ketel Marte, 2B: $4,000

Adam Jones, OF: $2,700

Christian Walker, C/1B: $3,000

Detroit Tigers – Another value play, the Tigers are in Minnesota against Martin Perez. While Perez is crafty and doesn’t allow a lot of hard contact, he also doesn’t strike out a lot a batters and tends to get in trouble with free passes, both things the Tigers struggle with. This is sort of a reverse unstoppable force, immovable object paradox, with both opponents’ skill sets wavering in the lower ends of league range; rather lacking in force. So what happens in these cases? Does Perez suddenly increase his strikeout rate and decrease his walk rate to be in step with the Tigers’ season rates, or the opposite? We are betting on the opposite, with the Tigers likely to see more than their usual free passes and better able to put balls into play against Perez. They are priced to be pathetic, so we need only an outcome somewhat better than pathetic to come out ahead. This is the order we prefer the Tigers:

Dawel Lugo, 3B: $2,100

Jordy Mercer, SS: $2,100

Travis Demeritte, OF: $2,700

Miguel Cabrera, C/1B: $2,800

Ronny Rodriguez, 2B: $2,300

Victor Reyes, OF: $2,600

Brandon Dixon, C/1B: $2,500

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

We should not feel threatened by postponement today. One less thing.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Under 9 hits in St. Louis more often than not, as hitting conditions aren’t looking favorable with winds blowing in from left, occasional light showers, and milder than usual temperatures for this time of year.