Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Late-Season Pickups for August 17

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer IAugust 17, 2015

Aug 16, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez (24) celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Crunch time is approaching for the 2015 daily fantasy baseball season. With the postseason just over one month away and myriad teams still vying for playoff spots, the pressure has been ratcheted up in baseball.

What does it all mean for daily fantasy owners? Well, let's just say there are some stars emerging who simply can't be left out of lineups. Here is a look at some players who need to be picked up for Monday's slate of games.

 

Pitcher: Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners ($8,100)

Aug 11, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker (32) throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Taijuan Walker. Once a top minor league star for the Seattle Mariners, Walker has blossomed into one of the best young MLB pitchers over the last month. He may only have one win to show for his efforts in his last four starts, but Walker has been a steady starter for the Mariners.

A huge component of Walker's recent success has been his curveball.

"[David Price] told me, 'Your stuff is really good, you throw hard, but everything's hard so you have to be able to mix stuff in,'" Walker said, per Andrew Erickson of MLB.com. "Once I started doing that, I saw the swings I was getting. ... After I showed that I could throw my curveball for strikes, that was another pitch they had to look for."

Averaging 23.3 fantasy points over his last four starts, Walker is pitching against a lineup he had off balance earlier this year. Facing the Texas Rangers again, expect another great night after he tallied 25.6 points against them the last time around.

 

First Baseman: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,600)

Pedro Alvarez has shown vast improvement over the last week since getting off to a slow start to the season. He's still hitting below the .250 mark but has 18 homers and 58 RBI. So when he runs into the ball, he hits it a long way.

Over his last five starts, Alvarez has four multi-hit games with three homers, three runs and five RBI. Oh yeah, and that equates to 14.2 fantasy points per game over that stretch. Now that he's returning home against the erratic Jeremy Hellickson, look for Alvarez to mash again Monday night.

 

Second Baseman: Jace Peterson, Atlanta Braves ($3,300)

Aug 16, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Jace Peterson (8) gets high fives after scoring the first run of the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sport
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

During his time with the Atlanta Braves, Jace Peterson has proved he can truly do it all. While he had a slump earlier this season that dropped his average below .245, Peterson is a clutch player coming off a great weekend.

In the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the second baseman had a double, triple, single, two runs and a walk. That was good for eight fantasy points per game over the last three starts. Going up against a right-handed pitcher in rookie Colin Rea, expect good things from Peterson Monday night.

 

Shortstop: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants ($3,700)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 14:  Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants waits in the on deck circle against the Washington Nationals during the game at AT&T Park on Friday, August 14, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB P
Brad Mangin/Getty Images

Brandon Crawford might not be the flashiest player on your fantasy team. Hell, he's not even a huge power hitter to target. But when you need consistent fantasy points out of a shortstop, the Giants middle infielder is your man.

Since taking a day off on Aug. 5 in Atlanta, Crawford has been on a tear. After going hitless in three of the previous six games before the off day, he has a hit in 10 straight contests. Even with a tough matchup against Michael Wacha Monday evening, expect Crawford to come away with solid points.

 

Outfielder: Justin Upton, San Diego Padres ($4,600)

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Something tells me Justin Upton is going to continue his recent hot streak this week. Upton had reason to be frustrated Sunday when his eight-game hitting streak came to an end, but he can quickly start another one Monday against his former team.

During the offseason, the Atlanta Braves traded away Upton to the Padres for prospects. Now, he gets a chance at revenge in San Diego against rookie pitcher Williams Perez. Averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game over his last nine starts, Upton is a great value for a No. 1 outfielder or high-end No. 2.

 


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