Daily Fantasy Baseball: Gerrit Cole, Top FanDuel, DraftKings Plays for Aug. 19August 19, 2020
Gerrit Cole's high standard on the mound has carried over from his time with the Houston Astros to the New York Yankees.
The big-money free-agent signing has proved to be worth every penny for the Yankees—and for daily fantasy players each day he takes the mound.
On Wednesday, Cole is scheduled to make his second start against the Tampa Bay Rays, the only team he has double-digit strikeouts in a single game against this season.
The 29-year-old will be the most coveted hurler in DFS contests, but he is far from the only ace who can lead you to success.
Lance Lynn, Jacob deGrom, Trevor Bauer and Jack Flaherty are scheduled to pitch along with an underrated option who could produce at an equal, or higher, level to provide more flexibility within your squad.
Top Daily Fantasy Baseball Plays for August 19
Gerrit Cole, SP, New York Yankees
Cole has been fantastic inside the confines of Yankee Stadium.
In his two home starts, the former Houston hurler fanned 12 batters, conceded nine hits and allowed a pair of earned runs. Sandwiched between those appearances was a 10-strikeout outing at Tropicana Field against the Rays.
Cole will come up at a high price in FanDuel and DraftKings contests, but he has shown throughout the last year he is more than worth whatever figure is assigned to him. He has won his last 20 decisions and been the pitcher of record in four of his first five starts in pinstripes.
If you choose to go with Cole, you may be limited to a selection of the top-priced hitters, but you could manage to pair him with Mookie Betts, Mike Trout or Juan Soto for a nice lineup foundation.
Merrill Kelly, SP, Arizona
The other pitchers listed above are strong alternatives to Cole, but most will come with a high price tag.
Arizona's Merrill Kelly could be the best value play that gives you close to the production you would get from Cole, Lynn, deGrom or Flaherty.
The 31-year-old has conceded five earned runs on 21 hits over 26.1 innings, and opposing hitters have a .212 batting average against the right-handed hurler.
The Diamondbacks face a tough matchup in Oakland, but Kelly displayed in his previous two starts against the San Diego Padres that he can handle pitching against a strong lineup. He limited them to a single earned run on nine hits and struck out 11 batters.
If you choose to build your lineup around expensive hitters such as Trout, Betts or Soto, Kelly should give you more budget flexibility while providing quality on the bump.
Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets
Brandon Nimmo has been an on-base machine out of the leadoff spot for the New York Mets.
The 27-year-old has reached base on 22 walks and 21 hits. He also has four home runs, including one Tuesday against the Miami Marlins.
Nimmo is 4-for-9 in the first two games of New York's series with the Marlins, and he has had a pair of three-hit performances in the last week.
Since he does not have a high level of power, he is still a relatively cheap option compared to other outfielders who top the DFS points chart on a nightly basis.
Nimmo went 1-for-2 and drew a walk in his first matchup with Miami's Pablo Lopez, who is scheduled to oppose deGrom Wednesday.
If he continues to get on base at a high rate, Nimmo could be a starting point for a Mets stack with either Pete Alonso or Michael Conforto to take advantage of the team's run production.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from MLB.com.