Top DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy baseball picks, lineups, strategy, advice for Aug. 4, 2023

The Reds jumped all over Washington starting pitcher Patrick Corbin when they last met a month ago. With Corbin scheduled to start against Cincinnati again on Friday, should daily Fantasy baseball players expect similar offensive outbursts? Elly De La Cruz went 3-for-3 and Spencer Steer went 2-for-2 with a walk against Corbin on July 4, so should you pull them from the MLB DFS player pool when constructing MLB DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings on Friday?

Corbin has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) over his last two starts, so timing and the previous outcomes seem to favor Reds hitters. But one poor outing won’t guarantee another, so daily Fantasy baseball players will have to balance those thoughts when forming an MLB DFS strategy for Friday. The Reds allowed 41 runs over their last three games, so maybe utilizing Nationals hitters could be wise for creating MLB DFS lineups.

Before submitting any MLB DFS picks for Friday, be sure to check out the MLB DFS advice, strategy and projections from SportsLine daily Fantasy expert Mike McClure.

McClure is a daily Fantasy pro who has won more than $2 million in his career. And when it comes to daily Fantasy baseball, McClure is at his best. Recognized in the book “Fantasy Football (and Baseball) for Smart People: How to Turn Your Hobby into a Fortune” as a top MLB DFS player, McClure’s proprietary projection model simulates each game 10,000 times, taking factors such as matchups and recent results into account. This allows him to find the best values on every site.

On Thursday, McClure highlighted Cubs outfielder Ian Happ in his MLB DFS player pool on both sites. The result: Happ went 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, an RBI and a run scored, returning 13 points on DraftKings and 18.7 points on FanDuel. Anybody who included him in their lineups was well on the way to a profitable day.

Now, with the 2023 MLB season rolling on, McClure has locked in his top MLB daily Fantasy picks for Friday, August 4. Head to SportsLine now to see them.

McClure’s top MLB DFS picks for Friday
One of McClure’s top MLB DFS picks for Friday is Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt ($5,700 on DraftKings and $3,700 on FanDuel). Goldschmidt was also being discussed as a trade deadline target leaving an underachieving squad for ones with World Series aspirations, but that never came to fruition. The 35-year-old hasn’t lived up to his personal expectations either with 18 home runs two-thirds of the way through the season after hitting at least 30 long balls in each of his last five full seasons.

But that has driven his MLB DFS price down as well, leading to a valuable position for Friday. The Cardinals begin a three-game series with the Rockies on Friday as Colorado has allowed the second-most runs in baseball (627) this year. Rockies probable starter Chris Flexen has an 8.08 ERA over 18 outings, including a 10.71 ERA in his five starts this year. He allowed six runs (five earned) in 3 2/3 innings against Oakland in his last start on July 29 as Goldschmidt should find himself in positions to drive the ball with runners on base on Friday.

McClure’s optimal MLB DFS strategy includes rostering Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford ($3,600 on DraftKings and $3,000 on FanDuel). Crawford, a left-handed hitter, went 2-for-3 and reached base four times on Thursday to improve his slash line to .327/.441/.519 over 28 games since July 1. The seven-year veteran is having a career season, posting his best OPS (.785) in a season and he already has tied a career-high in home runs (nine) with two months left.

The Angels are scheduled to start left-handed pitcher Reid Detmers, who had a 6.12 ERA over his five July starts, on Friday. Detmers is coming off his worst month over the last two seasons and despite being a LHP, he’s struggled against left-handed batters this season. Left-handed hitters are batting .297 with an OPS of .887, which is more than 200 points higher than he’s allowing against right-handers, this year. The Mariners, who are in the middle of the wild card race, have won seven of their last nine games, averaging 5.6 runs per game during that stretch, and adding Crawford will leave money to pair with higher-priced players. See who else to pick right here.

Guardians’ slugger to miss three to six weeks because of strained oblique

The Cleveland Guardians entered Friday 2 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central. If the Guardians are to make up that ground over the season’s final two months, they’ll have to do it largely without first baseman Josh Naylor, who is expected to miss between three and six weeks after suffering a strained oblique, according to Mandy Bell of

Naylor, 26, had been one of the Guardians’ best hitters this season. In 96 games, he’d batted .306/.346/.500 (133 OPS+) with 15 home runs and 79 RBI. The only qualifying Guardians player with a higher OPS+ than Naylor this season is superstar third baseman José Ramírez. Steven Kwan, at 104, ranks third.

The Guardians recently traded Josh Bell at the deadline. Incoming prospect Kyle Manzardo remains sidelined with his own undisclosed injury, meaning that the Guardians may have to continue deploying David Fry at the cold corner with a rotating cast assuming DH responsibilities.

Naylor isn’t the only Guardians player slated to miss some time. Cleveland also placed young infielder Tyler Freeman on the injured list because of a strained shoulder. Freeman, 24, has hit .286/.344/.357 (97 OPS+) in 38 games.

In a pair of corresponding moves, the Guardians recalled infielder José Tena and obtained veteran outfielder Kole Calhoun from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations.

Tena, 22, will be making his big-league debut after appearing in just one game at the Triple-A level. In 81 prior games at Double-A, he batted .260/.353/.370 with four home runs and 16 stolen bases (on 23 attempts). Baseball America recently ranked Tena as the 13th best prospect in the Guardians farm system.

Calhoun, 35, was eligible to be traded after the deadline because he hasn’t spent any time in the majors this season. In 58 games at the Triple-A level split between multiple organizations, he’s hit .297/.376/.530. It’s worth noting that Calhoun has not been an above-average hitter at the big-league level since 2020.

The Guardians will begin a three-game set against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

Braves’ Max Fried stellar in return from injury as MLB-best Atlanta hitters shell Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks

Atlanta Braves left-hander Max Fried made his first start since May on Friday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs (GameTracker). He had previously missed close to three months because of a strained left forearm.

Fried showed little sign of rust against what had been a red-hot Cubs lineup. He fired off six shutout innings, holding Chicago to three hits and no walks. Fried also struck out eight batters and saw his fastball average 94.7 mph, or a full tick higher than his previous seasonal average. He generated nine whiffs on 33 swings, with four of those coming on his fastball variants.

8-strikeout gem for Max Fried.

Ace things.

— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) August 4, 2023
Fried, 29, made five starts earlier in the year before going on the shelf. In 26 innings, he had accumulated a 2.08 ERA (221 ERA+) and a 4.17 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Fried, of course, finished second in National League Cy Young Award balloting last winter.

“I felt sharper than expected. Had a lot of nervous energy. Just was looking forward to this day for a long time,” Fried told reporters, including Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Fried’s afternoon was made easier thanks to the run support provided by Atlanta’s lineup. The Braves were up 8-0 at the time of his departure, due almost entirely to a seven-run fourth inning that saw them launch back-to-back home runs and continue their recent mastery of Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks. That score would hold as the final.

Do not trust Adam Wainwright (even vs. Rockies), non-Scherzer reason to side with Rangers

I won’t lie; my brain is scrambled right now. Between conference realignment and private equity investments in programs, I feel as though I’ve been hit in the head repeatedly, and I don’t know where the next blow is coming from. So, I need something to grab hold of to find my bearings.

I need a Principle.

That principle is fading Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals as favorites. I don’t care that the Colorado Rockies stink just as badly, if not worse, than the Cardinals. It doesn’t matter. What matters is what’s right, and what’s right is not betting on Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals as favorites.

Wainwright is toast. He’s not in much better shape than the Pac-12 and enters the night with a 7.18 ERA. The Cardinals have gone 5-8 in his 13 starts, and Waino has allowed at least two runs in every game he’s pitched this season. In his last five starts, he has 10.89 ERA.

It’s bad.

Now, as I said, the Rockies aren’t what anybody would consider good. Their starter, Chris Flexen, is just about as bad as Wainwright. The primary difference is he strikes a few more hitters out and walks a bunch more but doesn’t allow nearly as much hard contact.

So, he’s not somebody you typically want to be betting on, but this is one of those cases where neither team deserves to be favored against anybody, so bet the underdog. The fact St. Louis is 26-36 when favored this year doesn’t hurt, either.

Padres shut down starter for at least three weeks due to shoulder inflammation

The San Diego Padres announced Friday that starting pitcher Joe Musgrove had an MRI on his right (pitching) shoulder that revealed inflammation in the capsule (via Dennis Lin). As a result, he’s been shut down from throwing for three weeks before the club makes a decision on how to proceed. Padres general manager A.J. Preller told reporters they hope Musgrove can make it back this season, but will move forward with his best interests (via Lin).

Given that there’s a mention about how the Padres “hope” Musgrove can come back, that means there’s a possibility that he’s done for the season. That’s a big blow to the Padres’ postseason hopes.

The Padres enter action Friday having won five of their last six to move to 54-55. That’s nine games out in the NL West, but it’s four out in the wild-card race. That’s within striking distance.

Musgrove, 30, started the season on the injured list and has made 17 starts since then, going 10-3 with a 3.05 ERA (132 ERA+), 1.14 WHIP and 97 strikeouts against 20 unintentional walks in 97 1/3 innings.

The rotation around Musgrove right now is Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Seth Lugo and Rich Hill. Michael Wacha has been on the injured list since the start of July with a shoulder injury. Ryan Weathers has been traded and Adrián Morejón is on the injured list. Nick Martinez has made five starts this season, but has settled into a bullpen role. If he’s not moving back into the rotation, the Padres could dip into the minors. Starters Matt Waldron and Jay Groome are on the 40-man roster.

The Padres host the Dodgers Friday night to open a four-game series. It’s a huge series for the Padres as they look to remain in the playoff race. The Musgrove news puts a damper on that a bit, but the best way to change the vibes is to go win some games.