Monday kicks off a new week of daily fantasy baseball action at FanDuel. I took a break from the MLB DFS scene this weekend, but I’m back to help you win again all week.
Tonight offers up a solid 10-game main slate, which is that nice sweet spot when looking at MLB DFS schedules.
There are a couple of games to keep an eye on in terms of weather impact (mainly Indians vs. Cardinals), but be sure to gauge any PPD threats and align it with your roster construction.
With that, it’s into the new week with some of my favorite FanDuel MLB DFS picks to help form a competitive GPP lineup:
SP: Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals ($8.5k)
Justin Verlander is the top arm by a mile tonight, but at $11.7k it’s going to be hard to get to him and feel good about your bats. He really hasn’t lived up to that price lately, either, so it’s a pass for me (although he’s the preferred option in cash games).
There are a few viable pitching options tonight, but after JV they all come with some risk.
Gonzalez isn’t immune to said risk, while he’s also been in pretty crummy form. However, the good news is you save over $3k compared to JV, he is a talented arm and he’ll go up against a bad Rays offense in a pitcher’s park.
Tampa Bay absolutely boasts some power against southpaws (namely C.J. Cron), but Gonzalez is a ground ball pitcher and traditionally isn’t prone to coughing up a ton of homers. Everything works to his advantage in this spot (Tampa bay whiffs at a disturbing 27% clip) and this profiles as the perfect “get right” matchup.
Gio can keep struggling, but eventually he’s going to snap out of his funk. This certainly make sense as the ideal situation to allow for that to happen.
C/1B: Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs ($3.6k)
I don’t love the idea of targeting Kenta Maeda, but three thrings pull me to Rizzo: Maeda hasn’t been in amazing form, Rizzo is an elite value and Maeda does have some difficulty with left-handed power.
A Cubs stack may go very overlooked tonight, while Rizzo’s .206 ISO could come in useful here. That, and having a late-game hammer at a discounted price is never a bad idea.
2B: Ozzie Albies – Atlanta Braves ($4.3k)
Everything adds up for Albies to be a stud tonight. He hasn’t donged since June 12th, yet he’s been wrecking (18+ fantasy points in each of his last three games).
I think he can continue that one way or another, as lefties thrive at SunTrust Park and he faces a beatable arm in Tyler Mahle.
Mahle has talent, but he has major issues against left-handed hitting (.295 ISO, .402 wOBA, 42% fly ball rate, 47% hard hit rate) and Albies can really crank it. I think he’s long overdue to send one deep and I wouldn’t be shocked if he did it (gulp) twice.
3B: Christian Villanueva – San Diego Padres ($2.9k)
I am all about the Padres tonight. For one, they’re actually not quite as bad as people want them to be. That, and they’re facing a contact pitcher in a hitter’s dream park.
Cole Hamels has actually been pretty good, both recently and on the year. That doesn’t mean he can’t get lit up, however, as the veteran left still allows a staggering .217 ISO and 47% hard contact rate to right-handed hitters.
This is a perfect contrarian stack to bombard Hamels with and if it’s not low-owned, who cares? San Diego righties are firmly in play, as they have a solid matchup by the numbers and are in a park that demands the long ball. And if they are low-owned, shame on everyone else.
Villanueva leads this stack by quite a bit thanks to his disgusting .500 ISO versus left-handed pitching.
SS: Didi Gregorius – New York Yankees ($3.8k)
Elvis Andrus ($3.2k) is a nice value pick (.210 ISO vs. L), but I want a little more upside at SS tonight. Compared to some of the pricey options, Didi represents the perfect mixture of value and dong potential.
He is always a serious threat to go yard, but tonight he stands out in a hitter’s park against Vincent Velasquez. The Phillies arm has a tall order in pitching around all of New York’s mashers, but it might be the left-handed hitters you want to target.
Gregorius blasts the ball versus right-handed pitching (.259 ISO), while he’s generally good for contact and doesn’t whiff much. That could mean good things against Velasquez, who gives up a nasty .266 ISO to lefties, as well as a 45% fly ball rate. I think Didi is launching one tonight.
OF: Wil Myers – San Diego Padres ($2.7k)
I’m also game for Myers, who is just way too cheap in general given his raw power and overall talent. He and his Padres brethren get an awesome park shift and this is a matchup to die for, assuming Cole Hamels doesn’t bring his best stuff.
Myers hasn’t lit up lefties so far in 2018, but he’s also faced them just 20 times. If we look back at last year, he demolished them to the tune of a .207 ISO. The good news is he’s smacking the heck out of the ball (369 ft average air distance!), so if he can establish contact tonight, he has a great shot at donging.
OF: Hunter Renfroe – San Diego Padres ($2.5k)
Ditto for Renfroe, who has all the power you want, mashes southpaws (.358 wOBA, .233 ISO) and is even cheaper than his two viable Padres teammates. Pick and choose these guys as you desire (I rank them Villanueva, Myers, Renfroe), but I want all three.
Renfroe is pretty much only in play against left-handed pitching and the park upgrade is sublime. Add in Hamels’ 37% fly ball rate versus righties and a three-man stack is just way too enticing.
OF: Franmil Reyes – San Diego Padres ($2.7k)
I didn’t set out to stack the Padres four men deep, but if Reyes and his .250 ISO versus southpaws are in the lineup, he has to be considered at this price. San Diego is rarely an offense I target with zero restraint, but the park and matchup open the door to a big GPP swing here.
I can understand any hesitance to fully back this stack (or just Reyes), so consider pivoting to guys like Lonnie Chisenhall, Jesse Winker and/or Corey Dickerson in this same price range.
Util: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.8k)
I’ll wrap things up with Bellinger, who went yard twice last night and will be back home against an unproven commodity in Duane Underwood. Underwood hasn’t even been great in the minors, so this could be another spot for L.A. to tee off on someone.
I’m not vying for a full Dodgers stack, but Cody supplies a nice .267 ISO against righties. He also gives me a second elite, late-game hammer to get excited about.
Obviously I’m not going anywhere in GPPs if the Padres don’t pan out and Gio Gonzalez can’t get his mind right against the Rays. However, if those two things happen, I’ll bet in great shape to make a run for the top in my single entry tournament.
If you’re with me on some of these daily fantasy baseball picks or love the lineup exactly as it sits, let me hear the love in the comments below.
Hate my MLB DFS picks for tonight? Feel free to chime in with your own. Either way, I wish you luck in your FanDuel contests on Monday night!