In the end, Mad Max pitched an utter gem and Thor was a fine fade. Rostering Jon Gray, though, was a total gaffe.
The logic was there and Gray actually made me look like a genius early on, punching out three batters in an amazing first frame. He kept things together for the next few innings, too, before allowing a dang pitcher to dong him. The wheels came off from there.
Gray left us wanting so much more with a measly 12 fantasy points. That was especially disappointing on a night where the bats across the board were not amazing, yet mine were solid.
That’s right, popular plays like Mike Trout, Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper and others failed to go yard and really were awesome fades.
My hitters, meanwhile, were at least serviceable for the most part. Paul Goldschmidt (15) ended up being a fine contrarian bat to close out the night, while Scott Kingery (21.7) and Rhys Hoskins (25.2) both donged. They were part of a fun Reds/Phillies stack that also saw Scooter Gennett (18.7) work out.
My hitting gaffes were Aaron Altherr (0), Ryan Schimpf (3.5, injured), Nolan Arenado (3) and Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe didn’t start and had me pivoting to Jorge Soler (15.2!), however.
As a whole, this team was lacking. Let’s turn things around on Tuesday’s fun 12-game daily fantasy baseball slate at FanDuel:
SP: Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals ($8.7k)
Pitcher is loaded tonight. Chris Sale is the top dog, but he and a lot of the best available arms have less than ideal matchups. My main pivot up top is New York’s Jacob deGrom, as he’ll be in a pitcher’s park against the Marlins.
I can save even more by dropping down to Martinez, though. Not only is Martinez operating in a pitcher’s park as well (6-3, 3.23 ERA at Busch Stadium in 2017), but he gets a Milwaukee Brewers lineup he destroyed (10 Ks, 0 runs) in his last start.
It can be dangerous to use pitchers against teams they’ve faced in the same season (offenses can get used to them), but this is still a matchup that favors Martinez. Milwaukee is still a very inefficient offense (5th most strikeouts in 2018), while their power is limited by this park.
Martinez needs to watch his walks and hard contact, but I’m willing to trust him at home in a high strikeout matchup. Fire up a Brewers hedge stack if you’re backing Martinez here, but overall he might be one of the best plays on this slate.
If you want a little more safety with your upside, roll with deGrom.
C/1B: Wilmer Flores – New York Mets ($2.2k)
This is the night of staggering splits. You’ll see that immediately via Flores, who absolutely destroys southpaws (.265 ISO) and will face a beatable one tonight in Caleb Smith. I know he’s not always reliable, but he could easily go for two homers if he’s dialed in tonight.
It can’t hurt that Smith gets hit hard by righties (34% hard hit rate, 47% fly ball rate) and did not look good in his most recent outing (6 walks, 3 earned runs).
2B: Kike Hernandez – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.5k)
This is a huge slate and there are a lot of viable 2B options, but I don’t mind punting here and attacking Enrique’s awesome splits (.389 wOBA, .311 ISO) against southpaws. Sean Manaea is not a trash arm, but his struggles largely come against righty power (37% hard hit rate, 37% fly ball rate).
If you need to pay up at 2B tonight, I’d go with Jose Altuve ($4.5k). He’s very expensive but he’ll be facing a beatable righty.
Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals ($3.2k)
I’m sure everyone will be on Nolan Arenado versus a southpaw again, but I’ll take the sharp discount and roll with Moose. He’s hitting just fine to start 2018 but has yet to really go nuts with his power.
I like the splits versus righties (.268 ISO), while he’s had a little success against Felix Hernandez in the past. Hernandez himself is in decline. Not only did he get donged thrice (in San Francisco, no less) in his last start, but he sees his K rate drop by 6% when facing lefty bats.
Moose is a guy to target at home. He’s off to a blistering .462 BA at home this year and he displayed plenty of power (14 HR) here in 2017. This is a solid matchup by the numbers and I love the value here.
If you want more Coors exposure, drop down by $100 and try out Christian Villanueva. The sample size is very small, but he’s thus far wrecked southpaws to the tune of a .471 wOBA and a .429 ISO. He also donged thrice in a game earlier this year, so there is power upside to chase here.
Update: I still love Moose here, but I’m pivoting to Villanueva. I like both bats, but I prefer the added exposure and splits in Coors.
SS: Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies ($4.2k)
Story can be very frustrating to use and I usually prefer him to come at a discount, but his splits (.432 wOBA, .364 ISO) against southpaws are to die for. I also don’t want to stay too far away from this game at Coors. I prefer the value via Padres bats, but Story makes a lot of sense tonight.
You’re using a volatile bat here, but he’s an elite pivot (saving over $1k) off of Arenado.
OF: Hunter Renfroe – San Diego Padres ($2.6k)
Staying with the Coors theme, I’ll try out Renfroe and his nasty splits against left-handed pitching (.439 wOBA, .369 ISO). I mentioned him last night, but he didn’t start because the Rockies were rolling out a right-handed hurler.
Tonight Renfroe is a lock to be in the lineup and he gives you really cheap exposure to what Vegas expects to be the most explosive game of the night. Add in the splits and I’m game to ride with Renfroe.
OF: Jose Pirela – San Diego Padres ($2.7k)
I could use as many as three Padres tonight and Pirela, who brings solid splits (.381 wOBA, .250 ISO) against southpaws to the table, is certainly one of them. The splits and the park factor make him an elite value play on this slate.
I know trusting in Padres is never ideal, but they blew up last night and absolutely could again. Coors is a heck of a thing.
OF: Yoenis Cespedes – New York Mets ($3.8k)
I love me some nasty splits tonight and you can snatch up even more with Yo’s ability to crush southpaws (.338 ISO).
I don’t know yet if picking on Caleb Smith will be a thing, but I already touched on the fact that he’s had some control issues and can get hit really hard by righties. I have no issue firing up Cespedes tonight.
Util: Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies ($5k)
I will cap this lineup off with a guy who I’ll gladly use pretty much every night as long as the matchup makes good sense. Hoskins has turned into a powerful and efficient monster and that’s vaulted his price tag up to an unsightly $5k on FanDuel.
This is Mike Trout and Bryce Harper territory, but I love it as it has to lower his ownership. People are going to gravitate toward elite pitching and/or bats with bigger names tonight – namely Trout, Harper and Arenado – so there is a very distinct possibility Rhys remains fairly under-owned.
I’m into that, but I just love him at home in a hitter’s park against human gas can, Homer Bailey.
Bailey was once a solid pitcher, but he regressed sharply in 2017 and is just not a scary arm. He gets hit decently from both sides of the plate and doesn’t carry an elite K rate. That’s bad news versus Rhys, who clubs right-handed pitching to the tune of a .426 wOBA and a .341 ISO.
If you really need to pay up for your pitcher tonight, just fade Hoskins and take a deep dive. Someone like Robinson Chirinos ($2.2k) would be a great option and it would easily allow you to get Chris Sale or literally any other arm you covet.
I don’t think I need to do that, though. I like Martinez at home in this spot and I think the cheap exposure to Coors could end up paying off in a big way. On such a huge slate, few of these options should garner staggering ownership, either.
That does it for tonight’s MLB DFS picks. Let me know if these picks help you win tonight. Either way, I wish you luck!
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