One pick was the difference between last night’s MLB team placing at FanDuel. The worst part? Mike Moustakas was actually my initial instinct at 3B (he donged, of course), but I pivoted to Christian Villanueva (3), who did not pan out as I’d hoped.
There were still some solid daily fantasy baseball picks to be had out of my FanDuel lineup, though. Carlos Martinez wasn’t amazing but 31 fantasy points is hardly a crater job.
My bats had a little life, too, as Yoenis Cespedes (13), Trevor Story (31!), Wilmer Flores (28!), Jose Pirela (18) and Hunter Renfroe (25!) all worked out beautifully. Swapping out Moose was a classic gaffe (trust your gut!), while Enrique Hernandez (3) and Rhys Hoskins (0) did not deliver.
Hoskins was a shocker against Homer Bailey, while last night was loaded with double dongs and just a slew of long balls in general. I actually hand-picked four of them initially and had I stuck with my guns, I’d have had a winner.
Hopefully you used some of these bats and found a way to get in the green. If not, I’m back at it again for tonight’s seven-game main slate:
SP: Jaime Barria – Los Angeles Angels ($5.5k)
Yeah, this is a GPP play if there ever was one. Barria is making his MLB debut and he’s in a hitter’s park against a very potent Rangers offense.
He’s also a top pitching prospect that has looked terrific in the minors and gets an all-or-nothing Texas lineup that sports a collective 25% strikeout rate.
This is a risky play, but a calculated one.
Not only is the kid talented, but teams can struggle when facing a pitcher for the first time. Assuming he doesn’t give up 10 homers in this spot, he actually could potentially shred the Rangers up.
I really don’t mind the risk, seeing as pitcher looks pretty ugly on this slate. Am I to really pay up for (and trust) the likes of Jon Lester, David Price and Masahiro Tanaka? I think not.
Lester faces a solid Pirates offense that doesn’t K that much, plus he’s simply been shaky dating back to last season. Price and Tanaka face each other and will be taking on powerful lineups in the hittable Fenway Park.
From there, you’re seriously being pulled in by the likes of Marco Estrada. I even was considering Nick Pivetta and Luis Castillo in a brutal park for a second there.
If I’m taking on risk no matter where I’m going, I might as well load up some bats in the process. I certainly think a Rangers hedge stack would be necessary, but I like the upside with Barria on this dreadful slate.
C/1B: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.5k)
At some point the Dodgers are going to rip a hole into the skies. Bellinger is at home against a very beatable arm in Daniel Mengden and his .327 ISO versus right-handed pitching is absurd.
The value here is obvious. I get an elite hammer at a discounted price and with several other big bats on this slate, I bet his ownership isn’t too high.
2B: Zack Cozart – Cincinnati Reds ($3.8k)
I like the Halos tonight. They’re in a great park for offense and they’re going up against a pedestrian southpaw in Matt Moore.
Moore is a fun guy to pick on. He can be decent at times, but he struggles against viable righties (35% hard hit rate, 47% fly ball rate). That has me loving Cozart, who is off to a fine enough start with his new squad and boasts ridiculous splits (.452 wOBA, .305 ISO) against left-handed hurlers.
3B: Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays ($4.3k)
The main 3B I want is Kris Bryant, but he’s in a game with some weather concerns. That doesn’t mean you have to fade the Cubs vs. Pirates game, but I might.
It’s no big deal, as Donaldson is a fine consolation prize. His efficiency isn’t great early in 2018, but he’s launched three home runs already and gets to face a volatile arm at Camden Yards.
With my luck Kevin Gausman will deliver a career-defining performance tonight, but in reality, he’s a great arm to attack. Donaldson sports a nice .260 ISO against righties, while Gausman gets tattooed from both sides of the plate.
This park is tough to deliver gems in and Donaldson has had some success in this setting in the past. Gausman gave up three dongs the first time he toed the rubber at home this year and he got taken into the stands 18 times at Camden in 2017. Yeah, cue the #Dongaldson tweets.
SS: Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.6k)
I’ll give another Dodger a shot here. Seager has been quiet to get 2018 going, but he’s a good hitter and a heck of a talent. He just donged last night, too, so there’s optimism he could start heating up.
Seager was way better at home last year and crushes righties. Daniel Mengden has not been good to start the new year and struggled against lefty bats a year ago. I’m willing to roll with a couple Dodgers in the hopes they get it rolling at home.
OF: Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees ($4.5k)
Stanton’s price has dropped due to a crazy amount of strikeouts, but he’s in a great setting to pay off tonight. I personally think this strong start by David Price is a bit inflated, while Stanton destroys southpaws (.477 wOBA, .452 ISO) probably as good as anyone.
Price isn’t an easy guy to target, but the Yanks have some nasty splits against lefties and I think Stanton could be contrarian given his recent form and a slew of powerful bats to consider on this slate. Stanton at low ownership is always a dream to chase and I think he sends one deep tonight.
OF: Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels ($3.6k)
Matt Moore is a guy I really don’t mind putting batters up against, so I’ll do it again with Upton. Mike Trout will be popular in this spot, but I prefer Upton, as he gives me a discount and actually sports way better splits (.470 wOBA, .388 ISO) against left-handed pitching.
OF: Jesse Winker – Cincinnati Reds ($2.6k)
I’m not completely sold on Winker in this spot yet. He needs to be active, batting in a good spot and I have to make sure I don’t like someone around this price range more. You won’t know for sure if you agree or not until lineups pop up later.
Still, Winker is a fine try in a hitter’s park against a guy in Nick Pivetta that has flashed upside but gives up a lot of contact. That can be a dangerous game in such an explosive ballpark, while Winker shreds right-handed pitching (.434 wOBA, .274 ISO).
Util: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees ($3.5k)
Sanchez has been truly horrible to start 2018, but he has five career hits on David Price and four have gone for home runs. Price feels a bit inflated with his lone two starts coming against a severely watered down Rays lineup, too.
On top of that, Sanchez is in a great ballpark for offense and his splits against lefties (.264 ISO) are mouth-watering. Oh, and the wind is blowing out tonight.
This is not a safe GPP team and I certainly wouldn’t roll this lineup out in cash games. It all starts with my pitcher, who is a roll of the dice for sure. I hate this slate for pitching, though, so I’m willing to take a deep dive and load up with a bunch of bats.
The bats are even very tournament centric, as guys like Stanton, Bellinger, Seager and Sanchez have power and upside, but could be low-owned. I doubt Halos will be contrarian, but I just love them tonight.
Admittedly, this is probably one of the riskier lineups I’ve pieced together for daily fantasy baseball contests this year. This slate could be tricky, though, so I think I’ll need to take some risks to climb the ladder.
Whether you use these picks or not, I wish you luck at FanDuel tonight!
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