Last night was a ton of fun. Cody Bellinger (3.2) and Corey Seager (6.5k) were supposed to be late-night hammers that vaulted my team into massive winnings. Instead, the Dodgers got absolutely housed at home but the Athletics, 16-6.
That kept me from winning big personally, but due to Josh Donaldson being scratched, I pivoted to Kris Bryant and pieced together a team that produced 196 fantasy points.
I missed some explosive bats, as Javier Baez double-donged and J.D. Martinez crushed a grand slam.
I wasn’t into targeting Red Sox last night, though, and I always liked Zack Cozart more than anyone else at 2B. Baez had awesome splits in his favor and was $1.1 cheaper, but he also was playing in an inferior park and was batting 7th.
Cozart (15.7 fantasy points) still worked out well enough, while my bats really didn’t burn you too bad if you used them. Gary Sanchez (53.6!) was the star of the night, while every hitter I used outside of my two Dodgers delivered at least 12+ fantasy points.
Giancarlo Stanton (31.9) ended up being worth using despite not launching a homer, while Bryant (25) and Justin Upton (21) were solid as well.
The only hiccup here was the fact that Donaldson got scratched. Fortunately I did plug Bryant, so hopefully you pivoted to him and swapped out Jesse Winker.
Winker (3) ended up being a bad play in the end, so if you used him that’s an obvious bummer. I switched to Pedroa Alvarez (12) and that helped me climb the standings a bit.
The other nice play was my pitcher.
I confided in a rookie (Jaime Barria) making his pro debut, and my logic panned out. He was no Zack freaking Wheeler, but he allowed just one run and struck out three batters while making it through five innings. That was enough to help him score the win and considering the pricey bats I loaded up on, I’ll take 27 all day from him.
More than just nailing some bats and converting on a cheap arm, I avoided some brutal performances by would-be aces in the process.
I really didn’t love Jon Lester, David Price or Masahiro Tanaka in their spots last night and all three got obliterated. Those were fantastic fades and whether you used Barria or not, steering clear of those sorry sacks probably was a winning move on it’s own.
It was another successful run with my daily MLB DFS picks (I also cashed in yesterday’s early slate lineup) and I’m back to the grind for a fun five-game slate at FanDuel tonight. Let’s see what my favorite GPP lineup looks like for tonight’s small slate:
Update a of 5:27 pm CT: The Yankees/Sox game is at risk of being PPD. I have Giancarlo Stanton in this lineup, but if you’re afraid of the risk, consider pivoting to Justin Upton. That will open up several hundred $$ and you can opt to pay up over Max Kepler or Franchy Cordero, as needed. Good luck!
SP: Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins ($9k)
I punted pitcher last night due to a lack of reliable aces and if there was a cheap guy I was into I’d do it again tonight. I can understand potential infatuation with Bryan Mitchell or Chris Stratton at Petco Park tonight, but neither guy gets me excited.
I’m really just looking at the top two aces here in Berrios and Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is operating out of the safer park and was very good at home last year (2.76 ERA), while he’s off to a fine start (1.59 ERA) through two trips to the mound in 2018. Unfortunately he has the worse matchup against a Rockies lineup that has a few guys that specifically obliterate southpaws.
Colorado isn’t the same offense on the road and Gio should be fine, but it’s just not a situation I love. He’s my second pitcher tonight.
Number one is Berrios, who was even better at home a year ago (9-1, 2.41 ERA) and held opponents to a brutal .199 batting average there in 2017. He got crushed by the Mariners in his last start (at home, mind you), but he has elite strikeout upside and has one of the better matchups on the board tonight.
That comes against the Chicago White Sox, who do have some power to work around, but they whiff a ton (28% collective K rate versus righties). This roster hasn’t had much success against Berrios, either, piecing together a nasty .132 batting average with 29 strikeouts in 68 plate appearances.
It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a sizable -195 favorites at GTbets. Needless to say, it may not be a bad idea to bet on the Twins tonight.
I could go either way here, but Berrios should be chalky because he’s far and away the top option tonight. Hopefully some people get scared off of his price and/or his last outing. If he ends up being contrarian somehow, all the better.
C/1B: Brandon Belt – San Francisco Giants ($2.4k)
Belt wrecks right-handed pitching to the tune of a .366 wOBA and a .240 ISO, so he’s one of the few hammer bats I want to close this slate with. Giants and Padres are far from core plays on this tiny slate and Petco Park isn’t a great park for offense, but his splits call to me here.
The last time I suggested Belt he went nuts and I don’t think Bryan Mitchell is an arm you really have to worry about. I’m not saying I demand a Belt dong here, but I think at this price he’s worth a shot to end the night.
2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($4.1k)
I’m not a believer in Lucas Giolito right now. He’s talented, but he has issues with command (7 walks in two starts) and gives up quite a bit of hard contact. He’s yet to be donged in 2018 and I think that changes tonight.
Minnesota is a highly capable offense and they just got done wrecking Lance McCullers. This is a hitter’s park, too, while we know by now Dozier is a straight up masher. I also don’t love 2B tonight, so I don’t mind paying up for his solid splits (.202 ISO) in this spot.
3B: Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins ($3.9k)
Nolan Arenado is on my radar at a discounted $4.3k and I’ll also lust after Mike Moustakas ($3.7k) a bit. Both have the tasty side of their splits tonight, but neither happen to be in amazing park environments.
Arenado is facing a pretty good arm in Gio Gonzalez, while Moose just has the park working against him. To be clear, I love all of these guys in theory, but Sano stands out the most.
His matchup looks amazing on paper, as Giolito gives up a 34% fly ball rate to whoever he’s facing but sees his hard contact rate climb by 10% when taking on fellow righties. I want to attack that tonight, while a Twins stack is firmly in play with a lot of attention on Fenway Park tonight.
Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants ($2.4k)
I’ll take another hammer bat with a side of jelly beans, raw.
Please and thank you.
No, Crawford isn’t some guaranteed masher and yes, Bryan Mitchell did just survive on the road against the Houston Astros. Survive is the keyword there, as Mitchell has been far from dominant through two 2018 starts.
This guys is still a relatively unproven commodity and he’s been a mixed bag at the pro level. The Giants aren’t an offense I want to load up on, but Crawford brings a little power to the table and does his best work (.305 wOBA, .159 ISO) against righties. Mitchell is actually way more dangerous against lefty bats, but his hard hit rate spikes by 14%.
I’m banking on my two Giants bats being a little bit better than Mitchell to cap the night. That, and they’re pretty cheap with positive splits.
Update: I opted to pay up at SS. I’m nabbing Trea Turner for $4.2k and punting an OF spot.
OF: Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees ($4.5k)
Everyone is going to be on this Yankees vs. Red Sox game at Fenway Park. The problem is the pitching is actually decent here. I don’t want to actually roster Sonny Gray or Rick Porcello here, but I don’t necessarily want to blindly stack this game either.
I do want a little exposure though and it’s all on New York’s side. J.D. Martinez will be a popular play thanks to his grand slam last night and Mookie Betts could draw ownership. Gary Sanchez could also be popular after double-donging last night and Aaron Judge is always viable, too.
It’s Stanton that I crave, though. He was dialed in last night, as he racked up 31 fantasy points despite going dongless, which for him is quite a feat this year.
I just love the value here. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Judge are all more expensive, yet Stanton murders right-handed pitching (.392 wOBA, .326 ISO) and is admittedly due for a homer (it’s been SIX GAMES PEOPLE!).
The chances of that coming (possibly twice) against Porcello aren’t bad. Ricky P once won a Cy Young Award and he could go on a K run against this lineup, but he also serves up a ton of hard contact and is pitching in a tough park.
More specifically, Porcello gets donged like crazy. He gave up an absurd 38 homers in 2017 and 20 of them came at home in Fenway Park. He’s a good pitcher, but when he’s off, he’s horribly off.
That was often the case in his home park a year ago, where he went just 7-11 with a weak 5.43 ERA.
Some will use Porcello or avoid targeting him due to two positive starts to start the year. But those both came against the Tampa Bay Rays. David Price learned the hard way last night that there is a very clear difference between facing the Rays and facing this Yankees death lineup.
I won’t be stacking Yanks, but it’s not a bad strategy at all. That being said, I do want Stanton in this spot.
OF: Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins ($2.5k)
I want Twins tonight. I think Yankees, Red Sox, Rockies, Nats and perhaps even the Angels could all be extremely popular. I’m not saying I’m dishing out hot takes and I’m the only person telling you to stack Twins, but for a give-game slate, it’s crazy how divided ownership might end up being.
The best part about stacking Minnesota bats is that a good amount of them are cheap. Rosario should be one and his splits (.376 wOBA, .269 ISO) against right-handed pitching are all of the enticing.
OF: Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins ($2.3k)
Keep saving cash with Kepler, who double-donged Houston to the moon and back in his last start and will carry fun splits (.350 wOBA, .212 ISO) into tonight’s matchup. I just like the contact Giolito gives up and in this park that’s just a bad thing against this Twins team.
You don’t have to do a four-man Twins stack here, while Logan Morrison and everyone else in Minnesota can freely be on your radar. They’re just my favorite stack of the night, is all.
Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels ($3.8k)
There are two things I love to do in daily fantasy baseball; pivot off of chalky bats to equally tempting bats and targeting shaky pitchers that are off to unreasonably awesome starts.
I loved Upton last night and he worked out, but tonight I like him again. His price has only gone up and people are going to feel obligated to target other teams, let alone mashers like Sanchez and Martinez, among others.
That isn’t the wrong thing to do, but Upton will be more contrarian. He’s in a less explosive park, his splits against lefties are considerably more alluring, he’s facing a red hot arm in Ian Kennedy and he’s not Mike Trout.
Let others pay a premium for Trout. I’ll take a discounted Stanton and then pivot off of Judge/J.D,/Gary and whoever else to get Upton, who still wields a powerful bat and nasty splits (.349 wOBA, .233 ISO) against right-handed pitching.
He’s undoubtedly part of yet another sneaky stack (Halos), as they face Kennedy, who is off to a crazy start (0.75 ERA) across two games.
That could come to an end tonight, however. Kennedy is facing an Angels lineup that not only doesn’t K that much, but they’re quite lethal considering the amount of hard contact he allows.
Kennedy got donged a whopping 34 times in 2017 and has a hard hit rate above 36% no matter who he’s facing. I think a dong or three is coming here. I won’t stack Angels, but I’ll go back to the well with Upton in this spot.
Update: While I love Upton, I prefer stability at SS tonight, especially with value opening up at OF. That comes in the form of Franchy Cordero, who can mash righties and brings a little pop to the table. He still gives me a second late-game hammer while I get off of the volatile Crawford.
Overall, I want the top pitcher and I won’t get cute. If Berrios falters in a great matchup, it’s a big bowl of whatever.
For my bats, I’ll soak up some value to make Berrios possible and try to get a little contrarian while still loading up some power with enticing splits. Hopefully some of these picks help you win. Either way, I wish you luck in your MLB DFS FanDuel contests tonight!