Weekend DFS tends to get away from you at times. Either you know the right contrarian stance to take, or you get blasted by chalk failing miserably. That was certainly the case with pitching, as the top two arms I liked on Sunday (Corey Kluber and Lance McCullers Jr.) both failed to top even 34 fantasy points.
They specifically didn’t cause my lineups to lose, but paying up meant I didn’t get to load up on elite bats. Sunday’s lineup suffered for it, but I did deliver some solid MLB DFS picks with Miguel Andujar (24 fantasy points), Francisco Lindor (12), Matt Carpenter (6) and Lewis Brinson (3) all at least getting on the board.
I ended up getting burned by some of my best bats (Giancarlo Stanton and Ryan Braun both got 0), while Brian McCann didn’t even start.
The last two days haven’t been great, so hopefully the MLB DFS gods are back in our favor tonight. This figures to be a fun 8-game daily fantasy baseball slate, so join me as I try to piece together a GPP winner for FanDuel:
SP: Carlos Carrasco – Cleveland Indians ($9.6k)
I have to start out by saying I’m not in love with the pitching tonight. Gerrit Cole, Carrasco, Masahiro Tanaka and Gio Gonzalez are probably the only guys I want to use on this slate, but they all have their red flags.
The only thing really working against Carrasco, though, is the fact that he’s facing some power in a hitter’s park. If he can keep the ball out of the stands, he is in a great spot against an Orioles team that whiffed at a 25% clip in 2017 and has upped that to 26% so far in 2018.
The contact could be there, but Carrasco has been good early in 2018 and I wouldn’t put it past him to deliver a gem. You’re saving $1k to pivot away from Cole, who is undoubtedly safer but may lack the upside to match his price tag.
Tanaka has a good strikeout matchup in theory, but I’m not really excited to see him face a powerful Minnesota offense.
Ultimately, I really think you’re assuming some risk just about everywhere you turn. I doubt Carrasco escapes the night completely unscathed, but I think he has a shot at reaching 7 innings and chasing 10 Ks. If he can do that, 40+ fantasy points is very much within reach.
C/1B: Austin Hedges – San Diego Padres ($2k)
I’m not giving a hard sell here. Hedges has some pop (.207 ISO versus righties) and he’s the bare minimum in Coors Field. If you’re not into him, I get it, but this is a free square to me.
2B: Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners ($4.1k)
Carson Fulmer is not a scary pitcher and Cano gets a shot at mashing him to the moon in a great hitter’s park tonight. Cano has been on fire (.329 BA) so far this year and just recently started discovering his power stroke.
That’s bad news for Fulmer, who sports an absurd 53% fly ball rate against lefty bats. Cue the Cano double-dong.
3B: Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners ($3.1k)
Seager is a nice try in a great park against a beatable righty in Carson Fulmer. Fulmer is a fun arm to target from either side of the play (+50% fly ball rate to all batters), so I obviously don’t hate Mariners bats tonight.
Seager brings a solid .195 ISO to the table here and makes contact on almost 80% of his plate appearances. Even if he only does it once in this matchup, it could pay off. I also like Christian Villanueva in Coors and Enrique Hernandez offers up a nasty .311 ISO tonight ($2.5k) as well.
SS: Didi Gregorius – New York Yankees ($4.8k)
There are actually shockingly few SS options I love on this slate, but I like Didi for a number of reasons. His price has to suppress his ownership. The guy is almost $5k on a slate with a ton of elite bats to pay up for.
That, and he is on a tear to start 2018, as he is absolutely crushing the ball (.444 ISO).
He’s always been a fine guy to use against beatable righties, and he’s obviously in a great hitting park against a pedestrian arm in Jake Odorizzi tonight. Odorizzi allows a staggering 49% fly ball rate to lefties, so I’m not sure what else I need to say here.
OF: Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins ($2.4k)
I’ll take some cheap exposure to this game. I know the temperature here (low 50’s) isn’t ideal for hitting, but there is a lot to like about Kepler, who traditionally does his best work against right-handed pitchers.
I’m always game for a lefty bat against Tanaka in Yankee Stadium, especially since his K rate is just 13% against lefties so far in 2018.
Tanaka gives up contact to both sides of the plate, but Kepler has gotten 2018 off on the right foot, sporting a sweet 8% K rate and swatting the ball an average distance of 338 feet. Combine that with his splits against righties so far this year (.413 wOBA, .275 ISO) and I’m game for him as a one-off option.
Minnesota as a stack is in play here as well, but I might stick to the lefties. The other big bat I’m eyeing is Eddie Rosario, who also figures to be a solid try in this spot.
OF: Wil Myers – San Diego Padres ($3.1k)
Myers is a lock for me. He has awesome power (.225 ISO) and is insanely cheap exposure to Coors Field tonight. It’s not like I’m just playing him because he’s in Coors, either. He’s a legit masher with awesome upside and he’s price like some spare.
Chad Bettis has been annoyingly decent and is a ground ball pitcher, but this is still Coors Field we’re talking about. There is enough contact there to throw caution to the wind and jump all over Myers at this absurdly low price tag.
OF: Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners ($3.8k)
Can you tell I’m on the Mariners tonight? I’ll complete the three-man stack with Cruz, who mashes both sides of the plate and gets a average arm who gives up a ton of contact. I tend to prefer Nellie against southpaws, but he’s a great play in all regards. The splits, matchup and park all make him an elite option on this slate.
Util: Matt Adams – Washington Nationals ($2.1k)
The Nats are super watered down right now due to injuries and a righty takes the mound for the Giants, so I have to think he’s starting tonight. Obviously look for a cheap Utility option if he’s not, but he does destroy right-handed pitching (.260 ISO) and he gives you a fun late-game hammer.
Chris Stratton has been solid so far in 2018 and this is obviously a pitcher’s park you’re dealing with, but it can’t hurt that he saw both his K rate and ground ball percentage dip against lefties in 2017. I’ll take a shot here with a power bat at a super low price.
I’m taking the arm I have the most confidence in tonight and running. From there, I like the Mariners and Padres together as two three-man stacks and I’ll find some bats to slide in that make sense. Agree or disagree with my MLB DFS picks? Let me hear it in the comments below!