Well, last night sure was a ton of fun. For a second there fading Coors (for the most part) seemed genius. Ross Stripling and Tyler Anderson allowed two total runs through the first six innings, only to see their bullpens let this game, well, go full Coors.
It didn’t necessarily matter, as I delivered one of my better daily fantasy baseball lineups of the year. J.A. Happ (46 fantasy points) was a terrific play, while the three top aces of the slate proved to be utter trash.
Happ was a brilliant pivot off of them in more ways than one and that extra cash allowed me to piece together a full four-man Red Sox stack. Boston only scored five runs on the night, but Eduardo Nunez went nuts, Mookie Betts hit for the cycle and J.D. Martinez went yard. Steve Pearce (3) finished that group out and was clearly one of my few bad MLB DFS picks.
I also got a double-dong outing from Neil Walker, while Tyler White (34.4!) was a gem play at the bare minimum price. David Dahl only got 9.5 fantasy points, but it’s really hard to complain about such a glorious set of daily fantasy baseball picks.
I didn’t win big, but that’s only because I played a small $1 single entry contest and a slew of other teams went nuts (looking at you, Pittsburgh). If you went harder with a bigger entry fee in a high dollar GPP, this team could have crushed it for you.
That was fun, but it’s onward and upward come Friday night. Let’s try to piece together another winner for FanDuel’s 14-game main slate:
SP: Shane Bieber – Cleveland Indians ($7.8k)
Gerrit Cole leads the way at pitcher on FanDuel tonight. He’s actually a fine price ($10.5k), but he hasn’t really been worth a hefty price tag lately and he’ll get a dangerous Mariners team that doesn’t whiff much and just slapped Justin Verlander around last night.
I’m less than interested, but he may make for a great GPP play. Masahiro Tanaka is your next best bet, but he’s not exactly cheap and he’s in a dangerous ballpark against a hot (and loaded) Rangers lineup. No thanks.
There is a steep drop-off from there, as Zack Wheeler feels over-priced, Jon Gray can’t be trusted in Coors and Blake Snell is on the toad against a solid offense and he’s been in bad form.
I just don’t like paying for pitcher on this slate, so I’m either going with Cole or dropping down as far as I’m comfortable with. I actually am (GULP) taking a long, hard look at Ervin Santana. I know the 35-year old has been trash so far this year, but the sample size has been small and tonight he gets a very beatable Detroit Tigers team.
There are also some high upside K guys like Mike Minor, Dylan Bundy, Freddy Peralta, Carlos Rodon and even Kevin Gausman to at least lend a cursory glance to. I just hate their spots, is all, and would prefer to target them than to roster them.
All that aside, my favorite arm, dollar for dollar, is Cleveland’s Shane Bieber.
The talented rookie has been roughed up at times this year, but he’s been in good form with 35+ fantasy points in three of his last four starts. Few will forget the -10 dud he dropped against the Pirates three starts ago, but he’s a good price for a guy that will be drawing a very nice matchup with the Chicago White Sox.
He’s on the road in a dicey ballpark, but Chicago is really only worth targeting when they’re up against shaky southpaws. The White Sox have whiffed at a near-25% rate against right-handed pitching, while their collective .177 ISO in said matchups isn’t too daunting.
The only concern I have here is the amount of contact Bieber has award left-handed hitters and Chicago could field as many as six tonight, depending on what lineup they roll out. The good news is most of those guys aren’t good hitters, so I’ll side with Bieber’s talent and the fact that he still makes lefties miss at a 25% rate.
Obviously Bieber could face-plant, but he’s cheap and in a terrific spot. With this being a less than enticing slate for pitching, going the intermediate or punt route makes a lot of sense.
If you’re in a jam, I’d rank them Bieber, Cole, Santana for tonight.
C/1B: Max Muncy – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.7k)
I decided to fade the Dodgers last night and it kind of backfired. I wasn’t wrong to stack Boston bats, though. Only one of the Red Sox I used didn’t go nuts. However, Los Angeles blasted off in the seventh inning and all the guys who went crazy were popular bats.
I won’t make the same mistake tonight, as L.A. actually offers elite value considering how good they can be and the park they’re playing in.
Some will steer clear of the Dodgers due to Jon Gray’s presence. I’ll admit he’s been good, but I personally can attest to his tendency to just bottom out at the worst possible time. Normally I’d just say “I’m not using Gray, but I’m not targeting him, either” but L.A. is in such a good spot.
I’ll reserve my ownership to Dodgers lefties (although you absolutely can use anyone in this park) as Gray has been quite vulnerable (.331 wOBA, .209 ISO, 37% hard hit rate, 32% fly ball rate) against that side of the plate. That isn’t to say he can’t come out and dominate, but the Dodgers are stacked with lethal lefty power. If ever there was a time to banish Gray to the sun, this is it.
Muncy specifically stands out, as he owns a disturbing .329 ISO against right-handed pitching. He’d been sliding, but he donged last night and this matchup suits him pretty well. He’s also just too cheap for a masher in Coors Field.
If you want a similarly priced pivot at C/1B, Freddie Freeman is just $300 more.
2B: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.5k)
I love the Dodgers tonight, but I also dig the Brewers. Keep in mind that this is a huge 14-game slate. Some random offense(s) like the Marlins or Pirates will probably score 8-10 runs and the chalkier teams like the Indians, Red Sox and Yankees are as stackable as anyone.
That being said, I feel like I can get a solid pitcher and two of the most explosive offenses by targeting the Dodgers and Brewers.
Part of the upside is the pricing and it starts with Shaw, who feels too cheap given his recent tear and splits (.288 ISO) against right-handed pitching. He’s in a good park for lefty power, too, so I’m looking at Brew Crew lefties in this spot. It doesn’t hurt that Kevin Gausman gives up loads of contact to both sides of the plate and owns a pedestrian 18% strikeout rate versus lefties.
Gausman can be really good when dialed in, but this is not as easy spot for him, so I’ll go against him and hope this is one of those forgettable nights for the former Orioles hurler.
3B: Mike Moustakas – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.5k)
I’ll keep my Brewers love rolling with another fun lefty in Moose. Moustakas brings nice power to the table (.237 ISO versus righties) and has donged Gausman in the past. SunTrust Park has been good to lefties in the past, too, so let’s hope the positive vibes keep rolling.
SS: Jose Peraza – Cincinnati Reds ($2.5k)
Either pay for a stud SS like Francisco Lindor/Manny Machado or punt the position tonight. J.T. Riddle is another fine try, but I prefer Peraza, as he’s the better hitter with a nice matchup in a good park for scoring.
Peraza isn’t a masher, but he has been decent against right-handed pitching. The real kicker is Clay Buchholz’s affinity for allowing righties to rack up hits, as he’s shown reverse splits in 2018 (.339 wOBA, .219 ISO allowed to right-handed bats). I don’t think Peraza is some gimme dong tonight, but usually you’re going to want to side with the pitcher’s stats.
The splits show Peraza is a solid enough try in this ballpark, while he’s a solid contact hitter (84%) in general that can also swipe some bags if he gets on.
OF: Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.4k)
I’ll continue my infatuation with the Dodgers with another bat from the left side in Joc. He tends to lead off and thanks to his nasty .313 ISO against right-handed pitching, he’s easily one of the top hitters to target on this slate. He also happens to be way too cheap given his splits and park factor.
OF: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.6k)
I could shoot for a full four-man L.A. stack, but I’ll stick with lefties and cut it off at three sluggers. Bellinger certainly makes the list, as he mashes righties (.370 wOBA, .245 ISO) and is a really tough fade in this park. He is also way too cheap given his splits in this park.
I do think I’ll try a lineup with the Brewers that does not include the Dodgers, but I just don’t think Gray has a good outing tonight. Given the size of the slate, the matchup and the other nasty offenses on tap, it’s fairly possible Dodgers bats could be relatively low-owned. Let’s hope so.
OF: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($2.8k)
Thames ends my fun string of Brew Crew sticks. He’s dirt cheap when you consider how easily he can pay off with his gross .313 ISO versus right-handed pitching. Again, Gausman can be good, but he gives up a lot of contact and that could make for a bad night in a hurry against an offense like Milwaukee’s.
Feel free to pay up for Christian Yelich or tack on a viable righty like Jesus Aguilar or Lorenzo Cain to complete a full four-man Brewers stack. I’ll be stopping at three and sticking to the lefties, though.
Util: Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies ($4k)
If you need to save cash tonight I really like Matt Olson ($3k) at this spot or C/1B. I have $4.2k left to spend, however, and I’ll take a crack at a Rockies masher like Blackmon. The pitching is pretty good in Coors tonight, but that doesn’t always mean anything. All I know for sure is Blackmon can dong right-handed pitching (.236 ISO) and Kenta Maeda is best targeted with lefty power.
Maeda could still spin an annoying gem, but he does give up production to the left side of the plate (.338 wOBA, .174 ISO, 34% fly ball rate, 40% hard hit rate) and has been taken deep by Chuck in the past. Blackmon seems to be as good a try as any Colorado bat in this park, but I’d stick with the lefties.
Overall, I don’t see a huge reason to load up on Rockies righties or pay big money at pitcher. I feel like there is some seriously awesome value headed into this slate and hopefully a Dodgers/Brewers dual stack pays off. Bieber is risky, but I’d say just about every arm is a roll of the dice tonight.
If you want to load up on bats and land Cole, consider cheap guys like J.T. Riddle, Joe Panik and the aforementioned Peraza. More bats will open up throughout the day as well, so be sure to keep tabs on lineup changes and any weather impact. As of now, the impact seems to be minimal or non-existent.
With that, I wish you luck in your daily fantasy baseball contests at FanDuel tonight!