I got back on the winning path with my MLB DFS picks last night. Andrew Heaney wasn’t amazing (38 fantasy points), but on a night where Luis Severino and Zack Greinke (among others) didn’t pan out, he certainly got the job done.
The Cardinals were my favorite non-chalky stack of the night. I still mentioned Arizona and Cleveland and both played out nicely in spots. The same was the case for my St. Louis bats, as Paul DeJong and Jedd Gyorko both went yard, while Jose Martinez (12) and Harris Bader (9.2) didn’t embarrass themselves.
That four-man stack worked out nicely, while I also suggested you pay up for stud Braves mashers, Ozzie Albies (9.2) and Freddie Freeman (25.2). The latter worked out with a dong, while Albies didn’t quite meet expectations.
I wanted to dip my toe in that Cleveland game and pointed to Michael Brantley (21) and he was a great play. I also soaked up some elite value with Daniel Palka, who capped off a really strong roster with a solid 12 fantasy points.
Cleveland went nuts and I obviously wasn’t fully on them, while the New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels all popped off with 6+ runs. It was a crazy 10-game slate and it’s sure to get even more wild with a 14-game daily fantasy baseball schedule arriving Tuesday at FanDuel.
Let’s break it down with some of my favorite MLB DFS picks:
SP: Justin Verlander – Houston Astros ($11.2k)
Corey Kluber is an interesting pivot at almost the same price, while there are numerous options on a huge 14-game slate. I’ll throw caution to the wind and pay up for JV, who still boasts monster K upside and will be at home against the Rockies.
Colorado has a dangerous offense, but they can struggle outside of Coors Field. More than anything, Verlander has immense upside and I am assuming his ownership will be quite low. Not only are there quite a few alternative options, but he was quite bad in his last start.
With people scared off of JV based on recency bias and his price tag, I’ll roll the dice here. Fortunately there is more than enough value to afford him on this slate.
C/1B: C.J. Cron – Tampa Bay Rays ($2.7k)
I don’t want to stack against a quality pitcher like J.A. Happ, but the Rays head to Yankee Stadium and this park is rarely kind to pitching. Cron and his .204 ISO versus left-handed pitching stand out, while Happ is guilty of giving up a .175 ISO and 42% fly ball rate to righties.
There will be a Tampa dong or two in this one and at this low price, I’m willing to bet Cron gets one of them.
2B: Niko Goodrum – Detroit Tigers ($2.5k)
You’re going to need to save in some spots if you pay up at pitcher. If you do that, you’re in luck, as Goodrum offers nice splits and elite value at this price. This Tigers/White Sox game again has a high Total due to weak pitching, while Goodrum is worth a roll of the dice based on his ability to smack right-handed pitching (.227 ISO).
Lucas Giolito does his worst work against lefties (.377 wOBA, .211 ISO, 42% fly ball rate, 11% K rate), so Goodrum’s ability to hit from both sides of the plate is helpful here.
3B: Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.4k)
I’m into the Dodgers tonight, as they can stack righties against Andrew Suarez, who does not handle them very well (.372 wOBA, .206 ISO, 46% hard hit rate). He’s also on the road against a very dangerous offense in general, while JT offers value and gaudy splits (.440 wOBA, .217 ISO).
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera – Philadelphia Phillies ($3.2k)
I could keep the Dodgers love going here with Manny Machado or Chris Taylor, but I don’t need to force stacks on such a wide open slate. I like them both (Manny over CT3), but Cabrera is just as appealing. He’s cheaper and is in a solid spot against Ricky Porcello, who got blasted for seven runs in his last outing.
Porcello has always given up a lot of contact, but gets especially lit up (42% hard hit rate, 41% fly ball rate, .189 ISO) against lefties. Cabrera gives us another switch hitter with pop (.246 ISO) to consider.
OF: Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins ($2.9k)
This Pirates/Twins game is probably going to go overlooked. I understand that on such a big slate, but Target Field is a good park for offense and I think there are some splits to attack here. Rosario stands out, as he’s one of the few reliable bats Minnesota still has.
Rosario can club the heck out of the ball and slays right-handed pitching (.232 ISO, .384 wOBA). That may be something to remember when you look at Jameson Taillon’s numbers (.330 wOBA, 8% K decrease) against lefty bats.
Taillon also experiences a really negative park shift. A full Twins stack would be quite contrarian, but not all that crazy.
OF: Corey Dickerson – Pittsburgh Pirates ($3.1k)
You can load up on Pirates if you want, too. I’d just prefer to target them from the left side, where Jake Odorizzi gives up a lot of contact and power (.354 wOBA, .245 ISO, 48% fly ball rate). A Pirates dong or three is certainly possible tonight and I have my eye on Dickerson.
Dickerson crushes righties (.363 wOBA, .207 ISO) and does a good job putting the ball in play. His low 11% K rate stands out, too, while Pittsburgh as a whole gets a nice park upgrade.
OF: Kike Hernandez – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.6k)
Feel free to extend the Dodgers out to a three or four-man stack. I like them plenty. I’ll cap my exposure for this lineup off at Enrique, however. He brings a solid .182 ISO to the table when facing southpaws and his career numbers are far better than that. He’s too cheap to ignore in this spot.
If you want to keep adding L.A. bats, just be sure to stick to the righties. Suarez has trouble with that side of the plate and Machado, CT3 and Matt Kemp all crush southpaws. You can even consider Yasiel Puig, Max Muncy and/or Cody Bellinger, depending on who is in the lineup tonight.
Util: Yonder Alonso – Cleveland Indians ($3.3k)
I’ll end things with a cheap Tribe bat. I always like the Indians, but they’re typically super pricey. Cheap exposure to the Indians is always worth a shot and that certainly is the case given Alonso’s fun splits (.213 ISO) against right-handed pitching.
Alonso is in a good park for the long ball and Sal Romano (.379 wOBA, .225 ISO, 36% fly ball rate, 41% hard hit rate) has a tough time with lefties. A full Indians stack is undoubtedly on the table given the matchup and park.
Overall, I’m packing in some elite value and just lining up powerful bats with strong splits around the top ace on the slate.
The real play here is the fact that JV might be low-owned. I have to think he will be, as the Rockies aren’t an easy out, JV was awful in his last start and he also isn’t the only guy to consider on such a loaded slate.
If you disagree on JV, feel free to pay up for Indians and whoever else you like. To be honest, even if you are with me on Verlander, there are so many directions you can go when it comes to hitting value. This is a fine time to create numerous lineups and see what sticks, but I wouldn’t go crazy, just because there are so many teams in action and anything can happen in baseball.
In the end, I like the Cardinals again, but I’m really targeting Pirates, Twins, Dodgers and Indians. The latter two could be chalky, but the others should be pretty low-owned. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck!