After a few busy slates to start the week, things calm down considerably on Thursday night’s four-game main slate at FanDuel. You can also take part in a four-game early slate if you’d like (or play the smaller All Day games), but I’ll be focusing on the night slate.
There isn’t a whole lot to work with here, but the chalk will be painfully obvious. I think there is merit in piecing together a mostly chalky team tonight, but even if you do that, you’re certainly going to want to find ways to differentiate your squad.
More than one path exists, but the following is a collection of my favorite daily fantasy baseball picks for tonight’s action at FanDuel:
SP: Sean Newcomb – Atlanta Braves ($7.2k)
Obviously the options are limited tonight, but I really only see two worthwhile picks – Cole Hamels or Sean Newcomb. Hamels has been really dialed in over his last four starts (2 total runs allowed), but he’s super expensive ($9.2k) give the hard contact he’s given up in the past.
The Cincinnati Reds are not a scary opponent, though, so if you have the funds, Hamels is the top pitcher on the board for the main slate. Danny Duffy is returning from a shoulder issue and feels off limits, while nobody else really calls to me.
Newcomb is the only guy that stands out. Despite facing a punchless Miami offense in a pitcher-friendly park, he has to be low-owned due to straight up abysmal form lately. He’s gotten knocked around like crazy, but he’s way too good to stay down for much longer and the matchup is sublime.
The price also has the risk baked right into it, so even though it’s a gamble, I think it’s the perfect GPP play on a small slate.
C/1B: Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs ($4.1k)
The Cubs are worth a look as a full stack tonight, as they’ll get a beatable righty in Anthony DeSclafani. The Reds hurler isn’t terrible, but he does give up a lot of contact to the left side of the plate (.362 wOBA, .301 ISO) and Rizzo specifically murders in these spots (.215 ISO, .378 wOBA).
Rizzo leads the way here, but if you’re game for it a three or four-man Chicago stack makes a lot of sense.
2B: Jed Lowrie – Oakland Athletics ($3.4k)
Ben Zobrist or Javier Baez are worth a look at 2B to keep the Cubs stack going, but another small stack I like on this slate stems from the Athletics. I won’t go crazy here, but Oakland is an extreme fly ball offense and they shift to a hitter’s park at Target Field.
That bodes well for Lowrie and his .224 ISO against right-handed pitching.
3B: Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati Reds ($3.6k)
I’m not using Cole Hamels, so instead of crossing my fingers his hot run continues, I’ll hope it ends.
There’s no better way to double down on a small slate that fading the top arm and stacking against it. I don’t want a full stack due to the Reds being severely depleted, but Suarez and his disgusting .337 ISO are on my radar.
SS: Jose Peraza – Cincinnati Reds ($2.8k)
I should mention that Hamels has difficulty with quality right-handed bats. The numbers aren’t necessarily obscene, but he’s still giving up a .333 wOBA, .199 ISO and a 34% fly ball rate.
The big one that stands out is his 45% hard hit rate. If the wind goes out tonight, a couple Reds bats are going to be worth a cursory glance.
Peraza can take advantage of Cole’s issues thanks to a solid .347 wOBA. He doesn’t have amazing power, but he has an inanely low 5.6% whiff rate and makes contact almost 90% of the time. Feel free to look at Curt Casali and others to round out a full stack, but I’ll stop it at a two-man game when it comes to Cincy sticks tonight.
OF: Kyle Schwarber – Chicago Cubs ($3.5k)
Schwarbie gets my Cubs stack going again, as he’s a nice price and mashes the heck out of opposing right-handed pitchers (.266 ISO). I love his power and provided the wind isn’t blowing in ridiculously hard tonight at Wrigley Field, he is a lock for me.
OF: Ian Happ – Chicago Cubs ($2.9k)
The other Cubs I’ll gladly cram into my lineup is Happ, who smashes righties (.361 wOBA, .194 ISO) and is a way better play in these types of matchups, as opposed to southpaws. He’s a discounted price given his upside and he also helps me get the lineup I covet.
OF: Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins ($3.8k)
The Twins have been hot for the past week. I note that and I understand the interest in a full stack, but I don’t exactly love them as a whole against Trevor Cahill. I do like Rosario and his .228 ISO in this spot, however.
Util: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($3.7k)
You can fire up as many A’s as you want. I’m just using the two I like the most. Lowrie is a great play at 2B and I have to roster Olson, who absolutely destroys righties (.237 ISO) and could go off in this park.
Oakland will be facing Kohl Stewart, who in a very small sample size has given up a lot of contact to both sides of the plate. Khris Davis and the other righties are absolutely worth a look, but I’m not going out of my way to make that happen on this small slate.
I didn’t really touch on Trevor Cahill in my pitcher breakdown. He’s actually been good lately, but a trip to Target Field is less than ideal. I really only have eyes for Hamels and Newcomb, but if you aren’t with me there and need another option, it’s going to be Cahill.
I like Newcomb’s price, matchup, park factor and upside. He’s where I’m starting when it comes to my arm and from there I like some combination of Cubs and Athletics. I’ll use some Reds when I’m not using Hamels and Rosario is a fun one-off bat to cap things off.
Whether you’re with me or not, I feel like a few of these picks are worth a look and can help you out. Either way, I hope I help you in some way. Good luck tonight and enjoy the games!