After a great run on Friday night, Saturday was a total bust. Robbie Ray (33 fantasy points) was fine enough based on his price tag, but I got zero help from my bats. I had two hitters fail completely, while just two sticks topped nine fantasy points.
It was a horror show, with studs like Carlos Correa, Jose Ramirez and Brian Dozier all struggling mightily. Charlie Blackmon (12) was the lone bright spot when it came to my hitting picks and even he didn’t live up to his lofty price tag.
I took a break on Sunday’s slate, but I’m back to turn in a better roster with Monday’s FanDuel MLB DFS picks. Monday produces a fun seven-game slate, so let’s dive in and see what my favorite GPP lineup looks like:
SP: Gerrit Cole – Houston Astros ($10.8k)
I try hunting for value at pitcher whenever I can, but I’m not seeing anything overly appealing in the intermediate and low level ranges on FanDuel tonight. Jon Lester ($8.2k) is a good price and Sam Gaviglio (@ Orioles) has one of the best matchups on the board, but I’m not feeling them.
If you need to save cash, those are two directions to consider. Otherwise, I’m using Cole at home against the A’s and I don’t mind if it ends up being chalky.
There’s a chance it isn’t. Not only is Oakland a dangerous offense, but the likes of Patrick Corbin, Noah Syndergaard, Stephen Strasburg and Masahiro Tanaka could help split ownership.
Cole is the only option for me, as he’s in a good park, faces a lineup that whiffs at a 22% rate versus righties and boasts as much (if not more) upside as any hurler on this slate.
The risk is low with Cole and the upside is through the roof. I fear Oakland in a hitter’s park, but that just isn’t the case tonight. Add in that this is a massive game for the Astros in front of their home crowd, and I just can’t see Cole choking this one away. You have a shot at 60+ fantasy points here if Cole comes in ready to rock.
C/1B: Luke Voit – New York Yankees ($2k)
Carlos Rodon isn’t normally a guy I try to pick on, but he does give up contact to right-handers (46% fly ball rate) and that could become a problem at Yankee Stadium against the pinstripes. A Yankees stack is always a fine tourney try, but I’ll pick my spots here.
Voit feels too cheap in this spot, provided he starts. He had a nice .258 ISO against lefties in 2017 and just hasn’t had consistent chances to prove himself this year. The park, price and splits make him a very interesting GPP dart.
2B: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays ($2.6k)
Jose Altuve is my favorite 2B play by far tonight, but he’s $4.4k. Houston has a tendency to struggle at home for some reason, but I certainly get the allure of paying up for the Stros against Brett Anderson – especially since they’ve just now gotten back to near-full strength.
The crazy part is the Astros may just fly way under the radar due to their gross prices. However, on a seven-game slate, a potentially contrarian Houston stack is attractive as heck.
I am certainly going to roll out a full Astros stack somewhere, but for this lineup I’ll promote Gurriel, who is cheap and will be in Camden Yards against David Hess. Those are good things, plus Gurriel offers fine splits (.372 wOBA, .194 ISO) versus right-handed pitching.
Hess is all of the bad, too. He’s coughing up all kinds of contact (+.342 wOBA, +207 ISO, +44% fly ball rate) to both sides of the plate.
3B: Todd Frazier – New York Mets ($2.7k)
Again, I’m down for spending on Astros if they’re going to be contrarian. If so, Alex Bregman ($4.3k) really stands out here due to his ability to flat out destroy southpaws. In fact, both the Astros and Rockies feel really sneaky tonight. Neither are inexpensive and both are in bad parks for elite offense, however.
The main problem is the most reliable pitching is not cheap tonight, so you’re going to have to pick your spots. I’m fine with saving cash here, as Frazier is red hot (3 HR in last 5 games) and he murdered left-handed pitching (.348 ISO!) last year. The Toddfather hasn’t been healthy this season, but he still offers nasty pop and Jon Lester has been a bit of a fraud in 2018.
Frazier stands out due to his power and price, plus if the wind blows out at Wrigley Field he’s going to be a very difficult fade for me in tourneys.
SS: Tim Beckham – Baltimore Orioles ($2.2k)
I also like Jose Rondon here (I originally accidentally submitted him in this lineup, but was over by $200), but Beckham is cheaper and also a good play tonight.
Not only is he in the same great park, but he faces the very beatable Sam Gaviglio. Beckham’s splits aren’t that enticing, but Gaviglio isn’t a guy to fear and this park is bad for pitching.
OF: Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals ($4.6k)
Harper didn’t start yesterday due to an illness, but he pinch hit and will probably be well enough to play on Monday. If so, it’s going to be awfully difficult to ignore his .279 ISO versus right-handed pitching.
Not only does he get a huge park upgrade in Philly, but he also faces Zach Eflin, who has had difficult (.228 ISO, .362 wOBA, 42% fly ball rate) against the left side of the plate this year.
If you need to save I also like Josh Reddick (lefty mashing lefties), while paying up for a potentially low-owned Mike Trout ($5k) could be a fun way to wrap this slate up.
OF: Bill McKinney – Toronto Blue Jays ($2.8k)
Everyone will be doing the heat check with Kendrys Morales tonight, but his insane HR streak (7 in a row!!) has to end eventually. He’s also an absurd $4.1k and I just can’t swing that for a guy who is usually all-or-nothing.
McKinney has been quite hot himself and benefits from the same park upgrade and favorable matchup. His sample size is extremely small, but he still brings a .512 wOBA and .409 ISO to the table against right-handed pitchers.
That won’t keep up forever, but he’s come in hot and is currently seeing the ball very well. While others try to keep it going with Morales, I’ll save cash and do the same with McKinney.
OF: Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees ($4.9k)
Instead of forcing Trout into my lineup tonight (he’s in a pitcher’s park against Jon Gray), I’ll eat the chalk and use Stanton.
He’s not cheap, so maybe he won’t even be that popular against a solid arm in Carlos Rodon. He is in a great park for offense, however, and happens to murder southpaws to the tune of a .461 wOBA and .347 ISO.
Util: Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles ($2.3k)
I never actually trust Crush, but he’s at home in a great park for power (10 of 16 HR at Camden Yards in 2018) and he gets Sam Gaviglio, who simply isn’t a great pitcher.
I did mention Gaviglio as a fine value arm due to his matchup with the O’s (he did just hang 46 fantasy points on them in his last start), but this is not a safe spot at all.
Davis could be one reason why, as he remains a powerful hitter who can go yard in any matchup. His splits aren’t reliable this year, but Crush has destroyed righties in the past and it’s hard to ignore his power surge over the last couple of months. More than anything, I’m looking at this cheap price, the park factor and the fact that Gaviglio offers up a .246 ISO and 35% fly ball rate to lefty bats.
Overall, I covet Cole on this slate and if I want him I’ll have to sacrifice my favorite pricey bats for the most part. I love the Astros if you can fit them in, but I like a lot of value on this slate. I’m eyeing either Stanton/Bryce or Stanton/Trout as my expensive duo to hopefully anchor a strong offense.
It’s always a roll of the dice when you load up on a pitcher and cross your fingers that your cheap bats come through. I like the numbers and matchups enough to give it a try with this group.
Whether you’re with me on this team as it stands or you just use a few of my MLB DFS picks, I hope you star the new week off with a big win at FanDuel!