Last night was a pretty good showing for my MLB DFS picks, as Luke Weaver (40 fantasy points) worked out nicely and I was right to hop on Coors Field bats.
Unfortunately, that game was quite one-sided. It featured a whopping 21 runs, but Colorado was responsible for 19 of them. That did get me awesome fantasy outings from Charlie Blackmon (44.3!) and Carlos Gonzalez (57.8!), but that was the extent of my Rockies exposure.
I actually liked Arizona quite a bit and the only homer came off of a D’Backs bat I didn’t use. The rest of my lineup totaled 30 fantasy points, but I did deliver a 173-point team that cashed. If you pivoted off of the D’Backs bats (perhaps used some cheap Indians) you could have won big.
Overall, it was still a solid team and it’s hard to be too disappointed when you finish in the green.
Thursday cools things way down with a light seven-game schedule taking over the main slate at FanDuel. Let’s go over my favorite daily fantasy baseball picks as I try to piece together a GPP contender for tonight:
SP: Ross Stripling – Los Angeles Dodgers ($9.2k)
This is an odd slate for pitching. Mad Max has not been worth his high price tag in quite some time, while elite aces like Corey Kluber and Luis Severino have to deal with the Yankees and Indians, respectively. James Paxton would normally be a fine pivot off of the top options, but he’s on the road and gets a Halos offense that doesn’t whiff that much (17%).
I’m not saying you can’t pay up for these guys, but I just don’t see the value in it. Instead, I’ll just use Stripling, who has been pretty darn good almost the entire year. He’ll also be in a pitcher’s park against the Padres, who don’t provide much power (collective .144 ISO) and strikeout at a 23% clip when facing right-handed pitching.
Stripling is almost exclusively my arm on this slate, as he’s got the price, form and matchup you want.
C/1B: Steve Pearce – Toronto Blue Jays ($3.5k)
Pearce is admittedly way too pricey, but I’m hoping a fairly tough matchup and this price tag keeps his ownership low. I don’t mind rolling the dice here, as he’s been red hot lately, gets some revenge against his former Jays squad and has also obliterate J.A. Happ (5 HR!) in the past.
If you want a cheaper power bat, consider Greg Bird ($2.7k). I’m just not excited about Yanks and Indians tonight.
2B: Max Muncy – Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.4k)
Muncy is probably going to smash again tonight and 2B isn’t very attractive on paper. I’ll pay a premium here even though the park is bad, especially since Max showed us he can dong here just two games ago.
The good news is Tyson Ross has been horrifyingly bad lately and also gets ripped up (.381 wOBA, .202 ISO, 38.5% hard hit rate) from the left side of the plate. I think I’ll take my chances with Muncy’s .333 ISO in this spot.
3B: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.8k)
Shaw isn’t in the best park for run production and his matchup isn’t amazing, but that’s a growing trend on this slate. I’m just taking a crack at his splits (.371 wOBA, .277 ISO) against righties this year.
Jameson Taillon is talented, but it’s worth noting that he does have some issues with lefty power. His K rate dives by 8% against that side of the plate, too, so hopefully Shaw can put the ball in play tonight.
Anthony Rendon ($3.9k) is a fine pivot, as he mashes southpaws and gets to face one tonight. Jose Ramirez is technically the top play on the board, but there’s just no way I’m using Indians against Luis Severino in what should be a pitcher’s duel.
SS: Jordy Mercer – Pittsburgh Pirates ($2.2k)
I really don’t like SS today. You can absolutely fire up some of the expensive studs, but they all have pretty brutal matchups. Several of the other options lack upside, don’t have good splits, are in a bad spot and/or are simply overpriced.
Mercer is usually one of the last guys I’d look to, but he’s cheap, at home and facing a beatable pitcher in Wade Miley. Mercer doesn’t provide a ton of pop, but he actually happens to be one of Pittsburgh’s more efficient hitters against southpaws.
Miley normally is not an arm to fear and tonight is his first game back from a long layoff. He could be rusty and I don’t even need a dong here. If Mercer can just reach base a couple of times and score once or twice, this is a win.
OF: Michael Conforto – New York Mets ($2.3k)
I don’t trust Conforto at all, but he does bring nice power to the table and can smack righties (.290 ISO, .422 wOBA last year). He’s been dreadful this year, but he’s dirt cheap given his natural talent and it’s hard to ignore the success he’d had against Mad Max (3 HR) in the past.
BvsP data is not reliable, but I’m not using Scherzer tonight, so why not target him with a cheap one-off that has donged him thrice before?
OF: Andrew Toles – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2k)
Toles is in the lineup with Yasiel Puig nicked up, so even though he’s probably batting 8th I’ll take a crack at him at the bare minimum. He can hit right-handed pitching, while Tyson Ross (15 runs allowed over his last two starts) has been dreadful. A full Dodgers stack despite a rough park isn’t out of the question.
OF: Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.3k)
Pederson is too cheap given his power upside (.296 ISO) against right-handed pitching. The park is not ideal and Tyson Ross could easily turn it back on and deal a gem, but I see him getting rocked for a third straight game.
L.A. is simply too powerful and he has way too many viable lefties (not to mention tough righties) to deal with.
Util: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.2k)
I’ll wrap up my four-man Dodgers stack with Bellinger, who is as good as anyone (.265 ISO) against righties. Ross is in awful form and can get eaten alive from this side of the plate, so a full Dodgers stack is very much in play tonight and I see no reason Bellinger shouldn’t be part of that.
Ultimately, I just hate so many offenses on this slate. The Red Sox, Yankees and Indians are all very dangerous. If they go nuts, so be it. They do not have appealing matchups whatsoever, though. That may make the Dodgers chalky, but the good news is they aren’t cheap and they’re in a pitcher’s park. The hope is people gravitate toward the other offenses anyways and get scared off of the Dodgers due to park and price.
Either way, I’m closing the night strong with five Dodgers in all, as I see Stripling as the overall top arm on this slate. I know Mad Max, Sev and Kluber could (and should) all wreck tonight, but they are way too restrictive and none of them are especially safe.
If you must pay for one, Max has to lead the way just because the Mets are awful. Even if you go that route, I still don’t hate Conforto as a cheap one-off flier that nobody will be on.
Hopefully this all helps you piece together your daily fantasy baseball squad tonight. Whatever you decide, I wish you luck!