After a break this past weekend I am back for Monday’s MLB DFS picks. Daily fantasy baseball gamers get an interesting eight-game main slate at FanDuel, where there is plenty of good pitching and high-powered offense to pick from.
Let’s take a look at my favorite picks to help form a competitive lineup for GPP use tonight:
SP: Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants ($8.8k)
I personally count six extremely viable arms on tonight’s slate. There isn’t a true “Mad Max-level” ace of the lot, but Carlos Carrasco leads the way and heads a pretty stacked group.
Of this group, my favorite high-end value has to be MadBum. He’s not exactly cheap and he was quite pedestrian in his 2018 debut, but he had to take on a hot D’Backs team and was shaking off some rust.
It’s possible he still won’t find his groove tonight, but the odds are in his favor with a trip to the pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. Miami is one of the weaker offenses in the league, while the fish whiff at a collective 25% miss rate against southpaws.
Bumgarner is one of the better pitchers in the game and brings a solid K rate against right-handed bats. He also holds lefties to a .064 ISO. I just don’t think MadBum is facing much danger in this park against this offense and after a ho-hum debut, he may be roaring to bounce back.
I’m willing to pay up and take that risk. Pivoting off some of these other big names could end up being a brilliant strategy, even though Bumgarner doesn’t feel like he’ll be ridiculously low-owned.
If you want to save even more, consider Jack Flaherty ($7.7k). He’s $1.1k cheaper, at home in a safe park for pitching and draws the weak Padres.
C/1B: Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants ($2.9k)
I’ll get things started off with some run support for Bumgarner, as Posey is a good hitter and is way too cheap despite having a great matchup tonight. Posey is in a bad park for offense, but that’s the case when he’s at home and he still produces.
Tonight Posey gets to face a shaky lefty in Wei-Yin Chen, who has not been good this year and is giving up a .382 wOBA and .267 ISO to the right side of the plate. Add in Posey’s sick .219 ISO versus southpaws, and there is just too much value here to ignore.
2B: Greg Garcia – St. Louis Cardinals ($2k)
Garcia is a total punt play. I hate the 2B position more than any other tonight, so I’m diving for a bare minimum option, provided it makes sense. Garcia might, as he put up 9 fantasy points in his last outing and will be at home against a pedestrian pitcher in Jordan Lyles.
It doesn’t hurt that Garcia operates from the left side of the plate, where Lyles has allowed a .365 wOBA and .207 ISO over the last two years. There isn’t anything amazing about Garcia here, but he can hit righties (.325 wOBA) and he opens up salary for the rest of the plays I’m targeting.
3B: Evan Longoria – San Francisco Giants ($2.6k)
I don’t exactly want to stack Giants in a pitcher’s haven, but Chen is vulnerable against quality righties. You can also consider Andrew McCutchen ($3k) as part of a three-man San Francisco stack, but I’ll stop it here with Longoria.
Evan has not been in a groove lately, but it only takes one long ball for him to work out. I also like Jake Lamb ($3.1k) at this price, but Longoria saves more cash and is in a better spot.
Chen obviously isn’t taking out righties at a desired clip, while Longoria’s .202 ISO could easily be put to good use tonight.
SS: Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians ($4.4k)
The Tribe is always worth looking at and they’re probably going to be extremely chalky tonight. They’re facing a very beatable arm in Lucas Giolito and they also get a park upgrade. Giolito has some talent, but he gives up a lot of contact (41% fly ball rate) and especially has issues with lefty power (.211 ISO).
All Indians are in play and feel free to stack them, but Lindor (.243 ISO) might be my favorite due to position necessity, splits, power and upside.
Jose Ramirez and Michael Brantley could help form a very expensive (and elite) Indians trio, but I won’t be going out of my way to force the chalky stack into my lineup tonight.
OF: Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers ($3k)
I do not love targeting quality pitchers like Jose Quintana, but he’s on the road in a hitter’s park and the Brewers can make the ball fly. Braun has turned things back up a notch recently and he sports a nasty .257 ISO against southpaws.
Quintana has been very up and down this year and something tells me his .173 ISO allowed to righties will get to him a bit in this matchup.
I prefer Braun and don’t want a Brew Crew stack here, but you can also consider Jesus Aguilar (.259 ISO) and Lorenzo Cain (.215 ISO) as one-off options.
OF: Lonnie Chisenhall – Cleveland Indians ($2.3k)
While I won’t be forcing all of the big name Tribe bats onto my roster, I don’t mind paying for Lindor and then dropping lower in the order to soak up some value. Giolito is having a difficult time with the lefties, so why not chase Chisenhall’s first homer of the year tonight?
Chisenhall has otherwise been hitting the ball well and has no trouble (.337 wOBA, .220 ISO) against right-handed pitching. He put up 18 fantasy points on Sunday and feels like one of the better bargain buys of this slate.
OF: Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels ($5.1k)
I want to pay up for Trout tonight. Whether it’s the likely infatuation with stacking Indians or the lack of interest due to Trout’s current rut (1-15), I love the idea of possibly getting a low-owned Trout as an elite late-game hammer.
Trout is a viable GPP play in literally every situation and tonight he’ll be at home against a pedestrian arm in lefty, Wade LeBlanc. Trout’s disturbing .378 ISO will be on display here and considering he hasn’t sent one deep in seven games now, I like the odds of him doing so tonight.
Util: Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners ($3.8k)
I know this isn’t a great park for the long ball, but I’m down for grabbing a second elite late-game hammer via Nellie, who crushes southpaws (.308 ISO) almost as good as Trout. Cruz still has plenty of pop in his aging bat, while Andrew Heaney (.254 ISO) can have problems with power from the right side of the plate.
Cruz and Trout could be popular, but if they’re not they’ll be one heck of a duo to close out this modest daily fantasy baseball slate.
Remember, you can save more cash by pivoting from MadBum to Flaherty, but I love the discount on an elite arm here and think he’s in for a big outing.
I also don’t need to take too many dives to get a stacked lineup of hitters. You can do the same, provided you don’t feel like you’re being cheated out of Boston, Chicago or Cleveland bats too much.
If that’s the case, just consider pivoting away from Trout and Cruz and complete this lineup with your favorite stack.
Whether you use this lineup as it stands or just select a few of my MLB DFS picks, I wish you luck in tonight’s daily fantasy baseball contests at FanDuel!