My last installment of my MLB DFS picks arrived on Saturday, where an Astros stack held me back considerably. George Springer (6.2) and Carlos Correa (3) were quite spare, while Jose Altuve (21.2) was one of my best bats.
I did get some help elsewhere, as Paul Goldschmidt (24.9) went yard, Joe Panik (15.4) was an elite value play and Travis Jankowski (27.9) was a terrific play against Matt Harvey.
Sadly, it wasn’t enough, as Eugenio Suarez (3) flopped in a great spot and Aaron Altherr (0) was my lone zero.
It all worked together to spoil a brilliant pitching play, as Garrett Richards (52) shined on a night where the top ace – Justin Verlander – performed well below expectations (34).
None of this led to me cashing, but if you used Richards and half of my bats, you were well on your way to a win. An Astros stack was always risky against David Price, but it was worth trying and all three of those guys were 11% owned or lower.
It wasn’t a bad tourney strategy at all, while guys like Altherr and Suarez simply had amazing splits edges and didn’t show up for me.
I’m back to the grind on Monday, where FanDuel offers up a tame four-game slate. Let’s see what my favorite team looks like with Monday night’s MLB DFS picks:
SP: Domingo German – New York Yankees ($6.6k)
This is a tiny slate and unsurprisingly one lacking top shelf pitching options. Zack Godly is the would-be top option, but he’s on the road and was horrendous the last time I used him against the Brewers (literally one fantasy point).
He bounced back with 43 fantasy points in his last start and is in a pitcher’s park against a very beatable Giants lineup, but I still find it tough to trust him. The fact remains he has not been dominant (2-3, 5.81 ERA) on the road and in general he’s not been the same guy we saw in 2017.
A showdown with a Giants offense he blitzed (9 Ks, 0 ER) earlier this year feels promising, but I’m viewing it as a trap.
If you want the top cash game option, Godley is still it and your next best bet is probably Julio Teheran, almost solely due to a dream date with the Padres. San Diego is still at home and getting healthy, though, so Teheran at $7.6k isn’t some amazing auto play or steep discount.
Should you feel inclined to pay up and/or go the “safe” route on this small slate, these are your two plays and Godley wins out for me.
Personally, I’m going to look to differentiate my MLB DFS lineups at pitcher, where Domingo German could go slightly overlooked.
This is not a top prospect, but he’s shown amazing stuff and delivered a gem against the Cleveland Indians a few starts ago. The start prior, he shutout the Houston Astros through four solid frames of work.
He’s still a young guy that lacks high level MLB experience and has shown a propensity for giving up dongs. However, he’s also got great tools, a solid fastball and has showcased strong K ability.
This isn’t an easy arm to get behind as he travels to a tough park against a capable Tigers offense, but his splits are almost the same no matter where he pitches and Detroit is a much scarier lineup when facing southpaws.
Against right-handers, the Tigers have produced a relatively punchless .143 collective ISO as well as a troubling 22.5% strikeout rate.
German isn’t a lock, but he’s shown some serious ability and I think there is nice upside in this spot.
I sincerely doubt any arm on this small slate is getting you 50+ fantasy points, so if they’re all in the same projection range, I see the appeal in taking on some risk. If Godley and/or Teheran falter and German works out, you could gain a massive edge on the field.
C/1B: Kurt Suzuki – Atlanta Braves ($2.1k)
I can’t pass on elite value on a slate this small and that’s precisely what Suzuki offers at almost the bare minimum at FD. He’s in a pitcher’s park against an extreme ground ball pitcher in Clayton Richard, but he is not a big ground ball guy (33%) and he smacks the heck out of southpaws (.358 ISO!).
Richard normally isn’t a guy I stack up against too much, but considering he can get absolutely ripped up by righties (.366 wOBA, .207 ISO), I think Suzuki makes a ton of sense tonight. If he were more expensive I’d be mildly hesitant, but he’s an elite late-game hammer given the splits and price.
A full Braves stack isn’t out of the question here, but I’d temper my expectations with lefties (Richard holds them to a .277 wOBA and a .063 ISO) and also shy away from guys who hit a lot of ground balls. For the most part, I’m really only looking at Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies here, but my interest isn’t over the top.
Keep tabs on Atlanta’s lineup. With Tyler Flowers healthy, it’s quite possible Suzuki sits even with these gaudy splits he’s got going on. Flowers would be a fine pivot (.427 wOBA, .171 ISO), but I’m hoping Suzuki gets the nod over him.
2B: Ian Kinsler – Los Angeles Angels ($2.8k)
Danny Duffy takes on the Halos in L.A. tonight and that probably will be bad news for him. Not only are the Angels a talented offense, but he also gives up a ton of contact. This is a good park for pitchers, but Duffman has still coughed up 14 homers in just 12 starts.
I like the idea of stacking Angels tonight, and it’s not necessarily just about their talent. Kinsler hasn’t been great against southpaws this year, but he is on fire at the moment with 12 hits over his last seven starts.
Duffy is getting lit up by right-handed hitting this year (.385 wOBA, .256 ISO) and I’m going to side with his splits here and attack him with L.A. righties. Kinsler is in a nice groove, at home and dirt cheap. His .322 wOBA and .201 ISO against lefties over the past two years isn’t too shabby, either.
3B: Zack Cozart – Los Angeles Angels ($2.9k)
I’ll keep the Halos love going with Cozart. He also isn’t crushing southpaws this season, but like Kinsler, he’s done very well against them in the past (.254 ISO). I’m going to trust the long data for the Angels bats and hope Duffy’s issues with right-handed power continue on the road tonight.
SS: Didi Gregorius – New York Yankees ($4.3k)
I’m not trying to call Mike Fiers a gas can, but he certainly can get blasted and did give up five runs against New York earlier this year. He is an equal opportunity sad sack when it comes to hard contact, but lefties have enjoyed most of the success against him.
I’ll start the Yanks love with Didi, who could be worth his price in a good park against a very beatable pitcher. Gregorius has mashed righties (.342 wOBA, .273 ISO) in 2018 and he’s pretty due to send one deep (last HR was May 23rd).
OF: Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels ($5.5k)
You can also consider pairing Justin Upton or Shohei Ohtani with Trout to complete the four-man Halos stack, but for now I’m cutting it short at three.
Trout has been a monster all year and he’s obviously one of the best bats on the board (.308 ISO vs. L this year). His steep price might lower his ownership, but due to a lack of high level pitching I’m sure he’ll be fairly high-owned.
Either way, you’re going to want him tonight. He’s the best overall masher on the board and he’s far more reliable than any other pricey bat you’ll consider on this tiny slate.
Just keep in mind he did bang his knee in a wall in his last game. It wouldn’t be all that shocking if he’s held out for a game. If so, pivoting to Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton makes a ton of sense.
OF: Aaron Hicks – New York Yankees ($3.5k)
Depending on which stack you prefer, you could pivot to L.A.’s Justin Upton here. They’re both fine tries, but I prefer the Yanks in a better park. Hicks comes in hot with six hits over his last three games, too, while he’s twice donged Mike Fiers in the past. I think he can make it three tonight.
OF: Brett Gardner – New York Yankees ($3.3k)
Again, you can target Yankees from either side of the plate, but I especially like the left-handed bats tonight. Gardner is another guy coming in hot for the Yankees (eight hits over his last three games) and he owns respectable splits (.344 wOBA, .155 ISO) against righties.
Gardner isn’t the biggest power bat New York has to offer, but Fiers has a .258 ISO versus lefties this year. It all can even out and you can absolutely pay up for Giancarlo Stanton and/or Aaron Judge here tonight, but I’m just not sure you need to.
Util: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees ($3.8k)
I’d love to wrap things up with Paul Goldschmidt (.389 ISO vs. southpaws) here, but I don’t have the funds. The beauty is New York does play two games today, so if some guys sit after the first game, that could really open things up and make this entire process a lot easier.
Until that happens, I am fine with how this lineup plays out and capping it with Sanchez and a four-man New York stack is certainly viable. Sanchez destroys pitchers from both sides of the plate (.260 ISO versus righties) and sports a superior K rate and ground ball percentage compared to fellow Yankee mashers, Stanton and Judge.
Sanchez has been in quite the rut over the past month, but this is a nice “get right” spot. If you can’t get Goldy, he’s a mighty fine pivot.
Again, a lot of this depends on which Yanks play in both games. Some may sit the first game and others will sit tonight. If any of these guys listed here sit, hopefully I provided enough pivots for you to make the proper adjustments.
The biggest one would be Gary to Goldy, while Hicks sitting would allow you to pivot to Upton.
I think your process has to start at pitcher tonight. I mentioned my three favorite arms, but considering pretty much everyone has me assuming some risk, I’ll save the cash and try to load up as much as possible.
A Tigers hedge stack in a separate GPP lineup isn’t a bad idea in case German fails, but I think this game sets up nicely for him. In fact, since the Tigers are obviously playing two games as well, the potential for them sitting some big names in game two could make him an even better play.
Elsewhere, you do need to consider multiple GPP stacks just because this is a small slate and hedging makes a lot of sense. The two other offenses I’d be attracted to are the Braves and Diamondbacks.
Arizona righties against Derek Holland (.251 ISO) are very tempting. Personally, Goldy is the only lock there for me, but Nick Ahmed, Chris Ownings and John Ryan Murphy all mash that side of the plate and are not the worst four-man stack.
I touched on the Braves already and for the most part would just try to avoid lefties. Freddie Freeman is always in play, however.
All that being said, I love the Yanks and Halos together and Suzuki at his current price (provided he starts) feels impossible to fade.
Hopefully my insight helps you nail a few picks. Whether you use one pick or the entire lineup, I wish you luck tonight!