Last night was a freak show. After I already ran through the tiny four-game slate and made my favorite MLB DFS picks, I joked to a fellow daily fantasy friend that the Giants and Padres would end up wrecking.
Not only did the top game of the slate (Yankees vs. Tigers) produce just six total runs, but the Giants and Padres both individually topped 10 runs. It was an absurd slate where the top pitchers were massive busts and even my value arm (Domingo German) didn’t work out.
Instead, Mike Fiers of all people was one of the best pitchers to roll with.
It was a joke of a slate and one that is immediately forgettable.
Moving onto Tuesday, we jump from a small four-game main slate to a crazy 14-game main slate. There is one game earlier that you can include if you do an “all day” contest on FanDuel, but I’m focusing on just the main slate.
Regardless, every single MLB team is in action and there are a lot of paths to consider. Let’s see if the best GPP route is to pay up for an elite arm or stack power bats. Let’s dive into my favorite daily fantasy baseball picks for tonight:
SP: Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals ($8.2k)
I won’t waste time talking about Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber and a long list of other viable aces to consider. This slate is absolutely loaded with elite arms and I can’t argue against half of them.
I’m just chasing value here and Martinez offers it at a very low price. This is his first game back from injury and how much he pitches could be in question, but he’s at home (.148 ERA in 5 starts) and has been brilliant throughout his 2018 campaign.
The lat injury and the time off are a concern, but he’s in a pretty comfortable spot against a Miami Marlins team that isn’t scary. The fish oddly tend to rise up against elite arms, but I can’t get scared so easily when they offer little pop (.144 ISO) versus right-handed pitching and also whiff at a 21.5% rate.
Martinez is a very talented pitcher that could very well pick up right where he left off. There’s risk here, but that’s the GPP life.
The upside is he could return elite value and spin a gem. That’s the hope, as I could potentially get a guy with 45-50 fantasy points and still load up on the bats I covet.
C/1B: Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs ($3.9k)
The wind is blowing left to right at Wrigley tonight, but at least it isn’t blowing in. That may make this game less appealing in theory, but it doesn’t take it off the board. I’ll have some interest in Cubs lefties, as they’re at home and Zach Eflin (.289 ISO versus lefties) is not a bad guy to target.
Eflin was good to start 2018 off, but he’s now coughed up 10 total runs over his last two starts.
On the road against a talented Cubs team loaded with lefty power, I expect him to get dinged a couple of times. Rizzo is probably Chicago’s top lefty and he sports a cool .207 ISO versus right-handed hurlers, so he makes a lot of sense to get the ball rolling tonight.
Matt Olson ($3.6k) is a fine pivot if you want to save a few bucks, as he’s in Texas against a gas can in Matt Moore. If you want to drop way down, Curt Casali wrecks southpaws and gets one at Great American Ballpark tonight.
2B: Asdrubal Cabrera – New York Mets ($3.1k)
Ozzie Albies could be worth paying up for tonight, as he hasn’t been crushing it lately, is super pricey and will be on the road in a pitcher’s park. That should lower his ownership considerably, so a contrarian late-game hammer is awfully tempting.
There is a lot of value at 2B, though. You can also look at Jed Lowrie (hard not to love A’s tonight), but Cabrera is a little cheaper and in just as alluring of a spot. He’ll be at home against Alex Cobb, who has gotten lit up a ton already in 2018.
Cobb’s giving up loads of contact to both sides of the plate, with a +.244 ISO being allowed to all hitters. Cabrera is wrecking righties (.232 ISO) this year, so feel free to fire him up. A Mets stack is obviously very much in play as well.
3B: Danny Valencia – Baltimore Orioles ($2.4k)
I don’t mind the other side of this Mets game, as Jason Vargas has allowed 4+ runs in four of his six starts this year. He’s at home and Baltimore is one of the worst road teams in baseball, but they still have a lot of power to deal with.
Valencia is one of the big bats to watch here, as he’s an elite value play and also brings a nasty .211 ISO versus lefties to the table.
I also like Matt Chapman at $2.9k and if you can afford it Eugenio Suarez ($3.6k) boasts awesome splits against southpaws, too.
SS: Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles ($4.3k)
Valencia helps me pay up for two elite bats tonight and one of them is his teammate, Manny Machado. I am often on the wrong side of Machado, but he carries double-dong upside into every matchup.
That’s certainly the case against a potential gas can like Vargas, who is giving up a +.237 ISO to both sides of the plate this year. He’s getting hit harder by righties, though, so I don’t mind a small or full Baltimore stack with an eye on their right-handed hitters.
Machado and his .339 ISO against southpaws leads the way for me.
This really isn’t the position I’d want to save at tonight. If anything, I’d pivot and save $100 by using Didi Gregorius. Machado is my favorite SS by quite a bit, though.
OF: Adam Duvall – Cincinnati Reds ($2.7k)
Duvall is another guy who boasts fun splits. He’s almost exclusively useful against southpaws, but anytime he’s facing a lefty you have to at least consider giving his gaudy .320 ISO a whirl.
There are a ton of expensive OF options tonight, but there are also a litany of value picks that could easily work out. Duvall is one of the better cheap bats to try tonight.
OF: Michael Conforto – New York Mets ($2.9k)
Ditto for Conforto, who is priced like a spare due to a low batting average so far, but he’s much more talented than he’s shown in 2018. He’s going to pick up the pace eventually and it could easily start tonight against Alex Cobb.
I already touched on how I like this matchup for the Mets, while Conforto’s power (.249 ISO) against right-handed pitching in this spot makes him an elite bargain buy.
If you want to pay up more I also like Khris Davis and Kyle Schwarber for reasons already discussed, while the top Yankees mashers are always worth a look.
OF: Chad Pinder – Oakland Athletics ($2.4k)
You can cap your trot through the OF position off with Pinder, as he’s part of a very attractive Athletics stack.
In the name of being a bit contrarian, pivoting off of Oakland and New York (Yankees) bats in general might not be a terrible idea. That, or differentiate by using Athletics/Yanks guys that most people will overlook.
Pinder could be low in the order if he starts, so he’s a guy to consider. He’s still a very viable (and cheap) bat to look at, though. Not only does he save you cash, but he’s in a great park for home runs and mashes lefties (.180 ISO). If he starts, I sense a dong.
Util: Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals ($4.9k)
I do want to nab at least one stud OF tonight. I am assuming the top Yanks will be pretty popular and Mike Trout is always in play, but I’ll instead use Harper, who often has a chance at carrying 10% ownership or lower on these big slates.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched a six-inning no hitter in his Rays debut last time out, but he’s had some trouble with the Nats in the past. He also has issues with lefty power, so using a hopefully low-owned Harper and his gaudy .341 ISO against righties makes a lot of sense.
Your journey probably starts at pitcher tonight, where you need to decide on a stud or find the right value pivot.
I can’t blame you for confiding in safer options like Mad Max or Kluber, but nobody is safe in MLB DFS and dropping down at pitcher does two things; it saves money and it gives you a far different lineup than most of the teams you’re competing against.
There is a lot of risk with this roster, but my pitcher has a shot at 50 fantasy points and literally every bat has enough power to blast off a homer in their respective matchups.
Hopefully it all works out and you can use a few of these MLB DFS picks or the entire lineup to win at FanDuel tonight. Whatever you end up doing, I wish you luck!