My daily fantasy baseball picks have been a bit off the mark lately, but at least my arm (Gerrit Cole – 49 fantasy points) was solid. It was a small slate with some pretty atrocious pitching, too, so I didn’t see another path worth taking.
Cole was plenty fine, but my bats left me hanging a bit. While they did not perform up to expectations, Danny Valencia did dong and Marcus Semien (9.5) was decent.
J.D. Martinez (back) got just three fantasy points and left the game early, while I had a slew of 0’s littered across my lineup. Despite the Detroit Tigers being a good offense to turn to, both James McCann and Jacoby Jones (4 strikeouts!!) blanked me in a good spot.
It was a pretty forgettable squad, but things open up quite a bit on a huge slate on Friday night. Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays:
SP: Caleb Smith – Miami Marlins (8k)
There are a lot of really good pitching options on the board tonight and I’m sure there is enough value to pay up for Chris Sale and the like. I just don’t want to.
That, and fading all those stud arms could be pretty contrarian. Instead, I’ll turn to Caleb Smith, who has displayed elite K upside all year long and gets a nice home game in a pitcher’s park against the punchless San Diego Padres.
I actually would consider one Padres hedge stack in a GPP just because they have some guys that murder southpaws, but in this park their power with said matchup should be less of an issue.
I’ll focus on Smith’s strikeout rate and San Diego’s propensity (22.6% K rate) to whiff. I just love the price and the matchup bodes well for Smith, who actually dropped 40 fantasy points two starts ago against these very Padres.
Paying up for some of the top guys makes sense tonight, but if you want to take a ride on the wild side and save cash for bats, Caleb Smith is one of the top guys to roll with in tournaments at FanDuel.
C/1B: Mark Reynolds – Washington Nationals ($3.2k)
Andrew Suarez takes on the Nats in D.C. tonight and I doubt that ends well. One reason why is the Nationals have a few guys who club southpaws to death. Reynolds is one of them and he’s due to sound off after being a bit too quiet over his past five games.
He’s a bit too cheap for his power and he brings a solid .171 ISO to the table.
2B: Eduardo Nunez – Boston Red Sox ($3k)
Nunez is just a cheap 2B that fits what I’m trying to do. Getting cheap exposure to elite offenses rarely needs much of a sales pitch, while he’s at home in the hittable Fenway against a shaky pitcher in Dylan Covey.
All Red Sox are in play tonight, as Covey offers up a .210+ ISO against all hitters and just gives up way too much contact in general.
3B: Anthon Rendon – Washington Nationals ($3.6k)
I don’t need to stack Nats tonight, but if I want Reynolds I sure want Rendon, who boasts an awesome .308 ISO against left-handed pitching.
Both of these Washington bats also operate from the right side of the plate, where the pedestrian Suarez is coughing up a .244 ISO and a 46% hard hit rate.
SS: Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians ($4.4k)
On such a loaded slate there are going to be a lot of SS options to like, but I don’t mind paying up for Lindor. Michael Fulmer isn’t the easiest test, but Lindor is in a good park for offense and brings a very nice .247 ISO versus right-handed hurlers to the table.
Normally I don’t attack Fulmer, but he’s been pretty hittable this year and has coughed up 4+ runs in four of his last six outings. Something tells me the Indians will be busy tonight and Lindor might be part of it.
OF: Dexter Fowler – St. Louis Cardinals ($2.8k)
Fowler is cheap, has some power and will be in a very good ballpark against the ever hittable Matt Harvey. The Dark Knight gets murdered from the left side (.289 ISO) and will be facing a switch hitter that can bring the pop (.210 ISO) against righties.
This is cheap exposure to a solid Cards offense and a full St. Louis stack is firmly in play.
OF: Odubel Herrera – Philadelphia Phillies ($2.6k)
I also don’t mind the Phillies, but I’ll probably keep it to the lefty bats. Jhoulys Chacin has been pretty decent this year, but he’s operating in the brutal Citizens Bank Park and does get touched up a bit (.161 ISO) from the left side of the plate.
Herrera’s power isn’t insane (.161) but he’s a fun GPP flier in this park given the matchup. He’s also just a cheap try at a dong in a very hittable stadium.
OF: David Peralta – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3.7k)
I don’t want to go load up Coors Field bats blindly tonight, as there is solid pitching in Colorado. I’d probably reserve my interest to the Arizona side and considering the location, Peralta is actually a respectable discount.
Peralta can always send one deep (.180 ISO vs. righties) but he gets a nice boost in this park. A full D’Backs stack is viable, but I probably won’t be going that route.
Util: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.6k)
I love two 3B options tonight, so I’ll go against the grain here and stack Shaw with Rendon. I’ll go with Rendon if I must pick a side, but Shaw’s fun .268 ISO in Citizens Bank Park is also very tough to pass up.
Shaw is always a threat to go yard, but he’s especially appealing against Vincent Velasquez, who has troubles with lefty power. The Phillies ace is allowing an absurd .240 ISO against that side of the plate and tends to give up fly balls. If Shaw can just get it into the air, I think he has a big game.
The starting point is pitcher tonight and I choose to chase value. If Caleb Smith can come through for me, he allows me to load up with a slew of bats I love.
Whether you like this lineup as it stands or not, hopefully my advice can help you cash in some manner tonight. Either way, I wish you luck. Enjoy the games!