Baseball is back on March 29th and I’m so excited that I will be issuing two different MLB DFS picks columns for the early and main slate. That is not something I’ll be doing daily, but the beginning of the MLB season only comes once a year.
Call it a celebration, call it what you will, but I’m diving into both slates and trying to help our faithful TSG readers win some cash over at FanDuel. As is the case with all of my FanDuel DFS lineups, these are just example lineups for GPPs that focus on my favorite studs and value plays, as well as my personal favorite strategy for a given slate.
Remember that all advice columns should always be taken with a grain of salt, especially in baseball where starting pitching can change at a moment’s notice and the game in general can be highly volatile on a day-to-day basis.
This is especially the case with this early slate lineup, as I’m pushing this out far in advance and it’s always possible some of these guys get scratched or other value picks open up.
That being said, I do stand by my MLB DFS picks and I’ll try to get everyone on the winning path starting with the early slate.
Also keep in mind that FanDuel switched up their daily fantasy baseball roster. You’ll see the lineup changes in my daily fantasy baseball picks, starting with this post.
This slate features three games and won’t offer much room for error. Here’s my favorite path to success for March 29th’s three-game early slate:
Update: Today’s Tigers/Pirates game had been PPD. Don’t use anyone from that game and check for updates in my MLB DFS picks below!
SP: Noah Syndergaard – New York Mets ($10.3k)
I am admittedly interested in the other side of this game (Carlos Martinez, $7.9k) and Jon Lester is at least in the discussion. However, I refuse to get cute with just three games in the early slate and Thor feels like a lock to me.
Syndergaard’s only real concern is run support (and getting the win), but he’s at home where he was a menace last year before getting hurt. When healthy the 25-year old God of Thunder is among the best pitchers in all of baseball. Slaying a talented Cardinals offense won’t be easy, but in this spot and on this slate he’s without a doubt my favorite arm.
C/1B: Willson Contreras – Chicago Cubs ($3.2k)
I honestly am not that crazy about the Cubs on this slate. Jose Urena is far from an elite pitcher, but he’s at home in a pitcher’s park and he tends to just survive games without giving up a ton of runs. That being said, Chicago is still a tough offense to shy away from and some of their more versatile options are actually coming in at great prices.
You can do a lot at C/1B on this slate (and that’s sure to be the case all year), but I love Contreras in this spot. Willson hits both sides of the play well, is fairly efficient and offers solid pop for a catcher. I’m not expecting a double-dong day against Urena or anything, but Conteras is a threat to go yard and I think he can get on base a couple of times in this one.
2B: Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs ($3.3k)
Urena is probably the best pitcher to attack on this slate, but I’ll try to do it with efficiency. Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ could also be guys to look at, but guys like Baez can get good work in without going yard.
The good news is Baez does offer some pop as well and even though he’s the most expensive 2B option on the board, he has one of the best matchups. Here’s to hoping Urena either gets shelled or gets pulled early in this one.
3B: Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs ($4.3k)
Bryant is a default play. He’s a fine try on any slate in pretty much any matchup, but 3B is not a fun position in the early slate on March 29th. I’m just grabbing the best player here and trying not to get cute.
SS: Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs ($2.9k)
I’ll cap my Cubs runs with Addi, who is another versatile player who does not need to hit homers to pan out for me. That’s good news versus Urena, who is not a big HR guy and tends to contain games at home.
I didn’t really go into this thinking I’d piece together a Cubs stack, but I’m not loving the value at some of these spots and I also don’t think you’re any better off over-targeting Thor, Jon Lester or Carlos Martinez (more on that).
Russell is a fine SS option, both because this is a weak position on the early slate and he inexplicably dominates on the road. Here’s to hoping that trend continues this year.
OF: Corey Dickerson – Pittsburgh Pirates ($2.9k) Dickerson is the king of one-offs, so whether you want to attack Jordan Zimmerman in Detroit or not, I think he’s in play. A change of scenery could do him some good, while I can’t ignore the fact that he’s facing a volatile righty in a solid park for hitting. I rarely trust Dickerson with much confidence, but Zimmerman struggles more against lefty bats and gives up plenty of bombs. Dickerson can be very streaky, but he can mash right-handed pitchers and has a penchant for the deep ball. One dong will do the tricky in this setting.
Dickerson’s game has been postponed. One move I’m considering is swapping Lewis Brinson here from Utility and making a move elsewhere. Completing a Mets stack with Brandon Nimmo is one option.
OF: Jay Bruce – New York Mets ($2.9k)
I do not want to go out of my way to attack Carlos Martinez, but this is not an amazing slate with gas cans on it. Martinez is a very capable pitcher, but two things produce red flags – he does walk a lot of batters and he’s not usually as dominant on the road.
Martinez got lit up a bit (5 runs in 5 innings) when he last faced the Mets and they do have a lot of power to deal with. Bruce is part of that and considering most of his success comes at the expensive of right-handed arms, I don’t mind taking a stab at him here.
Bruce does have two homers in 19 plate appearances in this matchup, so on a slate with few obvious exploits, I think this is a fine try.
OF: Yoenis Cespedes – New York Mets ($3.2k)
I’ll keep the Mets love rolling with Cespedes, as I certainly need some run support given the fact that I’m all-in with Thor. If Noah can deliver and my two Mets mashers pan out, I could be in a great spot on the early slate.
Cespedes obviously bring monster power to the table, but he also excels against righties and has turned into a pretty efficient hitter over the past several years. Martinez can struggle against strong right-handed hitters, too, so this is a fine spot to use a discounted Cespedes.
Util: Lewis Brinson – Miami Marlins ($2.1k)
This is a fun punt play, as I don’t have much cash left and I believe Brinson will be a cheap starter for the Marlins on Opening Day. He is a risky GPP option, but he does have nice power and could be a sneaky play initially while Miami figures their offense out.
A showdown with Jon Lester isn’t exactly ideal in this park, but Brinson flashed upside against lefties in limited duty last year and southpaw Lester specifically has issues with righty power. On the road, I don’t mind a one-off against Lester.
Overall, this is a tricky three-game slate and you’re going to need a borderline perfect roster to win big in GPPs. I doubt the Cubs or Thor will be that contrarian, but I also see them as the best options. Hopefully that pans out and Martinez gets picked apart a bit by the Mets.
Regardless, hopefully some of these picks help you win on the early slate. Keep a look out for the main March 29th daily fantasy baseball slate, which will be coming soon!