Last night was all of the fun. I started off with a win in the pitching department, as Walker Buehler showed up and got a solid 40 fantasy points at home against the Cincinnati Reds.
My bats delivered some strong performances as well. Salvador Perez immediately worked out thanks to an early grand slam, while Lucas Duda (9), Whit Merrifield (15), Travis Shaw (18) and Lorenzo Cain (30!) all delivered.
I did have some sorry sacks amongst my hitters, though, as Alcides Escobar (3), Ryan Braun (0) and Gerardo Parra (0) all failed miserbly.
Depending on the contest you played in, it’s possible you didn’t place. However, I got you two explosive bats, five out of eight over 9 fantasy points and a pitcher who panned out nicely. It was a solid all around team and hopefully it helped you cash.
Friday night offers up a way bigger slate, as three elite arms toe the rubber as part of a 14-game schedule. There is some weather to navigate tonight, so be sure to avoid those situations or at least note the risk.
As things stand, the Mariners/Tigers game has the highest PPD risk (I’ll be avoiding that game entirely) and a couple others (namely Indians/Royals and Dodgers/Reds) could possibly deal with a delay.
Always keep that in mind, while you should also stick to your guns if you hate my suggestions. That being said, I love this slate and I think I’ve pieced together a great GPP team for FanDuel’s contests tonight. Let’s get to it:
SP: Luke Weaver – St. Louis Cardinals ($5.9k)
I’m not telling you to fade elite arms like Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander or Chris Sale tonight. They’re all awesome talents and are capable of putting up massive outings. The big problem is they’re all over $11k at FanDuel and rostering them restricts your hitting.
That’s probably the route to go in cash games, but for GPPs I’m down for a bit of a gamble so I can load up on bats. Maybe for you that risk only comes via an intermediate option like Kenta Maeda, but for me, I’m diving all the way down.
The price for the talented Luke Weaver against a hapless San Diego Padres lineup is simply too nice.
I know he hasn’t been good lately, but in his last four starts he’s faced the Cubs twice, a Pirates offense that doesn’t whiff much and a Mets team that provides quite a bit of power.
If there was ever a “get right” spot, this is it. Weaver started 2018 off with a bang (27 and 41-point fantasy outings) and he can make bats miss. Against a weak offense in a pitcher’s park, he feels like an amazing value on this massive slate.
Considering all of the options available to you, he should be ridiculously low-owned and opens your roster up for all of the bats.
C/1B: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.4k)
The Dodgers have been an inconsistent offense, but they still tend to do good work at home. I’m not into a Dodgers stack, but Bellinger is their best bat and he’s simply too cheap at this point. I also get to use him against Matt Harvey, who I am assuming isn’t magically healed of his hard contact ways just because of a trade.
2B: Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians ($2.6k)
Kipnis hasn’t been great so far in 2018 but he hits righties well and has heated up a bit over the past two weeks. I still don’t exactly trust him, but he’s a good value and faces a very beatable arm in Jason Hammel.
The Tribe as a whole is worth stacking tonight, but I’ll take the steep discount on Kip as he faces a pitcher with a 45% fly ball rate versus lefties.
3B: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($4.1k)
I tried Shaw in Coors last night and while it was far from a failure, he didn’t dong. I think he’s got a solid chance of working out again, as he has nice power for right-handed hurlers (.258 ISO) and Chad Bettis feels destined for regression.
It’s never easy to trust arms in this ballpark, while Bettis has endured his toughest times with power against the left side of the plate. I see that Shaw homer coming tonight.
SS: Jedd Gyorko – St. Louis Cardinals ($2.8k)
Anytime Gyorko is facing a southpaw (.293 ISO) I look to fire him up. He remains a great price despite a sweet matchup against a beatable lefty in Eric Lauer. There are a ton of viable 3B options, but I’m looking to save some cash here tonight.
OF: Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals ($4.7k)
The OF slots are loaded tonight, so I’m looking to snag some elite power bats. Harper is one of them, as he’s been hot pretty much all year and is due to go long.
He’s actually cooled off over his last several games, but he faces a guy in Matt Koch that is giving up a 40% fly ball rate and a 36% hard hit rate. That’s a lethal combination against Bryce’s power (.349 ISO vs. righties).
OF: Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies ($4.1k)
I also want Hoskins, who tends to rake southpaws (.409 wOBA, .319 ISO) and faces a lefty hurler in Matthew Boyd that is due for some serious regression. Boyd has pitched fairly well overall in 2018, but he gives up a lot of contact and has allowed a .236 ISO against right-handed bats over the past year.
Boyd is vulnerable on the road in a hitter’s park. A scorching hot Phillies offense is firmly in play for the stack, but Hoskins is my preferred bat here.
OF: Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies ($5k)
Blackmon is another pricey bat like Harper that has cooled down lately and I’m hopeful that lowers both of their ownership on such a big slate. A nice matchup at Coors Field might stop that from happening for Blackmon specifically, but I’m down for him regardless.
Blackmon is in a great spot against Brandon Woodruff, who has allowed a .356 wOBA to the left side of the plate. It might not take much for Blackmon to pay off tonight.
UTIL: Kendrys Morales – Toronto Blue Jays ($2.2k)
To cap things off, let’s target Chris Sale with a cheap one-off in Morales. His spot in the order could be a hiccupe for some, but he’s actually fared quite well against Sale in his career (10 for 34, 3 HR) and Sale does give up some contact (40% fly ball rate, 31% hard hit rate) against righties.
Morales is a risky play for GPPs only, but Sale is probably going to give up a long ball or two in this one and Toronto is loaded with powerful right-handed bats. Considering his power (.217 ISO) and career stats versus Sale, Morales is a low-priced attempt at taking down an elite arm.
It all starts at pitcher for me, as I’m throwing caution to the wind and rostering a super cheap arm to stack up on bats. Not only does it get me that bats I crave, but Weaver is a talented young arm in an amazing spot. It all comes together to give me (and potentially you) a fun tourney lineup.
Whether you’re with me or not when it comes to today’s MLB DFS picks, I wish you luck!