Last night was a solid run for my MLB DFS picks, as my team endured just one late roster change and easily finished in the green. Things still didn’t go quite as planned on a very weird night that had shaky pitching and weak bats, but my team still placed and likely helped you win a little bit of cash as well.
It was just a weird night for offense. The Reds and Giants combined for 17 runs in a pitcher’s park, while the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks (offenses projected to fare well) all combined for six.
There was also a game between the Rays and Royals that featured suspect pitching and just three total runs popped up on that game’s scoreboard.
It was not an ideal slate, but I did still have some solid success. Patrick Corbin sputtered late (30 fantasy points), but he was on a torrid pace initially at home against the Milwaukee Brewers. The end result wasn’t great, but he wasn’t exactly crippling and he was comparable to most of the other pitching options.
The hitting is where I struck some gold. I nailed the Athletics as a sleeper stack and I got dongs out of both Matt Olson (24.9 fantasy points) and Matt Joyce (21.7). J.D. Martinez (21.7) also went yard, while I replaced Alex Avila (scratched) late with Noel Cuevas (18.7), who also hit one deep.
I also got a little help from Steven Souza (12.5) and Nolan Arenado (15.5) wasn’t too bad.
Daniel Robertson (0) and Trevor Story (0) were my lone misses of the night.
I benefited from the odd night of offense and cashed, but on a much bigger 14-game main slate tonight, I’ll hope to hit it big. Tonight’s slate is going to be hit hard by a lot of weather concerns, so be sure to keep tabs on the latest reports. A few games have serious PPD risk or could be delayed, so that could impact how you look at a few pitchers and hitters.
With that said, here’s my favorite tourney squad for daily fantasy baseball contests at FanDuel tonight:
SP: Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks ($9.5k)
I do not love the pitching tonight. Gerrit Cole is the best arm available, but he is super expensive and on the road against a talented Angels lineup. He looked a little more human against them earlier this year, so I’ll be looking for a value pivot.
Maybe that’s Noah Syndergaard, but the Jays bring a lot of power to the table and Thor just hasn’t been as elite as you want him to be this year. I’d rather just save $500 and pivot to Greinke, who has again been lights out (2-0, 1.72 ERA) at home and will face a beatable Brewers lineup.
Milwaukee did put some runs on the board last night, but they are not a consistent offense and they rely heavily on power. Greinke has an awesome strikeout matchup in front of him and has the benefit of not having to pitch around Eric Thames, who is still sidelined.
I can see a few other arguments, but with so many weather concerns tonight, I’ll bite down on Greinke and move onto my bats.
If you want to save big and don’t care about pitching tonight, consider Nick Pivetta. He’s facing a powerful Orioles squad, but he looked great in his last start and they whiff a ton.
Overall, I love Greinke tonight and he’s my preferred arm. Considering there are several other arms for people to look at, I expect his ownership to be fairly low. There’s nothing wrong with a potentially elite arm at contrarian ownership.
Note: There is a ton of bad weather tonight – too much to ignore some of the top bats – so DO NOT just assume everyone listed in this lineup plays. Be sure to keep track of weather updates and adjust as needed.
C/1B: Wilmer Flores – New York Mets ($2.6k)
There are a ton of bats available on this slate, so I doubt all the guys with appealing splits will be highly owned. Flores and his nice splits against southpaws (.216 ISO) could easily go overlooked, while a date with Jaime Garcia doesn’t feel overly imposing.
2B: Ozzie Albies – Atlanta Braves ($4.4k)
Left-handed bats are always fun to stack up at SunTrust Park, while I just don’t think Yu Darvish is a guy to fear right now. Darvish is in a really challenging spot tonight, while the Braves as a whole routinely put the ball in play.
Albies is part of that, as he’s constantly a dong waiting to happen and that’s no different tonight with his .208 ISO versus righties being put on display. Darvish still gives up a good amount of contact and has his hardest times against the left side of the plate. Freddie Freeman is also in play here, but I prefer Albies tonight.
3B: Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3k)
Typically I’ll wait for guys returning from long layoffs to shake off their rust, but you may never see JT this cheap again. The struggling Dodgers badly need a jolt of life and he has the ability to carry them some nights.
Turner could be a sorry sack in his first game of the year, but he also just offers way too much value at this low price tag. I’ll take a chance on his gaudy splits (.314 ISO) versus southpaws tonight.
He’ll be facing Wei-Yin Chen, who offers up a fun .274 ISO against righties, as well as an absurd 50% fly ball rate. I know the dude could be rusty and Marlins Park is a pitcher’s paradise, but come on.
Again, there is built-in risk here. L.A. has a whole has been struggling and any guy in their first game back is a roll of the dice. If you don’t want JT, consider Rafael Devers at home against Daniel Mengden.
SS: Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians ($4.8k)
Francisco vs. Francisco tonight, as Lindor leads the Tribe up against Francisco Liriano. The difference is one of these dudes is actually good. Liriano keeps on surviving, but he’s got a brutal matchup in the Indians in a tough park for pitching.
I don’t trust a full Indians stack here just because they’re so expensive, but I’m willing to pay up for Lindor and his insane run (15-game hit streak) right now. Liriano is still a high contact pitcher and Lindor fares quite well (.384 wOBA, .221 ISO) against left-handed pitching. Here’s to a big game.
OF: Ian Happ – Chicago Cubs ($2.8k)
All of the attention in this game should be on the pricey bats (namely the lefties), but I’ll just get cheap exposure to a ballpark that is great for lefty power. Happ might see a bump in the order here, as he rakes versus right-handed pitching (.342 wOBA, .259 ISO) and is in an awesome spot.
I don’t want to go overboard in targeting Mike Foltynewicz, but he gives up more damage to the left side of the plate and I’m assuming that’s where Happ will work from in this matchup. Even if he bats 8th like he has been, Happ’s upside and value are too good to completely ignore on this slate.
You can also consider paying up for Kyle Schwarber ($4k) here, but I like the $1.2k in savings.
OF: Steven Souza – Arizona Diamondbacks ($2.2k)
I’ll go back to the well with Souza, who doubled last night but still feels due for a long ball. He is in a solid park for hitting if the roof is open and his matchup against Jhoulys Chacin looks good on paper. Not only does Souza bring a nice .236 ISO against righties to the table, but Chacin tends to struggle on the road and he gives up a good amount of contact.
I don’t want to go crazy with D’Backs here, but Souza can dong it pretty easily and while he’s not very efficient, he’s certainly due for a long ball. Preston Tucker is the same price and could be a fine pivot if he ends up starting tonight for the Braves.
OF: Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers ($3.1k)
There is a lot to get excited about at OF tonight and I’m probably assuming some risk by not paying up at the position at all. That being said, there are other spots I feel I need to pend money at, so hopefully my cheap OF options work out.
One of them will be Gallo, who has seen his price drop a bit during a brutal 0-for-17 stretch. I never love using bats in tough slides, but Gallo is always a candidate to double-dong his way out of a slump. Tonight he faces Mike Leake, who traditionally isn’t a gas can, but has not looked great in 2018.
I just need one long ball for this play to work out, but if you’re not feeling it consider paying up $600 more for Nelson Cruz against a lefty.
Util: Kike Hernandez – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.4k)
As long as you stay on the right-handed side of things, a Dodgers stack could be pretty sneaky tonight. Chen struggles versus righties and even in a pitcher’s park, he could get into some trouble tonight. I’ll stop it at two L.A. bats for now, but Hernandez and his insane .288 ISO versus southpaws has to at least be glanced at.