Last night’s daily fantasy baseball lineup wasn’t a winner, but I did still hand out some solid MLB DFS picks. The Shark didn’t exactly feast on the San Diego Padres, but he wasn’t terrible, either. He went five innings deep and only gave up two runs, but I needed that extra inning for him to return value.
I did deliver some solid bats, as Kris Bryant (15), Ryan Braun (18), Buster Posey (21) and Andrew McCutchen (21) all worked out nicely. Ultimately I still missed in too many spots and my favorite arm didn’t really deliver.
It’s onward and upward come Tuesday, where DFS gamers get to deal with an insane 14-game main slate. I personally will just be piecing together one GPP squad I like the most and playing a quarter game. I don’t like to go too hard on tiny slates and I also limit my entry volume in insanely loaded slates like these.
This is admittedly a great slate if you play cash games, but since I’m mostly a GPP guy, I’m going to play it cool tonight. That being said, I do love my team and hopefully my MLB DFS picks can help you in your own lineup building process. Let’s get to it:
SP: Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals ($11.5k)
In theory, Max Max is a genius play tonight. He also could be chalk, but with Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and Noah Syndergaard all dividing up ownership, it’s hard to imagine him being that highly owned.
Even if he is, Scherzer still feels like the best overall pitcher on a massive slate.
I know the Pirates don’t whiff a ton, but even Jake Arrieta struck them out 10 times. They’re also on the road and Max’s main problem is hard contact. Considering this team has a collective .163 ISO, I’m not too scared.
The only reason I wouldn’t want Mad Max tonight is the weather in D.C. It’s supposed to be pretty warm with some light winds blowing out. If Scherzer gives up some contact, I could see a couple dongs at his expense. The hope, like usual, is that they are simply of the solo variety.
Overall, he’s been great in 2018 and a 50+ fantasy point outing is a borderline lock.
If you want to get super contrarian, paying up for Clayton Kershaw right now is very interesting. He’s been horrible and he’s on the road against a red hot D’Backs team, but worse plays have been made.
If you want all of the bats tonight, my favorite deep dive is Nick Tropeano. He looked good in his debut, is at home and faces an Orioles team that whiffs a ton. He’s also going up against Alex Cobb, so he’ll probably get the win.
All of that being said, Mad Max is my guy tonight. He’s the top arm on this slate and there is plenty of value to make him easy to afford.
C/1B: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($2.8k)
Olson brings some nice power to the table at an insane discount. He was pushing $4k earlier in the year, but he’s priced way down in a favorable matchup against Felix Hernandez. King Felix has actually been pretty good so far this year, but he still gives up a ton of contact.
Hernandez might be due for a shelling and I am game for targeting his 31% fly ball rate and 30% hard hit rate against left-handed bats. That gives Olson a boost, while he mashes right-handed pitching to the tune of a .406 wOBA and a .346 ISO.
The power has not really been there so far in 2018, but it’s coming. Oh, it’s coming.
2B: Alen Hanson – San Francisco Giants ($2k)
I’m game for Ian Kinsler ($3.1k) here as part of an Angels stack (more on that in a bit), but I can’t pass on the value Hanson provides if he’s in the lineup again tonight. He checked in for an injured Joe Panik last night and delivered 12 fantasy points, while he also sent one out of the park on April 28th.
Hanson isn’t a lock to crush it, but Tyson Ross remains fairly beatable and he’s out to prove himself with Panik sidelined. He’s looked good so far and at this price, he may be worth a roll of the dice. Just make sure he’s active and has a decent spot in the order before you fire him up.
3B: Luis Valbuena – Los Angeles Angels ($2.5k)
While I’m not locked into Kinsler tonight, I do like a Halos stack and it can start with Valbuena, who is always in play anytime he takes on a righty. Valbuena has the power (.223 ISO) to do serious damage in this spot, he’s dirt cheap and Alex Cobb is a pitcher you want to attack right now.
If you’re looking to spend, Travis Shaw is probably my favorite overall play at 3B tonight.
SS: Zack Cozart – Los Angeles Angels ($2.7k)
Much like Kinsler, Cozart is an awesome price and is at home against a terrible pitcher. His gaudy splits versus righties (.231 ISO) don’t hurt, either.
Not digging the Halos angle? Pivot to Eduardo Nunez, who is just $300 more and feels like a solid value at home tonight.
OF: Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels ($3.6k)
I’ll continue the Halos stack with Upton, who provides fun splits (.224 ISO) against right-handed pitching. I like Upton in most settings, but this is really all about targeting a beatable arm that is in horrid form.
If you’re not into the Angels stack, I also love Christian Yelich in Great American Ballpark versus Homer Bailey at the exact same price.
OF: Michael Conforto – New York Mets ($3.6k)
I could go Yelich here, but I prefer the power upside of Conforto. Sean Newcomb was going to oppose Thor in this game, but now it’s Mike Soroka, who is quite talented, but is making his MLB debut. That means he’s either going to slay the powerful Mets, or they might destroy his soul.
Regardless of what happens, I’ll give Conforto’s .261 ISO versus righties a shot here.
OF: Marcell Ozuna – St. Louis Cardinals ($3.3k)
I can get some more power at a discounted price here via Ozuna, who is totally overdue for a long ball. I think he could get it tonight, as he’ll be at home against James Shields.
Few pitchers allow as much contact as Shields does (+40% fly ball rate to both sides of the plate), while Ozuna is worth a look simply based on his .241 ISO versus righties.
Util: Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins ($3k)
Pretty much all Twins are in play tonight, as they face an extreme fly ball arm in Marco Estrada. He coughs up a +48% fly ball rate no matter who he’s facing, so I need to try at least one Minny hitter in this spot. Max Kepler is also in play in this price range, but Rosario (.261 ISO) shows better power in this matchup.
My main overall strategy is riding Mad Max and a cheap Halos stack. You can cram guys like Kole Calhoun or Ian Kinsler in here or even work to force in Mike Trout, but there is so much other value on this slate I doubt you have to commit to a full four-man stack.
I obviously also like Brewers, Cardinals, Mets and Twins tonight, so consider those stacks if you’re going that route.
I just want the best arm on the slate and there’s enough value to allow for it. Hopefully that helps you make some cash tonight. Whether you roll with my picks or not, I wish you luck!