Max Scherzer didn’t really disappoint last night (47 fantasy points), but anytime you pay up for an elite arm you sacrifice some upside with your bats. I still loved the value with a mild Halos stack and there were a few elite bats I thought you could get at a nice discount.
Honestly, my MLB DFS picks weren’t half bad. Eddie Rosario went nuts, Luis Valbuena donged his way to 18.7 fantasy points, Matt Olson chipped in a solid 15 fantasy points, Alen Hanson (12) was an elite value play and Marcell Ozuna (15) was plenty fine.
Michael Conforto (0) as the only true gaffe among my hitters, while Zack Cozart (3) and Justin Upton (6.5) at least got on the board.
You may have actually placed in some cash games or small tourneys with this team, but I personally did not. Still, if you picked your spots with my daily fantasy baseball picks, you had a stud arm and a slew of helpful bats around him.
The MLB DFS scene quiets down a bit tonight, as just eight games grace the schedule. Let’s see which arm you should confide in and which bats are worth targeting at FanDuel:
SP: Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals ($9.7k)
There is always risk with Stras, who sports an elite K rate but can get really dinged up at times. At home against a Pirates team that is not known for it’s power, though, probably isn’t the time to get scared off of him.
Instead, Strasburg comes in at a nice discount as an elite arm priced under $10k on a slate with several viable pitchers. I like Aaron Nola against the fish as well, but I’m pretty all in on Strasburg.
Luis Severino is on the road against the Astros and that just isn’t enticing, while Jacob deGrom gets the fun task of silencing a potent Braves offense.
I don’t like either of those options, while Strasburg offers just as much upside as they do – if not more. I know the Pirates don’t traditionally strikeout a ton, but Jake Arrieta made them miss 10 times a week ago and Mad Max racked up 8 Ks last night.
Strasburg is the favorite to get the win and from a power perspective, he’s probably facing his best matchup of the young season. I don’t think he gets 10 Ks here, but I do think he can go seven deep, get 6-8 strikeouts, earn the QS and get the win. All of that should get you somewhere between 40-45 fantasy points.
C/1B: Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks ($4k)
I don’t really want to stack D’Backs against Hyun-Jin Ryu, but the best time to attack him is on the road. I specifically want Goldy, who can always be a monster, but he also happens to murder left-handed pitchers (.430 wOBA, .310 ISO).
To get even more specific, he’s been a nightmare for Ryu, carving him up to the tune of 10 hits and two long balls (.455 BA) over 22 plate appearances. I normally don’t get swayed by BvsP data, but that’s tough to ignore and everything else sets up nicely for Goldy to be a beast tonight.
2B: Wilmer Difo – Washington Nationals ($2.4k)
I’m not a fan of 2B tonight. The studs all have difficult matchups on paper and are pretty pricey. Due to injuries, Digo has a big role with the Nats right now and he’s tough to pass up at this cheap price.
Difo’s date with Ivan Nova (+34% hard hit rate allowed to all hitters) looks pretty nice and he’s in a pretty nice groove with seven hits in his last six contests.
3B: Zack Cozart – Los Angeles Angels ($2.7k)
I don’t hate the idea of going right back to the well with Luis Valbuena ($2.5k) in this spot, but Cozart is typically a much better hitter and he sports a cool .231 ISO against righties.
Dylan Bundy gets a positive park shift and is not a guy I want to stack against, but he does serve up loads of contact (+44% fly ball rate to both sides of the plate). Cozart has been heating up, too, racking up five hits over his last four games. He feels like an elite value play on this slate.
SS: Chris Taylor – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.4k)
With Corey Seager (elbow) out for the year, CT3 slides to the SS spot for the Dodgers. He’s a bit over-priced in this spot against Zack Godley, but he offers some power and has actually worked Godley (5 for 13, 2 HR) in the past.
I’m not demanding a long ball here, but the only other SS I really love is an expensive Trea Turner. I’ll take some mild savings and get a solid hitter in a good park for hitting.
OF: Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals ($4.9k)
Matt Adams went yard twice last night and will surely be a popular value dive tonight. I’m going to pull the fade there in hopes he delivers one of his classic goose egg performances. I do want to pay up for Harper, though, as he’s leading off and obviously has an amazing matchup at home against the beatable Nova.
OF: Adam Duvall – Cincinnati Reds ($2.8k)
I like the Reds in general tonight, as they’re facing a beatable arm in Wade Miley at home. Miley has long been known as a guy who serves up plenty of contact and he’ll be making his first start of the year in a hitter’s park.
Some Cincy guys are bound to rake in this spot and Duvall is an elite value pick. His staggering splits against southpaws (.292 ISO) demand your attention.
OF: Alex Verdugo – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.2k)
This is a roll of the dice, but Verdugo is a Top 100 prospect according to FanGraphs.com and he’s due for playing time with injuries to L.A.’s roster right now. He has talent and brings some power to the table. Again, I don’t love going after Godley, but this is a cheap dive with a little upside. He’s worth a look on this slate.
Util: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($2.7k)
I’m fine with ending this thing by going back to the well with Olson, who continues to be one of my favorite bats to use this year. His power really has yet to pop off in 2018, but I think it’s coming.
Speaking of arms I don’t want to go crazy targeting, he’s got a bad matchup on the road with James Paxton. That could be scary, but this is a one-off try against a lefty who has oddly enough struggled slightly more against lefties (.302 wOBA compared to .268).
People do not like the lefty on lefty bats, so this will also be extremely contrarian. I’m willing to roll the dice here, but I can totally understand if you want to sniff around for a viable pivot. Just make sure Olson is in the lineup (he sometimes sits versus southpaws) if you’re with me here.
It all starts with Strasburg for me tonight and I also want two studs in Harper and Goldy. The reason I’m game for this strategy is it might be a little contrarian and I also believe there is enough value out there to warrant it.
Like usual, feel free to roll with this lineup as it stands or just pick your spots and combine my insight with your own research. Also, be sure to monitor lineup changes and weather concerns. My daily fantasy baseball lineups do not always factor in potential PPD risk and I don’t have the time to update for late lineup scratches.
Whatever you decide, I hope to see you at the top of a GPP tonight. Good luck!