FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – May 3rd

Stephen Strasburg (58 fantasy points!) was worth backing last night, but I passed up an elite value in James Paxton, who ripped off an insane 16 strikeouts. Still, I nailed the pitcher call and gathered up enough solid bats to double up in a big GPP.

Paul Goldschmidt (3) was super weak and we had some late scratches impact last night’s MLB DFS picks, but there were still some good calls around Strasburg.

Bryce Harper (43.9!) was my top hitting play of the night, while guys like Alex Verdugo (18.4), Zack Cozart (9.7) and Wilmer Difo (12) all worked out fine enough. Matt Olson and Chris Taylor weren’t in the starting lineup, so hopefully you caught that and found successful pivots off of them.

It was a solid night overall, but I’m looking for an even better night on a quiet four-game slate. Let’s get to it:

SP: Sean Manaea – Oakland Athletics ($9k)

David Price has some appeal tonight and is almost certainly the only other arm I’ll seriously consider on FanDuel. For those of you who also play at DraftKings, good luck feeling good about using two arms on this slate.

Price makes some sense against a Rangers team that whiffs a lot, but he’s in a bad park against a powerful offense. Manaea doesn’t have a cakewalk on the road against the Mariners, but he’s still in a winnable spot and he’s been awesome so far in 2018.

I’ve been waiting for the bottom to drop out on him, but he’s looking rather legit. On a small slate, I’ll just drink the kool aid here and hope his dominance just continues on.

Seattle does not whiff much, but I’m not sure any pitcher on this late is going to come out and flat out deal tonight. The play here is that Manaea’s run prevention (1.03 ERA!) stays true and he can just pitch a strong outing and snag a win. The fact that he’s the priciest arm may lower ownership, too, so overall he feels like the best play given the limited options.

C/1B: Robinson Chirinos – Texas Rangers ($2.6k)

I don’t want to stack Rangers just because I don’t think they’ll go nuts in this spot. That being said, they do have a few bats that can slay southpaws and they certainly sport some power. David Price feels like the chalky arm on this slate, so fading him and attacking him a bit could be a profitable daily fantasy baseball strategy tonight.

You’ll need to verify Chirinos is in the starting lineup tonight, but if he is he offers elite value and upside thanks to his nasty splits (.404 wOBA, .267 ISO) against southpaws.

2B: Ian Kinsler – Los Angeles Angels ($3.2k)

I really like the price for Brian Dozier ($3.5k) tonight, but this Sox/Twins game is in PPD territory. I’ll be refraining from bats from that game for this lineup build precisely for that reason. I still am interested in both sides of that one, though. Keep an eye on if it plays and if it does, consider pivoting to Dozier here.

That being said, I do love Kinsler as part of a Halos stack. Chris Tillman lucked himself into a gem in his last start and that is about as flukey as it gets. I’m going to hope other people get scared of that and I’ll gladly use whatever Angels I fall in love with.

Kinsler qualifies as such, as he’s a great value at the position and he’s actually wrecked Tillman in the past (8 for 26, 2 HR).

3B: Zack Cozart – Los Angeles Angels ($2.7k)

I’m going right back to the well with Cozart, who was decent enough last night. All Halos are in play against Tillman, who is an equal opportunity sad sack. He gives up a ton of hard contact and Cozart slams both sides of the plate (.231 ISO versus righties).

Cozart is obviously in a great spot and remains dirt cheap. Teammate Luis Valbuena is also worth a cursory glance, but I prefer Cozart.

I don’t really love 3B tonight, but you can look at Matt Davidson or Miguel Sano if the Twins game plays. Personally, I’ll just soak up the savings here.

SS: Andrelton Simmons – Los Angeles Angels ($3k)

I promise I’m not being lazy here, but I don’t love the other SS options. Whether it’s price, matchup or the data, everything is pointing me to Simmons, who is a very efficient hitter and is facing a bad pitcher.

Simmons isn’t the most powerful bat, but he should get on a couple times tonight. I’d take 12-15 fantasy points from him on hits and runs and move along.

OF: Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers ($3.2k)

Again, I’m not really down for loading up a bunch of Rangers tonight, but I will take a stab at some of their power. David Price hasn’t been exactly elite this year and this is a dangerous park for pitchers in general.

Gallo is appealing for multiple reasons. He obviously can dong anyone, but he offers sick splits versus lefties (.345 wOBA, .248 IO), he’s cheap and people don’t like using lefty vs lefty bats. All of this makes him an elite contrarian option for GPPs.

OF: Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Angels ($3.8k)

You can roll with Mike Trout here, but I’ll take the savings so I can end on a high note. That, and Ohtani is a masher in his own right and has the same awesome matchup the rest of the Halos do.

Ohtani’s sample size is small, but he has obliterated right-handed pitching (.457 ISO) and isn’t a bad price. He is tentatively expected to pitch this weekend, so keep an eye out for him not being in the lineup. If that happens, an easy pivot is teammate Justin Upton ($3.6k).

OF: J.D. Martinez – Boston Red Sox ($4.4k)

Mookie Betts tri-donged last night and will be popular. If I do several lineups I will absolutely get some exposure to him, but when guys go out and have career nights, I tend to fade them the next time out. It doesn’t always work out, but his ownership should be crazy and it may be a brilliant move.

That’s the same reason why fading Mike Trout could make sense. His ownership might come down due to the Red Sox and his steep price (which actually makes him a great GPP play possibly), but a four-man Angels stack without him could be a good idea.

All of that aside, I love J.D. Martinez tonight. He hurt his thumb and is playing through it, but I’m wondering if other people catch on to that and get scared off of him. Martinez and his gaudy splits (.445 ISO) against southpaws gets me to take that chance tonight. Obviously I’ll probably fade him elsewhere and hope the thumb issue is a thing.

Util: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($2.9k)

Olson was a scratch last night and could be again as he will once again take on a southpaw. He actually sports fine splits (.304 wOBA, .171 IO), though, so if he gets the start I will absolutely roll with him at this price. Wade LeBlanc is not a scary arm and he gives up a +33% hard hit rate to all batters.

Much like Joey Gallo, this is another lefty vs. left bat that most people won’t want any part of. I’m game for that, but like last night, Olson is a scratch candidate, so keep tabs on Oakland’s lineup.

Overall, the pitching is bad tonight, so I’m paying up and hoping the Manaea we’ve seen all year can keep it up for one more game. Elsewhere, I love the Halos and feel they could be an awesome pivot off of the high-owned Red Sox.

Fading Betts and Trout could be a bad choice, but I hope it’s contrarian and ends up being a huge reason why this team succeeds. Be sure to also keep an eye on that Twins/White Sox game. It has bad weather, but if it plays there are a lot of bats worth looking at.

Regardless of what your take is tonight, I hope I help you in some manner. Good luck!


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Luke Hutson

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