Last night did not go as planned. I was right to fade David Price, but few arms worked out on a tiny four-game slate and the Texas Rangers obliterated Boston. Despite the Rangers going nuts, Joey Gallo was a total turd and my bats didn’t do enough to make up for a pretty weak outing by my arm, Sean Manaea.
Of course Manaea picked last night to have his worst outing of the year, getting faithful TSG readers a lousy 21 fantasy points.
The night wasn’t all bad, as I was on top of an Angels stack and L.A. poured it on thick with 12 runs. Unfortunately, Zack Cozart was scratched from the lineup and he was useless to you.
The good news is I did give you some solid bats to work with, as Shohei Ohtani (18.9), Ian Kinsler (15.4), Robinson Chirinos (15) and Andrelton Simmons (27!) all worked out nicely.
Matt Olson (0), J.D. Martinez (6) and Joey Gallo (6.2) weren’t as good as I’d hoped.
Hopefully you found a way to a win by using some of these bats and avoiding the ones that bottomed out. Either way, it’s back to the grind as I looked ahead to Friday night’s huge 15-game main slate. Here’s my favorite lineup for tourneys at FanDuel:
SP: Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins ($8.4k)
I see Gerrit Cole as the top arm and probably the best cash game pick amongst pitchers tonight, but he’s $11k and facing a hot Diamondbacks squad on the road. J.A. Happ and Rick Porcello also have inflated prices at FanDuel, while a number of spots feel like a trap tonight.
Berrios could be one of them. He’s on the road against a talented White Sox team and he’s been shelled (9 runs allowed) over his last two starts.
However, Chicago isn’t the most reliable offense out there and Berrios destroys right-handed hitting. He also sports an elite K rate and in the games where he hasn’t gotten owned, he’s been a monster. I love the price here and the upside is obvious. With a few likable names on this slate, Berrios could go overlooked at a discount in a potentially amazing spot.
I’m firing him up as my favorite GPP play and not looking back.
C/1B: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($2.8k)
You can’t hold grudges in daily fantasy baseball. It’s a volatile sport, but a guy who crushes your soul on Thursday could be your favorite person ever on Friday. Matt Olson is a candidate to be that man for you tonight, as he remains dirt cheap and has a great matchup in front of him.
Olson is always worth a look versus right-handed pitching (.348 ISO), but he feels even more enticing against the beatable Andrew Cashner.
Cashner gives up loads of contact in general, but sports a gross 41% fly ball rate against lefty bats. Yeah, I’ll go back to Olson tonight, while a full A’s stack isn’t out of the question.
2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($3.3k)
If you don’t want to roll the dice on Dozier, I don’t blame you. He’s been really bad lately. Like, atrociously bad. The dude is a masher and can send one deep anytime out, but it’s tough to shrug off his current drought (1-24!).
That’s certainly discouraging, but the good news is his price has plummeted, he’s hitting in a solid park and he’s facing a very beatable arm in Carson Fulmer. Fulmer has survived a few games this year, but he gives up a ridiculous 50% fly ball rate to right-handed hitters and also lacks an elite K rate.
At a discounted price, I love the idea of Dozier snapping out of his funk in a big way tonight.
3B: Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays ($3.5k)
I really don’t see a reason to spend big money on bats tonight, as there is a ton of value available on such a big slate. The beauty is you can still land nasty mashers and it feels like you’re getting away with robbery.
Donaldson fits the bill, as he homered in two double-header games yesterday and comes into Friday already in a groove. On top of that, he’s a nice price as he takes on Andrew Kittredge, who is a bit of an unknown commodity right now. All I know for sure is he hasn’t really been stretched out and I’m not going to look too much into his numbers when considering Donaldson.
This is more about the value with Donaldson, who brings to the table a .255 ISO against right-handed pitchers and is simply too cheap right now.
SS: Carlos Correa – Houston Astros ($3.9k)
I am trying to pick my spots for where I spend big money tonight. I love the value at a few positions, but that isn’t the case at SS, where I want to get a stud. Correa hasn’t worked out for me in 2018 and the Astros as a whole have been shockingly bad when I’ve rostered them, but I’ll spend here to hopefully get a high floor/high ceiling SS option.
Correa brings power to the table and can obviously wreck in any spot and tonight he’ll be in Arizona against Kris Medlen. The data on Medlen is over a year old, but he can give up some contact and facing the Astros should have him on a short leash. I’ll be banking on Correa donging him early or racking up numbers against Arizona’s bullpen.
OF: Marcell Ozuna – St. Louis Cardinals ($3k)
I can pay up for Correa because the value at OF is awesome tonight. I’ll start things off with Ozuna, who brings his awesome splits (.363 wOBA, .211 ISO) against southpaws to the table here. He hasn’t really mashed the ball that well so far in 2018, but he can always send one deep and the best way to attack Jose Quintana is via righties.
Quintana hasn’t been great this year and is giving up a 33% fly ball rate and 35% hard hit rate to right-handed bats. Ozuna makes a lot of sense here at a dirt cheap price tag.
OF: Adam Duvall – Cincinnati Reds ($2.8k)
Duvall is in the Dozier category, but he’s actually been bad for pretty much all of 2018. That being said, he’s not a bad price and he still destroys southpaws (.285 ISO). I think he’s in a solid spot at home, as Great American Ballpark is always a fun spot to hunt for homers.
He’s also facing Wei-Yin Chen, who gets a major park downgrade and is allowing a saliva-inducing 49% fly ball rate to righties
OF: Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers ($3.5k)
Gallo is another guy I don’t mind going back to the well on. He’s facing a righty tonight, so his .339 ISO should be on full display at the ever hittable Globe Life Park. He draws a matchup with Ricky Porcello, who has been good so far this year, but still allows way too much contact.
Porcello allows a .212 ISO to lefty bats and is also giving up a 44% fly ball rate and 39% hard hit rate to that side of the plate over the last two years. It won’t be popular, but Gallo looks like an elite tourney bat.
Util: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.7k)
I’ll cap things off with Bellinger, who gives me one of those fun lefty vs. lefty bats that nobody likes to try. That strategy failed me horribly last night, but it’s always something to consider because it almost guarantees low ownership. There are also a ton of big bats to pay up for tonight, so Bellinger feels like he’ll go overlooked.
The only issue here is this Dodgers game is not being played in the states and it has some serious weather concern. If the game plays, though, Bellinger’s fun .257 ISO versus lefties could make for a great late bat.
If you’re worried about the weather, stick in this price range and consider C.J. Cron (facing a lefty), Khris Davis (A’s stack is in play) or Justin Upton (catching fire and gets Mike Leake).
It all starts up top with Berrios for me. He’s a fantastic price and if he works out, you’re getting an elite ace for under $8.5k. I love him tonight and that helps open things up a bit on a stacked slate that actually has some really nice value.
I’m soaking up that value, but I’m also willing to take some chances in a few spots that should be more contrarian than usual.
I understand if you don’t want riskier guys like Dozier, Duvall or Bellinger in a bad weather game, so adjust as needed. Either way, hopefully my MLB DFS advice leads you to a big win on Friday night. Good luck!