My last stop at the MLB DFS picks didn’t go as planned, as Jose Berrios couldn’t take advantage of a fine matchup against the Chicago White Sox. He got just 18 fantasy points and left some solid bats stranded.
I had some duds at the plate as well, but Matt Olson (24.7), Brian Dozier (30.7!), Carlos Correa (25.7), Adam Duvall (18.7) and Marcell Ozuna (12) were all strong. Josh Donaldson, Joey Gallo and Cody Bellinger all combined with Berrios to keep this roster grounded, however.
There were clearly still some fantastic picks there, so hopefully you paid up for Gerrit Cole and faded the bats that didn’t work out. Either way, I got a break over the weekend and am ready to hit the reset button for a seven-game Monday slate at FanDuel. Let’s get to it:
SP: Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals ($10k)
I’m not getting cute with my arm tonight. Stras is the top cash game without a doubt and he’s my favorite pitcher for GPPs as well. I really don’t even want to talk anyone else up.
Not only does Strasburg offer more upside than anyone else on the board, but he’s got the best matchup on paper as he travels to Petco Park to battle the San Diego Padres. San Diego is at home and they’ve been annoyingly decent in weird spots this year, but they carry a collective 24% K rate and a .150 ISO as a unit.
This just isn’t a scary matchup and the alternative options aren’t alluring enough. Strasburg has monster upside in this matchup and is honestly a pretty reasonable price despite being the obvious #1 arm tonight. If he implodes, it’s whatever. You shouldn’t be fading him.
If you absolutely need a tourney pivot here, Kyle Hendricks is probably the best option. He’s not a terrible price ($7.9k) and he gets the Marlins at home. Miami has been pesky, but it’s in theory a solid matchup in a park he’s fared well at.
C/1B: James McCann – Detroit Tigers ($2.6k)
I really like Willson Contreras at this same spot (.248 ISO versus southpaws), but he caught in a crazy game last night and may not even play. Because of that, I’ll just mention him as a viable pivot and move on to McCann, who is also a great price and in a favorable spot.
He’s always a solid try against lefties (.286 ISO), but he’s also in a hitter’s park against Matt Moore. Moore can be frustratingly decent at times, but he’s giving up a ton of contact (44% fly ball rate to righties) and this is a tough park to be successful in. I like the Tigers as a stack, but I’ll limit my exposure to McCann for this lineup.
2B: Drew Robinson – Texas Rangers ($2k)
Normally I don’t love targeting Michael Fulmer, who does a pretty good job of limiting the damage. However, tonight he’s on the road in a hitter’s park against a Rangers team that can really put some air under the ball.
I don’t want to stack Rangers, but Robinson is the bare minimum at FanDuel tonight. He’s hit safely in four of his last five games and has the power to pop off a bit. He is a risk due to strikeout concerns, but Fulmy is not a big K guy.
There’s hope for Robinson to pay off as an elite value on this slate. Considering 2B is pretty weak after the first few bats, I don’t mind punting the position tonight.
If you have to pay up at 2B, Javier Baez is my favorite play, assuming he starts. If he doesn’t, Jose Altuve is worthy of being the most expensive option at this spot.
3B: Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals ($3.2k)
I normally like to roster Rendon when he’s facing southpaws, but he’s so cheap that I’ll toss him in here against a righty anyways. Rendon still mashes that side of the plate (.376 wOBA, .196 ISO) just fine and he gives me a late-game hammer to pair with my pitcher.
This is just a really nice price, 3B doesn’t look particularly inviting beyond Kris Bryant. I’d roll with KB if I’m paying up here, but again, you’ll need to make sure he’s even in the lineup. Eugenio Suarez would be a fine pivot against a lefty if KB is out and maybe even if he’s not. I just hate his price.
SS: Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants ($2.8k)
I prefer Crawford to be much cheaper, but he’s heating up right now (11 hits over his last five games) and is still under $3k. I don’t really feel like paying up at SS tonight and if he can keep this hot run going, he’ll return sick value.
There’s a good chance he makes it happen. Not only does Crawford see a huge park upgrade in Philly, but he takes on a beatable righty in Zach Eflin. Crawford can mash right-handed pitching and Eflin happens to get beat up by that side of the plate (.284 ISO!).
If you want to spend at SS, it’s Carlos Correa all the way for me.
OF: Adam Duvall – Cincinnati Reds ($3k)
Duvall is another guy I prefer to land at a slightly cheaper price, but he’s facing a lefty and murders that side of the plate (.296 ISO). It’s really the only situation the Reds use him in, so you need to consider hopping on his power anytime he gets to face a southpaw. I’m game for the risk tonight, as the splits speak for themselves and I’ll need to save a bit with Strasburg on my team.
You can consider pivoting to Michael Conforto or Jay Bruce (in Cincy vs. Homer Bailey) here, but I like Duvall a bit more.
OF: Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals ($5.4k)
Harper is worth paying up for on this slate. He’s not in a great park, but he can mash anyone in any setting. Considering he’s the best bat on the slate, I doubt he’s insanely low-owned. Still, I want his upside, as he’s been insanely hot the whole year and a matchup with Tyson Ross shouldn’t slow him down.
You can also think about saving $1k and just roll with George Springer ($4.4k). He’s every bit as capable of double-donging and he’s in a great spot. I just personally want Harper tonight and will cross my fingers he’s low-owned.
OF: Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies ($4k)
Hoskins has seen his price drop due to a lack of long balls, but his exit velocity average still leads the Phillies so I think that will soon pick up. He’s still a strong option on a daily basis and he comes in hot, having put up 12+ fantasy points in three of his last five games.
Tonight he’ll be at home against Jeff Samardzija, who has a history of giving up a lot of hard contact. The Shark draws a terrible park downgrade and has to find a way to work around Hoskins’ nasty .299 ISO against right-handed pitching. This is a bad spot for The Shark, so a Phillies stack is also in play. Personally, I’ll be limiting my exposure to the slightly discounted Hoskins.
Khris Davis is a fine GPP pivot off of Hoskins, but I don’t love his matchup tonight.
Util: Evan Gattis – Houston Astros ($2.1k)
I’m game for one more punt and that will probably come at the utility spot. If you prefer someone else, pivot here as you feel you need to. I like Gattis, who has solid splits (.212 ISO versus lefties) when facing southpaws and that’s pretty much the only time the Astros start him.
Cheap exposure to Houston bats is rarely a bad idea and he’s in a great spot. He’ll be going up against Brett Anderson, who can get knocked around by both sides of the plate. I’m chasing a cheap dong here and I think I can get it with Gattis. Just make sure he’s starting and not in a terrible spot in the order.
In summary, I’m starting with Strasburg and really not considering any other arms. As long as you make the right deep dive (or two), you can get the bats you covet.
Keep an eye out on the Cubs, as they are at risk of sitting some of their stars tonight. I think that could even things out a bit and if you want to hop off of Harper, you can save some cash by going a little more balanced and that also should lower the risk with guys like Gattis and perhaps even Robinson or McCann.
Regardless, I love how this lineup plays out and it has a lot of upside. That is what you need for GPPs, so keep that in mind when you mix and match your own picks with this lineup. Whatever you decide, I wish you luck!