Monday’s MLB DFS picks ended up being pretty lacking. Stephen Strasburg (37) wasn’t crippling, but he was not the elite arm you needed him to be. I saw Drew Robinson get scratched and that personally forced me to change things up late last night.
My bats didn’t really deliver, though, while my secondary pivot calls actually were some of my best picks of the night. Rhys Hoskins (12) and Anthony Rendon (24) were my best plays of the night, although I did mention Kris Bryant (40), Javier Baez (25), Michael Conforto (21.7) and Jay Bruce (31) as pivot options.
Adam Duvall (6), Bryce Harper (3), Evan Gattis (3), Brandon Crawford (3) and James McCann (3) at least got on the board, but were both obviously disappointing. It wasn’t a winning team, but hopefully you used the right guys in the right spots and found a way to cash.
It’s onward and upward come Tuesday, where MLB DFS fans are greeted with a massive 14-game slate.
SP: Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians ($11.4k)
Kluber is far and away the top pitching option tonight and with a tasty matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers on hand, he’s a difficult fade.
Milwaukee is at home in a hitter’s park and they bring a lot of power to the table, but they also whiff at a 20% clip. They just got owned by Chad Kuhl (8 strikeouts), too, so this looks like a high upside play on paper.
The run prevention (three runs allowed in three straight games) hasn’t been amazing for Kluber, but he’s earned the quality start and win in each of his last five outings. He always brings 10+ K upside to the table and the matchup is mouth watering, so whatever risk is there, I’m willing to take it on.
You can save cash with some interesting pivots. James Paxton is coming off of an amazing 16-K outing and is just $9.6k, while Aaron Nola ($9k) feels like one of the better values tonight. Both are in iffy spots, though. Paxton faces a potent Blue Jays club, while Nola is pitching at home in a dangerous park.
There are a lot of routes to consider tonight, but I’m just going to take the best arm on the board and hope I can nail the right value bats.
C/1B: Carlos Santana – Philadelphia Phillies ($2.6k)
Santana has been shaky on the year as a whole, but he actually comes in hot tonight with two homers over his last four games. He always brings power to the table, but tonight he’s at home in a hitter’s park and will face one of the most beatable southpaws there is in Derek Holland.
A full Phillies stack is very much in play tonight, but the value and upside with Santana specifically is just way too appealing. Santana is preferred against righties, but he still provides decent splits (.318 wOBA, .148 ISO) against a guy who serves up a ton of contact (44% fly ball rate, 41% hard hit rate) to righty bats.
2B: Ian Kinsler – Los Angeles Angels ($3.3k)
I don’t love targeting Jon Gray, but no pitcher is safe at Coors Field. Kinsler gets me cheap exposure to that game, too, while he has enough power to do damage in this matchup. I don’t want a ton of exposure to the Halos side of this game, but Kinsler offers solid value at a position that lacks it beyond the top options.
3B: Danny Valencia – Baltimore Orioles ($2.3k)
Taking on an Orioles lineup that whiffs a ton is actually potentially an amazing matchup for Danny Duffy, but his recent form (15 runs allowed over his last three starts) suggests he’s a guy worth picking on in a hitter’s park.
I don’t need to stack O’s on such a big slate, but I do want some value bats and Valencia’s splits against left-handed pitching (.199 ISO) reel me in. It doesn’t hurt that he’s donged Duffy in the past, either, while the Duffman is giving up a .190 ISO to right-handed bats with a 41% fly ball rate and 33% hard hit rate. That’s all bad news in a park like Camden Yards.
SS: Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies ($3.8k)
Story is in Coors Field and facing a southpaw, so this is a fantastic spot to lean on his gaudy splits (.330 ISO). Andrew Heaney is talented, but he’s in a nightmare park for pitchers and also serves up way too much contact. His gross .405 wOBA and .371 ISO given up to righties should spell doom for him tonight.
I absolutely want some exposure to this game and Story feels like a nice discount, all things considered.
OF: Aaron Altherr – Philadelphia Phillies ($2.4k)
Altherr is the exact type of bargain bin bat we want when we pay up for stud aces like Kluber, as he’s dirt cheap but boasts elite splits and has tons of power. Not only does Altherr mash left-handed pitching (.266 ISO), but he’s facing the ever beatable Derek Holland at home in a hitter’s paradise.
If Altherr turns up lame here, it’s whatever. He’s in a great spot and as long as he’s out there, I don’t think I can fade him.
OF: Mark Trumbo – Baltimore Orioles ($2.7k)
I don’t want a full Baltimore stack, but they do seem like a sneaky lineup to target on such a big slate. I’ve gone over Danny Duffy’s splits and he does give up a lot of contact to the right side of the plate. Insert Trumbo, who is still looking for his first dong of the year and comes in relatively hot with seven hits over his first six games.
OF: Michael Conforto – New York Mets ($2.9k)
I mentioned Conforto as a solid secondary option last night and he homered in his first trip to the plate. I’m game for using him again tonight, as he’s in a great park for hitting and faces a guy in Luis Castillo who gives up loads of contact.
Castillo can make bats miss, but he also gets abused by lefties (.246 ISO!). He’s giving up way too much hard contact to shy away from him tonight. I don’t know if I’m game for a full Mets stack, but one or two cheap tries (Jay Bruce is also $2.9k) could be worth a look.
Util: Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers ($3.5k)
There are so many bats I covet tonight, but there’s only so much wiggle room when you pay up for the top arm.
If you drop down to Nola or someone even cheaper, you’re obviously going to want to consider Nolan Arenado, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton. They all mash lefties and are among the top power bats tonight.
I don’t hate Ian Desmond here (more exposure to Coors), but I prefer Gallo. He’ll be in a pretty great park himself and he gets a beatable pitcher in Mike Fiers. Gallo hasn’t worked out for me lately, but he has strong splits and is in a really nice spot.
It all starts with Kluber for me. There are cheaper pitchers to consider and they can get you all the bats you want, but this dude has 60+ fantasy point upside and dropped a 73-point performance earlier this year. I really want him tonight and while it will cost me some expensive bats I’d love to have, there is honestly enough value to make it happen.
If you don’t want Kluber, that changes things and you may not want to roll out this lineup. Just pick your spots as you feel you need to. Either way, I wish you luck in your MLB DFS contests at FanDuel tonight!