I had the right idea last night. First off, Chris Archer (52 fantasy points!) was a fantastic arm to build around. I then proceeded to stack Yankees against David Price.
It wasn’t a total gaffe, as Gary Sanchez (12.4), Gleyber Torres (6.2) and Aaron Judge (6.2) all did manage to get on the board. However, those specific players underwhelmed while a slew of other pinstripes went nuts in a game where they scored 10 runs.
That was a classic case of “right stack, wrong bats”. The sticks just weren’t good enough for me, which was a pretty big bummer considering how explosive the Yanks were and just how good Archer was. That’s how it goes sometimes, however, so let’s look to Thursday’s daily fantasy baseball slate with an eye on a more balanced result.
Tonight’s main slate is even smaller with just seven games hitting the schedule, so be sure to choose any stacks wisely. Let’s get to it:
SP: Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals ($12k)
I’m sure there is a cheap arm somewhere that goes nuts tonight and allows you to get all of the bats. I just don’t know who that might be.
The only other truly viable arms on this slate are at Yankee Stadium in a clash between two elite offenses. That’s a big “no thanks” for me and the fact that Matthew Boyd is $8.5k is about all you need to know.
Mad Max is not a guy that requires a lot of convincing to use. He was awful in his most recent start and it’s always possible the Nats limit him or shut him down, but he has more upside than anyone. He’s also technically safer than anyone. Without a doubt, he is the top overall arm tonight and it’s not close.
He’s just expensive as heck.
I have to be fine with that tonight, however. It’s a small slate, he’s at home against the Mets and there just isn’t a viable pivot.
A discounted Vincent Velasquez might be the only deep dive worth taking, but he is on the road against a stacked Braves lineup that just tattooed Scherzer. Vince has also been in woeful form, so it’s Mad Max or bust for me tonight.
C/1B: Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals ($3.1k)
I also like Gary Sanchez here at just $100 more, but Zimmerman could be fun against a very beatable southpaw in Jason Vargas. He’s got the vastly superior matchup and also happens to mash lefties about as good as anyone.
Vargas hasn’t been good (.386 wOBA, .246 ISO) against the right side of the plate in 2018, so any viable Nats righties that smash left-handed pitching are going to be in play. Zimmerman certainly qualifies.
2B: Ian Kinsler – Boston Red Sox ($2.5k)
Boston is pretty much just going through the motions right now, but even a coasting Red Sox team is dangerous. I need to save cash if I’m going to roster Mad Max tonight, so I’ll just snatch up cheap exposure to arguably the best offense in baseball.
Targeting Masahiro Tanaka usually isn’t ideal, but it’s Boston in a hitter’s park against an arm they know. It’s not the worst idea.
3B: Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals ($4.3k)
I am a fan of right-handed Nats players tonight, as Jason Vargas is a gas can waiting to happen and we all know Washington packs some serious pop. Rendon thrives in the face of beatable southpaws, so while he’s the most expensive 3B option on the board, I’m all in with him.
SS: Miguel Rojas – Miami Marlins ($2.3k)
Look at me, preparing to stack the fish on a small 7-game slate. That’s usually a recipe for disaster, but the Marlins are annoyingly decent at times and Cody Reed is a guy you can try to attack.
Most will shy away from this approach for a few reasons; Reed had 10 Ks in his last start, this is the Marlins we’re talking about and the park factor stinks.
Rojas doesn’t change any of that and his splits don’t demand your attention. He’s just cheap against an average arm at home and he helps make this thing work.
OF: J.D. Martinez – Boston Red Sox ($4.3k)
I am not going crazy with a Boston stack. I’m just going cheap with Kinsler and paying up for Martinez. He can mash anyone to the moon and back, while his current price happens to be the cheapest I’ve seen for him maybe all year.
Again, targeting Tanaka isn’t the best idea, but maybe that helps lower J.D.’s ownership. A dong artist at 10% or lower ownership on a 7-game slate is quite appealing.
OF: Lewis Brinson – Miami Marlins ($2.2k)
In the interest of transparency, Rojas was my last bat into this lineup. Brinson was always a guy I wanted, though. I didn’t set out to roll out a three-man Marlins stack (nobody ever does), but Cody Reed can be gotten to and Brinson packs a lot of power against left-handed pitching.
Not down for three fish tonight? I feel ya. But Brinson as a one-off is a great play at this price point.
OF: Victor Robles – Washington Nationals ($2.2k)
I’ll take three Nats and pray this is one of their coined blow-up games. Finish off the full four-man stack as you see fit, but I’m sticking to righties and there isn’t another Nat I feel pressured into forcing onto my roster.
I do like Robles, though. He’s cheap, talented and comes in red hot with four hits in his last three starts. Assuming he gets the nod tonight, he’s a lock for me at this low price.
Util: Peter O’Brien – Miami Marlins ($2.1k)
Here’s my third and final Marlin. Hey, if you can’t win with stud offenses like Boston, New York, Houston, L.A. and Cleveland, at some point you need to mix things up a bit, am I right?
In all seriousness, I actually like Miami a bit on this slate and O’Brien has been ablaze with three dongs over his last seven games.
Can he keep it up? Probably not, but he’s almost the bare minimum and clearly in a groove. I’ll do a heat check here and see if he can’t help this roster blow up on Thursday night.
If you’re paying for Mad Max, you have to take some dives and that surely means assuming some risk on this small slate. I still think you’re in good shape with two Red Sox and three Nats. The real risk is with three Marlins. Hopefully it all works out and Max bounces back with an epic 20+ strikeout gem – at low ownership at that.
Either way, hopefully I shed a little light on some solid MLB DFS picks for tonight. Good luck and enjoy the games!