Max Scherzer was a fine call on Thursday night, as he was easily the top arm on the board and responded with a cool 13 strikeouts (55 fantasy points). That performance was made more impressive due to the fact that Mad Max gave up two homers early on and wouldn’t end up getting the win.
He could have been an epic play, but I’ll take 55 fantasy points and run with it. While he wasn’t low-owned (37% in my GPP), using him still ended up hurting my team due to the amount of deep dives I was forced to take.
I still got solid production out of a few of my sticks, but it wasn’t a winning night. That being said, Anthony Rendon (28.7!), J.D Martinez (15) Ryan Zimmerman (12), Miguel Rojas (12.2) and Peter O’Brien (9.5) all chipped in decent production. If you made the right pivots elsewhere, you could have cashed.
Let’s turn our focus to Friday’s huge 14-game main slate and see if we can’t piece together a winner at FanDuel:
SP: Rich Hill – Los Angeles Dodgers ($9.2k)
This is a loaded slate, so you absolutely have your pick of the litter when it comes to pitching. Don’t get duped by some big names, though, specifically with Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer toeing the rubber. These guys are not expected to pitch much and even with Sale slated for about 65 pitches, I think he’s too risky.
Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole are the top two arms on this slate, but they are not cheap and Rich Hill is a really nice price considering he’s at home against a bad Padres lineup. He’s mowed down the Padres in the past and L.A. badly needs to keep getting wins, so I expect him to deliver in this one.
I’m pretty much on Hill exclusively, so fortunately he’s not crazy expensive. He could be chalky, but a bevy of options may lower his ownership. I’m good either way and will aim to differentiate my squad via other routes.
If you’re looking to save, consider C.C. Sabathia ($7.5k) against the woeful Orioles.
C/1B: Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals ($3k)
The Royals are not good, but they’ve actually been hot lately and get a big park upgrade tonight in Detroit. They also face Francisco Liriano, who gives up a lot of contact and can go full gas can at times. I didn’t set out to stack KC bats, but I do like them a lot and on a 14-game slate, they’re sure to be a pretty contrarian stack.
Salvy gets things started for me, as he sports a fun .175 ISO versus southpaws. He’s even mashed them more in the past, while Liriano (.371 wOBA, .189 ISO, 35% hard hit rate) has a lot of issues against the right side of the plate.
2B: Whit Merrifield – Kansas City Royals ($3.6k)
I’ll keep my KC stack going with Whit, who has been scorching hot at the plate (11-game hitting streak) and provides a solid .176 ISO in the face of southpaws. This is a good all-around matchup for the Royals and that’s certainly the case for Merrifield, who is dialed in at the moment.
3B: Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners ($3.3k)
I’m not going after really chalky bats tonight, although I’m sure I’m not the only one that sees the massive park upgrade the Mariners will get in Texas. It looks like they’ll be dealing with a bullpen game in some capacity, but that won’t get me off a couple of their bats.
Seager is ideally going up against righties, but he’s also just on fire right now with at least one hit in 7 of his last 8 contests. I’m using him for his power upside in this park, though, so hopefully he can launch one.
SS: Adalberto Mondesi – Kansas City Royals ($3.4k)
I could try to force one more Royals bat into this lineup, but they’re still the Royals. I do love Mondesi, though. Not only can the switch hitter wreck lefties (.194 ISO), but he’s another guy who is en fuego right now. With four dongs in his last seven games, I’m not sure I can fade him tonight.
OF: Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.8k)
While I’m not paying a premium for pitching tonight, I will still need to find some salary savings somewhere. I’ll try out Kemp, who gives me a late-game hammer and mashes southpaws. He’s cheap and has looked good lately, so hopefully he can get one off of Eric Lauer at Dodger Stadium.
OF: Jay Bruce – New York Mets ($2.5k)
Bruce is another cheap bat I’m digging for tonight. He homered off of Mad Max last night (of course) and always offers dong potential, while he’s simply too cheap to ignore at this price.
He’ll be facing Joe Ross, who did not fare well (.397 wOBA, .261 ISO, 38% hard hit rate) against left-handed hitters last year.
The sample size for Ross is too small to get crazy with a Mets stack, but New York lefties are certainly in play tonight if you want to go that route.
OF: Mitch Haniger – Seattle Mariners ($3.8k)
Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano are also on my radar, but I’ll cap my M’s interest at two bats. Haniger can mash it (26 HR in 2018) and gets a big park upgrade, while he’s another guy that is clearly in a groove (9-game hitting streak).
Util: Josh Bell – Pittsburgh Pirates ($3.3k)
I’m not super into Pirates or really anyone in the pitcher-friendly PNC Park, but Bell can mash it and quite frankly, he’s ablaze at the moment. Bell gets to face a beatable arm in Jhoulys Chacin and has poured in 9+ fantasy points in 10 of his last 11 games. Hopefully he can keep the good times rolling tonight.
This is not a normal GPP team for me. My first instinct was actually to load up on Dodgers, while I can’t at all fault you for showing serious interest in Yankees, Astros and others. I just think a lot of the top offenses have 1) struggled lately and 2) have bad matchups.
That’s enough to get me to go a different route and that ends up having me stack Royals and Mariners with a couple one-off dong attempts. Maybe it won’t work, but at the very least I hope Hill converts for you and I give you enough ideas to start your MLB DFS lineup building process.
Either way, I wish you luck tonight. Enjoy the games!