Time is running out to play regular season daily fantasy baseball, as the last full slate of MLB DFS action arrives this Sunday. Shortly after that you’ll still have playoff MLB DFS, but it simply won’t be the same.
Thursday’s schedule is broken down into an early and late slate, but my focus will be on the main six-game slate at FanDuel. Let’s dive in and see some of the top daily fantasy baseball picks to consider using in GPPs:
SP: Francisco Liriano – Detroit Tigers ($7.2k)
Gerrit Cole is the top arm on the board on this small slate, but he’s expensive, in a dangerous ballpark and the Astros have nothing to play for. I can see them keeping their bats in a groove, but Cole could end up being limited. For me, the risk is too great.
My next favorite guy is Jose Berrios ($8.9k), who has nice K upside and will face a Tigers offense that can be powerful, but also struggles quite a bit. The matchup looks good on paper and he’s at his best at home. If you’re not using Cole, you probably should use Berrios – especially in cash games.
While I really like Berrios, I’d like to save some salary for a pricey stack on this slate. That takes me to (gulp) Liriano, who is admittedly a massive dice roll. True, but this is a GPP build and sometimes you need to zig where others zag.
Liriano might be unnecessary risk on a bigger slate, but here he actually makes sense. He’s oddly enough been in really good form, allowing five total runs over his last four starts and topping 30+ fantasy points each time during that stretch.
The park factor isn’t helpful and the Twins do have some pop, but they have been awful all year against southpaws and Minnesota sports a 22% whiff rate against lefties this year.
This isn’t a play that comes without risk, but the value is decent and Liriano has been good. Hopefully he can keep it rolling and get me 35-40 fantasy points at this price.
C/1B: Edwin Encarnacion – Cleveland Indians ($4.2k)
This is a small slate, but there are truly seven viable stacks to consider (and two sneaky ones).
Cleveland is probably the best one, followed by the Astros. It’s quite possible both of these teams rest or limit some guys with their playoff seeding wrapped up, but they really haven’t done so to this point.
Unless I catch wind that a lot of the Tribe sticks will be out or held back, I’m going hard with a full stack. There’s some risk and they’re on the road with a park factor downgrade, but they’re still one of the deadliest offenses in baseball.
Edwin gets it rolling with his .246 ISO against right-handed pitching.
2B: Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians ($4.6k)
J-Ram needs no introduction or crazy sales pitch. He’s one of the best mashers in baseball and will be facing an average pitcher tonight. The park factor doesn’t help him and he really doesn’t have anything to play for, but it won’t take much for him to wreck in this spot.
Ramirez and his .316 ISO against righties will be hard to bypass tonight.
3B: Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners ($3.4k)
I’m not overly enamored with the Mariners and I usually prefer Seager to be a little cheaper, but he offers some solid power and will be at home against a bad pitcher.
Todd Frazier and Josh Donaldson are solid pivots at 3B, but Seager is a nice late-game hammer.
SS: Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians ($4.4k)
I’ll keep the Tribe infatuation rolling with Lindor, who donged last night and looks like a terrific play as long as he isn’t rested. He also has mean splits (.358 wOBA, .251 ISO) against righties and the guy Cleveland is facing (Glenn Sparkman) has been a high contact guy in 2018. He could very well get destroyed in this one.
OF: Adam Duvall – Atlanta Braves ($2.3k)
Normally I don’t go after Duvall, but he’s always worth a look when he is in the lineup against a southpaw.
His numbers are down this year, but he has a heavy bat and does his best work when he faces lefties. That might get him to active status tonight when he battles Jason Vargas, who has allowed a .379 wOBA and .242 ISO to right-handed hitters in 2018.
OF: Jay Bruce – New York Mets ($2.7k)
I’ve been using Bruce at will in my daily fantasy baseball picks columns and it rarely has led to disaster. He won’t always get you a home run, but he’s been quite good over the past month or so and certainly offers power in the right spot.
He’s at home against Julio Teheran, who is a solid pitcher but is on the road and does his worst work against the left side of the plate (.333 wOBA, .172 ISO, 42% fly ball rate, 38% hard hit rate).
You can fire up a full Mets stack given the amount of viable lefties they have and it’d probably be pretty contrarian.
OF: Brian Goodwin – Kansas City Royals ($2.3k)
I’m not going out of my way to force KC sticks into this lineup, but Josh Tomlin is no world beater and they do pack more punch than many care to admit. Goodwin is part of that as he takes on a guy in Josh Tomlin that has been murdered (.482 wOBA, .373 ISO) from the left side of the plate this year.
A full Royals stack is another low-owned (maybe?) contrarian stack to consider, but I’m good with my one-off here.
Util: Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians ($4k)
I’ll wrap things up with my fourth Cleveland bat, as Brantley provides fine splits (.381 wOBA, .191 ISO) versus righties and is extremely efficient. He comes in hot, too, having topped 12+ fantasy points in four of his last five contests.
I’m punting pitcher tonight and paying up for what I deem to be the best offense on the board. Houston is a fine pivot stack, but you’ll want to make sure both of these teams are using their normal bats in normal fashion.
If not, you can pay up for your pitcher and pivot to cheaper stacks like the Mets and Royals. I prefer to use those guys as one-off options to help me get to the Tribe, but I can see either daily fantasy baseball strategy working out.
Hopefully this leads to a solid team. Whether you use the full lineup or just a few of my MLB DFS picks, be sure to check on weather and last minute scratches. Whatever you do, I wish you luck and enjoy the games!