Last night didn’t go quite as planned. Francisco Liriano racked up five whiffs in just over two innings and proceeded to implode. Against a Twins offense that has been awful against southpaws all year, that was pretty disheartening.
My Indians stack also didn’t deliver. They poured it on thick (10 runs) the night before and turned around to do very little for you if you rostered them. My bats still got some points, but it just wasn’t a winning lineup.
Those small slates can often blow up in your face fairly quickly and that’s what happened to me on Thursday night. Here’s to a better result on Friday’s 13-game main slate at FanDuel:
SP: Wade LeBlanc – Seattle Mariners ($6.8k)
It’s going to be tough to trust the top pitchers over the last few days of the regular daily fantasy baseball season. Most of them are headed for the playoffs, so teams driving them into the ground in meaningless games seems silly.
That has me off the top arms, so I’ll settle with LeBlanc, who will face a lifeless Rangers lineup at home in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. LeBlanc isn’t elite, but he’s been surprisingly solid in 2018 and faces a Texas offense that has been known to whiff at times.
LeBlanc is a value play that I’m hoping can get 35+ fantasy points. He’s a roll of the dice, but a chance worth taking on a slate with shaky pitching beyond the top guns.
C/1B: Mike Zunino – Seattle Mariners ($2.4k)
Zunino is cheap and is always worth a shot if you’re hunting for a long ball. That’s especially true given his hot run (7 hits over his last four games) as well as a very favorable matchup against potential gas can, Martin Perez.
Perez can keep the ball in front of him when he’s dialed in, but he also can get crushed. A full Mariners stack is very much in play tonight.
2B: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($4.1k)
I like Seattle tonight, but my favorite stack on the board has to be the Brewers. They’ll be at home in a hitter’s park and still have a shot at stealing the NL Central from the Chicago Cubs.
Travis Shaw brings home run upside into a showdown with Jordan Zimmerman, who gives up way too much contact and is in the wrong park to try to silence the scorching hot Brew Crew.
3B: Mike Moustakas – Milwaukee Brewers ($4.1k)
I will take hitters from either side of the plate against Zimmerman, but I can’t fade Moose and his sweet splits versus righties. He packs some pop but has actually even been efficient lately. At home in a huge game, Moustakas should come up big.
SS: Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies ($4.6k)
My first instinct was actually to stack the Rockies in Coors. They are still trying to secure the NL West title and I like their matchup tonight against Joe Ross. I just like the ability to pivot to Brewers and Mariners and round out a slightly better GPP lineup.
I’ll still pay up for Story, though. Not only is he part of a great offense in the best park for hitting, but he’s also in flames with homers in each of his last two games. Hopefully he can make it a third in a row tonight.
OF: Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers ($3k)
Braun is another Brewers bat that has been in a nice groove. He has three homers over his last three games and is clearly dialed in to help push Milwaukee over the top. As already stated, he and the Brewers have a great matchup at home in a nice park for hitting, so I’m just riding the wave here.
Christian Yelich is as hot as anyone and I’d love to get there. However, he’s just too pricey and on such a big slate I don’t feel the need to force guys over $5k into my MLB DFS lineup.
OF: Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners ($4.3k)
You can also toss in Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger if you’re in love with Seattle sticks. There isn’t any reason not to be, as Perez can get smashed by righties.
One of the best options against southpaws will forever be Nellie, who keeps launching balls into the stands like it’s not even hard. He’s not cheap, but he should be worth the price given this matchup and with Zunino and LeBlanc, he gives me a nice late-game trio to wrap this slate up with.
OF: A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3.6k)
Actually, I get one more late-game hammer in Pollock, who destroys left-handed pitching and will take on a beatable southpaw in Eric Lauer. Arizona as a whole has fallen hard in the past few weeks, but Pollock has stayed hot (4 dongs in his last 8 games) and has the splits aiding him in this matchup.
Util: Johnny Field – Minnesota Twins ($2.2k)
I punted up top with Zunino and to land the top bats I really want, I’ll do so again with Fields. He is not the most efficient bat to be trusted, but he does have some pop and comes in hot with three long balls over his last four starts. Field is a nice deep dive against Lucas Giolito in a hitter’s park.
I’m rolling the dice at pitcher tonight. Patrick Corbin is probably the best play and certainly the cash game call, but there just isn’t much else that stands out to me. I’ll seek value here instead and while he’s not sexy, LeBlanc can survive long enough to get a QS, Win and hopefully enough Ks to get me 35-40 fantasy points.
If he can do that, this lineup could be special. Feel free to pivot as needed, but a three-man Brewers stack is very fun on paper, while some Marines and Rockies also look like great plays. Field is a risky punt, while Pollock is just a great splits play.
It’s a 14-game slate, so you’re going to need to take a little risk and just try to find the best combination that works for you. Whether you’re with me or not tonight, I hope I steer you in the right direction to some degree. Good luck and enjoy the games!