Hopefully everyone enjoyed the Labor Day weekend. I took the time to relax with the family and recharge for the stretch run of the daily fantasy baseball season. The aim is to have a fresh perspective for the month of September, while I also will be gearing up to help you win in NFL DFS and before long, NBA DFS as well.
Let’s dive back into it as everyone hits the work week-ground running on Tuesday. Here’s my favorite daily fantasy baseball picks for FanDuel’s main slate:
SP: Robbie Ray – Arizona Diamondbacks ($8.7k)
This is a very weird slate as I look over it. For one, there are some top shelf arms, but I’m not so sure we need to pay for them. Not when a viable lefty like Robbie Ray gets the San Diego Padres.
Ray has struggled to last deep into games, but he still wields an elite K rate and has the best matchup on the board. He’s also been in terrific form, piling up 16 strikeouts and allowing just two total runs over his last two trips to the mound. I’m game for firing him up against a team he knows and has wrecked in the past.
C/1B: Willson Contreras – Chicago Cubs ($3k)
I mentioned this is a weird slate and the other reason is because there are a ton of talented hitters suffering in nasty slumps. There are also some really good offenses in bad parks or facing really tough pitchers. Overall, this is either a slate where you spend big money on a high dollar stack, or pick your spots and hope the numbers finally add up.
That’s the plan here with Contreras, who is a decent price and has murdered southpaws in the past (.369 wOBA, .188 ISO). He’s in a hitter’s park against Wade Miley, too, so I don’t mind taking my chances.
A full Cubs stack isn’t out of the question. Focus on righties like Javier Baez and Kris Bryant if that’s the route you opt for, however.
2B: Niko Goodrum – Detroit Tigers ($2.8k)
Goodrum has fine splits (.230 ISO) going into a positive showdown with Lucas Giolito. The park is good, his price is solid and Giolito is a guy who gives up plenty of contact as well.
On top of it all, Goodrum has had a power surge with three long balls over his last five games. Here’s to hoping he keeps it going tonight.
Cheap exposure to the Red Sox with guys like Ian Kinsler ($2.7k) also has some appeal.
3B: Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.7k)
I’m all about the Dodgers tonight. They’ve been rather dormant lately, but they need to get wins and they’ll be at home against human gas can, Jason Vargas. Vargas gives up a lot of contact and before long he’s going to get destroyed again.
It might as well be against the Dodgers tonight. JT leads the way, as he donged last night and has murdered left-handed pitching (.241 ISO this year) throughout his career.
SS: Manny Machado – Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.3k)
While Turner feels like a must – especially at his price – I’m down for a Dodgers stack and it extends to Manny. He isn’t cheap, but he’s worth paying for thanks to his gaudy .252 ISO in these spots.
It’s also worth noting that Jason Vargas has gotten lit up by righties in the past (.387 wOBA, .237 ISO, 38% fly ball rate).
OF: Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers ($3k)
Contreras isn’t the only righty facing a lefty in this Cubs vs. Brewers rivalry clash. Braun and his Brew Crew buddies also face Michael Montgomery. I don’t know if a stack is the best idea here, but if you’re down for Brewer bats, stick to the right side with Jesus Aguilar and perhaps Lorenzo Cain.
Braun is my favorite play of the lot, as he’s a nice price and owns a sweet .262 ISO versus left-handed hurlers.
OF: A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3.1k)
Pollock has been truly dreadful, so I don’t mind at all if you want to pivot elsewhere. He’s way too talented to stay down for much longer, though, while he’ll be at home against a guy in Joey Lucchesi that is talented but can give up a lot of hard contact.
I’m really just looking at this insanely low price tag and teaming it up with Pollock’s splits (.243 ISO) versus southpaws. The rut is tough to ignore, but if you can get past it the numbers suggest this could be a drought-buster for Pollock.
OF: Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.7k)
If you want to cram in Enrique Hernandez or Brian Dozier tonight, I’m all for it. Personally, I’ll cap it off with a three-man Dodgers stack by snatching up a dirt cheap Kemp. He’s been hit or miss over the past month, but his splits against southpaws (.356 wOBA, .237 ISO) are impossible to ignore.
Util: Steve Pearce – Boston Red Sox ($3.7k)
I really want J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts like everyone else, but I almost like Pearce even more just because his price seems so steep. Most people will see the price tag and balk at it, but he sports mean splits (.446 wOBA, .256 ISO) against southpaws.
Sean Newcomb has been ridiculously erratic and certainly allows contact, so a low-owned Pearce is very appealing on this slate.
Regardless of who you go with at pitcher, I think getting your hands on some Cubs, Brewers, Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Dodgers in some capacity makes a lot of sense. I don’t mind paying for Ray, as I feel he gives me an elite arm in a great spot, yet doesn’t cost so much that I can’t get some bats I covet.
As the day progresses and value opens up, consider dropping down from guys like Contreras, Braun and maybe even Pollock. These guys have awesome numbers working in their favor, but they also obviously have been struggling a bit. I like this lineup as it stands, but anytime value opens up you should at least consider how that can change your initial take on a slate.
Regardless, I hope this lineup as a whole or some of my MLB DFS picks help you win tonight. Good luck and enjoy the games!