Last night was truly insane from a pitching perspective. It seemed literally every pitcher was tossing Ks left and right. That’s saying a lot on a loaded 14-game main slate.
Fortunately things cool down considerably on Saturday, where FanDuel’s main contests offer a mild 8-game slate. That’s more my cup of tea, as this slate isn’t so big that there are too many options to consider, but not so mall that you can’t get a stack or two together and feel good about it.
The day before the first Sunday of the NFL season is always tense, but hopefully we can field a winner with my MLB DFS picks. Let’s get to it:
SP: Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins
Max Scherzer is on the mound tonight, but he costs a ton and the Chicago Cubs aren’t an ideal matchup. There are a few other options, but this feels like a slate to seek value on.
I ultimately really only have eyes for Jose Berrios. He’s been in awful form, but he’s been really good at home (8-3, 3.26 ERA), though, and he gets to face a weak Royals squad.
You’ll need to assume some risk with Berrios due to his hard contact ways, but this is a good spot for him. I’m also looking at Gio Gonzalez in his Brewers debut, but despite some salary savings, I’m not sure he’s the better play.
It’s Berrios for me tonight, as he has monster K upside and has wrecked a stronger KC lineup this year (2-0, 1.93 ERA). I see no reason why he can’t do so again tonight.
C/1B: Alex Avila – Arizona Diamondbacks ($2.1k)
Avila isn’t even a lock to start, but if he does I like his pop against Julio Teheran, who has his biggest problems against the left side of the plate. This is more about Julio and Avila’s cheap price, but if you’re more comfortable with a different punt play, feel free to go shopping.
Regardless, Teheran certainly has issues with left-handed hitters (.331 wOBA, .170 ISO, 42% fly ball rate, 41% hard hit rate) and he’s given up 24 dongs on the year. Avila is worth a shot at this price if he’s in the lineup. If not, move things around and considr Max Kepler ($2.2k).
2B: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.3k)
The Brewers could make for a fun stack tonight, as they’ll be at home in a hitter’s park against Chris Stratton. I don’t think Stratton is trash, but he’s not in his comfort zone outside of AT&T Park and he is another guy that gives up quite a bit of contact.
Stratton can actually be attacked from either side, but Shaw is just too cheap in this spot. He and his friendly .284 ISO versus right-handed pitching are calling to me.
I won’t be stacking the Brew Crew here, but feel free to fire up Jesus Aguilar and Mike Moustakas if you’re feeling it.
3B: Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.6k)
For the second night in a row, the lethal Coors Field has an amazing pitching matchup on paper. I am well aware of how good Kyle Freeland and Walker Buehler have been this year. All I’m doing here is trusting in Coors and the splits.
Good pitchers go to Coors to die, so sometimes you have to toss amazing splits and great seasons out the window.
That’s what I’m doing here, as the Dodgers are absolutely nasty and JT specifically sports a mean .236 ISO against southpaws. Kyle Freelan is not a guy I prefer to target, but he does give up most of his production to the right side of the plate.
SS: Manny Machado – Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.6k)
The story is the same for Manny Machado, who owns a disturbing .248 ISO against left-handed pitching.
I don’t think I need to sell you too hard on the Dodgers, these splits or the park factor. However, if you need to be nudged further, consider that the pitching talent in this game just might lower ownership in this game.
That’s what I’m banking on, but even if it doesn’t work out my way, eating the chalk in an explosive Coors game isn’t the worst thing in the world.
OF: Jay Bruce – New York Mets ($2.3k)
I’m not here to stack Mets, but Jay Bruce is dirt cheap for a veteran slugger who comes in on a bit of a tear.
He’s donged in two straight games and has been heating up over the last couple of weeks. I’m game to try him as a heat check, but he also faces Zach Eflin (.231 ISO, 41% fly ball rate allowed to lefties).
This looks like a really nice spot for Bruce, who happens to murder the souls of right-handed pitchers. Let’s just hope he’s dialed in like he has been lately.
OF: Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.5k)
I could shoot for a full four-man Dodgers stack, but I’ll pick my spots against Kyle Freeland. Maybe I’m even getting greedy with one more in Kemp, but his nasty .234 ISO just looks too tempting.
Three Dodgers in an awesome park sounds about right to me, but you can consider a fourth if you’d like. Max Muncy murders lefties, while Yasmani Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Brian Dozier, Cody Bellinger and Enrique Hernandez, quite literally, are all worth a look.
OF: David Dahl – Colorado Rockies ($3.2k)
I don’t want to chase after Walker Buehler anymore than I want to stack against Kyle Freeland, but #Coors. Really, that alone makes these guys worth a look, plus the splits all stand out as well.
Charlie Blackmon is probably my favorite one-off Rockies stick, but he costs too much. Instead, let’s try Dahl, who can certainly mash righties (.267 ISO). Buehler has been fantastic all year and even was sharp the first time he came to Colorado, but he does give up some contact to lefties and I just can’t see two straight trips to Coors ending well.
Util: Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies ($3.4k)
I prefer a Dodgers stack tonight, but I’ll grab a second Rockies stick and see how things go. CarGo can mash righties (.205 ISO) as good as anyone and the overall splits and park factor help him here. Both of these guys are pretty cheap, all things considered.
The reality here is I’m not getting cute on this slate. There is a game at Coors and awesome pitching be damned, I’m going to stack it. I’m not exactly doing it blindly, either, as these are two very good offenses with splits on their side. With both teams battling for position atop the NL West, here’s to hoping this one blows up.
It all starts with Jose Berrious, though. He’s a nice price and is at home with a terrific matchup. He should be a lock and if my one-off bats can hit, we could have something special here.
Hopefully this all helps you one way or another. Whether you use this full lineup or just a couple of my MLB DFS picks, I wish you luck at FanDuel tonight!