Last night was rather close to producing a gem. I wanted Jacob deGrom (he got 57!) but got drawn into James Paxton pitching at home in a safer environment. Paxton didn’t kill us, though, and some of our bats really panned out. I foolishly went away from Neil Walker on my own teams, but he gave us amazing GPP value at his $2.6k price when he homered and collected a whopping four hits.
Walker was the key to our success last night, but Dexter Fowler also crushed with over 40 fantasy points, Core Seager has 15 fantasy points, Enrique Hernandez had 16 fantasy points and Mike Moustakas got a strong 18.4 fantasy points. Had I rolled with deGrom and not pivoted off of Walker…yeah.
Gary Sanchez, Jesus Aguilar and Ryan Braun didn’t crush, but they were our weak links and they all still got 6 fantasy points. If you stuck with this team as it stood, you were probably in the green in cash games and possibly even tourneys. If you somehow pivoted to deGrom over Paxton, well, you get the idea.
It was a solid night for our FanDuel MLB picks, but we are setting out for an even better slate on Friday. Let’s get to it:
SP: Rich Hill – Los Angeles Dodgers ($9.3k)
On a slate where Jimmy Nelson is seriously the most expensive arm, I’m not seeing much of a way around Rich Hill. He’s at home (where he’s gone 5-3 with a 3.19 ERA) and he’s facing a Padres lineup that strikes out 22% of the time against lefties. San Diego has some pop, but they’re just 18th in HR against southpaws and dead last in batting average when facing left-handed pitchers.
Hill feels like the best combination of safety and upside on this slate. Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco is on the road and Jimmy Nelson has a dangerous Reds lineup at Miller Park. Those guys can be looked at seriously, but Hill feels safer and has just as much – if not more – upside.
C: Alex Avila – Chicago Cubs ($2.3k)
A Willson Conteras injury really opens things up for Avila, who we should already be looking at based on his price and power. Avila goes to Chase Field tonight and while Taijuan Walker isn’t the easiest matchup, it’s going to be hard to turn away this park factor or his gaudy splits (.227 ISO, .381 wOBA) versus right-handed pitching.
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($2.7k)
If you didn’t think this was strictly a GPP team, you should realize it now. Thames and the Brewers as a whole have been collective garbage lately. They’ve lost 5 games in a row and are now 3rd in the NL Central. That being said, their slide has to end eventually and the human gas can that is Homer Bailey enters Miller Park tonight.
Bailey gave up 10 runs in his last start and is pretty much the antithesis of Rich Hill on tonight’s slate. Bailey is giving up a .188 ISO and .375 wOBA to lefty hitters, while Thames comes in with strong splits of his own against righties (.276 ISO, .382 wOBA). It’s time for a Thames long ball, folks.
2B: Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers ($2.8k)
Odor is insanely streaky. After a crazy onslaught that saw him blast 7 homers in 9 games, he’s homered exactly zero times since (over 7 games). That’s not a crazy drought, but when he’s not homering, he’s doing very little (3 for 23 over that span). That’s normally a guy we want to stay away from, but he’s been on the road for 6 of those games and tonight he’s back home against Charlie Morton.
Morton isn’t the best pitcher to pick on, but he’s on the road in a brutal park and he does give up 6% in fly ball rate (25% overall) to the left side of the plate. Odor is a way better hitter at home, is dirt cheap and supplies monster splits (.247 ISO) against righties. I don’t mind taking a shot at a long ball out of him tonight.
Odor is another Neil Walker-ish try and I’ll have a tough time sticking to him tonight. The main reason? Daniel Murphy should be back in the lineup for the Nats and costs just $3.5k.
3B: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.3k)
I don’t want to do a full Brewers stack but I want any lefty bats they have that make sense. Bailey actually gets mashed more by righties, but Milwaukee’s lefties boast better splits against that side of the plate. Shaw is a huge reason why, as he’s produced a nasty .273 ISO and .402 wOBA against right-handed hurlers in 2017.
Third base is loaded, but it’s also super inflated from a pricing perspective. You could talk up a ton of options here, but Shaw might be the best value on the board.
SS: Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.7k)
We’re saving cash in enough places that I don’t feel the need to get cute at SS. Marcus Semien is appealing at $3.1k at home against Ubaldo Jimenez, but Seager sports great splits against lefties and the Dodgers are in a nice spot at home.
OF: Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays ($3.1k)
Carlos Carrasco is not a guy we want to pick on, but the Rays have a lot of power and will eventually pop off a bit. They actually livened up a bit near the end of their game last night and I think Corey Dickerson and their other lefty power bats are in play here.
Dickerson is pretty erratic, but his splits against righties (.235 ISO, .350 wOBA) offer plenty of upside. Carrasco only aids the argument here, too, as Cleveland’s ace is giving up a staggering .255 ISO against lefty hitters, along with a .357 wOBA and a 32.9% fly ball rate.
OF: George Springer – Houston Astros ($3.8k)
Springer is 0-11 lifetime against Cole Hamels, but I don’t think we can go off of that small sample size tonight. Instead, we should be noting a solid discount with Springer and his insane splits against lefties (.320 ISO, .451 wOBA). Houston has been in a mild rut but a trip to Texas could cure that.
OF: Michael Conforto – New York Mets ($3.9k)
I’m also down for paying up for Conforto. This is a loaded slate and we have to pay up for some huge names, but I don’t see the difference between some guys that are right around $4k and others that are close to $5k in the outfield. Conforto donged last night and has been in a nice groove, plus he gets to hit in Citizens Bank Park against a beatable arm in Nick Pivetta.
The splits are there (.296 ISO, .426 wOBA) and Pivetta can give up homers in bunches, so this is about as good a shot as any.
If I make changes tonight, they’re obviously coming at 1B, 2B and OF. Dickerson, Thames and Odor are awesome GPP tries tonight, but they are not ideal for cash games and aren’t always reliable.
This lineup as a whole is strictly for GPPs, as it carries awesome splits, loads of power and tantalizing upside. Just keep that in mind when you decide what to enter into cash games tonight. With that, good luck in your daily fantasy baseball contests tonight!