FanDuel MLB Picks – August 17th

What was that all about? Seriously, last night was crazy in daily fantasy baseball. Coors went full Coors and the Rangers wrecked, but what else went right on Wednesday’s MLB DFS slate?

Not much, as Yu Darvish tanked, the Cubs did surprisingly very little outside of an Anthony Rizzo grand slam and someone won a massive GPP with Carlos Rodon and a White Sox bat in their lineup. That was all weird, but perhaps we should have seen it coming. After all, the day did get started off in an odd fashion on the early slate, when both Gerrit Cole and Jimmy Nelson got rocked in the game featuring the best pitching options.

Yeah, that all made sense.

Through it all, we still nailed a few picks as Aaron Judge went yard and most of our bats chipped in a few points. Our only true gaffe was Ian Happ, who was a secondary play (he got 0). Oh, and we loved Jason Kipnis and Jay Bruce, but their game ended up getting PPD.

Our other bats at least got on the board, but a bunch of 6 and 9-point efforts didn’t do us much good on a slate where Coors Field produced 19 runs.

Let’s bounce back with a killer team tonight, shall we?

SP: Luis Severino – New York Yankees ($9.4k)

We have a smaller slate tonight, which means fewer viable pitching options. There are some good ones, though, as Aaron Nola gets a weak Giants offense, Jeff Samardzija gets the Phillies in that same great park and Luis Severino is in a solid park against a so-so Mets team.

Nola is the most expensive pitcher on the board and probably the safest play, but the Giants don’t K that much. Considering Severino is $200 cheaper and might be lower owned, I’ll take him and his upside. He gets a Mets lineup that was truly atrocious-looking last night and he sees a positive park shift. He was brutal in his last start against the Red Sox, but before giving up 8 runs in that game, he had given up three total across his previous five starts. He’s in for a great bounce-back outing and is my favorite arm on the board.

You can look at Nola and Shark, too, while there are other dives to be had. Edwin Jackson isn’t reliable in the least, but he’s in a good park against a Padres offense that still strikes out quite a bit. That’s too rich for my blood, but he’s a viable GPP try. For the most part, stick with Severino, Nola and Shark and you should be fine.

C: Hector Sanchez – San Diego Padres ($2.3k)

Catcher is pretty bad on this slate, so I’m either paying up for Gary Sanchez ($4.1k) or punting with whatever Padres guy plays backstop tonight. I like Sanchez, but both he and Austin Hedges are dirt cheap and boast elite splits against right-handed pitching. They get Edwin Jackson, who is not a scary arm in the least.

1B: Josh Bell – Pittsburgh Pirates ($3.3k)

Bell has the best splits out of his Pirates brethren tonight, as he’ll take on Adam Wainwright with his nice .228 ISO and .349 wOBA against right-handed pitching. This is not an amazing park for the long ball, but Bell is in a groove and the splits favor him.

We do not have a ton of awesome options like we usually do at 1B, but Ryan Zimmerman ($3.2k) is almost too cheap to pass up. I just don’t love targeting Jhoulys Chacin at Petco. Matt Carpenter is another stellar play, as he is another big splits play tonight (.212 ISO vs righties).

2B: Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals ($3.3k)

Chacin is good at home and Petco Park limits scoring upside, but I’m not sure I can bypass Murphy in this spot. The only thing keeping me off of him would be him being scratched, as he sports terrific splits against righties (.254 ISO, .399 wOBA) and has had some success against Chacin in the past.

This is not a loaded position tonight, so we can go pretty much anywhere if we don’t want Murphy. Yoan Moncada and Josh Harrison are two cheaper options that could be worth a look as solid value plays.

3B: Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals ($3.4k)

I have a weird feeling that the Nats are going to wreck tonight. They routinely burn me and they’re in a conservative park against a guy who thrives there, but they remain stacked and have been too quiet lately. Losing Bryce Harper even for a couple of weeks momentarily sucked the life out of them, but they’re ultimately too good (and too cheap) to pass up here.

Adrian Beltre is the only other 3B option I’m really into, as he’s at home in great hitting conditions and also has a nice matchup against a young hurler. The Rangers as a whole will understandably be super chalk, though, so I wonder if pivoting to Nats might be the best play. In GPPs, that looks to be one of my favorite strategies tonight.

SS: Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers ($3.6k)

While I don’t want to stack Rangers like everyone else, I think completely fading this game isn’t overly wise and probably not even possible. Not only do we want to consider Texas bats against a young arm, but Andrus is probably the best overall SS play on the slate. We can also consider Paul DeJong, but he’s in a worse park with a tougher matchup and he also costs more.

OF: Nicky Delmonico – Chicago White Sox ($2.4k)

Will anyone be higher owned than this guy? Delmonico double-donged last night against Yu Darvish, officially stating his case as a matchup proof option. I’m only half kidding, as the rookie has been a revelation lately and carries awesome splits (.437 wOBA) against a beatable pitcher in Tyson Ross in a great ballpark. There is insane value and upside here and Delmonico helps us load up on more reliable bats elsewhere.

OF: Jose Pirela – San Diego Padres ($2.9k)

I could try to get a cheap Ranger or White Sox bat here, but I actually love Pirela tonight. He’s been a big bright spot for the Padres pretty much all year and has been crushing lately, delivering 10+ fantasy points in 6 of his last 9 contests. Not only is Pirela feeling it a bit right now, but he also faces a beatable arm in Edwin Jackson and sports nice splits against righties (.244 ISO, .388 wOBA).

Another value bat I love is Nick Williams, who we can consider pivoting to in the same price range. He’s in a bad park against a solid pitcher, but Shark does give up hard contact and has allowed 15 of his homers this year against lefties alone. Williams brings solid splits (.194 ISO, .355 wOBA) to the table here, so he’s another value play to look at.

OF: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees ($4.3k)

We have the arm we want, but what else are we paying up for on this slate? Not a whole lot, as the Nats are being devalued and four of the five stadiums hosting games on the main slate tend to limit scoring upside. I’ll take Judge all day at $4.3k on this slate, as he sports great splits and gets a beatable lefty in Steven Matz.

Last night did not go well in regards to our FanDuel MLB picks, but we’ve actually been doing pretty well lately. For me personally, one thing that has been tripping me up is PPDs and last second tinkering. It’s always good to create a dummy lineup for contests you know you want to compete in, but creating teams early with guys in risky weather situations can mess things up later when you have to take them out.

That bleeds into tinkering in general. Two nights ago I had virtually a perfect lineup and pivoted off of it to stack my hometown Brewers. That was just a silly move and we can be prone to those tinkering mistakes if we play with our lineup too much. Don’t second-guess yourself and make those last minute gaffes. Instead, do the research, list your favorite options and narrow down your picks before finalizing your roster. Once you’re settled, try to stick to your guns.

Regardless of what your daily fantasy strategy is, we wish you luck in MLB DFS contests at FanDuel!

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Luke Hutson

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