FanDuel MLB Picks – August 18th

We scored a big win with our top arm last night, as Luis Severino dominated the Mets for a strong 56-fantasy point outing. We whiffed from there, however. Punting catcher and fading Gary Sanchez proved to be costly, as he homered and our value pick (Hector Sanchez) didn’t even play. Austin Hedges, his replacement, registered zero fantasy points.

Paying up for Aaron Judge (3 fantasy points) didn’t work, either, while our Nats plays were underwhelming. It was a weird slate to begin with, though, so we’re not too discouraged. Let’s turn things around with a fun team to close out the week:

SP: Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros ($9.3k)

To be clear, this is a GPP pick for a GPP lineup. Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer are my two favorite options, with Mad Max being my main guy in cash games. If I create 10 teams, 9 will have Max today as he takes on the Padres in a conservative ballpark.

That being said, we need to shake things up a bit in big tourneys. Keuchel has had a tough time since returning to the DL and there are a lot of options on the board, so if we can get him at low ownership at home against the Athletics, we need to pounce. I’m also highly interested because he looked good in a win at Texas in his last start, so it looks like he’s finally rounding back into form. If that’s true, he’s a steal and probably the best pitching value on tonight’s main slate.

C: Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.9k)

I don’t like catcher today at all. We can always pay for Gary again or use Coors bats, but I’ll be looking for value. As long as he starts, we get that with Grandal, who sports terrific splits (.231 ISO) against righties and gets a vulnerable one in Jordan Zimmerman.

1B: Ryder Jones – San Francisco Giants ($2.4k)

I don’t love the idea of paying down at 1B with so many elite bats in play tonight, but Jones is a pretty nice punt. He’s in a bad park and probably batting low in the order, but he has a good matchup and sports tantalizing power.

This is mostly about value and pitcher splits, though. Zach Eflin is not a good pitcher and he struggles against lefties (.271 ISO, .382 wOBA) so this could be a nice spot to exploit.

2B: Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians ($2.6k)

Kipnis is on a tear right now and remains dirt cheap, so splits aside I’m down for saving the cash and riding the wave. Luckily he’s in a solid spot, too, as he faces a beatable righty in Ian Kennedy. Kennedy gives up a good amount of contact in general but is allowing a .214 ISO and .311 wOBA to lefties on the year. That should help Kipnis continue his hot roll.

3B: Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3.6k)

We know three things about Ervin Santana: he does a good job against lefties, he isn’t as sharp at home and he gives up a lot of long balls. The first factoid isn’t ideal, but Lamb mashes right-handed pitching (.285 ISO) and the other two pieces of information make him an interesting play.

SS: Andrelton Simmons – Los Angeles Angels ($3k)

Simmons is in a mild rut and doesn’t pack the most power upside, but he’s in a great park against a beatable pitcher tonight. SS is stacked and I’d love to go higher, but I’m eyeing an expensive bat in the outfield and we actually get really nice value here.

OF: Kole Calhoun – Los Angeles Angels ($3k)

Calhoun gets a severe park upgrade at Camden Yards tonight and will face a beatable arm in righty Jeremy Hellickson. Calhoun isn’t the safest play, but he offers some pop and Hellboy gets mashed by lefty power (.225 ISO, 40% fly ball rate). This is a calculated flier in a great park for home runs.

OF: Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins ($3.2k)

Yelich is one of my favorite plays on the board tonight. Most people will look at Giancarlo Stanton or Marcell Ozuna in this spot (and they should), but Yelich takes on a young pitcher in Chris Flexen that cannot keep lefty bats under wraps (.308 ISO, .438 wOBA and 47.6% fly ball rate). Yelich is usually pretty efficient but this is an excellent spot for him to send one deep.

OF: Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies ($4.9k)

I like to pay up for at least one elite OF usually and tonight my guy is Blackmon. He’s at home at Coors and gets a weak righty in Matt Garza. Garza’s splits aren’t scary either way and he got shelled the last time he came to Coors Field. Blackmon’s nasty splits (.287 ISO, .416 wOBA) lock him in for me.

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