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FanDuel MLB Picks – August 1st

Last night didn’t go quite as planned for most people in daily fantasy baseball contests. It’s easy to say that most nights, but Monday was especially troubling. The Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals all were viable MLB DFS stacks – for good reason – yet they collectively churned out four total runs.

On a regular slate you might be able to survive a few bad performances or maybe you would have just overlooked these stacks. On a smaller 8-game main slate like we had last night, using anyone from those teams was likely pretty damaging. Naturally, the poor performances in these spots sapped our FanDuel MLB picks and normally reliable options like Ryan Zimmerman, Jose Ramirez and Mike Moustakas didn’t pan out.

We did have a few bright spots, as Luis Severino was fine with a solid 42 fantasy points and both Russell Martin and Derek Fisher homered. We also touched on Charlie Morton and Danny Duffy for alternative arms and both panned out well enough. We had a major hit with one of our secondary hitting options, as Alex Bregman offered serious value at $2.7k last night and produced a staggering 34.6 fantasy points. He would have been a fine pivot from Moose, who disappointed with 3 fantasy points.

It was another hit or miss night, but if you used our pitching and found a way to push Martin, Bregman and/or Fisher into your FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineup, you probably had a shot at cashing. Regardless, it’s onto another day of MLB DFS action as Tuesday’s slate thickens back up to 15 games:

SP: Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins ($9.2k)

Obviously Max Scherzer and Chris Sale are the top two arms for cash games and probably GPPs. However, on a 15-game slate, we need to differentiate ourselves in tournaments and locate the best value. We’re not getting value when we’re paying $11k for anyone, plus none of the top end pitchers have ideal matchups.

Sale is at home but he gets a potent Indians team that doesn’t strike out much. Scherzer is in a pitcher’s park but he gets a Marlins offense that boasts a lot of power and knows him well. We even have normally tantalizing options like Carlos Carrasco, Jon Lester and Chris Archer, while Aaron Nola, Jimmy Nelson and Carlos Martinez also all toe the rubber tonight. You could build arguments against any of these guys – including Berrios.

However, nobody else is facing the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Berrios has been very up and down lately, but his bad outings recently have been fairly understandable. Berrios has had a tough time silencing the Dodgers, Astros, Royals and Red Sox – all on the road. He’ll be on the road again tonight, but Berrios doesn’t tend to give up home runs and he’s in a park that will only aid him in that department. The real draw is San Diego’s shaky offense, which offers up a collective 23.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching.

Berrios is risky given the loaded pitcher pool and his recent form, but there isn’t a better spot for him to bounce back in.

C: James McCann – Detroit Tigers ($2.6k)

We are admittedly chasing upside and opportunity here in a mostly GPP lineup and we get that with McCann. Not only is McCann a solid price, but he faces southpaw C.C. Sabathia at Yankee Stadium. McCann is flat out mashing left-handed pitching in 2017, as he brings a gaudy .381 ISO and 6 HR against lefties to the table tonight. He’s getting extra starts after Alex Avila got traded to Chicago, so perhaps the added support by the Tigers will give him a confidence boost, as well.

Sabathia has been pretty stable and doesn’t allow many homers these days, but he struggles the most against righties .302 wOBA and 24% fly ball rate and Yankee Stadium is never an easy place to pitch.

I wouldn’t go crazy targeting Sabathia, but he did get slapped around a bit by the Rays in his last start and McCann figures to be in an exploitable spot here. There are a lot of pricey catchers to like tonight, but McCann saves us some serious coin and he’s a big threat to send one deep.

1B: Tyler Moore – Miami Marlins ($2.1k)

This is the mother of one-off shots as Max Scherzer is not normally a guy we want to pick on. I can see Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna actually garnering some ownership due to massive discounts, but Moore is just as good of a play by the numbers. He isn’t a lock to start, but with Justin Bour on the DL, he’s certainly a cheap option to monitor.

Mad Max is tough on everyone and owns a ridiculous 44% K rate versus righties, but everyone knows he gives up some pop. Moore is a fun GPP flier since he’s almost the bare minimum and happens to wreck right-handed pitching. Not only does Moore bring an elite .288 ISO nad 5 dongs against righties to the table, but he also owns a staggering 53.8% fly ball rate. This is a huge dive, but for GPPs risks need to be taken. Just make sure he’s in the lineup.

Obviously 1B is always loaded and diving here doesn’t make for the safest daily fantasy sports strategy. If you don’t want to join us in this extreme GPP play, we can always roll with Matt Adams or Kendrys Morales (both $2.8k) or pay up for someone like Cody Bellinger.

2B: Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners ($3.1k)

There are certain situations where the value is too good to pass up and we have to pounce. Cano at $3.1k in Globe Life Park against Nick Martinez is one of those situations. Cano is always in play when he’s facing a right-handed pitcher (.227 ISO) and this specific matchup and park factor push him over the top for me. There are always going to be other options on such a big slate, but you won’t find many that offer the same value and upside combination.

3B: Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies ($4.8k)

I don’t need to tell you to stack Coors and I probably don’t need to tell you Nolan Arenado is good, but hopefully we’re not bypassing his insane numbers against southpaws – most notably a ridiculous .410 ISO. Steven Matz is not a bad talent, but he’s been serving up too much hard contact and he specifically offers a 30% fly ball rate and .269 ISO against righties. Arenado would be in play even if Matz didn’t factor into the equation and when we add Coors into the equation, this is a no-brainer.

I also love Mike Moustakas ($3.6k) again, but sometimes you just have to force Arenado into your lineup and this feels like a night to do it. Rafael Devers is a really interesting cheap option, too. He’s got a tough matchup against Carrasco but he is wrecking righties and is at home.

SS: Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies ($3.9k)

I would prefer Story to be a little cheaper based on his all-or-nothing style, but there is still so much upside associated with him. For the very same reasons we like Arenado, we can consider paying up for Story. There are not a ton of elite SS options tonight, either, so we want upside in this spot.

Story gives us raw power and he mashes lefties. His gaudy .329 ISO and 48.9% fly ball rate against southpaws puts him in a great spot in Coors Field tonight, while Steven Matz helps all Colorado righty hitters out with a terrible .269 ISO and 30.9% fly ball rate. Those are dangerous numbers in this park for any pitcher and I like Story and Arenado to take full advantage.

OF: Brandon Moss – Kansas City Royals ($2.5k)

We always want to be sure Moss is starting, especially now that KC traded for the more reliable Melky Cabrera. However, this could be a great spot to use the mashing veteran. Moss is not a safe play, but he makes sense for GPPs thanks to his positive splits against righties (.182 ISO, 39% fly ball percentage) and the fact that he’s at Camden Yards against the beatable Dylan Bunday. Bundy has his biggest issues against lefty hitters, who he strikes out half as much as righties and gives up a .360 wOBA and .231 ISO to.

Moss is far from a sure thing (the guy is batting .208 on the year), but his raw power, the park and the matchup point to him being worth a try as part of a GPP squad. He’s also dirt cheap, so he opens things up for us to pay up elsewhere. Just make sure he’s starting.

OF: Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles ($3k)

This Royals/Orioles game has suspect pitching and a high Total (10) in a hitter’s park, so grabbing a few pieces here is obviously not a terrible idea. Mancini qualifies as a fine try, as he wrecks right-handed pitching to the tune of a .256 ISO and faces a guy in Ian Kennedy that serves up a good amount of hard contact. Kennedy sees a terrible park shift in this spot, which should be bad news for his 37% fly ball rate and .171 ISO versus righty bats.

OF: Aaron Altherr – Philadelphia Phillies ($3.6k)

We’re making a lot of contrarian moves here, so let’s end this FanDuel MLB DFS lineup with one more. Altherr is actually a great play by the numbers, but Giancarlo Stanton is calling our name at $3.7k and Nelson Cruz will be hard to pass up at $3.6k. Maybe they both work out, but even though Altherr is on a bad team at Angel Stadium, I’m quite interested.

There is a lot to like here, as Altherr provides nice power and gets a very beatable arm in Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco has certainly had his moments in 2017, but he tends to serve up plenty of hard contact and specifically has issues stopping talented right-handed bats. Nolasco is giving up a .262 ISO , .384 wOBA and 32% fly ball rate to righties, while Altherr is primed to take full advantage. The Phillies star outfielder crushes right-handed pitching to the tune of a .256 ISO and .397 wOBA, while he also sports a fun 33.6% fly ball rate.

All of this doesn’t guarantee Altherr to get us a homer or really do anything, but the numbers paint a tempting picture. The same goes for all of these options, which individually still carry some risk, but collectively could form quite the doozy of a GPP monster. Pick and choose which options to trust in tonight and be sure to check that they’re all starting. Whatever you decide, we wish you luck in daily fantasy baseball contests on Tuesday!

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