FanDuel MLB Picks – August 9th

Chris Sale was the play at pitcher on Tuesday and there wasn’t much way around it. You were also totally fine with Corey Kluber, but going away from either of those studs likely led to a loss. Of course, none of that mattered if you didn’t take a few stabs at Twins bats, as Brian Dozier hit a grand slam and Max Kepler double donged.

Last night was a tough one on the bats, but we did have enough success to lead you to wins in cash games. Austin Hedges and Michael Conforto homered, while Matt Adams got two hits and an RBI and everyone else at least got on the board. Our only gaffe was Tyler White, who ended up sitting out last night’s contest.

It’s back to the drawing board for a smaller main slate on Wednesday, where Zack Greinke leads the way on an interesting 10-game slate:

SP: Collin McHugh – Houston Astros ($8.6k)

Talk about an inflated price. I hate McHugh’s price and reliability as much as you probably do, but I’m afraid we don’t have much of a choice on this slate. Zack Greinke and Alex Wood face off in a dangerous park (Chase Field) and they get to take on nasty Dodgers and D’Backs squads. That makes two of the best pitchers on this slate highly risky.

It doesn’t get better after them, as Justin Verlander faces a Pirates team that doesn’t K much and really just about everyone else has a red flag or two. I’m not banking on McHugh dazzling, but he does face a battered White Sox team and he should get enough run support to earn the win. As long as he doesn’t completely implode here, McHugh should give us a chance at 30-35 fantasy points and on this slate that should be plenty.

C: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees ($3.5k)

Catcher is not my favorite position tonight, so I’m probably either paying up for Sanchez or punting again with someone like Autin Hedges (again). There could be some middle ground there, but the position is not great.

That has me leaning on Sanchez, who has a price I can stomach thanks to a tasty matchup with Nick Tepesch. We can’t trust Tepesch’s recent numbers, but we can trust that he hasn’t been very good and he tends to give up a lot of hard contact. The guy has given p 12 hits and 12 runs over his last two starts, after all.

But back to Gary. Sanchez sports a nice .216 ISO against right-handed pitching, as well as a strong .354 wOBA. He’s been quite over his last three games, but something tells me that could change tonight.

1B: Logan Morrison – Tampa Bay Rays ($3.2k)

The Rays have been terrible and they face a solid arm in Rick Porcello tonight, so it’s pretty likely they aren’t going to be a hugely popular stack. That’s one big reason I’m into them. They do whiff a ton, but they also boast a ton of power. It just so happens Porcello struggles with lefty power, too, as he’s allowing a 40% fly ball rate and a .227 ISO to lefty hitters.

None of that is good for a guy who has been getting knocked around lately (12 runs allowed over his last three games) and has coughed up a whopping 26 long balls on the year. I think a full Rays stack is for GPP land only, but a one-off like Morrison makes sense.

Adding to the upside here are Morrison’s numbers, as the masher owns nasty splits (.299 ISO, .373 wOBA) against right-handed pitching on the year. Not into Rays at all? That’s fine. Eric Thams ($2.9k) is even cheaper and will be at home against Bartolo Colon. Nothing else needs to be said.

2B: Jose Altuve – Houston Astros ($4.3k)

George Springer returns tonight, which greatly strengthens Houston’s already nasty lineup and probably gives just about everyone a boost. That is great news for Altuve, who has remained a monster even with the Astros dealing with injuries. He is not cheap, but Altuve sports awesome splits (.201 ISO, .424 wOBA) and this is one of the worst positions on the night.

I don’t mind looking Daniel Murphy’s way, but ultimately I feel better about paying up here as opposed to other spots.

3B: Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.4k)

With Thames being one of the more volatile Brewers, I think my one-off guy in Milwaukee will be Shaw. He’s far more reliable than Thames and sports equally astounding splits (.274 ISO, .403 wOBA) against right-handed pitching.

There are other 3B options to consider, but Shaw is having a career year and is in a great park against a bad pitcher. Rafael Devers ($3.3k) isn’t a terrible pivot, but most of the other elite 3B options have brutal matchups. I also like Anthony Rendon’s splits against lefties, but I’m good to go with Shaw tonight.

SS: Marwin Gonzalez – Houston Astros ($3.5k)

I am always into Marwin, especially when he takes on right-handed pitching. Gonzalez is worth using in any matchup, but he wrecks righties (.261 ISO, .419 wOBA) and gets a very beatable one tonight when he faces Miguel Gonzalez. Shortstop is watered down considerably tonight, too, so I’m not offering much wiggle room here.

The only other option I’m really considering is Eduardo Nunez, who is the same price and has been ablaze. Corey Seager is a fine try in theory (same price, great splits, great park, awesome history vs Greinke), but I’m not targeting Zack Greinke with confidence.

OF: Brian Goodwin – Washington Nationals ($3k)

The Nats continue to be super annoying in the best spots, but I can’t help but use Goodwin tonight. Not only does he offer power and great splits (.275 ISO, .416 wOBA) against fellow lefties, but Adam Conley specifically gets creamed (.220 ISO) when facing batters of his own handedness.

That’s not a locked up home run for us, but the numbers are tough to bypass. Besides, Goodwin offers power in any matchup and he’s coming to us at a solid price. We could force Bryce Harper or Daniel Murphy onto this team, or we can take the same stab with just as solid of a play in Goodwin. My vote if for the latter.

OF: Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins ($2.8k)

We’re not demanding Kepler to double dong like he did last night, but he’s again in a great park and has nice splits (.222 ISO, .365 wOBA) against right-handed pitching. Brandon Woodruff looked good in his MLB debut last week, but this is a tough park and Kepler can offer some pop. He’s a cheap power bat in a good spot and helps piece this team together, so he’s as good of a gamble as anyone else in this price range.

OF: Jose Pirela – San Diego Padres ($2.7k)

The same goes for Pirela, who could continue his tear at Great American Ballpark tonight. Pirela also slammed two homers two nights ago and kept things going last night, handing proud DFS owners two straight 30+ fantasy point outings. We can’t bank on that again tonight, but he’s got a nice matchup against a bad righty and still owns staggering splits (.247 ISO, .380 wOBA) against right-handed pitching.

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Luke Hutson

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