We get a very light main slate for daily fantasy baseball on Thursday, which follows a shortened Wednesday slate, as well. There were some hiccups to yesterday’s MLB DFS squad at FanDuel, as Chris Herrman and Bryce Harper both ended up getting scratched. That did not stop us from cashing with some of our FanDuel MB picks, however, as Gerrit Cole was a gem (52 fantasy points), Enrique Hernandez double-donged and Mike Trout also sent one deep.
The help wasn’t quite as exciting elsewhere, as Rougned Odor got us 6 fantasy points and Jake Lamb got 9 fantasy points, but Elvis Andrus did nothing. It was still a productive day (we were forced to make changes with the scratches), so we can try to take that momentum and run with it tonight. Let’s see what kind of team we can come away with for Thursday’s MLB DFS contests at FanDuel:
SP: Danny Duffy – Kansas City Royals ($8.6k)
I realize that Mad Bum has not been his elite self, but a number of things could lead me to him tonight. For one, he really is the most talented pitcher on the board. He’s making just his second home start of the year, too, while he gets to face a normally terrible Padres offense. San Diego does provide some pop that he can have issues with, but they also are terrible on the road and strike out as much as any team in the majors.
Bumgarner, for all of his shakiness this year, has yet to turn in a performance with fewer than 31 fantasy points. He probably isn’t truly worth his price tag, but this is a short slate, the matchup is sublime and there aren’t many other options screaming at us.
I do like two other players – Danny Duffy ($8.6k) and Luis Severino ($9.4k) – who I’m cautiously optimistic about. Duffy has been in solid form and wrecks (2.41 ERA) at home. The Tigers have displayed serious power against left-handed hitting, but they’re on the road and recently traded away J.D. Martinez. Duffy is probably the best value here and though there is risk, he’s easily my second favorite play. I also like Severino, who has performed better outside of Yankee Stadium and carries an elite K rate. Facing the Mariners on the road isn’t ideal, but I’m not afraid to go here.
There are some big names here, but Cole Hamels at Camden Yards and Felix Hernandez against the Yankees look like traps. Michael Fulmer ($9.4k) could very well be the safest play of the night at Kansas City, but they don’t strike out enough to have me pay this much for him. He’s viable in cash games, but I’d rather roll the dice with these others guys in GPP tournaments. Ultimately, I love the value and upside with Duffy and he allows us to get a lot of nice bats. He’s a fine option to try in tourneys.
C: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees ($3.3k)
I know the Yanks haven’t been themselves and they’ll be on the road against Felix Hernandez, but I actually like this spot for them. Hernandez hasn’t been the same guy the past few years and can serve up some monster contact in the worst spots. He’s never faced Sanchez or Aaron Judge, either, so it will be very interesting to see how that plays out. Sanchez has good splits here (.368 OBP vs. righties in 2017) and has the power to take one deep every time out. I think King Felix serves him up at least one good one tonight.
1B: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.9k)
You will find out quickly that the Dodgers are my favorite stack tonight. Bellinger and co. are back at home against Mike Foltynewicz, who sees his production dip a bit on the road and also has a terrible time (.383 OBP) stopping left-handed hitters. Insert Bellinger, who crushed righties and plays his bast ball at Dodger Stadium.
I know the Dodgers might feel like an obvious stack, so we can also pivot from what could be a pretty chalky play and consider Brandon Belt and Mike Napoli. Both guys have good matchups against average pitchers, while Napoli feels like a supreme value at Camden Yards against Wade Miley.
2B: Jonathan Schoop – Baltimore Orioles ($3.2k)
I also like Robinson Cano tonight at $3.4k, but Schoop has positive splits both ways, is at home in a hitter’s park and is in a fantastic groove right now. Baltimore as a whole is shredding at the moment and Schoop (5 hits over his last 2 games) has been a big reason why. He packs some power and underrated efficiency here at a weak position tonight. Cole Hamels isn’t the best guy to pick on, but he’s on the road in a brutal park.
3B: Todd Frazier – New York Yankees ($3.2k)
This could be a fun contrarian play to really shake things up. To be frank 3B is loaded and I might just find a way to complete a full Dodgers stack by forcing Justin Turner in here. Frazier is a solid one-off against Hernandez, though, especially since he’s performed way better on the road and actually has some nice history (albeit limited) against King Felix with a 4 for 8 and 2 HR line. That doesn’t mean he’ll dong here, but he starts with the Yanks for the first time on Thursday and it would only be fitting for him to go yard.
This is more of a narrative play than anything else, though. I still prefer Turner or Adrian Beltre if we can help it.
SS: Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers ($4k)
Seager donged last night and will be a top contender to mash again with a good matchup at home tonight. The most important factor is he has the splits edge against an average righty that struggles against lefty batters. I can see why we wouldn’t want to pay all the way up at SS, but he’s the top play and the options are pretty limited.
If we want to go elsewhere, I don’t mind dropping all the way down to Elvis Andrus or Didi Gregorius, but they’re not my preferred options tonight. Jean Segura is also in play at $3.5k, but I’m not overly into targeting Mariners against Luis Severino.
OF: Carlos Gomez – Texas Rangers ($2.9k)
The Rangers have burned me left and right lately, so I’m not stacking them tonight. That probably is your cue to stack them at least once and watch as they fire off 19 runs. That certainly is still possible at Camden Yards against Wade Miley, but I’m not a fan of some of the splits here. I do love this matchup for Carlos Gomez, though. Gomez has the power to crush any pitch and is a solid price, while he’s in a great park against Miley, who isn’t a good pitcher and someone he also has a solid history against (6 for 20, 1 HR). Gomez feels due for a homer, but this is really more about Miley, who gives up a disgusting .403 OBP to righties and serves up a ton of hard contact.
I naturally like Ranger righties, so we can also think about whoever starts at catcher for Texas, as well as Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre. I’m personally probably not stacking them for what feels like the 10th night in a row, but any of those guys are viable one-off shots and Miley is worth targeting every time out.
OF: Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.4k)
I never love where the talented Puig bats in L.A.s’ order, but I always love his cheap price and obvious upside. Puig mashes righties (.279/.346/.544) and also thrives at home (11 HR, .329 OBP). Tonight he’s again cheap and offers upside against a beatable righty in Mike Foltynewicz, who tends to serve up a lot of hard contact on the road. Folty actually has way more trouble against lefties, but I still like the value and upside associated with Puig in this spot.
OF: Brett Gardner – New York Yankees ($3.5k)
Gardner is another Yankees bat I like tonight, as he has had killer success against Hernandez (12 for 33) and also provides us with some nice pop. Gardner has slowed down just like the rest of the Yankees, but he has good splits and history here, while Hernandez has specifically had a tough time against lefty hitters (.371 OBP) this year. We could try to force Aaron Judge in here, but he’s expensive and in an awful slump, so we’ll refrain from that with this FanDuel lineup.