Last night was probably a bust if you didn’t stack Royals or use a lot of Orioles and Rangers. I warned our readers that the Orioles/Rangers game was bound to be explosive, but I personally just didn’t trust it. I certainly was never on a KC stack, but I also wasn’t very interested in Michael Fulmer, either.
Danny Duffy was a bust with just 21 fantasy points (and that was with the win!), but Thursday night did not produce many winning pitcher options in daily fantasy baseball. Madison Bumgarner wasn’t elite, Luis Severino was probably the play and Cole Hamels and Fulmer both were terrible. You needed some amazing hitting to come through, but luckily most everyone was roughly in the same boat.
We chipped in some solid bats, as Jonathan Schoop and Brett Gardner both donged, Carlos Gomez chipped in an RBI double, Corey Seager scored and had a double of his own and Todd Frazier got a hit and scored. Gary Sanchez and Cody Bellinger both at least got on the board, but ultimately disappointed, while Yasiel Puig was our lone zero. The Dodgers were one of my favorite stacks and in a completely backwards night, they did nothing at home against the Braves and the Royals scored 16 runs.
It’s worth noting that we also plugged Mike Napoli (28 fantasy points) and Adrian Beltre.
Daily fantasy baseball can be crazy, but with Friday offering us a 14-game main slate, things should balance out a bit. Here’s our effort at a winning GPP lineup with some of our favorite picks:
SP: Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox ($11.8k)
Today is the day to pay up for your pitcher. Both Chris Sale and Max Scherzer are on the board and there isn’t a lot of playable value beyond them. Aaron Nola and Jeff Samardzija both stand out as solid secondary options, but odds are you absolutely have to use one of Sale or Mad Max to take cash games and you probably need one of them to win a tourney, too. Maybe you luck out and Anibal Sanchez or some other spare arm does well and both of these guys falter, but I’m not seeing it.
There’s also plenty of value among the bats tonight, so spending on Sale or Scherzer isn’t as restricting as it first seems. I prefer Sale just because he’s in a slightly better groove at the moment and faces an average Angels offense in a pitcher’s park. The Angels don’t strike out a ton, but they surely could tonight. Scherzer’s strikeout situation is better, but he’s also in Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I’m not completely against using him over Sale, but with the price so similar, Sale is my guy tonight.
C: Evan Gattis – Houston Astros (+2.8k)
Cheap Astros bat at Camden Yards against Ubadlo Jimenez? Sign me up. Gattis has the power and splits you want, he’s cheap and he has an awesome matchup in a hitter’s park. I see the upside with a few other catchers and we could always punt here, but this is really nice value. There’s little reason to go hunting elsewhere. That being said, Salvador Perez is in the same price range and gets James Shields. I could go either way but I tend to side with the guy residing in the better offense.
1B: Justin Bour – Miami Marlins ($3.3k)
Bour is a total masher and thrives at home, but tonight we can use him in an ever better stadium – Great American Ballpark. This place is a hitter’s dream and Bour gets strong splits against walking dumpster fire, Home Bailey. Bailey once was a solid pitcher but he’s been bad since returning from a long layoff and all he does is serve up hard contact. Bour should launch one deep tonight.
There aren’t a lot of cheaper 1B options I like, so sadly Bour looks to be my priciest bat on the night and the cheapest 1B option I love.
2B: Scooter Gennett – Cincinnati Reds ($3.1k)
While we mostly would want to target the Reds side for pitching, I don’t mind picking on Jose Urena a bit, either. This is just a good park to use bats in anytime the matchup promotes it, while Gennett has shown some really nice power and efficiency this year. He offers some solid upside and value at this price and his matchup isn’t bad.
We can also try saving here, as Whit Merrifield ($3k) could keep it going against James Shields and the talented Yoan Moncoda ($2.5k) isn’t the worst try against Ian Kennedy.
3B: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals ($3.2k)
I also love Jake Lamb here at a severely discounted $3k price. He’s facing Mad Max, but he’s at home, on fire and Scherzer often serves up 1-2 dingers. Lamb could easily be on the receiving end of that. Moose is just as good of a try, though. The Royals sounded off last night and could very easily keep the good times rolling tonight against James Shields. Moose has the splits edge and plenty of power, making him one of my favorite plays across the entire slate.
SS: Stephen Drew – Washington Nationals ($2.4k)
Full disclosure: I’m warming up to the idea of punting 2B with Moncoda so I can pay up here. It all depends on who is starting and where in the batting order they reside. I’m perfectly fine sticking it out with Drew, who owns solid splits and gets to hit in Chase Field. I just don’t love going out of my way to target Zack Godley, who has been really solid this year.
If we’re paying up at SS, Elvis Andrus and Didi Gregorius are solid value plays, while Zack Cozart and Marwin Gonzalez also stand out around the $3.5k range.
OF: Clint Frazier – New York Yankees ($2.5k)
Frazier is a fine cheap play to help us fit everything together and it never hurts to find a cheap Yankee that makes sense. We do need to make sure he’s in the lineup, as he didn’t start last night and New York is finally getting healthy. If he’s in the lineup, though, he offers elite value.
OF: Josh Reddick – Houston Astros ($2.9k)
I’m digging the discount Astros tonight. Carlos Correa is hurt, which makes George Springer and Jose Altuve all the more attractive. They obviously could kill at Camden Yards, but I’d rather get my elite arm and just soak up the value. Reddick hasn’t been awesome lately, but he’s actually hit safely in 6 of his last 8 games. Perhaps a matchup with Ubaldo Jimenez at Camden Yards will unleash some of his power tonight.
OF: Carlos Beltran – Houston Astros ($3.1k)
Speaking of power, we can wrap this thing up with Beltran, who gives us a 3-man Astros stack. It’s not clever to stack Houston players, but it can be a little contrarian to use guys that aren’t named Springer and Altuve on that squad. Beltran and co. have a great matchup tonight, while he personally thrives against right-handed pitching and has destroyed Ubaldo (10 for 28, 3 HR) in his career.
There are other routes to take tonight in this price range, as you can bypass both Reddick and Beltran if you want to get even more contrarian. Things should be pretty stretched out on a 14-game slate, but you can also look at Jay Bruce, A.J. Pollack and Max Kepler at OF.