Our FanDuel MLB DFS picks return to start a new week, fresh off a solid Friday night run. Chris Sale was as beastly as we thought he’d be and several of our bats stepped up. Scooter Gennett got a double and a walk, Mike Moustakas donged, Justin Bour doubled and had an extra single, Clint Frazier chipped in a hit, RBI and run and both Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran got on the board. It wasn’t the explosive overall effort we were looking for, but we still cashed with Sale leading the charge.
The goal here each time out is to form a team that can fare well in cash games, but also has enough upside to have a shot in big GPPs. We set forth with that goal again to start a fresh week in daily fantasy baseball action at FanDuel:
SP: Jacob deGrom – New York Mets ($11k)
I don’t see around the top arm today. Not only is deGrom in great form and in a pitcher’s park against probably the worst team in baseball, but there simply aren’t many other suitable options behind him. There is also a ton of hitting value tonight, so you don’t really need to force the issue or try getting cute elsewhere. deGrom is the chalk play and the obvious cash game option, but I think he’s necessary for GPPs, too.
While I love deGrom and will be firing him up everywhere, there are a few other options we can consider as interesting tourney alternatives. Zach Greinke has to pitch at Chase Field, but he has a solid enough matchup against the Braves. They actually have some power and don’t K that much, though, so I’m fine with fading him and rolling with Brad Peacock instead. Peacock sports a great K rate and while his park factor hurts tonight, he’s actually been stable on the road and gets a high upside matchup against a shaky Phillies lineup.
We can dig a little deeper with Gerrit Cole, who was terrific in his last start versus the Brewers. The Giants don’t K much but he’s looking good and he’s in a safe park. We could also dive with Francisco Liriano, who by no means is a safe play, but gets an Athletics lineup that is 29th in power against southpaws. He’s still as shaky as can be, but maybe there’s enough here for Liriano (just $6.2k) to help you stack elite bats.
Ultimately, I don’t see a reason to dive for Liriano or anyone else. deGrom offers the most upside and safety and you don’t have to work that hard to get him into your daily fantasy baseball lineup. We’ll show you that with the bats we like tonight.
C: Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers ($2.3k)
Avila is in a bit of a rut at the moment (1 for his last 13), but nothing cures that like a nice home matchup against a beatable righty in Jason Hammel. Avila is just way too cheap, as well. We get a nice power hitter at home with good splits against a suspect arm. We can’t ask for much better than that.
Chris Herrman ($2.2k) is $100 cheaper and is also very much in play at Chase Field against R.A. Dickey, while we can always pay up for Salvador Perez ($3.1k) who has wrecked Justin Verlander throughout his career (25 for 61, 2 HR). I prefer Avila of the bunch, though, as we get good numbers, some upside and killer value. This helps open things up for other bats, as well.
1B: Justin Bour – Miami Marlins ($3.4k)
Normally I’d like a little more value with Bour, but he’s a really nice pivot from the other options in this price range. Cody Bellinger is an obvious play here at $3.6k at home against Bartolo Colon – as are all Dodgers – but we’ll give you another out at 1B in Bour. He actually is a little bit better on the road and gets a positive park shift here, while he’ll be taking on a beatable arm in Martin Perez. Bour wrecks lefties, too, as he owns a gaudy .403 OBP against southpaws on the year. The matchup, price, upside and splits are all there, so I see no reason not to try Bour and save a few bucks at a loaded position.
2B: Scooter Gennett – Cincinnati Reds ($3k)
I loved Gennett on Sunday but faded due to weather concerns, so naturally I was pretty bummed to see him dong. It made me feel good that a hitter I liked did well, but it’s never fun to fade a guy who pans out. I see no reason to fade him again tonight, as he gets a beatable arm in Josh Tomlin and owns a rich .392 OBP versus righties. Tomlin gives up dongs, too, while he also offers a nasty .328 OBP to lefty hitters. Gennett has the splits and power to chase here, plus he’s in a nice groove with a hit in five straight games.
Going cheaper at 2B really isn’t an option for me, but we could go the other way and ride the wave with Jonathan Schoop ($3.7k) who has been insane lately with 18+ fantasy points in six consecutive games.
3B: Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers ($3.4k)
There are a ton of options to consider at 3B tonight. We can pay up for Miguel Sano versus a lefty, Jake Lamb at home versus a righty or just roll with another stable Dodger like Justin Turner. We could also just save some cash with Beltre, who is at home against a bad pitcher in Adam Conley. Beltre hasn’t donged a lefty yet in 2017, but he wrecks southpaws for his career and this year owns a sweet .447 OBP against them. Even if a dong doesn’t come tonight, Beltre should thrive in this matchup.
SS: Marcus Semien – Oakland Athletics ($2.5k)
Here we’ve got a nice case where a quality player is just way too cheap. Zack Cozart has wrecked Josh Tomlin in limited action and we always want to take a look at Corey Seager, but why pay when we can get a solid SS at such a low price? Semien hasn’t been great versus lefties this year, but he saves serious cash and has been in a nice groove (12+ fantasy points in his last 4 games). There are decent odds he keeps it going against Francisco Liriano tonight.
OF: Dexter Fowler – St. Louis Cardinals ($2.5k)
Fowler is another guy who feels way too cheap to bypass tonight. Fowler has the splits edge and he’s at home, where he’s crushed 10 of his 14 homers on the year. He’s two games removed from a sweet 3-hit effort and always packs a powerful punch, so he’s worth a try in a solid spot. We can also slide Yasiel Puig in here, or just pivot to him at the same exact price. He’s at home, thrives against righties and gets Colon. So, yeah. I said I wouldn’t plug Dodgers in our actual lineup, though, so use him or pivot to him on your own.
OF: Josh Reddick – Houston Astros ($3k)
Cheap Astros bats are always fun, but tonight Reddick could be more fun than usually at Citizens Bank Park. This is a great park for an elite offense, while they also get the volatile Vincent Velasquez. Vince has been in solid form lately, but I doubt he holds up against this offense in this park. Reddick should be part of his undoing, as the 30-year old masher owns a strong .349 OBP versus right-handed pitching and has gotten all 9 of his homers off of righties. Velasquez has owned Reddick (0-6) to this point, but that’s a small sample size and he has slightly worse splits against lefty hitters. I like the splits, the park and the value here, while we can also pivot to lefty masher Joc Pederson (those Dodgers again) at home against Colon.
OF: Marcell Ozuna – Miami Marlins ($3.5k)
The Marlins were super disappointing at Great American Ballpark over the weekend, so perhaps people will be off of them due to recency bias tonight. They’re again in an amazing spot in a hitter’s park in Texas and get a bad lefty in Martin Perez. That puts the aforementioned Bour in play, along with fellow southpaws mashers, Giancarlo Stanton and Ozuna. Ozuna is a way better value compared to Stanton, though, and he’s a great way to wrap this team up.
Ozuna mashes lefties to the tune of a .427 OBP, while the pitcher he’s facing (Perez) has allowed a nasty .376 OBP and 10 home runs to right-handed hitters. Perez also sports a shaky 4.79 home ERA and has given up 8 of 11 home runs on the year at his home park. Miami could crater again if Perez is in a groove (he’s notorious for being a ground ball pitcher), but this is still a spot we should attack at least once.
That does it for Monday’s look at the MLB DFS slate. There are other spots to attack, but we love deGrom as our top options and don’t mind taking some dives to make it happen. The best part is we don’t have to take that many dives, as there is a lot of elite value to be had on this slate. Remember to mix and match our favorite plays with your own picks, especially if you really hate one or two of our bats or don’t want to use the pitchers we suggest. In addition, the Dodgers at home against Colon tops out favorite stacks, while the Astros and Marlins also should get good exposure. Regardless of which way you go tonight, good luck in your FanDuel MLB DFS contests!