FanDuel MLB Picks – July 25th

Well last night was fun. Jacob deGrom was not Kevin Gausman, but he was still a total stud (52 fantasy points), while other arm suggestions like Zack Greinke (6 Ks, 8 inning, 2 ER in a win), Gerrit Cole (4 Ks, 6 innings, 2 ER in a win) and Francisco Liriano (5 Ks, 5 innings, 2 ER in a win) worked out just fine.

Our pitching calls all should have helped you, while our bats were pretty strong, as well. I personally cashed with Alex Avila (10 fantasy points), Marcus Semien (6), Dexter Fowler (6), Adrian Beltre (12) and Marcell Ozuna (12) all chipped in solid fantasy production. Scooter Gennett and Joc Pederson (mentioned in blurbs) added dongs, while Josh Reddick chipped in 22 fantasy points, as well. We also mentioned Yasiel Puig (15), Zack Cozart (homered) and Salvador Perez (also homered), all of which worked out quite nicely.

Justin Bour (left injured after one plate appearance) was our lone gaffe. I actually propped up the Dodgers quite a bit, though, so hopefully you pivoted from Bour to Cody Bellinger, you launched a homer in a L.A. win. We also touched on Justin Turner and Jake Lamb in our blurbs. They didn’t do nothing, but were unspectacular.

Collectively, this was one of our better FanDuel MLB DFS squads in a while in terms of pretty much everyone hitting at the same time. Let’s try to do it again as we build a balanced FanDuel squad that can cash and place high in a GPP:

SP: Seth Lugo – New York Mets ($7.8k)

I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure where to go at pitching tonight. Madison Bumgarner normally would be a lock and load option at $10.2k, as we’re technically getting a discount here. He’s probably still the top cash game play, but he gets a Pirates team that doesn’t K much and he has not been elite really at any point in 2017. I don’t hate him at home in this spot, but I’m not enamored with him, either.

It isn’t easy to find a huge gap between him and other big names like Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandez, Sonny Gray, Michael Fulmer, Jose Berrios and Drew Pomeranz. All of these guys have serious issues we need to note before diving in head first.

Hamels got rocked in his last start and hasn’t been an elite strikeout guy this year, while a date with a powerful Marlins offense in a hitter’s park is less than ideal. King Felix has been steady over his last three starts and is at home in a good park, but he gets the Boston Red Sox, which can range from fine to disastrous. Gray has surprisingly been really steady as well, but is at Toronto and could be traded at any moment. Fulmer is at home but it’s a hitter’s park and he gets a hot KC offense that absolutely rocked him last week. Berrios is talented but has been shaky lately and draws a tough road assignment against the Dodgers, while Pomeranz is another fairly steady option but has a dangerous Marlins lineup on the road.

Obviously some of these guys – and others – will work out just fine or could even end up being the play of the night. They still aren’t cash game situations and are even dicey for GPPs. I might just roll with Lugo, who has been largely solid this year, gets a bad Padres offense and is in a dream park. He’s on the road and he’s imploded in the past, but he’s a good price and has the best matchup on this slate. I’m just not sure anyone else is enticing enough to draw me away from him.

That’s not a firm backing, but there is upside here, as San Diego thrives largely on their power, which is tough and go and should be muted in this park. Lugo also doesn’t normally give up a ton of home runs and this matchup could inflate his middling K numbers. The safety and upside combination at this price has me sold. If you must pay up, though, I’d probably just go with Mad Bum.

C: Evan Gattis – Houston Astros ($2.8k)

I love Gary Sanchez tonight, but I see no reason to spend the extra $500 as long as Gattis is starting. Discounted Astros are always worth a try and Gattis gets to face Nick Pivetta in a great park for home runs. Gattis also is slaying right-handed pitching this year (.373 OBP) and provides pop against an average arm. The value is the real kicker for me, as he helps open things up for a really fun hitting lineup.

1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.4k)

If we want a deep dive we can target Matt Adams at Chase Field. I love his price (2.8k) tonight and he is in a pretty good spot. Park factor and splits favor him, while he obviously offers solid value. I love Thames tonight, though. The Brewers masher kills right-handed pitching and while he sees a big park downgrade in terms of power, he still feels due for a long ball. He gets a beatable arm in Edwin Jackson and is in a nice groove with multiple hits in 4 of his last 10 games. He’s a streaky hitter, so now is the time to pounce.

2B: Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals ($3.9k)

I am not a huge fan of 2B tonight, so I’m probably just paying up. I always love Jose Altuve, but he could be uber chalk due to back-to-back 40+ fantasy point outings. I don’t mind using him as well, but in GPPs, pivoting to Murphy makes good sense. Murphy is actually better on the road, but I like Washington’s offense in this matchup and he’s without a doubt one of the most reliable options on the board. He has strong splits versus righties and also posts solid numbers at home. He’ll be worth the price tag tonight.

3B: Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves ($3.6k)

We could chase Mike Moustakas’ never-ending string of dongs, but Freeman feels too cheap at Chase Field against a beatable arm in Taijuan Walker. Walker isn’t trash by any means, but he has his toughest times at home (5 homers, 4.50 ERA) and has allowed Freeman to launch on him in the past. Forget about Walker, though. Freeman is an elite masher that crushes righties (.458 OBP) and will be in a dream park. It’s difficult to fathom him not taking advantage of Chase Field at some point and I’m betting he does it tonight.

It’s no secret that 3B is loaded. We can go in a number of directions here, as Moose could easily go nuts again and Travis Shaw seems like an interesting play against Edwin Jackson, as well.

SS: Marwin Gonzalez – Houston Astros ($3.8k)

FanDuel is just now starting to price Marcus Semian appropriately and I prefer to use him against lefties, so I don’t mind paying up tonight. Insert Gonzalez, who is enjoying a career year and gets a nice matchup in a hitter’s park against Nick Pivetta. Gonzalez is absolutely wrecking right-handed pitching (.421 OBP) and is in a nice groove (7-game hitting streak). He’s pricey, but he feels like the top SS on the slate.

OF: Marcell Ozuna – Miami Marlins ($3.5k)

Giancarlo Stanton annoys me to no end. I know last night was a perfect spot to use him, but this guy burns me in every single ideal setting. Tonight offers him another gem spot, but I’m going to go with the contrarian play and fade and use teammate Ozuna instead. Ozuna has equally tantalizing splits against southpaws and will be in a hitter’s park against an erratic Cole Hamels. Hamels isn’t necessarily a guy we want to stack again, but the matchup is solid (Ozuna is 8 for 26 with 3 HR vs. Hamels in his career), Ozuna owns the splits (.417 OBP against lefties) and most people will be on the more expensive Stanton. That’s the hope, at least. On top of all of this, Ozuna is in the perfect spot to dong and he hasn’t launched one in over 10 games. Everything points to him coming up big tonight.

OF: Clint Frazier – New York Yankees ($2.6k)

I don’t even know if Frazier is fully necessary, but he’s really making a case to stick with the Yankees for the rest of the year, while slashing an impressive .295/.302/.607. The rookie is dialed in and offers some pop, so we should pay mind to the value provided here at Yankee Stadium against rookie hurler, Luis Castillo. Castillo can make bats miss, but he’s in a tough park and serves up plenty of hard contact. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Frazier donged here, but I like him regardless, provided he has a decent spot in the order.

There’s a chance Frazier sits or has a bad spot in the batting order, so we do need to keep our options open here. Luckily there are always plenty of cheap options to consider at OF, where Matt Kemp ($2.6k) and Jackie Bradley ($2.7k) remain under-priced. They’re bigger names, to be sure, but I still might prefer Frazier here.

OF: Adam Duvall – Cincinnati Reds ($3.4k)

The Reds can be really annoying, but I’m still rolling with one of them tonight in Duvall, who crushes southpaws and actually performs better on the road than at home. Jordan Montgomery can be stingy, but he’s actually coughed up at least one long ball in 8 straight games and Yankee Stadium is obviously a tough place to pitch. Montgomery specifically struggles against righty hitters (12 HR, .314 OBP), too, so Duvall makes a lot of sense here. Duvall hasn’t donged in over 10 games and enters a really nice spot long overdue for a deep shot. Home run or not, everything points to Duvall working out in this matchup.

Overall, this lineup feels way more like a GPP play than cash. Lugo is obviously a calculated risk, while a lot of these power bats could easily come up lame. I love the value and upside with this team, though, and will be entering it in a big tourney. If there is one big change to be made, we can consider dropping from Thames to Matt Adams and in turn upgrade over Frazier. A move like that could land us Andrew Benintendi or Jay Bruce (both $3.4k) with Adams and that’d look a little safer.

Pick and choose which of our favorite options you use, but whatever direction you go in, we wish you luck!

Update: You can still try Lugo against the Padres, but I personally am taking advantage of Marcus Semien ($2.8k) and Derek Fisher ($2k). That allows me to pay up and get Mad Bum. He could get blasted by the Pirates if his recent form is any indication, but I’ve soured on Lugo slightly and would rather use these deep value dives with the most talented arm on the board. Here’s to hoping Bumgarner finally rediscovers his form tonight.

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