Well, last night was crazy. Tuesday had us hurting overall, but even with a respectable daily fantasy baseball lineup, we still couldn’t come close to cashing last night. The Miami Marlins scored an insane 22 runs last night, while the Texas Rangers added 10 in defeat and the Kansas City Royals continued their tear with 16 runs.
It was a wild night that certainly won’t be duplicated tonight, as things look to calm down with just five games on the main slate. Max Scherzer dominates today’s early slate, too, so we are not offered a ton of elite pitching options. This could be a very odd slate where you need a perfect team to cash, just because we’re not granted nearly as many outs.
There still seems to be a clear way to go, however, so let’s buckle down and see how things shape out for tonight’s FanDuel MLB picks:
SP: Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs ($10k)
Jon Lester ($10k) is the way to go for cash games and maybe even GPPs, but he’s still on the road against a White Sox team that hits southpaws well. I’m not that concerned, of course, as his recent form has been fantastic and he’s probably the safest play on the board. He’s our top play by a mile and should be pretty chalky.
Chris Archer is your other high end option, but he’s at Yankee Stadium and he’s had some issues with the Yanks (2-5, 8 HR allowed) over the last few years. He did clock 11 strikeouts in his last start against a rising Orioles offense and could do something similar here, but the park and overall matchup aren’t enticing. If I’m paying up, it’s Lester or bust.
The only other arm I’m seriously considering is New York Mets rookie, Chris Flexen. Is Chris Flexen an ideal play? No, but his MLB debut comes at Petco Park against the lowly Padres. There isn’t a better initiation game in the majors and he actually has been fantastic (6-1, 1.75 ERA) in the minors. He’s also fixed issues with his command and has a nice array of pitches to lean on. There’s no telling if he’ll last long, get the Ks he needs or flat out get rocked (he is skipping Triple A ball, after all), but the matchup is there to take the risk on and he costs next to nothing.
While Flexen could be a fun GPP dive, I just don’t see the need. There aren’t that many expensive bats I absolutely need to have – especially with the Yanks having a difficult matchup. If I talked myself into using a couple of Yankees I might go here once, but otherwise Lester is the obvious call. A White Sox hedge stack might not be the worst idea, however, considering Lester has been pretty erratic overall in 2017.
C: Wilson Ramos – Tampa Bay Rays ($2.4k)
The splits game is alive and well for Ramos, who faces lefty C.C. Sabathia and for his career fares quite well against southpaws. He’s started off 2017 on the right foot on that side of the plate, too, chipping in a .333 OBP against lefties. Ramos is cheap and brings some upside to the table, plus he enjoys a big park upgrade.
Willson Contreras could be the chalk play tonight, while Hector Sanchez could be a nice one-off against the aforementioned Flexen.
1B: Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds ($3.6k)
The fact that Votto is this cheap and could be contrarian is why I’m slotting him in as our top 1B play today. Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rizzo are both worth paying for, but Votto is coming at a discount. He gets a park downgrade on the road and he’s facing a lefty, but his splits are amazing on either side of the plate. I have no issues with using him tonight. Rizzo is probably my second favorite play, as stacking against Pelfrey is obviously not a bad idea.
2B: Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs ($2.8k)
Targeting Cubs will likely be the chalk on this slate, but so be it. Mike Pelfrey actually tends to survive games somehow, but if I’m going to take a stab here, I think cheap Cubs make more sense that going overboard with the elite options. Baez is part of that plan, as he has solid splits against right-handed pitching and is a nice price. I just hope he’s batting in a solid spot and not near the bottom of the order.
Matt Carpenter is the high end option to consider here. He doesn’t have an amazing matchup against Zack Godley, but he’s at home and does have a splits edge.
3B: Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati Reds ($2.9k)
We always have to consider the mashing Suarez anytime he’s facing a southpaw. He gets one tonight, which puts Suarez’s power and his elite .404 OBP against left-handed pitching in play. He gets a negative park shift and doesn’t have good numbers on the road, but the matchup and price make him worth the risk.
SS: Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs ($2.6k)
Shortstop is utter garbage on this five-game main slate, so I see zero reason to pay up. Zack Cozart is the only guy I’m willing to spend on, but he’s still iffy with a bad quad. I will probably just drop to Addi regardless, as he’s got Mike Pelfrey in a solid park. Russell has looked good lately and enjoys solid splits versus righties, plus he’s a great price.
OF: Ian Happ – Chicago Cubs ($2.7k)
We’re going back to the well here with Happ, who bombed last night in a great spot against James Shields. We can use him or Kyle Schwarber here, as they both have power for days and it only takes one shot to have them pay off at such a low price. He’s a GPP play to be sure, but he helps open things up a bit elsewhere and could be due for a long ball.
OF: Marcell Ozuna – Miami Marlins ($3.6k)
Speaking of due, Ozuna hasn’t homered in any of his last 10 games but went nuts last night, along with every other Marlins player ever. Miami options could be chalky after dropping an insane 22 runs in Texas, but we can ride the wave with a winnable matchup at their home park. They do experience a negative park shift, but maybe they’ll stay ablaze in this one. Ozuna is just due for a long ball in general, though, so I like him tonight. The splits, matchup and price all look good.
OF: Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins ($4.4k)
I don’t see much reason not to close this thing out with Stanton, who literally never works for me but will go back home where he’s mashed 17 of his 33 home runs on the year. Park means nothing to this guy, while he also wrecks both sides of the plate. I hate using him personally, but he’s in a groove and the Marlins in general could keep it going tonight.