Corey Kluber couldn’t get the run support he needed for a win on Tuesday, but our top pitcher was still a great success in yesterday’s FanDuel MLB picks. We had plenty other success stories in our daily fantasy baseball picks column, too, as Matt Joyce and Justin Turner both went yard, Matt Adams got a solid 12.2 fantasy points, Ian Happ produced a solid 15 fantasy points and Stephen Drew (6) at least wasn’t a total waste.
We mostly just got burned by Ian Kinsler and Nick Williams, both of which were total turds. Kinsler fell flat with several other enticing Detroit bats in a favorable home matchup with Matt Cain, while Williams was a gamble to begin with. Manny Pina didn’t end up starting, so hopefully you pivoted to a profitable catcher. Robinson Chirinos made our cut (3 fantasy points) but obviously wasn’t great, while Alex Avila (3) was also a disappointment.
Overall, it was a solid July 4th lineup, but anytime you get two zeroes you might be in some trouble – especially in GPP land. We’ll shoot for quality production all around again tonight:
SP: Ariel Miranda – Seattle Mariners ($8.6k)
I know that Jacob deGrom and Alex Wood are the top arms on the board, but they’re facing the Nationals and Diamondbacks, respectively, and deGrom is on the road. I’m not super high on either arm given the circumstances, but if I’m picking one I’d side with Wood, who has been less prone to blow up games.
Personally, this feels like a solid slate to drop down at pitching and I’m mostly looking at Gerrit Cole versus the Phillies or Ariel Miranda (both $8.6k) at home against the Kansas City Royals. Miranda takes the cake for me, as his main issue all year has been hard contact (specifically 18 home runs) and if he can keep the long ball in check he could deliver with his high K upside. The Royals do not normally strike out a ton against southpaws, but they also don’t have a ton of reliable power and will be on the road.
Miranda has been quite a steal in the right matchup this year and I love him here at home, where he’s put up a sweet 2.56 ERA. He’s allowing just a .184 collective batting average at Safeco Field this year and overall just seems to “have it” more when he’s in front of his home crowd. He’s a pretty volatile pitcher and he is a noted risk, but I like the value and the upside here. If you want a super cheap, contrarian dive, perhaps we shouldn’t ignore Jon Gray. It’s never safe to target pitching at Coors, but he was actually at his best at home in 2016 and stacked up 10 Ks in his previous start. He’s not safe against the Reds, but he’s probably too cheap to not try once in a GPP. To be clear, deGrom and Wood are the top cash game plays and I like Miranda for both cash and tournaments tonight.
C: Tyler Flowers – Atlanta Braves ($2.8k)
I don’t want to pay up too much at catcher tonight and Alex Avila isn’t facing a righty, so if there is an appropriate punt play I might chase it. Flowers is a good middle ground play, though, as he excels on both sides of the plate, brings some power to the table, is a solid price and will be at home. He looks good from every angle and gets Joe Musgrove, who has some talent but really struggles on the road (7.40 ERA) and gives up a lot of power (14 HR in 2017). Musgrove also specifically gets blasted by righties (.320 BA, 9 HR), so I’m pretty enamored with Flowers tonight.
I also like Yasmani Grandal quite a bit. He’s a little more expensive ($3.1k) but he’s at home against a righty. Zack Godley isn’t the best arm to pick on, but Grandal is in a groove and everything works to his favor tonight. I prefer Flowers here due to the value, but I like both a good deal.
1B: Matt Adams – Atlanta Braves ($3k)
The Braves could be a sneaky stack tonight, but I’m probably stopping here with two guys who thrive versuses righties and could easily go yard. Adams has a great matchup for the same reasons as Flowers, but he is even better against right-handed pitching (.368 OBP). He also thrives at home, is in a groove (hit safely in 8 of his last 10) and is arguably due to go yard (hasn’t homered since June 22nd). I’m calling the long ball here for Adams, who is one of my favorite plays of this slate.
I almost wish Adams was a bad price, on the road or facing a lefty. That way I could give myself good reason to pay up for Eric Thames, who is ablaze right now. The Milwaukee masher has 3 homers in his last two games and will be at home against an inexperienced pitcher. He’s still too cheap at $3.4k to completely bypass if you’re doing multiple teams.
2B: Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers ($3.5k)
I normally would prefer Odor to be a bit cheaper, but he’s worth the price tonight and might be my favorite overall 2B play. Odor is really in a groove right now (hit safely in 8 of last 10 contests) and is exhibiting plenty of power (3 HR during that stretch). He’s also at home against a righty and that righty happens to be Doug Fister, who is no stranger to the long ball and has specifically been dinged twice by Odor (who is 7 for 16 against Fister). I like this matchup for Odor in every way and wouldn’t at all be shocked if he added a third career dong against Fister.
If we want to go elsewhere at 2B, we have plenty of options. Jose Altuve is the most expensive option and is worth paying up for, while Jason Kipnis is slumping but is a good price and has a good matchup at home. I also don’t hate trying Daniel Murphy ($3.4k) as a one-off bat against deGrom.
3B: Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves ($3.5k)
Okay, I lied. I love a three-man Braves stack with the mashing Freeman wrapping it up. ATL could go overlooked with a game at Coors and it’s usually tough to trust the Braves in general, but I’m into them tonight. You don’t need much of a reason to pay for Freeman, but you’re actually getting a discount here in just his second game back from a wrist injury.
It’s true that 3B is usually loaded, so we can also pay up for Nolan Arenado or get another discount with Manny Machado ($3.2k) at Miller Park.
SS: Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners ($3.3k)
If we want upside at SS today we can roll with Corey Seager, but he’s pretty pricey and I love me some Segura. Segura gets a great splits matchup at home against Jason Vargas. Not only does Segura rake southpaws (.415 OBP), but he thrives at home and has been red hot (8 hits over his last 3 games). We don’t get much power here, but Vargas does struggle more on the road and Segura should be good for a couple of hits. If he can get on base twice and score once or twice, he’ll pay off.
OF: Andrew Benintendi – Boston Red Sox ($3.3k)
We aren’t points chasing here with Beni, as he’s a great price and in a hitter’s park against the beatable Andrew Cashner. He’s not dropping 69 fantasy points again, but he’s been in a nice groove (10+ fantasy points in four straight contests) and everything points to another favorable spot for him. His splits are what is the most encouraging, as he rakes right-handed pitching.
You could consider completing the Braves stack with Ender Inciarte or Matt Kemp here, but I’ll probably keep mine at a 3-man pile. Another guy priced around this range that I like tonight is Beni teammate Jackie Bradley. He has the same tempting situation and wrecks righties, as well.
OF: Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles ($2.8k)
I like the Brewers to sweep this series tonight, but I don’t think Matt Garza is going to escape this one unscathed. Jones has a nice history against Garza (8 for 23, 2 HR) and is in a hitter’s park with positive splits. He’s been fairly reliable lately and may even be due to go yard after last donging on June 24th. The numbers certainly promote HR number 14 tonight, while he simply may be too good of a value to pass up.
OF: Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers ($4.1k)
There are a number of paths to take here, as Adam Duvall in Coors, a discounted Bryce Harper ($4k) and Nelson Cruz (vs a lefty) are all very much in play. I’m not forcing them all in here, though, while it’s possible Braun could be a bit contrarian with all of the other palatable options. He sat out yesterday’s game, so he’s going to be refreshed and ready to take advantage of a plus matchup at home. I want my hand in this game (10 Total) a bit and since I’m bypassing Thames, Braun feels like a solid bat to grab at Miller Park tonight.