We march into Tuesday’s fully loaded slate, where every MLB team is in action and we actually get a fun double-header in St. Louis between the Brewers and Cardinals. We’ll want to keep an eye out on lineups for the second game of that series, while also monitoring weather and late scratches, as usual.
Monday’s FanDuel MLB picks had some ups and downs, as Stephen Strasburg wasn’t as elite as we all expected, while we also got burned by Chris Davis and Luis Valbuena, who both produced zero points. Valbuena was a necessary risk with positive splits and a cheap price tag, while Crush simply exited with an oblique injury.
Most of our picks worked out swimmingly, as catcher Elias Diaz was super cheap and chipped in 6 fantasy points, Andrew Benintendi went yard, Starlin Castro stayed hot with 9 fantasy points, Didi Gregorious had 22 fantasy points, Kole Calhoun clubbed a homer and Ben Gamel stayed hot with 21.6 fantasy points.
Hopefully you dodged Crush and Valbuena and had some of our other picks mixed into your lineup. If so, you probably cashed or had a shot at placing in some GPPs. Let’s keep the MLB DFS train moving into Tuesday’s slate, as we again try to locate the best picks that represent the most value and/or upside:
SP: Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers ($12.5k)
Anytime Kershaw is on the slate you can assume he’s the top option. He could be in a tough spot on the road against the Indians, but there isn’t a better option that is screaming at us. Jon Lester and Zack Greinke have less than ideal matchups on the road, David Price has been shaky since returning from injury and the intermediate options all have their own red flags.
Kershaw is pricey, but we like the bats we can build around him and feel he’s plenty safe to use. His recent form has been strong, as the Dodgers ace has produced 55+ fantasy points in three of his last four starts. He got slapped around in a game against the Cubs, but he should be fine tonight. His staggering 1.96 road ERA and Cleveland’s weak 19th rank in BA versus southpaws tell us that.
C: Elias Diaz – Pittsburgh Pirates ($2.4k)
Gary Sanchez is probably the top catcher play again if he starts tonight (he sat out last night), as he’s been in flames lately and faces a beatable arm. He’s in a pitcher’s park and could cool off at some point, though, so I like the idea of saving at the backstop with someone like Diaz. Austin Hedges went off last night and is a similar price, while someone in the middle like Alex Avila (at home against a righty) makes for a fine play, too.
There isn’t a ton of reliable data with the 26-year old righty, but what we’ve seen so far tells us he loves to face right-handed pitching and has no problems producing at PNC Park. He’s at home tonight against right-handed hurler Tyler Chatwood, who doesn’t have an elite K rate. Chatwood has excelled outside of Coors Field, but Pittsburgh has been a sneaky offense to use for a couple of weeks now and Diaz has been part of the reason why. If he gets another start tonight, I like the splits and value. If you’re not convinced, just pay up for Gary or Avila.
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3k)
Splits haven’t mattered much for Thames during his renaissance season, as the Brewers masher wrecks all kinds of pitchers. He’s hit a considerable snag in his efficiency after a hot start to 2017, but Thames still possesses raw power and can destroy southpaws. It looks like that’s what he’ll be getting in young pitcher, Marco Gonzalez. Thames is a hit or miss option, to be sure, but he comes at a bargain price and offers double-dong upside. Just make sure he’s in the lineup for game two of Milwaukee’s double-header at Busch Stadium.
If Thames sits out the second game or you sour on his upside, we can also consider Matt Adams ($2.7k), who shot two long balls into the stands last night. Matt Carpenter ($3.3k) is also a good price and mashes right-handed pitching.
2B: Jose Pirela – San Diego Padres ($2.5k)
We’re not really getting an elite or reliable hitter in Pirela, nor are we getting a ton of upside in general at Petco Park. However, Pirela has been leading off, is really cheap and can’t stop getting on base. The 27-year old has hit safely in six straight games, producing 2+ hits five times during that span. His terrific run could go up in smoke at any point, but we can catch him while he’s hot. Tonight he draws a winnable matchup with Scott Feldman and considering Pirela has been lights out against all arms to this point, there isn’t yet a reason to back off of him. Just make sure he’s starting and batting early in the order.
If you don’t need to save this badly and want a little more stability, Robinson Cano ($3.1k) feels like a fine try. He’s been hitting well lately and could be due for a long ball. His matchup with Kyle Gibson also can’t hurt, while he’s operating in the ever hittable Target Field, as well.
3B: Wilmer Flores – New York Mets ($2.7k)
Flores crushes lefties and gets a date at home with Jon Lester, who hasn’t really been his elite self consistently in 2017. Lester tends to endure most of his struggles away from Wrigley Field (0-3, 7.11 ERA), while he’s had some rough luck against Flores, who owns a .500 batting average with three dongs in this matchup.
Is Flores a lock to homer tonight? Maybe not, but he’s cheap, owns the splits and the matchup and offers power upside. He might be more of a GPP play, but makes for a fine cash play, too.
SS: Didi Gregorious – New York Yankees ($3.3k)
I see no reason to stray from the Yankees, even though Angel Stadium remains a pitcher park. This is still probably the hottest offense in the league right now, while Gregorious specifically just keeps rolling with 2+ hits in 6 of his last seven games. The well will run dry at some point, but this offense can take care of Didi if he can simply continue to get on base. I like his chances against J.C. Ramirez, who has seen his K rate decline. Gregorious also rakes against righties and is a solid price. We can pay up for Trea Turner, but I don’t see the need tonight.
OF: Mitch Haniger – Seattle Mariners ($3k)
I’m fairly game for just about any Mariners player with good splits right now, as Seattle mashed (14 runs) last night and is pretty healthy outside of not having Jean Segura. Haniger has been solid since his return and was especially great last night (34.8 fantasy points). He’s got a good matchup in a good park and could keep the good times rolling.
We’re looking for value at OF mostly, especially if we want to get Kershaw tonight. Obviously we can attack the likes of Aaron Judge, Charlie Blackmon and Bryce Harper at the top of the position. All of these guys have some of the best raw power in the game and sport awesome splits in tonight’s respective matchups.
OF: Jackie Bradley – Boston Red Sox ($3.1k)
Sticking with the value theme, we can either go back to the well with Andrew Benintendi ($2.8k), or we can pay up slightly more to get the seemingly more stable Bradley. Both guys have awesome splits against righties and present strong power at Fenway Park tonight. I love both in this spot, but Beni tends to be a little hit or miss. I’d vote for him as a GPP play and perhaps lean on Bradley for cash games.
OF: Franchy Cordero – San Diego Padres ($2.4k)
Kyle Schwarber isn’t a bad home run try here, as he’s cheap, provides power and has the splits in his favor versus Zack Wheeler. He’s certainly a GPP try, while you can go either GPP or cash with someone like Cordero. San Diego’s young outfielder has been slaying and is fresh off of a 31-point fantasy outing against the Reds last night. We shouldn’t expect that again, but he’s hitting well and has done his best work against right-handed hurlers. Scott Feldman is not an unbeatable entity by any means, either.
Remember to use your own research and favorite picks and mix them in with ours. Hopefully some of our insight leads you to a winning team, whether it be cash or GPP contests. Good luck tonight!