Last night was quite the doozy, as a lot of the top arms did not perform close to expectations and you might have been in trouble in the hitting department if you didn’t have Cubs or Mariners. Our FanDuel MLB picks actually stood strong against some of the top performers, though, as Jose Pirela was a value play worth using, Franchy Cordero double-donged and we got serviceable numbers out of Jackie Bradley and Mitch Haniger.
The big whiff was probably up top with Clayton Kershaw, who just wasn’t his elite self on the road against the Indians. In hindsight it wasn’t a perfect matchup, but we had to try him and few pitchers stood out as solid alternatives. Marco Estrada, for one, was loved across the industry and ended the night with -2 fantasy points at home against the Rays. So, yeah.
We finally got burned by Elias Diaz (0 fantasy points), Eric Thames actually sat out game two of a double-header with the Cardinals and Wilmer Flores’ awesome splits and BvsP stats against Jon Lester didn’t produce anything for us. It was a mixed bag, but there were some solid hits if you mixed in the right guys with your daily fantasy baseball lineups.
It’s onward and upward for Wednesday, as we take a look at a slightly tamer 11-game slate and see how we can best build out our teams at FanDuel:
SP: Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians ($10.2k)
I’m not seeing a way around Kluber tonight. Michael Pineda is mildly interesting in a pitcher’s park against a Mike Trout-less Angels squad, but that team doesn’t K a ton and Pineda oddly enough has been way worse (5.96 ERA) on the road. All roads may very well lead me back to Kluber, who has been at his best at home and draws a winnable matchup against a Dodgers team that is dangerous but really just average against right-handed pitching this year.
Kluber isn’t as safe as he was two starts ago against the Athletics, but he has the most upside of anyone on this slate and there isn’t any arm that is much safer.
C: Chris Herrman – Arizona Diamondbacks ($2.4k)
My top catcher remains Alex Avila, who is a monster against righties right now and boasts a ton of power with a decent matchup at home against Taijuan Walker. I don’t mind punting an otherwise crummy position, though, especially if Herrman starts versus the very hittable Jordan Zimmerman. Herrman is volatile, but he crushes right-handed pitching and is always a dong waiting to happen. Just make sure he’s starting and if not, turn back to Avila.
1B: Kendrys Morales – Toronto Blue Jays ($3.3k)
Ideally we’re paying up for someone like Paul Goldschmidt tonight, while I don’t hate the idea of trying Eric Thames at a discounted price. However, I think a lot of people will be on Justin Smoak, so a fun pivot could be teammate Kendrys Morales. Toronto does not have a great history against Jake Odorizzi, but Morales has hit him better than anyone else to this point. Morales offers power and can effectively attack pitchers from either side, so I have no qualms with taking a shot with him tonight.
2B: Brandon Drury – Arizona Diamondbacks ($2.4k)
There are several value 2B I’m into tonight, but Brandon Drury ($2.4k) might be the top play. Mike Sigler already propped him up with his DraftKings MLB picks, though, so we won’t re-hash his picks here. He’s my top choice to help me afford Kluber, but we should consider some other options, as well.
Ian Happ knocked in a grand slam last night and continues to showcase his raw power. He’s a great price and could be in another nice spot against Matt Harvey. Harvey for the moment looks like he’s figuring things out (0 runs allowed in his last start), but he’s no stranger to giving up the long ball. Happ can mash it and brings his best stuff against righties, so he’s not a bad flier pick if you’re not using Drury.
If we don’t mind paying up a bit, Rougned Odor ($3.3k) has great splits and is in a solid spot against a rookie pitcher. He also double-donged last night and looks dialed in at the plate right now. Jason Kipnis is another option, as he has solid splits, is cheap and has had some success against Brandon McCarthy.
3B: Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks ($4k)
I’m not trying to piggy back on Sigler’s DK picks, but Lamb is my favorite play at 3B. Arizona as a whole is a fine stack against Jordan Zimmerman, while it’s no secret we fire up Lamb when he takes on right-handed pitching.
While I love Lamb, I understand some people will be searching for a bit more value or someone that is a solid play but maybe more contrarian. A few other 3B options we can take a look at are Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria and Nicholas Castellanos. Donaldson mashes all pitchers and might be a little less owned as the most expensive 3B on this slate, Longoria is ablaze and has wrecked Francisco Liriano throughout his career and Castellanos is on a nice tear and boasts strong power. Castellanos might be the top value play at 3B, as he fares best against right-handed pitching and has had nice success against Taijuan Walker in limited action.
SS: Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox ($3.5k)
I’m a fan of the Sox tonight, as Jeremy Hellickson gives up homers and a lot of hard contact, in general. Boston is known for face planting in favorable spots, but I like the value here and there are enough attractive stacks elsewhere that there’s hope they could be a bit under-owned. Bogaerts does not offer raw power, but he can take the ball deep. We’re really just relying on his efficiency, though, while he has strong splits both ways and faces a beatable arm. He probably won’t go yard tonight, but he should find his way over 10+ fantasy points if this stack pans out.
OF: Jackie Bradley – Boston Red Sox ($3.2k)
Mookie Betts could be a fun contrarian play tonight, as many could sour off of him after a dreadful 0-6 effort at the dish on Tuesday night. He could easily bounce back, but why pay up when we can get discounted Red Sox bats in a favorable tilt against Jeremy Hellickson. It starts with Bradley, who comes in red hot with 12+ fantasy points in 4 of his last five games and also wrecks right-handed pitching. The price, power and upside are all there to take advantage of with Bradley tonight.
OF: Andrew Benintendi – Boston Red Sox ($3k)
Ditto for Beni, who continues to rake (8 hits in his last 4 games) and has that same matchup in Philly tonight. Benintendi boasts just as much power and overall upside as Bradley and also mashes right-handed pitching. Better yet, he’s cheaper and is even hotter at the plate over his last two outings.
OF: Gregor Blanco – Arizona Diamondbacks ($2.9k)
Mike Sigler plugged Arizona’s bats tonight and while I won’t copy any of his picks, I’ll give you another D’Backs bat that could be a fine try in a nice matchup against Zimmerman. Blanco isn’t a lock to send one deep, but he typically bats high in the order and once on base, this offense can make him a gem. He’s a good price with a solid matchup and his offense only inflates his value. People tend to get burned on stacking the big name guys from elite offenses, too, so creating a couple GPP teams with lesser used options like Herrman and Blanco could make some sense. Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed could be worth a look, too, though I’m not really as intrigued by them.