We had some solid picks for Wednesday’s main FanDuel slate, as Kendrys Morales slugged a three-run shot and Xander Bogaerts chipped in two hits and 3 RBI. Most of the Diamondbacks we mentioned at least got on the scoreboard, but we had more success with or secondary options we touched on. Ian Happ was one guy we mentioned and he sent one deep, while Alex Avila produced a solid 9 fantasy points. Mookie Betts was a contrarian mention based on his 0-6 effort on Tuesday and he went nuts with a double-dong performance (56 fantasy points).
Hopefully some of the guys we touched on help you cash or place high in some GPPs. Either way, it’s on to the next one as we take a look at a much lighter Thursday night slate (7 games):
SP: Jordan Montgomery – New York Yankees ($7.5k)
Chris Sale is obviously the top option on the board tonight. He just hasn’t been as elite as he needs to be for this price and it could pay to be a bit contrarian and go away from him. That’s really only something to think about in tournaments, though, as Sale remains the obvious cash play.
For those who plan to fade in GPPs, we prop up Yankees rookie Jordan Montgomery (4-4, 3.55 ERA), who gets a positive park shift when he takes on the Oakland Athletics tonight. Oakland actually has some solid pop to be afraid of, but not necessarily against southpaws. The A’s rank just 22nd in homers against left-handed pitching this year, while their batting average (18th) versus lefties isn’t much better. Montgomery has been in great form, as he’s given up just four total runs in his last four starts and provides interesting K upside.
Montgomery isn’t the safest play in the world, but he looks to be in a good spot and is a terrific value play. Fading Sale could be dangerous, but if we’re doing it I think Montgomery might be the best arm to build around.
C: Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers ($3.3k)
I don’t see much reason to spend more at catcher than we have to and Avila is still a solid value. Some will over pay for Buster Posey ($4.6k) at Coors Field and Gary Sanchez ($4k) is tempting, but I prefer the value with the Tigers’ backstop. Avila wrecks right-handed pitching and is again at home against a beatable arm in Alex Cobb.
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3k)
Thames went bonkers last night, as he crushed a two-run homer and also chipped in a double. We missed out on that stellar value play, but struck gold with Morales. We would be foolish to completely bypass Thames tonight, though, as he remains way too cheap. Thames gets Michael Wacha in a pitcher’s park, but he can crush the ball at anytime and sports his best splits against righties.
If we’re not down for Thames, Brandon Belt ($3.6k) is our next best bet. We have to pay a bit to get him, but for a Coors bat, we’re getting a pretty nice discount. Belt sports power and crushes righties, so there’s lots to like here. I prefer Thames to help open things up a bit more in terms of salary, but these guys are both stellar MLB DFS picks tonight.
2B: Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals (3.9k)
I really don’t mind spending at 2B tonight, as some of the typical value plays aren’t on a smaller slate. Murph always makes sense against right-handed pitchers, while he’ll be at home against the very beatable Robert Gsellman. Murphy is not cheap, but he has more upside than anyone else at his position on this slate. He also has been fairly hot lately, with 2+ hits in 5 of his last 7 contests. I wouldn’t be shocked if he handed in a similar outing with a dong in this one.
If we want to go cheaper, we can look at Joe Panik ($3.1k) who could give us another cheap bat at Coors Field. He’s handed in six hits over his last three games and fares the best against right-handed pitchers. The splits, value and park factor make Panik a fine value play, but I personally want Murph tonight.
3B: Wilmer Flores – New York Mets ($2.7k)
The third time will hopefully be the charm for Flores, who absolutely wrecks left-handed pitching but has been a bust in the last two games with such a matchup. He gets another shot to deliver for us tonight, when he’ll be at home against Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez isn’t necessarily an arm to attack, while Flores has just 2 hits in 17 tries on the lefty in his career. This is a pure splits/value play, though, and in baseball eventually that’s going to work in our favor.
If you don’t want to trust the numbers, we can also spend a little more and feel better about someone like Mike Moustakas. I certainly would feel safer using Moose, as he also owns awesome splits and gets a tasty matchup with beatable righty, Ricky Nolasco. Moose crushed a homer last night and has been on fire lately, plus Nolasco is no stranger to giving up the long ball. I’m game for either guy, but I’ll likely have more shares of Flores for the discount.
SS: Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies ($4k)
Ideally we have the cash to pay up for Trea Turner ($4.6k), but even the most expensive hitters can bomb and I really don’t mind Story in this spot. Story is back at home at Coors and I’d like to get at least one Coors bat anytime it makes sense. The SS position is not fun tonight, so this could be the spot to attack Story and hope he can dong. Story is obviously in a great setting for hits, is hot at the moment and has positive splits versus southpaws.
For those who prefer to save at shortstop tonight, we could go down to Eric Sogard ($3.2k) or hope Brandon Crawford’s ($3.6k) struggles at Coors don’t continue.
OF: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees ($5.1k)
Not much analysis is needed here, as everyone should want a piece of Judge right now if they can afford it. Judge sees a negative park shift with this game in Oakland and Sonny Gray can be tough, but he’s just mashing right now. We can even hold out hope he’s a bit under-owned with his price so high, but even if everyone has him, it shouldn’t matter. Sonny Gray has talent, but he can cough up the long ball and nobody can get one easier right now than Judge. I expect the gavel to drop tonight, and maybe twice.
OF: Andrew Benintendi – Boston Red Sox ($3.2k)
I can’t bypass the value Beni continues to bring. He’s not always going to get us a homer, but he’s on fire right now with a hit in five consecutive games. He’s proven to be a streaky hitter in 2017, so we will just need to ride the wave while it’s displaying positive vibes. I think his hot run continues tonight, as he again sees positive splits with a bad righty in Nick Pivetta toeing the rubber.
OF: Mallex Smith – Tampa Bay Rays ($2.2k)
Our last guy of the night can help make this lineup possible, as Mallex Smith chimes in with a super low price and considerable upside. This is all about value and Smith’s matchup with Justin Verlander isn’t actually ideal, but the hope is just for this guy to get on base once or twice. He can hit, walk and steal and he’s even flashed a little power. I don’t really care what he does at this price, but he’s worth a stab and has positive splits in this matchup.
This lineup could be beastly, but it will all hang on whether Sales is a monster and if Montgomery can prove to be a strong alternative. Your potential infatuation with Sale may sway you off some of these guys, but hopefully our FanDuel MLB picks can help you win on Thursday, one way or another.