Last night was a perfect example of why you need to consider the best way to mix our FanDuel MLB picks in with your own. We backed Jordan Montgomery as the top alternative from Chris Sale, and that was a huge mistake. However, if you mixed in some of the cheaper bats we suggested and stuck with Sale, you could have enjoyed a fantastic night.
Alex Avila, Andrew Benintendi, Mallex Smith and Aaron Judge were all spare, but they also all got on the board. It was Eric Thames, Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy that all crushed and helped make Thursday a strong night. Hopefully you found the right mix and won big. Either way, we’re back to it for Friday night’s FanDuel MLB picks:
SP: Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals ($12.4k)
Why get cute? Mad Max put up 73 fantasy points two starts ago and looks quite dialed in. He does have a challenge on the road against the Mets, who can hit hard and have put 8 total runs on him already this year across two starts. Scherzer can survive a few runs when he’s dealing like this, though, plus there is plenty of value to build a strong team around him at FanDuel tonight.
That’s really the point here. Everyone wants Scherzer, so we’re going to show you a strong team with him as your key building block. That being said, Luis Severino and Carlos Martinez are both over $2k cheaper and are mighty fine options tonight.
C: Austin Hedges – San Diego Padres ($2.7k)
Hedges is a great spot to remind everyone – if you don’t like a pick, don’t use it. Trust your gut and the data above all else. We’re doing both here ourselves, as Hedges has 5 hits over his last two games, hits righties well and gets an awesome park shift on the road at Miller Park. Junior Guerra isn’t producing enough strikeouts and hasn’t been dominant, either, so the matchup across the board doesn’t look bad.
Catcher – and a lot of positions – feel rather inflated tonight, so I’m probably going cheap if I can. Buster Posey is in Coors and Alex Avila gets a righty again, but I like Hedges and the salary relief he provides.
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.3k)
I’m not handcuffed to Thames today, but he’s back in a groove and also gets to head back home to Miller Park tonight. There is a lot to like here, as we can still take advantage of a value power hitter in a hitter’s park. Thames has seen his best numbers by far this year go against right-handed pitchers, so we might want to think about deploying him while he’s both a good price and dialed in.
Thames donging for a third straight game feels like a reach, so I can understand if you’d prefer to look elsewhere. In this price range we can look at Matt Adams ($3.2k) and Josh Bell ($2.9k). Both of these guys crush right-handed pitching and provide value on this slate. Bell might be my preferred choice with a nice matchup against Eddie Butler.
2B: Jose Pirela – San Diego Padres ($2.8k)
If we want Mad Max we have to look for ways to save and Pirela should meet a lot of our requirements. He’s getting a positive park shift with a road date in Miller Park, for one, while he also is flat out wrecking right-handed pitching these days. He’s been on a tear in general, with an insane 15 hits over his last nine games.
There are other solid 2B options to consider, of course, as Ian Happ ($3.2k) isn’t too much more expensive and has donged in his last two outings. Brandon Drury ($2.7k) has also been wrecking lately and doesn’t see a terrible park dip in Philly tonight.
3B: Maikel Franco – Philadelphia Phillies ($3k)
I honestly didn’t hate a few Phillies last night against Chris Sale due to their power against southpaws, so with middling lefty Patrick Corbin coming to town tonight, we probably can think even harder about firing some Philly bats up. Franco is probably one of the top options to consider, as he’s a strong value at 3B, offers power upside and also fares best against lefties. He’s also in a nice groove at the moment, as he’s racked up 8 hits over his last four contests.
If we have a little more cash to spend, I like Mike Moustakas ($3.5k) who remains ablaze and wrecks right-handed pitching. He’s on the road in a pitcher’s park, but gets the very beatable Jesse Chavez and is always a homer waiting to happen.
SS: Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.7k)
This looks like a pretty good spot to pay up to me, as SS doesn’t offer a ton of value and I can freely find it in a lot of other spots. I like the idea of Seager’s power and efficiency at Great American Ballpark, too, while the Dodgers star has hit safely in each of his last five contests (2 hits in four of those games). He looks like a safe play here and he isn’t even costing us that much. He also gets the beatable Tim Adleman and tends to do his best work against righties, so I love the idea of firing him up tonight.
Francisco Lindor is another solid option around the same price, while we could go back to the well with Trevor Story at Coors. Aledmys Diaz ($2.8k) is also a nice cheap play at Camden Yards against Kevin Gausman.
OF: Adam Duvall – Cincinnati Reds ($2.5k)
Color me locked in on Duvall, as FD seems to have made a price gaffe here. I don’t see the logic against using this masher, who has found at least one hit in 8 of his last 10 games. Duvall does face a strong southpaw in Alex Wood, but Duvall is at home and actually happens to destroy left-handed pitching. It’s true Wood has been quite stingy and has a tough K rate, but he’s on the road in a hitter’s park. That makes this value too good to ignore.
OF: Derek Fisher – Houston Astros ($2.2k)
There are always a bunch of beastly OF options to pay up for, but usually we don’t need to point them out. I don’t see the harm in punting OF completely if we’re using Max, as there is a ton of usable value in this spot. Fisher is another guy we can probably toss in as a dart throw, as the talented rookie wrecked in his debut and could potentially keep his positive momentum going tonight against the volatile Drew Pomeranz.
We can’t know how Fishers will perform against a lefty just yet, so be sure he’s even starting. Still, Pomeranz has struggled on the road this year and if Fisher can merely get on base one or two times tonight, he could easily return value.
OF: Mallex Smith – Tampa Bay Rays ($2.4k)
The same goes for Smith, who is wrecking both sides of the plate these days and has hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games. Smith can do it all, as he can hit, draw walks, slam the long ball and rack up steals. This jack of all trades may not be in an ideal spot against lefty Daniel Norris, but his splits look great so far and I see no reason not to ride the wave.
If we’re weary of any of these guys, we can also consider diving for Brian Goodwin ($2.6k) or Kyle Schwarber ($2.6k). Goodwin has been on fire lately and both have showcased plenty of power.
That does it for Friday’s look at our favorite MLB FanDuel picks. Make sure you mix and match with your own picks, but we wish you luck no matter how you go about putting your roster together tonight!