We had a great night with our FanDuel MLB picks on Wednesday and hopefully you were along for the ride. In fact, if you tweaked our daily fantasy baseball lineup just right you could have won big money. Jose Berrios was the safe, reliable play we hoped he’d be, while a slew of our bats exceeded expectations.
Yasmani Grandal (2 HR) was our best play of the night, while Francisco Lindor went yard, Brian Dozier was strong and Yasiel Puig went deep, as well. Of course we went wrong with Aaron Judge (3 points) of all people, while Eric Thames was a scratch you hopefully caught. We had some nice secondary picks that worked well, too, with Jedd Gyorko donging for the second night in a row and Gary Sanchez (12 points) working out just fine if you paid up for him.
It was a solid night, overall, so hopefully you got off of Judge and benefited from it. We’ll dive into a smaller main slate to see what our version of the best lineup could be:
SP: Jaime Garcia – Atlanta Braves ($8k)
Let’s be clear about two things; Garcia absolutely could get rocked tonight and Luis Severino is easily the top arm to pay up for on this slate. There are problems with Severino, though. For one, he’ll be the chalk play so in GPPs especially, it could pay to take a different approach. He’s also in a dangerous park at Yankee Stadium and while the Angels aren’t normally a dangerous offense, they do not K a ton and they’ve been overcompensating for the loss of Mike Trout.
I still love Severino for all contests and we can consider Jake Arriet as another top tier option, too. Arrieta is on the road against a powerful Marlins team that just got blitzed by Max Scherzer, though. They could take it out on Arrieta, who is not inducing enough soft contact this year.
This brings me to door number three, as Garcia gets a weak Giants offense that collectively ranks 26th in home runs against southpaws and just 20th in batting average. Garcia has yet to snag a win at home, but he’s actually been solid from a DFS perspective, producing 45+ fantasy points in three of his last six starts. He got slapped around in his last game but the price and matchup work here and we can load up on quality bats. The K rate has been solid for Garcia, too, while the Giants have the 5th most strikeouts against left-handed pitchers.
On a six-game slate, the difference between scrounging for value hitters and paying for the obvious plays could be massive. Stick with Severino in cash games and most of your GPP tourneys, but Garcia may not be the worst arm to build around for a few GPP dart throws.
C: Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers ($3.2k)
We could pay up for Gary Sanchez again or take a stab at Mike Zunino against a lefty, but Avila offers solid value and just as much upside. He’s been one of my staple catcher plays this year, along with Yasmani Grandal and Sanchez. I only use him when he’s facing a beatable righty and tonight he gets rookie pitcher, Andrew Moore.
Using batters against young arms can easily go either way, so I’ll certainly be hedging at catcher by having extra lineups with Sanchez and Zunino. Catcher is actually a really strong position on this small slate and I could go in a number of directions, including back to the well with Yasmani Grandal, who remains rather cheap.
1B: Justin Bour – Miami Marlins ($3.2k)
I love two options here tonight – Matt Adams and Justin Bour. Bour crushes at home and Arrieta is giving up more hard contact than you’d like to see out of him. On the road against a team full of mashers, that’s bound to lead to a dong or two. Bour wrecks both sides of the plate and is especially nasty in his home park, so I’m digging him here at a nice price. Adams is a bit cheaper, but he wrecks right-handed pitching and is at home versus human gas can, Matt Cain.
We can also pay up for the ever popular Cody Bellinger, but I’d rather hang back with these two guys, who offer similar upside but should be lesser owned.
2B: Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers ($3.3k)
Kinsler is red hot right now, as he’s donged in two straight games and hit safely in 9 of his last 10. He’s got strong splits against righties, too, and just like Avila will be facing a young pitcher in his MLB debut. As we suggested with Avila, targeting pitchers in their debuts carries assumed risk, but it also promotes serious upside. I don’t know if we’ll go full force with a Tigers stack, but not taking a few stabs at this matchup would be a real waste.
I am not in love with 2B tonight, otherwise, as a lot of the guys do not have ideal situations. Javier Baez is my other play here, as he’s really cheap and hits lefties well. He has been brutal on the road this year, but he gets Jeff Locke and cheap Cubs are fun to use.
3B: Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs ($3.8k)
Full disclosure, the Cubs have been burned me left and right all year. Still, Bryant feels like he offers value in this spot, as Jeff Locke is not a scary pitcher and he’s been wrecking southpaws in 2017. I like the splits and upside, plus there aren’t many other viable option to turn to at 3B on this main slate. We could consider Wilmer Flores ($2.8k) again with another matchup against a lefty in Dodger Stadium, but I have no qualms with paying up for Bryant.
SS: Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners ($3.5k)
I’ve been waiting almost a month to use the ultra reliable Segura again. He finally returned from an injury yesterday and promptly handed in 12 fantasy points. He is splits-proof and at home against a beatable arm in Daniel Norris, so there’s nothing to hate here. He’s not exactly cheap, but the reliable options at SS feel rather limited tonight. I don’t really want to go way up to $4k for Corey Seager, so I’m probably going with Segura or diving lower for someone like New York’s Didi Gregorius ($3.1k).
OF: Enrique Hernandez – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.3k)
Los Angeles draws a matchup with a lefty tonight so they’ll sport a different lineup than usual. That should include Hernandez, who absolutely wrecks southpaws. He provides some solid power and awesome splits, plus he also gives us some serious salary relief. He’s not exactly a safe play and we need to make sure he’s starting, but he’s a viable GPP option.
OF: Justin Upton – Detroit Tigers ($3.5k)
I very much prefer to use Upton against left-handed pitching, but I’m interested in a powerful Tigers stack and he easily can be a big part of that. Most of his long balls (12 of 14) have come against right-handed pitching anyways, while a date with the inexperience Andrew Moore could go very well for Detroit. Upton has the power and overall upside we want and he also happens to perform a little bit better on the road.
If we don’t want a 3-4 man Tigers stack, we can pivot off of Upton to someone like Brett Gardner ($3.7k) who is at home against Jesse Chavez and kills righties.
OF: Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners ($4.2k)
I can complete the 4-man Tigers stack with J.D. Martinez here, and I have no real issue with that, but I prefer to use him against lefties. I still might do a full 4-man Tigers stack in a GPP, but we can leave it at three and actually close things up with Cruz. Cruz has been mashing and we all know how he rakes southpaws. He gets a tasty home date with Daniel Norris and when we factor in the splits, the matchup and Cruz’s 14-game home run drought, I’m confident tonight is the night he finally goes yard again.
Again, I’m fine with a full Tigers stack, but if you don’t want Cruz or J.D. here, we should consider going back to the well with Judge. He could be somewhat low owned at $4.8k and he’s at home against the ever hittable Jesse Chavez.