Tuesday was an odd night in daily fantasy baseball. We had to make some last minute adjustments to our MLB DFS lineup thanks to Chris Herrman and Justin Turner being late scratches, so hopefully you caught those gaffes and they didn’t impact your daily fantasy team. Herrman actually ended up pinch hitting for Arizona and produced 10 fantasy points, so he technically can still be counted as a win.
We also vouched for Yasmani Grandal as the top pivot there, but he was another inactive. We hit it big with our pitching, as Luis Severino was a boss. James Paxton was another favorite of ours who also excelled. The hitting was touch and go, as J.D. Martinez was a great play (30.7 fantasy points) and Chris Young (37.7) was arguably the steal of the night. Trea Turner (39.4) ended up being worth paying up for, too. Unfortunately, Eric Thames (3) and Jason Kipnis (3) probably held you back, while secondary 3B options like Josh Donaldson (0) didn’t help, either.
Hopefully you used our pitching and got J.D., Young and Trea in your lineups. If you mixed them with the right calls, you could have won big last night.
It’s onward and upward from here, as we hope to make more elite MLB DFS picks for Wednesday’s main slate:
SP: Marcus Stroman – Toronto Blue Jays ($8.4k)
Pitcher is weird tonight, as Stephen Strasburg is going to be chalk but I’m not enamored with him. He’s a big favorite and at home against a mangled Cubs lineup, but he also has allowed 13 runs across his last three games and still doesn’t have an ideal matchup by any means. Strasburg is the top option and we should use him in cash games, but I’m looking for a pivot in GPPs for sure.
We could consider Yu Darvish, Chase Anderson or Masahiro Tanaka here, but I’m not feeling it. All three pitchers will be on the road, while Anderson is in a brutal ballpark. Darvish also gets a tough Indians offense. Any of these guys could dominate, but I’d rather use them at home in better spots. This has me looking at Marcus Stroman, paying for Stras or considering my punting options tonight. I’ll probably roster Strasburg 50% of the time and in all of my cash games, use Stroman in 25% of GPPs and punt in the rest.
Stroman is usually a safe arm to get behind, as he’s an effective ground ball pitcher and is pretty steady (3.29 ERA) at home. He’s gotten slapped around in his last two starts (13 hits, 10 runs), so I’m hoping people will be somewhat off of him. I see no reason to be scared off, as he can limit hard contact and gets an Orioles offense that really doesn’t have as much bite as they should. Chris Davis remains out and Baltimore tends to struggle on the road in general. There is assumed risk here, but I like Stroman to keep things together at home tonight and that should provide some salary relief for some lethal bats in our FanDuel lineup.
C: Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers ($2.8k)
If you read my FanDuel MLB picks column, you know I’m a fan of Avila, who always packs solid power and destroys right-handed pitching. The Tigers in general have a nice matchup at home against the volatile Ian Kennedy, while it’s arguable Avila is due to go yard. Kennedy is no stranger to the long ball (has allowed at least one HR in each of his last 10 starts) and boasts a poor 5.23 road ERA. I like Detroit again tonight, but specifically Avila and his power/splits if he’s starting.
There’s always the chance Detroit opts for someone else at backstop, so we should keep our options open at catcher. Chris Herrman ($2.6k) is a fine pivot, while I don’t hate the idea of paying up for a slightly discounted Gary Sanchez ($3.7k).
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.1k)
I’m going back to the well with Thames tonight. He did us wrong with just 3 fantasy points last night, be he’s in an awesome park, always threatens with the long ball, has strong splits versus right-handed pitching and has specifically raked against the Reds in 2017. He also gets a young pitcher making just his second start ever, so adding Thames to your team is a pretty logical move that offers plenty of upside.
I continue to like the upside and value of Justin Bour ($3k) at home, while Wil Myers ($3.7k) could be a fine try at home against Bartolo Colon.
2B: Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers ($3.4k)
I’m a fan of Detroit hitters tonight and Kinsler has some nice history (7 for 15 with 1 HR) against Ian Kennedy. There is a lot to like about Kinsler, who is at home, fares plenty fine against right-handed pitching and is also in a groove with at least one knock in 7 of his last 10 contests. He’s even been sporting improved power lately, so it wouldn’t be at all shocking to see him take Kennedy yard.
I also don’t mind paying up for Daniel Murphy ($4k) here if you can afford it, while Josh Harrison ($3.2k) is at home and has strong splits versus lefties. He’ll be facing the beatable Blake Snell.
3B: Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays ($3.9k)
Donaldson is another guy we’re going right back to the well to again tonight. He burned us on Tuesday, but tonight he gets a lefty and Donaldson has destroyed southpaws this season. He continues to pack a serious punch with splits and power and while he’s not cheap, it’s tough to hate him against the volatile Wade Miley.
We could consider dropping down and saving with Wilmer Flores ($3.2k) due to his success against southpaws, while Kris Bryant ($3.2k) remains rather cheap.
SS: Trea Turner – Washington Nationals ($4k)
Let’s go back to the well with Turner, who was amazing last night and is in another good spot to post high level production. This guy is a threat for hits and steals in any matchup, but tonight he’s at home against John Lackey, who is clearly regressing in his age-38 season. Lackey struggles with contact and isn’t very good on the road, plus Turner wrecks right-handed pitching. I love him to get on base a couple times tonight and hopefully he swipes a bag or two, as well.
OF: Chris Young – Boston Red Sox ($2.5k)
Another trip back to the well here with Young, who was an excellent value play on Wednesday and could be just that again tonight. You want to take advantage of Young’s awesome splits versus left-handed pitching whenever it makes sense and it certainly does here against Adalberto Mejia. Mejia has struggles with the long ball and contact in general. He’s actually been pretty good outside of Target Field, but he’s not getting a park benefit at Fenway Park. I think he could be in trouble tonight and Young could be a big reason why.
OF: Steve Pearce – Toronto Blue Jays ($2.8k)
Toronto really burned me personally last night but I like them tonight at home against Wade Miley. We don’t necessarily need to stack them or use their most expensive bats, but I’d like some exposure to them and we could get some at a discount via the powerful Pearce. There could be some revenge on the brain for the former Orioles masher who happens to wreck left-handed pitching. I prefer him a little higher in the order, but as long as he starts, I’ll consider Pearce in this spot. It’s also worth noting that he’s donged Miley twice in 15 trips to the plate against him.
OF: Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers ($4k)
I don’t love paying such a steep price for Braun in just his second game back, but hopefully the high dollar amount lowers his ownership. He compiled 9.2 fantasy points in his return on Wednesday and tonight – provided he plays again – draws a favorable matchup with a young pitcher. We touched on Luis Castillo already and he certainly has some upside, but Great American Ballpark is a tough place to successfully pitch and the Brew Crew boasts plenty of power. I think there’s a decent chance Braun launches one here, but even if he doesn’t he could be pretty active with favorable splits in a great park.
If you’re not high on Braun, you can pivot to J.D. Martinez ($3.8k) or Mookie Betts ($3.9k). Both have fantastic matchups at home.