Last night was a ton of fun if you followed our FanDuel MLB picks. Marcus Stroman (57 fantasy points) was the beast we thought he’d be and we got a ton of help from our bats. It’s quite likely you had an amazing daily fantasy baseball squad – with our picks or without – and didn’t place, however, as last night was crazy.
Regardless, we hit it big across the board, as Alex Avila and Ryan Braun both donged, Steve Pearce racked up three hits and Trea Turner was as active as ever. We did get sunk by Eric Thames, Josh Donaldson and Chris Young blanking us, but hopefully you used Stroman and some of our successful bats to cash out on Wednesday.
It’s back to the grindstone for a smaller main slate on Thursday night, featuring Clayton Kershaw and just 8 games. Let’s get to it:
SP: Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers ($12.5k)
This is probably a Kershaw slate, just because he’s safe and even the best pivots are rather volatile. He’s certainly expensive and I actually don’t love a date with an Angels team that simply doesn’t K that much, but if anyone can get them to whiff more than usual, it’s Kershaw. He’s at least in a pitcher’s park and got back his insane form in his last start, where he K’d the Rockies 8 times in a shutout win.
I think it’d be helpful to go through a DFS build that shows a strong lineup around Kershaw, but I’d also like to make it clear that we should try a few other options in GPPs. Chris Archer is in a pitcher’s park against the Pirates and is easily the top pivot off of Kershaw. I also don’t hate Dinelson Lamet as a fun value try in Petco Park against the Braves.
C: Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays ($2.8k)
It’s Gary Sanchez and then everyone else at catcher, but if we’re getting Kersh we probably can’t force him into our lineup. We might want to try with a date with James Shields on the docket, but I like Martin plenty fine against the combustible Ubaldo Jimenez. Martin could be especially fun as people may be off of Jays a bit after they tanked the last two games.
There are several options we can consider here, too, with Yasmani Grandal being the same price, while Austin Hedges is considerably cheaper and could flash his power against Jaime Garcia.
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3k)
It’s back to the well with Thames, who is in a bit of a rut but could fix that tonight at Great American Ballpark versus Homer Bailey. We’re still getting a sharp discount here for a power hitter with good splits in a terrific park. Bailey also got shelled (8 runs) in his first start of the year and could continue to have rust/form issues.
We can also try Justin Bour here or roll with more Toronto options in Justin Smoak or Kendrys Morales.
2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($3.2k)
Dozier has been quite disappointing in his stay at Fenway Park, coming up lame against Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz despite sporting awesome splits versus left-handed pitching. I don’t love 2B on this slate and we’re getting a discount on those splits with a power hitter in a great park, so this looks like a fine roll of the dice. Price hasn’t been elite this year, anyways, so we can aim high here.
If we’re not going Dozier I see no reason not to punt or at least take a solid dive. Jonathan Villar and Jose Pirela are both $2.6k and can provide some salary relief. Villar might not be batting high in the order but he could be part of a viable Brew Crew stack against Bailey.
3B: Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles ($3.5k)
Machado is due for a long ball and I think this is a good spot to bet on it. He’s facing a solid pitcher in J.A. Happ, but he has a decent history in this matchup and rakes against lefties in general. This could be a great spot to target Orioles in general, as many should be off of them due to a seemingly tough road tilt.
If we don’t want to pay for Manny, we could stick in the same price range and use Miguel Sano. I don’t really want to double down on targeting David Price, but the splits are there and it could be a solid (and contrarian) mini-stack.
SS: Jose Peraza – Cincinnati Reds ($2.1k)
I do not like SS today at all, but Peraza is dirt cheap and could provide a ton of needed salary relief if we’re getting Kershaw. He’s at home in a hitter’s park and has actually hit safely in 6 of his last 8 games. He doesn’t give us reliable power on the surface but he’s been solid in limited action against Jimmy Nelson and could benefit from the park factor. Ideally he’ll be hitting somewhat high in the order but even if he’s not he may be too cheap to bypass.
If we want to spend a little here we can go for Didi Gregorius ($3.1k), who gets the every volatile James Shields and could easily send one deep.
OF: Max Moroff – Pittsburgh Pirates ($2k)
This pick is a roll of the dice and strictly for GPPs, and it’s quite contingent on the young Moroff again leading off for the Pirates. This is one of Pittsburgh’s top young prospects and while he’s been atrocious on the plate, it only takes one or two hits to get things going. Chris Archer is a brutal matchup, but he’ the minimum and the contact Archer allows could open the door a crack for Moroff to fire one deep. I’m not banking on that as much as I am his place in the order and his salary, but it sure would be welcomed.
OF: Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.4k)
Normally I prefer to use Puig at home and J.C. Ramirez has actually been pretty good lately, but he offers serious value with some nice power here. Ramirez isn’t unbeatable and even in a pitcher’s park, Puig could easily blast one deep. The Dodgers are always a team worth getting into in daily fantasy baseball, too, especially when it’s at a discounted price.
OF: Adam Duvall – Cincinnati Reds ($3.5k)
If Duvall stinks tonight, it’s whatever. The Reds masher is in quite the groove, as he’s donged in each of his last two games and has hit safely 9 times in his last 10 games. He’s obviously in a hitter’s park and knows Jimmy Nelson well (6 for 12, 1 HR) so the only thing stopping him from a solid outing is Nelson being dialed in at an elite level. I’m fine with those odds.