Last night was crazy. Like, really crazy. As in, Scooter Gennett of all people smacked four home runs and without a doubt led a few people to some serious cash. I wish I could say I propped Gennett up as a great play, but this really came out of nowhere. Gennett was the minimum price at FanDuel and batting 5th for the Reds, but he hadn’t been very efficient to this point and really has never been known for his power.
That might change things going forward. While we missed Gennett, we did have some success stories via our FanDuel MLB picks, as Chris Archer topped 50 fantasy points, Alex Avila and Andrew Benintendi both smacked homers and Mike Moustakas donged his way to over 40 fantasy points, as well. Lucas Duda was a fine play, as well, as he notched two hits and a run.
Our only whiffs were Dixon Machado (who didn’t end up playing with Ian Kinsler back) and Corey Seager (Max Scherzer fanned 14 at L.A.). It was still a successful night, as my lineups cashed with these guys in it. Hopefully you found a way to get a few of these plays in your lineup, but if you didn’t have Gennett, odds are you weren’t taking down a big GPP.
Gennett’s historic night may have some of us on tilt (I truly almost played him), but it’s onward and upward as another big MLB DFS slate is upon us. There are a few early games that start at 3:10 pm ET, but with an All Day slate not up at FD, we’ll avoid those in today’s FanDuel MLB picks column. Let’s get started:
SP: Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros ($10.9k)
I’m likely down to Keuchel or Zach Greinke at the top here, but Greinke is pitching in a bad park for home runs and he’s gotten knocked around at times this year. He should still be fine against the Padres, but I might prefer Keuchel in a better park against the Royals. We can also give Jimmy Nelson a cursory glance as he has really upped his Ks and gets the Giants. I’m giving Yu Darvish a hard fade at home against a dangerous Mets squad, though.
Keuchel is probably the safe play, although he admittedly does not boast the same strikeout upside that Greinke does. It’s not like he can’t get Ks, though. Keuchel still has at least 7 strikeouts in 6 of his last 9 starts, plus the guy simply doesn’t lose. He’s easier to trust at home, but he still boasts a nasty 2.20 ERA on the road and will get a KC lineup that ranks 27th in batting average versus southpaws. They also lack pop, so as long as he can pitch around Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas, he should be fine.
I’m not interested in any punts tonight, but Lance Lynn feels cheap. He hasn’t been great on the road and his park isn’t good tonight, but he did handle the Reds earlier this year.
C: Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers ($3k)
I still don’t see many catchers I love, as several that I’d normally want have a bad matchup or the splits just aren’t there. Avila donging for the fourth game in a row feels like a reach, but it’s certainly possible and the guy continues to wreck right-handed pitching. He also remains a good price, is at home and is facing a beatable arm in Alex Meyer. Meyer has been okay on the year, but he’s had major problems (8.10 ERA) on the road. That could continue in Detroit tonight and Avila could be a part of it.
My favorite punt would be Chris Herrman ($2.1k) if he’s available. He crushes righties and always has a shot at a home run. He left last night’s game with a hand injury, though, so keep an eye on his status if you plan on using him.
1B: Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox ($3.3k)
I love using HanRam anytime the matchup makes sense against a lefty. He mashes southpaws to the moon and back and tonight he gets C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia has actually turned back the clock with some very strong outings lately, but he’s got his work cut out for him against a loaded Boston lineup. Ramirez is certainly one problematic piece to that puzzle, as he’s catching fire with two home runs in his last three games and he’s also donged C.C. before. It’s also worth noting that Sabathia is no stranger to the long ball, having allowed at least one home run in 7 of his 10 starts this year. All 9 of those jacks have come against righties, too. Fire Hanley up with confidence.
2B: Scooter Gennett – Cincinnati Reds ($2.2k)
I don’t see any way around at least trying Gennett once or twice tonight, as he’s coming off a game for the ages. No, we can’t expect another 4-dong night, but maybe he’s found something in his swing or timing to help him keep rolling here. Beyond that, he’s dirt cheap and should bat 5th or higher again tonight.
We can’t stop short at blindly using Gennett after an amazing outing, so let’s also consider guys like Brian Dozier, Ian Kinsler and Rougned Odor. Dozier and Kinsler can be had at solid discounts and bring home run upside, while Odor has been connecting consistently and mashes right-handed pitching. Zack Wheeler is no scrub, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Odor took him deep tonight.
3B: Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3.9k)
Lamb is certainly expensive, but we need to break away from Mike Moustakas, who gets a tough lefty in Dallas Keuchel. That has me turning to Lamb or maybe punting the position tonight. I’ll try my hardest to fit Lamb in, however, as he gets a beatable righty in Luis Perdomo in his home park. Lamb crushes right-handed pitching, plays slightly better at his home park and also has good history against Perdomo.
I don’t see any reason to be scared off of Lamb, and with a slew of other viable options at 3B, it’s not crazy to think you could get him at discounted ownership. He’s in fine form and is due for a long ball, so he feels like a locked in play for me tonight.
SS: Didi Gregorious – New York Yankees ($2.9k)
Gregorious is shaping up as my favorite play at SS, just because he’s at home, gives us some wiggle room with the salary and just needs to get on base to pay off in this loaded offense. He doesn’t have a great history against Rick Porcello, but he’s on fire at the plate right now (8-game hitting streak) and has solid splits against right-handed pitching. Porcello isn’t quite as stable on the road and if the Yanks can get to him early, perhaps this matchup doesn’t even matter.
Carlos Correa is the top play at the position if we can fit his loaded $4.2k salary in, but that’s not necessary.
OF: Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins ($3.6k)
I’m fairly game for any Twins against Yovani Gallardo tonight, but Kepler might be the most appealing. His price could help make him a bit contrarian, which is fine because I love the upside he has with his power in this matchup. Gallardo isn’t a good pitcher at this point in his career and he specifically has issues with keeping the ball in the park. He gave up two home runs in his last outing and has done that in three of his last four starts.
That doesn’t hand Kepler a long ball automatically, but we’re going to see some shots here and Gallardo is hittable in general (22 hits allowed across his last three starts). Kepler also has the splits edge here, as the 24-year old lefty mashes right-handed pitching. Kepler also comes in already in a groove, having hit safely in 8 straight contests.