We didn’t get another 4-home run night on Wednesday, but if we made the right calls, we could still make some coin. We had no problem cashing last night, but taking down GPPs were another story. Hopefully you caught the Dallas Keuchel scratch in time, as our top pitcher was taken off the board before his game even started.
Like always, we did plug a few extra options, as we still loved Zack Greinke and also promoted Brewers ace, Jimmy Nelson. Neither lit the world afire, but I’m not sure either completely sank you in cash games, either. Our FanDuel MLB picks had some big hits in the batting department, as Jake Lamb and Didi Gregorious both smacked homers and Alex Avila (6) and Scooter Gennett (6.2) at least got on the board. Hanley Ramirez was a big miss with C.C. Sabathia turning back the clock in 8 innings of shutout work against the Red Sox, while Max Kepler didn’t work out as we’d hoped but at least got a hit to close out the night.
Suffice to say, Wednesday was a mixed bag and didn’t go quite as planned. Let’s aim for better results as we dive into Thursday’s FanDuel MLB picks:
SP: Lance McCullers Jr. – Houston Astros ($9.7k)
I didn’t have to look hard to find my favorite arm on FanDuel today, as McCullers is in a friendly park against a weak KC offense and probably offers the most K upside of any pitcher on the main slate. Jon Lester is facing the Rockies and both David Price and Michael Pineda are battling in an explosive Yankees vs. Red Sox showdown at Yankee Stadium.
That will make McCullers super chalky, but we shouldn’t be afraid of that. If you want to go contrarian or save cash, we can consider Philadelphia’s Ben Lively, as he’s super cheap at $5.9k. He managed to shutout the Giants across 7 innings, but did so without recording a single strikeout. That makes him a considerable risk, but if he can bring some Ks into a somewhat favorable tilt with the Braves, he could quickly be very appealing.
C: Tyler Flowers – Atlanta Braves ($2.7k)
If we’re not using Lively then we should probably target him and using Flowers (who hits both sides very well) is a great way to do it. Flowers has been super reliable with a hit in 8 of his last 9 games, plus he also brings some pop to the table. He’s at home and facing an inexperienced arm, so there’s lots of upside here and you’re not paying too much for a weak position.
Mike Zunino ($2.8k) is around the same price range and is another viable option. He donged twice last night and is on quite the tear lately. He’s pretty good at coming up lame and giving you absolutely nothing, but he’s a homer waiting to happen and will be at home against a bad pitcher in Kyle Gibson. I like both of these catchers tonight and they give us no reason to pay up at the position.
1B: Matt Adams – Atlanta Braves ($2.7k)
Adams is always in play when you’ve got a beatable (or any) right-handed arm taking the mound. Lively might be worth a GPP flier, but he’s otherwise going to be a pitcher to target due to his inability so far to rack up strikeouts in the majors. That puts someone like Adams firmly in play, as any contact he established is in danger of being of the hard variety.
Adams cranked out another home run last night and has been flat out crushing since being traded from the Cardinals to the Braves. He’s also enjoying a five-game hitting streak and is a risk to get walks, so across the board he’s a solid bet to return some decent production tonight. The best part is FD has not adjusted his price at all, so we can fade the expensive 1B options and continue to soak up the profit Adams awards us.
2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($3.4k)
Dozier is not an efficient hitter, but he’s always a solid try for a long ball and has actually been reliable lately, finding a way to hit safely in 20 of his last 25 outings. Tonight he’s on the road, but gets a beatable arm in Christian Bergman, who has some K upside, but has also struggled with the long ball. In just five starts, the 29-year old righty has given up 7 home runs.
Bergman is also a fly ball pitcher and has specifically gotten rocked the most by right-handed hitters. That’s bad news for Bergman, but could be fantastic news for Dozier tonight.
3B: Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins ($4.2k)
I’m into the Twins tonight, in case you couldn’t tell. Bergman has displayed some upside, but he also gives up a ton of hard contact and hasn’t done a good job containing righties. I see no reason not to fire up Sano, as has favorable splits no matter who he’s facing and is absolutely on fire right now. He’s the priciest option at 3B tonight, but there aren’t any viable punts and it’d be tough to promote another option harder.
Sano is also in quite the groove, as he’s hit safely 8 consecutive games and has produced 20+ fantasy points four times during that stretch. Sano is an elite play tonight and I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Dozier both capped the night with homers.
SS: Ramon Torres – Kansas City Royals ($0)
Update: Torres is not starting. Ideally we can find a way to pay up for Trea Turner or Carlos Correa. Torres is still mildly appealing thanks to the $0 price tag, as he could always enter the game late as a pinch hitter.
No, you read that correctly. Normally I wouldn’t love plugging guys facing my top arm, but Torres notched two hits in his MLB debut last night (12.5 fantasy points) and due to what has to be a FD glitch, he costs us literally nothing. Torres will probably be close to 100% owned in cash games and at least half of that in tourneys, as he’s a true free square. Just make sure he plays.
If you don’t want to roll the dice with the free salary Torres provides, there are still plenty of SS options to consider. Trea Turner ($4.2k) might be the best SS at a high level, as he faces a right-handed hurler tonight and the kid has been ablaze. He’s certainly overcome his slow start and has now hit safely in 7 of his last 8 games. He’s doing more than that, though, as he’s recorded 9 multi-hit games in the last month and has also racked up 12 steals during that span.
If you want to save some cash but not quite as much as Torres saves you, we can consider Pittsburgh’s Jordy Mercer ($3.1k). He doesn’t wield a powerful bat or much upside, but he’s red hot right now with 11 hits across his last six outings. He’s also hit safely in each of those contests, too.
OF: Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals ($4.7k)
I know this feels like an easy call, but let’s face it, it’s fun to pay up for the big dogs when it makes more sense than usual. Torres allows for a stud pitcher and a nasty offensive stack, but even without him I love Harper in this setting. Harper mashes right-handed pitching and draws a date with the very beatable Alec Asher, who sports a 45% hard contact rate. That probably means Harper is either going to endure some bad luck with fly balls or he’s going to send 1-2 out of the park. I’m paying up for him today and expect a strong outing.
Hopefully our FanDuel MLB picks have helped you win some cash already, and if not, we hope they do tonight. Feel free to leave some comments to share your thoughts on this slate or if you use any of our suggested plays. Regardless what you decide, we wish you luck in your daily fantasy baseball contests tonight!