Last night was not great for daily fantasy baseball. Perfect evidence of that is the first place finishes in my $5 single entry GPP had Joe Ross and his 12 strikeouts (0.9% owned) and two 0’s, yet he still took home $800. It was a weird night, as your favorite Astros stack wasn’t up to the task, the Twins and Mariners combined for just three runs and only the Yankees showed up in a rivalry clash at Yankee Stadium.
You were fine if you used a bunch of Nationals players, but the White Sox and Rays oddly delivered one of the most explosive games of the night and we also didn’t get much from the Cubs or Rockies. Our FanDuel MLB picks didn’t crush, either, as Brian Dozier (3 points) and Miguel Sano (6) were quite spare. Lance McCullers was a hit, while Tyler Flowers (12) and Matt Adams (9) were at least serviceable and Bryce Harper crushed with 27.7 fantasy points.
It was an up and down night, but we put a lot of stock in two Twins mashers and they came up short. More importantly, we didn’t fall in love with Gary Sanchez, who double-donged David Price.
Let’s let last night wash away as we look ahead to a loaded 14-game Friday main slate and see which players offer the best mixture of value and upside at FanDuel. For today’s FanDuel MLB picks, we’re going with a full lineup:
SP: Brad Peacock – Houston Astros ($7k)
Corey Kluber ($10.5k) is without a doubt the top arm to use on this slate and he’s really not even that badly priced. However, that Indians/Sox game has some sketchy weather coming its way. Even if it doesn’t get PPD, there is a 62% chance for rain and thunderstorms in the middle of the game, so its quite possible (if not likely) we catch a delay. Big delay risk and potential PPD probably have me off of Kluber in cash games, but he could end up making for a fun GPP try.
The options are limited beyond Kluber, as there are some big names but not a ton of reliable substance. Julio Teheran, Tanner Roark, Matt Harvey, Dylan Bundy, Matt Shoemaker and Ervin Santana all have some perks, but they also have some serious hiccups. Bundy gets the Yankees on the road and has a low K rate, Santana has been getting rocked more and more lately, Shoemaker is on the road versus the deadly Astros, Teheran has been hit or miss and gets the powerful Mets and Matt Harvey is really just a name at this point.
None of that makes Brad Peacock any less shaky, but he’s had an awesome K rate, is way cheaper than these guys and will be at home against a Mike Trout-less Halos squad. The Angels did trounce Michael Fulmer last night, but perhaps Peacock’s swing-and-miss stuff will give him the edge he needs. He’s certainly in a solid spot to get some Ks and get the win, so I like the value and upside here. This is a bad pitching slate when we really think about it, though, so you’re probably taking a gamble no matter who you use.
C: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees ($3.5k)
I don’t think Sanchez sends two more out of the park tonight, but Alex Avila is facing a southpaw and I don’t love the value I’m seeing elsewhere at catcher. It’s not like you need to try hard to convince me to use Sanchez, who has GPP-winning upside every time out and has a positive matchup against a righty in Dylan Bundy. He’s donged Bundy before and will again be at Yankee Stadium, so there’s nothing to hate here.
We could try to save mildly with Brian McCann or Jason Castro (he’s red hot right now), but I don’t love the value when Sanchez is just a few hundred more. I’m either paying for Gary or punting catcher tonight.
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3k)
Thames has been a bit all or nothing lately, but he seems to be working his way back intro a groove with three homers in his last eight games. He sees a nice park shift going over to Chase Field and gets a winnable matchup, as well. Thames crushes right-handed pitching and has the power to lift our teams in GPP tournament late in the night. The other big thing is his price tag remains way too low for the upside he brings to the table.
2B: Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals ($3.8k)
If we’re using Peacock we’re going to be able to load up tonight and just need to find a few spots where we’re comfortable saving. Thames is one such spot, but I like the idea of spending a bit more cash at 2B, where the ever reliable Daniel Murphy resides. Murph always can dong us into the green, but even when he’s not converting on the long ball he’s part of a nasty offense and he knows how to get on base and score. The 32-year old veteran has been ablaze lately, as he’s hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games and also has 5 multi-hit outings during that stretch.
I’m already sold on Murphy, but he’s also facing the hittable Andrew Cashner, who he owns a solid 5-of-9 line (1 home run) against. Murphy’s continue dominance against right-handed pitching only adds to the allure.
3B: Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks ($4.2k)
The splits and power love continues with Lamb returning home to Chase Field to battle young right-hander pitcher, Zach Davies. This is a bad park shift for Davies, who has actually been good lately but should be in a tough spot against a stacked Arizona lineup. This game has a high Total and Lamb mashes righties, so he looks to be worth the price.
SS: Trea Turner – Washington Nationals ($4.2k)
Our last big money guy is shortstop Trea Turner, who put up over 30 fantasy points last night without sending out a deep ball. The guy can rack up hits, steals and runs like nobody’s business and we shouldn’t be shocked if he does more of the same tonight against Andrew Cashner at home. Turner is in a serious groove right now, as he’s hit safely in 8 of his last 9 contests and has also produced multi-hit efforts five times during that span.
Turner is on fire right now and we should ride the wave. It only helps that he sports his best splits against righties and is 2-for-2 with a triple, RBI and a walk in his only action against the shaky Cashner.
OF: Andrew Benintendi – Boston Red Sox ($2.9k)
We are certainly taking on some risk by deploying Brad Peacock as our top arm tonight, but this stack job and his high K rate should make it worth the gamble. Beni is part of that gamble, as he mashes right-handed pitching and gets a very tasty matchup at home against Jordan Zimmerman.
Benintendi burned anyone who used him last night with a big fat 0, but he’s in a fine spot to bounce back. His splits are strong against righties, while Zimmerman has had major issues with the long ball and hard contact in general in 2017. Zimmerman has coughed up a staggering 16 deep balls on the year and also gets wrecked by lefty batters. Beni could always burn us with a poor performance, but he’s got the splits, matchup, park factor and power to turn in a huge performance. On top of that, he simply remains way too cheap.
OF: Brett Gardner – New York Yankees ($3.3k)
We’ll tack on two more outfielders to give you a full lineup tonight and there’s little reason to shy away from adding a Yankee. Gardner is one of the top Yankees to try, as he’s got a discounted price, is at home and gets to face a righty in Dylan Bundy. Gardner swings his bat best when facing righties and has had no issues with Bundy (5 of 10) in the small sample size we’ve seen.
It’s always good to get a piece to New York’s puzzle when the matchup promotes it, while Gardner has flexed extra power in 2017. This could be a great spot for him to dong.
OF: Ben Gamel – Seattle Mariners ($2.9k)
Our last guy is Gamel, who could bat high in the order again, possibly whether or not Nelson Cruz (calf) sits out for a second straight game. We’ll want to keep an eye on that, but Gamel provides value either way, as he’s cheap and has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. He actually just had his 10-game hitting streak snapped last night, but it’s fair to imagine him picking it back up tonight against Joe Biagini.
Biagini has been solid on the year, but he’s struggled on the road (6.04 ERA) and Gamel rakes versus right-handed pitching. With Gamel in a groove and Biagini not looking great on the road, this could be a great spot for Gamel to produce a multi-hit outing.