After a really solid Opening Day, my MLB DFS picks hit a wall on Friday night. I had two bats blank me and a number of hitters just come up lame. My team did not place, but it did manage to accrue 116 fantasy points.
I still had some great plays, too. Going back to the well with Mike Trout (21.9) was a good call, while Rhys Hoskins (21.7) was also a stud once again. The best call I made was one I didn’t even roll with in my MLB DFS picks column. That was Ryan Braun (32!), who I left out in favor of Willson Contreras (6).
It’s always nice when hitters at least get on the board, as Contreras was still joined by Scott Kingery (6), Adrian Beltre (9) and Albert Almora Jr. (6).
Jesus Aguilar didn’t start last night, so Almora was my $2k minimum-priced pivot to complete this roster, while Kingery is a talented young player I felt was worth a shot. He had a steal taken away from him, too, so he was really closing to work out with 12 fantasy points.
My pitcher was fantastic last night. I didn’t fully trust a lot of the top options, but I felt David Price (46) was in one of the better spots. He delivered a solid outing, striking out five batters and getting the win through seven good frames of work.
Again, this wasn’t a winning roster, but hopefully you used Price, Trout and Hoskins.
On Saturday’s main slate there is a small seven-game slate, which is about where I like my slate size. You are once again looking at a slate without a clear-cut elite arm, too, with Yu Darvish ($9.4k) leading the way. The big question is if he’s worth paying up for or if you’ll want to take a shot on a value arm.
Let’s see what route I’m going tonight as I piece together my favorite GPP team for FanDuel MLB DFS contests:
SP: Yu Darvish – Chicago Cubs ($9.4k)
I’m not going to get cute on this slate. I do think Zach Greinke ($9k) is a strong pivot in tournaments, but Darvish is going to be highly owned on this slate for good reason. He obviously can be a strikeout monster, but he’s taking on a very weak Miami Marlins offense that sold their soul this offseason.
Vegas loves the Cubs as the favorites here, too. After Miami won last night, I can’t see the Cubs losing again. Darvish should be extremely dialed in during his Cubs debut and I won’t be at all shocked to see him deliver the best pitching outing of this main slate.
He’s not even priced as a true elite arm, so I like the discount and I think you can get enough bats around him to piece together a squad that can storm the GPP castles.
The value at pitching is not good tonight. There are a ton of viable arms in the earlier slates, but to be frank, it’s Darvish or Greinke for me to close the night out. If you absolutely need a value play, the only guy I’d gamble on is Vincent Velasquez, purely based on his K potential.
C/1B: Lucas Duda – Kansas City Royals ($2.9k)
I rolled with Duda on Opening Day and he donged for me, so I don’t mind trying him out again tonight. He’s still at home and he gets Lucas Giolito, who has been prone to give up the long ball (15 home runs in 11 career starts!).
I’m not saying Giolito will get rocked here, but I think taking a stab at a Royal or two certainly makes good sense. Duda wrecks right-handed pitching (.360 wOBA, .298 ISO) and he’s a really good price, so he leads the way for me. Mike Moustakas is an obvious play to target for the Royals in this spot, but he’s $800 more.
2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($3.6k)
The 2B position is not very attractive on the main slate, so for me it’s Dozier or bust. If there is a cheap punt play that opens up I’ll consider it here, but it’s hard to hate his upside in Camden Yards.
Dozier carries deadly splits against righties into this one and will face an arm in Andrew Cashner that is far from elite. I don’t want a Twins stack here, but I do think Dozier can get to Cashner once and pay off.
3B: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals ($3.7k)
I said I wasn’t going to do a KC stack again, but you certainly can. The way my build worked out, I’m landing on Moose, who is expensive but brings a lot of power and killer splits to the table. The guy mashes righties, plays well at home and gets a home run fiend in Giolito. I don’t want a full KC stack, but Moose and Duda feel like a strong pairing.
I will say that 3B is absolutely loaded tonight. I’m also high on Jake Lamb and Travis Shaw, both of which are slightly cheaper.
SS: Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers
Manny Machado is the priciest SS on this slate and he might be my favorite play here, too. I can’t quite get to him with the way I built out this roster, while I want a piece of the Dodgers as they close this thing out against Derek Holland.
Holland has been a very volatile pitcher in the past and to this point one of the best offenses in baseball has accumulated exactly zero runs. I think the Dodgers could open up a can tonight, so stacking L.A. is very much in play. I’ll just use one guy for now, as Seager’s price has dropped and he can safely mash either side of the plate.
OF: Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles ($2.6k)
I’m a fan of the O’s as a stack today, as they’ll take on a very beatable pitcher in Kyle Gibson. Gibson can be annoying and just survive games at times, though, so for this build I’m not going to lazily pile on a Baltimore 4-pack. Instead, I’ll just roll with Mancini, who offers elite exposure to this offense at this low price tag.
Not only does Mancini have a great matchup in front of him in an awesome park, but he also owns killer splits (.362 wOBA, .223 ISO) against right-handed pitching. I also love Chris Davis in this spot and I can’t really argue against any Baltimore bats tonight.
OF: Nicky Delmonico – Chicago White Sox ($2.4k)
Chicago is a sneaky talented offense going into 2018, but they’re admittedly young. Still, I am interested in them a bit tonight, as they’ll be taking on a pitcher in Ian Kennedy who serves up a ton of hard contact. Kennedy has coughed up 31+ home runs in each of his last three seasons and he sported an unhealthy 7.65 ERA against Chicago in 2017.
I think the White Sox are a sneaky stack tonight, but much like the Orioles, I don’t want to overdue it here. I don’t mind Matt Davidson, Jose Abreu and others, but Delmonico offers cheap exposure to this stack and carries awesome splits (.362 wOBA, .218 ISO) against righties. I love him as a value pick on this slate.
OF: Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies ($3.8k)
Hoskins has turned into a truly special hitter and he’s not yet priced as such. Considering there are worse options at higher price tags at OF, I will go right back to the well for a third straight night here.
Hoskins has worked out for me a ton over the past year and tonight he is in a solid park against a beatable arm in Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy isn’t bad by any means, but he’s not a guy I am going to go out of my way to avoid. That’s especially case when Hoskins mashes both sides of the plate and is coming into the year red hot.
Util: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($2.8k)
Due to matchups, the powerful Thames hasn’t even played a full game yet this year. I don’t love using him at Petco Park, but he faces a volatile arm in Luis Perdomo that does not strike out a lot of batters. The main issue for Thames has always been his K’s, so if I can get him and his nasty splits (.390 wOBA, .286 ISO) against a low strikeout arm and at low ownership, I’m going to do it.
Overall, I’m starting with Yu and working my way from there. Stacking offenses you love is the quickest way to ascending the ladder in GPPs, but I think I’ll pick my spots tonight. There are a lot of decent pitchers on this slate, but only two truly elite ones. I’m interested in a lot of stacks, but I think I’ll try to get cheap exposure to several of them so I can land studs elsewhere.
Agree or disagree with my strategy? Tell me how you plan on going about tonight’s MLB DFS slate in the comments below!