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FanDuel MLB Picks – September 14th

Well, last night was weird. We were so close to a gem of a FanDuel MLB DFS squad, but the safest arm on earth – Max Scherzer – bombed. At home. Against the Braves.

My goodness, people. That was just brutal. Mad Max was rolling early, but in the end he was tagged for SEVEN EARNED RUNS and it took him 116 pitches to get us there.

All of the yikes.

Despite that horror show and Scherzer’s weak 18 fantasy points, we still cashed in the big $4 GPP at FanDuel. Yeah, crazy, I know. Chalk it up to some awesome bats, as Mike Zunino double-donged (I called my shot there, by the way) and Eric Thames launched one as part of fun Brewers stack that only saw Travis Shaw (3) disappoint.

We had success elsewhere, too, as Corey Seager and Mitch Haniger both chipped in 12 fantasy points and Justin Upton finally donged for the Halos (kinda called that, too). Had Scherzer simply delivered 40 fantasy points (even that wasn’t asking too much), we would have finished inside the top 700. Had Mad Max delivered the gem we demanded (60+), we would have found ourselves inside the top 150.

But enough about hypotheticals. Scherzer didn’t work, but our bats helped out enough to get us to cash. That means last night’s lineup was a success across the board and we can’t complain. Hopefully our arm will be a little more stable tonight and we can piece together an even better squad.

Except, tonight’s hurlers are straight up garbage. Let’s get to it:

SP: Brad Peacock – Houston Astros ($8.6k)

Ugh. Tonight’s pitching slate is truly awful. But in a way, it could also be a ton of fun. Masahiro Tanaka is the safest arm on the board and also the one with the most upside and the biggest price tag. He’s at home against the dangerous Orioles, though, so I’m not sure I’ll be going there.

Honestly, this could be a night to just punt pitching. That being said, the guys we should be considering include Tanaka, Brad Peacock, Tanner Roark, Jose Berrios and Josh Tomlin (I guess?).

But I really don’t want any of them specifically. Roark is so meh and he’s facing a Braves team that just rocked Mad Max. In theory he’s one of the better plays and he’s been in fine form, but let’s not forget that in two appearances against ATL he sports a disgusting 9.00 ERA. I’m not in love with Berrios at Target Field against a powerful Jays lineup, either. He’ll probably be fine, but he’s posted 22 and 21 fantasy points in his last two starts and Toronto is annoyingly good at jumping all over any arm I use – especially if I fade them as a hitting stack.

So, stack Jays. Probably.

For me, all roads lead to Peacock if we want safety and a little upside. He’s in a pitcher-friendly park and the Angels aren’t an overly scary offense. Peacock shut them down the last time he faced them (3 hits, 8 Ks), so there’s plenty of reason to think he’ll be fine tonight. One pivot I don’t hate terribly is Josh Tomlin, who will be at home against the Royals. Cleveland still can’t lose and he’s at least been solid at run prevention (3 or fewer runs allowed in 6 straight games). He’ll probably be the reason The Tribe finally loses, but whatever.

Jose Urena ($7.3k) is probably as far down as I’ll go tonight. He is not a big strikeout guy and he’s in a scary park, but the Phillies do K quite a bit and he’s typically solid at run prevention. The only problem there is the Phillies do have some power and if he gives up 2-3 runs he’s going to be a miss.

The last guy to consider might be Wade Miley. Only because he has inexplicably owned the Yankees (1.80 ERA, 11 Ks) in two starts this year. The narrative of New York tanking in an easy matchup at home carries weight here, too, plus the Yanks as a whole aren’t good against southpaws.

As you can see, it’s a wide open pitching slate and we have many paths to a quick MLB DFS death. Ultimately, the majority of my teams will have Peacock leading the charge.

C: Brian McCann – Houston Astros ($2.9k)

It will probably take McCann not being active to get me off of him tonight. He’s in a bad park for home runs but he has absolutely destroyed Ricky Nolasco in his career (9 HR!) and carries positive splits against righties into this game. Nolasco is best targeted with righty power, but the history, price and McCann’s current groove (hit in 4 straight games) has me loving him to close out the night.

Catcher isn’t that great tonight, so I’m either going McCann, paying for Gary Sanchez or punting the position.

1B: Tyler Austin – New York Yankees ($2.4k)

It’s early in the day as I piece this daily fantasy baseball squad together, but I want to find some elite value if we can help it. Austin might not start, but he probably should. He’s wrecked southpaws in limited duty this year and he faces a volatile arm in Wade Miley at home in a hitter’s park. He needs to play obviously, but I love the value here if he can get in the lineup, while his spot in the batting order isn’t all that important.

2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($4.2k)

Cleveland bats should continue to generate solid ownership on such a tight slate (8 games), and I’m sure Dozier won’t be low owned, either. I don’t really care, though. Dozier and the Twins as a whole have been amazing and I love him anytime I get him against a lefty. Brett Anderson is not a scary arm and gives up a .223 ISO to righty bats. On the other side, Dozier wrecks southpaws to the tune of a .305 ISO and .436 wOBA. I’m not fading that tonight.

If you’re not into Dozier, we can always pivot to Jose Ramirez, while Jose Altuve is also in play (they’re all basically the same price). Ian Happ is heating up and at $3.2k is probably my favorite bargain buy at 2B tonight.

3B: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals ($2.9k)

We’re going to need to take some shots if we want to take down a big GPP tonight and one shot could be using a KC bat or two. I know the Indians have been unstoppable, but Josh Tomlin can be had and few know him as well as Moose (8 for 28, 3 HR).

Moustakas has been in a nasty rut but he’s otherwise enjoying a major breakout season. Facing a familiar arm that gives up hard contact could make him one of the top value plays of the entire slate.

I really don’t mind the risk here. The main reason being 3B is severely inflated when it comes to price. Yandy Diaz ($2.6k) is still a great price, too. Overall, I’m ideally avoiding the pricey bats at this position tonight.

SS: Carlos Correa – Houston Astros ($3.4k)

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I like the Astros tonight. If they care at all about the top seed they will want to win, while they’re facing a potential gascan in Ricky Nolasco. Correa specifically screams value here and I don’t think I can swing Francisco Lindor’s insane $4.9k price tag. That might make Lindor contrarian, which is pretty scary.

Still, Correa is rounding back into form slowly and has hit safely in 7 of his first 10 games back from the DL. We’re still waiting on his first homer since his return and even in a bad park I think we get it tonight. Correa has great splits against fellow righties, while Nolasco gives up a nasty .283 ISO to righty power. I love value anywhere I can get it and to me, this is one of the top values of the entire slate.

OF: Matt Holliday – New York Yankees ($2.8k)

We need to save at a few spots probably and I like Holliday, regardless. He’s been at the very worst fairly steady since returning from the DL, as he’s hit safely in 6 of 8 games and donged twice since his return. Tonight he’s at home in a great park against a beatable southpaw in Wade Miley. Miley is at his worst against righty bats and Holliday owns fun splits (.231 ISO, .382 wOBA) against lefty arms.

The numbers and value have me on Holliday, but the BvsP history is interesting, too. The sample size isn’t huge, but Holliday has taken Miley yard before and he’s also drawn a staggering 8 walks in limited action. The blend of patience and power could prove quite useful tonight at this cheap price.

OF: Jay Bruce – Cleveland Indians ($3.1k)

We get even more value with Bruce, who is way too cheap as a masher on the hottest team in baseball. Bruce sports mean splits against righties (.279 ISO, .372 wOBA), and while Jake Junis has been in strong form, it’s tough not to favor Bruce and the Indians in this matchup.

OF: Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins ($4.6k)

I have the uncanny ability of picking Stanton on the nights where he is hardly owned and does nothing. It’s weird, but we can’t think about biases when we have splits both ways like we get them tonight.

Not only does Stanton crush right-handed pitching (.332 ISO, .394 wOBA), but he gets an arm in Jake Thompson that allows a staggering .287 ISO and .414 wOBA to right-handed bats. That, and Stanton will be at Citizens Bank Park and has taken Thompson long before. It’s Stanton or bust tonight.

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