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FanDuel MLB Picks – September 18th

Monday brings us back to the daily fantasy baseball scene with a light 7-game slate. These smaller slates are fun in the sense that you don’t need to worry about a ton of crazy high-scoring games, but it also leaves less room for error. We need to get our arms right on these slates and it’s smart to target the 1-2 stacks you love the most.

I’m fresh off of an “Even Steven” weekend for NFL DFS action, and it’s hard to complain. I hard-stacked the Packers, only to see Jordy Nelson die and the rest of Green Bay fart up and down the field. It wasn’t great, but I still placed in most of my GPPs and technically profited on the night.

The two-game NFL slate starts tonight with the Giants vs. Lions game, but I’ll likely be fading it. It’s back to baseball for me, and I like tonight’s slate quite a bit. Let’s see what kind of team we can piece together to toss in some big GPPs:

SP: Dan Straily – Miami Marlins ($6.9k)

This is a garbage slate for pitching. I feel like you either need to pay up for Clayton Kershaw ($12.1k) or just punt the position on FanDuel tonight. Kershaw has not been living up to his hefty salary, but if we think he’s going to be low-owned on such a short slate, he might be the play. I doubt it, though, since he’s facing a Phillies team that strikes out a lot and there simply aren’t many appetizing alternatives.

Patrick Corbin ($9.5k) is in a safe park against the Padres and is probably my favorite arm beyond Kershaw in terms of safety and upside, even though his price feels inflated as San Diego dropped 8 runs on him just two starts ago. He’s probably the best dollar-for-dollar pitching option on the board. He’s in great form overall, is in a great park for pitchers and the Padres struggle against southpaws. He could get wrecked again, but I doubt it.

Due to a ton of volatility, I’m also more interested in punting pitcher tonight and if I do that my two favorite targets are Dan Straily ($6.9k) and Jameson Taillon ($6.5k). They’re both in solid strikeout spots and they’re at home in safe parks. While the parks are good, these arms are by no means safe. Both Taillon and Straily have gotten rocked recently and they give way to many different outcomes. That being said, they’re cheap and help us pay up for some bats that we covet.

Straily is my pick between the two, as he spins his best ball at home (4-3, 3.27 ERA) and gets a patchwork Mets squad that he’s built up a 1.79 ERA against in two appearances. Straily’s K rate can be sporadic and his recent form is troubling, but we have few outs tonight. Straily is in a nice spot and allows me to get the bats I want. I’ll aim high with him tonight in what is clearly a GPP-only lineup.

C: Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.6k)

Gary Sanchez is the top catcher play, but Ervin Santana can be tough, so I don’t mind finding a way off of him. For me, that’s probably going to be Grandal, who finally snapped a nasty drought with a hit in his last game. He hasn’t been seeing the ball well, but he is in a hitter’s park in Citizens Bank Park tonight and offers serious value.

Not only is Grandal cheap, but he’s a good hitter with nice splits (.223 ISO) against right-handed pitching. He gets a beatable arm in Nick Pivetta, who happens to get smashed (.304 ISO, .415 wOBA) from the right side if the plate. I’m not sure Grandal bats as a righty in this matchup, but I like the value and upside, either way.

1B: Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles ($3.2k)

This feels like a Crush night. Davis has been hitting the ball pretty well (for him) with four knocks in his last seven games and he’s probably overdue for a long ball. He’s back home in a great park in Camden Yards, too, where he’s launched 14 of his 24 homers on the year.

Davis also crushes right-handed pitching to the tune of a .247 ISO, while Doug Fister has his biggest problems with lefty power (.173 ISO, .360 wOBA). Adding to the allure? Crush has taken Fister long twice before. This is an admittedly risky play, but the park, splits and matchup all look good.

2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($3.9k)

You will find quickly that punting at pitcher opens things up quite a bit for power bats tonight, especially once we factor in some elite value plays. Dozier is a guy worth paying up for, as he’ll be in the ever explosive Yankee Stadium against a beatable arm in Jaime Garcia.

This matchup is appealing for three reasons: Dozier destroys southpaws (.315 ISO), Yankee Stadium is a great park to target power bats and the Twins as a whole have been hot for some time now. Whether Dozier launches one or not, I expect him on base a couple of times tonight at the very least.

3B: Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks ($2.9k)

Lamb is in a rut, but that’s nothing a date with the Padres can’t cure. Lamb is just insanely cheap, but we get to use him against a right-handed hurler in Luis Perdomo, in which Lamb has had some nice success (2 HR). Lamb has also played well at Petco Park this year, so at this low price I have no issues taking the dive.

Travis Shaw ($3.3k) is also too cheap to completely ignore, while paying up for Justin Turner ($4k) isn’t out of the question, either.

SS: Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.1k)

I get that rolling with the obvious value plays doesn’t always work and can be chalky, but how can we keep passing up on Lamb and Seager at these low prices? Seager has actually been hitting the ball well and gets a positive park shift against a shaky pitcher. Nick Pivetta is better against lefty bats than righties, but he is still super volatile.

This felt like a great spot to pay down with Jose Reyes leading the way at $4k, so I was pretty glad to see Seager still coming in at such a discounted price. Reyes has been hot, but I’m not paying $4k to get him. Seager is the only SS I’ll be using tonight.

OF: J.D. Martinez – Arizona Diamondbacks ($4.7k)

Usually I wait to slide in the power bat I want to pay for, but there’s no sense in delaying the inevitable. Martinez is on an insane tear with 10 homers in his last 10 games. It’s absurd and park, splits and matchup haven’t had much say in how he’s done. Maybe he doesn’t dong again tonight, but as the last game on the slate, I’d hate to not have a share or three.

OF: David Peralta – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3.4k)

As you can see, I’m a fan of the D’Backs tonight. They have a good arm on the mound and they’re favored by Vegas, plus Luis Perdomo is quite beatable. Peralta gets the splits edge here and he’s flat out mashed against San Diego on the year (.417 with 2 HR). Both of those homers actually came at Petco, too, while he’s shown well (5 for 8) in limited action against Perdomo. I see no reason not to fire him up and get a 3 or 4-man Diamondbacks stack going to close out the night.

OF: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees ($4.3k)

Court is back in sessions, folks. While Giancarlo Stanton is cooling off, The Judge is dropping he gavel like nobody’s business these days. Home run or not, Judge is back in a groove and figures to be a strong play tonight at his home park. Ervin Santana is no slouch, but he also gives up a ton of long balls (29 HR on the year). I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Judge got one (or two) of them.

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