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FanDuel MLB Picks – September 21st

We missed the mark on Thursday, as paying up for Robbie Ray turned out to be a gaffe. As it turns out, the San Diego Padres are either suddenly good or they just have Arizona’s number. Or both.

I’m not sure using Chris Sale over Ray would have made much of a difference, though. We were never really on Hunter Renfroe (who hit three homers!), while the Kansas City Royals of all teams went off for a staggering 15 runs. The Arizona Diamondbacks (13 runs) also inexplicably decided to go nuts a day after appearing lifeless in two straight advantageous matchups with the Padres.

It was another crazy, unpredictable night of MLB DFS action and we happened to be caught on the wrong end of it.

Tonight could balance out a bit more, as we get a smaller 9-game main slate. That still leaves the door open to plenty of options, but it should be a little less confusing. Let’s dive in and see if we can’t piece together a winner for FanDuel GPPs:

SP: Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros ($8.9k)

Pitching is gross today. Jake Arrieta has a high upside matchup with the Brewers, but he’s pitching in Miller Park, is the most expensive pitcher on the board and is expected to see a pitch count (75-80 pitches). I don’t think I can swing that.

Carlos Martinez is probably the second best option and he’s usually stable, but he’s about the same price and faces a powerful Reds lineup at Great American Ballpark. He’ll probably be fine but as you can see, we don’t have a truly elite arm on this slate and I’m not sure I want to pay up for “probably fine”.

There is just so much risk up and down this slate. James Paxton was bad in his restricted return and now he’s taking on the Rangers in another game where we need to worry about a pitch count or rust. I don’t think I can go there and I’m not getting sucked into the Cole Hamels trap, either.

Tyler Anderson gets the Padres, but I’ve learned my lesson there.

For me, all roads lead to Keuchel, who will be at home in a pretty pitcher-friendly park. He did get rocked by the White Sox earlier this year, but that start was at Chicago and he’s in much better form now. This isn’t a huge upside play. Keuchel doesn’t typically register an insane amount of strikeouts. However, he’s at home, favored and facing a weak lineup that can help lift his K rate. I don’t think anybody is safe tonight, so I’ll roll with Keuchel as one of the “safer” plays.

C: Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals ($3.2k)

Molina and his Cards head to the ever explosive Great American Ballpark to battle a weak arm in Homer Bailey. Bailey has not been good for most of 2017 and gives up a ton of contact. Bailey has also been quite bad in this dangerous park (1-5, 7.78 ERA, allowed .322 batting average and 7 HR).

This matchup specifically looks to be painful, as Bailey gave up 10 runs to the Cardinals the only other time he faced them this year and his BvsP history with Molina (.385 BA, 3 HR) is pretty gross. All of that is enough to get me on board, but Bailey also gives up staggering splits (.220 ISO, .423 wOBA) to the right side of the plate.

I also like Mike Zunino ($2.7k) as a cheaper option here. He knows Cole Hamels and will be at home. More importantly, he crushes southpaws to the tune of a .321 ISO. I love both of these catchers, but for the more ideal matchup and a little more safety, I’m leaning toward Yadier tonight.

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

I say this a lot, but it’s usually because I feel it: tonight feels like a Crush night. Davis hasn’t been good in his last two games, but he boasts fun splits (.248 ISO) and is at home in a great park at Camden Yards. Matt Andriese has actually been pretty good against lefty hitters, but I’m hoping that helps make Crush more contrarian than usual.

2B: Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers ($3.4k)

Kinsler has been wrecking lately and while I don’t love his price, I’m not sure I can bypass his killer splits versus lefties (.252 ISO, .365 wOBA). He’ll be at home in a good park and faces a beatable southpaw in Adalberto Mejia. Mejia gives up hits to both sides of the plate, so we’re working on Kinsler’s power and the park tonight.

3B: Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies ($4.1k)

I’m not getting cute at 3B. Arenado is at a discount right now and he faces a beatable lefty in Clayton Richard. Richard can dazzle at times and he’s in a good park, but Arenado demolishes southpaws (.432 ISO, .524 wOBA). I like him versus any lefty, but Richard looks like an especially fun arm to target with him.

Richard hasn’t been that great at his home park and typically serves up a good amount of contact. He also happens to struggle against righties specifically (.215 ISO, .375 wOBA), while Arenado has posted a sick .571 batting average and donged him before. I don’t see much to hate here, while there aren’t many value dives I’d prefer rolling with, either.

SS: Paul DeJong – St. Louis Cardinals ($3.1k)

We touched on all of the reasons to target Homer Bailey already, so we won’t waste your time. We want righties against Bailey in this awesome park and a 2 to 4-man St. Louis stack is firmly in place. This lineup is presently geared towards 3 Cardinals, but I’m open to 4.

DeJong is probably my favorite SS on the board. He’s a great price, in a great park and is facing a bad pitcher that has a tough time getting outs on his side of the plate. He donged last night and also brings strong splits (.236 ISO) to the table. I don’t see much reason to go elsewhere at this position tonight, although Carlos Correa ($3.4k) remains a nice price.

OF: Marwin Gonzalez – Houston Astros ($3k)

I’m not going hard after Astros tonight, but I do want Marwin, who gives us a little flexibility with FanDuel moving him to OF. He’s a good price and has been raking lately, plus he mashes as a lefty and will face a beatable righty tonight. The numbers are limited, but Carson Fulmer has given up a .257 ISO to lefty bats so far and we can exploit that with Gonzalez if we so choose.

OF: Jose Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals ($2.5k)

We can keep it going with big red via Jose Martinez. The Cards are in a great park for offense and their matchup doesn’t get a whole lot better. Martinez gives us a cheap righty in their lineup and he’s been hitting the ball well. His splits aren’t eye-popping, but he should be a nice piece to our puzzle tonight.

OF: Mitch Haniger – Seattle Mariners ($3.3k)

Our last bat of the night comes in Seattle, where Mitch Haniger will battle Cole Hamels. Hamels has been in decent form lately so I don’t want to go out of my way to attack him, but I like the Mariners as a whole here. I mentioned Zunino and pretty much any solid Seattle righty is viable in this spot.

Hamels is a big name, but he hasn’t been great on the road and has his toughest moments against solid righties. Haniger is in play here based on his own splits, too, as he crushed southpaws to the tune of a .225 ISO and .354 wOBA.

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