Friday night brings our final main slate of the regular work week for FanDuel daily fantasy baseball contests. This has largely been a week to forget, as we’ve seen Diamondbacks pitchers get slammed by the Padres and our hitting didn’t bother to show up on Thursday night.
Dallas Keuchel was totally fine as our main arm last night, but the bats were not as lively as we had hoped. The logic was there, but Chris Davis, Paul DeJong, Ian Kinsler, Marwin Gonzalez and Mitch Haniger all combined for 3 fantasy points.
These weren’t bad plays. This was just brutal, awful luck on a night where just two teams scored more than 5 runs. If you were going to place highly in any GPP, you had to stack Twins and Cardinals, but somehow have the presence of mind to not use the aforementioned DeJong or Brian Dozier.
Yeah, that’s where we were going from the beginning, right?
No, not really. Twins and Cardinals both admittedly were chalky, but to see the other bats mostly fail was quite disappointing. Still, the splits and matchups were there and our guys simply didn’t meet expectations.
Let’s do it all again as we take a look at a brand new Friday MLB DFS slate:
SP: John Lackey – Chicago Cubs ($8.5k)
Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke are easily the top arms today, but JV is $10.8k and I never feel amazing about riding or dying with Greinke at Chase Field. Both of these guys are the top options in cash games and probably tourneys, for the most part.
I’m going down tonight, though, as there are several pricey bats I covet. I really don’t mind Lackey, either. He’s a mild favorite against a Brewers team that strikes out a lot and this is also a matchup he’s fared pretty well in. Miller Park can be dicey and the Brewers do have power, but Chicago may have dealt the death blow with a late comeback last night.
Lackey can be solid when he’s not giving up homers and he’s been in solid form (4 total runs allowed over his last three starts). A solid 3.79 ERA against Milwaukee across three starts doesn’t hurt his argument, either.
There is clear risk here, but Lackey is in a plus K matchup and has handled the Brewers well in 2017. If late inactives kill some of our expensive plays, we can try dropping down in a few spots and paying up a bit more at pitcher. JV and Greinke lead the way if we can, but someone like Rich Hill ($9.5k) might not be that difficult to get to, either.
C: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees ($3.6k)
This is a “pay up for catcher” night for me. I always like using Sanchez, but cheaper catchers are also just so hit or miss. Sanchez sees a negative park shift, but all four of his hits on Marco Estrada have entered the stands. That’s pretty telling, while Estrada seems to be good for 1-2 homers in almost every start (he’s allowed 29 in 2017).
1B: Logan Morrison – Tampa Bay Rays ($2.6k)
Do I at all trust Morrison or any other Rays? Absolutely not, but we got burned by way more stable options yesterday. In baseball sometimes you can’t only go off of recent form or inefficiency and you have to trust the data.
On paper, Morrison is an elite play. He’s dirt cheap, he’s in a great park at Camden Yards and he’s facing a potential gascan arm in Ubaldo Jimenez. It wouldn’t take much for Ubaldo to implode and this matchup specifically looks bad for him, as the Orioles pitcher is giving up a staggering .316 ISO and .403 wOBA to lefty bats.
Morrison could easily fail, but he’s too cheap to not take a shot with in a GPP lineup like we’re building. The park, the pitcher and his .292 ISO against righties demands we give it a go.
2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($3.9k)
I don’t love paying so much for Dozier, but he gets a beatable lefty in Daniel Norris and 2B is not appealing tonight. Dozier thrives against southpaws (.298 ISO, .424 wOBA), so if we’re paying up at 2B at all, he’s the way to go.
3B: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals ($2.8k)
I never feel amazing about KC bats, but Moose is probably my favorite to use when he makes sense. He donged two starts ago and has a hit in three straight games, so it seems safe to say he’s snapped out of a nasty funk. He comes at a great price and carries awesome splits (.278 ISO) against right-handed pitching. It only helps that young hurler Reynaldo Lopez is giving up a sick .236 ISO to lefty bats.
SS: Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians ($4.4k)
I don’t love any value plays at SS tonight. Corey Seager is hurt again and Carlos Correa is still discounted, but his matchup isn’t amazing. All roads lead to Lindor, who has been completely ablaze for quite some time now. I’m not sure he hits a homer for the third game in a row, but he’s proven time and time again he doesn’t need to dong to pay off.
If I drop down I’ll probably just take my chances with Correa, simply because he’s great.
OF: J.D. Martinez – Arizona Diamondbacks ($4.6k)
Martinez against a lefty at home? Sign me up. I’m not wasting time on this slate, as I’m going to get the guys I want and we’ll find the value where it’s needed. Martinez is going to be chalky, but I don’t care. He’s been “meh” the last two times we’ve used him, but I love him and his disturbing .500 ISO against southpaws.
Adam Conley can be frustrating to target, but he’s not a great pitcher and he gets a huge park downgrade. I love the D’Backs as a small or full stack, but either way, J.D. is an elite one-off play. You could also go contrarian and pivot to Mike Trout, Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton here.
I feel like the matchup and setting will make Martinez fairly chalky, so maybe we can get an edge on the field by fading. Possibly, but I doubt I’ll be doing so.
OF: Mallex Smith – Tampa Bay Rays ($2k)
I didn’t really set out to stack Rays, but with Smith we’ll have three of them and that’s fine by me. He led off last night and at the minimum, I can’t pass on that value if that’s the case again tonight. Smith can hit decently and he can also swipe bags. A cheap utility guy is always in play, but he’s also facing a very beatable arm in an awesome park.
Everything looks good here for Smith. Just make sure he’s active and ideally batting high in the order. If we want to go somewhere in the middle, I love Ian Happ tonight at Miller Park. Stacking the top OF mashers like we already touched on is also a fun idea.
OF: Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays ($2.3k)
We can end this thing with another dirt cheap Ray. Tampa Bay was a chalky tourney attempt last night and they failed miserably. Many will lean on recency bias and look elsewhere, so we can just throw caution to the wind and stack two lefty Rays in a great spot.
Jimenez is a great pitcher to target and like Morrison, Dickerson offers awesome splits (.219 ISO) against righties. The park upgrade is huge, while it can’t hurt that both Morrison and Dickerson have homered off of Ubaldo before.