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FanDuel MLB Picks – September 25th

Monday brings more opportunity in a daily fantasy baseball season that is quickly disappearing. We’re down to the final stretch in MLB and while we’ll still get MB DFS contests after the regular season ends, it’ll be a totally different ball game.

We don’t want to go too hard just to make up for past losses, but now is certainly the time to strike. Monday offers up an interesting slate where Giancarlo Stanton is in Coors Field and the most expensive arm is Yu Darvish at $9.6k. Yes, interesting, indeed.

Which way do we go to create a GPP-winning daily fantasy baseball lineup? That usually involves hitting on the right stack, but our mission is to nail our favorite picks and combine them into a team we like. Let’s get to it:

SP: A.J. Cole – Washington Nationals ($6.6k)

Pitching could be a little suspect tonight. Yu Darvish at home against the Padres seems too obvious, especially since the NL West champion Dodgers don’t really need to force the issue and keep one of their top aces on the mound all night. Because, why?

Darvish is still in play, but I find myself slightly scared by a potentially short leash. There are a lot of viable arms tonight with Zack Godley, Jon Lester, Aaron Nola, Drew Pomeranz and Luke Weaver all toeing the rubber, as well. Unfortunately, I’m finding red flags no matter where I look, whether it be park, recent form, price or general matchup.

Everything I’m seeing early today has me wanting to punt pitcher on a relatively small 9-game slate. That should allow me to pay up for all of the bats I want and I actually like the upside we can get with someone like A.J. Cole.

Cole is in a tough park (Citizens Bank) but the Phillies strike out a lot. He’s also handled them well (1.13 ERA) across 8 innings in 2017. That, and he’s typically better on the road for some reason. The K upside is there and I like the value at $6.6k. This is a clear GPP play, but I don’t see another arm I’m enamored with.

C: Evan Gattis – Houston Astros ($2.5k)

I’m not spending at catcher tonight. There is risk here, but there is a slew of viable cheap options I prefer. I’m not spending on Coors catchers just to get bats there. Besides, there is rain and cold weather there, so I’m going to look for value here.

Gattis leads the way for me, as he’s hitting in a great park and the Astros have been working to get him ready for the playoffs. He’s looked good in his last two starts and brings power to the table.

Truth be told, Austin Barnes is going to be my play here, provided he starts. He’s at home against a bad pitcher in Travis Wood and he wrecks southpaws. Gattis is a placeholder for now, but if Barnes is in, that’s probably a great pivot.

1B: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($4.3k)

Olson is really expensive and has cooled down lately, so I expect his ownership to be super low. Add in Coors and he seriously might be 5% or lower tonight. That’s pretty alluring, since he faces a pitcher in Felix Hernandez that has some issues against lefty power and also gives up loads of contact when he’s not at home.

Olson hits in a pitcher-friendly park, but he actually plays his best at home. He’s been absolutely on fire in September as a whole, too, so I don’t mind taking a shot here.

2B: Jose Altuve – Houston Astros ($4.2k)

This is not a position I love tonight. Dee Gordon costs way too much and 2B in general is severely lacking. Altuve is the only pricey bat at this position I feel comfortable with paying up for, while the value plays here aren’t all that tempting.

I’m fine riding with Altuve, who is in a nice groove and gets a huge park upgrade tonight at Globe Life Park. He also faces a hittable arm in Andrew Casher, who he’s actually wrecked (.444 BA, 1 HR) in the past.

3B: Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3.3k)

I don’t see anyone I have to pay up for tonight at 3B, so I don’t mind “settling” for an elite value play here in Lamb. His matchup with Johnny Cueto isn’t easy, but he’s at home in an awesome park and wrecks right-handed pitching. I’m not seeing a 3B I want more, so there isn’t much reason to avoid Lamb.

SS: Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.7k)

Ditto here with Seager, who excels against southpaws and gets a terrible one at home in Travis Wood. Seager has been banged up and has been in a mild rut, but L.A. should look to get him going before the playoffs roll around. Ultimately, he’s just too talented and cheap to pass up.

OF: Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels ($4.3k)

Everyone will be on Stanton and the bats at Coors tonight. I’m not saying we can’t (or won’t) go there, but it’s going to be a cold game, so I’m not sure we need to force it. That is part of why Trout feels like an elite pivot or at least a great power bat to add to that narrative.

Trout also gets a park upgrade at Chicago, where he’ll take on James Shields. This all gives us a killer combo for arguably the best bat in the game.

OF: Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels ($3.9k)

It’s the same story with Upton. At this point in this write-up, I haven’t decided if I’m trying to get Stanton or not, but I do want two of the best power hitters the Angels have to offer. Shields has been surviving lately, but I don’t love his chances to escape the Angels unscathed tonight. His .207 ISO against righties is a huge reason why.

OF: George Springer – Houston Astros ($3.1k)

Ultimately, I find myself steering clear of Coors tonight. I get the allure and fading Stanton is scary, but in a GPP setting we need to do things that are both logical and slightly against the grain. I like our bats tonight and I think having nothing to do with a cold Coors game actually makes a ton of sense.

Springer is also insanely cheap. He gets a winnable matchup against Andrew Cashner and will be in an awesome park for homers, too. At this price, we can take a stab here that someone like Springer can come close to matching or besting Stanton. It’s not necessarily the more likely scenario, but it’s certainly plausible.

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