We are back to hand out FanDuel MLB picks on Tuesday. Hopefully everyone had a great Labor Day break and can return in full force to try to take down a big GPP. We get an interesting slate to get the ball rolling, as the top pitchers look fairly obvious, led by Stephen Strasburg and Jacob deGrom.
The big question is whether to pay up for those arms (and which one?) and then where we can locate value amongst the bats. Let’s dive right in and see what we come away with for Tuesday night:
SP: Jacob deGrom – New York Mets ($10.1k)
I’m not seeing much of a way around deGrom tonight. He’s not cheap, but he’s not out of this world expensive, either. Stephen Strasburg is a little more expensive and has been fantastic lately, but a road date with the Marlins feels like a trap. deGrom will be at home where he’s posted a stellar 2.86 ERA and he gets a Phillies team he’s owned in 2017 (2-0, 1.37 ERA).
I don’t mind Stras here and we can even consider dropping down slightly with Justin Verlander ($8.6k) in his debut with the Astros. Debuts are tough to predict and he’s on the road against a capable Mariners offense, though. Zack Greinke ($9.5k) is the other big arm to consider, but he’s on the road against a tough Dodgers lineup.
Is deGrom a lock on a Mets team that is void of talent and throwing in the towel on their season? No, but he personally is still pitching well and the Phillies are a terrible 24-48 on the road. I’ll be building my team on the assumption that deGrom will continue to destroy in a very favorable matchup.
C: Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals ($2.3k)
I know Perez has been in a slump since returning from injury, but he gets to take on a gascan in Anibal Sanchez that struggles with the long ball. Perez finally donged again last night and could be in a great spot to do so again on Tuesday. Sanchez is coughing up a nasty .289 ISO to righty bats this year and has specifically allowed a staggering 10 long balls in just his last four starts.
1B: Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.1k)
I love targeting the mashing Thames anytime he’s this cheap and I certainly want to use him against the Reds. Thames loves playing the Reds, as he’s absolutely crushed them in 2017 to the tune of 10 home runs and a crisp .340 batting average. He’s also 2-2 with two long balls against Robert Stephenson, who he faces tonight at the ever hittable Great American Ballpark.
2B: Neil Walker – Milwaukee Brewers ($2.9k)
I don’t need to stack Brewers tonight, but I’m not at all opposed to it. Walker is certainly a viable piece to consider from the Brew Crew, as he has terrific splits against right-handed pitching (.206 ISO, .364 wOBA) and is in an awesome park for deep balls tonight. I also don’t mind a pivot to Ian Kinsler, who has a strong history (and splits) against Jason Vargas.
3B: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals ($3k)
I don’t really want to stack the Royals but we have to at least consider it as they get a park upgrade in Detroit and will battle a bad pitcher in Anibal Sanchez. We touched on Sanchez already, so we know the upside we can get with Moose, who has rebounded from a tough slump. He seems to be back in a mild groove and he carries nasty splits (.287 ISO vs. righties) to the table in this one.
Travis Shaw isn’t a terrible pivot if we want to go with a full 4-man Brewers stack, while I’d love to pay up for Nolan Arenado ($4.3k) and his sick .434 ISO versus righties if we can. Until a ton of value opens up later tonight, though, we’ll roll with the better value in Moustakas for now at 3B.
SS: Paul DeJong – St. Louis Cardinals ($3.3k)
There are some strong SS options worth paying up for and Carlos Correa ($3.9k) actually seems like a nice value right now, but DeJong makes a lot of sense at $3.3k. Not only is he facing a bad pitcher in Travis Wood, but he carries a sick .343 ISO against southpaws into this matchup. Petco Park isn’t great for the long ball, but DeJong has crushed 9 homers at the pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium, so we wouldn’t be too concerned with the park factor.
OF: Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers ($2.9k)
How can we not use Braun at this cheap price? It’s true that he went through a little rut, but he seems to have snapped out of it with 5 hits and a dong in his last two games. If he’s back in a groove like he seems to be, he’s just too cheap to bypass in a good matchup at Great American Ballpark.
OF: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees ($3.9k)
Judge hasn’t been the same dominant force he was in the first half of the year, but he still has friendly splits and will be in a great park in Camden Yards. Even better, he’ll be taking on Jeremy Hellickson, who is giving up a .233 ISO to right-handed bats these days and has been no stranger to the long ball (30 dongs allowed in 2017). He hasn’t been in good form lately, either, so some Yanks bats are going to get in some good work tonight. Judge makes as good of sense as any expensive bat tonight.
OF: Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels ($3.4k)
Upton feels too cheap. He isn’t facing a big time HR pitcher in Kendall Graveman, but Upton’s Halos did ding him for three long balls a week ago. I’m not entirely sure we can expect the same, but Upton has been on fire since being traded to L.A. (9+ fantasy points in his first four games). Not only is he raking and is likely to chip in solid production in general, but that first long ball with his new team is just around the corner. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw it tonight.