We had some hits among our FanDuel MLB picks on Wednesday, starting with our favorite GPP arm in Gio Gonzalez, who was fine with 33 fantasy points. Carlos Carrasco was our favorite pitcher for cash games and he crushed with 61 fantasy points.
The bats weren’t all bad, either. Going back to the Salvador Perez well worked out swimmingly, as he donged twice and chipped in 43 fantasy points. The rest of the team chipped in points here and there, but was otherwise pretty disappointing.
Carlos Gonzalez was the next best play with a strong 18-point effort, Marwin Gonzalez was strong with 21 points and George Springer had 9 fantasy points. We at least got on the board with Jose Ramirez (6), Andrew McCutchen (3) and Jake Lamb (3), while Mark Reynolds was a late scratch.
It wasn’t all bad, but ideally Cutch and Lamb would have provided more production. J-Ram had been on a killer tear and we simply used him on an off night and that was a bummer.
The picks were still solid so we’ll turn to a light 7-game Thursday night slate and see if our logic and the data can’t combine for a better MLB DFS lineup:
SP: Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers ($12k)
This is going to be an interesting slate for pitching, as Corey Kluber is $500 cheaper and facing the White Sox. I expect ownership to at least be close to split at FD, and with some solid value plays, we just might get Kershaw at low ownership. Probably not, but we can dream, right?
Kershaw will take on the Rockies, but he’s deadly at home and he’s contained Colorado well this year (3-1, 2.77 ERA). He can give up some power, but he looked great in his return last week and he’s the top pitcher on the board tonight. Kluber has a better matchup in terms of the talent he’s facing, but he’ll be on the road and if we’re talking a difference of $500, I’ll pay up for Kershaw every time.
C: Hector Sanchez – San Diego Padres ($2k)
Catcher is awful and we’re going to want to save in a few spots, so Sanchez makes a lot of sense. He’s got solid power and he hits righties well (.231 ISO) in terms of power. The real draw is the savings, but Lance Lynn can get roughed up by lefty power (.222 ISO) and 6 of Hector’s 8 homers this year have come from the left side of the plate. It’s a gamble, but it’s a calculated one.
1B: Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox ($2.7k)
I certainly don’t ever love the idea of targeting elite aces, but Kluber is on the road and I can see him giving up a couple of runs tonight. More specifically, he has never had an easy time against Abreu, who owns a nasty line (.325 batting average, 4 HR) against Cleveland’s top arm. That doesn’t guarantee us anything here, but Abreu has plenty of power and Kluber’s struggles come against righties (.159 ISO) when they do pop up.
2B: Carlos Asuaje – San Diego Padres ($2.5k)
We want to use lefties against Lance Lynn, so Asuaje is firmly in play tonight. He hasn’t proven to be a huge power guy, but Lynn’s weakness is the left side of the plate and Carlos does provide solid splits (.340 wOBA) against righties. This is more about salary savings than anything, but the matchup could easily favor Asuaje at home.
3B: Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies ($2.6k)
You don’t normally want to target your pitcher – especially if it’s Kershaw – but this isn’t something we can bypass. Nolan Arenado rakes southpaws (.432 ISO) and he actually has an awesome history (.311 batting average, 2 HR) against Kershaw. We love Kershaw in this spot, but it’s possible he still gives up a couple of runs – maybe even a long ball. Based on splits and history, Arenado is probably the best bet and he’s insanely cheap. I’m locked in here.
SS: Zack Cozart – Cincinnati Reds ($3.1k)
I’m not interested in spending at SS today, as there are two viable options in Cozart and Paul DeJong. DeJong murders southpaws and is very much in play at $3.2k, but I might prefer Cozart. He draws a matchup with Matt Harvey and he sports a nice history (6 for 11, 1 HR) against him, as well as solid splits versus righties in general. Harvey has been awful in 2017 and there is little reason to expect him to turn up with a gem in this spot.
OF: Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins ($4.7k)
Stanton hasn’t been very consistent lately and it’s possible his insane run has ended, but he’s still one of the best mashers in MLB and he crushes southpaws (.453 ISO). Tonight he gets a mild park ugprade and will face a beatable lefty in Sean Newcomb that gives up a .192 ISO and 34% fly ball percentage to right-handed bats. I think Stanton goes long twice tonight and is worth handicapping our roster elsewhere.
OF: Jordan Luplow – Pittsburgh Pirates ($2.6k)
I’m interested in some Pirates as sneaky plays tonight, as they’ll be at home against regressing lefty, Jon Lester. Lester has been extremely tough to gauge in 2017 and when he’s gone bad, he’s gone really bad. Luplow isn’t the most reliable option out there, but we’re going to need to take a few dives and he’s at least provided power (.231 ISO) in limited action against lefties. He and any cheap Pirate OFs are worth a shot here.
OF: Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies ($2.5k)
There is nothing wrong with using 1-2 Rockies against our pitcher tonight, largely because they have home run upside and are just too cheap. There’s no sense in passing up this elite value for different spare bats just to save cash. Instead, we’ll hope guys like Arenado and Blackmon pay off while inflicting minimal damage on our stud hurler.
This is a GPP lineup if we’ve ever seen one, but as we’ve said many times, that’s the goal. We’re looking for an elite collection of MLB DFS picks that can combine for a high upside tourney winner. We’ve had some nice hits along the way, but if things go right, this might be our best squad yet.