Today is a 3-game slate. Playing cash is going to be fairly ridiculous – it’s going to be lineups that are almost entirely the same except for 2 or 3 players. Your entire lineup will feature 6 guys who are so chalky that it doesn’t even matter if they play well as everyone else will have them – the entire day will come down to who you picked for the final 2 or 3 spots. FanDuel could have mitigated the absurdity of this slate by moving it up an hour (thus allowing the Houston-Cleveland game to be added to the slate). This would have added some interesting plays – you would have had Morton as a pitcher, plus both teams have plenty of interesting bats. But apparently FanDuel thinks it’s more important to start at 7pm regardless. So that’s what we’ve got. Maybe you like the idea of having the entire contest come down to whether you picked Jay Bruce and Xander Bogaerts instead of J.D. Martinez and Orlando Arcia (because both lineups share the exact same other players across the board). Everyone knows I’m a professional at these DFS Picks articles, so I’ll continue to show up regardless of the absurdity of the slate and give you a professional performance.
On to the picks…
New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!
Rick Porcello, SP: $9,300 – Since the start of 2017, Porcello has had 21.3% strikeouts and 5.2% walks with a 41.2% ground balls. He’s reliable and dependable and pretty safe. The Rays are a pretty average team vs righties with average strikeouts, but it’s a plus park for Porcello and the rest of the pitchers are just flat out worse.
Okay, so on a slate like this, you really can’t look at it as “who you like”, because with only 6 teams total, you’re going to have positions where there are numerous guys you like and positions where there is no one you like. The question is who do you like the most at each position – and that may include a spot where you have to conclude “I dislike this jabroni the least, as he is only 85% of a jabroni, as opposed to a full 100% jabroni”. Therefore, you really have to look at it by position. The other thing about a slate like this is that because all the pitching options are cheap, money usually doesn’t become much of a factor – however, on this specific 3-game slate, money will still matter, for reasons I will get to in the analysis. So let’s look at each position. However, I am going to do something different than most DFS Bloggers who do a positional breakdown. Instead of just going C/1B, 2B, 3B, and so forth down the line, I’m going to begin with the positions that I feel are the most important ones today – either because there is a no-brainer obvious pick, or because there are enough options that there needs to be a decent amount of discussion. After that, I will turn to the remaining positions, and a lot of the choices at those positions will be determined by what you chose at the “important” ones. So with that, I shall begin.
3B: I think this is the clearest play out there – it’s Mike Moustakas for $3800. The two other hitters who aren’t complete jabronis (Travis Shaw and Rafael Devers) are facing LHPs, and everyone else who qualifies as a 3B on FanDuel is a total 100% pure uncut jabroni. While that’s enough to make Moustakas the clear play no matter what, before we move on, let’s discuss Austin Bibens-Dirkx (who I will now refer to as ABD for obvious reasons). Last year he wasn’t a complete disaster vs right handers where he had a 12.1 K-BB %, but remember that 18 of his 24 appearances were in the bullpen. Even with 75% of his appearances coming out of the pen, he still managed to -1.5 K-BB% vs lefties. He also doesn’t get ground balls vs either side, with a 39.1% to lefties and 40.6% to righties. He’s the pitcher to target this slate. So you’ll see a lot of Royals in this article
2B: Once again, just play the Royal – Whit Merrifield at $3,600. Now, unlike Moustakas, Whit’s not exactly an amazing hitter, but it doesn’t matter – ABD is the one to attack, and Whit’s good enough to attack him with. Eduardo Nunez at $2,800 and Asdrubal Cabrera at $3,900 are decent GPP plays, although again, given how bad ABD is, it’s tough to not play Whit and move on here.
OF: First – the easy no-brainer. Jon Jay will be leading off for $2,500 and has the same juicy match-up that Whit and Moose have. While Jay isn’t nearly the hitter that the other two are, he’s also cheap enough that it doesn’t matter. Jorge Soler is another option from the Royals and facing ABD, so yeah, he’s in play. Beyond that, this is where it gets interesting. This is because there are not that many attractive options on the slate (since again, there are only 6 teams and they’re not even some of the good-hitting teams, so we’ve got a lot of unimpressive hitters). Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez look attractive next to the best hitters in baseball and in this slate, where you’re comparing them to jabroni after jabroni, they start to look like peak Barry Bonds, only if he played in High A at the time. The problem is that both are incredibly expensive, and as stated earlier, Moose and Whit (who are not that cheap) are locks at their respective positions. Even with a cheap pitcher, it’s tough to play both Mookie at $5,400 and J.D. Martinez at $5,000. It’s actually not even that easy to play one of the two given the infield locks. If you have the room, I have a slight point per dollar preference for Martinez, but both are absolutely tremendous at smashing baseballs. Lorenzo Cain at $3800 and Ryan Braun (who is expected back) at $2900 have a somewhat appealing matchup against Steven Matz. Matz has lost velocity from the second he broke into the big leagues and the last 2 years he’s had massive trouble keeping the ball in the park (17.1% and 24.3% HR/FB the last 2 years) and while I don’t expect him to be this bad, he’s always had a little bit of trouble keeping his HR/FB down and is a juicy matchup for the aforementioned power right handed bats. Jay Bruce for $2800 and Michael Conforto for $3200 also have an attractive matchup against Zach Davies, who is a strike thrower who doesn’t miss too many bats (17.3% strikeouts and 6.7% walks over his career). Davies gets ground ball vs righties (52.2%) but is average vs lefties (44.8%) so the 2 left handed power bats are the best plays (along with Asdrubal) and Brandon Nimmo is a solid play. The only other options are a leadoff hitter (Delino DeShields) for $2600 with platoon edge against Danny Duffy, who’s velo drop may start to being a problem, and Hernan Perez (if he plays) as an option because he’s the stone cold minimum ($2,000).
SS: This one’s fairly easy – you either have the money to play Xander Bogaerts for $4,000 or you play one of two light-hitting shortstops for cheap (Orlando Arcia for $2,100 or Alcides Escobar at $2,300). Escobar would be the obvious choice of the two cheap guys, simply because he’s got a far juicier situation, but if you’ve got four Royals in your lineup already, you can’t use him. However, I would not remove one of the better Royals simply to get Escobar into your lineup – if you don’t have the money for Xander, and there’s a good chance you don’t, and Alcides would be the 5th Royal, just put in Orlando Arcia and remind yourself that both Escobar and Arcia are horrible hitters, and the only difference is that Escobar will have teammates doing well – the teammates that you have in your lineup already.
C/1B: C/1B is the only spot where every single team has a playable guy and in a solid spot. Mid range priced plays like Jesus Aguilar for $3,200 with the platoon advantage vs Steven Matz, a 4th hitting Salvador Perez for $3,300 vs ABD and Adrian Gonzalez for $2,600 with platoon advantage vs Zach Davies. The high end has Hanley Ramirez for $3,900 with platoon advantage vs Blake Snell and the low end has Brad Miller for $2,300 vs Rick Porcello. You could play anyone you want to play here, with there not being a stand out play, so if you want to build the rest of your lineup first and then price point into this spot, it’s definitely a viable strategy.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
With 3 games on the slate, Texas is hot and Tampa is dome. Yay 3 game slates!
Doing Lines In Vegas
Weather truth Texas and bet the over no matter what!