Don’t get me wrong, I love playing roto fantasy baseball. But as I look despairingly at my overflowing DL slots in my leagues, wondering whether I have the stamina to keep grinding away at this six-month marathon, this war of attrition, I’m reminded all over again why I also love DFS. DFS is the oasis you stumble into from the Roto Desert, just often enough for a little refreshment and to refill your water bottles, when your roto camels are so loaded up with DTD and DL’d players that their knees are buckling and your first-round picks are obviously so parched they haven’t had the strength to get more than 3 hits in the last week (I’m looking at you, Miggy). At the gates of DFS, Jose Altuve hands you a glass of champagne and says, “Welcome to Fantasy Island.” You walk in and the place is swarming with star players, just lying about under the palm trees, waiting for you so they can help make you rich. You can have any player you want (for a price, of course). Chris Sale? Sure! Bryce Harper? Why not! Mike Trout? Go for it, if you’ve got still got room in your salary cap! I feel like a kid in a candy store, getting to build the most fantasiest fantasy FanDuel lineup I possibly can. Sometimes that build is easy and sometimes it’s a challenge and sure, it doesn’t always work out, but you know what? You just shrug it all off and try again next time.
Here endeth my little ode to DFS; now let’s go ahead and sample today’s buffet at the FanDuel oasis.
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!
Umm… now that we’re here and taking a long, hard look … To be honest, today’s buffet is a little limp, dried-out, crusted-over. Especially the pitching selection. I’ve been wandering up and down with my plate for a very long time and, similar to when you feel you have to put some veggie on there so it doesn’t look like ALL carb, I think I’m just going to plunk down a token something (like parsley) and cross my fingers.
Here’s the lineup I’m entering into FanDuel for Saturday, 20 May (GPP All-Day, 2:10):
Julio Urias, P ($7,500)
Willson Contreras, C ($2,900)
Eric Thames, 1B ($3,600)
Jose Altuve, 2B ($4,100)
Todd Frazier, 3B ($3,300)
Trea Turner, SS ($3,600)
Ezequiel Carrera, OF ($2,800)
J.D. Martinez, OF ($4,100)
Nick Markakis, OF ($2,900)
Below, as is my wont, I’ll tell you why, plus give you some other options to muse over if mine ain’t of interest. Some possible stacks you might consider: Orioles hitters versus Mike Bolsinger; Nationals hitters versus Bartolo Colon; Astros hitters versus Mike Clevinger.
Max Scherzer, SP: $11,600 – Stream-o-Nator has Scherzer right at the top of its list today. By far, as in twice as high as the next pitcher (Verlander versus the Rangers at home, then Arrieta at home versus Milwaukee, and Tanaka at Tampa… all of which make me nervous somehow?). Normally I’d agree. Normally I wouldn’t hesitate. Because Rudy is Booty, usually I do what SON tells me to do. But I’ve just spent 4 days watching the Jays play the Braves in their new stadium, and hoo boy, does that ball fly out to the right (possibly interesting fact: so far, Braves pitchers’ home ERA is 5.72 versus 4.24 away). I know Scherzer is Scherzer and the Braves are now missing Freddie Freeman (which is awful) and there’s a great chance he’ll just strike out everyone and I’ll live to regret this, but at this price, I think I’d rather spend on hitters.
Robbie Ray, SP: $9,100 – This was the other pitcher I weighed up and then decided against. Ray is pitching in San Diego today; despite the desirable Hodgepadre factor, I still think he could be cheaper, given his ugly numbers (an ERA of 4.81 and a WHIP of 1.30). But he may be OK; Stream-o-Nator doesn’t hate this!
Julio Urias, SP: $7,500 – I settled on Stream-o-Nator’s 6th-place pitcher today. Our Urias sample is not terribly strong, admittedly (4 games), but other than his start at Coors, where he earned 6 runs (but really, humans weren’t meant to pitch at Coors. Is this a job for the baseball robot army? [Speaking of, you should go listen to this week’s podcast. Matt Truss gives us the lowdown on the robobaseballers, and Grey doing robot voices is everything that is good in this world]), he’s been conservative on the hits and runs front. Also the K front, mind you. All that said, I like this match-up versus the Marlins, who are 24th in the league overall right now and 30th in the last week.
Yadier Molina, C: $3,300 – Last Saturday I tooted Yadi’s horn (so to speak) and he gave us a hit and a run and a steal. Let’s see what he’ll bestow upon us this week, when I remind him he’s 11 for 24 versus Jeff Samardzija (you know, as an editor, I pride myself on my ability to spell, but I still got literally 4 letters of his name in the wrong order when I tried to spell it without looking it up).
Willson Contreras, C: $2,900 – Check that he’s in the lineup (Brian McCann, $3,100, would be a good alternative), but if he does play, this is a great price for Hittertron’s 6th-rated catcher, versus Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $4,700 – Yeah, this is not cheap. But Au Schizz is all about righty pitching as it is, so I’d have mulled this match-up over even if it hadn’t had the extra gilding of his 5 for 11 and 2 HRs versus Luis Perdomo. The only thing that could tarnish things is that this is in Petco Park, where he hasn’t fared so well this year — but that was way back in the cold, dark times of mid-April.
Eric Thames, 1B: $3,600 – This is rather a bargain — is it that FanDuel thinks Thames’ strep throat is still infectious and doesn’t want anything to do with him? <shrugs>. I really like this lefty-righty match-up versus Arrieta, whose ERA has just kept ballooning since the start of the season.
Jose Altuve, 2B: $4,100 – Does this man ever stop hitting the baseball? It doesn’t feel like it. He’s Hittertron’s favorite 2B today, for his match-up versus Mike Clevinger. (Fiers faces off against Clevinger today, so that means one Mike’s gonna drop.) But I know, this is pricey, so if you need to save some cash, look at…
Whit Merrifield, 2B: $2,700 – He may sound like Dansby Swanson’s even snottier cousin, but he also has significant splits against lefties such as Adam Wilk (Merrifield is .360 versus lefties so far this year; .200 versus righties) — who happens to have a 9.00 ERA.
Todd Frazier, 3B: $3,300 – There are a whole lot of 3Bs around this price today — I’d also look at Jose Ramirez ($3,100) for his match-up versus Mike Fiers, or perhaps the frequently infuriating Anthony Rendon ($3,300) for his 8 for 21 versus Bartolo Colon. But I decided to go with Frazier and his 12 for 35 and 2 HRs versus Yovani Gallardo. He’s been a little up and down, though, so take this recommendation with a pinch of salt, like you might with tossed salad and scrambled eggs.
Trea Turner, SS: $3,600 – He’s cooled off a tiny bit lately, but Hittertron and I are united in our love for this showdown in Atlanta versus Bartolo Colon, who is sitting on a pretty unattractive 6.80 ERA right now (the only team Bartolo’s been good against lately is the Jays… sigh). But if you want to go cheaper, try…
J.D. Martinez, OF: $4,100 – 6 games since he returned from the DL, 5 home runs, I can afford him. That is all.
Brett Gardner, OF: $3,500 – The Constant Gardner (I was going to write, “is he ever gonna retire?”, then I realized he’s only 33. Seriously, he looks 10 years older than that. … No? Just me?) has hit well against Matt Andriese in the past, is on a hot streak, likes righties, and he’s cheap. Put that in your trowel and smoke it! (What?)
Corey Dickerson, OF: $3,600 – Dickerson is 6 for 16 with a HR versus Masahiro Tanaka, who has been crucified for 15 earned runs and 7 HRs in his last 3 starts (did I mention being leery of starting Tanaka today?). I’d like this match-up even better if it were going down at Yankee Stadium, but Dickerson’s stats at home are perfectly respectable (hitting .313 at home versus .359 away) — I’m telling you, the Rays are the only ones who know how to hit at Tropicana Field. Curse you, Trop!
Nick Markakis, OF: $2,900 – Who’s gonna start anyone against Max Scherzer? You and me and the three other people who read this column, that’s who, ’cos we know that Markakis is 11 for 39 against Max and currently hitting .317 and also playing at home today in the aforementioned glorious hitting park that is Atlanta.
Ezequiel Carrera, OF: $2,800 – Zeke doesn’t have a whole lot of home runs to his name, but he does have one off Kevin Gausman. He’s also hitting .385 against him; lefty Zeke loves righties, so he’s likely to be in the lineup. As the weather heats up, so does he, and he can be a threat to steal if he gets on base.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
At time of writing on Friday night, there is rain in a load of forecasts tomorrow, sadly. Minnesota, Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit and St. Louis may all get hit with the damp stuff, so check your lineups.
Doing Lines In Vegas
The Cubs are heavy favorites to beat Milwaukee at -213, but honestly, I’m not so sure Arrieta will get it done. Ditto with Washington over Atlanta (also -213) — very keen to see how that one goes. (And horribly aware I’m sticking my neck wayyyy out here…!) Interestingly, the Twins versus the Royals, and the Yankees versus Tampa, are a dead heat at -100 each, which sounds about right.