FanDuel MLB Plays for Tuesday, June 3rd – $600K Super Monster Edition
The time has come! The $600K Super Monster is here! Hopefully you were able to secure a seat by winning one of the many qualifiers. If not, there is still time to enter, but be sure to enter as soon as possible before the contest is full. First prize is a cool $100,000 + a King of the Diamond Ticket + a trip to Vegas for the $3,000,000 DFBC Final. Those are some serious prizes and you don’t need to finish in 1st place to have yourself a day that you will never forget. The top 5 will not only receive a huge cash payout, but all five receive a King of the Diamond Ticket + a trip to Vegas for the DFBC Final.
This article will focus on GPP plays only; to help give you an advantage to win that coveted top prize. Yes, of course some of the picks can be used in all formats, but I will focus on high risk/high reward plays. Most of them will be cheap, high-upside players. So, just because I’m focusing on these players, it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily better plays than the high-priced studs. They are just my favorite choices that you should roster when looking for some cap saving options.
Jaime Garcia ($5,700): There are other, higher priced options like Zach Wheeler and Yovani Gallardo, whom could be considered as value plays today. They are not very expensive and have good matchups. But, Garcia and McHugh (to follow) are just so cheap and have similar upside, that they make better plays today for your GPP. Garcia has pitched well in his three starts since returning from the DL. He has 11, 14.66, and 8 FDP (FanDuel points) in his three starts, and he’s looked better and better in each one. Today he faces off with the weak hitting Royals at home in pitcher friendly Busch Stadium. Garcia, like seemingly every Cardinals pitcher, loves pitching at home and the home field advantage plays a role here, for sure. I think he has a good chance to go deep into this game (at least 7 IP), but there are some negatives to this start. However, that’s the point of this article – high risk/high reward. The negatives: The Royals only strikeout 15.4% of the time, which is good for the lowest in all of baseball; Shields takes the mound for the Royals, and that limits the chances of Garcia getting the Win today. The positives: Moustakas is back, so that helps his strikeout potential; this is the Royals that he’s facing; against LHP, the Royals have a .289 wOBA; on the road they have a .291 wOBA; in the last 14 games they have a .282 wOBA – all those wOBA’s are considered poor-terrible; the Royals are scoring 3.80 runs per game; this game has the lowest O/U of the day at 7, and the Cardinals are the favorites at -125. As you can see, the positives heavily outweigh the negatives and he should be able to overcome the lack of K’s tonight.
Collin McHugh ($5,000): I’m actually shocked to see McHugh still so cheap today. His opponent, the Angels, must be the reason for it. Not everyday will you find a pitcher that has (3) 18+ FDP performances under his belt already, for only $5K. His upside is tremendous, which again, is the key to winning a GPP. On the season, McHugh is striking out more than a batter per inning (50K in 45 IP), which is elite. His ERA is a cool 2.80 and that is also elite after 50 innings of baseball. In his last start he shut down Garcia’s opponent, the Royals, to a tune of 7 IP, 9 K’s, and 20 FDP. The 9 K’s in that start are particularly impressive considering the Royals 15.4 strikeout percentage that I mentioned before. While the Angels are a much more high-powered offense, they are striking out 20.1% of the time, which makes McHugh a candidate for a bunch of K’s today. The key will be going deep into the game and if he can manage seven innings or more today, then he could give you double-digit strikeouts. He faced these same Angels just two starts ago, and it was on their turf. In that start he went 7 innings, with 7 K’s, and only allowed 6 base runners – good for 12 FDP. For $5,000, 12 or more FDP easily exceeds his value and the potential for 20+ FDP makes him, arguably, the best punt option pitcher today. He offers more risk than Garcia, but I think he also offers more upside and will save you $700.
BONUS TRACKS: Jordan Zimmermann ($7,700): With today’s focus being on GPP plays, Zimmermann is a more expensive pitching option that may have a LOW OWNERSHIP PERCENTAGE. Taking a player that isn’t highly owned can give you a huge advantage if that player has a big game. Zimmermann recent struggles should scare some owners away. He has 30.66 FDP in his last 5 starts COMBINED. The matchup at home against the Phillies is a very strong matchup. They strikeout a ton (21.4%), and as a team, they really struggle against RHP (.290 wOBA).
Alex Avila ($2,700): Some would say Avila is struggling and others would say that Avila is due. I will say that it’s a little bit of both. He’s the type of player that goes through some serious hot and cold stretches and in his last 9 games he’s 2-28. He has 1 double, and 1 total Runs/RBI in that span. He has combined total of 2.5 FDP in those last 9 games. Those awful numbers, in combination with a plus matchup, are the exact reasons that I am recommending him as a GPP/punt option today. Going back to my Zimmermann bonus track, it’s crucial to have a player that is barely owned do well for you, if you want a chance at first place. It’s not completely necessary, but it helps. Yes, he could just as easily give you -1 point, but you need to take some chances. He has power potential, which is a must, and he’s facing Hutchison – who has given up 8 HR’s in his 11 starts this season. The Tigers should be able to put some runs on the board and hopefully Avila will help contribute.
David Ross ($2,200): I love to roster one player that is minimum priced, or close to it. Ross is minimum priced today and could be a solid choice, assuming that he gets the start. He will have a nice L/R matchup, against T.J. House, in hitter friendly Cleveland. Like Avila, Ross has good power potential and House has given up 2 homers in just 13.1 innings pitched this season. The Red Sox are starting to play well as a team and should be able to score plenty of runs in this game.
BONUS TRACKS: Miguel Montero ($3,100): Montero isn’t really an under the radar type pick, but I think it’s important to get a piece of the Coors game into your roster. Most teams will have the obvious names in this game, like: Tulo, CarGo, and Goldy. Montero may be a forgotten man with a perceivably tough L/L matchup. But, he hits lefties fairly well and hits cleanup more often than not. A good tip when building a GPP lineup is to consider fading some of the bigger name players in great matchups. Instead look to roster their supporting cast members, and hope that they put up some solid points, with the help of their stud teammates.
Jason Giambi ($2,700): All Giambi does is hit homers. Seriously, he has 5 hits in his last 10 games and 2 were homeruns. He has 2 homers on the year in just 28 at-bats. He obviously still has plenty of power left and that’s the number one thing that I look for in my punt options. Jake Peavy is near the top of the league in homers allowed, with 10, and Cleveland is a great place for hitters to mash. This game should be high scoring and I would expect Giambi to get another start at DH.
Ike Davis ($2,200): The Pirates had no problem scoring in Petco last night, putting up 10 runs. They tend to be a team that gets hot and crushed teams for a while and this could be the start of that. Today’s pitcher, Jesse Hahn, is making his major league debut. Hahn isn’t much of a prospect and the Pirates should be able to get to him early and often. Davis has hit pretty well since being traded to Pittsburgh and has been entrenched in the cleanup spot. Cleanup hitters are rarely minimum priced. Ike has the potential to hit some bombs, and you already know my thoughts on homer potential when deciding on your GPP options. Davis went 0-3 yesterday, but was able to walk twice and drive in a run. Three games ago he went 2-4 with a homer, so he’s not in a deep slump or anything. I think the pirates will score plenty today and Davis could be a great salary saving option.
BONUS TRACKS: Justin Smoak ($2,500): Smoak has flashed decent power, with 7 homers on the year. He’s hit safely in 4 of his last 7 games and in his career against Floyd he’s gone 4-20 with 2 homers.
Brandon Phillips ($3,000): You never know which version of Lincecum will show up. It could be the 8-strikeout version, or the 8-walk version. For that reason, I would leave Brandon for GPP’s only. Phillips has had decent success against Timmy in his career, going 4-14 with a homer and 4 RBI. He has hit safely in 6 out of his last 10 games, and in 3 of those games he’s had multiple hits. He’s not having a great season to-date, with only 4 homers and 38 total RBI/Runs scored in 215 at-bats. Lincecum has given up 7 homeruns this season, so far, and I think Phillips will get hot at some point and string together a few good weeks to even out his numbers. He’s yet another high risk/high reward play today, that could help you earn that $100,000 payday.
Josh Harrison ($2,400): Harrison may be higher owned than your typical $2,400 player, but that’s not to say he still isn’t a punt option. I would continue to avoid him in cash games, because his past history doesn’t indicate that he will continue playing this well. But, he’s in the midst of a solid 6-game hitting streak, where he’s gone 11-27 with a homer. He now has 4 homers and 2 steals on the season, and he’s getting everyday at-bats from the leadoff spot. It’s important to mention that another strong tip on choosing your GPP/punt options is to look at the batting orders when they are posted for the day. If you can get a cheap option that is hitting leadoff, like Harrison, then you are increasing your odds at run production (or FDP potential). Also, you are potentially adding an at-bat to your total for the day, because the leadoff hitter has the best chance of getting those extra at-bats late into games. Of course, with outs being scored with negative points, this strategy can also backfire. But, I think the positives outweigh the negatives.
BONUS TRACKS: D.J. LeMahieu ($2,600):D.J is another player that fits my theory of taking supporting players in a potentially high scoring game. While everyone will be on the bigger names in this game, and you should probably take at least one, it may be wise to pair your stud (maybe Tulo) with a punt option from the same team. LeMahieu is on a 5-game hitting streak to help add to his appeal today.
Evan Longoria ($3,600): Longoria will probably be a player that most people stay away from today, which means he’s someone that you might want to target. Yet another tip I will share with you today: Studs that have been under-producing and because of it, their salary has decreased. Longoria was actually down to $3,300 recently and he’s gone up $300 and hasn’t really earned the increase. He has a disappointing 5 homeruns on the year and doesn’t have an extra base hit in his last 7 games. If that’s not reason enough to stay away from him; he’s playing in New Marlins Park today, which is notoriously a pitchers park; and Henderson Alvarez has pitched very well this season. Other than the fact that he’s going to be a nice contrarian play today, he’s hit Alvarez very well in his career and that may continue today. He’s gone 6-10 against him, with 3 homers. BvP is one of the most debated topics in all of DFS. Some live by it, and others think that it has no bearing on a player’s success for that day. I’m in between with my feelings. I don’t recommend taking players strictly based on BvP. Those numbers have several variables; pitchers/hitters skill sets change, park factors come into play, surrounding lineup changes, game scenarios, plus many, many more. However, I think there’s something to be said for a player’s confidence. Baseball is a very mental sport and if you know that you hit a pitcher well, then your confidence will be higher, and may lead to better production. I will use a player if the BvP numbers are ridiculous, like Goldschmidt vs Lincecum. Other than that, it’s usually just a tiebreaker if I am between two players. Today for Longoria, he needs all the confidence he can get, and he’s too good of a player to not put up some big counting stats moving forward.
Trevor Plouffe ($2,800): Fittingly, after I gave you plenty of reasons to avoid BvP, I will recommend Plouffe for his BvP. He is 2-5 with 2 homers against Gallardo in his career. Overall he is having a solid year and has flashed power when he is hitting well. He has hit safely in 7 of his last 10 games and has homered twice in his last 8 games. Miller Park is a great stadium for run production, but the Twins team is struggling to score runs and I think most players will be avoiding them because of that, and because of a difficult matchup with Gallardo. I really like Plouffe and he’s paid off plenty of times, for me, when I’ve used him as a GPP option.
BONUS TRACKS: Pedro Alvarez ($2,900): It’s quite possible that Pedro Alvarez coined the term all-or-nothing. If you look up high risk/high reward, then you will get a picture of Alvarez. He’s just so good at going 0-4 with 4 k’s and crushing your DFS hopes. But, he’s just as good at hitting 2 homers in one game and winning your contest for you. If there’s one thing that I can guarantee you today, it’s this: There will be a hitter today that goes absolutely bonkers and gets like 15 FDP. I’m taking 2-3 bombs with a bunch of RBI, or maybe even 3 more. Another thing that I can guarantee, is that whoever wins the $100K, will own that player. Alvarez could be that guy and I’m not so sure he’ll be very highly owned because the Pirates are in Petco. But, Petco is not nearly as tough on lefties and Hahn is making his first career start.
Jhonny Peralta ($3,100): If Pedro Alvarez were a shortstop, he’d call himself Phedro. Jhonny is incredibly streaky and seems to hit all of his homeruns for the season, over the course of 3 weeks. He’s struggling mightily right now, with only 4 hits in his last 10 games. At any moment though, he could homer for 4 straight games. The matchup with James Shields will keep him off of the radar, making him a risky contrarian play. One last time with BvP, I promise. He’s 11-29 (.379) with 3 homers against Shields in his career. Those are very solid numbers. I usually like to take one player that is facing an ace, because they are usually a safe bet to have a low ownership percentage. Let me just clear this up though: I’m mentioning to take low ownership players, struggling players, and very risky players today. This does not mean that you take one of these guys at every position. Maybe take 1-3 for your entire roster and hope that you hit on them. Then finish your roster with streaking players, and good players in good matchups.
Brandon Crawford ($2,700): Crawford offers above average power from the shortstop position and today he’s facing Homer Bailey, who is near the top of the league in homers allowed, with 10. I like the R/L matchup in hitter friendly Cincinnati and of course there is plenty of risk involved. Crawford is slumping at the moment, having gone 1-15, before Sundays 1-4/double performance. Hopefully the extra base hit is a sign of things to come, because Crawford can get hot and produce plenty of runs when he’s hitting.
BONUS TRACKS: Brad Miller ($2,300): Miller has become a forgotten man in Seattle. He’s having a terrible season to-date, but I feel that he’s too talented to continue his struggles for the entire season. He’s shown some signs of breaking out, going 4 for his last 13, with a homer and 6 total RBI/Runs in his last 4 games. He has decent HR/SB potential.
Jacoby Ellsbury ($4,100): Ellsbury is more expensive than most GPP-only options, but he’s having a tough season and (on paper) has a tough L/L matchup with Kazmir today. You should know, however, that Ellsbury has hit lefties well in his career. The short porch at Yankee Stadium should produce that majority of Ellsbury’s homers this season and he’s always a threat to run when he gets on base, which adds to his points potential. He’s quietly heating up lately; he’s on a 7-game hitting streak, and in that span he has 4 steals and 9 total RBI/Runs scored.
Billy Hamilton ($3,100): No player, except maybe Dee Gordon, has the potential to steal as many bases as Hamilton. I actually love the matchup with Lincecum today. Timmy is walking tons of hitters at this point in his career and a walk to Hamilton can easily turn into a double, or a triple, with his running ability. His lack of power makes him someone that is consistently overlooked, but when you can get on base, steal, and score runs – the FDP add up quickly.
Jay Bruce ($3,000): I do realize that this is the 3rd Reds hitter that I have recommended, and that was not by design. It may work out though, because they play in a great hitters park and Lincecum is good for occasional implosions. Bruce is not being targeted much right now; he only has 3 homers on the year and hasn’t hit one since returning from the DL on 5/23. In fact, he only has 1 XBH and 0 RBI since his return. So, I would be shocked to see him over 5% owned today. All that aside though, he’s still one of the premier power hitters in the game. This play today reminds me of what I said about Alvarez. Someone today is going to win this $100K single handedly, with a huge game. Bruce has the skill set to be that guy, and could give you multiple homers out of nowhere. He’s still going to hit 20+ homeruns this season and with 1/3 of the season over, he has some catching up to do and he’ll do that quickly.
BONUS TRACKS: Delmon Young ($2,200): The Orioles signed Young this off-season for one reason, and that was to face lefties. Today they are facing lefty Joe Saunders in Arlington. If that’s not a mouth-watering matchup, then you may want to see a doctor for low saliva production. Saunders looked good in his last start, but let’s be real here, he’s terrible. Righties destroy him and the Rangers are going to be in trouble using him at home. Delmon has only 1 homer on the season, and there’s a good shot he could double that today.
BONUS BONUS TRACKS: Dominic Brown ($2,200): Last season, we all remember Brown hitting more than half of his total homeruns in a 2-week span. Those two weeks went from the end of May through the beginning of June. Today is June 3rd, the weather is getting nice, and Brown may begin to get hot and treat us with a homerun binge. He’s on a 4-game hitting streak and has homered once in that span. He’s looked pretty awful this season, but so has Jordan Zimmermann. Zimm has given up 5 homers this season, which is actually a high number for him. I did recommend Jordan as a GPP option today, but if you fade him, you could do worse than to roster Dom and hope for gold.