Happy Friday everyone! Friday is my favorite day in MLB DFS on FanDuel. There are no early games, so each of the major contests will have every game in play. Today’s major contests are the usual suspects: $100K Fri MLB Monster, $40K Fri MLB Strikeout, and the $535 DFBC Qualifier, for your chance to go to Las Vegas!
Lately, there have been some weather issues throughout the MLB, which has probably caused you to avoid some games. Today is no different; I would keep an eye on CHC @ Phi, Tor @ Bal, and LAA @ Atl, specifically. There are other games that have a lower percentage chance of rain, and of course these games could change within the next 16 hours or so.
Let’s get to the picks of the day!
*** “Next up” feature: A player will be put into parenthesis, who will serve as a replacement player, if the player chosen is not in their lineup or is part of a rainout. The replacement player will be chosen from the same pricing tier as the recommended player, making for an easy swap. They may also be considered as my 2nd favorite player (or 1A) from their respective position and pricing tier. You can find that player at the end of the blurb and they will be labeled as “next up”.
Felix Hernandez ($11,200): King Felix is coming off of one of the best games by a pitcher this season. He went just 7 innings, but it’s because his pitch count was high by striking out 15 batters. That’s a nice number, and unfortunately he missed out on the Win, or he would have been able to add to his 22 FDP performance. He’s really settled in after a few shaky starts near the end of April/early May. In his last 5 starts, he has given us at least 15 FDP in all of them, and has gone at least 7 innings. In his last 4 starts, he has struck out at least 8 batters, in each. Right now he is matchup proof, and a home start against the Rangers should not be avoided. The Rangers are not scoring a ton of runs right now, and Adrian Beltre is really the only hitter that is hitting well right now. So, he’ll probably pitch around him, which will help him put up his second 20+ FDP game in a row. His salary is very high, but with Kershaw being the only other pitcher today with similar upside, I would go for the King and find some nice value plays on offense.
(Next up, Clayton Kershaw $10,400)
Andrew Cashner ($8,100): Cashner is the one Padres pitcher that I am not afraid to use on the road. Citi Field is basically the Petco of the East coast anyway. His first start since his return from the DL was a strong one, going 6 IP, while striking out 5, and lowering his ERA to 2.13. He only scored 11 FDP, but now that he has proven that he’s healthy, he should be able to go deeper into this game. The Mets hitters should add to his ‘K’ totals today, and he has the potential for 7-8 IP and 8+ K’s, which would easily exceed value for his $8,100 salary. I like him as one of the safer options of the day; especially in his pricing tier.
(Next up, Alex Cobb $7,500)
Justin Masterson ($6,900): Masterson has had an awful season, with the exception of about three starts. His best start was against this same Red Sox team (2 starts ago), where he went 7 innings, while striking out 10 batters (season high), and scoring 21 FDP. He’s a better pitcher than he’s shown this year, and he has the ability to string together some good starts for a while. The Red Sox have really struggled lately, but were finally able to get a Win last night. The Sox really only had two big hits to make up their offense last night; an Ortiz two-run homer, and a Brock Holt wall-ball two-run double. If he can avoid some mistakes then he should be able to have another good start against them. I don’t think he can reach 21 FDP again, but the potential is there for around 13-17 points. He makes a nice value play, but one that I would only consider in GPP’s. He’s just too risky right now for cash games, and I would wait for another 2-3 good starts before considering him for them.
(Next up, Nathan Eovaldi $6,800)
Victor Martinez ($3,800): I was torn between V-Mart and Lucroy for the top spot today, but I am going with Martinez because of the $500 in cap savings and I like his matchup better. Kyle Gibson has been just OK this season, but I think he is overdue for an implosion, and Martinez is putting up points almost every night. He’s homered 3 times in his last 6 games, to bring his season total to 16, which is remarkable. My one concern is that outside of Miggy, the Tigers are not hitting well right now, so Martinez may not have too many RBI opportunities. At the end of the day though, you will have a hard time finding a better catcher for your FanDuel lineup.
(Next up, Jonathan Lucroy $4,300)
Buster Posey ($3,200): Posey went 0-5 yesterday, which ended a nice 9-game hitting streak. He’s yet to go on a tear that we have become accustomed to seeing. I think the 9-game streak was a nice sign and I wouldn’t get overly worried about one 0-fer game. I really like the L/R matchup with De La Rosa and I would target Posey and stack him along side some other Giants righties (think Morse, Sandoval, Pence).
(Next up, Devin Mesoraco $3,000)
A.J. Pierzynski ($2,700): If you are not buying into Masterson, which is understandable, then you are targeting lefties against him, as he has an ERA that’s about two runs higher against lefties, over the last three seasons. I’ve mentioned before that I really like to target catchers the day after an off day, and A.J. was off yesterday. He’s a very streaky hitter and has hit safely in his last 3 games, so if Masterson is off of his game, then A.J. should be one of the biggest beneficiaries.
(Next up, Dioner Navarro $2,700)
Jose Abreu ($4,600): Abreu will probably be one of the most targeted players of the day, and I don’t recommend fading him and hoping for a flop. Jeremy Guthrie is on the hill for the Royals and Abreu is already one of the best power hitters in the game. This one could get out of hand in a hurry and I can see Abreu hitting homer number 20. He has homered 4 times in his last 9 games, and twice in his last 3 games. The guy is a beast.
(Next up, Brandon Moss $4,400)
Joey Votto ($3,500): Votto has hit in all three of his games since returning from the DL. He’s gone 4-11 with two doubles in that span. His power seems to moderate at best these days, with only 6 homers on the year. However, he’s an OBP machine and will consistently put up FDP. Miller Park is a great place for hitters and this game could very well be high scoring. Both pitchers (Bailey, Garza) tend to either throw gems or get crushed, so I can see this game going either way. Bailey seems to be trending in the right direction, so I think the Reds are more likely to score runs and win this game. That makes Votto a very nice play for a reasonable salary, and I think he’ll add another game to his hitting streak.
(Next up, David Ortiz $3,500)
Albert Pujols ($3,000): Pujols’ power numbers have really cooled off since coming out of the gates firing. Recently he’s still been hitting tough, as he has hit safely in 7 out of his last 9 games, with one home run. Aaron Harang is having an incredible season and it’s starting to look like he could keep it up all year. He’s had one implosion this year and I expect there to be a few more before season’s end. Pujols has seen him a ton throughout his career and has had a ton of success, going 27-79 (.342) with 5 homers, 6 doubles, and only 7 K’s.
(Next up, Billy Butler $2,500)
Brian Dozier ($4,000): Dozier is turning into the best offensive 2nd baseman in all of baseball. He’s basically vintage Robinson Cano, with more steals and less average. On the year he has 14 homers and 14 steals, which is on pace for right around a 40/40 season. I would bet my house that he doesn’t reach those numbers, but the fact that he’s even on that pace and it’s mid-June, is remarkable. He has a nice L/R matchup with a struggling Drew Smyly and he’s easily the top choice at 2B today.
(Next up, Robinson Cano $3,800 — 3HR on the year hehe)
Ian Kinsler ($3,200): Kinsler’s price tag has taken a nosedive over the last week. He was near the top of all the 2B, just a few days ago, but a 1-18 slump has dropped him to a very affordable price. I think the Tigers will be able to get their offense going today, and Kinsler is in a great position to produce out of the 2-hole. Before his 1-18 slump, he was 5-18 with 2 homers, and I’m not expecting a prolonged slump out of him.
(Next up, Anthony Rendon $3,200)
Scooter Gennett ($2,800): Scooter has been moved back into the leadoff spot against RHP, at least for now. That could change any day, as this lineup has been a fluid situation all season. If he’s hitting leadoff, then his value for today is excellent. Like I mentioned earlier, Bailey is starting to pitch better lately, but he’s gotten hit around plenty this year. Scooter has hit safely in 8 out of his last 10 games, and has 4 multi-hit games in that span. He went on a nice hot steak earlier in the year, and it looks like he’s in the midst of another one.
(Next up, Ben Zobrist $2,900)
Adrian Beltre ($4,300): Beltre is absolutely on fire right now. He’s hit safely in 8 out of his last 9 games, and all 8 of those games have been of the multi-hit fashion. That’s truly incredible and I see no reason to fade him right now, not even against King Felix. Beltre has had good success against Hernandez in his career, going 10-31 (.323), but with just 1 homer. He’ll probably make a nice contrarian play today, as most owners will stay away with the tough matchup. So, if you roster him and he has a good game, you will have a nice advantage. I can see giving him some run on one of your teams, if you are entering multiple lineups.
(Next up, Lonnie Chisenhall $4,300)
Brett Lawrie ($3,000): The Jays offense has suddenly disappeared, so a matchup with Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t come at a better time. Ubaldo has had a few nice games this season, but we all know how capable he is of getting hammered on any given night. I think the Jays bats will wake up today and Lawrie will be one of my favorite targets. He’s a nice cheap option from this explosive team, and Ubaldo’s splits actually favor him against left-handers. Lawrie has had some success against him in his career, going 3-7 with a homer.
(Next up, Casey McGehee $3,100)
Chris Johnson ($2,600): The punt options at 3B leave a lot to be desired. Johnson looks to be one of the better choices. The matchup against C.J. Wilson won’t be easy, but Johnson’s forte has been hitting against lefties. He’s hitting well of late, albeit he just finished a series in Coors Field. Nevertheless, he’s hit safely in 7 out of his last 9 games, with 4 multi-hit games in that span. We all know he’s capable of hitting for a high average, so another multi-hit game is within reach and a homer would be a very nice bonus.
(Next up, Mike Moustakas $2,500)
Jose Reyes ($4,000): Reyes is one of the hottest SS in baseball right now, even with the Jays latest struggles. He currently has a 13-game hitting streak, and if were not for one 0-fer game, he would have a 25-game hitting streak right now. So, to do the math for you, he’s hit safely in 24 out of his last 25 games and has 9 stolen bases in that span. The steals are very telling for him; he’s a guy that is tremendously injury prone and the fact that he’s running just proves that he’s healthy. I love him as the table setter for the big bats, against Ubaldo today.
(Next up, Troy Tulowitzki $4,900)
Josh Rutledge ($3,300): Walt Weiss has been moving the lineup around to make room for Rutledge recently, and all he’s done is hit. He has a 5-game hitting streak and has gone 9-17, with a triple, and 10 total RBI/Runs scored during his streak. Maybe he will finally live up to the hype that was once placed on him. I would at least ride out his hot streak and today he has an above average matchup against Tim Lincecum.
(Next up, Alexei Ramirez $3,300)
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Alcides Escobar ($3,000): Escobar is riding a 10-game hitting streak, with 2 steals in his last 7 games. He is now up to 17 SB on the year, and should be able to come close to a 40-steal season. He’s the hottest hitter on the Royals at the moment, and his steal potential makes him an elite option. He has a favorable L/R matchup against Jose Quintana today, and even though it will be harder to run against the lefty, I’m sure he will try if he gets an opportunity.
(Next up, Starlin Castro $2,800)
Andrew McCutchen ($5,000): If not for ‘Cutch, I would probably be targeting Eovaldi on every team today. He’s legitimately hitting out of his mind right now. This is one of the hotter streaks that we have seen all year, and it rivals what Encarnacion, Cruz, and Springer did in May. He has an 8-game hitting streak right now, and in 6 of those games he had multiple hits. He’s had two hits in each of his last five games. During his 8-game streak, he has 5 homers, 6 doubles, a steal, and an incredible 20 total RBI/Runs scored. Do not fade him right now.
(Next up, Carlos Gomez $4,700)
Giancarlo Stanton ($4,600): I would be very surprised if Locke has another quality start tonight. The Marlins have been crushing the ball at home this season, and Stanton has been especially good. He’s on a bit of a homer drought, with only 1 in his last 10 games. But, he has hit safely in 6 out of his last 10 games, and he’s always a candidate for a multi-homer game, especially in a very good L/R matchup. Look for him to be at 20 homers (17 now) by the end of the week.
(Next up, Jose Bautista $4,400)
Dexter Fowler ($3,400): On paper, this looks like a tough matchup for Fowler. Cobb is a very good pitcher, but he’s coming off of his worst start of the season, so there’s potential for another poor start today. Fowler is on a very good streak right now; he has hit safely in 9 out of his last 10 games, and has 7 multi-hit games during that span. In those last 10 games he’s 18-for-38 (.474), with 3 doubles, a triple, a homer, and 12 total RBI/Runs scored. He’s really coming into his own and has solidified himself as the leadoff hitter in an all of a sudden potent Astros lineup.
(Next up, Melky Cabrera $3,200)
Logan Morrison ($2,300): Morrison went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer last night, in just his second game in almost 2 months. His power is real and it will be interesting to see if he can string together a few good games in a row, while his salary is near minimum. Nick Tepesch is not a scary matchup, and the Mariners could finally break out of their hitting slump. I would give Morrison some run if you are looking for an outfield punt option.
(Next up, Daniel Nava $2,200)