The MLB season rolls on with another busy day on Friday, featuring our first taste of Coors Field baseball on the earlier slate. However, the biggest contests on FanDuel this evening focus on the later games, so we’ll focus on those for today’s daily plays.
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals, ($9,400) – The pitching options are very limited tonight, therefore Gio Gonzalez is by far the best guy going. The Phillies have been very bad against lefties in the past few seasons, due to many of their best hitters being left handed. The FanDuel pricing structure is very soft to start the MLB season, so you can fit Gonzalez into your roster with making too many sacrifices.
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants, (6,400) – Lincecum is coming in as a slight underdog (SD -123) when the Giants travel to Petco field to take on the Padres. The game is currently sitting with a low total of seven. Lincecum is very volatile pitcher that usually requires you to drink heavily in order to tolerate the potential implosion. However, the Padres have restructured their team and the result is a right handed heavy lineup. Most of Lincecum’s struggles have come against left-handed hitting. The Padres right-handed lineup, combined with an elite pitching environment, makes Lincecum a guy I’m willing to consider on Friday night.
Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers, ($2,900) – The Dodgers are getting huge park shift in their favor tonight when they travel to Chase Field. The Arizona ballpark is among the top-10 in terms of favorable locations for right-handed hitters. As long as Grandal continues to receive a positive lineup spot (fifth or sixth), he will remain a fine vale play at the catcher position.
Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies, ($2,500) – Ruiz is one the very few Phillies players that had solid numbers against left-handed pitching last season (.372 wOBA, .182 ISO). He will likely hit second in the Phillies’ lineup tonight, which another thing working in his favor. He is certainly worth a shot with a price tag slightly higher than the minimum at just $2,500.
Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels, ($4,000) – Pujols offers a nice price break from the other top first basemen at $4,000. With a lot of east coast games experiencing cold, rainy weather, targeting players with very limited weather risk appears to be a solid strategy. The Angels have a lineup that is built to give fits to left-handed pitching, therefore I expect Jason Vargas to run into some issues in this matchup.
Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,300) – Pedro Alvarez is a player that requires no consideration when the Pirates are facing lefties, however he is always an option when they’re facing righties. He’s typically a guy that I like to consider only for GPP plays due to his inability to make consistent contact with the baseball. However, due to the positive ballpark shift for the Pirates, I don’t mind giving Alvarez a look for cash game lineups tonight. Alvarez posted a .336 wOBA and .195 ISO versus RHP last season. Alvarez ranks high in terms of HR probability in tonight’s matchup.
Ben Zobrist, Oakland Athletics, ($3,100) – On many occasions, a player’s lineup positioning can be enough to warrant consideration. That is exactly the case for Ben Zobrist, who has been hitting third for the Oakland A’s. When you also consider the defensive nature of most second base eligible players, Zobrist’s price tag of $3,100 becomes even more appealing.
Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants, ($2,500) – Sticking with the same concept explained in the Ben Zobrist write-up, Joe Panik is also in play due to his lineup spot. Panik typically hits second for the Giants when they’re facing a RHP. Tonight, the Giants face Brandon Morrow, so I’m expecting Panik to be in the two hole. At $300 above the minimum FanDuel price, Panik is a fine punt/value option.
David Wright, New York Mets, ($3,300) – The Mets’ offense as whole is a relatively poor unit, therefore the upside for David Wright is dampened. That being said, Wright was still able to produce solid numbers against LHP last season (.398 wOBA vs. LHP). Wright has a very friendly price of just $3,300, making him a fine third base target tonight.
David Freese, Los Angeles Angels, ($2,900) – I really like the Angels as a sneaky stack tonight at home against Jason Vargas. David Freese produced very solid numbers against LHP last season (.382 wOBA). When the Angels faced a lefty earlier in the week, Freese was bumped to the clean-up spot, and if that’s the case tonight, he will become an excellent value play at $2,900.
Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals, ($3,100) – Escobar is not a well-known player by any means, but when you take a look at his numbers you will realize that he is a very competent hitter against left-handed pitching (.342 wOBA versus LHP last season). In addition to the solid wOBA, Escobar will typically hit leadoff when the Royals are facing a lefty. And lastly, he is threat on the base path as well, which is very important aspect of MLB DFS.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Tampa Bay Rays, ($2,600) – Don’t get me wrong, Cabrera is not a very appealing DFS hitter by any means, however his lineup spot (third) creates intrigue. In addition to the solid lineup spot, Cabrera plays at a position (SS) that is lacking good offensive options. For this reason, I have no issue punting the position with Asdrubal.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, ($5,100) – Continuing with the theme of targeting the right-handed bats of the Angels, I present Mike Trout. Trout is clearly one of the best hitters in baseball and is worthy of consideration on a nightly basis. However, tonight seems like a night that having the ability to roster him is very feasible. Without many top-tier pitching options toeing the rubber tonight, the salary cap space will likely be available. Trout produced elite number against LHP last season (.398 wOBA, .248 ISO) and is the top overall hitter on this slate.
Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins, ($3,400) – Yelich is on the verge of breaking out as one of baseball’s best outfielders. He posted solid numbers against RHP last season (.334 wOBA) and he’s locked into the leadoff spot for the Marlins. Yelich also offers some stolen base upside, which is huge for DFS.
Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers, ($2,600) – Davis is one of many Milwaukee Brewer hitters that produce elite numbers when facing LHP. For this reason, I project Jeff Locke to struggle in tonight’s matchup. Khris Davis has a very appealing price of $2,600. Last season, Davis was very solid against lefties (.336 wOBA, .218 ISO). Lineup positioning is key here. With Ryan Braun potentially out, Davis could creep into a top-four lineup spot, which would significantly increase his value.