This is a beautiful slate of MLB games on FanDuel tonight and I can’t wait to start assembling my roster. Let’s take a look at a few plays I have identified early that stand out. Remember to always check lineups because this material is put out early in the day and you never know if those managers are going to play the guys you project them to play. Also make sure to double check the weather on the RotoGrinders’ Weather Page before making your lineups!
Jimmy Nelson: $8,800 (vs. St. Louis Cardinals)
If you can afford to climb up to one of the two big studs on the slate tonight then by all means go for it. But you don’t need me to tell you how big and bad Max Scherzer and Chris Sale are. I’m going to keep it with a couple of guys here in the middle price tier in case you want to go a different route. I’ll start off with Jimmy Nelson - he is at home taking on St. Louis and I trust him a lot more when he is at home. He gives up nearly 2 earned runs less at home than he does on the road this year. The Cardinals aren’t a juggernaut on offense either as they’ve got a .330 wOBA this year and their projected lineup has a 25% strikeout rate. “Slipping Jimmy” is very much in play on Fanduel tonight.
Marcus Stroman: $8,500 (vs. Chicago White Sox)
Marcus Stroman is not a guy I have been playing very frequently this year as his 20.2% strikeout rate just doesn’t typically do it for me. However, he is extremely good at run prevention and working deep into games and the most intriguing thing about him tonight is the matchup. This matchup with Chicago is one I’m going to would be exploiting for the rest of the season as their strikeout rate against right-handers sits at 22.3%. However, with all the recent trades they’ve made, the lineup they put out last night had a strikeout rate of 28.2% for the season. This is a solid pitcher and a matchup I think he can take advantage of.
Robinson Chirinos: $2,200 (vs. Seattle Mariners)
One thing I always do is preach that catcher is a great spot to save money. There’s no reason, on just about any given slate, to spend up at catcher unless the salaries and the value is way off and it’s just easy to do. Tonight is no different. and I feel like you should look at the lineups when they come out and find the cheapest catcher on the board that you feel comfortable within his matchup and play him. My initial glance shows Robinson Chirinos as a possible candidate at only $2200 against a below average right-hander in the hot Texas air and small ballpark.
Justin Smoak: $4,000 (vs. Chicago White Sox)
Justin Smoak has put together an incredible All-Star year. Tonight he gets a fantastic matchup against Mike Pelfrey. In 318 plate appearances against right-handers this season, Justin has racked up a .383 wOBA and .265 ISO. Mike Pelfrey is only striking out 14.4% of the left-handed batters he faces. I think this is one of the best first baseman on the board and he typically goes slightly underappreciated in terms of ownership because his name just isn’t as big as some of the other first baseman out there.
Robinson Cano: $3,100 (vs. Texas Rangers)
I would classify this as a value play as Cano is only $3100 and is a very fine offensive second baseman. It just so happens the matchup is excellent as the Mariners are facing Nick Martinez – he has not been good this year allowing a .387 wOBA and .230 ISO to left-handed hitters. He’s also not missing any bats with just a 5.3% swinging strike rate versus left-handers. Pitching to contact in this ballpark, in this weather, is a recipe for disaster.
Nolan Arenado: $4,800 (vs. New York Mets)
I didn’t want to have to put a monster salary in this article but I just can’t help myself with this matchup. You have some basic rules in just about any walk of life. That goes for DFS also. One rule is when Nolan Arenado takes on a left-hander in Colorado, you play Nolan Arenado in your DFS lineup. His career numbers versus left-handers at home are staggering. He hasn’t fallen off at all this year in this split and the one number that stands out to me is his 11.6% strikeout rate against left-handers. That’s an incredibly low number for a power hitter of his caliber.
Marcus Semien: $2,900 (vs. San Francisco Giants)
My goal at shortstop tonight was find somebody under $3000 that can make an impact. Marcus Semien may end up being that guy on my roster tonight. At first this was a matchup I didn’t want to take on in a big ballpark. But the numbers ring pretty true for Marcus tonight. Over his last 10 games he’s averaged over 14 Fanduel points per game. He’s got 13 at-bats against Jeff Samardzija and he’s turned that into a .462 batting average with one homerun. He hit another homerun last night and is running rather hot right now so I’m willing to take a chance on him for this price tag.
Others to Consider: Corey Seager
Matt Holliday: $2,500 (vs. Detroit Tigers)
Of course there are dozens of outfielders you could choose from tonight as is the case on most decent size slates. With the stud pitching tonight and a couple of $4000 hitters that I really want to have in my lineup, a good place to save money will be the outfield. There seems to be some nice value on Fanduel at this position tonight. For only $2500 Matt Holliday is available against Anibal Sanchez. The New York Yankees have a 5.7 implied run total right now, one of the highest on the slate. This is a player that still has plenty of power in his bat and a pitcher that is surrendering a .227 ISO this season to right-handed hitters. I really want a power first baseman and a power third baseman in my lineup tonight so Matt Holliday fits the profile of the type of outfielder I’m looking for on this roster.
Shin-Soo Choo: $3,400 (vs. Seattle Mariners)
Choo has been a solid fantasy performer for many years now and the same rings true this year. Over the last 10 games he’s averaged 13.8 Fanduel points per game and has put up solid numbers this year. I like the matchup against Ramirez tonight in Texas. $3400 may end up being too much for my team when I start to assemble it later though so I’m keeping an open mind and looking at rosters to see if there’s another value outfielder that opens up for under $3K at a later point in time.