A great-looking MLB slate awaits us on Wednesday night. Let’s dive into the top FanDuel picks at each position. Be sure to check the RotoGrinders MLB Starting Lineups Page to see if there are any batting order changes prior to lock.
Jake Arrieta, CHC, $12,900 - The nasty truth is that there is no such thing as a lock in daily fantasy baseball. No matter how good the player is and how good the matchup looks, there is always a chance for failure. However, Jake Arrieta is as close to a sure thing as there is. In his last 24 starts he’s given up a total of 17 earned runs. There is a lot of other big-name pitchers out there that get more recognition, but this is a guy you almost have to roster now every time he steps out on the mound.
Nick Tropeano, LAA, $5,800 - If you’re not spending up at this position, then you’re looking for a bargain. It doesn’t get any cheaper for a solid pitcher then $5,800. For that very modest price tag you get a guy who has pitched into the fifth inning with each of his three starts this year and has given up a total of three earned runs in those three starts. He’s striking out 7.9 batters per nine innings, and these are numbers that are very solid for this price range.
Stephen Vogt, OAK, $2,600 - Two big watermarks for the hitter’s statistics we most commonly use are .350 or better wOBA and .200 or better ISO. Stephen Vogt hits both those marks against right-handed pitching. This is a very modest price tag tonight and faces off against Justin Verlander. Now that’s a big name at pitcher, but having watched Justin over the past couple of seasons, he is not the elite pitcher he once was.
Jose Abreu, CHW, $3,100 - We are always looking for a home run when we’re choosing a batter for our roster. José Abreu might give us the best opportunity at leaving the yard tonight. He’s one of the strongest players in baseball and he is matching up against a pitcher that is known for serving up home runs. Marco Estrada is not a bad pitcher; he just has a real tendency to give up the long ball. By the way, this game is taking place in the second-best hitter’s park tonight.
Daniel Murphy, WAS, $3,500 - Daniel Murphy has been extremely solid in his move to Washington. Over the course of the last two seasons he’s racked up a very nice weighted on base average of .368 against right-handed pitchers. Now tonight he takes on a right-hander that has been very hittable over the past couple years.
Others to Consider: Jason Kipnis, D.J. LeMahieu
Josh Donaldson, TOR, $4,800 - This is a lot of money to spend on a batter. But if were going with that cheap pitcher as listed above, then we have some wiggle room to spend on offense. There’s not going to be many opportunities throughout the course of the year when you can roster Josh Donaldson versus a left-hander and have him be extremely under owned. This is going to be one of those nights. There aren’t going to be many people who are going to be able to step up and afford this kind of price tag on a hitter with a stud pitcher like Jake Arrieta pitching tonight. And the fact is that if they are spending up in this price range for a third baseman, then they are going to be all over Nolan Arenado at home versus a lefty. These combination of factors are going to leave Josh Donaldson as being a very contrarian play tonight, when in fact he should be at the top of the list for production.
Francisco Lindor, CLE, $3,500 - The Cleveland Indians traveled to Minnesota tonight and have a matchup against a rookie pitcher named José Berrios. I don’t know much about Berrios except for the fact that he’s a 21-year-old who’s never pitched in the major leagues, but I do know who Francisco Lindor is. He’s a shortstop that is dynamic on offense and could have won rookie of the year last season if not for Carlos Correa. So I’ll take my chances on a shortstop that sports a .344 wOBA against right-handers taking on some fresh meat that’s never stepped foot on a major league mound before.
Corey Dickerson, TB, $3,200 - Corey Dickerson has been very solid this year. I’m sure a lot of people doubted him and thought that he drove up his statistics the past couple years because he played in Coors field. He’s proving that is not the case, and anytime he matches up against a marginal right-hander, he is in play. He gets just that tonight when facing Chris Tillman. Tillman doesn’t strike guys out, averaging only 6.2 Ks per nine innings last year while serving up over one home run per game.
David Peralta, ARI, $3,500 - David Peralta has just been nails over the past couple of seasons with Arizona. He matches up tonight with Adam Wainwright, and if you’ve been following baseball this year, you know that Wainwright is struggling big time. Peralta sports a nice .396 wOBA versus right-handed pitching over the past couple years and plays in a hitter-friendly ballpark tonight.
Josh Reddick, OAK, $3,400 - Josh Reddick is another left-handed outfielder that matches up well with righties. Not quite to the extent that David Peralta does, but still very well. Tonight Reddick takes on Justin Verlander, and I noted above that Verlander hasn’t been the same pitcher over the last two years that he once was. He’s already had an outing this year where he gave up seven earned runs in 4+ innings to Pittsburgh. It won’t be long before he suffers another game similar to that one, which is why it’s always a solid idea to stack a few hitters against a guy like him in tournaments. The name alone will scare people away, when in actuality he’s a shell of his former self.