The FanDuel MLB "main slate" starts at 7:05 ET this evening. The top plays and value recommendations are listed for each position below.
Drew Pomeranz, San Diego Padres, $10,400 – What an ugly slate for pitching for the main slate. The most expensive option is Jake Arrieta, and I have little to no interest in him with how many walks he’s been issuing lately. He’s not pitching well, and he’s not worth his price tag. Pomeranz is certainly a guy who walks too many batters, but he’s also sporting a strikeout rate above 31% against right-handed hitters, which is what he’ll mainly face when he takes on a weak Yankees lineup. New York is mostly brutal offensively, especially against left-handed pitching. Opposing starter Ivan Nova is likely to give up some runs tonight, so I’m expecting Pomeranz to earn the win here.
Chris Herrmann, Arizona Diamondbacks, $2600 – Jeff Samardzija has been absolutely brutal lately, and he’s been serving up a bunch of home runs. His recent struggles are not going to play well in one of the best hitter’s parks in the league. Herrmann is having a very nice season, and I’m hoping he draws the start today, as he’s priced way down in a favorable matchup. He’s hitting righties well, and at just $2600, he makes for a terrific value option at a thin catcher position.
Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks, $3700 – With no Coors Field on the slate, Chase Field checks in as the most hitter-friendly ballpark on the evening. As I mentioned above, I’m high on the Diamondbacks today given Jeff Samardzija’s recent struggles. He’s been getting hammered lately, allowing over 40% hard contact in three of his last five starts. There’s plenty of power in this Arizona lineup, and as a guy who can hit home runs and steal bases, Golddschmidt has a ton of upside in this matchup. The fact that you can get him at just $3700 is icing on the cake.
Jean Segura, Arizona Diamondbacks, $2900 – I guess the FanDuel pricing algorithm has mistaken Jeff Samardzija for some sort of ace-level pitcher, as we have yet another Diamondbacks hitter who is way too cheap. Segura leads off, gets on base regularly, and has the ability to steal and score runs. He doesn’t hit for power, but at $2900, you don’t need him to. This is just too cheap of a price for a consistent cash game option facing a struggling pitcher in an extremely favorable hitting environment.
Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs, $4000 – Bryant owns a 52.6% hard-hit rate over the past two weeks, and I’m fairly certain he qualifies for hottest hitter on the planet. He’s just crushing everything right now, and in cash games, I think he’s a must. He’s going to be popular, and if he keeps this up, you’re going to be in big trouble if you play the fade. Bartolo Colon is nothing special (unless he’s hitting and facing James Shields), and given how well Bryant is seeing the ball right now, I’ll be targeting him until he gives me a reason not to.
Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals, $3100 – It doesn’t bother me a bit that Espinosa bats toward the bottom of the order. He’s sporting a 48% hard-hit rate over the past two weeks and is facing Dan Straily, a below-average righty who struggles with left-handed hitters. If that weren’t enough, the Reds may very well have the worst bullpen the world has ever seen, so when Straily exits the game, you can be sure that Espinosa is likely going to face an even worse group of pitchers. I don’t see a need to spend at shortstop tonight, and $3100 is more than fair for a guy who has been hitting with as much power as Espinosa has lately.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, $4600 – Normally, I think Trout is overpriced, and it’s mostly due to the putrid offense that he’s surrounded by. He’s a fantastic hitter, but he doesn’t get as many opportunities to drive in runs as other stud hitters because the Angels are so bad offensively. Tonight, I think he’s worth his price tag against Clay Buchholz. Buchholz is just not any good. He allows a ton of base runners and he gets hit hard. Trout’s been hitting the ball very well lately, and it’s nice to see that he’s been stealing bases, as well. I think he has a ton of upside in this matchup, and if you can afford him, he’s worth the investment.
Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners, $3600 – Righty Tyler Wilson is much worse against right-handed hitters than left, so look to Cruz to have a big game tonight. Wilson is sporting a 5.53 xFIP while allowing a lot of hard contact to right-handed batters. His ground ball rate is also much, much higher against lefties, which bodes well for us looking for a home run from the right-handed Nelson Cruz. Cruz is sporting a 41.2% hard-hit rate over the last two weeks while hitting nearly 50% fly balls. I think this is a great spot to use Cruz as a one-off play looking for a home run.