This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We will take a comprehensive look at FanDuel and DraftKings to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
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We will be looking at the nine-game main slate starting at 7:07 ET. This means that four afternoon games will not be included in the following write-ups.
Matt Strahm – San Diego (vs Arizona)
My colleague, Brad Johnson, made an excellent case for Dodgers RHP Julio Urias in today’s “MLB DFS Bargains” article. I’ll be giving Urias a strong look as well, but Matt Strahm of the Padres is also on my radar through all formats. That especially holds true on FanDuel with a $6,400 salary compared to a more appropriate $9,200 tag on DraftKings. Strahm is one of my favorite sleeper candidates coming into the season, as he has healthy numbers across the board through 118 major league innings. That includes a salty 10.37 K/9 rate along with a 2.90 ERA … This is an excellent matchup for him against a watered-down Arizona lineup that lost most of their firepower (namely Goldschmidt) from previous years. Strahm will lock capable bats like David Peralta and Jake Lamb into tough lefty-lefty matchups, leaving Adam Jones and Eduardo Escobar as the biggest bats to look out for. I like Strahm’s chances there. Pitching in Petco Park doesn’t hurt either. I’ll take the savings on FanDuel with the San Diego southpaw.
CATCHER / FIRST BASE
Justin Smoak – Toronto (vs Baltimore)
The “Smoak Monster” should make an appearance tonight, as this matchup provides the perfect backdrop from a breakout game. Toronto checks in with the second highest run-scoring projection of the main slate, and Smoak is the main cog within that. Baltimore RHP David Hess is taking the bump, and he holds an exploitable .352 wOBA split to left-handed bats. Smoak should be able to jump all over that, and he could find himself in fortuitous situations as a switch-hitter facing a shaky bullpen in the later innings.
Rougned Odor – Texas (vs Houston)
As we noticed in the Cubs-Rangers series over the weekend, Globe Life Park can be kind to hitters. The runs could keep coming with two capable offenses squaring off against mediocre pitchers. Houston RHP Brad Peacock has posted some strong overall numbers over the past two seasons, but he remains susceptible to left-handed bats with a .394 wOBA split in that regard. Rougned Odor will look to take advantage with a premium lineup spot for the Rangers, and he makes for a solid play at an otherwise tricky second base position.
Alex Bregman – Houston (at Texas)
Let’s go ahead and keep things in Texas here, as there should be plenty of runs from both teams. Drew Smyly will be pitching in his first major league game from 2016 while coming back from Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2017. In other words, he could have some rust, and this potent Houston lineup will have a chance to jump all over him. Alex Bregman launched a homer in the opening series at Tampa, but he did not record a hit in his other 14 at-bats. I’m expecting him to break out in this spot, prioritizing his upside at a competitive third base position.
Carlos Correa – Houston (at Texas)
Correa made his season debut yesterday after neck stiffness caused him to miss the first few games. He ended up 0-3, and most people will likely wait for him to post numbers before clicking him into their DFS lineups. I’m looking to get ahead of the curve and stack Correa alongside Bregman while piggybacking the “Drew Smyly is probably rusty” angle. The hitter-friendly environment of Globe Life Park certainly doesn’t hurt either. Houston carries the highest run-scoring projection of the main slate, and I’m backing that optimism with these infielders.
A.J. Pollock – LA Dodgers (vs San Francisco)
It seems like every new acquisition is playing out of their mind to begin the season. Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Nelson Cruz, etc, etc. A.J. Pollock should probably be behind Goldschmidt on that list, finishing his first series as a Dodger by going 7-17 with two doubles, one homer, six RBIs, and four runs. LAD could keep flirting with double-digit runs while facing the regression of San Francisco left-hander Drew Pomeranz. The former Boston pitcher allowed a .344 wOBA to right-handed bats in 2017, which ballooned to .408 in 2018.
Nomar Mazara – Texas (vs Houston)
Remember earlier when I mentioned Peacock’s generosity to left-handed bats? Mazara has an excellent chance to cash in on that as well. The slugging outfielder went 3-9 in his opening series against the Cubs, racking up a triple, homer, four RBIs, and four runs in the process. Put another way: Mazara is a fantasy machine who can get it done several ways, but we love the upside in he presents with legitimate HR power.