This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We will take a comprehensive look 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.
We have 10 games on the docket tonight.
Justin Verlander – Houston Astros (at Angels)
Selecting pitchers during the final weekend is always a challenge. Today it’s made even more difficult by extremely aggressive (high) prices for most of the palatable arms. Verlander is set to make a tune-up outing versus a deeply diminished Angels lineup. I still expect at least six innings with around seven strikeouts. He’s by far the safest pitching option despite the risk for early removal. Don’t let the Angels reputation as a low-strikeout team dissuade you from using Verlander – many of their injury replacements are extremely strikeout prone.
CATCHER / FIRST BASE
With Verlander and a pricey Coors Field game on call tonight, a few bargain targets are necessary. VanMeter represents one of the more attractive options. He’s frequently used as the Reds leadoff man versus right-handed pitchers. He features a well-rounded batting profile which includes plenty of hard-hit, pulled fly balls. Although he only has eight home runs in 254 plate appearances, his peripherals suggest we should expect more in the future. His opponent, Marvel, is a soft-tossing ground ball pitcher. VanMeter has around a one-in-five chance to homer with plenty of other ways to deliver value.
Hiura is one of those expensive Coors Field picks. With Ryan Braun sidelined by a calf injury, Hiura may be used as the cleanup hitter. The dynamic hitter has gotten away with big whiff rates by punishing pitches when he connects. His all-fields approach should play up at the expansive park. Every type of hit is buffed by Coors Field. In addition to a one-in-three chance to homer, Hiura offers upside for multiple hits and big run production.
It’s difficult to pass up any opportunity to use Arenado against a left-handed pitcher at Coors Field. He’s hitting an absurd .315/.416/.611 with the platoon advantage. At home, he’s posted a .351/.412/.645 batting line. In short, conditions are very favorable. One thing to keep in mind is the Brewers September roster usage. Their starters typically throw three to four innings. Milwaukee relievers are the club’s unsung heroes. Disclaimers aside, Arenado is plenty effective against righties to use in this scenario.
Semien is another well-known platoon masher. His splits have narrowed during this breakout season, but he still prefers facing southpaws. For his part, Gonzales doesn’t have notable platoon splits. In fact, he’s had more issues with fellow lefties this season, although that appears to be a small sample artifact. Semien should comfortably deliver a high floor, high ceiling profile as the Athletics leadoff man. Oakland is currently tied with the Rays so winning tonight’s game is paramount. That means Semien can safely be expected to play a full game.
The Rockies initially had Gonzalez penciled in to pitch yesterday, but they bumped him to today. Everything we said about Grisham still applies. Even though he’s one of the priciest hitters in the slate, he’s a dollar-for-dollar bargain as the Brewers leadoff hitter. A patient approach should serve him well against a poor-command pitcher like Gonzalez. Grisham’s high-quality contact and adequate power will play up at elevation.
We shouldn’t focus too closely on the nominal matchup for Judge. The Rangers will use an opener, and Sampson can’t be expected to last very long. As such, Judge may only face him one time. Any chances he does get against Sampson figure to be high value – Sampson is homer prone and Judge is... well… Judge. There’s around a one-in-three chance the Yankees second hitter goes yard versus Sampson and friends. Even though it’ll be a bullpen game of sorts, Texas lacks intimidating relievers (Emmanuel Classe notwithstanding).