FanDuel MLB Lineup Advice: Wednesday (4/19)
Hey, everyone. Jared from Fantasy Cruncher here. I’ll be writing the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday FanDuel MLB Lineup Advice articles every week for FantasyPros this year. Really excited to share my thoughts and recommended plays with you throughout the season!
This evening, we have a solid 11 game main slate, taking the four afternoon games out of the equation. Keep in mind that lineup lock is just after 7 pm EST.
For reference throughout the season, be sure to bookmark our overview of MLB Park Factors and how to Use Weather to Your Advantage in MLB DFS. Also, check out our GPP and Cash Games Primers to learn more about different daily fantasy game types specific to MLB.
Keep an eye on the weather situation in Minnesota here, as it could be dicey heading towards game time. That appears to be the only spot where we have concern right now, and it could very well wash this one out. I’ll be looking for bats elsewhere, outside of one key play that I need to mention as a fit for my Kershaw-led lineup. If this game doesn’t play, however, you’ll need to pivot elsewhere.
We have a pretty nice pitching landscape to work with and a contingent of very attractive hitting situations to exploit as well. I’ll stick to my strategic beliefs of playing the elite arm when in a fantastic spot (not to mention where Vegas agrees) and fill out the roster with strong value bats in attractive spots. Truth be told, it’s not a flashy roster, but it does have quite a bit of sneaky power potential. I’d prefer it for cash games than GPPs, and believe it’s probably best to pivot down to Archer or MadBum to find room for higher-end bats that Kershaw just does not allow for.
Clayton Kershaw (LAD): $12,900 vs COL
Going with Kershaw leaves us with just over $2,700 per roster spot for our bats. Good thing there are quite a few exploitable hitting situations on the slate. Kershaw is a massive favorite for the win and is going against the Rockies away from Coors. That’s the split you want to take advantage of when playing an SP vs COL (vs LHP and on the road), and I will be shocked if he doesn’t have a better performance vs COL than what happened when he was on the road (multiple HR against him (3 to be exact). Outside of that start, he’s been his usual dominant self with 8 Ks in the other 2 times taking the rubber. He still isn’t walking anyone (0.4 BB/9 YTD) and he sports the best SIERA on the slate YTD in 2017. Go ahead and spend up for him in cash games and even GPPs. There is plenty of profit to be had here, especially with fairly soft pricing to help balance everything out. If you disagree with paying this price for your SP, pivot down to one of the other two names below.
Evan Gattis (HOU): $2,900 vs LAA
Starting at catcher, it is a pretty small short list for me here. I love the Orioles, Astros, and Indians in their respective match-ups, with the Reds lurking as well. Barnhart is a great punt, while both Castillo and Gattis bring plenty of power to the table. J.C. Ramirez has pretty major splits that give the advantage to the RHB hitter – and Gattis has a .337 wOBA but whopping .244 ISO for the split. As long as the Astros have him in the lineup, he’ll be starting for me, too. Castillo vs an LHP is always a great spot to use him, too.
Trey Mancini (BAL): $3,100 @ CIN
As far as value goes at the 1B position on this slate, it’s either Logan Morrison if you want to move all the way down to almost minimum, or paying just over $3,000 for Mancini. He has pretty insane numbers vs LHP to start his MLB career (4 HR in 10 GP, including a .537 wOBA and .560 ISO for the split) and he’s crushed LHP across his minor league career, too. He’s seeing the ball incredibly well, and while the helium watch is certainly on here, in DFS all you need is one day’s worth or production to be pleased with a performance, and I do want solid exposure to the Orioles vs Garrett in a hitter’s park.
- Hanley Ramirez
- Joey Votto
- Logan Morrison (excellent GPP pivot if you need a bit more 1B cap relief than Mancini)
- Greg Bird
Brad Miller (TB): $2,900 vs DET
Something tells me the Rays are going to be under-owned on this slate thanks to a 4.3 team total which is middle of the pack, so getting 2-3 Tampa bats feels like a profitable approach on the slate. Miller’s price is right on strategy at under $3,000 and is in the positive split vs Jordan Zimmermann (RHP). He has a very solid hard hit rate to start the year (36%) and will be playing indoors here. Zimmermann has some of the weakest advanced stats to exploit on the slate (53.1% fly ball rate and 43.8% hard hit rate) in 2017, and I absolutely want to attack that – starting with Miller.
Evan Longoria (TB): $3,100 vs DET
I don’t need to repeat the numbers shared above with regards to how “attackable” Zimmermann is on the slate to make the case for Longoria, do I? For a pitcher giving up as much hard contact and fly balls as he is, there is HR potential written all over him here. Longoria has solid hard hit rates on the year (37% YTD) and a very good 92 mph exit velocity, too. He’s a prime candidate for a big game at a price that won’t break the bank. Don’t be fooled by the RvR match-up as Longoria has traditionally been a reverse splits hitter.
J.J. Hardy (BAL): $2,600 @ CIN
Hardy definitely won’t jump off the page here, but as a guy on a team I want exposure to on the slate and with Kershaw as my SP, I am paying down. Hardy doesn’t have the kind of exit velocity that screams “double home run potential,” but he should bat 8th in an NL park, which often leads to an extra walk or so considering teams will pitch around the eight-hole to get to the pitcher. He’s more of a 6-10 point target than 20+ which you’d typically have for someone who you want to go deep, and while there is always that chance, I am perfectly fine with Hardy getting 1-2 BB+H and a run to help stabilize the roster. It’s also worth noting that the .335 wOBA / .160 ISO split vs LHP over the last year isn’t shabby either.
- Carlos Correa (assuming he plays)
- Xander Bogaerts
- Freddy Galvis
- Brandon Crawford (sneaky LvL option)
Chris Young (BOS): $2,600 @ TOR
I wrestled with the idea of going with Josh Reddick here, but J.C. Ramirez is actually a better SP vs LHB than the RvL situation would typically indicate. That brought me to Young who is a fantastic play anytime he is hitting against a susceptible SP – and although Liriano fits that bill, there is always risk that he goes crazy for a massive game. That said, the Red Sox look good after scoring plenty of runs on Tuesday vs Marcus Stroman, and Young’s splits vs LHP are phenomenal (.401 wOBA / .230 ISO over the last year). For the price, he’s a great guy to balance things out with Kershaw on the hill.
Craig Gentry (BAL): $2,200 @ CIN
Gentry has started the last couple games for Baltimore when facing an LHP, and for $2,200 on a day where we’re spending up for an elite arm, he makes for one of the best (albeit chalky) plays on the slate. This is a no-brainer for me as I want exposure to the Orioles thanks to their match-up and team total, even though Gentry’s numbers don’t jump off the page. He should get on base once or twice and could easily score 1-2 runs as well. For $2,200, you’ll take that when you pay up for a guy like Kershaw.
Brandon Guyer (CLE): $2,400 @ MIN (but watch the weather)
I would feel more comfortable fading the Indians/Twins game altogether because of the rain probability, but in case things end up playing out here I’m going to make sure I mention him as a great option. Like Young, he’s the kind of guy you invest in for LHP vs RHB split situations, and there is an incredibly weak SP going for the Twins (Mejia) who Guyer can put his near .400 wOBA vs LHP to work against. Fly ball pitcher vs lefty masher? Yes, please.
- Kevin Pillar (solid pivot off Guyer if needed)
- Corey Dickerson
- Steven Souza
- Adam Duvall
- David Peralta
- A.J. Pollock
- Aaron Judge
- Jeremy Hazelbaker
- Josh Reddick (though I worry about the reverse splits for J.C. Ramirez… keep him off your GPP rosters as he will be chalky and there’s a good chance he busts)
- SP – Clayton Kershaw (LAD): $12,900 vs COL
- C – Evan Gattis (HOU): $2,900 vs LAA
- 1B – Trey Mancini (BAL): $3,100 @ CIN
- 2B – Brad Miller (TB): $2,900 vs DET
- 3B – Evan Longoria (TB): $3,100 vs DET
- SS – J.J. Hardy (BAL): $2,600 @ CIN
- OF – Chris Young (BOS): $2,600 @ TOR
- OF – Craig Gentry (BAL): $2,200 @ CIN
- OF – Brandon Guyer (CLE): $2,400 @ MIN (but watch the weather)