This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We 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.
With only two games on the dockets, there isn’t much left to the imagination. The winds at Wrigley are blowing in from left field at 10 mph.
Yu Darvish – Cubs (vs Marlins) – Yahoo: $53, DK: $9000, FD: $11000
We don’t have to make this complicated. Darvish is indisputably the best pitcher available, and he’s set to face the weakest offense. The Marlins have a 24.8 percent strikeout rate. The prevailing winds also work in Darvish’s favor as does the modest home field advantage.
We should also discuss the Padres since they’ll serve as our primary opportunity to pivot. Southpaw Adrian Morejon is penciled in as the opener. The Cardinals often run three left-handed hitters in their first five batters. Garrett Richards was expected to handle the bulk innings, but he’s a starter who has made relief appearances on two consecutive days. Luis Patino might be needed instead of or in addition to Richards. Since this is the night game, we probably won’t learn more until after contests begin.
Contreras has a few factors working in his favor – most notably a mid-lineup role. He’s also the best power hitter of the five plausible catchers (the Marlins could start Jorge Alfaro or Chad Wallach). That said, this isn’t a good matchup for Contreras. In addition to the winds competing with his power, he’s a ground ball hitter set to face a ground ball pitcher. His best opportunity to do damage will come after Sanchez leaves the game.
With so much uncertainty regarding the Padres pitchers today, it’s only natural for a Cardinals stack to emerge. Goldschmidt quietly had a rebound season at the plate. His DFS profile isn’t perfect – his high walk rate actually cuts into his output at times, especially since his power has declined this year. Throughout his career, Goldy has crushed southpaws. He’ll get one plate appearance against Morejon.
Jason Kipnis – Cubs (vs Sanchez) – Yahoo: $8, DK: $2900, FD: $2300
Kipnis wasn’t originally scheduled to be in the lineup for Game 2. That’s curious since he actually matches up reasonably well against Sanchez. Kipnis is a left-handed fly ball hitter which gives him a better chance to lift the ball and do damage than alternatives like Nico Hoerner and David Bote. Assuming he starts, this is a good spot to save some cash without giving away much in the projected outcome. Since the wind is blowing in from left, it’s more a cross-breeze for pull-oriented left-handed hitters like Kipnis.
Flaherty’s fastball has declined a modest amount from where it was late last season. Although he’s still a top pitcher, the door is cracked open for some postseason heroics from Machado and friends. It’s a dynamic lineup capable of seizing the tiniest opportunity – as they did last night. The other third basemen lack Machado’s combination of power and high batting average.
As with Machado, there’s nothing especially clever about turning to Tatis. He’s far and away the best shortstop in the slate. No other shortstop comes close to replicating his potential for power, average, and run production. Of course, you’ll have to pay for that upside, and you’ll have to share it with most of your competitors.
We do have some solid contrarian plays at our disposal. Probable cleanup hitter Brad Miller will be unpopular since his first plate appearance will be “wasted” on a left-handed pitcher. Miguel Rojas has a penchant for surprise multi-hit games.
This is the Padre I’m most keen to roster. Flaherty has modest issues with left-handed hitters, and Grisham is coming off superb season where he demonstrated his power, speed, plate discipline, and contact skills. A few too many of his plate appearances end in a walk or strikeout which can be a drawback in DFS. As the Padres leadoff man, he’s a solid bet to lead the slate in plate appearances. Although the Cardinals have no shortage of left-handed relievers, the presence of Tatis and Machado immediately after Grisham should serve as protection.
Carlson’s recent promotion to cleanup will boost his popularity in GPPs. The switch-hitter has looked comfortable through his first two postseason games. He also finished the regular season on a relative high note. Since he was recalled on September 18, he hit .278/.325/.611. The Cardinals are set to face the weakest collection of pitching in this slate, although it’s also safe to say their lineup isn’t especially intimidating.