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.
Angels at Rockies – It’s a Coors Field game featuring Griffin Canning, German Marquez, and two bad bullpens. This could get out of hand. The visiting Angels have very affordable price tags – even Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. The home team stack is probably the better play. This season, Marquez has an over-7.00 ERA in a small sample at home.
Brewers vs Jon Lester – Miller Park is one of three offensively friendly venues available tonight. The Brewers lineup also has a handful of right-handed hitters who should prove to be a value against the smoldering wreckage of Lester. The former ace is homer prone and no longer induces whiffs.
White Sox vs Casey Mize – Top prospect status and an intimidating mound presence might convince some DFSer to aim their stacks in other directions. Mize has scuffled through four starts. While he’s flashed moments of brilliance, he can be expected to allow two or three runs over four innings. That leaves five frames for the Tigers bullpen.
Lucas Giolito – White Sox (Tigers) – Yahoo: $56, DK: $10500, FD: $10800
A few weeks ago, Giolito embarrassed the Tigers in the form of a seven-inning, 13-strikeout performance. The Detroit offense remains both well below average and strikeout prone. Giolito is slightly more affordable than Shane Bieber. Our Rotoworld Player Projections expect him to outperform his divisional rival and every other pitcher tonight. Despite the lofty price tag, he’s actually a modest dollar-for-dollar value.
Strongly consider pairing whichever ace you choose with Yusei Kikuchi.
The catcher position offers considerable potential for value hunting tonight. One such option is Huff, a powerful catching prospect who is also known for high whiff rates and indifferent defense. Facing a contact pitching like Fiers should help Huff to overcome his greatest weakness. A lack of detailed scouting reports – Huff has never played above High-A – means the A’s won’t know if he’s particularly weak against pitches in certain regions of the zone. He has around a one-in-four chance to homer.
First base is another position stuffed with more value plays than high-end talent. The exception is Olson (also Shohei Ohtani on DraftKings). The A’s first baseman has a somewhat bizarre .193/.320/.460 batting line with 12 home runs in 178 plate appearances. A closer examination reveals a .189 BABIP is to blame. Nor has he done anything to deserve the low BABIP. In fact, he’s cut his usual high 13.2 percent infield fly rate to just 4.7 percent. If anything, he should have a career-best BABIP. He’s one of the likeliest hitters to homer outside of Coors Field.
Those listed below are value plays. Our Rotoworld Lineup Optimizer especially likes Marmolejos despite a lefty-on-lefty matchup.
None of the platforms agree where to assign Moore. He’s an outfielder on Yahoo, a 2B/OF on DraftKings, and a third baseman on FanDuel. Regardless of which position he plays, he’s a fantastic combination of upside and value. The Diamondbacks are activating Smith who has been on the COVID-list since July. It’s unclear what they can expect. Moore fills up boxscores with a combination of power and speed. His swing is highly leveraged, generating mostly liners and fly balls at an optimal launch angle. Strikeouts can be a bit of an issue. Assuming Smith makes a short start, he could get as many as three looks at an exploitable Diamondbacks bullpen.
Like Olson, Arenado’s season has also been inexplicably marred by a low BABIP. A closer examination of his peripherals suggests he should be having a career year. In particular, his swing strike and strikeout rates have cratered. Of qualified hitters, only Tommy La Stella gives away fewer at bats via strikeout.
Although they project similarly, visiting third baseman Anthony Rendon will probably be the more popular of the two Coors third baseman. It definitely makes sense to consider fading this pair in GPPs.
As with third base, there isn’t much excitement to be found outside of the top two at the position – namely Trevor Story and Fernando Tatis. Rather than rehash old recommendations, let’s talk about Ahmed. Kikuchi will be very popular tonight, but he has a nasty habit of scribbling crooked numbers (i.e. he allows runs in bunches). If the Diamondbacks happen to ruin his night, it will put you at an advantage against all those folks using an ace and Kikuchi. If you’re also using a Nick Ahmed who performs like or better than Story and Tatis, you’re on your way to the winner’s circle. Of course, that’s two rather big (but related) “ifs.” Ahmed is known to prefer facing southpaws. He’s a career .279/.331/.468 hitter with the platoon advantage.
I suppose we have to talk about Trout at Coors Field. The sites don’t have a high enough price to make this a bad play. He’s the most expensive player and a good bargain. The trickier question is how to approach this. We know he and the Angels stack as a whole will be extremely popular. We can try to creatively jig the stack, perhaps by using Stassi and Luis Rengifo to form a wraparound. Another option is to use Trout alone with Giolito, Bieber, and an extremely bargain-focused offense. Or, if you’d rather not out-think yourself, go about your business as usual and simply plug in Trout if he fits.
Fading Trout and the Angels is probably the right play in single-entry GPPs.
The Rangers leadoff man has one glaring weakness – whiffs. Fortunately, Fiers doesn’t induce whiffs so we should get a couple balls in play before the Oakland bullpen kicks into action. Taveras has an interesting blend of pop and speed. He should be treated as a roughly league average hitter for this contest, but he’s priced like a bum. Consider him a useful adjunct to any lineup using perhaps too much of the aces and Coors Field players.
Also Consider: Shohei Ohtani, Jo Adell, Christian Yelich, Avisail Garcia, Ryan Braun, Joey Gallo, Nick Solak, Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Shogo Akiyama, David Dahl, Kevin Pillar, Raimel Tapia, Ramon Laureano, Mark Canha, Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier, Dylan Moore, Tim Locastro