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.
Cardinals vs Matt Harvey – Harvey hasn’t been a major league quality pitcher since 2016 and yet he’s appeared in every season since then. This will be a popular stack both because of Harvey and an affordable Cardinals offense. We’ll need some cheap hitters to fit around the expensive pitchers clogging the slate.
Dodgers at Johnny Cueto – Cueto is wily, able to vary his timing to get more out of below average stuff. He tends to find a way to gut through outings without completely melting. Oracle Park also mutes the Dodgers biggest strength as a stack – home runs.
White Sox vs Steven Brault – Brault is a hittable southpaw who isn’t inducing any whiffs (5.7 percent SwStr%). The White Sox have a potent offense when they aren’t giving away at bats with strikeouts. Guaranteed Rate Park adds extra oomph to their upside.
Lucas Giolito – White Sox (vs Pirates) – Yahoo: $47, DK: $9700, FD: $10400
Depending on your platform of choice, you have four aces and a strong second tier of pitchers available tonight. Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole are the most obvious preferred plays, but we also shouldn’t let them overshadow Giolito. He’s both moderately more affordable and the best pick to keep pace with the über-aces. The Pirates offense is 25 percent worse than average, and they strike out in roughly a quarter of their plate appearances. Giolito projects to throw between six and seven innings with an upside for double-digit punch outs. Our Rotoworld Projections believe he could be the best pitcher available.
With such pricey pitchers on the docket, it stands to reason we should save some money at catcher. Until lineups are released, Caratini looks like the best value play at the position. The switch-hitter bats seventh in the Cubs lineup. He’s a roughly league average hitter who largely relies on ground ball contact to reach base. Turnbull is a ground ball pitcher so we’re very unlikely to see any power out of Caratini. He also doesn’t naturally link up with any other Cubs you’d want to stack.
The White Sox third hitter is on a homer binge. He’s parked six in his last three games. Unfortunately, this has made him pricey on all three platforms. Even with the elevated cost, he’s a decent value. Facing Brault and the Pirates bullpen maximizes Abreu’s opportunity to extend his onslaught. In the past, Brault hasn’t been especially homer prone. He also hasn’t allowed a home run this season despite showing diminished stuff. In any event, we’ll probably see at least five innings from Pirates relievers.
It’s a dull day for second basemen.
After pitching masterfully through his first five starts, Marquez allowed a whopping 10 runs on 10 hits to the Astros last week. Of course, that game was at Coors Field. This one will be played in Phoenix where conditions are far friendlier to pitchers. While nothing about this matchup screams out in Marte’s favor, he’s still the top play at the position. Of second basemen, Marte is the likeliest to record a hit. He’s also tops in projected RBI and runs scored.
The Cardinals have a couple inexpensive third basemen in Matt Carpenter and Miller. The club has recently used Miller as their second hitter. Since 2018, he’s hit the ball with authority against right-handed pitchers. Ground balls have been a little too common this season, but he’ll probably lift the ball against Harvey. There’s almost no risk of a late-game substitution. The Royals only have one left-handed reliever, and he rarely appears.
A game at sea level usually means hands off Story. The Rockies in general are better adapted to playing at altitude. Story has partially overcome this issue in 2020, hitting more home runs on the road despite fewer plate appearances. Overall, he’s managed to trim his strikeout rate without giving away any power. He’ll have the platoon advantage against Young. The Diamondbacks southpaw is an unexceptional pitcher. In this particular slate, he’s one of the most exploitable starters.
The Cubs leadoff man is one of the best combinations of ceiling and value. He’s really settled into his role atop the lineup, drawing walks and hitting for power. His opponent, Turnbull, is a mid-tier pitcher who rates near the bottom of tonight’s starters. As such, a Cubs stack isn’t a bad idea – especially since the Tigers bullpen is dreadful.
Tyler O’Neill – Cardinals (vs Matt Harvey) – Yahoo: $7, DK: $3200, FD: $2600
No bargain hitter is better positioned for a home run than O’Neill. Recently, he’s settled into the sixth spot in the lineup. Encouragingly, he’s making a lot of hard, fly ball contact. Unfortunately, the hits just haven’t fallen (.135 BABIP), and his home run rate is also below expectations (15.8 percent HR/FB ratio). Harvey, I suspect, can help him correct at least one of these issues. While projection systems say he has around a one-in-five chance to homer, I believe the odds to be closer to one-in-three – mostly due to the quality of the matchup and nearly Gallo-ian raw power.