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.
Giants at Rockies – This game features an improved Kevin Gausman visiting a struggling Jon Gray. Gausman leans heavily on a fastball-splitter combo meal. Splitters tend to be risky offerings at high altitude. Gray has pitched poorly this season. His velocity is trending upwards in recent starts, but that’s not enough to think he’ll do well.
Mets at Asher Wojciechowski – The Orioles righty is one of the most homer prone pitchers in the league, and he’s backed by a terrible bullpen. The Mets offense is especially potent against right-handed pitchers. They’re third best in the league with a 121 wRC+ (read as 21 percent better than average).
Astros vs Jordan Lyles – The 2019 breakout hasn’t recovered his swagger from last season. It’s gotten to the point where the Rangers are using an opener for him. His swinging strike and strikeout rates have cratered since last season. Without whiffs, he doesn’t have any redeeming qualities as a pitcher.
Framber Valdez – Astros (vs Ranger) – Yahoo: $42, DK: $8100, FD: 9900
Valdez has long featured some of the nastiest stuff in the league. Injuries and a lack of command prevented him from becoming a rising star. Now that he’s trimmed his walk rate to 2.11 BB/9, he’s quickly turned into the next great Astros pitching discovery. The Rangers offense is the worst in the league – they’re 35 percent below average (65 wRC+). Valdez should also receive plentiful run support. Shuffle it all together and we can expect at least six innings, six strikeouts, and over a 50 percent chance for the win bonus.
Smith is doing his best impression of Cavan Biggio. The right-handed hitter has an extreme fly ball approach. At least this season, he’s hardly swinging at anything out of the strike zone. He’s also popped four home runs in 62 plate appearances. Since much of his contact is in the air, he doesn’t hit for a good batting average. Even so, the combination of on base skills and power make him a solid option versus Young. The southpaw is a roughly league average pitcher – the sort the Dodgers should handle with aplomb.
Everyone wants to know what’s wrong with Alonso. My answer is: probably nothing. In most respects, he’s playing identically to 2019. The only appreciable difference is a decline in his HR/FB ratio from 30.6 percent last season to 20.7 percent this year. Entering the year, I had him projected for a 27.0 percent HR/FB ratio, and I would now adjust that down to 25.0 percent to account for the de-juiced baseball. In any event, this is basically a normal Alonso less a couple home runs. He’s in an excellent spot today against a homer prone pitcher at a power friendly venue.
Matchups don’t get much sharper than this for Lowe. Tanaka is a ground ball pitcher with a home run problem, and the game is at Yankee Stadium. Lowe has emerged as possibly the best power source at second base. He’s a fly ball hitter with premium exit velocities. His plate discipline has improved this season, leading to better outcomes including an 11-point decline in his strikeout rate. If he continues putting more balls in play, he’ll become a star. He’s already a DFS mainstay.
Ke’Bryan Hayes – Pirates (vs Jon Lester) – Yahoo: $N/A, DK: $2000, FD: $3400
We have the usual assortment of good, expensive third basemen in this slate. However, many of them are banged up. Jose Ramirez is playing through an injured thumb, Yoan Moncada has an “upper leg issue,” Justin Turner’s hamstring is balky, and Kris might return from the Injured List today. Even J.D. Davis (listed below) has hip discomfort.
Hayes is interesting because he’s an unknown quantity. He’s almost certainly better than his minimum price tag (Yahoo! doesn’t include him). Although he’s better known for his stellar defense, Hayes can also handle a bat. He’s a balanced hitter who doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses (or strengths). He has enough power, plate discipline, contact skills, and speed to deliver multiple hits and run production. A home run is unlikely at PNC Park. The Cubs probably don’t have much of a scouting report on him.
Try not to choke on all this chalk dust. Story is the top hitter in the slate, and he’ll be rostered accordingly. Consider using him anyway. He projects to produce 20 percent more points than the next best shortstop. Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be too clever. Gausman is a semi-challenging matchup, but his stuff could feed into Story’s strengths. Splitters in particular tend to go a long way when they’re hung.
Worth noting, Story’s rostership could approach 35 percent in GPPs. If you fade Story and he doesn’t go off, you’ll be in a good position.
Christian Yelich – Brewers (vs Fulmer/Norris) – Yahoo: $23, DK: $5100, FD: $4100
We keep going back to this well, and it keeps paying out. When I recommended him as a pivot last Saturday, he delivered a home run and a double. Yelich is the most affordable elite outfielder. And while something does seem to be off – his launch angle has declined a couple points and his strikeout rate has spiked – he’s still making plenty of loud contact. The Brewers are hosting a limp Tigers club. Lefty Daniel Norris might provide the bulk relief which takes a little of the savor out of this recommendation.
We can’t get through an entire DFS Plays column without at least one Coors Field visitor. Dickerson is extremely aggressively priced. His swing has enough lift to get under one of Gray’s sinking fastballs. The Giants second hitter also puts more than enough balls in play to make things happen in Colorado’s spacious pastures. Despite generally struggling this season, the low price tag might turn him into chalk. So it’s up to you whether to use or fade him.