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.
Padres vs Chi Chi Gonzalez – That Gonzalez is still floating around the league is a credit to his perseverance. Nobody better epitomizes the concept of replacement level. The Rockies bullpen has a 6.75 ERA. Only the Phillies have been worse.
Marlins at Kyle Wright – A Marlins stack isn’t the easiest pill to swallow. Braves starters are terrible – Wright has a 7.20 ERA with 9.60 BB/9 in 15 innings. Their bullpen does a passable job of picking up the pieces. You’re hoping to race out to a quick lead and then pray it holds up as the West Coast stacks come online.
Tyler Mahle – Reds (at Cubs) – Yahoo: $37, DK: $8200, FD: $7900
Mahle is pitching the Wrigley dream – the wind is blowing in from right field at 17 mph. The gusts are attached to a modest risk for light rain. These conditions are especially favorable to Mahle. He’s become a fly ball pitcher this season, increasing his strikeout rate (10.50 K/9) at the expense of more home runs (1.80 HR/9). When it’s like this at Wrigley, it can be challenging for even the most powerful hitters to escape the yard. In addition to the strikeouts, Mahle is inducing a high pop up rate. It’s helped him to keep runners off the bases. The last time he faced the Cubs, he recorded 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
Will Smith – Dodgers (at Luke Weaver) – Yahoo: $21, DK: $4000, FD: $2900
Until the platforms correct his price, I will continue to frequently recommend Smith. He’s a patient, powerful hitter with a lofty fly ball rate. In neutral conditions, he projects to deliver around one home run per 14 plate appearances. That routinely puts him among the likeliest to homer in any slate. This isn’t a neutral matchup. Weaver has struggled with allowing hard contact and home runs (2.20 HR/9). The Diamondbacks bullpen is one of the worst in the league.
Smith appears in 35 of the top 50 lineups per our Rotoworld Lineup Optimizer.
First baseman Eric Hosmer broke his finger bunting last night which means we’re likely to see Moreland thrust into Hosmer’s role as the cleanup or third hitter. The Padres are set to tee off on a Triple-A quality starting pitcher and an exploitable Rockies bullpen. Their entire relief corps is right-handed so there’s no substitution risk for Moreland. Since joining the Padres, he has just two singles and a walk in 20 plate appearances. Perhaps this will help to lower his roster rate in GPPs.
Depending on the site you play, Moore is listed at second, third, or outfield. He’s visiting Oracle Park and a mid-tier starting pitcher – far from ideal for chasing home runs. Moore is a fly ball hitter with extreme bat speed which helps him to generate outsized power. It also leads to an elevated whiff rate. Webb peppers the bottom of the zone, feeding into Moore’s strengths as a hitter.
Ke’Bryan Hayes – Pirates (vs Dylan Cease) – Yahoo: $18, DK: $2800, FD: $2600
We have the usual collection of expensive, premium third basemen on the docket. Down in the bargain bin, you’ll find Hayes. He can do everything – hit for contact, work counts, flash power, and even swipe a bag. I frequently refer to Cease as a random number generator. You have no idea what he’ll bring to the table on a given night. His shiny 3.29 ERA is offset by scary ERA estimators (6.32 FIP).
Hayes is the most valuable third baseman according to our Rotoworld Player Projections.
You’ll probably want to set aside a chunk of budget for shortstop tonight. With a lower launch angle than many of his teammates, Seager matches up particularly well against Weaver. Seager’s also incredibly consistent with producing hard, high value contact. Like with Smith, there isn’t any need to dig too deep – this is a likely home run against an exploitable opponent.
If you’re willing to look beyond his .225/.290/.408 batting line, you’ll notice Dickerson is having a very typical season but for a .223 BABIP. With a spray hitter approach and an ideal launch angle for compiling hits, Dickerson can be expected to post over a .330 BABIP going forward. He’s a solid, above average hitter who can hit for average, drive in runs, and even pop the occasional homer. The Wright matchup is especially favorable, and he’s priced to move.
Prior to this season, Slater was a decent but unexceptional line drive hitter who lacked the punch for DFS action. This year, he’s experiencing a launch angle-fueled breakout. He now looks like a top leadoff hitter.
It was pointed out to me yesterday that he quieted his hitting mechanics, leading to a more consist, better-timed swing. The benefits are obvious. His swinging strike rate declined by 25 percent, leading directly to an eight-point improvement in his strikeout rate. He had issues with tapping into ground outs in the past. The quieter mechanics have seemingly helped him to produce more consistent loft.