MLB Picks: FanDuel Economics June 2nd

May 31, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; The sun sets as Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) watches the action from the dugout in the 8th inning of their game against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field. The Giants won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; The sun sets as Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) watches the action from the dugout in the 8th inning of their game against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field. The Giants won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
MLB Picks
May 31, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Stephen Drew (10) slides safely past Philadelphia Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp (29) for an inside the park home run during the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals defeated the Phillies, 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Welcome to FanDuel Economics!  This is the MLB Picks June 2nd edition. FanDuel Economics is a daily fantasy sports column focused on FanDuel player salaries and FanDuel point-per-game (PPG) trends. 

The purpose of this column is to evaluate player salary and PPG averages over a period of time to provide daily fantasy sports players with a vital tool in their lineup tool belt.  Finding the best value options often leads to a big pay-day with your FanDuel MLB picks!

With 8 teams taking the day off today, there are only 11 games scheduled for Thursday, June 2nd. The day is partially split, with three games beginning in the early afternoon, and remaining games starting after 7pm ET.  The day starts at 12:10pm ET with Madison Bumgarner throwing the first pitch off the mound in Atlanta, facing Aaron Blair and the Braves.  Here’s what the FanDuel schedule of options look like to start the day:

  • 12:10pm ET (All Day)
  • 12:10pm ET (Early Only)
  • 7:05pm ET (Main)

Before we dive into the MLB picks for today’s value, a reminder.  The point analysis provided does not include some evening and late night game results, from the night before.  However, the salary analysis is as of today.

If you have any questions while filling out your MLB FanDuel lineups feel free to contact me, Matt Rogers.  Now, let’s take a look at today’s MLB value options:

Next: Value Pitchers

MLB Picks
May 17, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (R) and catcher Buster Posey (28) celebrate a 5-1 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Value Pitchers

So far this season, we have focused on year-to-date statistics for pitchers, since they typically only pitch once per week.  However, now that we’ve had more time to develop a greater body of work over the season, we’re going to move toward an every 30-day trend for pitchers, for your daily fantasy baseball picks.  We’re also looking at anyone with three or more starts within the last 30 days.

Madison Bumgarner (12:10pm ET) struggled during his last outing in Denver against the Rockies, but many pitchers have struggled with the thin air at Coors Field.  Madison ended the game with only 33 points, still a solid showing, and a no decision result.  However, over the last month, Bumgarner averaged 48.4 PPG, 3rd among all starting pitchers.  When you look at the pitching options for an ‘Early Only’ or ‘All Day’ play, Madison is clearly the most expensive option of any player at $12,000.  But even with a high salary, Bumgarner is a 4.3X value and one of the best values of the night.  When you also consider Bumgarner is pitching against a struggling Braves team in Atlanta, he’s an obvious choice and worth affording.

At $8,300, Kyle Hendricks (2:20pm ET) is a cheaper option to Bumgarner.  Hendricks averaged a modest, but still very good, 35 PPG over the last 30 days.  In Kyle’s last start in Chicago against the Phillies, he pitched a complete game, took the win, had 7 strikeouts, and a total of 57 points.  With a value of 4.2X, just below Madison Bumgarner, Hendricks is your next best option.  Also, because Kyle is cheaper, you’ll be able to afford some bit $4,000+ bats in your lineup as well.

Matt Boyd (7:40pm ET) is an intriguing option tonight.  Boyd’s first start of the season was May 28th in Oakland, against the A’s.  Boyd pitched through 5 innings and landed a no decision result, but he also had 7 K’s.  That’s not bad for a first start.  In total, Matt piled up 27 points, which may seem mild.  However, on a $5,200 salary, you’re getting 25-30 points with tons of salary left over for multiple heavy hitters tonight.  Also, the value options at pitcher tonight are less than par, which leads me to believe we’ll have some fantastic results from our hitters.  Boyd may be worth taking a risk tonight.

Next: Value Hitters - INF

MLB Picks
May 27, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar (5) steals second base as Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips (4) fields the throw during the first inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Value Hitters – INF

When we look for value hitters, we typically focus on how many points each hitter is getting per $1,000 of salary you need to spend.  This ratio provides an understanding of how many points you’re getting for what you paid.  It’s important to consider other factors when evaluating this information, though, like how many games they played in the average PPG or how they do vs. RHP/LHP.  Recently, the value range has started to level off as FanDuel adjusts salaries to players who are having hot/cold starts to the season.  Lately, anyone over a 4.5X value is top 50 among your daily fantasy baseball picks.

The Brewers bats have been hot lately, and Jonathan Lucroy, C, (7:05pm ET) is a big reason.  Lucroy has 3 home runs and 11 RBI’s over his last 5 games.  Over the last seven days, Jonathan averaged 21.6 PPG, second only to Buster Posey at the catcher position.  Posey when bonkers in Denver, leading to his higher average.  Jonathan’s salary is a reasonable $3,500 tonight and he brings an awesome 6.2X value to the dish tonight.

Another very hot bat is Adam Lind, 1B, (9:10pm ET).  Over the last week, Lind averaged 24.8 PPG. Another smoking bat at the first base position in Eric Hosmer, barely above Adam at 24.9 PPG. However, you have to pay $4,100 for Hosmer.  For Lind, you’re only paying $2,800 which is a wonderful bargain for a hot bat in San Diego against a struggling Padres rotation.  With an 8.9X average tonight, Lind is a strong suggestion at the 1B position.

We talked about Chase Utley, 2B, (2:20pm ET) in our Memorial Day edition of MLB Picks for FanDuel Economics.  Lately, Utley has provided a glimpse of his prior years, dominating at the plate.  Chase is one of the reasons the Dodgers are surging right now.  Over the last seven days, Utley averaged 15.4 PPG.  With another reasonable salary of $3,400, Chase gives us a decent value of 4.5X, one of the best at the second base position today.

Luis Valbuena, 3B, (2:10pm ET) has been absolutely smoking the ball lately.  Valbuena did have a brief pause with 0 points in L.A. against the Angles on May 27th, but that game aside, he’s been one of the better hitters in baseball.  Over the last week, Valbuena averaged 15.5 PPG.  With a cheap $3,100 salary, Luis brings a 5X value to the plate, the best of all third basemen.

Jonathan Villar, SS, (7:05pm ET) is another hot Brewer bat.  Villar is also piling on stolen bases when he gets on the base path, which is often lately.  Since May 24th, nine games, Jonathan has been on base every game.  Over the last week, Villar is averaging 20.4 PPG, the best among all regularly starting shortstops.  Jonathan also has a very reasonable $3,600 salary leading to a great 5.7X value.  Look for Villar to continue to roam the base path again tonight in Philadelphia against the Phillies.

Next: Value Hitters - OF

MLB Picks
May 15, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) hits a solo home run in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Value Hitters – OF

Carlos Gonzalez (8:40pm ET), aka ‘CarGo’, is quietly having a great season this year, maybe because we all expect him to do well.  Lately, Carlos has smoked the ball.  Since May 24th, Gonzalez has only one game where he wasn’t at double-digit FanDuel points, and he still had 6.2 points.  CarGo has 5 HR’s over his last 6 games.  Gonzalez clearly prefers to play in Coors Field, and that continues tomorrow night.  Over the last week, Carlos averaged 23.6 PPG, the most among all regularly starting outfielders.  Even with a $4,300 salary, CarGo is still a fantastic 5.5X value.

Sean Rodriguez (7:10pm ET) has been up and down over the course of the season, but lately Sean has surged.  Over the last week, Rodriguez averaged 14.9 PPG, including 2 home runs.  With a very cheap $2,600 salary, Sean provides a great 5.7X value tonight in Miami against the Marlins.

More from FanSided

After a terrible start to the season, Jake Marisnick (2:10pm ET) has a hot bat.  Over the last week, Marisnick averaged 13.5 PPG.  However, to put more perspective on his recent surge, over the last four games, Jake averaged 14.8 PPG.  With another bargain salary of only $2,800, Marisnick is a solid 4.8X value this afternoon.

To re-visit other recent value options for FanDuel MLB, view some of my other columns.

For additional FanDuel MLB analysis, take a look at my good friend and follow staff writer Brian Tulloch’s MLB Picks & Pivots column.  Also, Mike Marteny provides Draft Kings MLB Picks analysis.  Draft Kings uses a different point system and Mike does a great job of breaking down your options.  Both also provide great ‘stacking’ options which I like to discuss and use as well.

Next: DFS Strategy - Take Your Game to the Next Level

Best of luck tonight daily fantasy baseball gamers! Make sure to check lineups as they are announced before locking in your MLB Picks!