Welcome to the Saturday FanDuel MLB edition of Picks and Pivots, a fantasy baseball column focused on helping you find the best core lineup for today’s Early slate which kicks off at 1:05 PM EST!
For those of you finding us for the first time, the concept behind FanDuel MLB Picks and Pivots is to first identify key building blocks that can be used for any roster construction and then identify pivot points to help differentiate your lineup in hopes of a big payday!
Friday Night’s winning GPP score of 244 was right in line with our season to date average as a line-up built around Clayton Kershaw (56) with a Tampa Bay Rays stack that scored 10 runs was able to dominate the competition! Over the first 16 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 242.6 points. Looking back at last season, the winning GPP lineup on average scored 255 FanDuel points with a typical roster build that allocated 25% of your salary cap to your SP and the remaining 75% to your hitters.
Over the first 16 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 242.6 points.
Friday’s Picks and Pivots line-up fell short of the cash line for the third straight day as for the third straight day we have built line-ups around a Toronto Blue Jays Stack! Our Starlin Castro BvP special delivered with a home run but the Mets bats without Yoenis Cespedes went cold and our Blue Jays hitters continue to crush my DFS dreams!
Keep an eye on the weather today in the Early Slate in Minnesota as the current forecast shows a steady rain (50-75% chance) from 3PM on!
Each day we will break down our top Starting Pitcher and our top hitting stacks of the day while giving you our thoughts on roster build and lineup construction.
As always, we will look to update our picks and final lineup thought prior to lock on our twitter account @FantasyCPR so make sure to give us a follow for all the late breaking lineup news.
Without further ado, let’s get into today’s slate!
FanDuel MLB – Top Starting Pitcher Picks
Carlos Martinez ($9,000) Looking over the pitching options on this slate Jake Arrieta sits atop the pitching ranks with a $10,600 asking price and as a massive home favorite is probably the default cash game option on the Early Slate.
If you are looking for a GPP pivot with massive strikeout upside then I think Carlos Martinez is the best play on the board in a road start against the New York Yankees.
The Yankees for the first time in years have a nice core of young talent in their line-up but they are still finding their ways in the Major Leagues and we saw Michael Wacha last night strike out 8 Yankee hitters.
Martinez already has a 10 K gem on his early season resume (against the Cubs lineup no less) so we know the upside is there and after a sub par outing his last turn, some game log watchers may balk at his $9k asking price.
What I love above Martinez in this spot is his pitching profile as he limits home runs (less than 0.7 HR/9 last season) and has over a 57% ground ball rate. The Yankees so far this early season have a 43% ground ball rate at home and one of the lowest hard contact rates (26%) of any team in baseball.
FanDuel MLB – Top Hitting Stacks
Toronto Blue Jays: Just kidding. I am done with them.
Chicago Cubs: The Early Slate has a near Coors Field like look to it as the Chicago Cubs have a massive 6 run projected total which is over a full run more than the next closest team (which Vegas believes is the Toronto Blue Jays – guess they haven’t been playing then in DFS the last three days).
One of the benefits of pivoting off Jake Arrieta is that we save enough salary to pay up for the big bats but we also can stack four Cubs hitters instead of only three. On a short slate like this and with potential weather concerns in Minnesota, I am going all in on the top hitting environment and will let the rest of the field try to get cute!
Tyler Glasnow takes the hill for the Pirates and we all remember him from his first start when he was the value chalk play of the day and responded with 4 ER’s in only 1.2 innings with 5 walks and a fantastic -7 FanDuel points!
Glasnow has a near 13% walk rate which is by far the highest on this slate and we saw what that resulted in during his opening day start. The Cubs line-up is loaded with elite hitting talent and if you let guys get a free pass, the next man up could take you out and put up a crooked number in a hurry!
Anthony Rizzo ($4,300), Kris Bryant ($4,100), Kyle Schwarber ($3,400) and Ben Zobrist ($2,900) should bat 1-4 for the Cubs and are my preferred game stack on the Early Slate and will be the core building block of my GPP lineups!
Baltimore Orioles: I expect the Cubs to be the chalk stack so finding a contrarian second stack within your roster build will be the key to differentiating yourself from the field.
The Orioles bats get a road date with Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays and with only the 6th highest implied run total on the slate, they may get overlooked by the masses.
Estrada has exhibited reverse splits giving up 1.32 HR/9 to right-handed hitters with a massive 36% hard contact rate so I am going to look to some of the Orioles power bats to build around my Cubs hitters.
Welington Castillo ($3,000) is my top catcher target on this slate and has massive BvP against Estrada going 8 for 26 (.308 average) with 4 of those 8 hits going for home runs. With Castillo getting the night off Friday, we can slot him back into Saturday’s lineup and he is my top choice for a home run today!
Seth Smith ($2,500) should be back in the lead-off spot and you can build a mini-stack with Adam Jones ($3,400) right behind him! J.J. Hardy ($2,400) finally broke out of his slump last night with his first home run of the season and has now hit safely in three straight games making him an elite SS punt play!
FanDuel MLB – Top GPP lineup and Slate Overview
P: Carlos Martinez ($9,000)
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C: Welington Castillo ($3,000)
1B: Anthony Rizzo ($4,300)
2B: Ben Zobrist ($2,900)
3B: Kris Bryant ($4,100)
SS: J.J. Hardy ($2,400)
OF: Kyle Schwarber ($3,400)
OF: Adam Jones ($3,400)
OF: Seth Smith ($2,500)
Slate Overview: The Early Slate starts and ends with the Chicago Cubs as you should get as many Cubs hitters into your lineup as possible! Jake Arrieta may be the safest cash game play but pivoting to Carlos Martinez not only gives you salary savings and strikeout upside but it also allows you the ability to add one additional Cubs batter to your FanDuel MLB lineup!
Best of luck in your FanDuel MLB contests and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR on Twitter for all the late breaking lineup news and roster updates!