Welcome to the Wednesday FanDuel MLB edition of Picks and Pivots, a fantasy baseball column focused on helping you find the best core lineup for today’s Main slate which kicks off at 7:05 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!
Tuesday’s winning GPP score landed at 249.2 with Max Scherzer‘s 52 points and a monster outing from a Reds stack building the winning team! Over the first 20 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 242.2 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.
Tuesday’s Picks and Pivots was an odd one for me as my phone died early in the day and with no internet access I basically ran out my “shell” lineups across the board but did find a way to cash in some multipliers! Luis Severino was money, striking out 10 batters and racking up 49 FanDuel points and Bryce Harper (18) and Adam Jones (25) came through with solid days at the plat but the rest of the Orioles/Nationals stacks were held in check!
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
Clayton Kershaw ($12,900) Looking back at yesterday’s slate, one thing really struck me – the clear top arm on the slate, Max Scherzer was only 19% owned while Luis Severino actually became the chalk at over 26% ownership in GPP’s.
This is interesting to me as I wonder if early in the season as FanDuel starts to price up the bats if gamers are opting to pay “down” at SP to afford more bats!
Today will be a great case study into that theory as the Main Slate is loaded with Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner ($11,100) at the top of the salary chart! Looking over the roster build of this slate it seems every place I looked for offense, the bats were priced up so I wonder if today we will see people look for lower cost arms in order to fit in bats?
If there is one thing we have learned from FanDuel MLB DFS – the hitter variance is what makes or breaks you each day so I will generally take the approach of paying up for stud SP’s whenever presented the chance. Think about it this way – on any given day, is it more likely that Mike Trout will go 0-4 or Clayton Kershaw gets lit up?
On today’s slate I am going to pay up – all the way up – for Kershaw in this spot and on an eleven game slate with MadBum available could we realistically see under 15% ownership?
Kershaw has started this season as he normally does, with his two home starts generating 54 FanDuel points per game on the back of a 16:1 KK:B ratio. The question here is not whether Kershaw is a good play – he is at home against a sluggish Rockies team so I feel like we can lock in 50+ again today as the foundation for our lineup.
The question really is – can we fade him? Bumgarner may be a bit cheaper which gives us more hitter salary flexibility but he is pitching on the road in KC where the wind is expected to be blowing out at nearly 15 MPH. Outside of him are you going to roll the dice on guys like Chris Archer, Dallas Keuchel or Zack Greinke?
The price is steep but I actually think this is a spot where the ownership will be one of the lowest we will ever see Kershaw at considering recent trends and the fact that Bumgarner is also on the slate.
FanDuel MLB – Top Hitting Stacks
Cincinnatti versus Baltimore: This game is going to be the chalk stack of the day and I want SO badly to fade it but the spot is just so dang good!
This game has the highest total on the board and Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound for the Orioles so the Reds are going to be MIGHTY popular today! Yesterday the Orioles were the chalk stack of the day with guys like Chris Davis/Manny Machado commanding 25%-30% ownership in tournaments and when they fell flat it meant the rest of the field had a massive advantage.
Today with all the focus on the Reds bats against Jimenez, will the Orioles be the forgotten stack today?
As much as I want to fade t his game, I do think we can be a bit contrarian here by building around the Orioles bats but when you are paying up for Kershaw, remember you only have $2.8k per player left for your bats!
Instead of stacking the top of the lineup for Baltimore I will look to attack the bottom half by stacking guys like Wellington Castillo ($2,800), Trey Mancini ($3,100) and J.J. Hardy ($2,600). You can also wrap around stack with Craig Gentry ($2,200) who will likely bat lead-off with a LHP on the mound in Amir Garrett.
As much as I do not want to stack the chalky Reds, the price points are simply too easy to slot in within a Kershaw build. Billy Hamilton ($3,000), Adam Duvall ($3,200) and Jose Peraza ($3,100) are simply too cheap and although I expect they will be popular, the match-up against Jimenez is too good to not have some exposure to.
Ubaldo has given up 10 ER and 3 home runs in only 8 IP this season and considering his 31% hard contact rate last season and propensity to be run on (30 steals last year), this is a spot that could spell big time trouble for him against the Reds lineup.
FanDuel MLB – Top GPP Lineup and Slate Overview
P: Clayton Kershaw ($12,900)
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C: Wellington Castillo ($2,800)
1B: Trey Mancini ($3,100)
2B: Jose Peraza ($3,100)
3B: Jose Reyes ($2,100) With Vince Velasquez on the hill, the Mets LHB are all in play and Reyes hit the ball hard last night so he could be ready to break out against a pitcher who has been hit very hard early in this season.
SS: J.J. Hardy ($2,600)
OF: Craig Gentry ($2,200)
OF: Billy Hamilton ($3,000)
OF: Adam Duvall ($3,200)
Slate Overview: Pay. For. Pitching. I am not going to get cute today at SP – I am going to simply lock in Kershaw across the board. Hitting is going to be the spot where we look to pivot off the field and although I plan on having significant exposure to the Orioles/Reds I do think it makes sense to keep an eye on ownership throughout the day to move away from those bats if they become ultra chalk!
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Best of luck in your FanDuel MLB contests today and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR on Twitter for all the late breaking lineup news and roster updates!