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 Early and Main slate which kicks off at 12:35PM and 7:05PM 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 scores were right above our season average as it took 264.9 FanDuel points to take down a tournament! Over the first 63 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 259.9 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 will forever be known as Tyler Anderson day. The advanced analytics and the match-up were perfect for Anderson and if you would have told me that Nelson Cruz would have left the game early, I would have been even higher on Mr. Anderson. Unfortunately, 6 runs right off the bat in Coors Field sunk our night early which was disappointing but we get a chance to rebound today with two slates to dive into!
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 Pick (EARLY):
David Paulino ($5,500): The Early Slate is only four games and is loaded with offense as the top pitching options on this slate are none other than the elite talents of Dan Straily, Aaron Nola and Zack Godley. Nothing against those arms but when those are your top priced options, you know this is a slate where you will have minimal opportunity cost when selecting your starting pitcher so you can afford to be a bit more off the wall.
Paulino is being called up by Houston today to start against the Twins and his previous stints in the Major Leagues as a reliever may lead some to outright dismiss him. Rather than dig into his MLB numbers, you can look at his minor league track record where he had a 29% K rate through three levels of the minor league system last season and see a guy with electric talent.
It does not take much internet searching to find some very intriguing scouting reports on the 6 foot 7 right-hander including this one from FanGraphs which states:
“Paulino’s curveball is ridiculous. He’s a tall, lanky righty with an overhand slot and that curveball is spinning down from the heavens with, at times, more than 3300 rpms. It’s a slow, loopy, low-70s curveball in the Barry Zito mold.”
Dig a bit deeper and you will find this is not some soft tossing curveball pitcher, this is a power arm with 96-97 MPH heat. On a short slate like this I am willing to take some chances with my pitchers, especially those with elite strikeout stuff. Paulino is a small road favorite in this spot against the Twins who could be without an ill Miguel Sano which would only further the appeal in this match-up.
Rolling with Paulino and his $5,500 salary allows you to essentially pick and choose whichever bats you want and on this slate, you are going to want to load up on hitters so I love paying all the way down on this slate with the Astros prospect!
FanDuel MLB – Top Hitting Stacks (EARLY):
Toronto Blue Jays against Tim Adleman: The Blue Jays offense is scorching hot and they have the highest team total not only on the Early Slate but on the entire day of MLB action so although they will be popular, this is a fade at your own risk kind of spot on a four game slate!
Adleman has reverse splits statistics so far this year, giving up 35% hard contact to right-handers but is also giving up 2 HR/9 to left-handed batters with a .327 wOBA. Basically all hitters from both sides of the plate are in play here but rather than get cute I will go right to the big guns, Josh Donaldson ($3,900) and Jose Bautista ($4,100) who are both back healthy and driving a resurgent Toronto offense as they are each coming off a game on Tuesday Night in which they homered and will look to keep that streak going into tonight!
Reds versus Mike Bolsinger: The Reds may be the forgotten stack on this slate with all the attention going to Toronto but the Reds have a 4.74 tun total and average the second most runs per game of any team on the Early Slate.
Bolsinger has a 14% K rate this season and a 15% walk rate (not good) and you know what happens when you walk guys on the Reds like Billy Hamilton ($3,500)? Hamilton will be standing on third before you blink with 2 stolen bases and ready to score a run which makes him perhaps my favorite one-off play on the slate.
I do think you can look to stack the Reds here if you want to be a bit contrarian as the masses move towards Toronto (and Houston) so stacking Zack Cozart ($3,300) and Joey Votto ($4,300) right behind Hamilton may be a way to set your line-up apart!
Houston Astros versus LHP Hector Santiago: The Astros have the second highest team total on the Early Slate and will face a fly ball pitcher giving up 35% hard contact to right-handed batters which spells trouble for a right-handed heavy line-up like Houston has!
The two top targets for me are George Springer ($3,800) and Jose Altuve ($3,900) as they have the highest ISO and wOBA of any Houston starters against LHP this season and make for a great mini-stack at the top of the Astros order.
FanDuel MLB – Sample GPP Line-up and Slate Overview:
P: David Paulino ($5,500)
C: Russell Martin ($2,700)
1B: Joey Votto ($4,300)
2B: Jose Altuve ($3,900)
3B: Josh Donaldson ($3,900)
SS: Zack Cozart ($3,300)
OF: Jose Bautista ($4,100)
OF: George Springer ($3,800)
OF: Billy Hamilton ($3,500)
Slate Overview: The four game Early Slate breaks down rather simply to me – build your line-ups around the bats in Toronto, Houston and Cincinnati and worry about pitcher last. On these slates I would limit your entries to single entry GPP’s or smaller field tournaments as the roster variance and ownership will be so skewed that is nearly impossible to build any sort of ownership gain (unless you choose to stack the Phillies/Marlins game). Keep it simple and play smart today!
FanDuel MLB – Top Starting Pitcher Pick (MAIN):
Max Scherzer ($11,500) or Jacob deGrom ($11,200): The Main Slate is where the pitching is as we can choose from a variety of high priced aces including Chris Archer, Carlos Martinez, Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom.
For my roster builds I think it makes sense to pay all the way up to Scherzer or deGrom but I will give the slight edge to the Mets right-hander who has a home match-up against the Brewers. deGrom comes into this game as the largest favorite on the board and the Brewers have the lowest run projection of any team in action on Wednesday.
Milwaukee has the 4th highest K rate (24%) of any team against RHP and deGrom is back to putting up elite K numbers with 9 or more strikeouts in three of his last four outings and 37 in total over his last 27 innings of work.
With so many aces on the hill, paying up for a SP in this spot becomes a must in my opinion as we are going to need a dominant outing from a strikeout pitcher in order to keep pace with the field and I think deGrom has not only the safest match-up but the elite K upside we need. With Scherzer on the mound it could actually suppress the ownership for deGrom as well making this an even better GPP play as most will find the extra $300 to roster Mad Max!
FanDuel MLB – Top Hitting Stacks (MAIN):
Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays have the second highest team total on the Main Slate and will be in an elite hitting environment in Texas against a long reliever in Austin Bibens-Dirkx making a spot start for the Rangers.
Dirx is giving up 36% hard contact to hitters from both sides of the plate so far this season and in a “bullpen game” I think mixing and matching hitters from both sides of the plate is the right approach and will be looking to stack the top 4 hitters in the Tampa line-up – Corey Dickerson ($4,200), Kevin Kiermaier ($2,900), Evan Longoria ($3,300) and Logan Morrison ($3,500).
New York Mets versus Junior Guerra: If we are paying up at SP we are going to need to find some value stack and outside of the Michael Conforto/Jay Bruce power bats, the Mets infield is priced reasonably and makes for a great stacking option against a RHP who has a 38% hard contact rate against left-handers in his career.
Lucas Duda ($3,000) remains red-hot with another home run on Tuesday night, Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,000) has double-digit fantasy points in each of his last three games and Neil Walker ($3,300) will be in the clean-up spot which gives you a clean 4-5-6 stack here to build your infield!
FanDuel MLB – Sample GPP line-up and Slate Overview:
P: Jacob deGrom ($11,200)
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C: 2K Punt Option
1B: Lucas Duda ($3,000)
2B: Neil Walker ($3,300)
3B: Evan Longoria ($3,300)
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,000)
OF: Corey Dickerson ($4,200)
OF: Kevin Kiermaier ($2,900)
OF: Eric Young Jr. ($2,100) Young has been slotted into the lead-off spot for the Angels with the injury to Mike Trout opening up a OF spot and all he has done is rack up 30 FanDuel points in two games. At this price point, he makes a great value play!
Slate Overview: The Main Slate is one where you almost have to pay up for pitcher as the top end arms are all in favorable spots and the cost of fading them is simply too high. We also don’t have a ton of “must have” offensive spots to target so allocating your salary to SP is the preferred strategy on this slate. Good luck all – let’s hope we don’t get Tyler Anderson‘ed again!
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