Welcome to the Thursday 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!
Wednesday’s Main winning GPP scores were right below our season average as it took 234 FanDuel points to take down a tournament! Over the first 71 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 260.7 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 71 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 260.7 points.
Wednesday’s Main Slate started off with some chaos as Dallas Keuchel was scratched just 10 minutes prior to his start and roughly 10-12% of GPP rosters were not able to swap him out before the Astros game started. This drove massive ownership to Zack Greinke (40%) who was solid with 36 FD points but it was offenses that carried the day for winning GPP rosters. The two most common stacks that were found at the top of the leader board were Arizona led by Jake Lamb and the Atlanta Braves who erupted with 14 runs against Philly late in that game!
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:
Lance McCullers Jr. ($9,700): If you are a regular reader of Picks and Pivots, you will know how that I am a massive supporter of McCullers who I think is one of the best arms in all of baseball and one of my favorite DFS players to target due to his K upside. For the life of me, I simply cannot understand why FanDuel refuses to price this guy over $10k each and every slate as the Astros right-hander has a top 10K rate (28.2%) and a top 12 swinging strike rate (12.2%) which makes him perfect for DFS!
On this slate, McCullers is the top dog and will be a staple of my line-ups as he has the highest K rate of any pitcher on the slate and a massive 61% GB rate, the second highest in all of baseball and by far the highest today. McCullers and the Astros are a -160 favorite in this spot against Kansas City and the price point is such that we can still afford to stack high-priced bats even with a high K arm like McCullers.
The ownership on this slate should actually be pretty spread out as well as Jon Lester and David Price sit at similar price points. Game log watchers may look at McCullers last start where he only lasted 4 innings against Texas and be weary to pay the top price but McCullers was BABIP’d to death in that spot with an unsustainable .500 BABIP (league average is .300) but all the other advanced stats show business as usual – 25% hard contact rate, 70% GB rate and 36% K rate so this is a case where he simply ran into some bad luck that drove up his pitch count and forced him to leave the game early.
I am back in on McCullers today in all formats as the highest K arm on the slate and the price point is reasonable enough that we should have no problem stacking high-end bats around him!
FanDuel MLB – Top Hitting Stacks:
Houston Astros versus Jason Hammel: Normally when we pay up for the top-priced starting pitcher we do not have the ability to stack a high-priced offense but with McCullers price point under $10k we have the rare opportunity to have our cake and eat it too!
Hammel is a pitcher I love to stack against especially with right-handed bats as he gives up 1.96 HR/9 and 33% hard contact to right-handed hitters. Those numbers get even worse at home this season with a 2.42 HR/9 and 34.5% hard contact rate so all the usual suspects are in play – Jose Altuve ($3,800), Carlos Correa ($4,300) and George Springer ($4,200).
Take a stroll through my absolute new favorite FREE DFS tool – the RotoGrinders PlateIQ – and you will see Hammel throws his slider 33% of the time which is more than double the league average. Now go ahead and click-through the Houston line-up and see who hits sliders at above league average rates – yep, the Astros Big 3! This is my top stack of the day and I will have heavy exposure to the Astros power right-handers tonight!
Philadelphia at Atlanta: If we want to lock in McCullers with a high-priced Astros stack we are going to need to find value elsewhere and the hitters in Sun Trust Park are the perfect place to look with R.A. Dickey and Ben Lively facing off in a hitter’s paradise.
The last two nights, it has been the Phillies stack and then a Braves stack that have won people GPP’s and if you have not noticed, Sun Trust Park is becoming a must for exposure when stacking in GPP’s, especially with left-handed power bats as no park grades out better for left-handed power!
Matt Adams ($2,700) has 4 home runs in his last 5 games and the price point is simply too good to pass up in this park! Odubel Herrera ($3,100) and Michael Saunders ($2,600) are my preferred targets on the Philly side who both happen to have excellent BvP against Dickey with Odubel going 2 for 5 with 1 HR and Saunders at 3 for 7 with 2 home runs!
FanDuel MLB – Sample FanDuel MLB Line-up and Slate Overview:
P: Lance McCullers ($9,700)
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C: Elias Diaz ($2,000)
1B: Matt Adams ($2,700)
2B: Jose Altuve ($3,800)
3B: Derek Dietrich ($2,600)
SS: Carlos Correa ($4,300)
OF: George Springer ($4,200)
OF: Odubel Herrera ($3,100)
OF: Michael Saunders ($2,600)
Slate Overview: We get a shorter Main Slate than usual but there is no shortage of high-end arms to pick from and we have multiple spots to choose on offense so this is a great GPP slate that you can really dig into! On the pitching side I am going all in on McCullers and will hope the ownership of David Price/Jon Lester at similar price points keeps McCullers from becoming the chalk! Offensively, I want as much exposure as I can get to the Astros Big 3 and will use the value left-handed power bats in Sun Trust park to round out my roster!
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!