Welcome to the Friday 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 7:05PM 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!
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Thursday’s winning GPP scores were just above our season average as it took 271.9 FanDuel points to take down a tournament! Over the first 101 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 263.3 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 101 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 263.3 points.
Thursday’s Main Slate winning GPP rosters not surprisingly were built around pitching with Robbie Ray at 9% ownership anchoring many of the winning teams with his 13 K, 58 FanDuel point performance. Offensively it was the Indians stack, the top projected scoring offense on the slate, that delivered with 11 runs and most importantly home runs from guys like Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Ramirez which drove these teams to big time GPP nights!
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:
Max Scherzer ($12,400): If you read Picks and Pivots with any regularity you know we are not just another best plays column, instead we provide our top plays in the context of the overall slate and how it affects our roster build. The reason I bring this up is because picking the highest priced arm on the slate in Max Scherzer at home against the Braves may seem like a no-brainer but there is more to this selection than simply just blindly clicking one of the best pitchers in baseball.
First off the price point is high, really high, and the truth is this slate is LOADED from top to bottom with elite pitching so as I write this at 5AM EST Friday morning my gut tells me that the narrative today will be that you can pay down at starting pitcher and capture similar upside. Think about it this way – for $3,000 less (or nearly 10% of your salary cap) you can drop down and get elite arms like Zack Greinke, Carlos Carrasco or Carlos Martinez or you can drop down even further and take high K GPP arms like Drew Pomeranz against the Rays, Jordan Montgomery against the Brewers or my old friend Charlie Morton coming off the DL for his first start.
The other factor at play here is that we have a TON of high projected scoring offenses AND a game in Coors Field to boot – in fact we have eight teams with projected run totals of 5 or more and two teams with 6 or more projected runs.
So step back for a second – we have a ton of great offensive spots with high salary batters we may want and elite K arms at a 25% discount off Scherzer that allow us to go that route and all of a sudden the “chalk” roster build starts to come into focus.
Now do not get me wrong, I am not expecting Mad Max to fly under the radar but I do think his ownership and the general buzz around him will be far less than an ace usually commands. The price point is high, owners are reeling from Chris Sale “only” getting 45 FD points last night and the Braves now sport an offense with Freddie Freeman back in the middle of it so will people really pay $12.4k for Scherzer tonight?
As for Scherzer – the numbers speak for themselves – he has a slate leading 35% K rate, 15.9% swinging strike rate, he is a massive -270 favorite and the Braves have the lowest total on the board. Cash game lock but prime for a pivot in GPP’s right?
This is just my feel of how the slate is going to break and as always, keep an eye on the buzz throughout the day to see what the industry touts are recommending. With so many great hitting spots and tons of cheaper pitching to choose from, could paying up for Mad Max actually be contrarian?
FanDuel MLB – Top Hitting Stacks:
One of the reasons I think we can make room for Scherzer as our starting pitcher is that we have a ton of value bats in elite hitting spots – so much so that you can stacks some of the best offenses due to soft price points and I think we should take advantage!
Arizona Diamondbacks at home versus RHP Tim Adleman: Coors Schmoors. Yankees in Miller Park – whatever. We get a game in Chase Field with an Arizona team that “only” has the eighth highest team total on the slate so they will most certainly not be the shiny toy the other two offenses with 6+ run totals will be!
The left-handed bats are in a fantastic spot in this game as Adleman on the season has only a 15% K rate and 10% walk rate while giving up 2.5 HR/9 and a 51% fly ball rate to left-handed batters this season.
So a fly ball/ home run prone right hander is on the mound in Chase Field – let’s click on 3B and see how much FanDuel wants for Jake Lamb. He must be at the top right? Nope, keep scrolling. Scroll a bit more annnnnd there he is – the 10th highest priced third baseman at only $3,600. Told you thee was soft pricing today!
Adleman’s split’s against right-handers honestly are not that much better as he has given up a 1.6 HR/9 and 36% hard contact rate so you can easily add on a stack with other cost effective Arizona bats like Chris Owings ($3,100) or A.J. Pollock ($3,400).
Texas Rangers versus Ricky Nolasco: 90+ degrees at game time in Arlington and the fifth highest team total on the board but this is another team I think will be completely overlooked tonight ans the price points just scream value!
Nolasco on the season is giving up 2.55 HR/9 to right-handed batters with a massive 41% hard hit rate so we can easily stack the Rangers power RH here including Elvis Andrus ($3,200) and Carlos Gomez ($3,100) or you can add in some left-handed bats to complete a stack at similar value price points like Nomar Mazara ($3,200) or Shin-Soo Choo ($3,100). Keep in mind Andrus was put on the paternity leave list so it could be out through the weekend but if he is in, I love him at a weak SS spot!
Value Bats: Outside of these two games there are simply a ton of under priced bats across the industry in great spots that allow you to get really creative and although I am sure more will jump out during the day – two that immediately caught my eye were Jesus Aguilar ($2,100) versus LHP Jordan Montgomery and Max Kepler ($2,600) batting clean-up against RHP Kevin Gausman!
FanDuel MLB – Sample GPP Line-Up and Slate Overview:
P: Max Scherzer ($12,400)
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C: Chris Herrmann ($2,400)
1B: Jesus Aguilar ($2,100)
2B: Jason Kipnis ($2,700)
3B: Jake Lamb ($3,600)
SS: Chris Owings ($3,100)
OF: David Peralta ($2,900)
OF: Carlos Gomez ($3,100)
OF: Max Kepler ($2,600)
Slate Overview: Just scan back over the roster I have put together and tell me again why I need to pay down at SP? I have the ability today to get high-end exposure to two high-powered offenses in Arizona and Texas with super cheap one-off value plays while locking in the best pitcher on the slate. Go ahead and pay down at starting pitcher so you can over pay for Coors Field or the Yankees name bats if you want but I think that will be the popular strategy tonight and with so much value on the board I just flat-out do not see a reason to go that route.
Best if 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!