Welcome to FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups for Tuesday, April 3rd 2018. We’re a fantasy baseball column focused on helping you build a DFS MLB optimal lineup for each slate.
We had another solid FanDuel MLB result in the Early Only slate yesterday, playing the chalking Jameson Taillon at pitcher for 43 points on a reasonable $8.2K salary. But Paul DeJong stole the show for the lineup with a home run, three RBI’s and 34.9 FanDuel MLB points on a cheap $2.6K salary at the shortstop position. The Tigers offensive stack also helped, as they piled up six runs on the Royals, including 21.9 points from Nicholas Castellanos, and 12.2 points from Leonys Martin.
We stuck with DFS MLB optimal lineup chalk for the Main slate as well, grabbing heavily owned Charlie Morton, who had 46 FanDuel MLB points on another reasonable $8.5K salary. Our Astros offensive stack did OK, but we plugged in Nick Ahmed to the Ultility spot, and for only $2.9K, we received 21.7 points for a player who was not well owned. So we averaged around 140 FanDuel MLB points between the two slates, and winning cash games was easy.
For today, we’ll review the top pitchers, and favor one over the other for an All-Day slate. With some of the top MLB pitching talent on the mound tonight, we may have to use some chalky picks again.
For offensive plays, we generally like to use stacking as a strategy. Stacking is ideal for DFS MLB optimal lineups, as it presents your best opportunity to win with favorable hitting-to-pitcher match ups, and you can benefit from RBI’s and Runs at the same time.
Finally, we’ll summarize our thoughts for the day’s slates, and offer some example lineups you can consider for both the Early only and Main slates. But be sure to apply your own input into your lineup. These are general examples based on what we’ve discussed, and you may have additional information to apply to each lineup.
Weather Note: Unfortunately there is a lot of weather activity across the US today, and we’re expecting the Royals, Tigers, Rays, Yankees, Phillies, and Mets to all take another day off due to postponement. Additionally, the Cubs, Reds, Braves, and Nationals have at least the possibility of a delay, which often leads to a PPD. So we’re suggest avoiding all ten teams today.
Also, as we progress toward slate locks, you’ll continue to hear updates on player injuries and starting pitchers. So make sure you follow final lineup thoughts throughout the day on our twitter account @FantasyCPR and look for late breaking lineup news.
Now, let’s get to the top pitching options…
FanDuel MLB: Top Pitcher Early Only Slate
It’s pretty obvious Chris Sale ($11,400) is the best pitcher on the mound for the Early Only slate. The dominate southpaw hurler has a 2.64 xFIP since the start of last season, the best in baseball for a starting pitcher. Sale has a ridiculous 36.3% K-rate, and low 5.3% walk rate. Also, while burning hitters as a rapid pace, Chris is also able to keep his HR rate below one per nine innings.
With one game already under his belt this season, Sale has only allowed four batters on base in 6.0 innings pitched. Chris had nine strikeouts in the same amount of time and recorded his first quality start of the season, which he sees at about a 75% rate per year. He didn’t get the win, but still had 49 FanDuel MLB points against the Rays in Tampa.
Staying in Florida to face the Marlins later this evening, Sale is set up well for another 50 FanDuel MLB point result. But also important, the other options are terrible. We’re expecting Jon Lester, Chris Archer, and Jordan Montgomery to likely all take the day off due to weather conditions.
That leaves us with Ty Blach ($6,400), Marco Gonzales ($5,500), and Jose Urena ($5,500) compared to Sale. The next best option is Gonzales, but there’s risk there because the Giants lineup has been solid since the start of the season late last week. So, eliminate the risk, plug Sale in as your pitcher for the early slate, and we have plenty of targets for offensive stacks, which are still affordable.
FanDuel MLB: Top Pitcher Main Slate
There are plenty of talented pitchers slated for the Main portion of DFS MLB today. Clayton Kershaw ($11,500) is the obvious chalk and top pitcher of the night. Kershaw’s 2.85 xFIP is the second best, behind only Sale, among all the starting pitchers today. In his first outing against the Giants, Clayton actually took a loss, even with a low 1.50 ERA, but with a high 1.67 WHIP in six innings. Still, Kershaw had seven K’s and with a win would’ve have over 50 FanDuel MLB points.
However, we’re concerned about the current hitting environment in Arizona. The D-Backs have piled up 26 runs in just four games, or 6.5 runs per game this season. In fact, their games are averaging over 11 runs per game in a hitter friendly park. So the humidor isn’t work, at least not right now. With that in mind, and another very good pitcher on the mound for Arizona, Zack Godley ($7,500), I’m avoiding Dodgers and D-Backs pitching tonight.
Justin Verlander ($10,300) appears to be in a better environment for his strengths. Verlander piled up 43 FanDuel MLB points in his first outing against the Rangers last week. Justin still allowed six runners on base in six innings, but he had five K’s with a quality start and win. That being said, his price is way too expensive, even at home against a struggling Orioles offensive unit.
Instead, we think Chase Anderson ($8,000) is a top three, if not the best, pitching option for the main slate. And we’d rather save $2.3K with Anderson than chancing salary with Verlander. Anderson has quietly developed a 23.5% K-rate, with a low 7.5% walk rate, and awesome 1.07 WHIP since the start of last season.
Chase also only gave up 0.86 home runs per nine innings in that time, one of the lowest among all pitchers on the mound tonight. He’s a bargain tonight, and a great start to our Main slate lineup.
FanDuel MLB: Top Hitting Stacks Early Only Slate
We discussed earlier about the drop off in pitching talent among the expected starting pitchers to take the mound today for the Early slate. As a reminder, we’re fading the Cubs, Reds, Yankees, and Rays with the expectation they will have their games postponed. With that in mind, our options are now down to Red Sox, Marlins, Giants, and Mariners.
Among those four teams, our favorite offensive stacks for the early slate are the Red Sox and Mariners, with some offense from the Giants. We’re fading the Marlins completely, with Sale on the mound, but they would be an interesting GPP plays.
Before we get into who we like from the Red Sox and Mariners today, we are going to grab Brandon Belt ($2,500) and plug him into the C/1B spot. Assuming he’s in the lineup today, Belt is a sneaky value pick for our lineup. Belt has a tremendous career on-base percentage and is likely to at least get a hit and or walk. He’s only averaging six FanDuel MLB points-per-game this season, so far, but we believe that will climb, and could start today against lefty Marco Gonzales.
Now to the stacks, with Ty Blach carrying a 4.98 xFIP since the start of last season, and a hot Mariners lineup, we are grabbing Robinson Cano ($3,500) at second base, Jean Segura ($3,000) at shortstop, Dee Gordon ($3,300) leading off in the OF, and Mitch Haniger ($3,000) in the Utility spot.
Haniger has been exceptionally hot this season, a hit in all three games and five for eight in total. Mitch has a double and two home runs already, along with three RBI’s and two runs. He’s averaging over 20 FanDuel MLB points-per-game in his first season against a solid Tribe pitching unit. Blach doesn’t give up many home runs, but he also has a very low 10.7% K-rate, a 1.35 WHIP, and .275 batting average.
We can stack up to four offensive players from the Red Sox in our lineup, but to do so you need to swap out one of the Mariners. You may keep four offensive players and a pitcher from any one team in FanDuel MLB, but you have to have a minimum of three teams in your lineup.
With Belt being a third team player, we’re grabbing two affordable Red Sox in our outfield, Andrew Benintendi ($2,500) and Jackie Bradley Jr. ($2,500). And at third base, we’re playing another young talented Red Sox Rafael Devers ($3,300) who’s having a great start to the season.
FanDuel MLB: Top Hitting Stacks Main Slate
Before we dive into the stacks for the Main slate, keep in mind that we’re worried about the Phillies, Mets, Nationals, and Braves playing tonight. That’s unfortunate, because a Braves and Nats stack was one of our top targets for this slate. However, keep an eye on the conditions for that game, as a flip to a stack for that game could work out well, with low ownership.
Another thing to consider, even if the Nats play you can still stick with our recommended stack, but you should try to plug Adam Eaton ($3,800) into an OF spot. Eaton is absolutely on fire right now, and has speed and power at the plate. Adam got a day off yesterday, and is a sure bet to play today, if the game is played.
However, if Eaton isn’t playing tonight, we also like how hot Lorezno Cain ($3,700) is at the plate for the Brewers. Cain is likely to continue his hitting streak against Jack Flaherty tonight. Flaherty has a 10.6% walk rate, 1.55 WHIP, and is giving up 1.7 home runs per nine innings. We’re not stacking the Brewers, but Lorenzo is a perfect third-team player in our lineup regardless of the stacking targets.
For our stacks, we’re targeting two pitchers. The Padres Tyson Ross and White Sox Miguel Gonzalez have two of the worst xFIP’s of any starting pitcher on the mound tonight. They both have high walk rates, low K-rates, a high WHIP, and give up more than one home run per nine innings. That means the Blue Jays and Rockies are perfect stacking targets.
PetCo Park isn’t the best hitting environment, but the Rockies just piled up eleven hits and seven runs against the Padres yesterday, and have a more favorable pitching match up today. So we like DJ LeMahieu ($3,200), Carlos Gonzalez ($2,900), and Charlie Blackmon ($4,300) for a three-man Rockies stack tonight.
From the Blue Jays, we’re mostly focused on the right-handed and switch-hitting batters, so we’ll start with a value play at shortstop snagging Aledmys Diaz ($2,300). He may not seem like a sexy pick, but Diaz has a double and home run in his last two games. If in the lineup, with a favorable pitching match up, he should stay hot and provide tremendous value.
Justin Smoak ($3,600) has been putting on a shot lately, but blanked yesterday with an 0-for-4 effort. Still, Smoak has seven hits, two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI’s already this season. We’ll also add Kevin Pillar ($3,000) and Josh Donaldson ($3,900) for a mostly expensive four-man Blue Jays stack in a perfect hitting situation.
FanDuel MLB: Summary and Example Lineup
For the All-Day slate, you have to add the Royals and Tigers into the mix. However, as we said before, we’re expecting that game to be postponed again. We’re also expecting the Rays, Yankees, Phillies, and Mets to be postponed. And we expect the Cubs, Reds, Nats, and Braves to be delayed or postponed as well.
With that in mind, Chris Sale is ultimately the top pitcher for the All-Day slate, but Chase Anderson offers the best value at the position. For the All-Day offensive stack, try to keep the Blue Jays in your lineup with value from either the Mainers or Red Sox. Lorenzo Cain or Brendon Belt are great three-team needed fillers, but Adam Eaton is a great play if the Nats get one in tonight. So, here’s a look at the sample lineups for Early Only and Main FanDuel MLB slates on Tuesday, April 3rd:
FanDuel MLB EARLY ONLY Sample Lineup: FanDuel MLB MAIN Slate Sample Lineup:
Remaining Salary: $0 Remaining Salary: $100/$0
Note: This is a recommended lineup after discussing our top options for today. You should use this as a guide, and provide your own input when building FanDuel NHL lineups. We are not telling you, or selling you, to use this lineup.
Best of luck in your FanDuel MLB contests and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all your DFS news and analysis across MLB, NBA, NHL, and EPL this spring!