Welcome back to the FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups column. This is the Friday, April 6th 2018 edition. We’re a fantasy baseball column focused on helping you build a DFS MLB optimal lineup for each slate.
While we had tremendous success to start the FanDuel MLB season, our early slate suggestions have done modestly well this week. But, our main slate suggestions have struggled. One thing to keep in mind; when we suggest offensive stacks and provide player options, you do not need to actually pick that specific player.
We may think specific players are the best fit, but within that offensive stack there may be better options. And, as the day progresses, we all get better information, especially lineup orders. If there is a better value, say a player sitting in the third or fifth spot today with a cheap salary, pounce on it! Never take a DFS MLB optimal lineup as ‘bible’ for your personal lineup each day. Use the suggestions as guidance. Also, make sure you follow final lineup thoughts throughout the day on our twitter account @FantasyCPR and look for late breaking lineup news.
With that in mind, we’re going to try to avoid getting too cute for the Friday slates, and focus on some of the best pitching match ups, but also the top stories in major league baseball right now. With games both in the afternoon and evening for Friday, we again have an All-Day, Early Only, and Main slate to consider.
We’ll review the top pitchers from the Early and Main slates and favor one over the other for an All-Day slate. With some of the top MLB pitching talent on the mound tonight, we likely have 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 are may delay and postponement possibilities today. However, most of the weather risks are likely delay related. But, there is the possibility of enough rain in the San Francisco area to postpone the Dodgers and Giants game.
That is unfortunate, because it’s one of our focuses for the day. For now, we’re going to assume they’ll play. But keep an eye on the game’s status for today. Some other delay possibilities could impact the Braves, Rockies, Reds, Pirates, Orioles, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Rangers.
With only one ‘safe’ game in the afternoon and three in the evening, we don’t think it’s worth trying to avoid every one of these teams today. That has burned us in the recent past. Now, let’s get to the top pitching options…
FanDuel MLB: Top Pitcher Early Only Slate
For the only slate, we only have four starting pitchers to consider, Carlos Carrasco ($9,400), Danny Duffy ($7,700), Brandon McCarthy ($6,600), and German Marquez ($5,800). During his first start, we like Duffy, and felt he’s underrated heading into this season.
Duffy then had a tremendous start to the game, but followed that up with a complete mess. After two great innings, Duffy was getting crushed putting nine hitters on base and he gave up five runs in just four innings. While we’re still pegging Danny as someone to watch this season, we don’t think he bounces back against a solid Indians offense.
McCarthy and Marquez are each pitching in a hitter-friendly park today, making them less appealing. That being said, McCarthy had a very solid season for the Dodgers last year, and is an underrated value option for the Early slate today. We love McCarthy’s potential in GPP plays.
But for Cash games and a better bet in GPP lineups, you have to go with Carrasco. Yes, Carlos had a rough start in Seattle, but he still go the win and the Mariners offense is generally off to a hot start. Against the Royals, he’s much more appealing.
Of all the pitchers on the mound today, Carrasco has the second best xFIP, 3.25, the highest K-rate, 28%, and one of the lowest walk rates, 5.6%, since the start of last season. He’s almost a lock for 40+ FanDuel MLB points today.
FanDuel MLB: Top Pitcher Main Slate
The top pitching plays for the Main FanDuel MLB slate is more tricky, than the Early slate. After reviewing lots of chatter on twitter, it appears many FanDuel MLB players are talking their way out of playing Lance McCullers Jr. ($8,600) which is perfect. We also expect Kenta Maeda ($9,000) to be heavily owned in San Francisco tonight.
Maeda admittedly pitched a gem last week, fanning ten Giants hitters in just five innings, maintaining a low 1.2 WHIP and 0.00 ERA, along with a win. Kenta piled up an awesome 51 FanDuel MLB points by his last inning pitched. Maeda as the Giants again tonight, and faces Derek Holland ($5,900) who we expect to struggle tonight.
However, assuming Maeda will pitch that way all season is dangerous. Also, the Giants hitters have now seen his approach this season, and could be better prepared to face Kenta. Some other tempting plays are Kyle Hendricks ($8,200) against the struggling Brewers lineup and Marco Estrada ($7,600) against the Rangers in a pitcher friendly park.
However, Lance McCullers Jr. has advanced metrics that scream PICK ME today. With a 3.03 xFIP, he’s technically the best starting pitcher on the mound today. Also, while they’re not playing in San Diego, the Astros have a sub-par offense facing them today, in the Padres lineup.
This is ideal for a pitcher who only gives up 0.65 home runs per nine innings. McCullers also has a 26.6% K-rate, low 7.7% walk rate, and a solid 1.20 WHIP. Also, contrary to popular belief, Lance doesn’t rely on his fastball during each outing.
FanDuel MLB: Top Hitting Stacks Early Only Slate
Before we focus on the offensive stacks for the Early Only slate, we wanted to remind you there needs to be at least three teams in all lineups. With only four teams in the Early Only FanDuel MLB slate, that narrows down your options significantly.
However, while we do not plan to stack the Rockies today against McCarthy, we do like how hot Ian Desmond ($3,900) has been at the plate to start this season. Ian is currently hitting .348 with two home runs and seven RBI’s, along with three runs and a double in just 19 at-bats. That includes hitting for three games in San Diego, a pitcher-friendly park. Back in Colorado, we definitely think Desmond stays hot today.
Now to the stacks, of the four pitchers on the mound late this afternoon, Marquez gives up the most home runs per nine innings, 1.35. That makes a hot Braves offensive stack very appealing. While Freddie Freeman ($5,000) is super expensive today, it’s still possible to have Freeman in your lineup with Carrasco at the pitcher spot. We also think Ryan Flaherty ($3,200) stays hot and fits nicely in the 3B spot, along with Dansby Swanson ($2,700) at SS, and Preston Tucker ($3,300) in the outfield.
Finally, we’re also targeting Danny Duffy who has solid stats since early last season, but a lower xFIP than most starters today. Also, as we discussed, Danny is struggling to start this season. With that in mind, we’re going to grab three value plays from the Indians lineup, Jason Kipnis ($2,800) at second base, Lonnie Chisenhall ($2,400) in the OF, along with Bradley Zimmer ($2,200).
FanDuel MLB: Top Hitting Stacks Main Slate
For the Main slate, we actually like three stacks, the Angels, Dodgers, and Blue Jays. So while we typically grab seven offensive players from two stacks and plug in a final fit, today we’re focused on two two-player mini stacks from the Angels and Blue Jays, along with a four player stack of the Dodgers.
Derek Holland is pitching for the Giants today, and over the past three seasons, Moore has struggled significantly on the mound. That makes plays like Yasmani Grandal ($3,100) at C/1B ideal, along with Corey Seager ($3,100) at shortstop, Chris Taylor ($3,300) in the outfield, and Kike Hernandez ($2,600). Hernandez has been a great value play over the last week at the 2B position for FanDuel MLB.
Very much like Holland, Matt Moore has also struggled over the last couple of years, and currently has a 5.04 xFIP. Holland’s xFIP is the worst of all starters today, but Moore’s is fourth worst. Neither are pitching well lately. That opens the door for great value plays like Yangervis Solarte ($3,000) at the 3B position, and Kevin Pillar ($3,100) in the outfield.
Finally, with Daniel Gossett giving up around two home runs per nine innings, Mike Trout ($4,800) and Shohei Ohtani ($3,400) are fantastic plays in the outfield or utility positions. Either, or both, could go yard today, and even without home runs they’re generating incredible offensive production right now.
FanDuel MLB: Summary and Example Lineup
For the All-Day slate, we like both Carlos Carassco and Lance McCullers Jr., but MaCullers is clearly a better option in our opinion. Carassco gives you almost equally as much FanDuel MLB points, but for $800 more salary. Lance also has a high 50+ FanDuel MLB upside tonight.
For offense, we recommend having the Angels mini-stack in both the All-Day and Main slate lineups tonight. If you can, include the Braves and Dodgers, or also consider the Blue Jays. Also a reminder that we need to keep an eye on the weather today. With so many delay and PPD possibilities, lineups could be significantly impacted by weather events today.
With that summary in mind, here’s a look at the sample lineups for Early Only and Main FanDuel MLB slates on Friday, April 5th:
FanDuel MLB EARLY ONLY Sample Lineup: FanDuel MLB MAIN Slate Sample Lineup:
2B Jason Kipnis ($2,800) 2B Kike Hernandez ($2,600)
Remaining Salary: $100 Remaining Salary: $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!