Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Monday baseball.
This is a much more streamlined slate with just 10 games. You can tell there is such a difference in pitching even compared to yesterday. Also, there is no game at Coors, which always makes things more interesting. I think there are enough pitchers to pick on that if you can figure out pitching, you should have a fairly easy time constructing a lineup.
Today, we will break everything down position by position. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter @researchandwin and let us know we helped you or yell at us for leading you down the wrong path.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the picks:
ZACK GREINKE– This is a tough slate when it comes to pitching, but I think I am going to run with Greinke at home against a Dodgers team that hasn’t exactly set the world on fire lately. Greinke seems to be finding his legs in his new home, which is what we want to see. The Dodgers have a lineup full of lefties, which is somewhat threatening, especially in a stadium like this, but quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me. There is the whole revenge factor narrative here as well, but it isn’t something I am looking at a whole lot.
MAX SCHERZER – Scherzer always has the highest upside outside of Kershaw, but I frankly don’t like the matchup here. The Cubs can absolutely be shut down, and we’ve seen it happen, usually in situations when it shouldn’t. I won’t blame you if you go with Mad Max over Greinke, as I can absolutely see him having a good game. For me, though, I like Greinke’s situation a little better.
MATT CAIN – One of my favorite tournament plays is going to be Cain. He is cheap, returning from injury and is in a pitcher’s park. The Brewers will be traveling cross country after a hard fought victory over the Mets on Sunday. The Giants will be sleeping in their own beds. Cain had finally got things back in order prior to his injury, and I see no reason why he can’t resume this activity. His upside is probably 40-45, which is absurd value at his price.
VICTOR MARTINEZ – James Shields look predictably awful in his first start in the American League, and it is highly doubtful that this will go any better. Victor Martinez will be a popular play despite the fact that he has been fairly cold at the plate over the last few series. At the same time, he has all the talent to exploit this matchup, and makes sense as a cash game play.
TYLER FLOWERS – Flowers makes for an excellent tournament option tonight for a few reasons. First, the matchup is excellent, against a poor pitcher and then a poor bullpen. Next, he plays for the Braves, and some people will just cross him off based on that. I am definitely not going to shy away from the play tonight, and he will find his way in many of my tournament lineups.
PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT– Let’s see: Paul Goldschmidt vs. Mike Bolsinger. Hmm, I wonder who is going to win that exchange. Give me Goldy every time. He is the highest priced hitter on the slate, but he has been doing much better at the plate after a somewhat prolonged cold streak. He is my favorite hitter at the position, and probably my favorite overall.
JOE MAUER – If you want to go a direction many won’t, I would suggest Mauer, against the horrible Jered Weaver. Minnesota should be able to put some runs up on the board against Weaver, and there is no reason to believe the Mauer won’t be a part of it. Again, he will likely be low owned and could end up giving you a nice game.
IAN KINSLER – Kinsler has just been a monster as of late, and makes for another great play against James Shields. Detroit is often a favorite target of DFS players and for good reason. They have a ton of talent and can hit the ball hard and far. Kinsler can do that, plus steal bags. That is a great combination, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do both tonight.
JIMMY PARADES – Parades is nothing more than a role player right now, but if he finds his way into the lineup tonight, I think it is a favorable spot for him. He is minimum priced, and Dickey has been awful, so the opportunity is there to get a low owned play that can pay his salary off through potential power in this matchup.
DANNY VALENCIA – It looks as if Cesar Vargas will start in the absence of Yu Darvis, and that can mean great things for the Athletics. We know that Valencia has a penchant for hitting lefties well. He hit a home run yesterday, but it wasn’t against a lefty. He is my favorite play at the position, and I feel like I need to have a lot of him.
JEFRY MARTE – It seems like all Marte does is hit home runs. He is priced really cheap, and the matchup against Ricky Nolasco could be great for him. It is not a definite that he will be in the lineup, but management seems to have noticed his skill, and has played him over the past few days. Obviously, his rate of home runs will not continue, but it is worth a play in the meantime.
MARCUS SEMIEN– Semien rewarded his owners yesterday with a home run. Somehow, his price fell overnight. I don’t expect him to come through with another home run, but I think he could still have a solid game, especially for the price. I don’t think this is necessarily like normal slates where you absolutely need to have savings everywhere, but it doesn’t hurt. The Athletics are going to be a team to target tonight.
EDUARDO NUNEZ –Nunez should thrive in a matchup like this. He has been very good this season while Weaver has been very bad. He can get you points in so many ways that he makes an excellent play night in and night out. It should be very fun to watch him in this matchup, and his chances of returning value are high.
IAN DESMOND – The Rangers make another nice stack against lefty Sean Manaea. Desmond would be my favorite of the bunch, as he is just having a really good year, and this is a really nice matchup for him. I would expect him to be fairly highly owned tonight, and is a great start for a cash game lineup.
JAKE SMOLINSKI– Smolinski is nothing more than a platoon player, but he is a minimum priced platoon player. This is something that always catches my eye in these circumstances, as it can be a difference maker in your DFS lineups. I imagine he will be slightly higher owned because of his home run yesterday, but regardless, he still makes a nice play.
JAY BRUCE – I really like Bruce in this matchup against Aaron Blair. Many of the other Reds are in play today as well, especially Adam Duvall, who I could really see having a big game tonight. Bruce has really upped his trade value to start the year, and a matchup with Blair could definitely give him even more value.
MALLEX SMITH – Smith is another guy who gets lost in the fantasy shuffle because of the team he plays on, but that really shouldn’t be the case. He is very talented. He has speed a little bit of pop in his bat. This matchup is excellent for him, and the only downside with him is that he usually bats at the bottom of the lineup which does lower his value some.
ROBBIE GROSSMAN – Grossman’s price has now made it to the point where you can’t stomach pay it. That is great for tournaments. We want to look for situations like this where someone’s price makes you feel uncomfortable. If the vast majority stays away as a result, and he has a big game, you find yourself in a position where you have a low owned player with a monster outing. That is a good problem to have.