Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Friday baseball.
This is another ugly slate of pitching, so my immediate inclination is too look for the cheapest pitcher I trust and start there. I believe there are some gas cans that are easily to pick on, and I think we should be safe from some of the epic meltdowns of yesterday [I’m looking at you Red Sox!]. I will probably gear my play more toward tournaments tonight.
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:
JOE ROSS– I would love to say I love this pick. I don’t, but it is the lowest hanging fruit I think we have. Ross has struggled with lefties, of which the Padres have minimal talented ones [Jon Jay], and righties have typically been able to hold this Padres lineup down. The price is nice and I think he’s a good bet to have a fair outing tonight.
JON GRAY – Outside of the confines of Coors, Jon Gray has been a very good pitcher. He certainly hasn’t been on every time, but he’s had some very strong performances. While Miami has put up some big offensive games recently, they aren’t a team I am going to run to the hills to avoid. I think Gray could have a solid outing here, and I don’t mind him in either format.
PAT DEAN – So, if you haven’t noticed, the Yankees look pretty bad, Coors aside. They are also specifically bad against lefties. Dean has really only had one strong outing, but for his price, he could certain make value pretty easily. If you think the big bats are where it is at tonight, I would not hesitate to put him in my tournament lineups and load up elsewhere.
VICTOR MARTINEZ – Martinez finally had a huge game last night, and I am expecting this to carryover against a pitcher in Ventura who has been abused all year. That’s not including the jab/DDT combo Machado laid on him. Martinez’s price actually dropped $100 overnight, and that is just too cheap for me. I love him in my cash games and has all the upside you could want at the position.
WELLINGTON CASTILLO – Castillo has been struggling at the plate, but that doesn’t mean we should look away. You can typically predict bad pitching, and Adam Morgan fits that bill. The Diamondbacks are not in their usual confines of Chase Field, but this is still a really good opportunity for them to have a nice game. Castillo typically hits lefties well, and this is another good chance to bring the bat to life.
EDWIN ENCARNACION– It is very hard to ignore Edwin based on how well he has been playing, and he gets another terrific matchup with Mike Wright tonight. I would expect to see high ownership percentages on all the Blue Jays, and for very good reason. I am fully expecting another big game from Edwin en route to a Blue Jays win.
MIKE NAPOLI – Napoli seems to love to play at Progressive Field. His home splits look very strong, and I am not afraid of the matchup against Jose Quintana. He started the year nicely, and then completely fell apart as of late. Napoli can certainly cause some damage, and he is one of my favorite tournament plays tonight.
JOSE ALTUVE – Altuve is always a guy we are going to look at when he is facing off with a lefty. John Lamb is that lefty tonight, and this could be a great spot for Houston to score some runs. It also helps that Cincinnato has a horrible bullpen, so even if they are able to knock Lamb out early, it won’t reduce the poor pitching factor at all, if any.
JOHNNY GIAVOTELLA – Johnny G is one of my favorite plays for a number of reasons. First, he’s cheap. Second, he can hit the ball out of the park. Third, he is playing against a bad pitcher. He makes a really strong cash game play because of the price, and then he does have at least a little upside with the threat of a big game from the Angels against Graveman.
JOSH DONALDSON – If you can figure out how to get both Donaldson and Edwin in your cash game lineups tomorrow, I think you will be putting yourself in a great position. When Donaldson gets it going, he is one of the best in the game. He currently has it going. I don’t care who is pitching, he’s going in my lineups right now. Don’t over think this one.
NOLAN ARENADO – Arenado is a fixture in our lineups when in Coors, but when they aren’t, he is often overlooked. Adam Conley is a decent big league pitcher, but I really like this matchup for Nolan. He has slightly less upside than Donaldson tonight, and makes a great pivot from Donaldson in tournaments.
JONATHAN VILLAR– Villar is in a perceived poor matchup against Urias, but I think he can actually work with this matchup. He is likely to be low owned because of the matchup, which makes him all the more appealing to me. He makes for a strong tournament play that could really make your lineup look a lot different than the competition.
DARWIN BARNEY– Barney is extremely likely to be overlooked, and the truth is, he may not even play. If he does, he is the kind of player you need to fit guys like Donaldson and Edwin in your lineups – a cheap guy on a good offense that could get you a small handful of points. He has some pop, and it has been awhile since he’s hit one, and the situation is right for him. I’m not saying he’s going to have a huge game, but you won’t hate yourself if you can get some big bats that account for big scores and not have him produce much.
MIKE TROUT – Trout is one of the top options on the board tonight, with good reason. Kendall Graveman has not been good at all this year, and while this Angels team is not that exciting, they can certainly have games where they put up some nice scores. I think Trout is in line for a big game tonight and is one of my favorite plays.
CURTIS GRANDERSON– Granderson had another big game yesterday, and takes his talents from New York to Atlanta tonight. John Gant can be decent in small doses, but I expect his welcome to be worn out quickly tonight against a lefty heavy Mets team.
JAY WERTH – Werth makes an excellent play against a lefty, especially one the caliber of Friedrich. The hitting environment could be better, but at the same time, these guys can still do what they need to do to get the ball out of the yard. I think Werth is a good bet for a deep shot tonight, and will find his way in plenty of my lineups.
MALLEX SMITH – Mallex makes for a great tournament play since he will be going up against Matt Harvey. What an up and down year it has been for Harvey, with far more ups than downs. I think this matchup works in his favor. If he gets on base, I like his chances of snagging a few earning even more points for his fantasy owners.
JACKIE BRADLEY – I am tempted to not mention any Red Sox in this as a penance to them after the abortion they put on the field yesterday. Nonetheless, we must look passed the horrible outing and see this for what it is: a nice opportunity for production from the Sox. They are one of the best offenses in baseball, and it is highly unlikely they don’t show up two days in a row.