Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Fridayy baseball.
This is one big slate, and it should be fun to try to navigate the playing field to make your lineups. There is one guy I really like at the pitcher spot, and there is a game at Coors too. It’s going to be a fun night, and I think it will see at least one memorable performance.
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:
MAX SCHERZER– Without question Scherzer is my top play at the position tonight. He is taking on a Brewers team that can strikeout and is not good against right handed pitching. This, to me, sets up to be one of those big outing situations where we could see Scherzer absolutely dominate and shut this team down altogether. He is going to be in my cash games and most of my tournaments, and the only real downside here is that the game will be in Miller Park. While a Scherzer shutout is not out of the question, I do think he will give up a longball.
STEVEN MATZ – Matz has to be used in tournaments only, due to the fact that he has a slightly injury concern at this point and time. I really don’t like to target the Braves with anyone other than lefties. His pitching opposition is Aaron Blair, and while the Mets can certainly be an offensively challenged team, I think there is a good chance that the Mets will have a dominant offensive showing. Matz is maybe second best tournament option behind Scherzer.
YOVANI GOLLARDO – If you want to take a completely different approach to your tournament lineups, I offer up Yovani Gollardo. This is more about matchup than anything else. The Rays got shut out two games in a row by the Indians, and while I think both starting pitchers are better than Gollardo, the Rays and scuffling at the plate. Without Souza and Pearce, there is just much less punch. There is absolutely a chance that Gollardo doesn’t have a good outing, and even if he does, his ceiling isn’t super high, but I think with a good outing we could see him approach 40 points.
BUSTER POSEY – Oddly, these are both the same picks from yesterday’s article. That’s OK, because if a hitter is in a good matchup, he’s in a good matchup. Posey should be able to dominate Zack Eflin and have a good outing tonight.
SANDY LEON – Leon should be in the lineup tonight, as he has been far better than Vasquez in his short time with the team. The Red Sox had somewhat of a rougher series against the White Sox, but I expect the gloves to come off when they square off with Nick Martinez and the Texas Rangers tonight.
EDWIN ENCARNACION – Carlos Rodon hasn’t been the guy that the White Sox were hoping for, yet at least, and this lines up to be another good opportunity for a right hander to tattoo one out of the park. Edwin is playing reasonably well, and is always a threat to go yard. On a night with Coors and some appealing top end pitching, he may go low owned. He’s a little expensive for me to build around tonight in cash, but certainly in tournaments.
JAMES LONEY – Loney is in a good spot, as he gets to take on the punching bag known as Aaron Blair. He is cheap, which makes him a great option to pair with Scherzer in both formats, and I truly don’t see him struggling against Blair. He will likely be a popular option due to price and matchup, and makes a great target in both formats.
MATT CARPENTER – Carpenter will be slightly overlooked due to the lefty/lefty matchup, but rest assured, he is a great play tonight against Wade LeBlanc, who hasn’t pitched in nearly two years. This isn’t a great hitter’s park, but Carpenter is a talent that is above all of that. Yes, a hitter’s park always helps, but he doesn’t need it. Expect a good outing from him tonight.
WHIT MERRIFIELD – Merrifield has hit a price where it is tough to want to play him. He is in a complex matchup with Dallas Keuchel, the reigning AL Cy Young Award Winner. Keuchel is better at home, and he is on the road here, and just hasn’t looked overly impressive thus far in the 2016 season. I think Merrifield should have a nice outing here and will be worth the price.
JOSH DONALDSON – Usually, if Edwin makes it to our top plays list, Donaldson is not far behind. Donaldson is having some neck stiffness at this point, so you’ll want to watch his status, but assuming he plays, he is a threat to make Rodon’s night a tough one. His price is high, so if you think you can find relief elsewhere, do it, but he is the top overall play at the position.
DANNY VALENCIA – Usually, we are looking at Valencia when he is matching up with leties, but Jered Weaver will do. One thing to note about Weaver is that he is a big guy, so he is able to twist his body in a way that it can be difficult to see the pitches coming. Even with that, though, he is still getting beat up pretty well. His price is fair, and he makes a very nice tournament play tonight.
XANDER BOGAERTS– Bogaerts is facing off with Nick Martinez, and this is a matchup that is just too good to pass up. I expect the masses to be on the Red Sox again tonight, which always scares me, as they seem to go cold when this happens. That won’t phase me too much, and I expect the A.L.’s leading hitter to have a nice game.
ANDRES BLANCO– The Phillies are having themselves some luck at the plate, and Blanco is a big reason for that. Why he isn’t used more often is beyond me. Jake Peavy has a few good outings under his belt, but by no means are we going to stay away from targeting him tonight. Blanco can do a number of things to get fantasy points, and Blanco is just far too cheap for what he can produce.
MATT KEMP – Cody Reed should develop into a nice major league pitcher, but I do not think he is going to be able to deal with Matt Kemp tonight. Kemp took one out last night, and there is absolutely nothing that makes me believe that he won’t again tonight, or at least have a good outing in the process. He is costly, but he should provide a good return.
CARLOS BELTRAN– I like Beltran as a nice tournament option tonight against Tommy Millone. Beltran has already exceeded his home run numbers from 2015, and we are not yet halfway through the season. He’s a guy I definitely want to have ownership on because I think he will take one out tonight.
STEPHEN PISCOTTY – Piscotty is always in play when a lefty is on the mound, especially one that hasn’t pitched since 2014. His price is still a little more than I want to invest in since I am going to be investing heavily in Scherzer, but for my tournament lineups that do not have Scherzer, he will be one of my top targets.
LORENZO CAIN – Cain isn’t a guy I find myself suggesting a lot, but right now the matchup looks really good, and I think I want to have some usage of Cain tonight. He should be pretty low owned on a slate like tonight, and has a good upside for both cash games and tournaments. Cain will likely be one of my cash game plays.
ALEJANDRO DE AZA – I want to look to the Mets outfield against Aaron Blair tonight. Who knows how it will shake out at this point, but if de Aza is in the lineup, not matter how bad he has been, he is a guy I am going to look at. Yes, even bad players at minimum price in good matches should at least be considered. If you want to fit a top pitcher and a Coors bat or two in, you’ll need to find value somewhere, and here is one option.