Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Friday baseball.
After a short break due to the All-Star game, we are back and ready to win some money in MLB DFS. There is a huge contest with a $5 buy-in to kick the second half of the season off on FanDuel, which will see someone take home $50,000. I am fully expecting things to get interesting, as the pitching options are very complicated. We’ll do what we usually do and break down the night’s slate! Let’s make tonight a good one, as there are a number of great contests that are being offered on FanDuel. If you don’t have an account, sign up for one here.
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:
MADISON BUMGARNER – It’s hard to look outside of Bumgarner, who is coming off an 81-point outing. It makes it even harder to look another way when you see the Padres are his opponents. This is definitely the type of situation where something bad can happen quick, though, if he can’t get them out. Fortunately, there is an absence of other high end pitching talent, outside of Strasburg, going tonight. I could see the merit of going with Strasburg, but I think MadBum has to be the first guy you look at in both formats tonight. I will likely have some Strasburg, so long as he does start, but I am going to have more Bumgarner.
CHRIS ARCHER – Archer is a guy who you should really only be looking at in tournaments. After all, he has double-digit losses on the season. Baltimore can rack up the strikeouts, and the hitting environment is a positive for Archer. His opposition is Yovani Gollardo, so a win is more likely than normal. He is priced very nicely for the upside he carries into this matchup. I think he is my top mid-range tournament play tonight that absolutely cannot be trusted in cash games.
ANTHONY DESCLAFANI – FanDuel did change the price on a lot of players moving into the second half of the season. If you see a lot of the guys you want to play at a higher price range, I really like DeSclafani to be able to produce a nice outing. He has nowhere near the ceiling of Archer, Stras or Bumgarner, but he is a guy who could deliver a game into the 40’s, which is really good for his price. I am expecting him to return something in the mid 30’s tonight, which would make me happy for the price, as I can load up on a lot of the bats I think are in good positions. I do think he is playable in both cash and tournament games. He carries some risk, but I do think he is a good pitcher going against one who should give up some runs to the Reds in Matt Garza. If we are right, and bats are the way to go tonight, DeSclafani would be the best option to allow you to fit them.
BUSTER POSEY – It seems like Posey has not come out of this article for about a week and a half. He has performed well, and he’s in a very enticing matchup tonight against Andrew Cashner. The potential is there for the Giants, as Cashner is having a season, when he is not on the DL at least, that he would like to forget. I expect the Giants offense to come out swinging early and often, which should put runners in the position to score when Posey comes up. The Giants will be a team I want a piece of tonight, no questions asked.
J.T. REALMUTO – Realmuto is far too cheap for his upside. His floor really isn’t that bad either [while we’re at it, let’s be honest: everyone’s floor is zero]. Something tells me the Marlins are going to be able to pick apart Jaime Garcia, and I will definitely buy into the guy who will most likely be hitting leadoff. He won’t be the only Marlin I write up tonight.
DAVID ORTIZ – So, I mean, I want to like Michael Pineda tonight, and I think he COULD do well, but I don’t think he will against Ortiz. No one on Boston’s roster has really owned Pineda, but I think that with the way Ortiz is swinging the bat, and the fact that Pineda has a bit of a home run problem, that he should be able to find some success with some extra base hits tonight. He is going to cost you, and I really don’t think he is the guy I want to build my team of hitters around, but for tournaments especially, he is a guy I will be targeting.
FREDDIE FREEMAN – Since coming back to his starting pitching role, Jorge de la Rosa hasn’t been horrible. The Braves are a team I absolutely refuse to pick on, as they don’t strikeout a lot and they also nickel and dime you to death. Freeman is the best player on this team still, and he is actually quite good against left handed pitching. I think that fact will keep a lot of people off of him, and he could easily take Jorge deep tonight. Even if he doesn’t, he gets a bad bullpen to pick on after that. He makes for a solid tournament option tonight.
GORDON BECKHAM – Beckham brings a great deal of upside to the table in this matchup. He hits lefties very well, and de la Rosa still isn’t exactly a pitcher we need to try to avoid. I think the Braves will be able to put up some runs, and I would fully expect Beckham to be a big part of it. His price works perfect if you are playing a high priced pitcher. He should be a guy that gets into double-digit points tonight.
NICK FRANKLIN – Who knows if he will play or not, but if he does, he is in a great situation against Yovani Gallardo. I like him for a few reasons. First, he hits right-handers well. Second, he is priced at a point where I think people will look past him to a guy like Beckham. Finally, he will likely be hitting at the bottom part of the lineup, which fantasy players often times dislike. These are all reasons why I will have exposure to him. If the Rays starting putting up runs tonight, he could be in a position to contribute with RBIs and runs, leading to nice value per dollar. I think he makes a great pivot play, if he plays, with expected low ownership.
KYLE SEAGER – There is no way that Seager should be priced this cheap in this matchup. Doug Fister could be in a world of trouble against these Mariners, and Seager could definitely be the guy doing a lot of the damage. He is an easy play with a Bumgarner lineup that could post a huge fantasy night. It is also worth noting that he had no less than 9 points in his last 10 games prior to the break. That is what you want in your cash games.
TODD FRAZIER – Frazier comes in as our player most likely to hit a home run tonight. His price came up a lot after a point where he was below $3k. Hector Santiago can give up the long ball with the best of them, and Frazier is one of the best at hitting them. This is an ideal situation that could pay huge dividends if he is able to mash the ball tonight.
ZACK COZART– If we want to use DeSclafani, we have to believe the run support is coming from somewhere. Matt Garza hasn’t got on track since coming off the DL, and there are a few guys on this Reds team that will give him issues. Cozart is one, and he will be batting at the top of the order. He is going to cost you, so he makes more sense to me in tournaments, but I think the chances of him having a strong game are pretty high.
BRANDON CRAWFORD – This is another example of erratic pricing, as a guy who is hitting the ball well gets a good matchup and comes in under $3k. Again, he is an absolute plug and play for me in cash games, and will still find himself into a lot of my tournament lineups. I expect this Giants team to score tonight, and I think Crawford should help get a few across the plate.
GIANCARLO STANTON – This has nothing to do with numbers. This has everything to do with a guy who pretty clearly wants to put his lackluster first half behind him. That is crazy to say considering he hit 20 home runs. He just didn’t look the part of a hitter to be concerned about, especially from the start of May to the middle of June. Things are turning around for him at the plate, and I think he has the biggest second half of anyone in baseball. I am expecting him to kick things off tonight with fireworks, and is priced under $4k for what I am expecting to be the last time in a long while.
STEPHEN PISCOTTY – We always want to look Piscotty’s way when he is going against a poor lefty, and what do you know, Wei-Yin Chen is on the mound tonight. The Cardinals are in a good spot to put some runs on the board, and we want to have a piece of the guy who should be batting cleanup.
ADAM DUVALL – Duvall feels underpriced going into a matchup against Matt Garza. $3k feels like a discount for the upside he brings in this matchup, so that means there is a very good chance he will make my lineup, in both cash and tournament games. He is a home run threat against a pitcher who can let them fly. Isn’t that what we look for?
JAYSON WERTH – Werth is another guy that is good against left-handed pitching, and he will get Francisco Liriano on his home turf. This is a good situation for Werth, who has the ability to get on base, as well as drive runs home in a potent offense. His price is fair, but I would like to pay a little less, though I could say that about anyone.
SCOTT VAN SLYKE – Van Slyke is an assumptive play, as the Diamondbacks are the last team to unveil their plans for starting pitcher. I am assuming it to be either Patrick Corbin or Robbie Ray, so in either case, that would put a left-hander on the mound. Van Slyke is in play against lefties and checks in at minimum price. He hasn’t done a lot on the year, but he is capable in the right situation. The ballpark factor is a plus, and if a lefty is on the mound and he is in the lineup, he should be in consideration.