Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Saturday baseball.
As usual, we will get two slates of baseball, and we actually get some pitchers that aren’t donkeys tonight. I will break them down below, as I do think there is more than meets the eye for both, but I think we can still use them. There are some excellent hitting situations, so this should end up being a pretty nice day of DFS. 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, use our link to sign up for FanDuel.
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:
JOSE FERNANDEZ – The top two on the slate are clearly Fernandez and Scherzer. As I alluded to above, I think both are actually in tougher situations than it appears. The reason I have Fernandez first is that I think his is a little less serious, as it is related to his team’s production and not the opponent. We’ve seen Fernandez dominate the Mets a few different times this year, and I don’t think anything should change this time. The big issue I have is that for the most part, the Marlins seem completely useless at the plate lately. They will have a tough time again against Jacob deGrom, who has been pitching very well in his last starts. While I typically do like the Mets pitchers at home, I could potentially see him shut this lineup down totally, and that limits both his and Jose’s upside.
JACOB deGROM – Let me start by saying that I had absolutely no intention of going this route, but here I am. The Marlins have looked pretty poor lately, and deGrom is looking good. The Phillies were able to chip a few runs off of Fernandez his last time out, keeping him from an absolutely monster outing, and I think the Mets might have a better chance of putting a single run on the board in this game. The big question is: will Fernandez have enough strikeouts to offset the possible lack of a win to match the win deGrom could get? That is the discussion you will have to have with yourself. This game could have one of the lowest totals all year, and should be fun to watch if you like good pitching.
MAX SCHERZER – Typically, I try to find a value pitcher to toss in here, but I fully intended on breaking down both Max and Jose, and then deGrom went into the conversation and here we are. Normally, Scherzer at home against the Padres would be a no questions asked lock EXCEPT: the Padres are the hottest team in baseball. Since July 1st, no team has scored more than they have. We’ve seen Scherzer have some issues with homeruns this year, and there are a number of guys who could send one or more out on him tonight. I must admit being a bit vexed on what to do tonight, as there are red flags, at least to me, with a lot of the expensive pitchers, and no one I really like in the lower tier. I am not telling you not to play any of them; I am just saying they all come with a higher level of concern than normal.
WILSON RAMOS – For the third straight day, Ramos made the list. Interestingly, this series features the top two scoring teams in July, and the Padres are sending Edwin Jackson to the mound, in a matchup that Ramos should be able to take advantage of. The big thing with Ramos is that he typically gives you some amount of points. It might not be a ton, but usually doesn’t leave you with a zero. I don’t have a problem throwing him with whatever pitcher you decide on in cash games, despite that he is over $3k.
JASON CASTRO – Castro will get to face off with Jered Weaver tonight, who has still not been having a great 2016 campaign. His price is low, and basically you are rostering him hoping for a homerun. Weaver can give those up, which is something we like when targeting a pitching. I wouldn’t go over board with him, but he is worth a look in a few lineups tonight.
PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT – Goldschmidt is somehow one of those guys who doesn’t make this list too much. Tonight, he is in a matchup against a poor righty in Keyvrius Sampson. In fairness, I don’t know a ton about Sampson, but I do know that he isn’t going to be able to match up with Goldy well. His salary is fair, but I don’t know if he is a must start on the evening. If you have some value plays you think will do well, then by all means, plug him in your cash games, but I think the money could be spent better elsewhere.
MIKE NAPOLI – Napoli is another guy who has been getting some serious write up in our breakdowns and with good reason: he is having his best season in quite some time. I struggle often about whether or not he should be a cash game play, because of the amount he strikes out, but I think at under $3k, I’ll take the risk. We are consistently willing to pay more for Bryce Harper, as I mentioned yesterday, and his average and fantasy points are similar to Napoli’s, and actually, I think Napoli has garnered more fantasy points, at least recently. Kevin Gausman has some talent, but I am not going to be surprised if Napoli connects with one and sends it out of the yard.
BRIAN DOZIER – Dozier is going to be one of my favorite tournament plays, as I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in David Price. The Twins hit lefties well, they’ve torn apart another high talent in Cole Hamels both times they’ve faced him this year, and I just don’t think he’s going to put up good numbers. Dozier is slightly discounted because of the matchup, and I think you should take advantage of it tonight.
DUSTIN PEDROIA – The Red Sox can be such a frustrating team, as just when you think they’ve turned a corner, they come out the next night and put up one run against a vastly inferior pitcher. Ricky Nolasco is someone we’ve grown accustomed to pick on, and I think we should be looking to do the same thing tonight. Pedroia is priced fairly, and if you can manage to put him in your lineup, it is highly unlikely that you will be disappointed.
DANNY VALENCIA – Valencia will get my recommendation as top cash game play at the position, as he is far too cheap against a lefty who gives up too many homeruns in Drew Smyly. $3,100 is about the threshold I imagine being at in my cash games tonight, and Valencia makes an excellent start. He has been good this year, and there is no reason not to look his way tonight at such a discount.
JAKE LAMB – At the same price, you have a guy who has disappointed many in the DFS world as this article has been written. If disappointing is a walk and a stolen base, I will take it. He has big upside each time he takes the field, and I love the idea of stacking he and Goldschmidt, as they should be batting third and fourth tonight. There is a chance I may not have another other third basemen tonight, considering the low prices of these two.
MARCUS SEMIEN– Basically, all of the Athletics power righties are going to be in play tonight. Semien is in the midst of a career year, in terms of both homerun hitting and fantasy production. He still doesn’t hit for average, but he wasn’t hitting for average and was hitting less homeruns, so you’ll take what he’s giving you. There is a good shot that the Athletics will be able to run the score up and turn out a pretty strong score for his price.
COREY SEAGER – Seager is priced a little too low for his upside. He’s three for the three at the plate so far tonight, and there is no reason he won’t be able to put together similar production against Mike Leake tonight. I think it is feasible to put him in your cash games tonight, as there should be enough value to pay his fair price.
JAKE SMOLINSKI – Smolinski is a role player in this Athletics offense, but he is also smashing lefties this year. He is the most reasonably priced of the bunch, coming in at $2.6k. He is a great guy to get in your lineup to make room for some bigger bats, and can definitely put up a good game for his price.
BRANDON DRURY – Even cheaper, but possibly more volatile, than Smolinski is Drury. I can pretty well guarantee that Smolinski will be in the lineup. I could not tell you if Drury will or not. If he is, he provides serious cost savings, and does have some upside as well. I wouldn’t hesitate to use him as a cost saving option in either format, but I think his ceiling is relatively low, so I prefer him as a cash game play.
CARLOS GONZALEZ – Carlos Gonzalez saw his price jump up $700 today. Why? WHO KNOWS! FanDuel is erratic in their pricing, so now CarGo is accurately priced, which on a day like this with top pitching on the mound, will probably drop his ownership levels down a bit. Matt Wisler should get beat up on in this matchup, and I would have to believe it will start on the left side of the plate. Even though he’s not at this position, I do feel it is worth noting that Nolan Arenado was hitting the ball very well yesterday, and could certainly end up having a monster game as well.
MIGUEL SANO – Sano is another excellent tournament play today against David Price. The matchup caused his price to drop to $2.7k, which is a fair price for a guy who can definitely send one over the fences with little effort. Price has been erratic many times this year, and if he leaves one over the plate tonight, Sano could make him regret it.
MIKE TROUT – Mike Trout is the most expensive outfielder tonight, and the bottom line is that if you can make him fit, make him fit. He is in the upper crust of elite, and has been routinely knocking out double digit fantasy performances with ease. Colin McHugh is a fair pitcher, but I see little chance that he wins the faceoff with Trout.